The City was quite accommodating…not only did I find a clean spot to sit, but it has a Mac name to it, honoring all my ancestors. So I say ‘mun,’ how can ye not luv a city that names its vehicles “Macks.”
If ye din’ attend the city’s ARTFEST, ye is a sad bloke. As always, it is a hoot of a time.
The theme this year was in honour of Bill Lishman, Father Goose. Here’s a short bio written in the Globe and Mail:
Bill Lishman, Father Goose
As a boy growing up on a small dairy farm in Pickering, Ont., Bill Lishman would watch the great flocks of geese flying overhead with wonder.
“I’d look up at them so high and go, ‘Wow, where did they come from? How do they see the world?'”
Decades later, in the early 1980s, he would finally see for himself. During an early morning flight in his ultralight aircraft (one of his many hobbies), Mr. Lishman found himself surrounded by a giant flock of ducks.
“It was probably thousands of birds,” he said in a video interview posted on his website. He was going at the same speed, at the same climbing rate as the ducks. He was flying so close that he could see every muscle in the bird’s backs – every detail on every feather.
He was mesmerized. The experience, to him, was magical.
As soon as he landed, he ran back to his house, where he told his family: “I’ve got to repeat that experience.”
Over the next several decades, he would “fly with the birds” over and over again.
Initially, he was just experimenting, filming short videos of himself flying, up-close, with the birds. But after he was contacted by scientists, including the British-born zoologist William Sladen, the experiments morphed into a three-year project to develop a technique to “teach” the birds migration routes, helping to pull some of the world’s most endangered species back from the brink of extinction.
Over the course of three years, they trained Canada geese (and later whooping cranes – a species still classified as endangered) to believe that Mr. Lishman and the plane were their “parents,” teaching the birds to fly behind him on safe routes. The story would later serve as the basis for the 1996 Hollywood movie Fly Away Home.
Mr. Lishman died at his home on Dec. 30, just 10 days after he was diagnosed with leukemia. He was 78.