The Garden of the Aga Khan Museum in Toronto

While in Toronto in June we got to see the new Aga Khan Museum, which had opened just the previous September. The museum is a showcase of Islamic art and culture from around the world.


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November’s Wild Mood Swing

On Friday and Saturday Chicago got the biggest November snow storm in 120 years. Which is strange, because for about three weeks November had been doodling along acting like a nice October. Then suddenly there’s a wild mood swing and it feels like we’re in January.


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An Elevated Toronto Garden

OK then, let’s visit another of the gardens included in the Toronto Garden Bloggers Fling. This one was located on a bluff near Lake Ontario, northeast of downtown.

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Book Review: Drawn Together, Blown Apart

The recent atrocities in Paris, Beirut, and Baghdad brought to mind two novels I read a couple of years ago: Shalimar the Clown, by Salman Rushdie; and Birds Without Wings, by Louis de Bernières. Both books are about fictional small towns that contain people of different ethnicities and religions.


These stories are separated by decades and by thousands of miles. However, they both start with communities that enjoy a harmony that, while imperfect, allows for occasional friendship, love, even intermarriage across religious and ethnic lines . It also allows a subtle blurring of the distinctions between the two groups.

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A Secluded Shade Garden in Toronto

Here’s another garden we got to visit in the Forest Hill section of Toronto. Again, remember that this is early June.

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A Verdant Toronto Garden

Now seems like a good time to revisit the wonderful Toronto Garden Bloggers Fling, held in early June.

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Piet Oudolf Goes to Burger King

OK, maybe Piet Oudolf didn’t design the landscaping around my local Burger King.


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Those Dazzling November Days

In the normal course of events, November is one of the two most dismal months of the year. At least, in my part of the world. An inky blackness falls by 5 PM, the leaves are dead, and a penetrating chill is in the air. (The other most dismal month is February.)

This photo was taken on November 10, 2014.
This photo was taken on November 10, 2014.

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An Excursion to Annapolis

While visiting our friends in Maryland we also made an excursion to Annapolis, a small city of 40,000 on the Chesapeake Bay. Annapolis is the state capital and quite old by American standards, having been founded in 1649.

Maryland’s state Capitol.

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The Gettysburg National Military Park

On our second day visiting friends near Baltimore, we visited the battlefield at Gettysburg, which sprawls over a large area of fields, woods, and hills in southeast Pennsylvania. Pretty much the whole thing is included in the National Military Park.


It was a warm October day, though fairly overcast. We drove through the suburbs of Baltimore, then Pennsylvania farmland.

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