April 29, 2017

Now that we know better...

For me, it's time to speak up.  Today, I stand up and protest in blog land, not only for climate change but also against racism and for women's rights.  If you do not wish to read what I have to say, that's okay and it's probably better that you skip out now.

Because my blog is also a diary, I definitely do not want my descendants or any other people in the world thinking, especially on the day of the Climate Change March that I approve of the destruction of the planet.

As most of you know, I live on the North American continent, and that makes me an American, although perhaps for delineation purposes a Canadian American. I am also a citizen of the world and, therefore, I do NOT support the pipeline. I do NOT support the Canadian or American portions of the pipeline.  I do NOT support the Canadian tar sands project. I do NOT support drilling in the Arctic. And I do NOT support widespread destruction of the earth by any means, on any continent, at anytime!

And, further, I do NOT support the rampant overthrow of environmental protection laws instituted by President Obama, allowing oil companies to frack along the Eastern seaboard, and on the Western seaboard namely along the California coast, nor do I support fracking in National Parks.
(While the news feeds us a diet of acerbic wolf cries from the new president, many environmental laws are being changed and passed behind our backs that will wreak havoc on the world's climate.) I also do NOT support any racist laws. Or the robbing of the poor to give to the rich. I mean really! Reinstate meals on wheels. And the lunch programs for children. 

However, I do believe that now that we know better, it's time to do better

We have the technology to go green. It can and will create jobs. I have seen the brilliance of young inventors: for example a young woman invented a sidewalk that produces power--every step you take creates energy. And there's a plan to clean up the Great Pacific Garbage Patch by 2020. (A worldwide ban on dumping garbage in our oceans would also be a clever move.) Thankfully, the list of brilliant minds and innovative thinkers that want to protect the earth and also enhance living standards for all the earth's people goes on and on.

There are, of course, green regions.  Eco watch rates the top ten greenest countries. Nine of those countries are in Europe.  For your reading pleasure, here's the link.

Venice has also taken steps to stem the tide.  They have build a Mose Flood Barrier, costing billions of dollars. But if we continue with our heads in the sand, will it be enough to protect this historical marvel? And what about the people in poorer nations who are as I type facing rising waters? One wonders what, if any, world wide emergency plans are in place.

Unfortunately climate change threatens. The oceans are rising and we cannot continue the inane argument about whether climate change is cyclical or man made. Either way, it's time to do what we can to stop it. Why? Because its the right thing to do. If it doesn't work, we can at least say that we did all we could to protect the earth, it's people and the plants and animals that depend on the earth for survival.

If these two could speak, I am sure a they would say climate change is real too.

These bears could use man made ice platforms. I don't know if that's even possible, but without ice they can not hunt. Last year, I heard about polar bears swimming in open water without, sadly, the possibility of ever reaching shore. For bears, the emergency is now.

Finally, as Jane Goodall keeps saying, "There's still a lot left worth fighting for."  It's sad that we have to fight for what's morally decent and right, but since our lives and the lives of future generations depend upon it, it's urgently imperative that we do.

Stand up, speak up! Do all you can!

April 04, 2017

Maple Sugar Lane

Hi there,

Yesterday, it was off to the sugar camp only to find out that it's closed on Mondays.  Undaunted and since it was okay with the friendly owner, we set off for a walk down sugar lane.

Sadly the restaurant was closed too. We strolled by, while vision of a breakfast of pancakes flooded with maple syrup danced through our heads.

The gift shop also closed and filled to the rafters, no doubt, with tasty maple syrup and other sweet treats.

I was looking for taps (sprouts) and sap buckets, and was disappointed not to see any of the old- fashioned gear.  But less labour intensive high tech extraction methods have hit the sugar camp. The lines run from tree to tree and then on to holding tanks. Later, the syrup is pumped to the sugar shack where it boiled down to pure maple syrup. Since there's a lot of water in the sap, the general ratio is 40 to 1~ 40 liters of sap are boiled down to produce 1 liter of maple syrup.

It takes cold nights and above zero day time temperatures for the sap to run. We had unusually warm weather in February, so they tapped on the 19th. But March was cold and I am sure the sap wasn't running for two weeks or more.
Other than sugar maples, they can also tap red and black maples.

Other trails. Guess who took this trail?
Traffic signs? When the sugar camp is open, they have wagon rides, and, who knows, maybe four wheeled vehicles zoom by sometimes too.

A hunters' blind? I prefer to think it's a camera blind covered with oak leaves.  If you stayed up there awhile, I bet you would see deer and other animals walk by.

A high tech tap and an unusual white fungus.

Back at the sugar shack. The stove with the holding tanks above and to the right.

A wood burner. They boil down the sap twice a day. Having a inquiring mind, I wanted to ask more questions, but since they were not officially open and the owner had cleaned everything and was getting ready for another go, I thought I'd better bow out gracefully while thanking him for his hospitality.

Across the road. A quiet place to sit and think. And look no snow on that sunny hillside! For a hemmed-in snow bound person, that patch of open ground made me take a deep breath and filled me with a sense of freedom. . . . definitely a sight for sore eyes.

Maple trees and the bounty they provide make up a huge part of the Canadian identity.  So it's fitting that our flag sports a sugar maple leaf.
 I was hoping to buy some maple treats and a bottle of syrup, but since they weren't open that was impossible, but, luckily, I still have a stash in the cupboard from Quebec.

"Shoot for the moon and if you miss you'll still be among the stars." 

Les Brown 
Enjoy the week...
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