Friday, February 28, 2014


Photo from
I remember the first time I went to Dr. Gererosity. Rob and I went for dinner, and I was really nervous because it was the first non-chain restaurant he'd been to with me. I needn't worry, we both had a great meal and it quickly became a regular spot for us. We've enjoyed brunch, lunch and dinner there many times over the years.

When they opened I was still involved with a women's social club I founded, and had a few events there for the club. After I parted ways with the club it remained a gathering place for my girlfriends, and we've celebrated many of my birthdays and other occasions there over the past ten years.

When you're going to a place as regularly as I was going here, you get to know the people who work there. The owners, Cary and Julia, always went over and above when I organized events there for the club, and going there for a meal was like visiting friends, with the wonderful wait staff they employed.

When I found out they were closing, I was shocked and saddened. The place was always busy, and it wasn't unusual to find a line out the door on the weekends to get in for their popular weekend brunch.

Their last day was last Sunday.  I had plans to go with a few girlfriends last Friday for dinner, but illness kept me home. They went and had a wonderful evening and a delicious meal. Thankfully, I was feeling better on Saturday, and I went for a last meal with Rob. We went for a late lunch/early dinner. I'm really glad we went at that time, because their were only 3 other customers in the restaurant, though the place was fully booked for the evening and Sunday. We got to talk to everyone, say thank you, and goodbye. I was happy to find out the owners had decided to sell for good reasons, and were happy.

The restaurant was bought by the one next door, and will be reopening under a new name in a little over a month. I, of course, will be going to check it out, they got some big shoes to fill, and I'm hoping to see some of the waitstaff that greeted us at Dr.G's.

Our last meal there was delicious, as always, but it was a bitter sweet moment when we left for the last time.

Here are a few pics from our "last supper" at Dr. G's, as it quickly became known as with my group of friends.

*sniff, sniff*
The bar.
We had our last meal in the high booth, same spot we had our first.
Rob's last bowl of Mushroom Cheddar Chowder, one of his favs.
My last meal, Penne a la Vodka with Smoked Salmon.
Candies came with the bill, Rob loved the green ones.
I always grabbed a few jellybeans off the bar when we left.
I wish Cary, Julia, Karen and all the waitstaff that I got to know over the past ten years all the best. Thank you for the food and the memories.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014


A female Varied Thrush in Guelph, Ontario.
 One of the things I love about birding is the fact that there is always new stuff to learn, not just new birds to see. Like birding terms for example, who knew there was a whole other vocabulary out there for us birders?!

Rob and I twitched this past Sunday, and we dipped as well. Confused? Let me explain. Here are a  few definitions of birding terms.

Twitchv. To seek out a previously reported rare bird, generally traveling long distances to do so. Related forms: Twitching, verb. Twitcher, noun, one who twitches.

Dip - 1) v. To travel to attempt to see a previously reported rare bird and fail to see it. 2) n. The actual bird that one has missed.   Related forms: Dipped, verb.

Life List - n. A list of every species of bird an individual birder has ever seen, or heard, in the world. See also Lifer

Reports of a Varied Thrush in Guelph, Ontario had us all twitchy to go see it, and we did this past Sunday. Our birder friend, Dave, joined us, even though he had made the trip to see it the day before. He's twitchier than us. While we were there, other birding friends, Jim and Lynda arrived as well. They were twitchy too!  

She flew up to the crab apple tree four times to eat in the 45 minutes we visited.

As you can see from the map below, borrowed from the All About Birds website, this Varied Thrush was far away from her usual range. It was a real gift to see her. She had lots of food and shelter where she was, and I hope this fairs her well.

  Rob and I have only really "twitched" four times in the years we've been birding, and we're two for two. We dipped on a Smew, and Thick-billed King Bird, but we were able to add a Western Grebe and this Varied Thrush to our life lists, thanks to their visits. 

We were hoping to see an owl or two on our Sunday outing as well, but we dipped. This doesn't happen to us often, as we usually don't have a particular bird in mind when we go out birding. No matter, we still had a good time.

Wonder what rarity will make us twitch next?!

Friday, February 14, 2014


The snow was pretty deep this trip!
Last weekend we had our 3rd annual winter trip with our friends, Jim and Lynda up to Algonquin Park. We all love Algonquin Park and every season offers something different. For me, the winter trip is all about seeing the Gray Jays.

The beautiful Gray Jay on one of the many trails.
 We also saw lots of great birds at the visitor centre feeders.

Male Purple Finch.
Evening Grosbeaks. 
It was fun to watch this Ruffed Grouse waddle in for some seed.
We saw more Blue Jays in the park this trip then ever before, both at the visitor centre and on the trails.
Loud, but I love em!
Hand feeding a Chickadee - instant smile!
Algonquin Park is the only place we have ever seen Gray Jays.
This little guy was waiting for us on Spruce Bog Trail.
There always seems to be that one memorable moment on every trip with Jim and Lynda. That moment that will come to my mind first in the years to come when I think back on the trip. This year it was a Gray Jay Snow Angel and the laughter that happened after.

We were on the back part of the Mizzy Lake trail and were headed back to the van to call it a day, when out of the blue a small group of Gray Jays arrived and were quite willing to take peanuts from our hands. One of them flew down into the snow, I think he thought he could land on it. It happened so fast  that no one got a picture of how beautiful he looked with his wings spread out in the snow, but we all saw it. After he flew away I noticed the outline of his feathers in the snow, natures artwork at it's finest.

It was difficult to get a picture of, but if you look close you can see the outline of his wing and tail feathers.

Gray Jay Snow Angel.
I of course wanted to get a closer look and stepped off the path, bad idea! The snow was up past my knees!
After Jim stopped laughing at me, he did help me out of the snow.
The Gray Jay looks on in amusement.
 It was a memorable way to end another great outing in Algonquin Park!

You can check out our first winter Algonquin trip by clicking here, and last years trip here.

Monday, February 10, 2014


Me with "Nova", a 4 year old male Peregrine Falcon.  
Rob and I both took this past Friday off work so we could volunteer with the Canadian Peregrine Foundation at the Toronto Sportmen's Show. The first time we did this was in 2011, and it is just as thrilling now, as it was then to be so close to these amazing birds. It's also fun to be able to share information with the public about birds and raptors, and you hear a lot of interesting stories as well.

I got to give "Tigwaq", a first year male Snowy Owl a shower!

Giving "Tigwaq" or "Tig" as we call him a shower.  
He really liked it!
I was enjoying it too!
He'd shake himself off like a dog, it was adorable to witness.
  Rob has a "mad crush" on CPF's European Eagle Owl, "Boo", and was quite happy to give him a little shower. All the birds really do enjoy it, except "Seamus", their Barn Owl, he prefers to bathe in private.
Rob giving Boo his shower.
His ear tufts looped over due to the water, he looked extra funny for a while.
Nova checking Rob out. This was the first time either of us had held one of the Peregrine Falcons.
Rob educating the public, who look on in awe.
The CPF booth was very popular with the public.
Nova peeking over my shoulder.
 Rob and I feel very lucky to be able to get up close and personal with so many amazing raptors.

You can learn more about the Canadian Peregrine Foundation and their educational programs by clicking here.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014


Our snowy backyard this afternoon.
In the almost 25 years I have lived in Toronto, I do not remember a winter like this. It's been colder and snowier than I ever remember. It reminds me of my childhood growing up in Nova Scotia, minus the "snow days" from school.

I enjoy winter, but even I will admit I am looking forward to the arrival of Spring. The trees budding, the flowers poking through the ground and the birds nesting. So much to look forward to! Keep the faith, Spring will come.  

Dreaming of these days to come.