Monday, September 26, 2022

The Seven Grandfather Teachings

Starting today is Truth and Reconciliation Week here in Canada, when we pause to reflect on the history of residential schools and the impact they had on indigenous communities.  The week culminates in Orange Shirt Day on Friday, where we specifically remember the children lost at residential schools.

But there's much more to truth and reconciliation than residential schools.  We can learn a lot from indigenous communities and the orange-painted crosswalk in downtown Meaford reflects this, for it refers to the seven grandfather teachings.  This photo shows the crosswalk when it was first painted orange.

When they added the white feathers for a day or two it showed our limited knowledge of indigenous culture, for they painted 11 feathers.  I happened to catch it a few days later still, when they returned and painted out four of the feathers, leaving seven.
They later returned and repainted things properly to show 7 feathers, representing the seven grandfather teachings.

The seven grandfather teachings are part of the Anishinaabe culture, that group of indigenous tribes who surrounded the Great Lakes, from Quebec to Minnesota and from Ohio almost to Hudson Bay.  Importantly, they seem to me to reflect the beliefs of any modern church in our culture.  The seven teachings are:


J would be happy to try and live by these principles myself, they seem usefully simpler than the theology that I have learned and continue to hear at church.  So as I said, though Orange Shirt Day and the lost children will be the focus for many this week, there is much more to gain from reconciliation as we learn more of indigenous culture.

Friday, September 23, 2022

Garden Close-ups

I must admit that I'm fascinated with taking close-ups of some flowers in the garden.  I don't always understand which are the stamens and pistils, but I just think it's a close look at an amazing world.  When I think that these feed the pollinators while getting pollinated in return, it's really an incredible two-way relationship that's evolved.

I'm not going to add comments, just leave these for you to enjoy.  These make me pleased with my new camera too!

And finally the Cleome that blows all the above flowers out of the water with its super extra long pistils and stamens!  Still one of my favourite flowers.

When I first wrote this we were enjoying a sunny warm day, possibly one of the last warm days of the fall, but it has plunged to much colder temperatures for the foreseeable future now.  Still no frost in the forecast.

Tuesday, September 20, 2022

Our Garden is Still Going Strong!

Remarkably enough for this time of September, our garden is still very colourful and full of interesting flowers in bloom.  The Zinnias are the backbone of it, but a lot of other flowers are contributing.  I especially love the Fall Anemones, the first photo below, a flower we had at our last house.

The colour of the Fall Anemones is beautiful; it seems very peaceful to me. 

Even the faded Echinacea are still adding some nice colour.

One I haven't talked about for several years (since we were in our last house) is this Ligularia.  I often mistakenly refer to it as Elephant Ears because of its big leaves, but that's a tropical plant with truly enormous leaves.

The Ligularia blooms at this time of year, and adds a dash of bright yellow/orange to the back of the garden.  The actual blooms seem rather chaotic.

We even have a Day Lily that is still stubbornly blooming.

But it's the bright red  Zinnias that are making the garden sparkle these days, scattered through the garden.  You know I like bright colours, so I'm encouraging Mrs. F.G. to grow more of these next year.

We don't just have red Zinnias though; these white and pink ones are among the most interesting of the others.  There are a wide variety of Zinnias, with the single-petalled ones being best for pollinators, but the double-petalled ones being most popular.

And the swath of bright flowers in front of me as I turn onto the patio at the bottom of the ramp is particularly appealing for colour, though they're not all Zinnias.  But it's the colour, the fall blooms and the open flowers for pollinators that appeal to me.

We also have numerous 3-4 foot high stems of Verbena, which the bees absolutely love.

The many stems of Cleome in bloom currently are still my favourite.

The neighbours kindly contribute a beautiful rich blue Morning Glory facing our direction.  My grandparents had one just the same

Saturday, September 17, 2022

Scarecrows Galore!

I had fun photographing the scarecrows, and it was a perfect day for it, blue skies and sunny.  After I got finished working my way down the block (I only got pictures of one short downtown block of scarecrows, but there are equal numbers elsewhere) I started looking at details.  Among other things I was struck by the hairstyles!

As I mentioned in the last post, most scarecrows had orange garbage bag heads.

But a few were much more creative, with various hairstyles, if you could call it that.

This was the only blond I found.

But this was my favourite; someone really worked on this!

This was the 25th Anniversary, and of course that became the theme.

So various displays featured scarecrows representing years past.  (Scarecrows are not stored and saved, but created afresh each year).This group with their guitars represents 2016 with their love of music.

And this clown represents 2013 when the circus came to town.

Some scarecrows were up on displays, or ...

... hanging from trees!

There were big groups, I think this group was having a dance.

And small groups.  I think this was the Planning Committee for the Invasion itself.

You'll find the scarecrows on display up until Canadian Thanksgiving.

Thursday, September 15, 2022

The Scarecrow Invasion is On!

Here in Meaford the annual Scarecrow Invasion is on, after a two year hiatus because of Covid.  Several hundred volunteers make up several hundred scarecrows that are placed at strategic locations around town.  It all culminates in a parade on Sept. 30th, but there's lots to see in the meantime.  This year is the 25th Anniversary.

A lot of effort goes into making all the scarecrows, most with a face drawn on orange garbage bag heads.

The costumes are something else, all done with used clothing.  A lot are individuals like this one.

Others are displayed in group settings like this one, looking to me like they're all in their pajamas.

A few are not scarecrows at all.

The story of the Wizard of Oz is popular, here with the Cowardly Lion, Dorothy and the Tin Man.

Whoever made up the Tin Man must have had fun sorting out and joining all that heating pipe!

Scarecrows hang from the lamp posts downtown.

And corn husks are tied to many lamp posts as well as these downtown flagpoles.

I particularly like this couple, dressed in Western's colours, home of my own first degree.

Tuesday, September 13, 2022

Around the Neighbourhood Part III

Only one more of my miscellaneous collections of pictures to go; here they are.

I loved this quirky character on top of an old stump.

I can think of no other houses in Meaford that have a name out front, but this one does, and a humble little cottage 'The Roost' is!  They must keep chickens.

Have you ever wondered what all these numbers on hydro poles are for?  If anyone knows, let me know too.

A resident on Nelson West is apparently fixing up old riding lawnmowers and selling them.  He had several parked out front in the spring.

And this old tractor, one of two on the street, still hasn't moved.

I was quite astonished the other day to spot this giant door knocker, quite the medieval looking style!  I've driven past this house on every ride I've done and just never noticed this before, trick of the light I suppose.

Last week was a roasted red pepper day here.  Mrs. F.G. bought half a bushel of Red Shepherd Peppers (I didn't know there were so many different kinds of peppers)!  And she roasted them all; they're now in the freezer.

Coming around another corner I saw this tree-cutting operation going on.  That's a huge cherry picker, with someone far up into that White Ash tree.  If you look at the top of the picture, you'll get some idea of the ash dieback that's going on here.  There are a lot of trees that will have to come down!

And another of my pet peeves, gravel left on a paved road - horrible for a wheelchair - after construction.  Don't know why clean-up isn't included in construction projects!

And the Meaford Fall Fair was on a week ago, but I missed it this year.  Exhibitors put in such an effort over the year, but those who win ribbons will enjoy the accomplishment for the entire year to come!