I enjoy pretty much everything there is that has to do with the outdoors. Some of my most peaceful moments have been while walking through the forest, sitting on a beach, or boating (minus the loud engine). Accordingly I have a great respect for nature and enjoy learning about the plants and wildlife therein. My plan is to continue that learning process and hopefully enhance it by sharing what I learn. I intend for this blog to serve many purposes, but in the immediate future it will be a place for me, and hopefully others, to share ideas about reducing our individual impact on this planet, protecting wild spaces, and in general just to comment on the things we enjoy most in the great outdoors. I welcome all opinions as otherwise you cannot consider every aspect of a subject. However, I would ask that every opinion be expressed in a respectful way and considered with an open mind. Often there is no single right answer. Thanks.

Friday, September 23, 2011

RONA - Eco Paint

We have been doing some painting lately and, while I cannot say that I am enjoying myself, I am happy to report that I have found another product that attempts to be kinder to this world we live in.  My husband and I went to RONA looking for paint samples; nothing too adventurous, just some neutral colours.  We took them home, chose our two favourites and I headed back to pick up the paint.

When I got to RONA I passed by the "ECO" paint cans and decided to check them out.  I cannot write about being more environmentally friendly and then walk right by an opportunity like that.  At the time the first thing I noticed was that 3.78L cans of ECO paint are just over $16.00 as opposed to $30.00 to $40.00, or more, for the other brands.  Finally, an environmentally responsible product that does not cost more than its regular counterpart!  As for product quality I am not a paint expert, but I had no trouble with ECO paint; it goes on smoothly, and cleans up like any other latex paint.  The one thing that you may not like about ECO paint is that it comes in 16 pre-mixed colours.  While that may seem limiting I am looking at the brochure right now and I think they cover a broad range, from "berry", a dark reddish colour, to "moonlight", a basic white.  I was able to take the two colour samples my husband and I chose and find two ECO paint colours that were the same, or very similar.  All the colours have names you would associate with nature such as cloud, moss, blue planet, and sand.  Rather fitting don't you think?  Now for the environmental details. 

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Turkey Vultures at Mt. Doug

A view from the top of Mt. Doug
Summer is quickly coming to an end and today was one of the last days the four of us will be home together, at the same time, without interruptions.  We took advantage of the opportunity and hiked up Mt. Doug this afternoon.  The last half of our route was not exactly one I would have chosen and we kind of broke the general rule of staying on the path.  When I was a kid I remember pushing through tiny "trails", or just flat out smashing bushes out of my way while my brother and I tromped through the empty lot next door.  I never had a thought about damaging native plant species, or valuable habitat - it was fun and more of an adventure.

Today's episode left me feeling frustrated and guilty.  Perhaps if I had never volunteered for a work party with the dedicated crew that tries to maintain the natural beauty of the park it would not have bothered me so much.  But putting faces and personalities to those caretakers makes possibly damaging their work more difficult to dismiss.  However, once we arrived at the top, agreed we would take a main trail on the way down, and had a chance to enjoy the view, I was able to relax once again.

The view from the top of Mt. Doug is 360 degrees and amazing.  We spent some time identifying the major landmarks and favourite spots and then decided it was time to go.  As we stood up we noticed a Turkey Vulture soaring in the sky.  One of the great parts about being at the top of Mt. Doug is that instead of seeing the Turkey Vultures way above my head, usually while I am driving down the highway, you can actually look down on their backs.  From this perspective you get a much better sense of how big they actually are and can more clearly see their faces, characterized by their red colouring contrasted with the white beak.  As you can see in the picture on the right the underside of their wings is also two-tone.  This colouring is much more noticeable up close.

Photo from

I vow to one day get myself a better camera, and actually remember to take it with me, so I can take more of my own pictures, but in the meantime I pulled these two images from a google search to give you a visual. 

Photo from http://vulturesociety.homestead.com/Photos.html
taken by Sarah Croft