Tuesday, November 27, 2007

The Backyard Beaver (A Photo Essay)

This morning I went to buy some presents for my neices and nephew at The Book Case, a terrific bookstore in Huntsville, Ontario (go figure I'd buy books for my relatives--I hope they don't read this ;>). I got back in the house and looked out into the backyard. There was this weird scraggly blob of brown down on the ice. What the heck? This is what I saw:

So I threw my boots back on and crept back out the door. It was still there!

So I crept closer....

And closer...

And even closer...

And then...

It turned its head! Now I knew it was both alive and definitely a beaver. So I crept even closer...

And it was still there! It was probably thinking, "Can't a beaver gnaw on some sticks in peace?Why is this crazy lady sneaking up on me?" Then I tried to get even closer but I shoulda known because...

SPLASH! It'd had enough of me. It was outta there.

So I beat a hasty retreat myself cause I was freezing. (In all the excitement I had forgotten to put on my coat.)

A Cybil Nomination!!

Let's Go!: The Story of Getting from There to Here has a Cybil nomination! It's on the list of Nonfiction Picture books. Check out the other great books in the category.

And hey, while you're there, check out all the other excellent books in all the categories. Kudos to the Cybils team for spreading the word about good books!

Monday, November 26, 2007

Pretty Patterns

Yesterday the weather warmed up just enough to melt things a little. I dislike these ping-pong temperatures, these wishy-washy is-it-winter? or is-it-not-winter? days. But this was truly amazing. Too bad I couldn't have taken the photo from directly above (alas, although I have been accused of being a space cadet I have not yet discovered how to defy gravity).

My photos don't do the sight justice. But take my word for it when I say it was like the ice/snow was impersonating the Wicked Witch of the West and wailing "I'm m-m-m-e-l-t-i-n-g!" Within half an hour of this moment all trace of snow was gone. Not likely it'll stay gone for long. I'm sure there'll be a sequel any day now.

Friday, November 23, 2007

My Morning

So you know you’re either

A. sleep deprived
B. way below your daily coffee quota
C. inhabiting the dimension of fictional characters and neglecting reality
D. all of the above

when this morning you

1. walk out your door,
2. get in your car and drive 20 km to your kids’ school,
3. walk down pretty much the entire length of the school’s tiled hallway to the breakfast club room where you volunteer

before you notice that you have a hunk of hockey tape stuck to your boot!!!!

Hunh, so that was the source of the odd ripping noise that accompanied my every step. Darn my son’s ever-growing hockey tape ball.


A Detour

Sometimes when I'm writing it seems like things magically come together. It's probably not magic but rather the fact that most of my brain is obsessed with a topic so I just find myself seeking it out wherever I happen to be.

Earlier this summer my family and I were out and about and we took a detour because a sign said pretty much: This way to covered bridge. We discovered this amazing historic site--a bridge built in 1881 in West Montrose. It's now one of the only covered bridges in Ontario and, according to the blue information sign, was built because horses much preferred to cross covered bridges since they weren't distracted or spooked by the sight of water down below their hooves. Pretty neat since Let's Go!: The Story of Getting from There to Here is all about transportation history.

But as if that wasn't enough, just after I took those photos I heard a clip-clopping that could only be horse's hooves. It was a surreal moment as I wondered briefly what century I had entered when I crossed the bridge. I watched and listened in awe as a horse and buggy trotted across the bridge and carried on down the road.

It almost seemed a shame that I had to drive away in a car. Almost....

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Down the Lane

This morning I was greeted by the first serious glimpse of winter. I love the look of this first snowfall. It's all so new. Here are the photos I took. It wasn't a sunny day but at least it's not all that cold.

A lane always seems to have so many possibilties. I grew up reading L.M. Montgomery who probably gave me my love of lanes. Anne (from Anne of Green Gables) was always imagining all sorts of magical things related to lanes. Kinda easy to see why.

Here is the lane earlier this fall.

I have to remind myself to wander down a lane every now and then. A story just might lurk beyond the next bend.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

As seen with my own eyes

Have you ever had a moment when you notice something so ordinary and yet so, oh...what's the word?
I had a moment like that recently. I was waiting for my daughters' tap class to finish and I was sipping a mighty excellent brew of Numi ginger tea (because I was way past my daily coffee quota). I glanced over at another mom and saw she had one of those cheese string single packets peeking jauntily out of the back pocket of her jeans, like it just belonged there, ready to be whipped out to fulfill its destiny at a moment's notice. Fascinating....but then again I was also suffering from a nasty head cold.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

The Creepy Tree

This tree is near the end of my driveway. I'm not a big fan of caterpillar nests, and actually they usually give me a serious case of the creeps. But this was spooky and beautiful and weird all in its own way.

They're gonna 'jack the car...you can see it in their eyes!

This is definitely not the best image quality. I had to take the snapshot quickly because they bounded off as soon as they saw me, which only convinced me they were up to no good. When I saw what I'd taken it struck me as kinda funny.

Okay, so it doesn't take much to amuse me.