We have all been impacted by Covid in a major way.   The impact was extreme for some people, for others it was an inconvenience.  Fortunately, we were in the group that was just inconvenienced.  We had basically finished the bulk of the building our addition at the back of the house in late 2019.  The “South Wing”, as I call it, just happens to have two full glass walls. I placed my computer desk in the corner where the glass walls meet. Just outside my window is our waterfall and bird feeder.  The net effect is like having a “Duck Hide” to get close to birds coming to the  feeder.  It’s a huge distraction at times – but oh, so rewarding. 

Donna and I are also avid gardening enthusiasts and have a number of flowering plants and bushes.  Additionally, we planted a pollinator garden. 

The theme for this year’s calendar is “Appreciative Moments”. We all have them. It just takes seconds to stop and think how blessed we are to have those moments in our lives. The idea behind this calendars theme was to appreciate the blessings we do have. Not travelling, impacted us, but staying home had its rewards. Appreciating the blessings we had close to home was a great exercise – an exercise all too few do.

I used one source for my quotes.  They are all by the Greek Philosopher, Marcus Aurelius’ book meditations.  This work is often considered to be one of the greatest books ever written.   

Cover photo 

Cedar Waxwing J.D. Saddlington Park, Mississauga  

If you only go to the right place, you’ll find what you are looking for!  I have been chasing down these guys for some time. This outing to the park in Port Credit yielded a number of good opportunities. 

January 

Rose Front yard garden. 

January 

I didn’t have to go far to get this photo.   The trick was to get the sunlight at just the right angle and softness.  Additionally, it was after we started to watering the lawn that evening when the photo opportunity presented itself.  I took the camera out to capture this beauty, only thing, I was in so much of hurry to capture the fleeting light that I forgot to turn the hose off. Good thing I had my Canon equipment out that night.

February

Goldfinch Our back yard. 

“When you arise in the morning, think of what a privilege it is to be alive, to think, to enjoy, to love.”

We’ve had as many as 14 Goldfinch competing for feeder time.  The feeder is strategically located to give me photo opportunities – but it is still very challenging to capture the action.   

March

Tiger Swallowtail on Lilac Front Yard

“It is not death that a man should fear, but he should fear never beginning to live.”

We have a number  of plants that will attract butterflies, bees and Hummingbirds. A selection of Cardinal flowers, Zinnias, Swamp Milkweed and artichoke have been attracting the pollinators. 

April

“On the trail The Riverwood Conservancy, Mississauga  

“The object of life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane.”

It’s called Mississauga’s hidden gem.  The park is four and a half Kilometres from home. It is located on the North side of Burnhamthorpe Road and stretches from the plateau and all the way down to the Credit River.  The park houses the Riverwood Conservancy and Visual Arts Mississauga. There are educational programs and an amazing healing garden. I am a past board member and urge others to not only visit, but volunteer.  Get back to nature in the heart of the city.  

May

Flowering Almond tree Somewhere in our neighbourhood, Mississauga 

“Take full account of what Excellencies you possess, and in gratitude remember how you would hanker after them, if you had them not.” 

Don’t remember which street I took this on.  I would walk with Chloe, our dog and she could never figure out why I needed to stop at the trees. 

June

Blue Jay Our backyard.  

“It is in your own power to maintain the beauty of your soul, or to be a decent human being.”

 It wasn’t that long ago that their population was decimated by West Nile Virus.  This year (2021) was the first one where we had a lot of them  visit. 

July

Bumble Bee on Japanese Anemone The Riverwood Conservancy, Mississauga 

“Adapt yourself to the life you have been given; and truly love the people with whom destiny has surrounded you.”

There is an amazing pollinator garden where you can find all sorts of Butterflies, Hummingbirds and Bees at Riverwood.  There is also a vegetable garden and an enabling garden where people in wheelchairs can work on raised beds. 

August

Crocosmia Our front yard. 

Practice really hearing what people say. Do your best to get inside their minds.”

One of the most beautiful flowers we have. Very delicate looking.  We finally found a special spot for it to flourish. 

September

The view from our cottage deck, Oxtongue Lake, Ontario 

“Accept the things to which fate binds you, and love the people with whom fate brings you, but do so with all your heart.”

We’ve been to a number of countries, visited many lakes and seen our fair share of sunsets.  While they are all special in their own way.  It is really nice to come home to our cottage.  Celebrating the sunset and watching the afterglow is always special.  It doesn’t attract the same crowds and it doesn’t get the ovation as the sunset gets in Santorini, Greece – but it is still very special. 

I will promise to post a blog on the sunsets of Oxtongue Lake where we’ve been enjoying them for the past 32 years while at the cottage. 

October

Canada Geese fly by Jack Darling Park, Mississauga 

“The only wealth which you will keep forever is the wealth you have given away.

Canada Geese fly by, Jack Darling Park, Mississauga 

The camera needs to be at the ready whenever we go to Jack Darling Park.  There is always something happening, if you are aware and ready.   

November

Red Bellied Woodpecker Our back yard  

“Don’t let outward appearances mislead you into thinking that someone with more prestige, power or some other distinction must on that account be happy.”

This was shot while I was on a zoom training session.  I was at my desk, these guys are very skittish and being ready with the camera and an open window is a challenge.  It pays to have the gourmet seeds I guess. 

December

Ri, our granddaughter Mississauga  

“God give me patience to reconcile with what I am not able to change, give me strength to change what I can and give me wisdom to distinguish one from another.”

I captured this photo when she was three years old.  Donna, my wife liked the photo so much it became her subject of choice for a Classical Painting Class she took at Paul Richard James Atelier. This program is extremely popular and it took Donna almost four years to finish.  In all fairness, the course is only two hours for ten sessions and was interrupted by COVID. 

It’s at home now waiting to be framed and hung in a special place. We have permission to use this image of “Ri” from her parents Tara and Sal – thank you.

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