Wetlands in Prince Edward County Bird Sanctuary (lm)

Leaving your country of birth to live elsewhere is complex and fraught with difficulties one could never foresee. I cannot even begin to fathom the resilience and strength of a soul who travels from an entirely disparate culture, often without the benefit of language or money or family, to leave behind the despair of their homeland. Some travel long distances by foot or leaky boat, some never to make it and others to be turned back at the border. My story has no comparisons to such hardship and heartbreak. But once feet are planted on foreign soil, bureaucracy is bureaucracy…


Spring Migration — it’s a turn on

We locked eyes. It was the first time in ages a male made me feel so happy, so encouraged, so… excited. The birds have returned, the once songless mornings belonging to a different season. This island’s situation on eastern Lake Ontario makes it one of the most prolific birding areas globally, with more than 350 species of birds recognized during spring and fall migrations. But it was the osprey’s return I’d most eagerly anticipated.

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Osprey (Pandion haliaetus) are the second most widely distributed raptor species (after the peregrine falcon). Their diet mainly…


Stick bug, Prince Edward County (lm)

As any hoarder worth their weight in accumulated chattels will understand, one should always have several dozen eggs in the fridge at any given moment. Every Friday morning, we retrieve eggs and honey from a small family farm’s porch on another finger of the lake. They have a tiny on-your-honor stand, which sells out earlier and earlier as the days get warmer and warmer, summer residents opening their houses and day-trippers making the trek from Ottawa or Toronto. Now sailing the outer islands of middle age, the pair moved from British Columbia with their children several years ago, building out…


The smallest among us, Prince Edward County (lm)

I’d forgotten about spring. The seasons are gentle in California, their delicate passing almost an afterthought, marked by citrus, rains, mustard, and fog. Like an inexperienced lover, Canada’s seasons are short, hard, and brutish; their unmistakable presence time-stamped the very second they arrive. And just when I’m beginning to understand the unique proclivities of a season, bathing in all of its deliciousness and grasping how best to battle its inconveniences, I’m jolted into the next. One needs a lifetime of winters and springs to understand our seasonal negotiations and alliances with Nature.

As if overnight, snows melted and seemingly dead…


Second False Spring

Spring Daffodils (lm)

They travel solo, their enormous black bodies hauled about on long, protruding legs, wispy, inquiring antennae wagging like a Labrador’s tail. One by one they come, casing a burgeoning collection of local honeys and maple syrups stacked on a shelf in the kitchen window above the sink. Cleaning up from yet another fucking meal cooked en quarantine, they provide as much spectacle as the birds of prey outside. The constant Canadian spring rains drive the ants inside to skirt jars and bottles furtively, their work like strides confident, curious. Often they’re left alone, or perhaps even tossed…


Back road, Prince Edward County, Ontario (lm)

Friends in Europe have fallen ill. Without a test, now difficult to obtain, they won’t know if it’s Covid or some other malady. There’s so much unknown. Northern Italy has become the Covid epicenter, with hospitals setting up makeshift morgues and coffin makers working overtime. Church bells mark the dead without pause, time not yet providing the adequate quiet to reflect on the virus’ ravaging reverberations, to hear its global echo.

From reading more scientific, less screamy writings, we’re only seeing the beginning of this. There’s talk of loosening the restrictions in the US, ridiculously not in effect nationally because…


Farm in winter, Canada by LM

Shelter in place. It’s like we’re in a slow-moving disaster movie, the type of numbing horror shown on Boston’s Creature Double Features on Saturday afternoons. Now I know the numb is fear in overdrive. It’s been a frightfully long go. And this has just begun, surely to linger, leaving our lives forever altered. In the blink of an eye. Or, in this case, a cough from the throat. Still, I wake in the morning joyful, excited, grateful, looking forward to … but then I remember. And like those salmon I was once so keen on catching, I’m gutted. Minutes pass…


Pass The Snowshoes

I would be a different person had I learned to ski. Reared in New England, there were heavily chaperoned school trips to the slopes of New Hampshire, but I was never interested. Always highly attenuated to getting hurt, I avoided dodgeball, chose tennis over lacrosse and heels over climbing boots. From where was that fear rooted?

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Skiing proves mastery of one’s body, complete alignment in the most personal of domaines, with a fearlessness I can’t even fathom. The confidence required to ski at all, forget the highly skilled, lends a year-round swagger to an already fit…

Lisa Minucci

culinary art and antiques maven. sommelier. hunter-gatherer. fisherman. cook. writer. traveler. wanderer.

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