Friday, August 1, 2014

Collage...for August 2014

 From Planet Earth Calendar
Living Compasses:  Migration is a fascinating instinct used by animals that cannot tolerate the climate in one location all year round.  Each year...birds, fish and mammals seem to follow a route guided by nothing more than their own instinct. How do they know where to go?

An animal relies on various cues to find its way.  Fish like the Pacific Salmon will use the direction of the ocean currents to push them along. Birds use landmarks and mental maps.  Those that migrate during the day, use the sun as their compass.  Birds that migrate at night, use the constellations to guide them.  Loggerhead Turtles must complete the 8,000 mile (13,000 km.) migration from Florida to the North Atlantic which they do all on their own.  The turtles are able to sense the earth's magnetic field. And they find their way by following its path.

Did You Know?
(from the Canadian Wildlife Federation Calendar).
The American Pica (now an endangered species) is a small mammal with short limbs and round ears.  Picas thrive in cold climate, where they remain active throughout the winter under the snow, frequently in craggy areas. Nibbling on grasses and plant shoots, this furry creature with long whiskers is quite adorable...(and would make a desirably cute pet!)

Gardening Advice
(by Kathy Renwald in a colour supplement of the Hamilton Spectator)
Ten Tools You Should Own... if you are a gardener just starting out.
(You may choose to implement now, or retain for another season.)

Hand Pruners:  The gold standard is the Felco line made in Switzerland.  They cut cleanly and evenly  and feel good in the hand.  The most popular is the No. 8 model.
Hand Trowel:  Buy a good one! It's essential for planting, digging, working in containers and window boxes. Mine is almost 30 years old made by Bulldog Garden Tools in the U.K. 
Shovels and Spades:  Shovels have a pointed end, used to dig garden beds, move mulch and gravel; and spades have a straighter edge, useful for edging borders and digging up perennials.
Rakes: Gardeners need two kinds...a leaf rake and a garden or bow rake. The garden rake is heavier and is used for leveling soil, gravel and sand.
Garden Hose:  A cheap one will kink and drive you crazy, but a quality hose is a pleasure to use.  I like the Super Hose from's light...yet kink-and-crash resistant.
Nozzles and Sprinklers:  There are many good choices including Gilmour's fireman nozzle and Dramm watering wands.  An oscillating sprinkler, is a good choice...and many from which to choose.
Containers:  I love rubber garden tubs.  Sold as a set of 3, they nest in each other.  I fill them with water and a weak solution of  fertilizer in the spring and soak new plants in them before digging them in soil.
Bushel Baskets with metal handles (seen at farmers' markets) are light and easy to carry.  They can be set down in a garden bed without crushing plants. 
Pots:  Buy clay pots...always in style and plants like them because the growing environment is natural. Air and moisture can penetrate the sides of the pot and they don't get hot like plastic pots do.
Gloves: Grippy, waterproof gloves are available in garden centers and hardware stores.

Message from the Canadian Red Cross
Disasters can strike anyone at any time...and efficient disaster management depends on well-prepared volunteers, planning and resources. From small house fires to? the Canadian Red Cross is ready.

Madd Fact
An average drunk driver has driven drunk 87 times before a first arrest!

Niagara Falls and Great Gorge
A colour calendar view spans the American Falls and the Canadian Horseshoe Falls. A panorama of the approaching Niagara River creates a 3-D effect together with the turbulent white crested rapids as the river begins its dash through the winding Gorge. Although Niagara Falls is not one of the 7 Wonders of Natural Times, it is widely considered the most spectacular “waterfalls in the world”

Special Event Days
August 4 (Monday) ~ Civic Holiday
August 10 (Sunday) ~ Full Moon
August 12 (Tuesday) ~ International Youth Day
August 13 (Wednesday) ~ International Lefthanders’ Day
August 15-September 1 ~ Canadian National Exhibition*
August 29 (Saturday) ~ International Day of Disappearances.
*Did you know that the CNE Grounds was a military camp
during World War One?

Flower and Garden Philosophy
Each flower possesses its own uniqueness
as does each friend.  (Beth Faycus)

August Musings

 Our Life always expresses the result of our dominate thoughts.
(Soren Kierkegaard)

August with its clouds of scented blooms;
August with its great stacks of giant clouds;
August with corn plants, standing like rows of soldiers;
August with watermelons, full and heavy, dozing in the sun.
(Mary Naylor)

I went on inactive duty  in August 1945 and since I had stayed in good shape and had played ball on military teams, I was ready to start for the Indians just 2 days later against the Tigers.  (Bob Feller)

August used to be a sad month for me.  As the days went on, the thought of school starting, weighed heavily upon my young frame.  That, coupled with the oppressive heat and humidity of my native home in Washington D.C. only seemed to heighten the misery. (Henry Rollins)

And so it was, with my son, that following the closing of the CNE
on  Labour Day...was the dreadful thought of imminent SCHOOL!

Merle Baird-Kerr...compiled July 5, 2014
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