Nature – Wild Opportunities by Leslie Noonan
Do Something Good This Season
With the Winter upon as many of us rush away to foreign countries, for the 1st time in a while chasing the warmth of the sun, some of us will stay home and enjoy the cold. Whatever you do try to find some time this winter season to give back to someone else there’s always someone who’s struggling more than you. It could be a person that you know, maybe it’s someone you don’t know, yet. This act of kindness doesn’t have to be even to a person, it can be an animal. There are so many things that you’re able to do – you could donate blood? But if you’re like me maybe you don’t like needles had one break off in my arm in grade 8. So then, you could donate to the food bank or the local animal shelter but this season try to spend some time thinking of others, it will make you feel good.
Honestly, the options are endless I recently went on a trip to Jamaica as I had this amazing opportunity to not only photograph but work with Critically Endangered Hawkbill Sea Turtles, and I couldn’t turn down this opportunity. The things I got to do during this trip were amazing not only the sea turtles at Oracabessa Bay, was amazing and the fact I got to video tape and photograph it as well, made it better. The knowledge I got to share and pass on with people over that 10 day, the with Critically Endangered Hawkbill Sea Turtles I helped on this trip! I swam with a Green Sea Turtle and 100s of baby Hawksbill Sea Turtles, want mom dig the hole and then lay hundreds of eggs and different eggs hatch and baby turtles make their way to the waters edge for the 1st time. And the number of turtles that I hopefully helped I can’t wait to get back the figures on the nest that are still to hatch. In 10 days, I moved 549 Eggs to a safer spot, watched 812 walk the sand to get stronger and their 1st few strokes on their 10,000 km journey back to this beach, hopefully in 20ish years.
I’m released lots of videos sharing more in-depth information about all of these adventures but in Episode 55 in Journey’s with Jason that will give you a great summary of this educational and exciting trip. So, you can witness the experiences described above. I hope that you enjoy and join in on the journeys’ YouTube – Jason George Photography
Enjoy this festive season!
Until next time,
Stay safe, Have fun and enjoy the wildlife!
P.S. If you are enjoying reading my articles, please check out my YouTube channel – Jason George Photography – to follow the journey.
Jason George Photography
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HIDDEN GEMS – Indoor Gems by Leslie Gowens
For many Springwater residents, winter is a wonderful time to enjoy many of their favourite outdoor sports and activities while taking in all the beauty of a rural landscape blanketed in snow. For others, winter is a season they must endure and hope for its early cessation. This can often lead to the winter blues or a feeling of being “on hold”. But what to do?
Hailing from a similar climate, the Danes and Swedes have developed a way to combat this general feeling of seasonal dissatisfaction. While the Danes refer to it as “Hygge” the Swedes call the practice “Mys”. Basically, both concepts involve creating cozy spaces within your home to enjoy the peace and warmth of your own company or the comforting companionship of family and friends. To create this sense of coziness, people embrace all things soft, cuddly, soothing and toasty. Think warm blankets, flannel pajamas, warm cups of coffee, tea or hot cocoa. Mulled wine and charcuterie boards often make an appearance when friends gather for board or card games or just an evening of good conversation. Cuddling up with pets and a good book are also highly encouraged. Indulging in at home “spa time” also makes its appearance with face masks, hot baths featuring essential oils and candles playing a big role. For those wanting to really chill, the crackling flames of a fireplace and some soft background music, adult beverage in hand, work wonders.
Wanting to venture out from home but still enjoy the heat of the indoors, our area has a number of worthwhile activities you may want to check out. If bowling is your thing, why not take a visit to either Springwater Lanes or Georgian Bowl. Offering six 5 pin lanes that feature Glow Bowling and Bumper Bowling, Springwater Lanes in Elmvale also provides a chance to improve your arcade and billiard skills as well. Collingwood’s Georgian Bowl has 12 lanes with Glow in the Dark Bowling being especially popular. There is also an arcade and a fully licensed snack bar.
For a more intense indoor physical experience, Climber’s Corner, located at 95 Sandford Fleming Drive, Unit 4 in Collingwood offers climbing activities and lessons for both children and adults at the beginner or advanced level. A boulder wall offers an independent, non-equipment experience. Kidding Around Indoor Playground and Parties is a 5000 square foot indoor play facility for children 10 and under that will have the kiddies running, playing and exploring for hours.
Those seeking out pursuits leaning more towards arts and history, may wish to take a trip to Collingwood to visit The Candy Factory to view candy manufacturing up close and personal and to investigate old candy manufacturing equipment. Treat yourself to a sweet before you leave. Our very own Springwater Museum is another wonderful way to spend part of your day. New events and displays are always making an appearance. Check out their website to see up and coming features. For the true artist, Fergusonvale Pottery offers lessons courtesy of Ken Loverock, a potter with 30 years experience in wheel thrown pieces. The facility is located at 1010 Flos Rd. 4 W. in Phelpston. Register online for February 2023 classes. One often overlooked resource is the neighbourhood library. Springwater has locations in Midhurst, Elmvale and Minesing. In addition to being able to check out a wide range of books and electronic materials, these libraries also offer book clubs and arts and crafts activities. Lastly, don’t forget the local YMCA (our closest is located in Wasaga) that offers programs and free indoor open swims.
Winter, like it or not, is a fact of Canadian life. Hopefully, some of you will take heart in knowing there are more options beyond adding to the hibernating hermits population.
Bearbells by Leslie Noonan
So it has happened, I have reached that loathed milestone of half a century. I have never dreaded this birthday as some do, but I was certainly not looking to embrace it either. That would be like looking forward to embracing smelly monkeys, or a group of zombies. No thank you. I have reached that age where my brain is saying that I am still as young as I was when I got married, while my mirror throws back sarcastic comments about the newest wrinkle. It is with disgust that I find out that you can be fifty and watch a new wrinkle form right next to a small pimple. Sigh. I had planned on facing this newest year of my life with the mantra “fabulous and fifty”, but I realized I just don’t have the energy for that kind of enthusiasm. Fifty and flatulent, sure; fifty and flabby, umm, in certain places, but fifty and fabulous? I am told that it is all in your attitude. Well, my attitude would be throwing lots of “f” words out, but not the ones I can use here, only when driving and people forget what their car signal lights are for.
I am not afraid of those wrinkles, though those pimples can seriously return to the teased hair and Duran Duran days of my misbegotten youth, which I must say was a really fun time to live in (I regret nothing, except maybe leg warmers). My face looks older than I would like, with age spots, wrinkles, and lines. Yet, I earned each of those lines and spots. As a seventies and eighties child we did not use sunscreen, instead it was baby oil on the skin and lemon juice in the hair. In my twenties I spent all my time outside; roller blading, rock climbing, cycling and swimming in the lake. By my thirties I was hiking and biking and had no thought of using sun screen though I knew I should. Enter my forties and the lines and spots started appearing. I finally grew up and now use sunscreen and wear a hat, but lets be honest, the damage is done. And I am ok with that because I have spent my first fifty years living and not obsessed with how my eyebrows are shaped. Though if that is your thing, well, you do you, just make sure you wear sunscreen.
I spent my fiftieth birthday exactly the way I like it. The daytime temperatures were hovering around zero and the sun was so warm I left my coat open. I headed out on a trail that no one had been on in a while, as I was the first to leave footprints in the brittle snow covering. The sunlight glinted off the ice-covered trees and as the light reflected through the branches, it felt as though the forest was covered in chandeliers. The ice fell through the branches with a tinkling sound, as though I was walking though a forest of silver chimes, or a wall of broken glass. Stay positive Leslie, so chimes it is! I love my time alone in the bush and my time on multi-day solo hikes in the back country. Yet, my hips ache even with the best sleep mat, and my knees are starting to creak and groan (wait, that is me groaning) with my longer hikes. It maybe time to admit that I might not get to do all those great solo back country trips that I wanted, and instead I will have to do Canadian and European solo treks with a hotel to stay in every night. I am sad to potentially give up my solitude and crappie camp food, but it is ok to let go of some dreams and make new ones. After all, I plan of making the next fifty years even better than the first fifty! Cheers everyone!