The Royal Society for the Appreciation of Hoverflies

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Hoverflies in My Sky Garden

One of my great summer joys is watering my balcony plants first thing in the morning. A few weeks ago, I was doing just that (using my fancy brand-spanking-new copper watering can) when along came a little hoverfly. These little guys somehow found their way up to my sky garden the moment I brought out my first plants and they’ve been visiting regularly ever since.

Delighted to see one, I jokingly said to her, “Would you like a little drink of water, Miss Hoverfly?” And before I could even finish, she alighted on the spout of my watering can, took a tiny sip from a single droplet of water and quickly hovered off to check out the rest of my garden. Well, that just made my morning, because—surprise, surprise—I adore hoverflies!

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Rekindling the Magic of Winter

 

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Scene from a magical winter walk in our neighbourhood.

 

“Warm fire—books–comfort—safety from storm—
our cats on the rug. Moonlight,” said Barney,
“would you be any happier now if you had a million dollars?”

~ Barney Snaith, talking about winter,
from L. M. Montgomery’s The Blue Castle

Taking a Cold, Hard Look at Winter

My partner and I genuinely love winter. But we usually keep that sentiment to ourselves because it seems that most others around us do not share our enthusiasm for winter. Truth be told, this appreciation for winter is a relatively new thing. Five years ago, I discovered that I had become, like most others around me, a chronic grumbler about winter and, in all honesty, about the weather in general. It seemed that the more years that passed, the narrower became the range of weather I didn’t complain about.

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My Dream Apples: The Delicious Ambrosia

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The spoils of the autumn harvest are overflowing the stalls of our local farmers market like a giant cornucopia: cabbages, kohlrabi, kale, all varieties of winter squash, pumpkins, beets, parsnips, carrots, onions, potatoes, cauliflowers, brussel sprouts, broccoli and cases of Roma tomatoes. But, while I love all of those veggies, it’s the apples and pears arriving directly from the orchards of British Columbia that excite me most.

Although apples keep incredibly well all winter, harvest time is the best time to eat an apple. There is no better tasting apple than one which has been recently picked from the sprawling, cradling arms of the apple tree, one still fresh with memories—memories of singing in the spring rain, of greeting the fiery dawn, of snoozing contentedly in the dappled summer afternoon sunlight to the humming of happy bees, of basking in the magical starry light of the Milky Way, dreaming sweet apple dreams. Newly harvested apples are loaded with such sweet memories, vivid memories not yet faded—memories they will generously convey to anyone who is ready to receive them.

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A World Wide Musical Tapestry

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“Music is the universal language of mankind.”

~ Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

For me, music is like air: it’s vital to my well-being and happiness. It feeds my body, my mind, and my soul. I need it as much as the air I breathe. I love the diversity of music available at our finger tips. I love that there are so many musical styles and genres to choose from. I love the musicians, singers, songwriters and composers of this world. I appreciate all the recording and sound engineers out there putting it all together so we can enjoy listening to fabulous music almost anywhere. I also love any project or happy gathering, live or otherwise, that can bring together the diverse peoples and cultures which weave the beautiful tapestry of this planet. And I’ll never cease to wonder at all the technology which makes such a project possible (including the fact that I have the capability to share some of it via this blog).

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