Monday, April 7, 2014

What's Making Me Happy This Month - April

What's making me happy this month? I have to say the abundance of lifelong learning opportunities. There really can be no excuse for failing to find something new and interesting to discover. One organization that feeds my inquisitive nature is fairly close by - The Royal Botanical Gardens. And even though many of the gardens themselves still lay dormant under a blanket of snow, the chance to learn something new is still very much alive.

On a recent trip I learned all about carnivorous plants. I  have to admit that childhood visions of enormous man-eating plants came to mind. Come on, I know you've imagined the same thing! I was very surprised at how small these Venus Flytraps actually are.

I was completely astonished at how quickly their leaves can close when particular hairs are stimulated within a certain time frame. The procedure was only demonstrated once, so as not to force the plant to expend unnecessary energy. Did you know that the venus flytrap's habitat is mainly confined to the American states of North and South Carolina? It sounds as if they are a little finicky to grow as a houseplant in Ontario, but I'm thinking of giving it a try and bringing one into the Library. I can imagine all kinds of curious wonder.

Still not in any hurry to head out to the overcast day, I continued my tour of RBG. I was taken by the striking structure of the agave plants.  I'm not sure I ever gave any thought to the plant that produces the sweetener I use for my tea; not to mention the tequila that goes in my margaritas! They reminded me of an aloe plant - different sizes and varying degrees of blues and greens.

When I saw this tree I couldn't help but think of The Story of Ferdinand, by Munro Leaf, one of my very favourite picture books.

Cork Tree with a trunk that feels exactly like - a cork.
I have always loved the way Robert Lawson illustrated his cork tree!

Photo courtesy of 

What lifelong learning opportunities do you like to take advantage of?


  1. I like to take advantage of my job as a journalist - I'm getting paid to ask questions, do research, and talk to people from all walks of life! Some topics are a little more interesting than others, and it can be challenging to write about something I didn't know a lot about previously (ie. municipal budgets, rural broadband access and community food hubs come to mind!) but I love constantly expanding my mind and learning new things!

  2. Yes, life as a journalist presents endless opportunities for lifelong learning - including the ones that push you outside your comfort zone. So fortunate!


I would love to hear your story!