Johnville Bog, Winter

Friday, February 19th, 2021

In winter, the boggy back trails of the Johnville Bog & Forest Park freeze over.

The park management opens them up for foot traffic.





Β Β 

Far off the well-beaten track of boardwalks and open bog lands, the boreal forest is full of hops.*






We examine some rabbit poo. They seem to have been eating mostly bark and needles.

Looking around, I have no idea what else rabbits could possibly eat.






*Rabbit tracks


Le marais dans la neige

Saturday, February 13th, 2021


Last year’s walk across the ice at the Ile du Marais was delightfully memorable, so we invited Martin to come with us this year. Perhaps because it is earlier in the year, there is more snow and many more people. There are also trucks, vans and ATVs driving on the ice. Fishing houses crowd the lake. When we walk around to the back side of the biggest island where the fishing is poor, there are many fewer people. A couple of ATV drivers, beers in hand, stink up the air and ruin the quiet as they speed randomly through the protected area of the marsh. The ice between the marsh plants becomes unpredictable. Past the area where ATVs can drive, tiny footprints trace paths between the vegetation. For a few minutes, there is silence.


The Chained Tree

Tuesday, February 2nd, 2021

We went for a walk in the snowy woods.





We found a chained tree.



Mont Ham, Parc RΓ©gional du Quebec

Friday, November 13th, 2020

For my birthday I took the kids out of school. I do this every year because, as far as my kids are concerned, my birthday is more important than any national or religious holiday. It’s true for them, of course. They’d be fine if Christ never rose or fell or if Quebec was still a French colony or if women never got the right to vote. But if I had not birthed them? Woe! My children are realists. Martin is the most likely (read: only) candidate for father, but, again, without the advent of genetic testing in the 1950s (and you can celebrate National DNA Day on April 25th!) there’d never be any proof of this. Therefore, despite his unconditional love and utter devotion to their health and well-being and his wonderful presence, he’s just simply not quite as important as I am. Yes, here I am, the most important person on planet Earth, a densely-peopled planet three rocks out from the Sun. I don’t actually do anything to encourage this feeling in my kids. In fact, I think all kids feel this way about their moms.


So, for my birthday, I took advantage of the fact that I’m an important person. I took my children up Mont Ham. We went up the steepest wayβ€” the red trail on the map (below)β€” and it was wonderfully steep. Due to the steepness, I had planned on taking another trail down. However, due to the late start, we were still on the mountain side when the sun began to set in the late-afternoon, mid-November way it does. For this reason, we also went down the not-as-wonderful-on-the-way-down-extremely-steep red trail. We were, in fact, still on a quite steep part of the mountain side when the sun was well over the horizon. That’s when I turned on my head lamp and gave profuse thanks to whomever it was who decided to mark the trail with reflective trail markers. That was probably the best surprise of my birthday. In fact, I’d say that reflective trail markers were the best surprise of the entire year. Heck, reflective trail markers were quite possibly the best surprise of the decade. What a wonderful, wonderful birthday present.


Here are my two side-kicks at the summit. It was quite windy, as summits are.

There was a lot of snow blowing around, but it didn’t seem to land on anything.






Mont Ham Quebec

Autumn, L’Île du Marais

Friday, October 23rd, 2020

When we get there, we walk across the boardwalk to the island. On the west side of the boardwalk, turtles bask in the setting sun. I did not buy my camera for the purpose of photographing far-away turtles. I chose my camera for the purpose of photographing children. The binoculars are for the turtles. If there are still turtles when my children are grown, they will still look like turtles. We will still see them with binoculars in that future. If there are no turtles when my children are grown, we will look at photographs of turtles that other people have taken. We will say, “Remember when there were turtles in the ponds? They sat on logs in the sun and we looked at them.” A world with turtles is a happier place than a world without turtles.



In the middle of the island there are rocks with moss on them. There are trees. If there is a time in the future when there are no turtles and no people, at least for a while there will be rocks with moss. For a while, there will be trees. Everyone will wish they could be there.



My favorite part of the walk, at least at the moment, is around the back side of the island. There is the edge of the island. There is the still water, the marsh, the hill, the silver steeple of Canton-de-Hatley. There is the sky. There is the moon. The world is everywhere we look.


Kiss @ Johnville Bog

Sunday, October 18th, 2020

I tried to take some photos of the kids on this log in mid-September, but the lighting was lousy.

Fortunately, I come here often enough to try, try again.












Β  *Β  Β  *Β  Β  *Β Β 



A Short Walk in the Woods

Saturday, October 17th, 2020

We went for a short walk in the woods.

First we splashed in some puddles.










Then we walked down the riverβ€”






β€”to the tire swing.








Then we crossed the really awkward bridge where all the steps are attached to swinging chains

and there’s a tree that fell on top of it two years ago that one has to duck under.











I guess that was enough!




Johnville Bog & Forest Park (Again)

Friday, September 18th, 2020

I think I’d be happy to come here every day for a long, long time.






After some time, other people might require me to go alone.














All Fall Down

Friday, September 11th, 2020

I took my old cameraβ€” of the sort that only takes old photosβ€” on a walk alone into the tall woods.




There I found a circle of children singing and old song and dancing in circles.




When I approached more closely, the children, the circle, and the old camera disappeared.




I found myself as an old woman, alone again, with a new camera and nothing more to photograph.


Akiva’s Piano Recital

Wednesday, September 9th, 2020




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