Mosaicultures 2022 Part III

I am so glad my OH talked us into buying season tickets for the Mosaicultures Québec 2022, because it’s allowed us to walk to what is essentially our local park—the bois de Coulonge—which is literally a ten minute walk from our apartment, and see this amazing show of floral sculptures.

The other plus is the gardens are showing right on through till the end of September, so we have at least several weeks in which to visit again at least 2-3 more times, if not, more.

The whole point of these giant sculptures is not just what they represent about nature, but, in seeing the flowers and grasses they are made from, bloom and change throughout the summer months. So that, each time you go to visit, you will (hopefully) see something new.

Bucket Lists

Way back when I was a kid, and travelling to exotic and not so exotic places, I had dreams of travelling on my own, as an adult, and seeing some of the last remaining wonders of the world. I made a bucket list of places I wanted to visit long before there was even such a thing as bucket lists. Sadly, a lot of those places which I have yet to visit, are no longer safe places to go, or even all that desirable given how time and man (in his infinite stupidity) has marched on.

Places like, Ulan Bator (Ulaan Baator, meaning Red Hero), in central Mongolia. The fabled centre of a continent that inspired my childhood imagination of war lords and warriors on horseback roaming the wild plains. It was still on my list up until a few years ago and then, after reading a National Geographic article on what had become of the once beautiful, wild, and pristine area, my heart broke into a thousand tiny pieces.

Pollution from factories spewing unregulated toxins into the atmosphere, and the spread of urban and industrial sprawl, now makes Ulan Bator the world’s most polluted capital on the planet.

Hardly the dream place it once was, or a place to want to visit.

One of the other places I wanted to visit before I kicked the bucket was Machu Picchu. I thought the fabled Inca city was at least still untouched by the ravages of man and time. Well, almost. Deforestation and logging have led to ecosystem degradation and, along with poaching and fires, have reduced this once pristine UNESCO heritage site to something less than it was.

That leaves just a handful of places left on my list, places like Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park, once known as Ayers Rock, in the heartland of Australia. Here at least, this iconic rock formation is being protected and people are no longer allowed to just climb all over Uluru like they use to.

Maybe I’ll get down under one day sooner rather than later. And, if I do, get to see Uluru in all her glory.

And you, what places do you dream of visiting?

Noise Pollution

Our building is under assault.

It’s not just annual maintenance time. It’s emergency repairs time due to excess flooding. Flooding because we’ve had so much rain this year water has found its way into the sub basement electrical room for our building.

Water and electrics? Not a good mix.

Upshot, the company who own and run our six-building complex of apartment blocks has brought forward a number of building works on our apartment block. And now, we’re under assault on all sides. There is work being done on the roof. Work being done on side walls. Work being done on balconies.

And …

Rather loud, noisy work being done on the front entrance of our building (for the leak, remember). They’re having to removed all the concrete and tarmac at the front in order to access three areas of concern. Which has meant two mini excavators with drill-heads pounding away.

Six hours yesterday. And a projected six hours again today.

I’m sat here wearing my Dr. Dre headphones listening to the Matrix soundtrack in order to drown out the 100+ decibel noise. And yes, we’ve made them aware that the max decibel allowed in a public area is 80. They are having to stop for 10 minutes in every hour now, which means, the work is going to take longer.

All week long. The OH is in the office trying to take zoom calls for work … I wonder how long it will be before they cancel them for the rest of the day?

sigh … I need a coffee … I need a tylenol.

Life with a Kakapo

It’s a fact! I’m living with a Kakapo. 

And while it’s true this Kakapo is (for the most part) a quiet, unassuming person during the day and prone to freezing when startled—I have come to dread it turning up every night in my bed. It usually slips in beside me quite late, and then? 

And then it starts. 

The strange little noises. 

At first I strain to hear the low frequency hum but just as quickly, it erupts into a sudden loud boom. There’s no sleeping through it, I’m awake. And if it’s not the infrasound, it’s the grunts, crackles, snorts and metallic ‘ching‘ sounds that do their best to keep me awake!

I could, of course, turn over and evict the Kakapo from the bed but for the fact it’s ‘our‘ bed. We share it. 

So what’s a person to do, smother it? Go sleep on the couch? Try and train it to go against its own natural instincts? And believe me, I’ve tried … for twenty plus years I’ve tried.

Putting it out on the balcony is out of the question. They are, after all, an endangered species. Only 126 left alive. And how would that look if it froze to death one long winter’s night? Not good, I suspect. And if I gifted it to a Zoo? Oh dear, how do you gift such a sweet, cuddly, loving creature to anywhere? 

I would be remiss on my part, as someone living in this alien world to take exception, but even this Keeper of the Kakapo needs their beauty sleep.

I suppose becoming nocturnal would be the answer! 

And you, good people, what do you suggest … what, what is that you say, ear plugs?

Yes, I guess you’re right.

A Bird in the Bush …

It’s cool, it’s overcast and showers are forecast for throughout the day. I took my early morning coffee out on the balcony to listen to the sparrows chatter, watched two squirrels fighting over who owns the privacy hedge, and didn’t have the heart to tell them: neither. That it’s the dominion of the sparrows.

Their number has grown extensively in the time me and mine have been living in the apartment. And not least because I put fat balls out for them during the winter, along with seed, and make sure there’s always fresh water for them.

It’s not allowed. It’s in the apartment least: do not feed the wildlife. But, until they serve papers on me, I’m not about to stop. This for me is a joy, a pleasure, one that comes with its own small rewards, even if I might find myself in trouble one day.

I’d fight tooth and nail that I can put out on my balcony anything I want, as long as it doesn’t hurt anyone. And yes, I’m well aware of the reasoning behind the lease clause: to stop rats. But I’ve yet to see any rats let alone one that can climb the side of the wall up to our balcony–some 20 feet. And I never throw stuff down onto the grassed areas. Please, credit me some sense.

As a result of my small effort, the sparrow population has definitely grown. As a keen birdwatcher, I’ve observed the small flock grow from about a dozen or so to fifty plus. There seems to be 3 distinct groups. And, with the extra space and feeding area of our neighbouring small park, the sparrows are doing well.

This in turn has had a knock on effect. Birds of prey and crows are more numerous and frequent in hunting this area. Of course they are. Especially as young fledgling sparrows start to leave the nest nagging their parents for food.

I’ve also noted an increase in other bird species passing through our area on feeding runs, through out the year. Everything from grackles, to red and yellow cardinals, and an assortment of tits. And the one whose song me and mine have fallen in love with?

The song sparrow. I don’t know how many there are in our area. But by the back and forth of song first thing in the morning and as evening falls, at least a handful.

Life is good.

Cutting the Cord

So we did it.

We cut the cord. The final snip, as it were, in the media roundabout. We dropped Apple+ TV (albeit, we were on a 3 months free trial so, no loss there). We also did the same with Netflix which expires on the 8 of August. I can’t say I’ll miss it and, as the OH points out, we can sign up for the month the next Bridgerton season is released (next year).

And now?

We’re free to look at either other options or, take a break completely for the rest of the summer – and I can get some much needed reading done instead – or you, Dear Reader, can throw some of your top suggestions my way.

I’m thinking if we do sign up for anything it needs to offer a lot of SF content, movies, and or cozy crime (think, less violence).

The OH is looking at Paramount + while I’m thinking Disney.

What say you, good people?