Mystery Fluff

Every June in Ottawa (and probably most of Ontario) you will see areas of sidewalks and lawns covered in white, fluffy puffballs. I’ve always wondered where they came from but wasn’t curious enough or in too much of a hurry to find out. Today, while spending time at the park with one of the little people, we came across a huge patch of fluff. Kids are wonderfully curious and when you spend time with them, quality time, you tend to slow down too. You take time to rediscover a curiosity you forgot about since childhood. We picked up the fluff and felt it’s softness in our hands. We noted the little seeds they carried inside. We searched the nearby treetops for the origins and found one tree, in particular had quite a bit of fluff in it’s branches. I was having difficulty telling whether the fluff had been caught in the tree while blowing through the air or whether it originated there. This is where technology comes in handy. We Googled “trees with white fluff” on my phone and found that Poplar trees are the creators of such curious seed pods. Indeed, the tree we were eyeing was a Poplar. Fascinating things you discover when you stop to look.

Poplar seeds

Surprise Encounter

I was at the park this morning with one of the boys in my daycare. As I walked through the grass, I saw something move out of the corner of my eye. And there he was! Mr. Ribbit. The little boy and I were both thrilled to see him. I really wanted to take his photo but worried I’d frighten him if I got too close. Surprisingly…he let me get close enough to get a really good shot on my phone. These three shots are not cropped photos…they’re just the progression as I got closer and closer. Thanks, Mr. Ribbit. Stay safe buddy!

Bits of Today

I am POOPED! I spent the majority of the day outside and now I could easily put my forehead on the keyboard and sleep. It’s amazing what fresh air and sunshine will do to you. With all my time outside, I did manage to take some photos. One in the garden with my Giant Red Poppies and several at Mooney’s Bay here in Ottawa. Hope you enjoy themzzzzzzzzzzzz….

100 Words

The other day I was talking to a friend about writing. As he told me he’d just finished 200,000 words, my chin hit the ground. I haven’t even reached 20,000 yet, I lamented. Do you have a routine? he asked. I had one when I wrote 10,000 words in a month but since then my routine has pretty much gone down the toilet, I muttered. And the self-loathing began? he looked at me and nodded.

Yup. The self-loathing began.

It’s a vicious cycle. You don’t write, you loath. You loath, you don’t write…at all…ever. Okay, well, maybe a little. The problem now is that it’s gotten so disjointed because I’m away from the story line for so long between bouts of writing. However, writing a little has got to be better than not writing at all. My friend says, just 100 words. That’s enough to keep the loathing away.

Good. I’ll give it a go.


Last evening was a glorious one. I went for a walk in the park and watched as everything was dazzling in the golden hue of the late-day sun. It was warm but not hot with a mild breeze. Children were playing, dogs were running and barking, couples were walking hand in hand. If I could capture those 20 minutes in a bottle and save it for a dull day, I would have in an instant.

A woman sat on the park lawn on a small blanket. She was facing out toward the water and clearly soaking up the beautiful atmosphere. She looked so at peace. Beside her, lying on the blanket, was an open novel and in her lap she held a notebook in which she was writing. It could have been a diary, but it made me think of my own writing notebook that I carry with me often in hopes of having a moment of inspiration.

Suddenly, I saw myself as this woman and knew that I had to get back to writing. There’s no room for self-loathing, as is evident in this picture, only contentment, creativity, and peace…And writing.


Stone, Glass, and Skies

I’ve published numerous posts with photos of the Victoria Memorial Museum (aka Canadian Museum of Nature). It’s kind of one of those places that deserves to be photographed from every angle. Also, since I started running the daycare, going to museums has become a weekly activity…and we all agree that this museum, in particular, is our favourite. Today is one of those days of variable weather. It goes from beautiful sunny skies to dark and ominous. I captured the outside of the building (the front and the back) at different times during our visit and was pleased with the results…although I had a heck of a time choosing between the shots. I decided to post them all. Which is your favourite?

Aptly Named

Many, many years ago I’d seen a very mature Bridalwreath Spirea, probably one that was about 50 years old, in full bloom. It arched gracefully over a path into a beautiful garden – almost as if it were waiting for a bride to walk beneath it on her way to an outdoor alter. It is, indeed, aptly named. Two summers ago, I got one for my garden. It is still small but this spring it is very pretty and adds a dash of elegance to my backyard.

Colour and Texture

I always admire the colours and textures that nature creates. It’s often very complex and spectacularly beautiful. I walked over to a tree today because I was admiring the texture and pattern made by its bark. It wasn’t until I put my phone camera in macro mode and held it up to the bark, that I realised how much colourful lichen had grown there. Gotta love little surprises like this. 


Look Closer

In my neighbourhood, one of the houses has these massive bushes at the corner of their lot. They’re probably about 7 feet high, if not more. They’re the kind of thing you would normally just walk past and your brain would register “big, green bush”.


I, however, stand beside these bushes every day while waiting for the school buses. Today, while admiring their size, I noticed they had a collection of beautiful, delicate, little green flowers on them… All over.


It often pays to look closer at the world around us. You never know what you might discover.


Nature’s Perfume

This morning, when I first woke up it was cloudy and I assumed it would be cool outside. When I opened the patio door and stepped out, I was completely taken by surprise by the warmth. The warm, humid air carried with it the scents of 100′s of plants all eagerly blossoming, the cedar of my deck, and the moisture of the earth. It was most delightful. Throughout the day I stopped and tried to take in as much spring air as I could. This evening, I paused to admire my plum tree glowing in the golden light. I opened the window to take in it’s perfume and found it to be purely intoxicating. Absolutely love this time of year.

plum tree