my favourite things of the week

For November 27 to December 3, 2023

*A visit with this handsome young man

I knitted a blanket for his upcoming first birthday and I think he liked it – if dragging it along while blowing raspberries means he likes it, which I’m pretty sure it does. It’s been a while since I spoke toddler, though.

*A visit with my crow friends

My walking companion is too polite to say so, but I bet he is heartily sick of my need to stop and chat with the crows during every outing. They’re just so smart, and they’re my neighbours, after all. Seems rude to walk on by without a word.

*Big, moody skies

This time of year brings the drama and I love it.

*’Embroidery Woman’ (1817) by Georg Friedrich Kersting


my favourite things of the week

For September 25 to October 1, 2023

I forgot to take the camera to our farm pickup this week, which figures, because there were giant heaps of bright orange squash, glowing red apples and knobbly yellow gourds sitting there begging to be photographed. Ah well.

*An extremely foggy sunset

We don’t typically get a lot of fog in this part of Nova Scotia so this was very exciting. Yes, I am aware that my idea of exciting is not most people’s idea of exciting.

*Spiderweb appreciation

All that mist in the air highlighted the yard’s four million spiderwebs and they’re pretty, but best of all is seeing a spiderweb without walking into it first, like usual.

*The Merlin bird identification app

Produced by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, this app can identify your photos of unknown birds or, better yet, listen to bird calls and songs and identify them that way. I knew our yard was a bird hotspot, but the Sound ID indicates there are probably four or five times as many birds hanging around out there that I never see. Even my mother let me add this app – her very first – to her phone and she is also utterly addicted.

*Chipmunk!

Unlike some fairly tame and sociable chipmunks, the ones living in our shed have zero interest in interacting with us. Imagine our mutual surprise, then, when this little guy popped out of the wisteria only to find one of the big dumb humans (me) watching her stupid Merlin app (what else?) on a quiet, foggy Saturday morning. I quickly snapped this bad photo with my phone right before he retreated to a safe distance and shrieked at me for five minutes straight.

*Telling our friends exactly what we think of them

Less than Angels by Barbara Pym was okay, but not my favourite Pym. I did LOL at this part, though:

“Things were said on both sides which might be regretted afterwards, and both felt the perverse satisfaction which is to be got from saying things of precisely that kind. It is very seldom that we can tell our friends exactly what we think of them; for some the occasion never presents itself, and they are perhaps the poorer for not having experienced the exultation of flinging the buried resentment and the usually irrelevant insult at a dear friend.”

*’Women decorating porcelain at Den Kgl Porcelansfabrik’ (1895) by Emma Meyer


my favourite things of the week

For September 11 to 17, 2023

Some weeks it’s more challenging to find things to appreciate and this was one of them. I spent a lot of the week with terrible shoulder pain after an overenthusiastic morning of wrangling bins and boxes in the basement and the pain started to subside just in time for the arrival of Hurricane/Post-tropical storm Lee. Luckily for us, the track of the storm pushed further west than anticipated and we had wind, rain, flattened sunflowers and a five-hour power outage, but it was fine. We’ve had way, way worse.

*Before the storm, there was a beauty of a sunset

*Green peppers from the garden

I’d have left a few of them to grow a bit more, but was worried the storm would pound them into relish.

*This chirpy red tractor, outstanding in its field

*Corn, corn everywhere

I don’t know if there really are more fields of corn around here this year or if I’ve just noticed it more, but whatever. We’ve eaten A LOT of corn.

*Old books

I borrowed Cluny Brown (1944) by Margery Sharp and the original library card was still in the pocket at the back. Swoon. Almost exactly 78 years ago, Marguerite and Margaret were also reading Cluny Brown and I wonder if they liked it as much as I did.

*’Under the Greenwood Tree’ (1909) by George Henry

I know this is endlessly reproduced, but I still love it. The dappling of that light through the trees – wow.


my favourite things of the week

For September 4 to 10, 2023

*My nervous passenger

*Bursting apple orchards

*Zucchini season

After forgetting to pick for a few days, the zucchini are a bit on the massive side, granted, but I still love them. I never understand the jokes about dumping excess zucchini on your neighbour’s porch and running away because there is no such thing as excess zucchini. If you think you have excess zucchini, feel free to put them on my porch. No need to run away afterward.

*Big, cloudy skies

*’On a Pot Bank’ (1907) by Sylvia Pankhurst


my favourite things of the week

For August 28 to September 3, 2023

*SEPTEMBER!

Even though Septembers are still way too hot and sunny, I always celebrate the first of the month simply because it means July and August are over for another year. Woohoo! Let the countdown to cooler temperatures begin.

*The stream at the park

The stream was more of a torrent last Wednesday, thanks to a lot of rain in a short amount of time. It was moving so fast it sounded like a waterfall.

*Lichen

Look at those colours.

*’Sewing (The Artist’s Wife)’ (1913) by Hans Heysen

I love the depiction of light in this one. Gorgeous.

*Wellington Dyke on a rainy day


my favourite things of the week

For August 21 to August 27, 2023

*A visit from Miss Evie, who always has a lot to say

*Lilies by the Little Free Library

*The field across the road from the Little Free Library

*Liatris at the park

*‘Two Seamstresses at Work’ (1902) by Emile Georges Weiss


my favourite things of the week

From August 14 – August 20, 2023

*My mother’s echinacea

It’s funny how I can be so drawn to colours in flowers that I wouldn’t dream of wearing or decorating with.

*Hanging out in the shade, looking across the dykes toward the Minas Basin

I could have stayed there enjoying the breeze and lack of mosquitoes all day, but haven’t yet figured out how to make lunch cook itself.

*This poor, tattered monarch

The Butterflies of Nova Scotia site says that, after a flurry of spring egg-laying, monarchs are uncommon during the summer. This pale, raggedy thing is definitely a holdout.

*A red admiral butterfly

Unlike the restless monarch, this red admiral was practically begging to have its picture taken. It landed right in front of me and delivered a variety of photogenic poses. A natural model.

*Cat-sitting Madeleine, The Plant Vandal

Maddy’s favourite things are yelling complaints in the night, running away when you try to be nice to her, and breaking off pieces of jade plant.

‘Fowey Harbour, Cornwall’ by Frank Brangwyn (1887)

I adore this painting. Everything about it.

*I also adore this guy

Another natural model.

*As many green beans as we can eat

My peas were kind of a washout this year, but the beans have taken up the slack, for sure.

*Looking back at Willowbank Farm from the shady cemetery


my favourite things of the week

From August 7 – August 13, 2023

*Watching birds hunt for their lunch over the Minas Basin

*This sleepy old man

*A field artistically dotted with hay bales

*’The Artist’s Wife, Evelyn, Knitting on a Daybed’ by Gerald Gardiner, 1934

*The view while out running errands

*My grandpets approve this message

*The relief of a rainy morning


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