Thursday, June 26, 2014

June in bloom

I wait expectantly for some of these perennials, but this year the iris by the pond surprised me. I'd forgotten all about this one, and it unfolded so beautifully. (June 6)

Unfortunately my variegated miniature iris has disappeared entirely.

The poppies popped and their show was done by June 13, but I had the Beauty Bush to console me from the 12th to 25th. What a scent! I was worried it wouldn't survive the ice storm, but aside from a few bare branches it thrived this spring. The bees loved it.

White roses came the 23rd, and the pinks were greeting me on my doorstep by the 26th. Nelly Moser clematis had almost the same timing; although the ice blue has already been blooming for about two weeks.

The sage did not do well with all the ice and salt by the front steps, so I had to remove a large bush, and transplanted the purple cone flowers there. At least I think they are cone flowers, could be black-eyed Susans. Time will tell.

Monday, June 23, 2014

Water gardens

First trip to Toronto Island, nicely timed for the Summer Solstice. Swinging on the hook & hanging out with the Night Herons. It seems our little spot is gaining in popularity - the second night there were 5 boats keeping us company.

The new dinghy was a great way to check out the water gardens. I'm surprised I never thought of the Island as a water garden before, but I did this trip. Iris and viburnum in bloom, and yellow water lilies poking up like periscopes. The cottonwoods were also blowing their fluff everywhere, and it floated through the air and danced on top of the lake like fairy dust.

Two nights, two days. Boat time sometimes seems to defy the regular counting of minutes and hours. We guess the time of day by how light is casting shadows. We eat when we're hungry, sleep and nap when we're tired. So deeply refreshing, just Being on the boat.

Monday, June 16, 2014

Commodore's Cruise

We finally got our jib rigged, we've been sailing with a makeshift handkerchief and waiting for 'Slow Joe' to finish our repair. I feel like the sailing season has finally begun!

Out to Port Credit on the Commodore's Cruise. In all these years of belonging to BPYC, this is our first. 

Very, very cold on Saturday. Rob was wearing two pair of pants and his heavy foul weather gear while I huddled under the bimini. Maureen and Dick sailed past, all bundled up on Squall. Thirteen boats went there and back.

Port Credit Yacht Club has ample space between docks, a swimming pool, and a great restaurant. Bluffers gathered in front of the main club building by the barbecues late Saturday afternoon, bringing so much food there really wasn't a need to cook dinner later. We all got a bottle of Beringers to commemorate the event.

Strong winds blew us to our destination on Saturday, when we reached a speed as high as 6.8 knots. A couple of gusts gave us good knocks and sudden heels.  Coming home Sunday, by going out a distance, we managed to catch a breeze for a more leisurely sail. I'm already looking forward to next weekend and hopefully, our first trip to the Island.


I love the annual display of poppy fireworks.

They put on a great show, even if it is short-lived.

This year they made their appearance June 5-13. The rain pummeled the petals until there were only a handful left standing. A tangle of green punctuated by a few orange dots.

The blossoms swell and pop those pods right off, I can almost hear them snapping.

Friday, June 13, 2014

Full Strawberry Moon in June

A full moon on a Friday the 13th. Specifically, Friday, June 13th, at 4:11 the moon was full.

A silvery moon in June. Also a Rose Moon. And a Strawberry Moon.

Some trivia: the Strawberry Moon is one of the few full moon names that is universal to every Algonquin tribe.

I like the details and simple balance in this painting of the Strawberry Moon, by Leah Dorion. A wise grandmother sitting and teaching her young granddaughter the cultural values and beliefs related to the Strawberry Moon of June, a note of infinity hovering above their clasped hands.

post script
Went down to the boat that night and the full moon was huge in the sky, pink as a strawberry, and peeking through the clouds.

Monday, June 9, 2014

Notes on Recent Reds


Kaarina and I tasted this Ripasso on Medina in early May. One of my favourite Italians, this ripasso is very smooth, low tannin, and quite delicious. Even better, it was on sale at the time for $15.95, so nudged in just under the price ceiling for stocking up the BPYC bar.

For the tasting that evening, I had brought a bottle of  Echeverría Syrah Reserva 2011, excited by my old world/new world find. At 17.95 it was good value, too, and I thought we might squeak into our range, but it was a tad out of reach. This syrah is from Chile, with every grape bunch handpicked and brought back to the winery in small batches so as not to crush the clusters, and then aged in oak barrels. Based on the description, I picked up a case of 12 from Liffords, and it did not disappoint: A highly aromatic Syrah showing a range of berry fruits such as blackberries, blueberries and raspberries. Hints of bitter chocolate combine nicely with notes of black pepper, cinnamon and tobacco. A well balanced and round mouthful, with a juicy and long lasting finish. 

Tonight I am definitely spoiling myself with a  BERINGER KNIGHTS VALLEY Cabernet Sauvignon from California. What a nice way to end the weekend. Lingering. This cab sauv feels perfectly balanced. Not something to rush, but to slow down. Enjoy the smell, colour and taste.  The finish is longlasting. Tasting this makes me want to visit Knights Valley in Sonoma and spend a bit of time there: "an undeveloped hidden gem of volcanic rock and alluvial soils perfect for growing Bordeaux style wines".

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Sail Past 2014

Every year we mark Sail Past, rain or shine. This was one of the best and most memorable. The weather was absolutely perfect, with blue skies and gentle winds.

Most people were dressed in their whites and navy blue to honour Yachting tradition and celebrate Bluffers Park Yacht Club. The proceedings took on greater significance when it was noted that being a member of BPYC connects us to yacht clubs around the world, big and small, and to other people who love boats and sailing. The flags were then raised each in turn, by club members new and longstanding. This year we collected our mimosas and then returned to our seats to make three toasts: to those present, those not with us, and for the sailing season ahead.

The photo above is from sail past 2013, my camera unfortunately not working.
The sound of the bagpipes brought a dimension of solemnity to the occasion. A piper brought in the Board, played Amazing Grace as we took a moment to recognize the passing of members, and then stood on the dock to send all the boats out through the gap.

Rob is a flag officer again this year (Vice Commodore), so we were out on Commodore Mike B's boat to see our fellow members sail past and dip their burgees. A great vantage point, being able to put people's faces & names & boats & boat names all together... some families gliding by with smart salutes, others with new sails or gleaming hulls. Such a collection of individuals and beautiful boats.

Later in the afternoon, I took tickets at the bar, but managed to sneak out to the patio for a cocktail. Dinner was delicious, and then Ross W. deejayed & got people up dancing. A good time was had by all.

Looking back over the years I see either Rob or I have been on the Board every year but one or two since we've joined BPYC. Rob's emceed at least 4 or 5 of these occasions, but took the year off this time,  nominating someone else to do the honours.

It's fun to keep a running record to check on the details, the years often run together. Definitely one of the highlights on the calendar, each Sail Past with a character all its own:


Friday, June 6, 2014

Spring flowers

Daphne bloomed with sweet perfume from May 25 - June 4
Daphne has rebounded, slowly reclaiming her damaged branches. Still a bit wounded from where she was clobbered by a falling limb, but even some of those parts seem to be greening. I hung out for a couple of hours last Friday night, just drinking in the sweet perfume.

More transplanting on Saturday morning, and later in the week... Moving this here, that to there. Hostas, astilbes, toad lilies and the dwarf cedars all found new homes.  Nana Aurea, Golden Cypress and mugo pine could have been transplanted last autumn, but I didn't want to disturb the toad lily or carpet of nasturtium.

Now, poking nasturtium seeds into the dirt, I'm a bit doubtful the miracle sprouts will appear in a few weeks as promised. How can such a small, hard, dry, little seed turn into such a colourful carpet?

The first poppies popped June 4th.

Also blooming this last week:
  • ajuga
  • alium
  • columbine
  • daphne
  • euphorbia
  • foam flower
  • geranium
  • hellebore
  • iris
  • lily of the valley
  • may apple
  • peony
  • siberian bugloss
  • sweet woodruff
  • sweet cicily
  • tulips nodding
  • forget-me-nots fading
  • white trillium turned pink and then withered to brown