Stag and doe

This is one of my favourite prints: two dappled deer. It seems to me that the artist used all the colours of a tabby cat.

A stag stands by while a doe rets on the ground. Both are dappled with white

Koson — Stag and Recumbent Doe

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Lombardy poplars

The one bright and beautiful thing I could see from my bedroom window was a row of poplars peeking up over a roof. When I returned to visit in later years, they were dying of old age.
I was sorry to see them go because I had spent so many hours watching their leaves flash and gleam in the sunlight.
I think of poplars as the slender Lombardy polar. Here’s a row of them receding into the distance.

The author of Tree Notes thinks of the poplar as the sturdy cottonwood. Follow the link for more musings on trees.

Woodlands

W. H. Auden wrote:

A well-kempt forest begs Our Lady’s grace;
Someone is not disgusted, or at least
Is laying bets upon the human race
Retaining enough decency to last;
The trees encountered on a country stroll
Reveal a lot about a country’s soul.

A small grove massacred to the last ash,
An oak with heart-rot, give away the show:
This great society is going smash;
They cannot fool us with how fast they go,
How much they cost each other and the gods.
A culture is no better than its woods.

Biking Saturday

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Today we had a fun ride. LotStreetWiz, AtheticKid, SilentLight, and I all biked down to the Leslie Street Spit, around the outer road (three times for L & A), and back again. We put in about 17 miles plus a few extra for our athletes. We took the Don Trail both ways to find a gentler slope. I generally brought up the rear. At the entrance to the park SilentLight and I hung back to have something to eat. I felt more energetic after that.

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The Spit had a community event with nature lookout points and bird boxes for swallows or perhaps bluebirds. Apparently it was part of Doors Open Toronto. At our turnaround point, just before the road turns to gravel, there was a display including some bird skins, so we were able to compare herring gulls, ring-billed gulls (a little smaller), and common terns (a lot smaller). We learned that a pair of great egrets are nesting, or at least hanging around, past our turnaround. That was about our only stop as the emphasis was on letting AthleticKid get in some training time.

still, we saw a lot of birds: cormorants, Canada Geese, gulls, terns, swallows–barn swallows?–and lots of smaller ones. We heard a lot of robins. The red-winged blackbirds are everywhere.

The beaver lodge in the big pond is higher and we saw freshly gnawed and felled trees back by the park entrance. So either there are two beavers with different territories or one wandering animal.