Spring is finally here. I know, it’s April, so you think I wrote this a month ago, but no, I didn’t. It’s been a cool spring — just what the Farmer’s Almanac said it would be, apparently — but it is really starting to get nice out now.*
As temperatures rise, one’s mind wanders to things of spring… the birds and the bees… snow transforming into mud puddles in that miraculous way it does each year… waxing poetical in blog posts…
Seriously, let’s talk about the birds and the bees. If you are teaching your children about them, are you really talking about how the males chase the females around, and how the males have all the pretty plumage (generally) to attract the females. The females choose their mate, according to the experts, by the colour of their feathers and display the males make. Some birds, mind you, mate for life, but I suppose the initial selection is done by plumage. And then what do you say when little Suzie asks “Mommy, what’s ‘mating?'” 😛
What about the bees? How would you explain to your child that the female bee has thousands of slave drone bees — all male — in her service? Their job is to collect food for the colony, and in particular, for her. She lays hundreds of eggs in time, all thanks to her slaves. I wonder if that’s why some little girls are “princesses…” They are practicing to be queens.
Hmm… I’m not sure how that all relates to men and women, culture and reproduction. You’ll have to excuse me; clearly, I’m feeling cheeky today! So, are men supposed to dance around and impress the women, in particular with their fancy clothes and groovy moves, as it is the world of birds? The female birds do the judging by appearances, contrary to our society where it is the males. I would love to see that reversed — it would be hilarious to see men primping in front of mirrors, painting their faces and wearing flashy clothes to get the attention of the women!
As for the bees, I don’t see how that would ever work. Thousands of men, working for one woman, without ever a hope of getting any, ahem, action with her… I just can’t see that working. Maybe, if they can keep a hope that they might be the chosen one…
Even though we joke about spring being the time for reproduction, it’s interesting to note that most children are conceived in the fall, when temperatures drop and men and women everywhere huddle together for warmth. Spring is the time we shed clothes and let our skin feel the sun, which I suppose leads to other sorts of activities of the huddling variety.
So there you go. Spring is in the air! Be careful, folks.
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By the way, I have seen some new birds around — another sure sign of spring! A woodpecker flew by the window (I didn’t get a really good look at him to say what kind), and I saw a small flock of cedar waxwings last time I went snowshoeing. 🙂 There are also lots of snow buntings.
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*After writing this, it has snowed, rained, sleeted, the wind started howling, and the snow is now coming down sideways. Oh, well. Maybe we’ll just skip spring and go straight to summer…
It’s hard to believe it’s been over a month since I came off the water from the York boat expedition. Time flies! I’ve been wanting to blog about it for weeks, but the trip was so amazing, it is difficult to put into words. I spent a couple of days after it was over at home, barely even aware of where I was, I was daydreaming so much. I was continually slipping away into the past, remembering things that happened on the boat.
All of us on the crew got along amazingly well, and we’ve formed such strong friendships. We were each other’s only friends, family, soul mates and work mates for 18 days — two days longer for the crew members who helped prepare beforehand. It was a bit of an adjustment getting used to having other people around, and although we did have people visit us along the way, we ate, worked, joked, and slept together all the time, so we became very connected. Some of it was the phenomena of bonding in a crisis, but most of it was simply kindred spirits living in pure friendship and adventure.
So, as always, life goes on. Everyone went back to their old jobs, or started new ones, and I’m back at juggling multiple projects, running my business, and volunteering. Ideas abound — some relating to the use of the York boat and some unrelated — and I am trying to decide which ones to follow up on and which to leave alone for now. Some times it’s tricky living in the present, because I still wish I could go back to those fun, inspiring times.
I will leave you with a few pictures of our trip! There are plenty more on the Flow North blog – York Boat Photo of the Day! Enjoy!
We are having the most amazing indian summer here right now, and I hate to be stuck at the computer – or at work, and of course I am working 10 days in a row! – because all I want to do is be outside! The leaves are starting to change colours, and it’s been so nice and warm (reaching 25 degrees C the last few days), I just feel like it’s the last chance of the year to enjoy summer! Darren and I went paddling on Sunday morning, which was awesome, but I would love to go every day. 🙂
But no, I’m stuck at the keyboard, researching, writing, figuring, designing… And what have I been steadily working on for the last couple of weeks (hence not much blogging)? My paddling business! That’s right, I am starting my own business, which I’m naming Flow North Paddling Company. After deciding on the name, I designed the logo (see below) and I’m currently working on the webpage. My plan was to start this up next spring, but a couple of weeks ago I realized that it would be best to have a booth at the Trade Show to promote it now, even if everything’s not quite ready, just to let people know that I’ll be starting up in spring. But man, it’s been an accelerated path, trying to get everything done. Big sign ordered – check. Business cards being printed – check. Plan for the booth? Working on it…
So what made me want to start my own paddling company, you might be asking! I often hear people say that we have such nice rivers and great wilderness, but no one’s doing anything to promote it. Since I love paddling and think it would be awesome to be paid to do that, I decided to go for it. Through Flow North, you’ll be able to rent a canoe or kayak(s), go out on a river or lake for a day, or a week, and see the amazing scenery around here. Lots of wildlife, too, and not just bears! Everyone thinks of bears – usually in fear – but forgets the beavers, birds, geese, ducks, moose, deer, even elk and bison. I love paddling and just wanted to share that love and make it possible for people to get out there and enjoy the water. Local people can just rent the boat (and paddle, bailer, PFD if needed, and whistle) and put it on their own vehicle and go for the day, or I can meet tourists at a spot along a river with the boats and all the supplies they’ll need for a 2 week trip! I get so excited thinking about it! I’m researching dried foods that taste yummy and are filling. I’m looking at maps and calculating distances on rivers. I’ve been contemplating marketing and practical things, like where I’ll store the boats. And I decided early on that I wouldn’t get into guided trips, because a) I don’t feel like an uber-qualified paddle master, and b) none of the water around here is particularly tricky, as long as you’ve been in a canoe or kayak before. If not, you can come a day early and get a quick course and away you go. I want to review safety things with people, but don’t feel I need to physically go with every group. Especially if I give each overnight group a SPOT GPS device! They are so cool! All you do is press the “I’m ok” button and it transmits to a satellite which relays the message to whoever you set up as your contacts, so your friends or family can track where you are. If you need help, you press “help” and if you need 9-1-1 rescue, there’s a button for that too. So, that makes me feel a LOT better about paddling in the middle of nowhere (just south of it, actually) and sending boat renters out onto these great wilderness rivers.
So I had it all pretty much figured out. Renting, outfitting, no guiding. And then, one day driving home from work, I had a real brainwave! Why not offer a buddy service to single women who want to paddle! I remember being single and wanting to do things… and sometimes trying to find someone to go along, and sometimes just going by myself because there was no one to go with. Usually, I would have preferred to have someone to go with, and for people who are nervous about being in the bush (in bear country), I can go along and offer support! I will make it clear I’m no fancy qualified guide, although I will take wilderness first aid and some other courses, but I’m willing and able to offer my experience paddling and camping, and company in general. Being in the bush by oneself is a little spooky, I know. So now I’m uber-excited about this business and the adventures that will follow! You know me, I’m all about the adventures!
To summarize, through my company, you’ll be able to:
- rent a boat (for a day, or a few days, or a week or a few weeks)
- get dropped off at the beginning and picked up at the end of your trip (important for river paddling!)
- use a SPOT GPS to let others know where you are and, in the worst case scenario, if you need help
- rent supplies like cooking stoves or tents if you need them
- order meal supplies, packed and ready for your trip, with cooking instructions included! (And most of it will be homemade.)
- take me along on a trip if you’re all alone and nervous about wilderness paddling! (Women only, sorry guys.)
Isn’t that great?!? I am so excited about it (perhaps you can tell!), and I know I’m really going to enjoy doing this! I have a few crazy ideas for marketing, and hope to connect with Europeans who want to explore Canada. More on that another time. But anyways, I’ll announce my webpage when it’s ready (should have something by Friday, in time for the Trade Show). Ack! I have a lot of work to do!
Please, even if you’ve never done so before, leave a comment and let me know what you think of my idea! I’m looking for input, ideas, feedback, whatever! Thanks!