Monday, July 16, 2012

A Summer of Extremes

I've been concentrating quite a bit on getting The Grumpy Penguin going as a business concern over the past few days and this is a trend that will continue over the next little while. The result has been that when it's come time to create my daily blog post I am not feeling quite as creative as I might otherwise be. On top of that, Sarah and I are going to be camping this weekend and I think the unbroken streak of daily posts which dates back to April 3 may have to come to an end, because I simply don't see myself putting four days' worth of blog pieces "in the can" before we take off on Friday. I'll cross that bridge when I come to it, but for today I'm just going to put a couple of recent photos up here, talk about them a bit and then get back to the other work at hand. Sorry if you're disappointed; however, I'm afraid there will be no refunds.

Grumpy P and the missus
If you're a regular follower of this blog, or if you just know the area I live in, you're familiar with the Kiwanis pool that is located not far from our building, on the edge of Stan Wadlow Park. This past Saturday, Sarah and I dropped by for a swim in the very early afternoon before it got too crowded and we met our friend Sophia there. (I "cat-sat" for her while she was away on holiday this past winter, looking after her beautiful Gus.) Sophia took this picture of us while we hung out in the deep end and chatted with her. As you can see - and as has already been pointed out on Facebook - Sarah is the "DEEP" one in our relationship. You can't argue with City of Toronto signage. We've been only in this pool twice so far this summer, the other time being the Canada Day weekend with our friends the Lofthouses, the day before Jordan was born. Considering it's free of charge to get in and we could almost leap into the pool from our balcony, it seems a bit odd that we haven't been more often; on the other hand, that's already twice as many times as I went all of last summer. I just don't frequent public pools, much to Sarah's disappointment. We'll definitely be swimming quite a bit this upcoming weekend, though, while we're camping at Awenda.

Storm creeping across the valley
Yesterday we finally received some heavy rain around here. It's not nearly enough but still, it's better than nothing. Of course some of it came into our apartment but not as much as we expected, especially when you consider some of the flooding that went on elsewhere in Toronto. As usual I watched the storm approach us in rapt fascination; one of the benefits of living so high up with a clear and unobstructed view for miles around is it allows me to view fascinating weather activity that I would not be able to witness closer to the ground. This shot was from our balcony as the vanguard of the big storm came in from the north and headed for the lake. Literally seconds after I took this picture an enormous bolt of lightning struck something on the other side of the park almost dead centre in this frame. Consequently, this was the last picture I took from the balcony yesterday. At least it wasn't the last one I ever took.

Cherry tomatoes at 200 feet

Despite the heat and lack of rain around here since before the summer began, a couple of food-bearing plants on our balcony have managed to hang in there. We already ate some strawberries off of our "ever-bearing" plant (a misnomer, it seems, because it's showing no signs of dispensing any more fruit). I could swear I took some pictures of that plant or the strawberries before we ate them but I can't find them on my hard drive, so I must be mistaken. In any event, the cherry tomatoes were coming along nicely before the big rain yesterday (this picture is from Saturday); after the rain they were positively ready to pop on the vine. Tonight we picked four of them and ate them with our dinner and boy oh boy were they ever firm and juicy at the same time. It's hard to obtain food more locally than from your own balcony. And, clearly, we weren't the only ones who enjoyed these little treats: Addie thought they were pretty darned cool as well!

Addie making sure these are ok for us to eat

And finally, speaking of cats but otherwise apropos of nothing in particular, here is another shot from my Kenora collection that I really wanted to include in yesterday's blog piece but just couldn't figure out where to squeeze it in. This is a bird feeder in the yard behind Sarah's grandmother's house;  clearly, someone was a little weak on the concept:

You know, we can see you in there...

I have nothing to add here. I just really, really like that picture.


  1. Those cherry tomatoes were delicious! There's nothing quite like growing your own food - even in small quantities.

    1. They really were. Maybe the best I've ever had. :)

  2. Nice photo of Addie checking out the cherry tomatoes. A long time ago, I had a cat that actually ate canned tomatoes. But I guess anything cats do is fascinating.

    1. Thanks....but I have to come clean: I was taking a picture of just the tomatoes when Addie unexpectedly came into the frame. I didn't even know she was on the table so I was very lucky to get this shot.

      Addie simply does not miss anything "out of place" or new in her domain. She did her little inspection and moved on. She's never, as far as I know, eaten anything even remotely tomato-y, though. That must have been hilarious!


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