We're ready for visitors at the Sculpture Forest

This morning it was rake, sweep, wash and tidy at the Sculpture Forest.  Jim Blake, the Forest Curator lead our little band of 3 around the forest to ensure that visitors would be treated to our residents looking set for the season.

The highlight of the morning was a visit with Mary Anne Barkhouse, world renowned Canadian Sculptor, to discuss the installation of a new sculpture in the fall of this year.  It will be amazing.  We’ll tell you more in the coming weeks.  Here’s Jim Blake demonstrating size relationships on the BIG rock where the sculpture will rest.

Here? or Here? or Here?

And Mary Anne sizing things up.

Move a little to the right Jim!

As we worked out way through the forest we came upon two groups of happy tourists.  And we hadn’t even got our housework finished.  I always enjoy a stop at the Redwing Frond by Darlene Bolahood.  As the sun passes through this magnificent scuplture there is something totally mesmerizing.  It’s wonderful.

Three hours later, with a little sweat and toil, we were all done and ready for another great tourism season.  The Haliburton Sculpture Forest is free (donations greatfully received) and you can find out more at www.haliburtonsculptureforest.ca.   One of the wonderful things about being a volunteer member of the committee is that you get to use skills of all sorts.  And nary a blackfly … what a bonus!

Do come and visit.  There’s Magic in the Forest.

New proof that life's better in the Highlands

We’re pretty proud of our great natural environment in the Haliburton Highlands and here’s news from Women’s Daily that there’s an added health benefit for people like me.  A new study suggests that being exposed to nature may improve your memory. Volunteers took a short-term memory test, then walked in a park for an hour. When they returned, they took a similar test and recalled 20 percent more. Researchers noticed comparable results when people viewed photographs of a natural setting, but not after they walked on city streets. Nature captures our attention without requiring much thought, so the brain can rest, says study coauthor Marc G. Berman, M.S.E.

Jane may tell you that my brain has been at rest for years.  Don’t believe her.  The gorgeous sights in the Highlands are to blame … yet, on the plus side, I’m remembering my name much better these days.

Does it ever stop??

Step away from your computer for a few minutes and sure as shootin’ 25 people will have sent you earth shattering news via email, Facebook, Twitter or (I blush) on WordPress.  Yesterday we spent a good part of the day jammin’ the outside.  Flowers went in, plants got moved, and soil got shovelled.  I knew something was happening with the home computer when I heard it burp.  I went inside and sure enough e-mails were spilling out on to the floor.  I immediately spent time with the little fella .. poor thing had a hernia a week ago (that’s another story).  Don’t know what we’re going to do .. the inbox keeps filling up.  I swear peter ‘puter has gained 50 pounds.  So in the interest of your inbox and the health and wellness of your computer – we’ll sign off for now.  I think I just heard a sigh from your “guy”.

Foggy Friday and All's Well in the Highlands

As we do each Friday, Shawn Chamberlain and I shared the airwaves on Canoe FM.  It’s always a bright start to the day and it’s amazing how quickly the time goes when you’re having an energized, fun time.   Our list of events and activities is back up to speed and that’s a sure sign that we’re expecting an influx of visitors.

It’s obvious that weekenders and visitors are alreadypopulating the county.  Our neighbour has 6 ATV friends up for the weekend, and over on Sir Sam’s Road there’s a group of guys making their presence known (enough said about them).  Even the custodian at the dump was remarking on the early return of our non-permanent residents.  At the West Guilford site you now put household garbage in a dumpster, and on the other side are the recycle dumpsters.  He’s had to reroute “dumpers” coming into the site so they don’t back up onto 118, as they did last weekend.  The new configuration slows down traffic flow many times over.  Best solution for residents – stay away from the weekends.

Blackflies are back too.  Shawn and I were wondering if the bug patches at Home Hardware work on blackflies as well as skitters.  Worth a try.  Sophie the Dawg finds them a little pesky … but then they are quite a bit bigger from her perspective.

Reunion

Most of us have friends and we have associates, but likely as not you have a few true friends.  You know, the ones who have come through life with you and, despite any shortcomings you may have, they stand by you over the decades.  My oldest, dearest friends are two guys – Bob and Ray.  No, not the old comedy duo of radio days gone by - but just as hilarious at times.

Bob and Ray and I attended our high school reunion this past weekend.  Hill Park Secondary in Hamilton.  It is the 55th year of the school.  We were there – in the beginning.  Oh my gawd!   We started the evening with supper out and a bellyfull of laughs.

Bob, Mike and Ray

Bob was a geography teacher, consultant, author of two atlas’s and now, in his retirement, leads a science program for public school children on behalf of the Canadian Space Agency. He travels the world as a lecturer for some of the best cruise lines and is a dedicated Rotarian (not to mention a great story teller).  Bob can tell you the same story again and again (0ver the years) and they are still hillarious.  Lynne, his dear wife, would dispute that.

Ray was head of microbiology at St. Joseph’s hospital in Hamilton and in his retirement has enjoyed some cruises, loves being in his garden, enjoys great music, the theatre and books.  He, like Bob, has a great heart and despite his theatrical grumpiness, is loved by family and friends alike.

We had a grand time at the reunion, made even better because we were together again.  It was good to see old friends (emphasis on the old) and share some rememberances.  We finished off the evening with a picture.  I asked one of the “younger” alumni to take the picture because, as I explained to her, the van to take us back to our enclosure was about to arrive.  She found that pretty funny.

The Geezers of 60'/61'

The single most profound thing about the evening was that, despite the gray hair, the wrinkles and the waistlines, the smiles were still the same.  In some cases I didn’t recognize the person … but as soon as they smiled it all came back.  Isn’t that lovely!  Smiles bring back good memories.  It made the somewhat “dreaded” reunion all worthwhile.