Searching For Inspiration

I’ve been MIA for the past couple of weeks.  I wish I had a good story to tell – or even a bad story – but I have nothing to account for my absence, except simple inertia.

Today I was determined to snap myself out of this neutral mode, so I dragged myself out on my bike to explore a nearby urban trail that – horrors! – I had never been on before now.

In hindsight, I wonder what took me so long.

Brimley Woods

Green spaces are always balm for my soul.  Brimley Woods.

It didn’t take long before details were starting to catch my attention.

North Scarb Green Trail

Getting down the hill to take this photo was harder than getting back up.

Hydro tower2

These guys were very entertaining when they realized I was taking photos of them.

I know I’ve said it many times before, but I am constantly amazed at the things I discover that have been under my nose for years.  We tend to drive the same roads over and over again in our busy days and often fail to recognize that there’s a nearby treasure.

For me today it was L’Amoreaux Park.  I knew it existed – I’ve seen it hundreds of times in passing.  What I didn’t know was that it was so large – crisscrossed with paths, a small wooded area, and a wetland active with birds of all sizes.

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The workers on the hydro tower can still be seen in the background

Now the wetland in itself might not be overly surprising, but what did cause me to come to a screeching halt was when I spied cormorants on an outcrop on the water.

Until my visit to Florida this past winter, I had never even heard of a cormorant, but I quickly became fascinated with this bird that held its wings out to dry.  It never occurred to me that they could be found this far north, however a quick google search confirmed that in fact they’re common.

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The sleek cormorants hanging out with the chubby Canadian Geese

This find made up for the excited moment I had a short while earlier when I thought I spied a Great Blue Heron standing regally in the water.  I leaped off my bike while it was practically still moving, trying to get my camera out before the heron flew away.

A half dozen photos later while I was praising my good luck, I realized it was only a wooden statue.  At least this LOOKED like a heron – unlike the 2 wild turkeys I mistook for deer on the golf course last week.

L'Amoreau5Then I promptly broke Cardinal Rule #3 of cycling – “keep your mouth closed” – and a bee flew into my mouth. Clearly this bee was equipped with the insect equivalent of my clueless GPS, otherwise it would have taken evasive action.

 

I spit that little bomber out of my mouth in a nanosecond, and thankfully I didn’t get stung, but my tongue was a little tingly for about an hour afterwards.  That would have been all I needed after getting stung by wasp on my foot a few weeks ago.

It’s too early to say whether I’ve actually found sustained inspiration, but hopefully I’ve successfully nudged myself out of the rut I’ve been wallowing in for too long.

About Joanne Sisco

Retired but not idle. Life is an adventure - I plan to continue to embrace it.
This entry was posted in Active Lifestyle, Adventure, Around Toronto, Nature, Outdoor Stuff and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

103 Responses to Searching For Inspiration

  1. There she is! I am so happy to see you back. I got really worried.

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  2. reocochran says:

    I loved the “sleek” cormorants hanging out with “chubby” geese, Joanne but your local highlights were amazing!

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  3. It sounds like quite the adventure! Overcoming inertia is a good thing. Great find of the cormorants…and the heron 😉

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  4. The photo of the hydro crew is amazing!! Starting to feel a bit of post Bruce Trail inerta myself and know getting outside is good for that too.

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  5. I understand inertia. It’s everywhere. Wherever we look, there is something to pull us down and keep us down. However, I’d say you’re in fine form with this post. The heron is a gem! 😀 And those guys above! And so close to home too. An excellent outing that didn’t even sting. 🙂

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  6. Arrr so glad the bee didn’t sting!!! I love that there is always something new to discover right where we live. We have cormorants here in Tas 🙂

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  7. JT Twissel says:

    Nudging is the first step! Ive also been in a funk writing wise.

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    • Joanne Sisco says:

      From the sound of it, it seems that this summer has been challenging for many of us.
      It’s not like I didn’t have lots of things going on that I could write about … it’s just the inspiration to write wasn’t there.
      Maybe all these events will come back to us during the winter months with a burning need to write about them 🙂

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  8. What beautiful photos! I would love to hike through Brimley Woods, and the birds are wonderful. I’ll skip the bee in the mouth part, though 😀 Thank you for sharing!

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  9. Dan Antion says:

    I think I’m late finding this one, it’s been a busy week, but what a find! I love it when I find interesting things close to home or in an area that I drive by. It’s good to know life can still surprise you. I hope the inspiration sticks.

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  10. Beautiful pictures. I need to find my own inspiration, glad you found yours.

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  11. Beautiful photos, Joanne. I think you must be so happy that you got yourself into gear. 😃

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  12. Sue Slaght says:

    Joanne I think it is normal to have ebbs and flows of inspiration in blogging, especially after years of doing it. sometimes i stare at the screen blankly and wonder what on earth I should type. Good for you to get out and find a new path. You could have climbed up to meet the fellows on the tower. Just kidding but wow to that find. Glad the bee made his way out with a little help from you. I was once stung on the lip by a wasp while I was wearing a bee costume no less. I kid you not. My lip was the size of an orange.

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    • Joanne Sisco says:

      Oh Sue, you know me well! It did cross my mind to make the attempt although I’m sure they would have had something very stern to say about it! As it was, they were hilarious and doing a lot of joking with me 🙂

      When I was stung by a wasp a few weeks ago, it didn’t swell up at all … but hurt!! omg – it felt like my foot was on fire for hours and an intense itching lasted for a week. Did you have the same reaction? I can’t imagine having that feeling on my face!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Sue Slaght says:

        Oh yes to the intense itching and yes as if someone put a hot pin in my foot. I managed to be bitten on the foot as well. I’m not sure if I’m somewhat allergic but I do try to avoid wasps if at all possible.
        I can imagine you joking around with the elevated gang. You never know what fun is out there waiting for us!

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  13. Margie in Toronto says:

    I often go down to The Humber Bay park which isn’t far from me – there are a number of islands down there and this past summer I have seen both Cormorants and Herons. I love seeing the Cormorants dive and come up with a fish (which they then swallow whole) – it’s a bit shocking when you how large some of the fish are!
    Today I went out planning to do one thing but then discovered that the subway was down between Jane & Kipling. Reversed direction and ended up down at The Music Garden at Harbourfront. I was astonished at how many – and how many different – flowers were in bloom. Plus, there was a ton of Monarch Butterflies, which really surprised me as I thought they’d have headed south by now. It was just beautiful and well worth a visit if you haven’t been down there this summer.

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    • Joanne Sisco says:

      I’ve been to the Humber Bay Park only once – and that was earlier this year. I should make a point of revisiting because it is such a lovely space.
      … and I haven’t been to the Music Garden in a couple of years and never when it was in full bloom. I would have thought the flowers would be past their best-before-date by now.
      hmmm – maybe I should get down there this week. Thanks for the tip!

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  14. Heyjude says:

    Lovely to see you back, I think we all have times when we feel like everything is too much trouble and we have nothing to blog about, then suddenly we find a fresh interest and the world looks good again. Saying that though I have never in my life felt so depressed about this world we live in, seems endless bad news day after interminable day and I am so sick of it. Man-made or Mother nature it is time to STOP and let us have some peace.

    I am very glad that bee didn’t sting you in the mouth, it could have been serious. I remember my mum finding our puppy collapsed with a swollen mouth – she had been stung and all her throat was swollen up so she was struggling to breathe. Mum saved the day by giving her sips of brandy!! As you do!

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    • Joanne Sisco says:

      Sips of brandy?! That is not the first thought I would have had.
      In hindsight, I thought about how serious it could have been too. Even on an urban trail, it’s not uncommon to have no one around. If I had gone into distress, it could have been bad.

      I agree about the endless feed of dire news. It hadn’t occurred to me that it could be the cause of my lethargy. After all that heavy news, everything in our lives starts to feel trite in comparison. I try not to let the world get to me, but after a while, it wears me down.

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  15. I’m so glad you didn’t get stung that time! Wasp stings are painful enough.

    I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been spotter and said, “OOOOH! Back up I think I saw an owl or something!” when driving along looking for birds only find it was a broken and aged stub of a branch. Wood shapes can be so tricky with how much like birds they look!

    The power tower crew was amazing! I’ve only seen something like that once back 2011 while out birding.

    I hope you find inspiration to go out again cause I like seeing your rides, hikes, doorscursions et al. 🙂 You always find something interesting to share!

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  16. I wish when I went on searches for inspiration I found your trail. Most excellent! I reimagined those electrical workers as backup singers and doing choreography way above Earth.

    Tough getting a bee in your mouth, but imagine if it had been a bird. Oh, the feathers getting stuck between your teeth. Ugh.

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  17. How cute that the statue held still so you could take a picture! ha – also a bee in your mouth – um, no thank you. Sounds like a fun adventure, glad you got out.

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  18. Glad you were able to spit out that bee! Very pretty pictures. – Marty

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  19. Pent up inspiration breaking out is great, Joanne; your eyes found the hidden stuff which is what I try to look for an you got some great photos! The bee was just happy to see you and was trying to share some honey with you; what a welcome back greeting!

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  20. Anabel Marsh says:

    The heron – that would have been me too, you are not alone. I know those guys are clipped on, and they make a great photograph, but I clenched everything when I looked at it. Aargh!

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    • Joanne Sisco says:

      It was the guy at the very top where my eyes kept drifting. I’m not afraid of heights, but my knees would be knocking.
      Climbing up is one thing, but getting back down is a lot harder … but one of the guys said it ‘gets old’ after a while.

      Liked by 1 person

  21. Glad to see you today, was thinking about you. I am in the exact same state of inertia, blog-wise. Nothing feels blog-worthy these days. Plus I’ve screwed up my arm moving furniture, so I need to limit my computer time, but really, if I wanted to blog about something, I’d find a way.

    Apparently, cormorants are reviled by the fishermen on the Great Lakes, if I recall correctly. The commercial anglers hate the competition. I have no idea if they are justified in their claims, but I will admit that I am siding with the birds.

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  22. Tippy Gnu says:

    You may not have found sustained inspiration, but it looks like you found some adventures, and learned a few things about birds and bees.

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  23. Mrs. P says:

    Nature always brings me some sort of inspiration. I’ve often found those things that have always been right under my nose bring the greatest pleasure. Remember the nursery song about the lady who swallowed the fly… I swallowed a spider and I didn’t die. Yes, keeping ones mouth shut is a good idea! 😉

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  24. I almost didn’t connect this post/theme with you. 🙂 I thoroughly enjoy reading other bloggers but wonder sometimes if I’m putting someone to sleep with mine. I’ve gone from three posts a week to one for sure and maybe two. Why? I don’t have a clue. Love the heron and glad the bee exited quickly. 🙂

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    • Joanne Sisco says:

      I think that in the end, we have to write for ourselves and hope that it might resonate with someone.
      The problem comes when my own photos and words don’t spark any enthusiasm in me. If I can’t feel anything, how can I think anyone else might?
      Keep writing, Judy. We aren’t sleeping 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  25. joey says:

    Pretty pictures. Reminds me of a trail here, not far from us, where I get a people-less version of nature — and graffiti, always graffiti! We tend to take the ones north of our house, but never the south, and I KNOW the ones south of us are longer. Familiarity, I suppose.
    I am so impressed you didn’t get stung.
    We get cormorants here, too, this time of year, actually. Otherwise, they’re not a common sight.
    I’m glad you got out and explored! 🙂

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    • Joanne Sisco says:

      A people-less version of nature is always the best. Man-made sound takes away from the experience.
      I am so grateful I didn’t get stung! I think that, like me, he might have been too surprised. Generally, I find bees are slow to sting. Years ago I had one get into one of the air slots on my helmet and get stuck in my hair. I had to stop, take my helmet off and brush him out. Now I wear a cover over my hair so that any bug getting into my helmet can get out without getting stuck.

      Liked by 1 person

  26. Su Leslie says:

    Glad to see you back. It looks like a very cool ride; shame about the bee, but I’m glad it didn’t actually sting you. I’m wincing even imagining a bee sting in the mouth.

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  27. Welcome back! And what an interest post and photos to treat us with on your return! Glad to hear the bee thing had a happy ending. If nothing else, it made for a great story. 😉

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  28. It looks and sounds like a wonderful ride – except maybe for the bee in your mouth! Ha ha. I’m glad you didn’t get stung. Cormorants are wonderful, but I’ve only seen them near the sea. And two turkeys that looked like a deer? Hmm. When my daughter got out of college and visited us in Vermont, she looked out the car window and said, “That’s a weird-looking horse.” I looked at her and replied, “That’s because it’s a cow!”

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    • Joanne Sisco says:

      I’m sure the two of you had a good giggle about that one! I know we did about the turkey-deers. In my defense, it was a long fairway 😉

      Cormorants are so interesting. They make me think of the caption “my hands are all wet and I can’t do a thing with them” 🙂 From what I understand, we have them in this area because of the Great Lakes.

      Liked by 1 person

  29. Joe says:

    Beautiful images Joanne 😀 With your luck I could just picture you sliding all the way down to that water. Or maybe smiling at someone you passed on the bike while not realizing your teeth are full of insects like Jim Carey in the movie Me Myself and Irene 😀 Glad to see you back out there and taking images my friend.

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    • Joanne Sisco says:

      You laugh, Joe, but any long-distance cyclist will tell you about feeling and looking like a no-pest strip at the end of a long ride. The combination of sunscreen and sweat makes dirt from the road and the bugs that fly into you stick to your skin. It’s such a charming and elegant look 😉

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  30. Donna says:

    Such great finds, Joanne. I also had not heard of cormorants before. How cool are they!?! Welcome back!!

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  31. de Wets Wild says:

    Some time out in nature is also the “pick me up” that works for me!

    Liked by 1 person

  32. Welcome back, Joanne. I’m glad you were able to find a new place and see new things. I have to say I’m laughing about the heron statue, but hey, it must have been an excellent one. The bee? Not so funny, but it turned out well.

    janet

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  33. Victo Dolore says:

    A bee in the mouth? You are so lucky it didn’t sting you! What a gorgeous trail!

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    • Joanne Sisco says:

      I know! I’ve been hit by, and inadvertantly swallowed, more than my fair share of bugs while cycling, but this was a first.
      When I was stung by a wasp a few weeks ago, I couldn’t believe how much it hurt. My foot felt like it was on fire for most of a day and the itching lasted for over a week.
      I don’t want to even think about a sting in the mouth! … although I’m guessing that as a doctor, you’ve seen just about everything.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Victo Dolore says:

        My son was stung 26 times by yellow jackets on the church playground about six weeks ago. He suffered quite a lot. There was a guy who did an experiment to see which area was the most painful to get stung on. Tongue ranked up there with penis supposedly. :-/

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        • Joanne Sisco says:

          Oh dear! My youngest son would definitely sympathize with him 😦
          When he was in Grade 7, he was stung about a dozen times by hornets at school. I got a phone call at work because he was swelling up like a balloon. That was one of those fun little trips to Emerg that always seemed to happen when my husband was away :/
          Having now been stung by only 1 wasp and the pain it caused, I can understand why this man is now very leery around anything that stings.

          Liked by 1 person

  34. Nice route to explore! Too bad about the bee but at least it didn’t linger and cause trouble.

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  35. Got some nice pics and inspiration out of it if nothing else! Good thing that bee went up instead of down!

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  36. karen207 says:

    I love that you did this to jog yourself out of the doldrums. It’s said that creativity is nothing more than the ability to observe closely. What a great idea to go on the look for these hidden treasures. I probably would have just taken a nap. You inspire me, Joanne!

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    • Joanne Sisco says:

      Oh Karen, I’ve had some great naps over the past couple of weeks 😉
      The problem with inertia is that it takes SO MUCH ENERGY to break out of it. I’m hoping I’m recharged now and ready for more exploring 🙂

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  37. Mary C says:

    Love the wooden heron! The bee, not so much 😦

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  38. bikerchick57 says:

    I have the opposite problem, Joanne. Plenty of inspiration and photos, but not enough time. I love that you discovered a cool place to ride so close to home. It might help inspire you to go in search of more hidden treasures or a good place to down adult refreshment. 😉

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  39. loisajay says:

    Oh, Joanne– I had to laugh about you and the wooden heron. That is me without my glasses. Who knows what in the heck I am looking at? Nothing like posers on a tower. Yikes! This was a fun post. So glad you went out and about.

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  40. Nice to see you here again! That looks like a lovely ride which was full of inspiration. Love the pic of the workers and the one of the blue heron who stayed remarkably still for you. 😄

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