Woodbine Park’s bronze tree

Detail, Circle of Trees by Laurie McGugan, 2000

I knew it was there somewhere, but was looking on the pond side of the park. It’s over on the western, Coxwell side. The images can be tap/clicked to enlarge.

Laurie McGugan’s sculpture includes the bronze tree and 6 living trees in a ring. The circle is meditative and conceptual, but I will leave it to the artist to tell you about that.

For my part, I find the piece much stronger conceptually than visually. The bronze looks like a dead tree, after all, in great detail, because it was cast from the real thing. The strengths outweigh this niggle, in my opinion.

Looking south, near the Coxwell and Eastern corner of the park.

First, it does make you think … and look, if you notice that it’s there. Second, it brings more real trees to the park … and even saved them. The planted trees were not thriving. If they had not been part of an art work, would have been nursed back to health? The technical casting skill is admirable, too. It’s much bigger and taller than I expected it to be.

This really could have used a designer.

The plaque, if I’m generous, gets a C–.

Bad break for Eastwood homes

I thought I recognized the street in the photo. It’s at the foot of our street!

July 2. 2020 . The news clip is available online.

A sewage pipe dating back to 1914 has collapsed, affecting 10 houses that were connected to the same line. It’s called a “party line”. Some party. Raw sewage in basements. Water shutoffs during the heat wave.

Eastwood, looking east. Normandy corner on the left.

I didn’t have to go far for my own photos this morning … just to the bottom of our block. Emergency repairs are underway, but proper, separate pipes will have to follow. The city should pay the costs. Have the homeowners not been paying for full sewer service and getting one tenth of what they thought they were receiving?

Time for new pipes that are up to modern standards. City responsibility.

Butterfly food is complex

Ever since Danica and I helped a couple of Monarchs emerge from cocoons, we have been keen on nourishing the species. They feed on milkweed, we were told, so we started some in the backyard, from seeds. They took a while to get established and didn’t even flower until this year.

This is the flower on plain old regular milkweed. Can you see the ants?

I didn’t even know milkweed flowered, but Danica pointed out the buds. I took the picture of one blooming in someone’s yard. Typically, I didn’t see the ants until I opened the photo. Ants? Is that a good thing, or bad? Ants benefit peonies. How about milkweed?

The ants are interested in aphids, it turns out. They don’t kill them, they actually protect the aphids from other predators, because ants like the sweet syrup aphids make. So, ants … bad, in this case, because they help aphids.

Our fancy ones aren’t flowering yet, so I snapped these in another yard. No ants on this one.

Cheryl (thank you!) gave us another variety of milkweed that she bought at a nursery. Prettier flowers and more petite leaves. I wonder if they are aphid resistant. We have both kinds.

Milkweed defends itself from enemies by being full of toxins. Monarch butterflies have evolved to be able to absorb the poisons, incorporating them into their bodies. It makes Monarchs taste bitter and gives predators a bellyache. The Monarch’s beautiful colouring is a memorable warning … “Don’t eat us! Remember the last time?”

Following the shade

Unless streets are canopied by trees, they don’t necessarily have a shady side to walk on. My early morning walks need to be north/south. The sun strikes down east/west routes like a flaming bowling ball. There is no place to hide.

O’Connor Bridge, looking south

North on Woodbine to the O’Connor Bridge was a safe bet. I got my 10,000 steps comfortably and enjoyed some views, to boot.

Taylor Creek created need for the bridge. A pleasant path follows alongside.

Commuters can’t really see what they are missing from their car windows, but some folks on Glenwood Crescent enjoy it all the time.

There’s a genteel residential pocket to the west of the bridge.

Looking for a view of the bridge that I had not seen before, I wandered up Glenwood and found an opening in the trees.

The little creek has carved quite a large valley. It goes to the Don River.

For future reference, there appears to be a way to get down to the creek, from the top of the bridge. These stairs are on the east side, near the Glenwood crosswalk.

Danica and I always get to the creek with our bicycles from the Woodbine side, but if we are walking …

Canada Day

The fig plant Lisa started from seed and gave to us is growing well. It inspired this.

It’s a good country, but there’s room for improvement.

I appreciate Canada, but I think the fig leaf might fit. There are things about our country that we just don’t like to look at.