Monday, July 28, 2014

Five Basic Senses ~ Part 4

 The 5 traditional recognized methods of perception or sense are:


Our nose is the organ we use to smell.  The inside of the nose is lined with something called mucous membranes.  These membranes have small receptors connected to a special nerve called the olfactory nerve.  Smells are made of fumes of various substances.  The Smell receptors react with the molecules  of these fumes and then send these messages to the brain.  Our Sense of Smell is capable of identifying  7 types of sensations which are put into these categories: camphor, musk, flower, mint, ether, acrid or putrid. The nerve of Smell is sometimes lost for a short time when a person has a cold.  Dogs have a more sensitive Smell than man!

In addition to being the organ of Smell, the nose also cleans the air  we breathe and impacts the sound of our voice.  Try plugging your nose while you talk.  Smell is also an aide in the ability to taste. (Consider country acres of grassy leas and flowers in bloom...Sight and Smell are jointly combined.)

Aromas at Christmas

Turkey, Duck or Goose roasting in the oven.
Scalloped potatoes pre-baked awaiting the reheat.
Scents of carrots and asparagus in mode of preparation.
Candles, scented of course, are lit, inviting family and friends
to gather...and partake of this scrumptious dinner.
And when the stunning dessert of Trifle, Christmas Plum Pudding
or  Pavlova (strawberries and cumquats) makes it way to the table...
how scintillating! My  Senses of Taste, Sight and Smell
simultaneously react to the “nth degree”!

Then there's the forest scent of a freshly cut pine tree,
standing beautifully adorned with the children's absolute focus.

Oh ~ The Smell of the Farm!

These pure country fresh-air odours are undiffused by vehicle emissions, restaurants and industries, stop 'n go lights and abundance of excessive noises.  Freshly cut green lawns and fields of alfalfa packed into bales is a scent unfound in the city.  When grain and corn are harvested, the production of scents wafts through the breezy air.  Best of all ~ the springtime scents from the blossoms of apple, cherry and pear trees in the orchard. 

The cattle are ushered in for their twice-daily-milking and there's definitely a “moo-moo” smell. The “baa-baa's” from the sheep flock produce a woolly smell that only rams and ewes can emit.  Then , there's the attached chicken coop (which might be smelly) where the hens lay their eggs, the roosters crow and in their outer pen enclosure, they peck for food.

But I love picking strawberries. When the quart boxes are filled and placed into  carriers and flats,  the sweet luscious scents make one dream of strawberry shortcake with whipped cream. And, isn’t it so much more enjoyable to frequent the “Farmers Markets” where there is extensive fresh produce of fruits, vegetables and flowers coming directly from the earth to roadside stands (or open parking lots)…where you can chat personally with the growers and where the open country air is saturated with invigorating and inviting aromas?

Dog Sniffers

Dogs have one of the most acute senses of smell
of any creature in the animal world!

They are highly trained to detect the presence of prohibited or regulated substances to pinpoint their locations in airports, parking lots, vehicles, boats...even individuals hiding items on their person. These “detector dogs” search for: smuggling of packed with heroine...weapons and firearms disguised in many forms...currency...specified agricultural  products, etc.

Canada Border Security Agency (CBSA), a current Canadian television series shown on ”Detour” which focuses on crossings and entries by passengers in 4 or 5  Vancouver areas,    at Toronto's Pearson International Airport and Fort Erie's Peace Bridge which spans the Niagara River to Buffalo. The Pacific waters between mainland British Columbia and Vancouver Island are also subject to inspections. by the CBSA. Thousands of passengers enter into Canada at these points or leave for points outside our country.  “Every passenger has a story ~ it's our job to dig deeper for the truth,” states Lori Miller an CBSA Officer. “Passengers lie, argue, play the victim, plead ignorance and even threaten legal action.”

Canada Border Security Agency has “detector dogs” strategically located across the country...serving both travellers and commercial operations. These dogs, highly trained by their handlers, search for illegal substances.  Each dog, as I view the various programs, is So Excited when he discovers something.  They do not bark!  They instantly sit down on their back haunches, casting a glance to their handler  with the message...”Hey! I found something here!” and wags his tail; the trainer praises his “dog-side-kick”  for his work and awards him the expected and well-earned treat!!!

Detector Dog Helps Custom Officers Sniff Out Plants

Mississauga: Canada Border Services Agency officers seized some “undeclared plants” from travellers at Pearson International Airport recently (December 11) ~ thanks to a Detector Dog!  From Europe, they arrived with:  three bare-root trees...wood cuttings...a shrub with soil...and garlic bulbs...all concealed in the travellers' luggage after “SCOUT” sniffed out the plants in luggage at the baggage carousel inside Terminal 1.  The plant products were not declared by the travellers and were meant for propagation.  CBSA imposed an agricultural administrative monetary penalty for failure to declare under the Government of Canada's Plant Protection Act and Regulation.

Every traveller entering Canada MUST  declare...
all food, plants, animals and related products
because they could affect Canada's animal and  plant habitats.

Watch for my next posting on Senses...HEARING

Merle Baird-Kerr...written June 26, 2014
To respond with comment...e-mail to:  or

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Five Basic Senses ~ Part 3

 The 5 traditional recognized methods of perception or sense are:


The Sense of Touch is spread through the whole body.  Nerve Endings in the skin and in other parts of the body send information to the brain.  There are four finds of Touch sensations that can be identified:
cold, heat, contact and pain.  Hair on the skin increases sensitivity and can act as an early warning system for the body.  The fingertips have a greater concentration of nerve endings.  People who are blind can use their Sense of Touch to read Braille ~ a kind of writing that uses a series of bumps to represent different letters of the alphabets.  The skin is the largest organ in the body and contains the most nerve endings.  (Revalue your hands!)

TOUCH, coming before Sight and Speech
is the first language and the last...and it always tells the truth.
(Sheena Guys)

From my research, I determined that TOUCH can be defined
as being: Physical...Emotional...or Educational.

Baby's Hand

No one can deny that the birth of a baby is an unprecedented miracle!  This joyous event far surpasses the 9-month creation and the extreme pain suffered during labour-hours.  When that first baby cry is heard by Mommy, Daddy and medical staff, “the world stands still” to salute this arrival.  Baby is cuddled, is hungry to be fed and demands constant eternal love!  When Babe's tiny hand grasps your finger, it's magical.  This union is forever bonded and no one can separate this bonding!  The Sense of Touch is a life-long connection within the family!

Holding a baby's hand is an incredible feeling.
It's almost as if you were touched by an angel.
Though we have never known how angels act,
They must be somewhat close to little kids.
(Author Unknown)


When College Years were completed and all dues paid for tuition, books, rental accommodation, meal expenses, transportation fees, my next goal was Teachers' College in Hamilton.  Working part-time jobs in Toronto to cover my costs, I was suddenly thrust into a “stalemate state” wondering how to finance my studies for this one further year.  Returning home to Brantford, a business woman from the church I attended offered me a job at Spalding's Sport Company.  This was only a summer job and I surely intended to begin Teachers' College in September!  My father called me one day at work to inform me of a letter from the I.O.D.E.  “What was that about?” I questioned. Tentatively, opening the envelope, I was touched emotionally and wrought with joyous tears!  The Imperial Order of the Daughters of the Empire had awarded me a cheque for “Continued Studies”; a sufficient amount to well pay my Teachers' College expenses for the coming year!  This presentation, given out of generosity and kindness, was a Touch I have long remembered. Someone was looking after me!.  (Based in Canada, the I.O.D.E. is a Women's charitable organization.  It usually provides scholarships, bursaries, book prizes and awards as well as pursing educational projects in various communities across the nation.

Charles de Lind wrote:
I want to touch the heart of the world
and make it smile.

The Four Corners

In late October/early November, 2001, I drove my son's Honda Odyssey from Los Gatos, California to Hamilton, Ontario for a necessitated Emission Test.  What a scenic tour I had ~ travelling the top route of Yosemite National Park to Zion National Park and Bryce Canyon in Utah.  Most spectacular was a sunrise view of the Grand Canyon's North Rim and in late afternoon the well-touristed South Rim. My next destination was “The Four Corners”...consisting of  Colorado, Utah, Arizona and New Mexico.  The borders of these four states Touch!  (Have a look at a U.S. map.)  Most of this region belongs to Native American nations..the largest of which is the Navajo, followed by Hopi, Ute and Zuni tribal reserves and other nations. 

A fascinating place to visit, state flags surround this distinguished plaza and one can (as I did) place each of your two hands and two feet in the displayed “four corners of the states” and have a photo taken!  Native arts, crafts and foods were available to peruse and/or purchase. 

Canada's Four Corners:  Yes, we have them too!  My son discovered our Four Corners from a map observation; however, this destination is not approachable...too much wilderness!  But it's a great suggestion for someone to develop. Situated similarly to the American's Four Corners are:  North West Territories,  Nunavut,  Saskatchewan and Manitoba.

Sometimes when we Touch,
The honesty's too much;
And I have to close my eyes and hide.
I want to hold you til I die
Til we both break down and cry.
I wanna hold you
Till the fear in me subsides.

(The foregoing lyrics form the second verse
of this rendering by Dan Hill.)

Watch for my next posting on Senses...SMELL

Merle Baird-Kerr...written June 25, 2014
To Comment...e-mail to:

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Five Basic Senses ~ Part 2

The 5 traditionally recognized methods of perception or sense are:

William Blake stated:  If the doors of perception were cleansed,
Everything would appear to man as it is ~ infinite!


Our Sense of Sight is all dependent upon our eyes.  A lens at the front of the eyeball helps to focus images onto the retina at the back of the eye.  The retina is covered with two types of light-sensitive cells.  All of this information is sent to the brain along with the optic nerve. The images sent are actually upside down and our brain makes sense of what it receives by turning the vision right side up.  The brain uses the images from the two eyes to create a 3-D image. This allows us to perceive depth.

Some people are not able to tell red colours from green colours. This is called colour blindness. (With imagination, view a snow-capped mountain with forest trees at its base; mid-ground are several tall evergreens; a luscious green lawn spreads to the foreground where lavender flowers bloom; and above an azure blue sky.)  This picture has 5 “depths of field” ~ which, if you are not aware, is strongly conducive to a photo of beauty.

My father considered a walk among the mountains
as equivalent of church-going!
(Aldous Huxley)

A Treasured Photo

The lake is a milky aqua-green.
The melting icy glacier chills its water.
Mountains surround this pristine sight.
Tall evergreens stand on guard.
The wide blue sky is expansive.
Big drifting clouds are on a slow move.
The foreground is wild flowers in bloom
with tall rose-hued cosmos softy waving in the breeze.

Truly, a picture to be be held in hand,,,
to be forever etched into my memory!

Laying on my stomach with Pentax camera focused on this  magnificent vista...the flowers stand tall in the foreground and eyes drift to the lake, evergreens, glacier, mountains and sky.  I press the shutter and captured this scene of Lake Louise and the Victoria Glacier.  Our brief stay at the Chateau Lake Louise
will never be forgotten. Lake Louise is also recognized as a World Class Ski Mecca.

The only thing worse than being blind ~
is having no vision.  (Helen Keller)

Reading Glasses

After several teaching years, I began to have frequent minor headaches.  My doctor arranged an appt. with an ophthalmologist who with understanding voice, patiently stated, “What you have is a touch of senility. My advice is to go to the pharmacy and purchase a pair of 'reading glasses'....that should solve
your headaches.”  I didn't know if I should be insulted or pleased.

Now, over the past couple of years, cataracts have been developing. Direction from my optometrist sent me to Dr. McGillivray, who upon examination, recommended removal of them  As a surgeon, he operated on the right eye last week.  Next morning after the procedure, I glanced at a large painting beside my bed of a Mediterranean seaside city. My right eye relayed brilliant colours...while my left eye only saw dull shades. “Hey, I anticipate my July appointment for the left eye cataract.”

If I paint a wild horse, you might not see the horse...
but surely you will see the wildness.
(Pablo Picasso)

Five Dollar Suits

Paddy looked in one of the shop windows and saw a sign that caught his eye.  The sign read, “Suits $5.00 each; Shirts $2.00 each; Trousers $2.50 per pair.”  Paddy said to his pal, “Mick!  Would ya look at them prices!  We could buy a whole lot of those and when we get back to Newfoundland, we could make us a fortune.

“Now, when we go inside, you stay quiet, okay?  Let me do all da talking 'cause if they hear our accents, they might think we're thicko's from Newfoundland and try to screw us. So, I'll put on me best English accent.”  Mick agreed, “Roight y'are Paddy, I'll keep me mouth shut. You  do all da business.”

They go inside and Paddy said in a posh voice, “Hello my good man.  I'll take 50 suits at $5.00 each, 100 shirts at $2.00 each and 50 pairs of trousers at $2.50 each.  I'll reverse up me truck round the back ready to load 'em on, so I will.”

The owner of the shop said quietly, “You're from Newfoundland, aren't you?”
“Well...yes, I am that,” said a surprised Paddy.  “What gave it away?”
The owner replied, “This is a Dry Cleaners!”

When wrong facts are given, the mind tries to interpret the intended meaning.  Often, persons fail to consider all aspects “of the picture” before them...and therefore react according to their one conclusive interpretation.  Man should consider all other possible situations. 
“To anything in Life...there is more than one solution!”
Remember the adage:  LOOK before you Leap!

Nothing is more imminent than the impossible;
What we must always the unforeseen.
(Victor Hugo ~ Les Miserable)

Watch for my next posting on Senses...TOUCH.

Merle Baird-Kerr...written June 25, 2014
Comments always welcome...e-mail to”

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Five Basic Senses

The 5 traditionally recognized methods of perception or sense are:

Our “Senses” allow us to protect enjoy the world. 
Can you imagine what is might be live your life
without any of the five Senses? 
This traditional model is credited to Aristotle. 


Our Sense of Taste comes from the taste buds on our tongue.  These buds are called  papillae. But the Sense of Smell also affects our Taste.  The tongue is only able to Taste only 4 separate flavours:  salty, sweet, sour and bitter.  A combination of sweet and salty could be your favourite candy;  a combination of sweet and bitter could be the chips in your chocolate chip cookies. Everything you Taste is one or more combinations of the 4 flavours.  Not only can your tongue Taste, but it also picks up texture and temperature  in your food like...creamy, crunchy, hot, icy cold or dry. (Think of the carrot.)
Did you know that butterflies taste with their teeth?

“Eat Your Asparagus”

When young, living on a farm, my mother grew asparagus.  Today, I love this vegetable laying on my dinner plate with roast beef and scalloped delicious!  As a 3 or 4-year-old, asparagus was GROSS!  Urging my sister and me to eat this vegetable, she cut each spear into pea-size bits and did a good camouflage job with them in creamed casseroles or  mixed with other finely diced vegetables. Her ultimate gain each summer/fall was to use the asparagus plants' leafy fronds as display beds for her colourful flower sprays of dahlias, gladioli, larkspur and roses.  These flower arrangements she used as competition entries at local fall fairs...and for grave decorations on Cemetery Day. Before winter she cut down the plants...and “Lo and Behold”  camo-asparagus again on the plate in late spring!

(European plant cultivated as a food for its large thistle-like flower heads)

The last night in Paris, France after a long summer tour of Europe, we dined at a gourmet-type bistro. In the wooden booth across from us was a couple eating such a strange food.  Mesmerized by this large green thistle-like food, I wondered just what it was. Leaf by leaf (which looked like tulip petals).the guy and his gal gently pulled off individual leaves,  dipped the end of each in a sauce, then with their teeth, nibbled the soft end, discarding the remainder of leaf on a separate plate. Conversing, they continued to savour this unique appetizer until they reached the Heart. Small sharp knives very carefully removed the “choke” part to then reveal the prized portion of this vegetable. Our waiter informed us that the couple had ordered Artichokes...a delicacy to be enjoyed by the diners. Before departing the bistro, he instructed us to prepare Artichokes as a succulent appetizer.

Several months later, grocery shopping in Fortino's, was a display of artichokes. WOW!  I bought four and happily looked forward to serving to my dinner guests Sunday evening, this Parisian appetizer!
Surprisingly, when visiting my son in California, and exploring the coastal highway #1, I viewed fields of artichokes near the Watsonville Market Gardening area.  Artichoke Hut was a retail landmark where one could purchase these “thistle-like-flower-heads”.

Cold Beer

I dislike Beer!  It was distasteful until.........! A few years ago, I spent a cold, frigid ski week at Grey Rocks in Quebec with a personal friend and my son.  We were placed in different instruction classes based on our ski-prowess. Due to my goggles fogging and inability to see the terrain correctly, I fell several times.  An American in my class had sympathy for my tumbles.  At the end of the day, he invited me to the bar where skiers would all unwind...remove boots, jackets, hats and mitts...listen to the local entertaining band beside a roaring fireplace...and drink Ice-Cold-Beer!!!  It was deliciously refreshing. Next morning, he purchased new goggles for me at the Ski Shop....and “whoopee” I could study the terrain with no tumbles.  For the remainder of the week, the apres-ski-hours bar was our meeting place with Cold Refreshing Beer.  At  home the following summer, I discovered that after a tennis game workout, that bottle of Cold Beer was a given!

Weird Foods:  I’ve heard of locusts and insects chocolate coated.  Fried tarantulas don’t appeal, nor does snake wine from south east Asia (showing the snake in the bottle!).  YUK!  Must confess that many years ago, with a friend in Sudbury (or perhaps it was North Bay), we ordered “Frog Legs” from the menu …something we just must try…really tasted like breaded seafood!

Watch for my next posting on Senses...SIGHT.

Merle Baird-Kerr...written June 24, 2014
I welcome your comments...e-mail to:

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Concepts and Happenings

What comes from the mind is knowledge;
What comes from the heart is wisdom.
(Garth Brooks)

The following are “excerpts” from Mohawk College's Interim President's
convocation address to more than 4,000  students who graduated this spring.

Work Hard, Be Bold...and Enjoy the Ride!

As you get ready to begin your career, I'm about ready to call it a career after 50 years on the job.   Here's a half century worth of lessons learned...condensed to four pieces of advice:
     If you're offered a job working in a mailroom...take it.
     If someone who cares about your success offers tough advice...listen to it.
     If they offer a helping hand...grab it.
     And never stop learning.

My career started in the mailroom at International Harvester on Hillyard Street in Hamilton's industrial North End.  Today that building is home to McKeil Marine ~ a great supporter of our students, our School of Business and Mohawk College.

I spent my days sorting mail and resetting all the clocks in the building.  Every Monday, I'd call Ottawa for the official time.  And then I'd make my rounds.  Most executives said “Good Morning”.  But not the comptroller.  He'd ask me, “What are you doing about your life?  Do you plan to make a career out of working in the mailroom and setting clocks?”  To be honest, that sounded like a pretty good life!  I was making the princely sum of $64 a week.  I was driving a '54 Ford...and living at home in Hamilton's east end. I was working in the mailroom because my father gave me a choice on the day I dropped out of Glendale Secondary School in Grade 13. He instructed me, “Go back to school.  Get a job in five days...or get out of this house!”

The comptroller at International Harvester was persistent. He saw something that I didn't.  He offered me a job in the accounting department.  But to work there, I had to earn my accounting certification. To obtain this, I needed to go back to school. For the next six years I worked all day...took accounting classes two nights a week...together with my wife, raised a son and daughter. Going back to school changed my life and built a better life for my family.

Continuing my education opened doors at International Harvester. For more than 30 years, I worked at the  City of Burlington as a  treasurer, general manager and for a short time as city manager.  I finally called it a career in 2009.  The plan was to ease into retirement with some consulting work.

Five years ago, Mohawk College called requesting I take a temporary assignment to serve as interim president until our new president took the helm.  These past five years have been the best of my career because of you.  I've had the privilege to work with and learn from some amazing students. I can't wait to see what you'll accomplish and contribute at work and in our community. 

Here's why you should be excited and why I'm optimistic about your future. Old guys like me are about to retire in record numbers...and we're ready to hand over the keys.  We haven't solved all the world's problems. There are  many needs to be met...many opportunities to be seized...good money to be  made.

It is true that life is a journey.  The road is never straight.  It will twist and turn with some unexpected detours.  There will be miles of hard road.  Some legs of your journey will be a sprint.  Most will be a marathon.  So, work hard.  Take initiative.  Don't burn any bridges.  Be bold and courageous.  Never compromise your values and always stay true to your roots.

If you're lucky, you'll convince someone special to join you on the ride and be a good companion.  Surround yourself with great people...and some wonderful things will happen to you.  Never stop learning.  Always be the very best version of yourself.  And above all else, Enjoy the Ride!  Make it count and enjoy every minute.

Words of Moderate Wisdom for my Youngest as she Graduates

Paul Benedetti, teacher of Journalism at Western University
submitted the following Father's humourous overview in the Spec's June 21st issue.

As she graduates this week, I approach this event with mixed feelings.  They are a mix of relief and relief.  Relief that we have successfully ushered our youngest child through a social, emotional and personal maelstrom.  And that was just the gym class.  Relief, too, that the unbridled use of my credit card during the past 27 weeks as she prepared for The Prom has now come to an end. (Actually, Visa ended it when our balance ~ in relative terms ~ exceeded the Ontario Provincial debt.)  Who cares if her dress cost as much as a pretty good used car?  And if you count the shoes, jewellery, hair, nails and professional makeup, I could actually be driving a nice late model import right now!

In any case, we're pleased and proud that Ella has been successful.  But we're careful about the proud part.  Every kid, including each of our three, takes a different path through school, with a lot of hits and misses along the way. They were the ones in school and they experienced both the successes  and the setbacks as they went along.  I like to think that we kept them on course as best we could.

“Congratulations, graduates!  High School is over and as you head into the world, remember this:  Packing extra underwear is always a good idea. The world is your oyster, an unpleasant thought if I ever heard one.  Whether you choose college or university, you still have three or four years left of sponging off your parents.  Use them well.

“Remember, too, that almost everything you learned in High School ~ like the cosine or whether Tybalt  killed Mercutio or the other way around ~ is useless, unless your life plan is to be on Jeopardy. Remember, too, dear graduates, that all the petty rivalries between the Nerds and the Jocks, between the Brainers and the Tools, all that disappears, until you get your first real job in an office and then it's like 'hashtag deja vu'.  In college or university, you will encounter many new ideas and facts.  You'll learn that:  wet towels on the floor really start to smell after a while; that Karl Marx and Groucho Marx had a lot in common but mixing them up on a term paper is not a good idea (believe me, I know);  that one great course or one great professor can change your life and that the rest can be pretty boring;  that mixing anything ~ or anyone ~ with a large volume of tequila is always a bad idea; and that on any test of any kind, the right answer is usually C .”

Sage Advice...from Maya Angelou
“My mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive;
and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humour and some style.”

Merle Baird-Kerr...scripted June 21, 2014
Comments welcome...e-mail to:

Sunday, July 6, 2014

On Your Special Day

Wishing you a Beautiful Day
and a Year full of Happiness!

Upon this, I elaborate:

One should not have a “special day” ~
Every day of the year offers something special!
We need, daily, to search for this revelation.
“Today is First Day of the Rest of Your Life!”
And tomorrow, you apply the same recurring principle.

The world welcomed  you in balmy September ’96.
On day aged…to One Year!
Remember your first day of school's Kindergarten?
Then after Grade 8, you soared into High School.
Surprising your family, you joined the “Army”.
WOW!  And now, Westdale bids you “adieu”.

  This card wishes you a Year of Happiness!
In the novel, “A Certain Smile” by Judith Michael,
Li went to his daughter's home and on her cherry-red door,
Chinese characters painted in gold
translated to “The Heart is in Full Blossom”.
It is a Wish for Happiness which means that ~
“When hearts unfold like flowers opening to sunlight,
Beauty will come to the World.”

Dear Grand Daughter...the Best Guide Posts I can give you are
the philosophies of authors, with whose words I concur...
and from them I have learned much.

One of the hardest decisions you'll ever face in life...
is choosing whether to walk away...or try harder.

Life is a Gift to be Treasured ~ each day an Adventure.

The difference between who you are...and who you want to be what you do!

Every moment of your Life should be measured
by just how far it takes you from the ordinary.

I have learned that, whenever I decide something with an open heart,
I usually make the right decision. (Maya Angelou)

Every experience is a lesson!  (Sathya Sai Baba)

Choice is a Beautiful Thing...Make what you see...Amazing!
(sign seen  with your brother in a Mississauga electronics shop)

Follow your bliss ~ and the Universe
will open doors for you ~ where there were only walls.
(Joseph Campbell)

Make Every Day Feel Like Your Lucky Day
and Happiness will Knock at Your Door!

Have Defining Moments Every Day.
Today is the First Day of the Rest of Your Life!

…from Grandma Merle X

Presented  June 26, 2014…to comment, e-mail to:

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Collage...for July 2014

From Planet Earth Calendar

Endangered King:  The Jaguar is the largest and most powerful wild cat in the Americas.  It enjoys its spot at the top of the food chain; yet, strangely, it is listed as an Endangered Species, due mainly to the threat posed by man.  Jaguars prefer wet, lowland habitats, swampy savannahs or tropical rainforests.  While they can be found throughout the southern United States, Central and South America...the largest population live in the Amazon rainforest.  The population of the Jaguars has declined steadily over the past 100 years mainly due to human advances. 

New cities are being developed and farmland extended  resulting in the destruction of both forest and grassland.  The Jaguars are also having to compete with humans for food.  Ranchers hunt them down to protect their livestock and for sport. Although the diet of the Jaguar consists of more than 80 different types of prey, Jaguars seldom attack humans.

Did You Know?
(from the Canadian Wildlife Federation Calendar)

The Eastern Forktail Damselfly is one of the most common damselflies in eastern Canada.  They can be seen between June and mid-September.  Their preferred habitats include wetlands and small ponds with plenty of vegetation.  More than 600 species of wildlife are at risk this Canada Day.  You can learn more about helping  our furry, feathery or fishy neighbours by visiting:

Gardening Advice
(from Kathy Renwald's Thursday issue of Hamilton Spec)

Pot Culture is Having Its Moment:  People are living differently today!  Putting plants in containers brings instant gratification...shrubs, trees, vegetables, etc. Living in condos (if parents both work) there is just no time for extensive gardening. Patio/balcony gardening can be taken with you when moving.

Her illustration shows Crimson Flame Geraniums...a basil tree (that will need trimming to keep its round shape)...and Fiesta, a tropical Hibiscus with intense colours and prolific flowering (this variety of hibiscus combines showy pink,orange and red in each flower.

Special Note to Kathy:  My 2 beautiful Hibiscus plants on the balcony were frequented by squirrels for two seasons.  I moved these potted plants from indoors to my balcony when the temperatures were about the same.  I was So Dismayed and So Discouraged when they were Destroyed by these pesky little creatures!!!  Consequently, (even on the third floor) any flowers became their determined target. To outwit them, I now enjoy artificial flowers that adorn my “outdoor living space”!

Message from the Canadian Red Cross

Beat the Heat!  Do you know the signs and symptoms of someone suffering from heat exhaustion?  Would you know what to do to help?


MADD serves a victim or survivor of drunk driving every 10 minutes!

Niagara Falls and Great Gorge
(from Niagara Falls of Canada 2014 Calendar)

Aerial night photo of both the American Falls and Canada's Horseshoe Falls
illuminated with colour lights including an exploding fireworks ball of sparkles.
Be thrilled with spectacular fireworks displays
over the Horseshoe Falls across from Victoria Park.

There are many waterfalls that are higher than Niagara...but it's the combination of its great width and huge volume of water that is impressive as it leaps and thunders over the escarpment edge into the river below.

Special Event Days

July 1 (Tuesday) ~ Canada Day
July 4 (Friday) ~ Independence Day (U.S.)
July 9 (Wednesday) ~ Nunavut Day*
July 19 (Saturday) ~ Canada's Parks Day
July 27 (Sunday) ~ Parent's Day (U.S.)
*One of our Territories

Flower and Garden Philosophy

Flowers have a way of tiptoeing into your garden unannounced.
(Pam Brown)

Joyous  July...for Summer Musings

Summer is when one sheds one's tensions with one's clothes...and the right kind of day is a jewelled balm for the battered spirit.  A few of those days and you can become “drunk” with the belief that all is right with the world.  (Ada Louise Huxable)

The summer morn is bright and fresh, the birds are darting by
as if they loved to breast the breeze that sweeps the clear blue sky.
(William C. Bryant)

What a beautiful sunny morning.
It makes you happy to be alive, doesn't it?
We can't let the sun outshine us...we have to beam too!
(Takayuki Ikkako)

Here, men from the planet Earth
first set foot upon the Moon ~ July 1969 AD.
We came in peace for all mankind.
(Neil Armstrong)

Merle Baird-Kerr...compiled June 2014
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