From the Editor, February 2024

By: Susan W. Smith

Volume 19, Issue 2, February 2024

Never thought I would wish for colder weather – ever. But this winter, when I think of winter community activities, I think a bit more snow and a few more deep freezes would make organizers happier. I live in Ottawa and, for the second year in a row, our Rideau Canal is closed to skaters – although unlike last year, at least the canal was open briefly this season. And those who look on the St. Lawrence for safe ice conditions will join me in their disappointment. But hang in there, as several important ground hogs did not see their shadow on February 2 and that means we should be back on the River in our boats in no time!

Our thanks to James R. Miller for capturing our River in all seasons once again.

Sad News on the River

Last month we lost three champions – each one of whom has left their lasting mark on our River and their communities.

Robert V. Lashomb, Sr., 93, of Clayton, passed away Saturday, January 6, 2024, at Hospice of Jefferson County. Robert was often mentioned in Manley Rusho's memories for TI Life. One such article starts off, "Bob LaShomb started it all, at least most of the adventure that I will relate here. It began in early February, around 1953. Bob, at that time, was the mail carrier for the US Mail from Clayton to Grindstone Island – two miles across the St. Lawrence River." Many Grindstone Islanders will have fond memories of this gentleman – yes, a River champion for sure.

Another champion who TI Life readers were fortunate to meet was Emily Wright Holt, who died on January 12, at her residence in Bedford, MA. Her daughter, Carolyn Lawson, sent us the news with lovely photographs of Emily writing, "Of course we are very sad to lose our beloved mom, but we know we were blessed to have her with us for so long. She had a wonderful 97 years and was able to visit her summer home on Grindstone Island last summer and celebrate our 100 year anniversary of her family being there." We met Emily in February 2021 when she wrote, Emily Holt Remembers, and again in June 2022, with A New Role for an Old Punt.

The name Douglas Macintosh will not be forgotten throughout the Canadian Thousand Islands as Douglas and his wife, Blu, were instrumental in island life for several decades. I first met Doug when Parks Canada suggested that all islands in the Canadian sector should be expropriated and turned into a much bigger wilderness National Park. I smile as I remember the sound of his bagpipes and his wise and sound judgement throughout those years. In July 2023, we paid tribute to both Blu and Douglas when they were presented the Ontario Nature Public Service Award. Yes, we thank you, Douglas Macintosh, very much for never backing down.

In closing, I join so many others from both sides of the border in remembering these family members, island neighbours, and close friends – undoubtedly River champions.

Bird Count - starts on February 16

The Great Backyard Bird Count - actually the 27th annual - will be held Friday, February 16, through Monday, February 19, 2024. Please visit the official website at for more information.

"Each checklist submitted during the GBBC helps researchers at Audubon, Cornell Lab of Ornithology, and Birds Canada learn more about how birds are doing, and how to protect them and the environment we share."

Meet our “Over 20” Authors . . .

How often have you picked up a pencil and thought, I can write about that? Then, when you actually put the words on paper, you discovered that it’s not so easy. Each of the following TI Life contributors has picked up their pencils more than 20 times and as such, deserve our special appreciation. You will see many have two links – that’s because in June 2018 we had to change our website, thus they are registered in two places. (A couple of authors actually have a duplicate name as well.)

These are in alphabetical order (*Deceased)

Michael Folsom4 + [34] = 38
Paul Hetzler39 + [2] = 41
Brian Johnson9 + [46] = 54
Tom King8 + [19] = 27
Dan LeKander – 67 + [39] = 106
Lynn E. McElfresh35 + [119] = 154
*Robert Matthews[23]
*Paul Malo – [50]
Patty Mondore12 + [8] +[7] = 27
Chris Murray – 20 + [9] = 29
Richard Palmer25 + [11] =36
John Peach10 + [13] = 23
Manley L. Rusho – 27
*Sherri Leigh Smith23 + [7] = 30
Linda Twichell – 19 + [11] + [1] = 31
Richard L. Withington 9 + [23] = 32

This is not an exclusive club, since all of our authors work hard to produce TI Life, but these writers certainly have sharpened a great many pencils over the past 16 years that I have been editor. We all appreciate their efforts. (Mary Alice Snetsinger has 19! And several others are almost there!))

Yes, this is a summer 2023 photograph by Winky McGowan. Ever wonder how many creatures it takes to eat a leaf? Let's hope we don't have to find out in summer 2024

Recipe Call!

In December, Elspeth Naismith wrote about a Tea Towel in her kitchen – that led to her suggesting that with all the abundance of local foods on sale each summer she thought, “Surely there must be some particular foods and some particular recipe(s), that are special to this place.”

We look forward to receiving recipes and Marie-Anne Erki has graciously offered to continue making illustrations. 

Therefore, Thousand Islands Life is asking our readers to share their favourite River recipes with us.

This month we received a number of “Dip Recipes” that were devoured at a special “Dip Off” on New Year’s Eve in Clayton, NY. We will publish them in March – but what do you have for April or May?

Tell us about the recipe, why it’s special, and why it reminds you of the River. Is it something that you only make at a specific time of the year? Is it a dish that you only make when you’re on the River? Even if it is from your favourite cookbook, send it along.

This winter in Thousand Island Park is From the Editor header photo this month. It is courtesy of Andrew Kane, of Feather in Flight Photography]


Please leave comments or questions or send them to me to post (there is a glitch using some web browsers.)

If you are on or near the River's edge, remember to take photos to let us see what Winter 2024 is like in the Thousand Islands.  And for those lucky enough to be attending the Thousand Islands Land Trust 2024 Winter Gathering on Friday March 8, 2024, from 6:00 PM to 9:00 PM at the Hole-in-the-Wall Golf Club, in Naples, FL – be sure to toast those of us who cannot make it this year!

And final instructions - certainly start thinking spring! (Seaway opens on March 22!)

By Susan W. Smith, Editor,

And the TI Life Team: Elspeth Naismith is the "Real Editor"; Georgia Barker, Dane Zabriskie, and Rick Taylor are our proofreaders. In addition, Jennifer Caddick handles social media; Dan Mathias posts events; Beth Lavos is posting books; Marie-Anne Erki is our illustrator; and last but not least is Mike Cox, our IT Magician.

Thank you Ian

Our February header photograph courtesy of the Ian Coristine Collection, [© Photo Ian Coristine/].

It was four years ago tomorrow, February 15, 2020, that Ian Coristine died in his home in Brockville, ON. Each month, as I start TI Life, I smile and I remember our friend, and how passionate he was about the River and the Thousand Islands. He always strived for excellence.  His photography lives on in Thousand Islands Life thanks to the generosity of his wife, Lyne Roberge. They were quite a team and thanks to Lyne his memory lives on. We still thank you, Ian - ever so much. "Volume 15, Issue 2, February 2020.

Posted in: Volume 19, Issue 2, February 2024, From the editor, Photos

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