Tuesday, 17 January 2017

"These people..."

 If more people had jobs, or a decent income, it would support the infrastructure, give people dignity, and help the economy.

This began with Smiths Falls Council turning down an opportunity to participate in a pilot project to target those living below the Low-Income Measure (LIM). Our Ontario Today radio hosted a call-in, and you know how those go!

A lot of my clients have been in Smiths Falls. The town hosts over 250 rent geared-to-income apartments. It is a tough place to find work, with the many factories that have closed up shop over the years and moved to Mexico. Smiths Falls lost 1700 jobs in a short period of time, in the 2008 recession. They've lost the Hershey plant (2008), Stanley Mechanics in 2009, etc. 

What ticked me off was the woman who was on this phone-in complaining about 'these people'. They are us. They are our neighbours, one pay check away from homelessness.

One of the councillors, Dawn Quinn - who looks to be at least my age, is against this program.
Quinn spoke from the heart about her experience as a single mother who worked to put herself through hair school and again spoke of the important role education would play in fixing a broken system where people fall through the cracks, like a man on ODSP Quinn said she visits every Christmas. The man she visits lives in a shack with a sunk in, leaking roof.
I would caution her that this was a long time ago. Things change. Society and economics are different. My kids are in their 30s, and we cannot look back. When we know more we do better. This is a good study, to examine the impact of raising the income of those who most need it.

People living below the low-income measure (LIM), collectively, are on ODSP, the working poor, the homeless, are disabled, mentally ill, stay-at-home single parents; shouldn't be spoken of collectively. There are many stories, and many situations.
What do you think?

Ontarians are asked to provide their opinion online.

Basic Income Pilot consultation

This is what the Canada child benefit provides to parents. We know, of course, how expensive it is to raise children these days.
Canada Child Benefit

Monday, 16 January 2017

Twas a happy morning!

I saw Tigger and his twin brother. His twin (still needs a name!) has shed his antlers. Tigger has not.
I can tell who is who by their behaviour. Tigger is clearly alpha. He won't tolerate any other buck feeding while he is feeding. His brother is the exception. They are the same size.

I walked some yesterday and didn't see any evidence of antlers. The coyotes pick them up, I'm sure,  which is only fair! It's a dog-eat-dog world out there. The coyotes are active. We heard them barking about a month ago in the back 40. I don't know if they caught something.

The year I found 6 antlers, they were on the ground, with a lot of blood spots, and were shaken off just after they arose, judging by the blood spatter and the deer bed locations. I think their circadian rhythms led to the drop in testosterone.

Daisy and I walked an hour in the wetland, but couldn't find any sheds. She followed me quite eagerly. It's quite frozen now.

Daisy was happier on a grassy knoll! I tried to carry her, but she got totally ticked off and jumped down.

 The photo with his tongue out is Tigger's brother.

One buck has a strange antler situation. He's broken one off, the other has some breakage, too. It flops, and I'm sure he'll be happier when this antler goes!

These first two photos are my favourite photos of Tigger and his bro, from a couple of years ago. You can see Tigger lost his first that year.
 Tigger his first year (2010). Such a character.

UPDATE: Snow is covering up thin ice

Mystery solved!

Saturday afternoon, at 3:23, a helicopter flew overhead. It was an Ornge Rescue machine. It gives me the woolies. Happily, some dude went through the ice on a creek and thankfully survived the event. The story, and more photos are here. There are lots of stories of snow machines going through the ice these days.
Thanks to our hard-working crews

Sunday, 15 January 2017

Wetland walkies, helicopter, nuthatch, plane

It was a cold morning, Saturday, but it warmed up to -5 C. and I went for a walk on the wetland. Is it ON or in?! It was frozen, and the snow is hard as a rock.

First, coyote poop! From the colour, I'd say they were eating cattails. I've noticed evidence of the deer doing this. The snow is too frozen to take any tracks.

The ice crystals are amazing with the thaw and refreeze. Aren't they lovely? I only had my long lens and my videocam, I need to travel lightly, but this give you an idea.

The wetland looks so different in the winter. In the shelter of the trees, there are plants and fungus grown, and now frozen.

Someone's been shooting barrels on the Coutts property. It runs right behind ours. I can hear them from time-to-time.

On the way back I nearly got a soaker! I sunk and the snow was up to my boot top, the water a few inches deep. Whoopsie! I was following our property line, and decided to head back.

Meanwhile, back at the quaint bungalow... an emergency helicopter flew overhead. I checked my Twitter sources, and they think it was going to the Kingston hospital. Ain't Social Media grand?
As a former Muskoka Victim Services volunteer, helicopters and sirens give me the heebee jeebies!

I spotted a red-breasted nuthatch. During the December bird count they were totally absent. Go figure!

Then, an airplane flew overhead, and a red squirrel perched for me.
I looked up the registration for the plane.
C-FJZPCessna150L15074708The Ottawa Flying Club

Saturday, 14 January 2017

Cats, grooming, tails

It's a bit chilly outdoors. We've gone from 8 C., down to -5 C., last night it was very cold. The trees hold the sun's warmth, we've lost a lot of snow cover.

Daisy's been out and about. She can see the mice, and might go out at 4:00 a.m., if I hear her fussing. She sits on my hip until I awaken. If I ignore her, she'll gently scratch my hand with restrained claws.
Not so last night! Too darn cold!

I've been trying to brush our girls regularly. Of the three grouped piles of fur, can you guess which of the three cats is responsible for which?!

In order: Daisy, Dorah (with JB) and Annabelle. The furriest cat, Annie, has the least fur. Dorah the most!

The turkeys came to visit yesterday, cleaning up the feed. There were four of them.

The cats are terribly bored with being indoors.
Except for Dorah! She is perfectly happy to watch curling with JB!
Daisy didn't like her elf hat. She just froze, which is unlike her!
Annabelle loved the bell collar. The bells got her all excited, thinking she was a cat toy!
Hubby made himself some no-yeast, no-dairy, no-eggs bread. He has a special apron!