Stand and Listen - theHumm April 2020
Stand and Listen - theHumm April 2020
By Glenda Jones
We call our oldest Sheltie “Miss Clockhead”. At precisely 6:35am she starts making little squeaky noises that indicate she is ready to start her day, and we should be as well. The other two are still sound asleep when Bonnie starts this morning ritual. If the squeaks don’t get our attention, she will chase her tail until she falls over. We were looking forward to the time change, thinking naively that we’d get an extra hour of sleep since it would still be relatively dark. We got exactly three mornings of reprieve until she sorted out the schedule for us again. Smart dog, eh?
So there I am at 6:45, trudging out to get the paper while three dogs investigate the tracks of whatever crossed the yard in the night. Mercifully for us and our neighbours, this is the one time of the day when they are silent. I can stand in the middle of our road and simply drink in the solitude, the rising sun, and the songbirds. It’s a spring symphony of chickadees and the occasional crow that are most prevalent. But then comes that glorious morning when a robin is singing.
The first robin song is actually a complaint that we aren’t closer to warm weather, that here she’s returned to icicles on the branches and snow covering the worms, and really, couldn’t we have accommodated returning robins a little better than that? (I believe this is the same song sung by “snowbirds” returning from the southern climes right now as well.) We protect our sumac shrubs so that the robin has some needed sweets. I don’t know how they find them, but my favourite sight is a robin clinging to that old candle on the sumac while a squirrel objects. All fun and games in the back yard!
The second song I want to hear is the redwing blackbird, and that one came yesterday. O-Kee-ree!! Loud and clear. There was the male staking out his territory, knowing the females will be along in a couple of weeks just about the time the ice goes off the pond and the reeds start appearing as bright green shoots.
The robin’s tune has changed to one of good cheer now that we’re past the middle of March, and I believe the female found a worm near the house where the frost is out of the ground. The chickadees are well into their spring maple song, a beautiful harbinger of good times ahead. The crows are sitting high in the poplar trees, preening feathers in the sunshine.
If I look way up I see the maple buds are fully out and red, while the poplars have thick woolly catkins hanging. We have a pussy willow bush down the road, and I think a few branches of that would be welcome.
Before long there will be the final movement to the spring concerto when the spring peepers start to sing. I’ll hear them late at night — only one, then a few, and finally a whole chorus. That’s the time to sleep with the windows open and relish soft spring breezes alive with song.
We simply need to stand and listen. And for sure we’ll hear it: the melting of winter, and the beginning of spring. You can almost hear the earth rustling awake and stretching before the appearance of daffodils and dandelions. It can’t happen too soon!
By Kris Riendeau
In an article entitled “Covid-19 Cannot Harm Your Gifts!”, Bruce Anderson of the Core Gift Institute coregift.org writes: “…what is undeniable is that you have come into this world with gifts, and you will leave this world with those gifts, having given them along the way. Gifts form an essential part of our passion and purpose, and give us a lifetime of opportunity for finding our true identify and offering who we are to the world.“But, in times o......
Humming On in Uncertain Times - theHumm April 2020
By Kris and Rob Riendeau
Welcome to the first-ever online-only issue of theHumm. Back in mid-March as we were starting to put this issue together, we began to get emails from event organizers. They were watching the developing situation worldwide and locally, and were letting us know that they might have to cancel or postpone their events. It’s hard to believe that that was only three weeks ago. As a publication whose mission is to connect people through promoting community events, we made the difficult decision to not publis......
By John Pigeau
In her profoundly moving memoir “This Is Happy”, Camilla Gibb wrote: “We are the storytelling animal; our stories are what make us human.” Indeed. Books bring us solace and pleasure in difficult times. Some help us escape to exotic and faraway lands, while others generously introduce us to different cultures. Books rinse our minds of the mundane, offering us instead adventure and intrigue, beauty and laughter, and meaningful insights too.
Books remind us, even in the best of times, th......
By Meriah Caswell
The Carleton Place Public Library closed its doors to the public at 5:30pm on Friday, March 13, without knowing when they would reopen.
The previous day I had been naively trying to convince my staff and colleagues that with increased sanitation measures and enforced social distancing, libraries could remain open to serve our communities.
When I received the news that the library would have to close, there was an immediate whirlwind of activity. Library staff franti......
In-Between Days - theHumm April 2020
By Angie Arendt
Not long ago I was curled up on the couch in the livingroom with a copy of “Discover Canada” in hand, asking and answering questions Jeopardy-style while studying for my upcoming citizenship test. Who is Sir John A. MacDonald? What is the Order of Canada? What is July 1, 1867? I’m an out-loud processor, much to the delight (and chagrin) of everyone in the house.
So Canada has been on my mind for a while now, the excitement building about replacing my permanent residence card with a passport one d......
Just a Bunch of Country Kids! - theHumm April 2020
By Sarah Kerr
Okay parents, here we are in April after an extended three-week March Break. We now understand that this was just a training camp for our new homeschooling reality, to keep our kids and communities safe. All I have to say is, let’s thank the heavens we’re in the Valley, so we can “go country”!
Now, what does that mean? Getting back to our farming roots with our kids of course! Our family has taken this a little far and are renovating our neighbours’ old bunny hutch into a fancy new chicken coop......
By Jeff Mills
Remember the ice storm? We all have our stories, don’t we? Neighbours helping neighbours in every way possible. I remember driving a neighbour to my parent’s house so she could shower. We in the country were without power, so no pump and no hot water. My parents were in town, and but for one short interruption of power, they really weren’t affected. Although this weather event was a time of great inconvenience for some, those days of neighbours getting closer and helping neighbours are now seen as a period of great community building. We all have our stories. It almost sounds romantic in ......
The Power of Tech Shabbats - theHumm April 2020
By Kris Riendeau
Back when COVID-19 was just a gleam on the social media horizon, Rob and I listened to an intriguing podcast while delivering the February issue of theHumm. Presented by The Long Now Foundation, it featured author and life-long techie Tiffany Shlain talking about her new book “24/6: The Power of Unplugging One Day A Week” blog.longnow.org/02020/02/03/podcast-24-6-th......
Stand and Listen - theHumm April 2020
By Glenda Jones
We call our oldest Sheltie “Miss Clockhead”. At precisely 6:35am she starts making little squeaky noises that indicate she is ready to start her day, and we should be as well. The other two are still sound asleep when Bonnie starts this morning ritual. If the squeaks don’t get our attention, she will chase her tail until she falls over. We were looking forward to the time change, thinking naively that we’d get an extra hour of sleep since it would still be relatively dark. ......
Back in early March, over 100 Lanark residents attended a day-long workshop to plan deep climate action for our community. This Climate Action Where We Live workshop was organized by the Climate Action Network.
“We originally booked a hall that would hold 60, but within days of opening up registration we were at 80 and so had to find another venue,” says Gord Harrison, one of the event organizers. “We finally capped the numbers at 115, with a waiting list… It’s very hearteni......
The Music Will Keep Playing - theHumm April 2020
By Tony Stuart
These are definitely interesting, challenging, and frightening times. I don’t think anyone expected to see society shut down the way it has. This shutdown is having profound implications for all of us, and I hope that all of you who are reading this are able to stay healthy and keep your spirits up.
Obviously, I have been particularly aware of how social distancing and self-isolation has affected musicians. We have seen all of our gigs completely dry up, with no end in immediate sig......
Updates from Area Museums - theHumm April 2020
By Jennifer Irwin and Michael RikleyLancaster
Most years, local museums begin fundraising in earnest with the return of spring. This year they are having to cancel or postpone events and close their doors, so they are reaching out to patrons and community members for support. Here are some updates that were sent in response to theHumm’s recent query.
The Carleton Place & Beckwith Historical Society and the Museum are thankful for the ongoing support of The Town of Carleton Place and of Beckwith Township; however, March and April are traditio......
By David Hinks
“Not bad for a guy that knows nothing about growing.”
I am standing in the midst of hundreds of gorgeous heads of buttercrunch and romaine lettuce chatting with a very modest Rob Lyle. Rob is the owner of a modern looking high-tech greenhouse on the north side of March Road east of Almonte, just a stone’s throw from the border with Ottawa.
Rob is a relative newcomer to the world of horticulture, having worked in the banking system as an investment manager for 27 years. He lost interest in tha......
Mandatory Mindfulness! - theHumm April 2020
By Helen Antebi
To quell COVID-19 and do our part to support health care workers, not to mention our families, friends and our communities, there is one skill we must acquire if we have not already.
The skill or art (depending on your approach), of mindfulness has been “trending” now for some time. Maybe there was a reason. Virtually overnight we have had to become acutely aware of our environments, the contact — or rather the distance — we have from others, the way ......
Art… and Soul… and Social Distancing… and Advice on How to Cope from Valley Artist Valerie Fulford - theHumm April 2020
By Sally Hansen
Over twenty years ago theHumm appeared on the scene to promote the arts in the Ottawa Valley. April 2020 is our first non-appearance on your newsstands and at your local businesses and libraries since then. We, like the artists and arts-related businesses and events we publicize, are struggling to survive in the short term and to figure out how to revive and thrive in the future.
These are extremely challenging times. Humans dislike uncertainty and right now there are more than 7.7 billion pe......
Time for Takeout! - theHumm April 2020
By Sebastian Weetabix
Weetabix has long been of the view that food matters are well within the editorial mandate of theHumm (food combines art, entertainment and ideas!), but there is a key difference which is one of urgency. The famous aphorism of Rene Descartes “I think therefore I am” should perhaps be restated to “I eat therefore I am” since clearly if one does not eat, soon one is not. On the contrary side we have all experienced too many examples of those who do not think and yet clearly, they are. COVID-19 pres......
May 1 - 31 Exhibition: Jeweller Anne-Marie Chagnon
May 2 - Jun 20 Exhibition: Visible Mending
May 21 John Wilberforce
May 21 Spring Makers' Market
May 22 - Sep 5 Head Over Heels
May 23 The Co-conspirators
May 24 - Sep 6 Eric Uren
May 26 Greg Ball
May 27 - 28 Carole King/James Taylor Tribute Dinner+Show
May 27 Rag Bag Cabaret
- Patrick John Mills — An Artist to Look Up To
- Perth’s First AnnualShort Film Festival
- Return of the Rag Bag Cabaret!
- This Year, Next Yearat Studio Theatre
- TNIM PresentsDrinking Habits
- Art in the Attic — Close to Home
- Vintage Market Trunk Sale at MERA
- Summer Fun that’s Good for Your CV
- Classical Concert for Refugee Resettlement
- Catch the Blues Bossat The Cove Inn