Author Archives

Snowbird of Paradise

An Albertan who spends winters in California.

A Guilty Pleasure

I am watching creatures die, and I am actually enjoying it. Yesterday evening, I had a sudden infestation of ceratopogonidae. That is a very big name for very tiny insects also called midges or no-see-ums. They arrived in my living room through the kitchen sink drain. A quick […]

Mutiny and Masks

The City of Edmonton decided this week that everyone should wear masks indoors in public places as of August 1. There are some exceptions, such as when eating and drinking, and for those with medical conditions that make wearing masks impossible, but for the rest of us when […]

Explosion Aftermath

Last week, a house in my neighbourhood exploded in the middle of the night. The blast blew out one wall and destroyed the interior staircase.  Fortunately, everyone was able to leave the building with only minor injuries. When I walked past today, this is what it looked like. […]

Barking Up The Wrong Tree

Dawson Park in Edmonton is a delightful park for walkers, joggers, cyclists, and dog owners, and it runs alongside the North Saskatchewan River. I had not been there before today because I don’t usually go to dog parks.  This one, though, is well worth a visit. All the […]

No-see-um Season

This is no-see-um season in Alberta. As the popular name suggests, these bugs are invisible until they are actually flying in front of your face. I don’t even know their official or scientific name. They are simply no-see-ums. They are so small that they can get through fly […]

When Guns Are Not Justified

A little while ago, Mark and Patricia McCloskey pointed their guns at some protesters in St. Louis. One of those guns was a semi-automatic rifle, a weapon of war. The protesters were walking together past the McCloskey house towards the home of their city’s mayor in order to […]

Well, We Tried

For a few years I have tried growing shrubs and bulbs in our front yard, but have had very limited success. The soil quality is not good because it is mostly clay. In addition, there are bugs that are determined to kill almost anything that starts to look […]

More Than One America

When you watch Independence Day celebrations and hear the patriotic songs, it looks and sounds as though the people of the USA are all celebrating the same thing, doesn’t it? Today, I’m beginning to think that the perception is wrong both for the observer and the celebrant. Yes, […]

Googling Bug Bites

I spent about half and hour pottering about in the garden yesterday. It had been raining, so everything was wet, which provided a wonderful environment for insects of all kinds. When it started to rain again, I went back in the house and soon realized I had a […]

Who Can Name This Bird?

When I was out for a walk yesterday, a passing police car stopped to watch what I was doing. I think I probably looked suspicious. Perhaps someone phoned in to say that there was a woman standing outside their house and taking photos of their tree. In fact, […]