It’s Not All Mary Poppins

Every morning

Every sunny morning when we walk by the river on our way to the park, or maybe just to go frolic in the field by the river, Poppy will do this.

Stop, point.

If you were here with us, with that lovely scene in front of you, you might think that she’d noticed a fish (carp, probably) breaking the water and splashing back, causing a cascade of circular ripples. Or maybe she spotted one or two of the royal swans. A red-wing blackbird? A heron? A frog?

But if you were here with us, you’d be able to hear her little voice, high with delight. Every sunny morning that we walk along the river, Poppy will stop, point and call out,


And every sunny morning, I love the sparkles. Almost as much as I love Poppy.

June 14, 2012 Posted by | Ottawa, Poppy, the things they say! | , , | 1 Comment

Mary vs the Birds: A Reprieve

I learned something new about birds this morning. My earplugs were in, the fan was on, but all experience indicated that despite my preparations I would be woken at the butt-crack of dawn by joyously demented birds singing the praise of the pearl-grey dawn. Which is happening, in these parts, at four a.m.


Even for early-bird me — the irony of that descriptor just hit me as I typed it. Seems I am a laggard early bird, grousing at the end of the line, all the keener birds chittering gaily ahead. Let’s try that again: Even for early riser me, four ghastly ay em is the middle of the night. I do not care if the sky is glowing over there in the east. I do not care that the sun’s pearly fingers are caressing the fading edges of night. I do not care about any of that glorious, pre-dawn shit. I would like to stay asleep for another hour. That’s all I ask. Just another hour. Five is a perfectly acceptable wake-time.

(And for all of you rearing back in horror, you can at least concede that I’m not asking a whole lot. I’m not asking that they hold off for three or four hours. Just one. A mere 60 minutes.)

So this morning I wake — on my own! feeling ready to be awake!! — open an eye and peer at the clock, and find …

It’s 5:06. Whee! And no birds sang.

Whyever not? It’s silent out there. Not one single peep. In fact, it’s strangely, unnaturally still out there. I really don’t believe in that precise an answer to prayer. Even assuming I would pester the almighty with demands for something so incontenstibly against nature and so purely selfish. Which I didn’t. So. It’s not an answer to prayer. (Even though YES!! It IS!!!)

I savour the treat of waking on my own clock for three more minutes or so (normally I leap out of bed when my eyelids flutter delicately open) and then …

a long, loud rumble of thunder.

Well. What do you know? I should probably know this from my camping days. Guess I’d forgotten.

The Dawn Chorus cancels the show for thunder.

Let’s hear it for a long, thunderous summer.

May 25, 2012 Posted by | Canada | , , , | Leave a comment