Canada Post’s gardenia stamps

Canada Post’s gardenia stamps

Spring is in the air for stamp collectors, courtesy of Canada Post’s gardenia stamp.

Photo of winter storm in Toronto

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Feb 14 gardenia stamps from Canada Post

Permanent stamps just in time for spring

Maybe, but not today. To help break up the winter doldrums and usher in Valentine’s Day, Canada Post is offering a pair of gardenia stamps.

Their annual flower offering doesn’t disappoint. Designed by Andrew Conlon & Lionel Gadoury, with artwork by Chantal Larocque, the stamps offer two views of Cape jasmine gardenias (Gardenia jasminoides).

You can pick them up in many formats, as expected – rolls, FDC, souvenir sheet, singles, strips of four and ten and booklets.

Feb 14 gardenia stamps from Canada Post Souvenir Sheet Feb 14 gardenia stamps from Canada Post Souvenir Sheet
Feb 14 gardenia stamps from Canada Post booklet

Gardenia stamp booklet

They go on sale Valentine’s Day across Canada. If your local post outlet doesn’t have them, you can purchase direct from Canada Post’s online store.

Offerings from the lilacs on our balcony

Offerings from the lilacs on our balcony

To celebrate spring and all things non snow related, I took a stroll to photograph one of my favourite spring blooms, lilacs. It’s a lazy long weekend here in Toronto with the May 24th weekend the first official long weekend of summer. I know it’s not the 24th but no one calls it by the official name – Queen Victoria’s birthday. The holiday is simply referred to as the 2-4 or May 24th.  I doubt half the people in the country even realise it’s a hold-over from Empire days. But death to the politician who entertains the idea of doing away with it.  It’s a grand excuse to enjoy the first days leading into summer, plant gardens with no fear of frost, open up the cottage, and crack open a case of beer. That’s the 2-4 reference by the way. A case of beer holds 24 bottles, QV’s birthday is the 24th – a match made in Canada.

Alright, I cheated, I went out onto the balcony and snagged some shots without putting on shoes.  We’ve been growing a lilac tree for a couple of years now, and it’s beginning to shine.  We thought we’d lost it two years ago. And again, last year it looked sad and forlorn after we moved. But it survived the extreme cold, benign neglect, and a move. During the summer, it shot up and produced a lot of greenery. It has proven to be quite popular with the local sparrow community that flitters about our balcony. We were concerned they may be eyeing it for nesting at one point. Luckily, they opted for a less traveled location.  This spring, it’s honoured us with a bumper crop of purple.  It loves the corner we plopped it in. Here’s the first photo:

Photo of the lilacs blooming on our balcony

Too bad there isn’t scratch and sniff internet.  The scent is intense this year. Can’t get enough of it.

Photo of the lilacs blooming on our balcony

 I leaned over the balcony and debated about getting dressed and actually going out, but nah – it’s the long weekend. Another espresso prop my feet up and say screw it. I’m not budging for the rest of the day. I can look out my window and admire the birds and the blossoms without putting on shoes. 

 

St James Park downtown Toronto

St James Park downtown Toronto

Had a bit of fun last week after an appointment downtown Toronto. I wandered through St James Park near King and Church.  Was one of the first nice spring like days we’ve had so far.  The city gardeners were out in force planting tulips and daffodils.

Photo of St James Park in the spring

Didn’t have a lot of time, but I managed to snag a handful of ok photos. It was nice to see the fuzzy green starting to appear on the bushes.

Photo of bushes showing green leaves - St James Park

We still have a long way to go when it comes to shaking off the winter doldrums. I have to admit, I kind of like this last photo. The framing worked out better than expected. I didn’t even see the women walking in the background, I was so fixated on trying to focus on the branches. As it turns out, a lucky shot. The women blurred in the background turned the photo into something far more interesting.

Photo of women strolling in St. James park

Now that the weather has improved, I feel more inclined to go take photos. There’s something about freezing my tail feathers off that makes me lazy.  What can I say, I can find any excuse to stay home and watch trashy TV rather than work.

 

Ah, sunshine and robins .. okay just one robin

Ah, sunshine and robins .. okay just one robin

From about a week ago, before the great inundation last week. Looks like lots of nice weather coming up. Hopefully things will dry out a bit and I’ll be able to get out with the camera a bit more.

Photo of a robin - Toronto May 2017

Spring blossoms in Toronto. The colours oh my!

Spring blossoms in Toronto. The colours oh my!

A few warm days and suddenly Toronto looks like a new city. Blossoms popping up all over.  Photo taken Apr 28 2017 at gates to Mount Pleasant Cemetery.

Photo of blossoms on a tree Toronto Spring 2017