The Hands of Nicolas Gatineau
The Gatineau River runs down from the Baskatong Reservoir and into the Ottawa, just down stream from where Canada’s Parliament sits high above on its rocky headland. The river’s powerful flow is yoked by a series of hydro-electric dams and the river struggles against each of these barriers. In the hot summer months, the river is enjoyed by the people who live along its shores. Motorboats zip up and down its length, a few people paddle canoes and kayaks in the stiller sections, which are closer to the shore. Near the river’s calm recesses people picnic on the banks and swimmers teeter on river’s rocky bottom to glide into its dark cool waters.
How to Plant Marigolds
Marigolds thrive in full sunshine and can often withstand extremely hot summers. They do not need rich soil. They are brightly coloured and can bring on tiny moments of joy (TMJ) to people. Planting them in places in which they are least expected is a delightful way of giving back to a community.
Touched by an Angel
Victoria gets hotter each year. I am pretty sure its climate change. The ocean, also getting hotter, is still refreshing on hot days. On this day, a super hot day in June, I take the spiral staircase down from the grassy bluffs of Clover Point Park. The dark pebbled beach is just radiating heat. I can feel it through the rubber soles of my water-shoes. The seaweed adds a miso soup smell to the salty air. I pull my cotton dress over my head and tangle it around a handy piece of driftwood and head to the waters edge. Its a calm day. Light waves lap against the stones. There are no suffers. No recreational fishermen standing on the edge of the wall at Angler's Point. Further down the beach two people tight rope walk along the wet side of the squiggly seaweed line. I walk into the sea. It feels so cool. I shiver as my shoulders get wet. It is a good shiver. I float easily on the waters surface for a bit. The blue of the sky punctured by the odd seagull. The water feels warm to me now. The initial refreshment blazed over by the sun. I adjust my swimming googles over my eyes and swim down to the ocean bed - its ridges capturing the complicated wave patterns above in an incomprehensible interpretation of wind and moon-pull. Delicate sea plants wave, small fish rush by, beach rocks break up the sand's wavy work. In a short distance the land below drops off to a cold looking green-black space. I come up. The sun attacks. I swim out a little further to the underwater cliff. I dive back down. The cliff is really just the backside of the sand dune, and the ocean bottom is not much lower on the other side. I pretend to bully surf own the dune's side. I feel the water getting colder by the inch. I come back up for air, I dive and ride down the side of the bar, enjoying the quick change in temperature. Back up top I float a bit. One more dive. As I reach with bottom of the lower bed something catches my eye. As my movement disturbs the sand a form - and outline of a large fish. I pull back up to the surface. My heart pounding. My toes and feet feeling very vulnerable wiggling far beneath me . Did I image the shape? I swim down - careful not to disturb the sand. The pattern is gone. I turn and swim back, this time up the slope of a sandbar. A large fish flat fish dislodges itself from the sand, turns and swims swiftly past me. We bump. I feel its rough skin brush my calf on the way past. Wait, fish have scales. Most fish have smooth slipper scales, not rough sandpapery skin! Now I am kicking quickly up - towards the sun. I swim clumsily to shore, and all but throw myself onto the beach. I sit on the edge letting the back-an-forth of the waves slow down my heart beat. But back of my mind is repeating the scary mantra of: shark, shark, shark. Not the scary Great White made famous on film, but still a fish with skin is a shark. It was fish like none I had ever seen - flat, almost like a ray, except for the tail with its two vertical fins. Strange almond shaped eyes. Later, google will clarify - a Pacific Angel Shark - very far north of its usual range, hiding as it does in the sand waiting for a meal. I was of course far too big to be considered for diner. The danger was conjured up by a phobia-like fear based on the power of a word capable of clearing beaches. I smile. Still, I was lucky to be touched by an angel.
If it were not for the CleanBot, Sara would have done nothing the entire week. Ironically, a robot made to save you time, would cause a flurry of time-consuming activities...ending with Sara desperately holding her breath while hiding in her sub-level storage locker.
Gemini - As the mercury rises so does your desire to flaunt it all. But its best to play it cool for your birthday. Keep those dinner parties intimate and your dance partners 6 feet away. Text and tweet to your hearts content because this June your thoughts will flow like golden honey. You just can't say anything wrong it seems - spread your social butterfly wings and dip with ever current, rise with every updraft.