Respite

Beloved Birders!

We have just returned from paradise: an extended long-weekend on Georgian Bay, just west of Pointe-au-Baril, nestled on an island that looks like something straight out of a Group of Seven painting, sloping pines and all:

This is the landscape I stared at every day, all day, and couldn't get enough of it. My photos are, as usual, horrible, so this one is from here.

This is the landscape I stared at every day, all day, and couldn’t get enough of it. My photos are, as usual, horrible, so this one is from here.

We swam about ten times/day, watched the sunsets as if they were live-action films, ate well, and didn’t complain about the heat a single time. The minute I felt on the verge of uttering the word “hot,” I simply jumped off the dock and landed in pristine water. There was no need to speak of the meteorological malaise I’ve been undergoing all summer long. True respite indeed.

And there were loons! and Black-and-white warblers galore, and an enormous Hairy woodpecker, heaps of chickadees and a fox snake that would have terrified me completely had I actually thought about it, but the whole encounter happened so fast that I was mesmerized by the velocity of the slithering creature.

But mostly I just stared at the water and the trees and sat in a Muskoka chair and let my mind wander. For instance, I wondered whether I am the only Yiddish-speaking birder in Toronto. And if so, I wondered whether there is any significance in that thought. And before I knew it my deep thoughts were only growing more meaningful and I abandoned thinking altogether.

And then we came back to sweltering Toronto, and it’s been nonstop ice-cream sandwiches ever since. And peaches. And swimming in the pool. And work and life and everything else.

I have a new book on my bookshelf called Research is a Passion with Me, by Margaret Morse Nice. I had no idea that there was an ornithological club in Toronto named after the Grande Dame of ornithology (largely because the TOC didn’t admit women at the time!). Must look into this further.

And on that note I think it might be time for yet another ice cream sandwich.

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