You are currently browsing the September, 2012 archives.

Like I Care

Posted 2012.09.27 13.32 in Life On Drugs, Pointless Blather by Stephanie

Sometimes I wonder if life would be easier if I could just not care. I’m not saying that’s a better way to be, that it’s good to not care. I just wonder if people who go through life not giving a shit sleep easier simply because they don’t care.

Coming Soon to a T-Shirt Near Me

Pics @ Etobicoke Creek

Posted 2012.09.23 23.20 in Hobbies, Photography by Stephanie

I went for a bit of a walk this morning, to have a look at where the local river (the Etobicoke Creek) emerges from a concrete diversion channel and reverts to its natural riverbed.

The diversion channel thingy was built in the 1950’s (if I remember right) as a solution to prevent downtown from flooding every year.

I’ve never really looked closely at it before, though it is not far from my house. The diversion channel thingy is really small and makes the river look like a wee little stream, but it must be deep and it does move fast.

Now I’m curious to go see the other end, where they squeeze the river down into that little concrete channel.

The film was expired Shoppers Drug Mart “EasyPix” brand (made by Fuji I believe), ISO 200. It came out with some interesting colour shifts, kind of an overall pink tone. I’ll have to try and remember to overexpose it by a stop next time to see if that helps.

Shot with my Lomography LC-A+ RL and developed at home in my kitchen sink with my tired old Press Kit colour chemistry – 14 months old and still going strong.

Speaking of Unkillable Trees…

Posted 2012.09.19 14.41 in Pointless Blather, Work by Stephanie

A week or so ago I was walking around the area near the office, when I noticed some trees that looked surprisingly, inexplicably, like olive trees. I knew it was highly unlikely that there were wild olive trees growing near the office, so I had to find out what exactly these were.

I clipped a branch with some of the ‘olive’ fruits and brought it into work for examination.

The fruits, while looking sort of olive like at a distance, look too pale up close. And the texture was all wrong. Though, they did have a single largish pit inside. On the other hand, I’ve read that olives are inedible until they are processed, so what do I know? I’ve never seen a raw fresh-off-the-branch olive, so maybe this is what they are like.

So I did some searching, found some various tree identification forms, but nothing came up with these trees. I realized that all the stuff I was finding, was only discussing native species. Whatever this was – and especially if it was olive – it was not native.

Finally I just did a search on olive trees, and damn if the images that come up don’t look like what I’ve got here. Except…not quite.

Then I figure it out. This is a Russian Olive tree. It is not related in any way to the traditional Greek kind of olive tree. It got its name based on looks alone. (So I do know what an olive tree looks like after all!)

Russian Olive trees are an introduced / invasive species. They thrive in all kinds of conditions, and of course easily tolerate our cold winters. And like my Siberian Elm driveway tree, they are very hard to kill.

After having originally spotted just a couple of these next to the office building, I’m now noticing them all over the place around the office. There must be over a dozen along the bank of the drainage ditch by the office, and a few dozen more along the road. Another dozen around the corner between the service road and the freeway. And even more up by the railway tracks near the freeway overpass.

They’re everywhere!

I have to confess though – I’m sorely tempted to try and transplant one of them, or a cutting, or just bring some of the fruits / seeds home. I’d like a mock-olive tree in my front yard.

An unkillable mock-olive tree, that is.

Snails and Frog

Posted 2012.09.18 10.02 in Aquaria by Stephanie

Zombie Tree Bush

Posted 2012.09.17 8.56 in Life On Drugs by Stephanie

Six or seven years ago, I had this tree pop up on the edge of my driveway, right next to the house.

I remember it sort of started off like a bush, but quickly developed a trunk. It shot up very fast – after one year it was over 10 feet tall. I cut it down.

The next year, it grew back. This time, I didn’t want to cut it down. I was impressed that it had come back, and it grew so fast that I was further impressed by its resilience.

It quickly reached a good size, then it’s upward growth slowed and it grew outwards instead – the trunk and crown getting thicker and heavier. I knew its roots were probably damaging the foundation of my house, and I could see the trunk and limbs were damaging the eaves and roof of my house, but I was still reluctant.

Every time I plant something it dies on me. I had to repsect a tree that grew despite my complete lack of involvement – indeed, it was growing in spite of being cut down! I had to find out what it was, and some research quickly led me to identify it as a Siberian Elm.

(One might note that a web search for Siberian Elm reveals most of the top hits involve questions like “how do I kill it?”)

This past spring though, it finally had to go. The driveway was being done, and they weren’t able to lay asphalt if there was a tree in the way. So my sister and I brought it down. The tree was at least 25 feet tall, and the trunk was over eight inches thick at the base. We counted 5 rings – it was only five years since I had originally cut it down.

My sister and I got it down to a stump about 10 inches tall. Then my neighbor was able to get rid of the stump. Then around April, a few inches of asphalt was put down sealing the whole thing under a hot thick black tarmac grave… or so we thought.

A few days after taking that last picture, I finally did cut it down again. There were roughly two dozen shoots, the largest were as thick as my thumb!

Actually one factor which made me less sad about cutting it down a third time, was the sudden appearance of a whole new tree/shoot. This one is not right up against my house, but out at my front lawn… son of zombie tree! Or Zombie Tree 2: The Rebirth…

Son of Zombie Tree

Contemplative Kitty

Posted 2012.09.16 9.49 in Cats by Stephanie

[Expletive Deleted]

Posted 2012.09.12 10.10 in Work by Stephanie

[loud swearing, angry cursing, gnashing of teeth, stamping of feet.]

[rattling of swords, clutching of straws.]

[fists shaking, stress building]

[blood pressure rising]

[darkness]