Jim and Joan were brother and sister, busy with their own lives. Jim knew lots about trees, plants, and birds. Joan liked to learn and get out of the city. They drove to Peterborough’s Petroglyphs Provincial Park one autumn day for fun.
Jim picked Joan up at 9:30 am and headed east along the 401 to Highway 135.
Cherry red maple trees flirted from the woods. Joan learned that you can get maple syrup from pretty well any maple tree but orangey red sugar maples are the best.
A Lakefield café offered hearty beef and barley soup. A fellow diner commented that they looked a healthy pair. The diner was reading the newspaper Obituary section at the time. Maybe they looked healthy by contrast?
They arrived at astonishing Petroglyphs Provincial Park. A big dome contains the ancient First Nations art. Nine hundred artworks make it the largest collection in Ontario. Discovered in the fifties, the art is carved into crystalline limestone.
Later curious Joan chatted away with Jim about marl (calcium carbonate), which looks like snow. Her Bajun friend used to take white marl from quarries and spread it outside the house to replicate snow. You can do more than just dream of a white Christmas in Barbados!
Joan looked respectfully up at the white pine, the tallest tree in Ontario. Jim confirmed that red pines have red in their bark.
Joan cherished the wee splendour of a grasshopper cradled on a red leaf. She spotted a lookalike of her favourite Christmas tree. Jim pronounced it a white spruce. Their needles are a little longer than a black spruce.
Time to leave. Brother and sister stopped in Lakefield again to enjoy apple pie.
Safely home, brother and sister hugged. Refreshed, they reentered their separate lives.