Canada Day, yeah!

Canada Day, yeah!

For my first Canada Day as a brand-new permanent resident, Rob took me off to Pelee Island, on the ferry, where we watched a Canada Day parade as bright, as happy, as easy-going and genuine as a village fete or a child’s birthday party. It was infectious and entertaining and innocent – simply lovely.

This Canada Day, July 1st, 2018, finds me reaching back into my files for an image through which I can share a sense of celebration, of Canadian pride, and gratitude, to my adopted country. A Canadian citizen, I post this from South Africa, the still-troubled land of my birth, conscious of the fact that we are pretty much exactly a third of the way through my EU contract. Before we know it, Rob and I will be back in Toronto. And Canada, thank god, is very definitely not America! Though not without its issues – the treatment of First Nations is a prime example – Canada is the modest, civil, and civilised light on a hill that America likes to pretend it is.

In the meanwhile, as long as we are here, we make what small contribution we can, to help rebuild a nation plagued by its legacy of apartheid and the locusts of state capture. And we travel, we go out, we see friends and family, we are very fortunate.

Still, today, along with Canadians everywhere, it is Canada we celebrate. Happy Canada Day, Canadians!





Spotted Eagle Owl

We were returning from the far side of the Madikwe Game Reserve, after dark, after a long drive to see the wild dogs. As we neared our lodge the ranger shone his light on this owl – a Great Eagle Owl, he said.

I checked the SASOL Birds of South Africa yesterday, after processing this photo, and (bird expert that I am not) thought it was a Spotted Eagle Owl, not a Great – though still great to observe, in the darkness, staring down at us with those huge yellow eyes.

So I posted the image on the BirdLife South Africa FaceBook page, with a request for help with identification.

‘Definitely a Spotty,’ was the birding consensus.

‘A blinded owl,’ said some wag.

Point taken.

Eagle Owl