The Beautiful Daffodil





Where woods and the daffodil meet
Daffodils, by William Wordsworth, from the album Favourite Poetry.

I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud
I wandered lonely as a cloud
That floats on high o'er vales and hills,
When all at once I saw a crowd,
A host, of golden daffodils;
Beside the lake, beneath the trees,
Fluttering and dancing in the breeze.
Mellow Yellow
Continuous as the stars that shine
And twinkle on the milky way,
They stretched in never-ending line
Along the margin of a bay:
Ten thousand saw I at a glance,
Tossing their heads in sprightly dance.
Wild and Free
The waves beside them danced; but they
Out-did the sparkling waves of glee:
A poet could not but be gay,
In such a jocund company:
I gazed - and gazed - but little thought
What wealth the show to me had brought:
Woodlands
For oft, when on my couch I lie
In vacant or in pensive mood,
They flash upon that inward eye
Which is the bliss of solitude;
And then my heart with pleasure fills,
And dances with the daffodils.
Beauty in Beauty
Pussy willows, cat-tails, soft winds and roses
Rainbow in the woodlands, water to my knees
Shivering, quivering, the warm breath of spring
Pussy willows, cat-tails, soft winds and roses.
by Gordon Lightfoot
Forest Flowers
All around the daffodils
One, Two, Three.
If you want to find a friend,
Just choose me!
by Sara Mullett

Chocolate Bunnies, Paastoks, and the real reason for Easter

‘The funny thing was, as the old poet spoke Clara could actually imagine chocolate chickens running around desperate to find their eggs. Eggs stolen by the Easter Bunny.’ Louise Penny – from her book The Cruelest Month

My earliest Easter memories include that of a candy store. My oldest sister was the proprietor. Using money given to us by our parents, we would spend all afternoon deliberating over the brightly colored, sweet treats.

Another memory includes weaving and decorating paper Easter baskets. Baskets then used for our afternoon Easter egg hunt.

My favourite, though, was the wearing of our new Easter hats, to church on Easter morning. Pretty hats, with flowers and ribbons.

A new tradition, a first for me this year, was the building of a Paastok – a branch of a shrub decorated with Easter related ornaments. Another wonderful Dutch tradition.

The eggs symbolize the empty tomb of Jesus.
‘For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.’ John 3:16

Palmpasentok

A new beginning, for an old tradition.

I have been researching Dutch traditions, culture, and foods. This one caught my attention. It is very timely, given that Sunday is Palm Sunday.

In parts of the Netherlands, children would build a Palmpasentok. They  paraded with them, then gifted them to the elderly.

The cross represents the Crucifixion. 
The green and yellow streamers; spring, the season of renewal and new life.
The green twig, resurrection.
The bread rooster, the rooster that crowed three times when Peter denied Jesus.
The bread, symbolizes the Body of Christ shared at the Last Supper.
The twelve chocolates, the twelve disciples.
The thirty raisins refer to the thirty pieces of silver, paid to Judas who betrayed Jesus.

If this was a tradition in the area of Holland where my parents grew up, they did not, to my recollection, continue the tradition in Canada.

Personally, I love this tradition and plan to bring it anew.

It’s Maple Sugar Time!

Soaked in Maple Syrupy goodness.

It’s maple syrup time again. Due to covid19, we will be celebrating a little differently this year. So I like to share some photos from a couple of years ago that have made me homesick for the better days to come. Soon. I hope.

Horse and buggy were the vehicles of the day, taking us from a neighbouring parking lot to the Sweetwater Harvest Festival at the Wye Marsh.
Bears protecting the little frog pond.
Watching pancake mix being poured onto hot grills.
Eating those pancakes, soaked in newly boiled maple syrup.
Tapping trees the old fashioned way.
Multiple taps on a tree.
Boiling maple syrup for taffy.
Then onto the snow.
Rolled onto a stick, then into my mouth.
Cooking Bannock over an open fire.
Bee keepers, we will be.
A new spring home for our birds!

We are really looking forward to experiencing this again, next year!

Snowshoe Trails…..

A wonderful winter’s day.

After snowshoeing in our beautiful Simcoe County Forest for so many days, I think it is time for us to hang up our snowshoes and start thinking about spring.

Long shadows, and short winter days!
Snowshoeing with family, and friends. Busting new trails and traveling on those well groomed.

Midnight strolls, and sharing our tracks with wildlife.
Our snow trails have seen better days.
They gave us joy, in so many ways.
Stomping through,
Knee deep snow.
Tracks grew,
Wherever we would go.
Until a maze of twisty trails,
Cured all of winter's ails.
Until next winter, when we will meet again!

The Return of the Trumpeter Swan

Crisp, white, and beautiful!

It was such an amazing feeling, standing on a dock, in the midst of the crisp, white beauty of 50 or more, Trumpeter Swans!

Spring fever!

A great sign that winter is almost over is the arrival, to our area, of the magnificent Trumpeter Swan. Last evening, a friend shared with us that a large flock of these beautiful creatures had landed on a small beach in the little town of Washago.

Just a little bit of strutting!

Today, we went on a road trip to this wonderful, little spot.

Sharing the waters….
A beautiful, elegant swan.
Crisp, white and beautiful!
Lunch time.

We met a lovely couple who shared that they have been stopping by, a couple of times a week, with a bucket of corn, for the swans, and for the ducks.

Centennial Beach, Washago, Ontario

Strange Sights and Sounds

Different shades of brown, and a stand-on-
guard lawn chair.

It was a rainy Sunday in February. The last day in February to be exact. February 28th, not February 29th, as this year is not a leap year.

Some of the sights that we seen, and the things that we witnessed, were just a little bit out of the ordinary.

The predator becomes the prey.

It might have had something to do with the gloominess of the day. The grayness of the sky. The old dirt on the snow.

Close up and far away.

Or the strange, frozen mist that covered the world this morning.

Inside out, and outside in.
Strange faces found along the side of the road.
Graveyards; for old barns, and old Christmas trees.
Icebergs, not as big as those in the Atlantic Ocean, but Icebergs none the less.

Daytripping during Covid19.

Chili Cheese Dogs and Crispy Chips

Phelpston Roadhouse chili cheese dog, and crispy chips.

Today, I joined Corner Gas’s Brent Butt and enjoyed a very messy, but delicious, chili cheese dog.

A well done hot dog on a white bun; smothered in hot chili and melty cheddar cheese. It was quite messy to manage, which added greatly to the fun of eating it.

This answered my question as to why, while watching Corner Gas, Brent was always so careful when handling his favourite treat. I don’t know that I’ve seen a single episode of Corner Gas where the chili cheese dog wasn’t visible, or at least mentioned.

As much as I enjoyed this delectable treat, I don’t see it becoming a regular item in my diet. I will leave this delicious food for the Brent Leroy’s of the world.

The chips, however, I will enjoy again. Light, crispy, crunchy, no salt, no grease.

Thank-you Phelpston Roadhouse for opening your doors, presently take-out only, in our little town. I can’t wait for Covid19 to remove it’s ugly face so that we can enjoy a sit down meal in this new establishment.

And just maybe, Brent Butt will stop by and claim that this little chili cheese dog rivals that of Dog River; As the ‘Best Chili Cheese Dog’ in all of Canada!

Crispy, Crunch Chips

Flowers in the Snow

Snow flower, Snow flower 
Where are your wings?
You sit up so delicate, and so regal.
Patiently, waiting for spring.
Tall and jagged,
Knot holes and fringe.
Sticks, and old trees
Old beauty you bring.
Fresh green whimsy, 
And raspberry twigs.
Covering the snow,
Sparkling with bling.
Tucked in a triangle 
So beautifully framed.
Old wood, and new blossoms,
Cover the earth again.
Snow flower, Snow flower
Where are your wings?
You sit up so delicate and so regal,
Patiently, waiting for spring.

Cedar Tea, for the Boost of Vitamin C

Cedar tea is packed with vitamin C. Perfect for cold and flu season; but like most good foods, too much of a good thing can be bad for you. Recommendation is no more than 3 cups per week. So I will be sharing this batch.

The Bible describes the cedar tree as strong and durable; Isaiah 9:10 ‘we will replace them with cedar.’

Graceful and beautiful; Psalm 80:10 ‘the mighty cedar with it’s branches.’

High and tall; Ezekiel 17:22 ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: ‘I myself will take a shoot from the very top of a cedar and plant it; I will break off a tender sprig from it’s topmost shoots and plant it on a high and lofty mountain….. 17:23 it will bear fruit and become a splendid cedar.’

Indigenous tradition holds the cedar as a sacred tree, used to purify homes, sweat-lodge ceremonies, and for medicinal purposes.

This tea is simple to make, and quite delicious. I brought four cups of water to a boil, then added two cups of fresh cedar. I allowed this to boil for about ten minutes and then added some dried elderberries, just for fun. A golden cup of deliciousness!

Today, when I pruned back some of it’s branches, I thanked the cedar tree for it’s bounty.

Vitamin C from our cedar tree. Vitamin D from today’s bright sunshine. It’s been a perfect winter day.