Sunday, May 21, 2017
It's that spectacular time of year when each day looks different. Two hot days brought speedy growth. The blossoms seemed to grow in just days.
Each tree has its own shade of pink.
Each tree comes to life at its own rhythm. Some have leaves that are almost full, others blossoms and some are just starting to send out the first signs of leaves.
On one of our hot days (Wednesday and Thursday the temperature went up to 30°C) the tulips opened wide. Some closed up again as a cold front came through. Tulip season is not long here. Spring brings rapid change before settling in to the lushness of summer.
Saturday, May 13, 2017
After days of rain and chilly temperatures growth is once again speeding up. Up on Summit Woods the early spring flowers have woken up. Their time here is short. Once the leaves open on the trees, these flowers will die off for another year. The dog toothed violets (a.k.a. trout lilies) were open in profusion.
Their bright yellow colour advertises to insects to quickly come and pollinate them so they can grow another year.
From wide open spaces to little niches, the trilliums pop up.
They carpet the forest floor. It is their moment of glory - short-lived but grand.
The forest is constantly regeneration, from decay comes new growth.
We saw a number of these butterflies flitting around. They rest with their wings wide open. I believe they are mourning cloak butterflies.
For moments the sun shone. Spring is upon us.
Tuesday, May 9, 2017
Spring is trying to take hold. One warm day brings a burst of growth and then the cold makes the tulips close and huddle.
April and May have brought record amounts of rain which along with snow melt has caused serious flooding along the banks of rivers. Montreal is an island, and though I am not affected by the flooding, not even being near enough to the shore to see the effects, I know that others are suffering the loss of homes and the tremendous stress of watching helplessly as their sandbagging attempts simply did not have a chance against the fury of the water.
Flowers still bloom; trees start to bud (though at a slower pace as temperatures have been below normal). Yesterday I saw some snow flurries and walked bundled up with gloves, hat and scarf along with a jacket worn more often in March than in May.
Magnolias are starting to make their fleeting presence known. Spring is coming in slowly. At least for now, there is no more significant rain expected.
Sunday, April 30, 2017
New growth pokes through the layer of dead leaves. Out of last year's debris, regeneration begins. The red trilliums seem to open before their more proliferous white cousins.
Sometimes solitary, sometimes in small clumps their deep red is a sharp contrast to the sepia around them.
Slowly the ferns are unfurling. They looked like they were huddling together. Warmth in numbers. The temperature was a hovering around 5°C (about 41°F), definitely chilly for the end of April.
We did find a few open, white trilliums, but mostly they were just starting to bud.
Like the trout lilies (erythronium), they seem to be waiting for warmer temperatures.
Small patches of hepatica have sent up their first tentative blooms.
Sanguinaria could be spotted here and there.
The forest floor is covered with dry, decaying leaves. Some looked almost ghost-like. Slowly they will return to the soil and soon the forest floor will be covered with the green of new growth.
Wednesday, April 26, 2017
I love to have a destination for my walks and this was a different route from one I usually take. I'll start at the end so you can enjoy the whimsy of these swings. It is impossible not to smile as the movement of the swings creates music. I sat a while and pumped my legs - the real pleasure comes when more than one swing moves. Click and listen.
Walking on a sunny spring day is energy-boosting. These sun-soaked flowers started me off on my trajectory.
My final destination was actually the Belgo building, which at one time was a department store and then served as small factories for the garment business. The first time I was in the building many years ago you could smell the furs which were being cut and sewn into coats, hats and other wearables. Now the majority of spaces are rented out to art galleries and studios. The study group on Aboriginal art was meeting there to see an exhibit.
On the way I passed St. James United Church (above). As I don't pass by here I often, I still get surprised by the open square in front of the church. For most of my life the front was obscured by store fronts which were removed in 2006. Now the church has a presence.
I took a little detour and walked up to John F Kennedy Blvd and St. Urbain. I liked the way this building used the corner.
This church, St. John the Evangelist, is known as the red-roofed church for obvious reasons. I have been to a few concerts there. They also host St. Michael's Mission, which provides support, food, shower facilities,.. particularly to homeless men.
This is the seventh year that the swings have been set up here in the Quartier des Spectacles. The 21 swings are a creation of Daily tous les jours, in collaboration with animal behaviourist Luc-Alain Giraldeau from UQAM and Radwan Ghazi Moumneh, who composed the score of this fun installation. (from http://www.quartierdesspectacles.com/en/activity/8811/21-balancoires-21-swings#newsletter). Each swing emits a different note and, apparently at night they also emit colours. What a delightful place to stop a while!
Saturday, April 22, 2017
I couldn't live in a place that did not have a change of seasons. In spring each day brings surprises as growth and change is so rapid. Where one day a lawn looks tired and sepia-coloured, the next it is covered with leaves and then next with tiny blue flowers. Scylla always delight me; they pop up where they will, never staying within the constraints of a garden.
Daffodils show their sunny faces. These hardy plants can endure the spring frosts and occasional snow.
In sheltered spots the flowers arrive sooner with heady-smelling hyacinth sharing a spot with these daffodils.
It has been a very rainy April with temperatures going up and down. Many people are craving a bit of sunshine as are these flowers, heads down, waiting for the sunshine to perk them up.
There has been flooding in a number of communities as the rain and melting ice in rivers combine to raise water levels. We are heading for the rainiest April on record, which apparently may lead to the most mosquitoey months ahead. Here's hoping for a couple of weeks of sunshine ahead.
Friday, April 14, 2017
I spent my last full day in California with my two friends going through the gardens at the Huntington. Funny how so many years can dissolve and friendships pick up where they left off. It was wonderful to renew our connections, to share our interests, to realize that what sparked our friendship so long ago was as valid today.
We strolled, chatted and enjoyed the beauty around us (here in the Japanese garden) and ate lunch together - even ordering the same meals.
Here is a taste of what we saw.
I think this is a cormorant. He stood watching.
Then he started to shake its gullet - I saw a programme about herons who do that in hot climates to cool down. Perhaps this bird was doing the same thing.
We wandered through the rose garden.
Beauty comes in many colours.
Along with promises for the future.
Friendship renewed. The bonds of friendship are a mystery - those connections that were strong can last. And now we have to find ways to nurture them into the future despite our distant homes.