Thomas and his double double
with Thor the terrier
take the air
and admire nature
from the path
tossing his disposable cup into the weeds.
Later a cigarette
carefully extinguished against a cedar trunk
is butt ended onto the path.
When Thor does his business
Thomas scoops the poop
and bags it
leaving it with the others
in his special spot under an evergreen
branch and out of sight.

Tiny things
singular things
out of mind things.

All innocent
all convenient
all accumulating
for Trina the hiker
who fills up bags with trash
she didn’t cause.

Wild and Woolly Find on Starkey Hill

I found a colony of a small, weird organism on a young beech tree as I was climbing up Starkey Hill. Each individual was tufted white with one particular long white hair and it, bizarrely, waved back and forth from a brownish/black base. I guessed it was some kind of insect but it didn’t look like anything familiar. In fact, the waving back and forth reminded me more of a marine organism.
A naturalist friend of mine confirmed that it was some kind of Woolly Apple Aphid.
You can check out other sites for them here or here

Here’re my pictures:




Natural Areas in Waterloo Region

When I was in my third year into my Undergraduate program (Environmental Science) at the University of Waterloo I did an interesting project for that year’s thesis. Naturalist guru Larry Lamb in the Ecology Lab and I wrote a guide to the natural areas under the supervision of Prof. Greg Michalenko. We called it Quiet Spaces. It was probably the most fun and the hardest work I did during my four years at the U of W. We came up with a list of natural areas and picked the 20 best from the wealth of sites available within the ecologically rich Waterloo Region. My personal favourites are the Sudden Tract (#18), F.W.R. Dickson Wilderness Area (#20) and Natchez Hills (#6) but anyone living in the area would not be wasting their time by visiting them all. Each one has unique attributes.
Larry and I hoped that a corporate group would publish the guide that we had worked so hard at. But, unfortunately, it didn’t happen. Larry still works at the U of W and still hands out photocopies of our guide but it never went beyond that.
Now, over 20 years after, I’ve found the time to format the guide in html and publish it on my sympatico account web space here. It deserves a better and more permanent home. I have pictures too but they would probably fill my sympatico quota too fast to attempt. If anyone out there has a good home for it, I would gladly fix up the code and even add in the pictures if desired.