Month End Roundup

I love this monthly process of reviewing photos and reflecting on the month-that-was.  Sometimes I see a pattern or a story, but usually it’s just randomness.  I guess that’s life.

This is one of those months when all I see is a lot of randomness.

Some of it I’ve already written about this month – like our trip to Quebec City for my father-in-law’s burial,

Quebec cemetery
On the top of one grave stone. I loved the lace-y lichen on top of the stone.

…. the Fashion History Museum’s Tango Tea,

I love these shoes.  I want … but I’m pretty sure I’d never get my monster feet into these tiny shoes.

…. or the unusual outdoor gallery of statutes at Screaming Heads.

Screaming Heads Castle 2

The weather changed this month – rather abruptly – from the steamy hot days to nights that were outright chilly.  We had a 20C temperature change in less than 24 hours, from the low 30s to the low teens (high 80s to low 50s in Fahrenheit). I’ve never seen such a short turnaround from air conditioning to the furnace.

These are some of the highlights from my September.  Click on any photo to enlarge and scroll through the gallery …

My last kayaking trip – this time to the shores of Lake Huron to paddle a section of the Saugeen River.

Jungle Cat World outside of Toronto in the small town of Orono.  I had some serious reservations about this visit since I’m not a fan of seeing animals in captivity.  I was however pleasantly surprised.

I love cats both big and small and this adorable gang did not disappoint.

We got a blast of wild and windy weather, but thankfully not as bad as the severe tornado damage in Ottawa.

The canopy now has several large rips.  The good news is we didn’t have to retrieve it from the pool – or our neighbour’s yard.  We’ll definitely be needing a new one.  At least there was no roof damage to the house this time.

The pool is now closed and the backyard sadly looks one giant leap closer to being ready for winter.

We still aren’t seeing much in fall colours yet, but the signs are there as everything starts to get that past-expiry-date look.


I feel a tiny bit of melancholy as the tinge of yellows and browns intensify in the neighbourhood, but I won’t grieve.  This summer was amazing and I’m already starting to lay the foundation for surviving the coming winter.


This post is in response to the monthly photo challenge Changing Seasons hosted this year by Su Leslie at Zimmerbitch.



  1. Our leaves are supposed to be at their peak on the 20th-30th. I’m hoping that the rains that keep showing up move away for a while so that I’ll be able to get out and enjoy the changing of the seasons. We don’t have a pool, but my mother-in-law does and my husband closed it up for her. It really does feel like you’re saying goodbye to summer when that happens. Sorry about the canopy! Sometimes it’s crazy how powerful wind can truly be.


    • I’m heading about 3 hours north of Toronto today hoping to catch some good autumn colours. Unfortunately the weather continues to be so gray and overcast it doesn’t make for the best picture taking, but I’m going now while I have a chance. Hopefully most/some of it will have survived the winds we’ve been having too.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Yes, there is something sad about summer’s end. And having lived in the Northeast USA, I know that twinge of melancholy from seeing Autumn’s first colors. On the other hand, my wife and I would have been thrilled to see a lot of color on our recent trip up there. We saw some moderate colors, but unfortunately we arrived pre-peak. I misguessed the timing, but we still enjoyed the scenery and cooler temperatures.


    • I was wondering how your trip went. I hope you’ll be writing about it and adding in some photos.

      This is my favourite time of year. The cooler temperatures feel like such a relief after the summer months of heat and humidity.
      There’s still not much colour in the city but I hope I can get north this week and see some pretty displays of nature.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Our trip was great and the scenery was beautiful. We were in the very far north of New England. We made it within a mile of the Quebec border, but I forgot our passports, so we didn’t do our little planned foray into Canada. We saw a lot of color, especially at the higher elevations, but it wasn’t quite at its peak yet. But I imagine by now it is at peak.

        Yeah I think I may do a few photo-based posts in the coming weeks.

        Liked by 1 person

        • I was sorry to hear you hadn’t made it into Quebec. I was looking forward to reading about your adventures, but photos from New England will also be spectacular!

          As an aside – I’ve been having a lot of problems *liking* and commenting on blogs for about a month now. Your blog is one that is proving particularly challenging. I contacted WP and so far they haven’t been very helpful.
          Do you close comments on your blog after a week or two? I’m wondering if that’s part of my problem since I’m often late and trying to catch up.


          • I just checked my settings and they were set to close comments after 7 days. So I changed it to 21 days. But don’t worry Joanne. Heck, blogging can get stressful when a person tries to read and comment on every post, so I understand when someone doesn’t get around to me. I do this for fun, and I hope that’s what others get out of blogging, also.


  3. Too bad about the canopy but as you say it could have been much worse. As you look at your leaves thinking about turning colour you can console yourself that we had almost 40cm of snow this week. Well the skiing should be good right? 🙂


  4. Im catching up on reading my favorite blogs… and what a delight to be reading you again.

    Oh that does sound like a rather brutal fast drop in temperatures. Those are hard, not enough time for the body to adjust!

    I am like you…I dislike seeing animals in captivity. Zoos depressme. I can’t help but wonder why these cats are where they are. Were they rescued perhaps?

    The kayaking looks glorious…”Screaming heads”? I’ll have to check that post out pronto.



    • What a lovely compliment, Peta! Thank you so much and the feelings are mutual!

      The kayaking I did this summer was, without question, the highlight (after my son’s wedding of course 😉). If I wasn’t before, I certainly am now completely smitten.

      I’m sure that as a yoga enthusiast you can relate to the importance of keeping our bodies flexible and nimble. Getting in and out of a kayak is a major part of the exercise 😉 Going forward I will be looking at it as one of those benchmark activities – like balancing on one leg while I put my shoes on – of how I’m maintaining my core and flexibility.

      I don’t know the history of Jungle World but I do believe that some of these cats were rescues. I do know for sure that although they don’t have a breeding program, nature is nature and they’ve had several cats born in captivity – like little Aurora who is now 4 months old.


  5. May I ask you a question about kayaking, please? Do you have to have a special permit to kayak in particular lakes and rivers? Or do you just show up and go for it? Inquiring minds.

    [Guess I assumed you’d say yes to me asking a question here. Cheeky girl, aren’t I?]


  6. Sorry about the storm damage. The cats look so fantastic. What a neat opportunity to see those. I would have loved to see the clothing museum. The shoes look so unique.

    It’s beginning to be nippy here, and we’re seeing fall color, and leaves are dropping. Soon our mountains and foothills will be green again which I love seeing more than the golden hills of summer.


    • Thanks Donna. September seemed to just slip away without any fanfare at all and here it is October already.

      We are settling in for a soggy week of rain so hopefully that means I can catch up on some indoor stuff 🙂


  7. I’m sorry for your loss Joanne.

    I love reading these monthly round-ups; it’s great so see what other bloggers are doing, but they’re also a window into how we see our worlds and how we make sense of them.

    I’m so glad you have started painting! I am a bit obsessed with creativity at the moment and saddened by how so many of us are discouraged from exploring our creative sides. I actually heard a woman at an art workshop a couple of weeks ago apologise for being there because — she said — “I’m not creative.” Aagh!

    If you can do a class, I think it’s a good idea. Not only because you learn techniques (which means you’ll probably like more of your work faster and be encouraged to continue), but more importantly because they can be a great way to develop confidence. I have a friend who runs classes and I’ve watched some of her students absolutely blossom.

    Sorry about the rant. It is something I am passionate about.

    Hope your autumn is kind and you have lots of opportunities to get out and explore (if only to find inspiration for your paintings 🙂 )


    • Thanks Su. You have no idea how much your words help me. I’ve been waffling on this for a few weeks now and it’s highly encouraging to hear words of support.

      I’m really good at talking the talk about how, as adults, we need to relearn how to express ourselves creatively without inhibition. There is no good or bad work if the process brings us joy. Unfortunately, I’m really awful at applying that logic to myself.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I know exactly what you mean. Those inner voices are so deep in our heads and so adept at sneaking through the tiny spaces.
        My friend Claire, who teaches art and is a very talented artist herself said something once that I really took onboard and hold dear while I’m working. She said that if you look at every single thing you create and find just one thing about it that you like, you will not only feel better but learn something. Even if it is just one little corner where colours have blended in a really nice way, or one eye that looks good in an otherwise wonky portrait. She physically cuts out “the good bits” and either puts them in her journal with notes about what she has done and what she likes, or re-purposes them in other work. I’ve done both of those things too, and those journal pages are great to go back to when you are doubting.
        I hope you find your creative voice and let it sing out your songs — whether through a class or not.


  8. Nice post and thanks for the Fahrenheit conversion (ha!) The temperature is finally dropping here and I’ve signed up for 2 months of formal drawing lessons to get me part way through the winter months. After the first lesson, I’m so glad I did.


    • I’m getting so much positive feedback in the comments to this post about taking lessons. Thanks so much for adding your voice to chorus.

      All I know for sure is that the time I spend with paints and brushes seems to go by in a heart beat and I look forward to the next block of time when I can do it again. I guess that tells me I should make the effort to learn more 🙂


  9. I love these monthly recaps as well: in writing them as well as reading all of yours!
    It is been quite a month for you! Sorry to hear about your father-in-law: it is never easy to lose someone.
    I am always amazed at how tiny shoes are centuries ago … for that matter, the clothes as well!

    Hope your fall is turning our super, so that you don’t miss summer too much!


    • The clothes I can understand because people today (shamefully I count myself in that category) simply eat so much more than I predecessors did. The feet I simply don’t understand. For someone my height, I simply shouldn’t have size 10 feet.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. I think it is a good exercise to look back and reflect from time to time, especially as the seasons change. At least you get a beautiful fall in your part of the world before the winter sets in!


    • As much as I may whine about our winters, the truth is I love the seasons. It’s a rhythm in nature I’ve always known and I couldn’t imagine living anywhere without those deep distinctions from one season to the next.


    • Oh yes. Because it was such a hot and humid summer, I was very grateful for the pool this year.

      When I was a child, I always fantasized about having a pool and I would start every day with a swim. In fact now that I have one, it’s actually the other way around. I tend to end the day with a swim. It’s a great way to then go to sleep 🙂


    • Oooh – you’re good!!

      I have a new hobby on the horizon 🙂 I’ve been tinkering with painting and stretching my creative muscle. I think I’m ready to take the next step and get some formal training rather than just continuing to wing it.

      I haven’t quite made the leap yet to register for the classes that start in 2 weeks. Sometimes even I have difficulty stepping outside of my comfort zone 😏

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Nice post, Joanne! Yeah surviving the winter…for me it means getting outside whenever the sun is shining, no matter the temperature, having plenty of indoor projects for when it’s not, and hightailing it to a tropical island for 2 weeks for an escape!



  12. It seems to me when looking at your lovely photos of September you had a great variety in your experiences. Your positive outlook on life is certainly based on the saying ‘Variety is the spice of life’. Best wishes! Peter


  13. The stupid have to be protected from themselves–haha! I was going to ask the same question about petting the ‘little one.’ **Hey, Joanne–I think I can almost reach him!** Yeah….. 🙂


  14. What!!! You have monster feet too? Good to know! I don’t like animals in captivity either and refuse to go to a zoo or circus -if they have animal acts.

    I am looking forward to autumn this year. It was too hot for too long and I enjoyed the first nights with an open window tremendously.


          • When I first started a blogging – an Indian blogger wrote a poem about a pair of his shoes he had to toss. – If i find it I will come back and share it = it was delightful

            and the pair I miss the most – was a pair of Clarks clogs.
            They had a balanced heel – so there was height – but even from the front foot to the back – if that makes sense – and then it was just enough to help me have a nice gait –
            and the leather around my foot felt good – the best part was i could teach in them (taught art at the time) and on busy days I could turn a corner with ease in those shoes – and they went with so many outfits.
            they also had shock absorbers – so I could do a ten-hour day and not feel it.
            In contrast, last week I wore some gray slides – only five hours and my dogs were barking – and sometimes it could be us and age, but it always seems to happen with those shoes so they just went Bye-Bye
            – oh and I have tried other clogs but they change their designs and I have never found a pair like that model.


  15. Spring, summer, fall, I could totally leave out winter, but I do like defined seasons. We should get some nice colors with all the rain we’ve had. Those cats are beautiful! I, too, have a hard time at zoos, I don’t like seeing caged animals. The cub looks especially soft, but oh, those claws!


    • My cat is really good about controlling his claws when we play, but even he gets too excited sometimes and I end up a bit worse for wear. I can’t imagine how much damage this little one could do!! … but she was adorable!


  16. You had a great September (and one more day to make it even better!). Those shoes are so small, I wonder if they were comfortable… I’m thinking not. How did you stop yourself from sticking your hand in the cage and giving that cute cub some ear scratches?


    • Oh – I seriously wanted to!!! I think they have a lot of experience with ‘cat people’ because there were double fences – about 3-4 feet apart – around all the cat compounds to stop people from sticking their fingers in the cages. The stupid have to be protected from themselves 😉

      We talked to the trainer about the cub who seemed very agitated. The trainer said she had been raising the cub since the little one was born and the cub was agitated because she wanted to play. When we asked why she (the trainer) didn’t stop to play with the cub, she explained that even at 4 months, the cub has all her teeth and claws. “Play” is VERY painful 😏

      Liked by 1 person

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