Friday, July 01, 2016

Happy Birthday, Canada!


Today is a glorious summer day. July 1st has arrived untemperamentally, with partially blue skies, lots of sun, puffy white clouds, and a whisper of wind. It will be hot and hotter as the day progresses, with chance of thunderstorms in the afternoon, so we went off for our ravine walk earlier than usual and saw people out we've never seen before.


It's Canada Day, the 149 anniversary of the 'birth' of the country. A perfect day for celebrations. And that is precisely what has begun on Parliament Hill, with thousands of Canadians out to be entertained and share in the general air of enthusiasm that accompanies most celebrations. There will be fireworks, colourful displays of lights and popular entertainment groups on stage to perform.


We had attended one of these anniversaries many years ago, in the mid-70s when we first came to live in Ottawa. Before that, for the centennial year of celebration I recall walking our three young children from our first house in Richmond Hill over to a local plaza where entertainment had been scheduled in celebration of the day.


For the last several days the skies have been hosting fighter aircraft, practising flybys for the aerial show planned for today. And earlier today a formation of jets flew low over the area where we live, quite a bit of excitement, but too swift in passing to catch them on camera. I did photograph the sky, though, and beneath it one of our spruces, and sitting right atop the spire was one of our backyard robins, taking a break from feeding its young.


And if this isn't a day to amble in the garden, do a little watering and admire the flowers, when might it be more suitable, to celebrate life in a country whose ultimate priority and practise is to provide a secure and prosperous present and future for those who have the good fortune to inhabit it? A land of geological contrasts, surfeit with a generous share of the world's fresh water lakes, ample arable land, great mountain ranges and wonderful boreal forests, home to a multitude of birds and animals sharing the land with us.
Black bears digging up ants, British Columbia

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