Silver Maple

9-story silver mapleAs reported in The Toronto Star ((And incorrectly identified as an Oak)), a large Silver Maple that was growing just to the south of our apartment building was cut down during the day on Thursday. I returned home at 12 to the sound of chainsaws and the majority of the limbs removed from the tree. I took some photographs of the rest of the felling from our apartment balcony.

Having a look at the trunk cookies now sitting on the ground, there wasn’t anything wrong with the tree. It had lost one limb and there was some rotting of the heartwood there, but this was not widespread and wasn’t at risk of weakening the tree to the point of causing it to fall. That’s just my humble opinion.

Word around the neighbourhood was the city hadn’t issued a permit, now The Star is reporting that it had, in fact, done so. Disappointing if that is the case. Disappointing that it had to be cut down.

Animals Apartment Aquarium

Salt water blues

Better living through chemistry, originally uploaded by Gavatron.

I’ve lived with a saltwater aquarium for the past two-ish years now, ever since Heather moved into the apartment. To this point, I’ve been pretty hands off the whole endeavour, not because I wasn’t interested, but because of the steep learning curve associated with keeping a salt water tank. Heather’s picasso triggerfish (Rhinecanthus aculeatus), Trigger, shed his mortal coil on the day that I returned from the Yukon. You can read into that act what you wish.

We had talked about changing the kind of tank, from a fish (one fish, really) to a reef tank. It’s proving to be challenging. Mysteriously, the three shrimp purchased for the tank have all died. They were all delicious (just kidding!). When two expired sometime on Friday night / Saturday morning, it was time to figure out what was going on.

A battery of tests later, we now know that the Nitrate levels in the tank were waay too high for the shrimp (curiously, we have blue-legged hermit crabs in the tank and they seem to be doing fine). What all of this means exactly, I don’t know. This is where the learning curve comes in. So the plan has been to aggressively cycle the water (we did a 20% replacement on Saturday and a 20% replacement on Sunday). I tested Nitrates today and frustratingly, the level doesn’t seem to have come down. Our ammonia levels are down (to undetectable) but our phosphate appears to be up.

Animals Apartment Birding

I’m experiencing a little falcon fan-boy moment

I just had two Peregrine Falcons (Falco peregrinus) scream by the apartment building at eye (fifth floor eye) level. One pulled up and did a little “wing over” before peeling off in another direction.

This is the second time that I’ve seen Peregrines in the last week or so. I know that they live over on the CIBC building at Yonge & Bloor, but I hadn’t seen them outside my window.

Apartment Heather Horror Story Moving

Magnum Moving, Toronto: Heather’s Moving Experience from H-E-Double Hockey Sticks

If you’re considering a moving company, let me suggest that you do all that you can to avoid Magnum Moving: this story isn’t over yet, but we’ve experienced nothing but poor service, misrepresentation and over-charging by the company. At the moment, Heather has been charged over $700 for a move that was quoted to cost $177 + GST. If things aren’t cleared up, there’s no doubt we’ll be going to small claims court. Fun!

House plant Purchase

Bought a new plant today – Skimmia japonica “Rubella”

The plant purchase was somewhat of a impulse buy today, but here’s the newest addition to 169 St. George:

Ruby the new house

The plant’s name is Ruby.


Living situation changing

So, through a domino effect, it looks like Katie is going to be moving in with Lee within the next four months. This means for me, at the very least, my current living situation will be changing. Right now, there seems to be quite a bit up in the air (dates, where they’ll be moving, what I’m going to do…) but given the fact that this news is pretty new, these things should be cleared up in the coming days.

Update: Looks like February 1st is the move-out day.