Saturday, March 21, 2009

First Day of Spring & Shade-Grown Coffee

Living close to the downtown has its advantages as well as its drawbacks. Though some interesting species appear on the yard list, birding an urban area of St. Catharines is limited. In order to get anywhere in the city worth birding, our vehicle is required. With all this travelling by car, how could we contribute to the environment in a positive way for a change?

Car pooling on a recent OFO trip contributed in the reduction of carbon emissions but what else could we do that would be beneficial, especially with it being the first day of spring? I had recently found some information on shade-grown coffee while browsing the web. Originating at the blog, Birding with Kenn & Kim, I found my way to the Birds and Beans site for Canadians and discovered a list of shade-grown coffee distributors. To my surprise, a small restaurant in downtown St. Catharines was on the list. Perfect! Not only could we purchase shade-grown coffee, it was also found within walking distance of our home. Though not planned we had lunch at the restaurant on Friday, followed by a cup of coffee. It was excellent and a 1/2 pound of the Birds and Beans Sumatra blend was purchased. This morning's cup was really good, so future purchases will occur. With only the Sumatra beans available downtown, Central and South American blends will have to be purchased online. After an early morning cup of Guatemalan Huehuetenango, Jean and I can observe warblers this spring knowing we have contributed to the conservation of their winter homes.

A quick visit to Jaycee Park in honour of the March equinox produced two additions to the year list. A Pied-billed Grebe (#72) was observed on Martindale Pond as well as a Double-crested Cormorant (#73). Yes, spring has finally arrived in southern Ontario.

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