Juby Wins Leacock Award

13417606_1278325235518713_4138829827171186969_nThe Leacock Associates have named Susan Juby the winner of this year’s Stephen Leacock Medal for Humour for Republic of Dirt: A Return to Woefield Farm (HarperCollins Canada). The book is a follow-up to the Nanaimo, B.C.–based author’s 2011 novel The Woefield Poultry Collective, which was nominated for the prize in 2012.

Nathan Taylor, president of Leacock Associates, says in a press release:

We have the opportunity to work with many talented authors across the country and choosing a winner is never an easy task. That said, Susan’s latest novel really resonated with the panel and we feel she is so deserving of this award.

Juby’s book was chosen from more than 60 submissions and a shortlist of three titles. She received the $15,000 prize at a June 11 gala dinner at Geneva Park Conference Centre near Orillia, Ontario.

— Quill & Quire, 06/13/16, http://www.quillandquire.com

100 Nature Hot Spots

100  nature hot spots

Summer’s coming! (Or at least it’s supposed to be, but frankly I’m starting to wonder.)

So time to dream about and plan for summer vacations and outings. I’ve just checked out the book 100 Nature Hot Spots in Ontario by Chris Earley and Tracy C. Read and it’s jam packed with lots of cool places to visit.

I’m a nature fan, I think we should all be nature fans. It’s so beneficial—and healing, too — to take time out of our busy, stressful lives to immerse ourselves in nature. And we do our kids a huge favour when we introduce them to nature.

Some of the places listed in the book are favourites of mine. For instance, I love the Guelph arboretum. And there is something magical about Point Pelee, that long, long spit of land that narrows to a point. I’ve always wanted to visit Pelee Island as well, but haven’t made it yet (I’ll put in on a bucket list). Or a visit to the waterfalls in the Hamilton area (Felker’s Falls and Devil’s Punchbowl are listed in the book) makes for a great day’s outing. BTW, did you know there are about 100 waterfalls in the Hamilton area–amazing! I’ve also got a soft spot for the beaches of Prince Edward County (Sandbanks and Presqu’ile) as I grew up nearby.

But a couple of personal favourites didn’t make the cut. Like the Thousand Islands, a place that I absolutely love. And also Petroglyphs Provincial Park (near Peterborough) which has over 900 petroglyphs (First Nations rock carvings)–turtles, snakes, birds, humans and more. It is truly wondrous. (There is another Ontario site for petroglyphs that is listed in the book, though it has a much smaller number of them. That’s Bon Echo Provincial Park in eastern Ontario. I have seen those as well, they are well worth a look.)

So go ahead and have a look at this book. Then start planning some fun outings.

— Penny D.