The forth in the series from The Canadian Embroiderer’s Guild of Guelph for Canada’s 150th birthday and today is about Canadian animals, birds and nature. I hope everyone had a wonderful Canada Day.
Canada was first explored to find a passage to India and China. The explorers discovered a wide and rich land. European hunger for beaver hats meant the beaver played a pivotal role in opening this land to European settlement. My ancestors (French, German / Pennsylvania Dutch, Irish and Manx came here as farmers and craftsmen to settle this land.
For me, the beaver was also part of cottage life. Our property had a stream. Hiking along it you came to a beaver dam and pond. Even in the driest summers, the stream still had a trickle of water. The pond was a watering hole for deer and other animals. The beaver showed me his important niche in the ecology at the cottage. It is an area I love (and miss).
After World War II my Dad worked as a scaler for the department of Lands and Forests. He used to tell a wonderful story about spending a day sitting on a rocky outcrop because a bull moose didn’t want him in his territory. My Dad had enough sense to not try to out run the moose.
My Canada includes waking up to the call of the loon on the lake.
The Canadian Geographic society chose the Grey Jay as the Canadian National Bird. It is the only bird found in all of Canada’s provinces and territories. The Grey Jay or Whiskey Jack, is known as a curious, smart and people friendly bird. It is a tough bird that lives in Canada all year round.
Monoprint Of A Leaf From Grandmother Tree
This is a magnificent tree (populus deltoides) growing in the Milk River valley in the city of Lethbridge, Alberta. It has survived floods, beaver degradation, drought, freezing temperatures, blistering sun, and insect attacks. In the process, it has given life to generations of poplars lining the river valley. To me, it represents the spirit of the west.
Fireweed is Yukon’s official flower and is one of the first plants to grow after a forest fire. As we drove through the Yukon, there were patches of fireweed everywhere. However, it was truly impressive to see a carpet of fireweed in the burn area north of Whitehorse after a major forest fire had occurred there two years earlier.
The Sap Bucket
When I was growing up we had two big maple trees growing in our front yard. When I was 7 or 8 years old my father borrowed 2 sap buckets and spiles and tapped the trees. He wanted to learn and teach us about maple syruping. My mother boiled the sap on the stove. Suddenly there was a big crash upstairs. Then another one. There was so much steam in the house that all the adhesive picture hangers let go and all the pictures in the house fell off the walls. We had to open some of the windows to let out the steam. Eventually, the sap was boiled down and thick enough to be called syrup. The syrup was even more delicious because we had made it.
Water, Water Everywhere
My adopted hometown, Hamilton, has more waterfalls than any city in the world! The beauty of the falls delights me daily, and reminds me of the richness of Canada’s plentiful water, in all its many forms.