Sharing Early Literacy Learning Journeys

Posts tagged ‘Writing’

Weekly Photo Challenge: Grand

‘The grand show is eternal. It is always sunrise somewhere….’
John Muir reminds us…???????????????????????????????

 and what better way
to start the day
than with a grand sunrise…
this one, over Beaver Lake,  Ontario

Meanwhile, Ansel Adams points out that,
‘Both the grand and the intimate aspects of nature
can be revealed in the expressive photograph.’

Grand rock formations
in the North Dakota Badlands …


…and this grand rock 
at a highway pull out,
in North Queensland,
invites us to touch the iron-red rock face,
and the fine, intimate grasses.


Then there’s the grand view…
from grandstand seats
on cliffs,
in Victoria.


and a grand vista…
of the horizon
where big sky
meets open spaces
of vast American prairies,
making us feel small and insignificent.

Or, as Jill Ker Conway says of an outback Australian horizon, ‘On the plains, the earth meets the sky in a sharp black line so regular that is seems as though drawn by a creator interested more in geometry…’ and where, ‘Human purposes are dwarfed by such a blank horizon.’

See here for more grand pictures…

Ker Conway, J. (1989). The Road from Coorain. William Heinemann Australia

A bird on a wire…

A bird on a wire: a colourful bird, on an ordinary electrical wire, on an ordinary suburban street – unlike Leonard Cohen’s ‘Bird on the wire” song of 1968.

???????????????????????????????But what bird is it?

Internet searches come up with ‘No result found’. I can’t insert information like ‘bird type’ or ‘common name ’ because I don’t know them. After viewing dozens of bird pictures, I cannot find this bird.

Fortunately, it stays on the wire for several minutes enabling me to keep clicking. Two more birds, just like this one, visit on nearby wires, but don’t stay long.


Aahh – nothing like a good wing and tail stretch…


and now, a head scratch.


“I missed that yellow butterfly,”
I whisper to my friend.


“Hey! Who are you?”
I shout to that intruder over there!

Any help in recognising this bird happily accepted!

And one more thing…. why does it have two feathers? strands? below the main tail?

Weekly Photo Challenge: Unexpected

This entry is later than expected because I had an unexpected computer glitch!

The marvels of daily life are exciting; no movie director can arrange the unexpected that you find in your street (Robert Doisneau).

So, with camera in hand, we attempt to capture the unexpected – if the unexpected happens like…

??????????????????????a snapping turtle trundling across our lawn one sunny Saturday afternoon
– fortunately, photos were possible because it was slow as a …

Turtle on dock

and a midland painted turtle clambering on the dock
– with the bonus of an unexpectedly clear reflection.

??????????????????????After leaving the gym, we never expected to see
a giant stick insect resting on the car.

Joy and bliss can come from the little and most unexpected thing if only we program our mind to enjoy these little things (Unknown), like….

Tulips at  old fence

these pink-orange tulips unexpectedly bright against
green grass and an old grey fence of a farmer’s field.

Life is full of surprises… or expect the unexpected …
Tilted lifeguard hut 2

but a tilting lifeguard hut, devoid of a solid base,
was an unexpected sight on a morning beach walk…

Lifeguard hutand even more unexpected, was the same lifeguard
hut swinging from a crane as it was gingerly placed
on the back of a big truck late in the afternoon.

Good Grief! Where has Mrs Goose gone?


Saturday, June 1st: A Canada Goose sits on her eggs
on a thin, log ‘island’ in the river.
How long has she been there?
… through wind and rain and ‘a terrible storm’.


Friday, June 7th: Mr. Gander stands on guard whilst Mrs. Goose sits …


and sits and sits and sits…
just like Horton, in Dr Suess’ Horton the Elephant.

Monday, June 10th: Good grief! Mrs. Goose has gone…
Where are the geese and their goslings?
I hope they are safe…


One egg is left.
Is it The Ugly Duckling?
Will she be shunned by her brothers and sisters?
Will she become a beautiful swan?

Children’s books:

Horton Hatches the Egg, Dr Suess, 1962, London: Collins Clear-Type Press
The Ugly Duckling, Fairy Tale, Hans Christian Andersen, Denmark. First published, Nov 11th, 1843

After the rain No. 2

After the rain…


the eloquent Iris is dripping and  flagging…


whilst the crystal, clear raindrops magnify the ‘lines’ on her long, lissome leaf.

Did you know…

the name Iris means rainbow?
Iris is the flower of the Greek goddess Iris who is the messenger of Love?
in the language of flowers Iris symbolizes eloquence?

With thanks to ‘the flower expert’

What would Anne have called it?

Lilacs are prolific this spring.
Woodlands, roadsides and edges of fields are dotted with dark-lilac lilacs,
light-lilac lilacs and bright-white lilacs.


White lilacs? I’ve only just learned of white lilacs.

Lilac Lane 2

In nearby woodlands, I wander on paths edged with fragrant lilacs.
I’m reminded of  Anne of Green Gables, one of my favourite children’s books.
I wonder aloud,
“What would Anne have called this path?”

Would Anne call it,  “Lilac Lane?” No. Too ordinary, like Diana’s Birch Path.

Lovers’ Lane… of Lilacs? No. She has a Lovers’ Lane already.

Lovely Lane of Lilacs? No. Lovely is not specific enough. But loveliest?

Loveliest Lilac Lane? No.

Luscious Lilac Lane? It’s a luscious fragrance that wafts by. Anne didn’t use ‘luscious’ – but she she learned  ‘scrumptious’ the day of the picnic.

Lavish Lilac Lane? Luxurious? Luxuriant?  No. But. lilacs are plentiful, pretty and pleasantly perfumed…

Longing lilacs? or Lingering lilacs?

Linger. Lilacs linger – especially in warm, spring weather. The fragrance lingers. And certainly Anne likes to linger…

Yes. That’s it… Anne may have called this path, Lane of Lingering Lilacs.

What do you think?


What do you think Anne would have called the lilac framed path?

Montgomery, L. M. (1908). Anne of Green Gables.  Toronto: McClelland and Stewart-Bantam (Seal Books).

Trillions of Trilliums

Today I feel like Heidi may have felt when she discovered masses of wild flowers in the Alps – except I am in the woods when I come across masses of trilliums.


Trillions of trilliums!


One superbly formed flower… after another…


But I don’t ‘gather great handfuls of flowers and
stuff them all into my apron’ 
like Heidi.

Instead, I photograph the brilliant white trilliums.


When I get home, I learn three very good reasons for not gathering the wild flowers. One, trilliums bloom in April/May – a short time to enjoy their beauty. Two, a trillium takes up to 11 years to … (read more)

The trillium is Ontario’s Provincial flower or ‘floral emblem’.

Spyri, Johanna. (No date). Heidi: A Story for Children. London: Thomas Nelson and Sons Ltd.

The birds are back…

The birds are back.
For spring and summer.

Water birds. Land birds.
Familiar birds: Geese. Mallards.

Unfamiliar birds.
Bobbing on the river that runs through town.


Black and white heads against choppy, blue water.
‘Hooded Mergansers’? Not sure…

On the way out of town,
Stop at calmer waters.

More ducks.
Black and white. Grey and white.

The ducks dive for food.
Re-surface. Anywhere!

Camera: Press. Focus. Click.
Duck:  Dives down. Out of sight.

Left with a photo of calm, cold water,
With a squiggle on the top!

Drive home. Download photos.
Beautiful black and white heads.

Google ‘Hooded Merganser’ to check.
Black head. White hood. But brown on the body? No…

View another picture.
Black and white head.

Bufflehead? Bufflehead?
Check google photos with my photos.

Could be…
Male. Black head. White wrap around patch. Yes…

Then, a telling factor:
“… buoyant, large-headed duck that abruptly vanishes and resurfaces as it feeds.” Yes…


A male Bufflehead


Later, we see a male Hooded Merganser.

The birds are back!

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