The beaver ate my dock

By Jim Poling Sr.From Shaman's Rock I try to be Mr. Nice with my critter neighbours at the lake. It is becoming more difficult, however. Much more difficult, especially this spring. I feed and comfort…

Make life easier for women

By Jim Poling Sr.From Shaman's RockThe abortion debate has flared into rage again in the United States, spilling of course, into Canada and elsewhere. Much time, energy and money is spent arguing whether governments should…

Here come the little guys

By Jim Poling Sr.From Shaman's Rock They are on their way! You should be spotting them any day now.  The last time I checked they were crossing Lake Erie and some areas of southern Ontario…

Welcome to the bug world

By Jim Poling Sr.From Shaman's Rock As we brace for a new bug season, I find myself hoping for a banner bug year.  Not for blackflies, mosquitoes, midges or wasps, but for dragonflies and their…

A time for a change

By Jim Poling Sr.From Shaman's Rock The changes that show we have moved from winter into spring are almost complete. Most ice has gone from lakes and ponds. The woods are brown and bleak without…

A community loss

By Sue Tiffin Last week, after hearing of the collision that occurred near Kinmount, my heart – like the heart of so many others in our community – sank. When I received the press release…

A criminal above the law

By Jim Poling Sr.From Shaman's Rock It has been more than 150 years since Fyodor Dostoyevsky wrote Crime and Punishment, but the main character of his famous novel could well have been today’s Russian president,…

Waiting for the robins

By Jim Poling Sr.From Shaman’s Rock Robins are harbingers of spring, which officially arrived almost three weeks ago. So where is the spring weather, and where are the robins? It’s April, the daffodil month, and…

Hope in an angry world

By Jim Poling Sr.From Shaman's Rock The absolutely last place I ever expected to learn anything important was sitting in front of the television watching the Academy Awards. I gave up watching the annual awards…

Cowboys in bow ties

By Jim Poling Sr.From Shaman's Rock There are a couple dozen versions of Psalm 22:20, depending on what Bible you read. After watching the Oscar-nominated movie The Power of the Dog, I have a version…

Russia to learn the hard way

By Jim Poling Sr. From Shaman's Rock “It’s like déjà vu all over again,” American baseball star Yogi Berra was famous for saying. Yogi has been gone for a while now, but his words live…

Music in a mad world

By Jim Poling Sr.From Shaman's Rock I’m told that music is good for the soul. As someone with little interest and zero ability in music, I’ve never really got into that. Until last week. I…

Remembering thick lead pencils

By Jim Poling Sr.From Shaman's Rock I yearned recently for a dose of nostalgia so I bought Carl Bernstein’s memoir Chasing History: A Kid in the Newsroom. Bernstein and I had much in common as kids…

Thoughts from a woodpile

By Jim Poling Sr.From Shaman's Rock The first sounds of winter’s retreat come from snow melting off the metal sheets covering my woodpile. Plink . . . plink . . . plink.  Slow, almost imperceptible. …

Xi and Bobby McGee

By Jim Poling Sr.From Shaman’s Rock I shouldn’t have had that extra glass of wine before going to bed. I savoured it while watching the news, forgetting that late-night wine and late-night news combine to…

What’s up with the weather

By Jim Poling Sr.From Shaman's Rock It’s February! Time for happy dancing and thumbing noses at the month just expired. January was wretched. A coronavirus that would not go away. Threats of war between the…

Following a convoy of courage

By Jim Poling Sr.From Shaman's RockI am proud to report that I was one of the journalists covering that heroic highway convoy. It was a courageous event that demonstrated the strength of human spirit. It happened…

Hooked on SUV

By Jim Poling Sr.From Shaman's Rock I have a confession to make: I am an addict.  Not tobacco. Not drugs. Not alcohol. I’m addicted to a television show. It’s odd, because I’ve never particularly liked…

Learning to live in the future

By Jim Poling Sr. From Shaman's Rock The kids are back in school, which is a good thing. Excellent education without COVID-19 infections is the hope of all. Canada has good education systems with teachers…

Dreaming of life without digital

By Jim Poling Sr. From Shaman's Rock How sad that the sweetest dreams never last long, or come true. Just the other night my fantastically happy dream evaporated into the shrill ring of my mobile…

Surviving lives in the forest

By Jim Poling Sr.From Shaman's Rock There was no finer sight for a New Year’s morning. At the edge of a freshly snow-covered clearing behind my place stood a whitetail doe and her fawn.  The…