Chroniques

PITY THE SWALLOWS

Rachel Garber

Yellow and dark blue stripes across its back, big red blotch on its underside, body the size of a grape, eight legs spanning the palm of your hand.
Why, it’s the Joro spider, of course. Welcome the newest immigrant to the American east coast, set to send its young on silken parachutes across the border into southern Canada, or to hitch a ride on your car. Delivered to us from its native Japan via the shipping routes of our global marketplace.
Newscasters say humans shouldn’t worry. These giant arachnids are timid and gentle. They flee rather than fight. Their tiny fangs cannot even puncture human skin.
But they’re deadly to small insects – mosquitos and such. I wonder if our insect numbers will plunge even further. I wonder how our swallows and other insect-eaters will fare, with a shrinking buffet of bugs. Will our plants lose even more pollinators?
It’s a toss-up, which invasion to worry about more: Russia or the Joro spiders?
JEWEL OR ALBATROSS?
“Good Luck With That” is the title of an online talk about the Canterbury Center, the famous restoration project of the Bury Historical and Heritage Society. Ed Pederson, the Society’s secretary, will talk about his journey working on this project. The tongue-in-cheek subtitle of his talk is “Canterbury Center, the jewel in the crown or the albatross ‘round our necks?” One of the Heritage Talks series of the Quebec Anglophone Heritage Network, it is on Sunday, March 20, at 1 p.m. For the Zoom link, visit Facebook.com/qahnheritagetalks.
READS!
CBC’s popular “Canada Reads” season is at hand, and the Lennoxville Library is once again organizing a “Lennoxville Reads” activity. It’s on Wednesday, March 23, at 7 p.m. and participants are welcome either in person at the Hope Community Church, 101 Queen Street, Lennoxville, or by Zoom. (For the zoom link, check bibliolennoxvillelibrary.ca.)
The books being debated? Five Little Indians, by Michelle Good; defended by Vicky Boldo. Washington Black, by Esi Edugyan; presented by Jamie Crooks. Scarborough, by Catherine Hernandez; discussed by Mary Sweeny. What Strange Paradise, by Omar Al-Akkad; presented by Mary Purkey. Life in the City of Dirty Water, by Clayton Thomas-Müller; defended by Jesse Dymond. The emcee will be Stephanie Brown.
ART FILMS
Artist Joanna Nash is offering a series of art films about women artists, via Zoom, at no cost. On Wednesday, March 23, at 7 p.m. is a 56-minute film, Agnes Martin: The World at my Back, and a 25-minute film, Marina Abromovic’s Relentless, Violent Genius: 1970’s to Present. Martin was respected for her pure abstraction; Abromovic is a highly acclaimed performance artist.
On April 6 will be three documentaries by the pioneer filmmakers Bonnie Klein, Sylvia Hamilton, and Kathleen Shannon of Studio D, the first publicly funded feminist film-production unit in the world.
On April 20 are a mix of documentary films by Louise Abbott: One about Tanya Mars (performance art), another about Joanna Nash and the Powerhouse Gallery, and a third about AnnBruce Falconer (dance).
For information or to register, contact Nash at joannanash@yahoo.ca.
WRITING WORKSHOPS
Write Here Write Now (WHWN) offers monthly zoom workshops on various topics: Beginner Blogging for Authors, with Rebecca; Editing and Giving Feedback, with Rachel; Writing Poetry with Jan; and Fantasy Fugue Forum with Etienne. All are welcome; participation is free. To receive the schedule and zoom link, contact Jan Draper at jandraper@yahoo.com.
ISABELLE LAFLÈCHE
The Knowlton Literary Festival is offering an online workshop with Isabelle Laflèche, author of international best-selling novels in both English and French: J’adore New York, ditto for Paris and Rome, and a series for teens, Bonjour Girl. Her focus is on intuition, and how it communicates with us. The workshop is Saturday and Sunday, March 26 and 27, from 9 to 11 a.m. Cost: $30. Maximum: 15 people. To register, visit knowltonliteraryfestival.ca.
BOB McDONALD
The host of CBC Radio’s Quirks & Quarks is coming live to the Lac-Brome Community Centre on Sunday, April 10, at 2 p.m. Bob McDonald will speak about COVID and Climate Change, and how the pandemic demonstrated how the world can respond to a global threat, and how that can be applied to the future of green energy to lower our carbon emissions. He is author of An Earthling’s Guide to Space. Covid measures will be followed. Advance registration is required, at knowltonliteraryfestival.ca.
PHOTOS GALORE
The 70-some members of the Club Photo de Sherbrooke are exhibiting their work at the Uplands Cultural and Heritage Centre, 9 Speid Street in Lennoxville. The theme is “lines,” resulting in a variety of imaginative and personal photos. Uplands is open Thursday to Sunday, 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.; the exhibit ends June 19. Also, the outdoor photo exhibit “Rituals and Ceremonies” by Gabriel Safdie continues until May.
GOOD STUFF
You know spring is here, because it is time to plan ahead for the Canterbury Flea Market, July 30-31. If you have good quality items that you would like to donate to the Canterbury Center fund-raising campaign, please call Tony De Melo at 819-872-3400 (leave a message) before July 15. Pick-up is provided, if required. All proceeds go to the restoration of the former Christchurch Canterbury, now Canterbury Center. Re-use, Re-cycle, Reduce!
CHURCHES
Anglican. Bishop Bruce Myers continues to offer Home Prayers at 10:30 a.m. on Sundays via Facebook, and at quebec.anglican.ca (Worship Videos). Info: 819-887-6802, or quebec.anglican.ca.
United. Services will continue at home until the end of March. Please call the office at 819-889-2838, contact Rev. Tami Spires at 819-452-3685 (leave message) or spiresta@hotmail.com, or check the «United Eaton Valley Pastoral Charge» Facebook page.
Baptist. Regular in-persons services are in French at 9 a.m., in English at 11 a.m., respecting Covid protocols, including masks and hand sanitizing. For information, please contact Pastor Michel Houle at 819-239-8818.
Do you have news to share? Call 819-640-1340 or email rawrites@gmail.com by March 21 for publication March 30 and by April 4 for April 13.

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