my favourite things of the week

For October 23 to 29, 2023

*A Maritime garter snake chillin’ on a sewer grate

While chatting with my mother in her driveway last week, two excited boys rode up on bikes to tell us they had found! a! snake! After reassuring them this little guy was not dangerous and was surely more afraid of us than we should be of him and that no, they should not ride over him with their bikes, we returned to the driveway and those little buggers got a stick and pushed the snake into the sewer. Sigh.

*My mother’s hanging basket of nasturtiums, still going strong and feeding pollinators

*A giant crate of lettuce at the farm

Who’s that weirdo taking pictures of lettuce? That weirdo is me. But I mean, come on, look at all those shades of green.

*The leaves starting to turn in the backyard

I’m not sure why our trees are always behind all the others around here, but it’s starting to get pretty out there.

my favourite things of the week

For October 16 to 22, 2023

It’s been a hectic couple of weeks around here, what with medical appointments, dental appointments, a massive closet switcheroo (why do I always choose the worst times for these projects?), ripping apart the rickety front steps, and Anna moving out of her student apartment in the city.

*Two new, ridiculously photogenic grandcats

Their names are Nadja and Simon the Devious.

*Miss Madeleine’s tolerance of the new arrivals

*Cosmos, still giving it their all in mid-October

*One very confused lupin

*Storm clouds making everything look dramatic

*A most intriguing caterpillar

Research indicates this is the caterpillar of the hyles gallii, aka bedstraw hawk-moth, aka galium sphinx moth. The red horn on his rear end isn’t dangerous, apparently, but it certainly discourages one from touching it. All I know is he was big (about the size of my ring finger) and moved fast.

my favourite things of the week

For October 2 to 8, 2023

*Autumn harvest abundance at Taproot

*My boy

Who will perch precariously on the edge of a cushion because the (very plush) couch just isn’t cushy enough.

*The way the late afternoon sun glows across the lawn in October

*More butterfly spotting

I think this might be a raggedy Black Swallowtail, but if so, he’s missing quite a bit of his bottom edge.

*A peaceful hour spent listening to the birds and admiring the plant life at the cemetery

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.


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 18 to 24, 2023

*This week, I was lucky enough to do my absolutely favourite thing: spend time by the shore

*When I could tear myself away from the beach, I was admiring the hardy plant life

*Back at home, the mums are blooming like crazy, the only sunflower to get knocked down by Hurricane Lee won’t give up, and I continue to thrum and admire the clouds

*Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day by Winifred Watson

This was perfect vacation reading. One of the many passages that made me LOL:

“It’s the men who make the mistake. They see she’s got the looks and think she can’t have the grey matter as well, and they try to take her for a ride. Their mistake, of course.”

“They deserve all they get,” said Miss Pettigrew belligerently, but without the faintest idea of what they were talking about.

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 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

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