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RSSAuthor Archive for Donald McClure

He can tickle your funny bone or tug at your heart strings. County people may know him as a chronicler of everything that happens (or should happen) in the garden, but his interests stretch across the natural world. His unique sense of observation takes in a wide expanse of living and may even point out some truths about our own condition as managers of the world around us. With Loyalist antecedents in his family tree his roots go deep into the Ontario countryside.

Robin

The real dirt on garden inspiration

“In the spring, at the end of the day, you should smell like dirt.” -Margaret Atwood I believe it is the warm, pungent smell of thawing earth that starts the process.   Inhaling the scent of soil on the first warm, sunny spring morning presses a secret button in the mind that initiates notions of renewal, […]

Early winter drama at the bird feeder

Early winter drama at the bird feeder

  If snowbound humans require inspiration to help survive the winter they need only look outside to their bird feeders.  The sight of these frail birds of winter, hopping in the cold on their pencil-thin legs, the bitter, merciless winds rustling their  thin feathers, should should take away any urge to complain about our own […]

Gentle clues to Picton's past

Gentle clues to Picton’s past

By Donald McClure Fred Wegg reached for a  shoe box on the top shelf of his popular Toronto stamp shop and dropped it on the counter in front of me. “You might find something in here,” he said quietly. I lifted the box lid never thinking that this little gesture would have an enduring interest […]

Surprising discoveries in a dry summer

Surprising discoveries in a dry summer

  All nature found the hot, dry summer of 2012 to be a major test of endurance.  From a gardener’s standpoint it became a  time to reflect, conserve water and gain a modicum of insight and a sprinkling of  inspiration. Nature is unique designer:   The Not-so-Common,  Common Buckeye, made a visit to our garden again […]

Lily of the Nile responds after 12 years

Lily of the Nile responds after 12 years

It is known as the Lily of the Nile. It has even been called the plant of love. But it is neither a lily nor a native of the Nile region and for the past 12 years has not responded to our most earnest entreaties to flower. In reality it is Agapanthus Africanus, a tropical […]

Truly a garden is something special

Truly a garden is something special

What is a garden? It is often a mid-winter dream that opens the portals of spring to the imagination. A garden is your own personal canvas on which you express  ideas in colour, texture, composition and fragrance. A garden  can be a plot of land,  a pile of rocks, an old birdbath,  a terracotta pot […]

Quest for Sacred Space lures us all

Quest for Sacred Space lures us all

Each of us has within us images of natural or man- made space which lingers in our consciousness held by feelings of respect, admiration and awe.  It might be the first view of a mountain, the vastness of the ocean, the potent power of a glacier or the dew on a spider web early on […]

Ghostly images in old photo albums

Ghostly images in old photo albums

“Finally after a few months I decided to tackle the two mouldering photo albums inherited from a family estate.  Started over a century ago these pages contain  over 80 tintypes and pictures presumably of long departed relatives.” The problem left to the decipher  is that almost all of the images have no identification scratched anywhere […]

Thoughts of home at Christmas

Thoughts of home at Christmas

“Away wi’ Canada’s muddy creeks And Canada’s fields of pine Your land of wheat is a goodly land, But oh, it is not mine The heathy hill, the grassy dale. The daisy spangled lea, the purling burn and craggy linn, auld Scotland’s glens give me. The remoteness and vastness of our land had an almost […]

When a plywood Mosquito buzzed our village

When a plywood Mosquito buzzed our village

The afternoon sun scorched the roof and we could sense the heat through the bottom of our work boots. It was late July — the summer of 1945.  The war in Europe had been successfully concluded.  Conflict in the Pacific was winding down to its mushroom-shaped climax.  A certain euphoria had gripped the village as […]

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