As discussed in my previous post, my family and I attended the South Baymouth Canada Day celebrations this past weekend. We always anticipate this world class parade on that gentle jewel of an island sitting in Lake Huron in the middle of Ontario.
As I've done for the past ten years or so, I spent this past Canada Day long weekend up on the Manitoulin Island with my family. Spending this time together at my father's cottage has become a tradition for us, and every year we look forward to the events the tiny community of South Baymouth puts together: the parade, the community fish fry, the silent auction of donated items to benefit of the local museum, and the fireworks at the mouth of South Bay, begun just as the last ferry of the day departs for Tobermory.
I have experienced Canada Day celebrations in the large city in which I live, and it’s wonderful; particularly down in the Harbourfront where I live. There is action and music and tall ships and people sporting red and white everywhere you look. And back home we used to love to experience the magnificent international fireworks display over the small span of river between Windsor (Canada) and Detroit (USA), celebrating both our countries' birthdays.
But nothing makes us feel prouder and luckier to live where we do than the community festivities in a corner of that island where my father’s family settled generations before us. Small is beautiful. And with our family around us, we’ve got everything we need.
The weather on the Manitoulin has been good to us. I've been working hard. On my tan.
This year the local wildlife has been making itself known to us. Shortly after Cathy and I arrived, we watched the sillouettes of a garden snake (or maybe a water snake – I wasn't that up for getting too close to investigate the fella's identity) and a frog. We all cheered as the frog hopped its getaway toward the pond.
But then, not ten minutes later, another little snake caught a frog right where the garden walk meets the deck stairs. My family (not me) watched in various combinations of fascination, horror and disgust as the frog was slowly consumed by the slithery scoundrel.
Later that night, as my dad opened the back porch door, a frog hopped in. Maybe it was appealing for safety from its mortal enemies outside.
Next day, a hummingbird flew into the back porch. We watched, trying to act calm so as not to give the poor little creature a heart attack while it made its way out. It eventually did with my dad's help.
This morning as we had our coffee, we watched (my favourite bird of all) a Great Blue Heron hunting in the pond. When I tried to go outside to get a closer shot, he flew away. I could hear his powerful wings reverberating in the air.
This morning after seeing brother Jeff off on the ferry, Cathy and I went for a long walk. Today, all humidity is gone, and we talked about how the cool air and warm sun felt so delicious on our skin. Best thing about the walk was the sky. It's not a sky you see in Toronto.