A few weeks ago, our sun had a few sunspots. Probably bigger than a few times the size of Earth. For ages, people have thought that there was nothing bigger than earth. Travelling the surface of the planet took like, forever. Then came the notion of the speed of light and the relative speed of the light from the sun to the earth. Eight minutes is what it takes for a photon to erupt from the surface of the sun and reach the earth.

Our sun

Galileo, who first opined that the earth turned around the sun, lost most of his eyesight to the search of sunspots. Spots barely bigger than a pinpoint on a sheet of paper in a dark room. Yet he found them and described them. He paid for his discovery with the loss of his eyesight.

It’s that time of the year again. Hummingbirds are everywhere. Well, mostly in places where they have something to eat/drink. My yard is a no-go place for them with my cat trying to catch anything that flies. Due to her weight, she fails most of the time, but I wouldn’t want to take a risk with birds. Hummingbirds. Everybody on social media posts about them now.

Ruby throated hummingbird

My first hummingbird sighting was in the Caribbean, a long time ago. And even I only got a glimpse of a silhouette of the little thing. It did get me excited to want to see more.

Lake Winnipeg. A lake half the size of the country of The Netherlands. Or roughly 80% of Belgium. It is big enough to have a semblance of tides. Small enough to be called a lake. Dubbed an “Inland Ocean”. Many people may ask themselves if a water surface this vast will freeze in the “horrible” Canadian Winter.

Summer storms on the shore

Yep, it absolutely freezes over. With ice thick enough to hold cars and trucks without a problem. In summer it is a very attractive place to spend a lazy summer afternoon, in and around the water. So let’s go and have a look at Lake Winnipeg around the year.

When I was a kid, going to “the park” meant a ten mile walk, feed the ducks walk around a bit and then take the ten mile walk back home. It seemed that “the park” was always far away and only held ducks as entertainment. Later I was aware that there was also a library, and the ten mile walk had become a two mile walk instead. A few years after that revelation, by bicycle, the walk was replaced with a five minute ride.

Day’s end at the beach

However, the entertainment of the ducks remained, along with the occasional drunk falling in to the water. That happened only once. Ducks had never interested me, so when I was told for the first time here in Canada that we would go to “the park” for a great day out, I was kinda skeptic.

However much your job is giving you what you need, you will want a change in scenery from time to time. Sometimes a weekend away from the house and the office will do the trick. This time it was my turn to get away from the hustle and bustle of the job and get off the grid. Well, get off most of the grid. There were still roads where we went but all the rest was “off”.

Sunset

We were going to a quiet place called Manigotagan, up north into Manitoba. Once, this was a place of great activity. Trees were being felled, pulp and paper mills were nearby and the area had a 365 day per year activity rate. Today, that has changed.