Wednesday, February 23, 2011


I spent a happy hour in 1923 today. I was leafing through an old IODE cookbook, that my mom got at an auction. Thats Imperial Order of the Daughters of the Empire for all you born after 1903. What it lacked in covers and endpapers it made up for in charm and interest. Apart from the printed recipes, it had a patchwork of articles snipped from the newspaper with all sorts of helpful hints for curing sties and cracked fingers, for making paint stick to glass, and other useful nostrums. There were advertisements for long defunct bakeries and candy stores, as well as a full page ad for the Paragon Dishwasher, which operated on the "Shower Bath Principle", with which, I'm sure, you are all familiar. If you'd like to know more, simply visit Paragon Products Limited, 475 Spadina Crescent, Toronto, or telephone Trinity 7038 M.

Several recipes were entered on blank pages, or on foolscap glued in. Mayonnaise Dressing, Chili Sauce, Mince Meat, Mellissa Barr's Lemon Pudding. And while we are dropping names, imagine my surprise as I was leafing through multiple Date Bread recipes (these girls may have been the staunch backbone of the Empire, but they seemed to have a limited repetoire of dishes) I came upon the following entry.

New Moon Pudding--submitted by L.M. Montgomery Macdonald. Holy.....Cow!

This wasn't a celebrity cookbook or anything. But there she was, the writer of my best beloved childhood books, and here I was, observing her in her real everyday clothes, contributing her recipe along with all the other women. The Mrs. William This and Mrs. G. H. That. Of course, something called New Moon Pudding is bound to have some magic in it. I can't wait to make it for Vicky, who loves L.M. even more than I do.

What a treat.

A fox spent TWO happy hours in our backyard today, sunning himself on a patch of open ground. We watched him at intervals, and he saw us, and the dog, but didn't bestir himself at all. In fact, a lot of the time he had his back turned to us, watching the lake and waiting for spring.

Inside, spring is on its way in the form of a blue hyacinth putting out tentative blossoms. The colours are incredible, blue, purple and green, in the most gorgeous and subtle hues.

Sunday, February 20, 2011


Is there anything more soul-satisfyingly blue than a bluejay's back? Bright yet subtle, soft yet striking. Not blue like anything else, really. Perfection.
Photo by Jcart1534 from Wikimedia Commons.


Last night, as I was driving home after dropping Alex at the show, I became aware of something in the ditch by the side of the road. I didn't see it at first, but gradually a shape detached itself from the inky blackness and sped across the road through the path of my headlights. It was blacker than the asphalt and almost without definition, as if a shadow were moving. By its robust silhouette, I could see that it couldn't be a cat. By its athleticism, it couldn't be a porcupine. It was a fisher, out on a night hunt through the scrubby bush.

Saturday, February 12, 2011


Ok, well, EYE didn't actually see them, but my friend Wendy, who knows a hawk from a handsaw, did. And while its snowing AGAIN, I was shocked to head back out to work the other night and come to the realization that at 5.41 PM there was actually light in the sky.

I took a picture to prove it.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Seek and Ye Shall Find

Its been a while! While I can't believe that I haven't seen anything wondrous for six months, I do know that I stopped looking there for a while. Its time to start anew, I think. Today we watched a red-tailed hawk in one of our poplar trees, scoping out the prey scene. I'm hoping he or she hasn't found our bob-tailed squirrel yet. There must be something bringing the hawk to the yard though, because this is the second time in a week we've seen one.

Looking for prey may not have been the motivation this time though. When this hawk took wing and flew north past the window, another rose up from the conifer next to it. Could it be mating season already? Perhaps just the time for a chilly courtship?