Thursday, 21 April 2011

It's all garbage

The city of Toronto has a seemingly efficient waste disposal program. We have three bins: a green bin for biodegradable waste. Often I see signs that say, "if you can eat, so can I", which, I am assuming is meant to encourage people to dispose of their waste responsibly; a recycling bin, for...well recycling; and a garbage bin for all other waste. Green bins are collected weekly and the recycling and garbage, fortnightly.

I was one of those people that was super excited when the new garbage bin program came into being. Mainly because you actually received a tiny incentive for recycling and disposing of your waste responsibly. I can't think of a better word than responsible because we have an obligation to at least dispose our crap with some sensitivity to the fact that we aren't the only species inhabiting this planet. Well, this incentive I speak of is basically a credit on your solid waste disposal bill (yep, we pay a separate bill to get rid of our crap. Someone has to pay the United States for allowing Canada to dump its garbage there). You receive this credit/refund if you order the smallest garbage bin. I figured that this meant people will now dispose waste very mindfully. We ordered the smallest bin because we only ever had one garbage bag even before the program came into effect and I talked no end about it hoping to see tiny bins up and down the street.

The new bins have been in place for a year or so now and what I find is that with the exception of our bachelor neighbour (who does not have a green bin), the rest of the folks on our street have gigantic gray garbage bins. So basically, they are still throwing out a ridiculous amount of stuff, a lot what can either be recycled or composted. They also don't care for the tiny incentive.

And today I saw the waste collection guy throw in garbage and recycling into the same truck!!! I guess it doesn't help that the bins are gray and blue and what's worse collectors are almost always male and they could use a few more cone cells in their retina to help discriminate the gray from blue. I really am not sure why the area we were driving through had both bins out and why they were both being collected by the same truck. I guess for most people it is all just garbage. And that I think is very very sad.

Monday, 18 April 2011

Salix discolor (The pussy willow)

I love trees and I may have said that on more than one occasion here. But the fact is I do and I can't understand people who cannot stop and admire a beautiful tree. If you listen real careful you will also hear them speak to you. Trust me, you just have to shut up and stop snickering at names like pussy willow, and then you will hear them. And you will learn that there is more substance to what they have to say than all the humans you know. 
The pussy willow in mid-March
The Salix discolor or more commonly known as the American pussy willow is in my neighbours backyard and I mean to take pictures of this tree every Spring but never get around to it. When you see signs of buds on this tree you know it is warming up and we will not be stuck in the deep freeze for long. I am not sure if it is the new camera or the fact that I have had little to do in the last few months than I usually do, but I got out and took some pictures.
A few weeks later I wanted to get some close up shots of the blossoms and was pleasantly surprised by the bees who were busy at work. 

 I must say I am quite pleased with the pictures for a first attempt at bugs, not to mention the sore neck.
And it seems there is more to this tree than I thought. According to Wikipedia the pussy willow is used in cultural and religious festivities that are common around this time of year. I think I like this tree even more now.

And so the garden grows...

The first blooms of the season
It looks like the squirrels didn't devour all my crocus and grape hyacinth bulbs. They are pushing through the soil and mulch. But what seems to be a bit of a pain is this constant show of snow. Fortunately the ground seems to have warmed up enough that the snow doesn't accumulate. But after the dismal Winter I am starting to feel a bit concerned that we might have a chilly Summer too. It is really important the my garden does well this year. Things are not as great as they were when I was thankful for everything in life and the one thing that does cheer me up is the show of colour in the backyard.

Hubby was let go from his job with very little notice three weeks ago. We are creeping up to four weeks now and needless to say we are both getting a little concerned. While life has certainly not been a bed of roses, or crocuses for that matter, it is a little unsettling as we assess spending and make adjustments. This experience is teaching us a few things. But most of all it has taught me that people are not all who they seem to be. I am learning that a reassessment of the people in my life is in order!

But this has not stopped me from digging the mulch out to allow my bulbs to get out of the deep cold. Neither have I put my camera away. Today I took out my old pal Nikon F50's lens and tried a few pictures with the new Nikon D7000. I don't need a new macro lens. I love my old lens on the new guy. They work well together. Also, you can't always trust the 'correct exposure' reading you get on the new guy. You have to shoot and learn.

auto exposure                    manual exposure

Saturday, 9 April 2011

Context context context

I have always loved this song! But like a lot of old things it got filed away in the recess of mind. The other day while watching my little monster sleep it came to mind and of course, I looked it up on you tube. The lyrics are meaningful. Again, although I had always appreciated the lyrics, I now appreciate every word and it makes so much more sense as I listen to it and watch my sleeping child.

If you told a child that Mr Moon came down to wish him/her goodnight they would believe it. When/why do we become so cynical that the idea of the moon wishing us goodnight becomes silly? And is it not true that if everyone thought like a child we would live in peace? Everyone should spend time with a child to learn a lesson or two, especially one of forgiveness. I am trying hard to function like my baby, but that darned ego keeps getting in the way.