With the record snowfall that we are having in Southern Ontario this December, our Open Days are being particularly enjoyed.
Last Sunday, we took advantage of our snowy world and had a photo session with Bob Ray and Mrs. Claus. Kathy Gerry, a volunteer who is a wonderful photographer, came to the Sanctuary especially to record the event. (Thank you, Tim, for being the chauffeur and for navigating through the traffic chaos on Highway 401). We have a full size red sleigh (plywood) made by my brother in 1994, and to pull it we placed two life-size wooden donkey silhouettes (Thank you, Pete, for sharing your keen carpentry skills). There were straw bales for seats and a blanket to keep Mrs. Claus warm. Finally, when everything was fluffed up, we put down some hay and Kayla brought in Bob to stand next to Mrs. Claus who was in the sleigh.
Now, Bob Ray has considerable public relations experience. He appeared on several occasions with the Canadian Opera Company a few years ago and he has also impressed the crowds at the Royal Winter Fair. There is little that fazes him and his curiosity is unbounded. He did not disappoint us this time, either. He posed like a model (“Ears forward, Bob”) and he particularly liked the sound of some ringing jingle bells.
When we were finished – or, rather, when Bob was finished – he trotted off to a corner of the garden that is overhung by an old fir tree. It was the perfect place to rest and be away from the photographers (several more had appeared with cell phone cameras during the session) while nibbling on some tasty fir needles.
Come next year, I am certain that you will be seeing Bob and Mrs. Claus in our Christmas literature. In the meantime, there is one more Open Day left (Sun. Dec. 22nd) and we hope you will come to visit. The donkeys are waiting to see you. Hot chocolate and treats will be available to keep away the winter cold. Cheers!
Sandra Pady, Founder