On any Toronto neighbourhood stroll, you will encounter free curbside offerings. This city’s citizens won’t throw away anything they think might be useful to someone else. Furniture, housewares, and reading material are there for the taking. Along with some some other stuff.
Camping, Caribana, Concert? Whatever you’re doing this long weekend, plan your route and pack sensibly. When I’m deciding what to bring, I always try to picture that bourgeois family in every World War 2 movie .
If you see weird black and orange bugs on your plants, leave them. They’re ladybug larva, and they are feasting on any aphids you would otherwise be spraying for.
Humber Arboretum is a surprise. Nestled along the Humber River near Finch Avenue and Highway 427, the park features ornamental gardens, walking trails and a bird-watching meadow. Among the birds you may see is a handsome rooster, wandering through the underbrush. According to a bird-feeding man we talked to, the rooster has been living in the wild for four years.
When the rooster emerged to take his share of some bread crumbs, he was protective of the food. Each time a small hedgehog tried to get near the bread crumbs, it was chased back into the thicket by the rooster. The starlings and sparrows, being the perfect city birds they are, did not get involved.
Mr. Christie’s Bakery doesn’t close until next year, but the wildlife is already moving in. I spotted a large coyote exploring the factory’s ornamental boulevard last Sunday. (view large)
Posted in Observation, Sketchbook
Tagged coyote, Etobicoke, factory, Mr. Christie's Bakery, Rob Elliott, Sketchbook, swizzle studio, toronto, urban wildlife, you windy rathole
I didn’t know Humber Bay Park existed until last Sunday, when my wife turned right off of Lakeshore Boulevard in a desperate attempt to double down on snow and sun before a forecasted warm front arrived. We weren’t alone in our desire to enjoy the blue sky and crisp air. (view large)
Posted in Observation, Sketchbook, Uncategorized
Tagged dachshund, diving, Etobicoke, Humber Bay Park, polar bear swim, Porter Air, Rob Elliott, snow, swans, swizzle studio, toronto, winter, you windy rathole
The Toronto Symphony Orchestra performed Mahler’s frankly-overstuffed Symphony No. 6 this week. Conducted with elan by Thomas Dausgaard, the orchestra seemed to include every string, drum and horn player in the TSO directory.
Mahler’s own direction calls for three hammer blows, and is specific that they be “brief and mighty, but dull in resonance and with a non-metallic character (like the fall of an axe).” The TSO’s solution to this oft-debated problem was a hammer right out of a Bugs Bunny cartoon. While wielding the ungainly mallet, the percussionist barely cleared the concrete balcony. My friend John Terauds over at Musical Toronto confirmed my suspicion that the hammer was custom made just for these performances.
Posted in Musings, Observation, Sketchbook
Tagged hammer, Rob Elliott, Sketchbook, swizzle, swizzle studio, Symphony No. 9, toronto, Toronto Symphony Orchestra, TSO, you windy rathole