This brief encounter at Dog Tales Sanctuary last Sunday afternoon reminded me of the devotion rescued animals at Dog Tales receive. This charming dog was being taken for a walk with the help of a handler who was holding up a harness attached to the pooch's rear-end. Its back legs couldn't support the dog but with a little help from a friend, going for a walk is still possible. Inspiring.
The trails at Thornton Bales Conservation Area, on King Township's 19th Sideroad, have been closed due to winter hazards, notably icy surfaces. I'm wary of the 100 steep steps down the side of the King Ridge, in the summertime, let alone in February.
After a few months of not seeing much of the groundwork and foundation for the new King City library, steel girders started to rise up this week, giving some fresh perspective of what is to come throughout the year. The picture below shows the King City Public School behind the new emerging library structure, which will also be the new home of the King City Seniors Centre.
The photo above shows the elevator shaft for the new building.
The first open house of the 'Princess Margaret Home Lotteryto Conquer Cancer' Grand Prize took place last weekend, at 81 Cairns Gate, on the southwest corner of Keele Street and the 15th Sideroad, in King City. The grand prize for the winning ticket, to be drawn in May, is valued at $6.4 million and includes the house pictured here, plus a Muskoka waterfront cottage and $1/2 million in cash. You can visit the home Tuesdays to Fridays, 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. and on weekends from noon to 5 p.m.
At first glance it looks like broken glass or tattered plastic in these Holland Marsh greenhouses, but a second glance reveals it is slowly melting snow from the night before, sliding down the curved glass to the ground.
It's past the halfway mark in February, but there's finally what I call an icicle hanging in the backyard. This beauty is over a metre long (45 inches) and as thick as my arm. Now, this is an icicle ... and it's only 29 days 'til spring. Yeeaaah!
My old high school buddy, Ted Bird (longtime Schomberg resident and businessman), told me last Christmas he was embarking on an odyssey to read 50 of Canadian author Pierre Berton's books. Berton is pictured at right.
I quickly realized that I had never read a book by Pierre Berton, so decided to read at least one. Ted (pictured at left) and I have now read about 13 of Berton's books, all non-fiction, and we have both come to know how very little we knew of Canadian history and how incredibly researched and well written are the man's works. Will we continue to read another 37 of Berton's books? Maybe. I've known Ted for almost 65 years and he has always been as stubborn as a mule.....and I like a challenge. We should know how close we get to 50 by next Christmas. I'll update this blog entry sometime this summer. Please comment if you wish. Barry Wallace
If you are a regular reader of this blog, you may have noticed this past Friday, that the names of the two burros (donkeys) pictured above, were missing. I scheduled the blog but missed getting the burros' names in time. For the record, their names are Gibor and Juan. Don't ask me which is which because they are virtually identical. I'm sure the folks at Dog Tales Sanctuary, up on the 19th Sideroad, know who is who, but I don't. I do know that Gibor and Juan were rescued from Israel.
Above, GIBOR & JUAN ~ or JUAN & GIBOR
Pictured above is a brand new stablemate for Gibor and Juan. It's another rescue donkey, just arrived, whose name I don't know, as of yet.
I came across this 1st-year female Snowy Owl on Holancin Road, about 1/2 km. north of Highway 9, in the Holland Marsh on Monday morning. She was scanning about the snow-covered fields for mice, most likely. She allowed me to get close enough that we were staring into each other each other's eyes. Once she had had enough of me, she spread those long, narrow wings, and sailed off to another perch nearby. Note the size of those talons (below). I was left breathless as I always am in the presence of big owls or raptors. It made my day.
When it's not frozen, a small stream (see below) flows along the northern edge of the Wesleyan Methodist Cemetery, in the tiny hamlet of Strange on Weston Road, just north of the King Road. The cemetery was established in 1852 and adjoined the Wesleyan Methodist Church. The cemetery closed in 1878 and the church closed in 1900. Methodist adherents moved down the road a short distance and joined the Laskay Methodist Church. The Ontario Genealogical Society lists 51 interments at the Strange cemetery, including 16 small children, including several shortly after birth.
The new King City detachment of the York Region Police Department, on the King Road at the west end of the village, is now operational. These photos show the computers stations that will accommodate six officers per shift. While operational now, a public reception is expected to be held in May.
Although snowdrifts can be admirable sculptures (see above) they can also be somewhat dingy (see below). In either case they are both cold, and at my advanced age, I am no longer a fan of winter. That is why I have inserted the photo, at bottom, into today's blog. A summertime foraging female Baltimore Oriole lifts my spirits in a limitless way.
When I was a teenager, winters seemed frigid and frozen from late November until early March. Back then, the icy East Humber River, across southern King Township, became a winter road that allowed me and my buddies a unaccustomed view of the snow-covered landscape. Now 60 years later, the river has changed a lot. The cold 'Humber' is not as deep now, and it seems to be open and flowing in many spots, on as many days, as when it is frozen over. Increased caution beckons. The cattle above descended to a small, thawing, rivulet for a cold sip near Nobleton. Please comment if you wish.
Photo by Barry Wallace Monarch numbers up 144% in Mexico
The number of monarch butterflies overwintering in central Mexico is up 144% over the previous year, according to new research, but scientists warn that it does not mean the butterflies that migrate from Canada and United States are out of danger. 2019 is the largest measurement since the 2006-2007 period says Mexico's commissioner for protected natural areas. A historic low of just 1.66 acres was recorded in 2013-2014. Butterflies, like other insects, see their populations rise and fall and the monarchs have a declining trend. This year's numbers are positive, but do not guarantee the future. The first monarchs crossed into Mexico last year more than a week later than usual on October 20th owing to rain and cold along the Texas-Mexico border. Once in Mexican territory, hope for the future rises. Scientists say 15 acres should be seen as a minimum for migrating monarchs. Loss of habitat, especially the milkweed, where monarchs lay their eggs, pesticide and herbicide use, and climate change will continue to pose threats to the species. My backyard awaits...
Ispotted this maple leaf folk art near the Lake Wilcox Park in Oak Ridges last Monday. It's not located in King, but close to it, and I liked its artistic pretension, including the red colour, the use of recycled materials, the mystery of its unrecognizable parts, and the boldness of its wintery Canadian presence.
The backyard birds are leaving lots of tracks in the light snow we've had so far this winter. But do they get cold feet? The answer is no because there is no soft tissue in their feet and warm circulating blood, in their arteries, enters their feet, becomes cool, but warms up again as it goes back, through veins, into the warm, feathered body.