Friday, September 23, 2016

A Few More Pictures from Upper Canada Village

 Here are a few more views of our visit to Upper Canada Village.  In this back shed, an attractive small wagon was parked and, in the background, is a substantial amount of firewood that would be used to heat and cook with.
 A pleasant vignette shows a couple of farm workers piling loose hay into a wagon. The St.Lawrence river can be seen behind the field. The "villagers" do real farm work with the horses and oxen.
 This is an unusual house.  To me it looks like it should be in the South-west US. The fences around the houses and gardens provided protection from the farm animals who were often left to wander loose to eat grass where they could find it.
The tinsmith was busy at work producing household items.  Tourists can purchase his wares at the gift shop.

I liked this picture that was being made out of dried flowers.  The words at the bottom say, "Long Live the Queen."
 The brooms are made from broom plants that are grown at the village. 
 The sawmill is a great place to see.  I wish I had better pictures of it and that you could smell the delicious pine scent that permeates the building.  The mill is powered by a water-mill placed in the small stream that runs through the village. Just to the left of the man is a large vertical saw blade.  When he has finished placing the log, the blade will be engaged and move up and down cutting the log which is slowly moved along by a frame. The mill makes quite a bit of lumber which is then used in the village for various building projects.
I really like this cabin.  It is so typical of the early settlers rough buildings. Notice the little eaves trough over the door. The cabins were small making them easier to heat in the winter.  Heat was always provided by wood, and it was a lot of hard work to cut the trees down and into short lengths and then split the wood into manageable pieces. Even today, using a chain saw, cutting enough firewood for the winter is a lot of work. 

Saturday, September 10, 2016

Upper Canada Village

 Last week we visited Upper Canada Village which is suppose to show an Ontario village around 1860.  This is the hardware section of a general store.  The barrels probably had nails and spikes and other bits needed for building.
This is a view of the outside of the store.  It's quite plain as most of them would have been.
 Inside are an assortment of useful kitchen and dining items as well as a wonderful rocking horse that would be hard to resist buying. On the other side of the store, bags of flour, sugar, candy and other necessities were on display, but too many tourists were blocking the view to get a good photo.
The grocery store would often be the post office as well.
These posters are actually printed at the print shop at the village using old wooden and metal type.  The print shop also produces posters to advertise current events going on at the village.  When we stopped in, the woman printer was hard at work creating a new poster for a special fall festival.  She explained some of the challenges of picking an appropriate font as some of the fonts might not have enough of one letter to write the needed words, or some fonts just make a particular word look odd. All the tiny print on the Lion Of The North poster was set by hand at the print shop. Great looking horse!
Southern Ontario became home to many United Empire Loyalists (people loyal to the British monarch) as they fled the US around the time of the American Revolution.  This house definitely has a New England feel to it.
 The side garden had lots of zinnias which were probably popular back then.
In the backyard, we saw a couple of nice pear trees.  Some varieties of pears are hardy enough for our winters, but apples trees are by far the more popular fruit tree.
Behind the house is a large mixed vegetable and flower garden.  The flowers here would be used for bouquets or as dried flowers.
More pictures next time.  I was disappointed to realize I didn't take photos of the many "villagers" dressed in period costume. Some other time I must focus on the people.

Sunday, August 28, 2016

The Joy of a Brook

 I wish you could have heard the song of the brook, and smelt its freshness, and experienced the beauty of the clear, crisp water. It was such a treat to spend time near this stream.

 The froth is  just clean water mixed with clean air. So refreshing.

Someone has a tree house right by the bank. What a wonderful spot !

The trail leading by the stream is an old railway bed that is now used as a walking, biking trail in the summer, and a skiing trail in the winter.

A bridge further upstream crosses water that is tranquil. View to the west.

 View to the east.

 Yet another bridge as this is a very windy stream.  A little pond has been formed here as someone has made a small rock dam to slow the flow a little.

 How could you not want to splash in that pond?
 The water is so clear that the gravelly rocks on the bottom pick up a yellow tone from the sunlight.

 As you can see , this bridge sits in quite a dip.  Years ago, a railway trestle  bridged the two high points. Occasionally when we were kids, we crossed over it even though the decking was gone.  I found it scary to cross it with the water rushing by below.
I am hoping to walk this trail later in the fall when the leaves have turned colour.  It should be really nice then, too.

Thursday, August 25, 2016

A Few Late Summer Flowers

 A lovely soft round seed head on a wild prickly lettuce.

 I know goldenrod is just a weed, but it is such a lovely rich yellow.  I always enjoy it at the end of the summer.
I have a few phlox but I particularly like this one in bright bubblegum pink.  I was disappointed that some nice ones I had in my planting near the road got, I think, hit with herbicide which may have come off a tractor that went by repeatedly on a hot, windy day.  Perhaps some herbicide was on the wheels and, in the heat, it was vaporizing and then settling on the plants.  Anyway, I lost several plants.  The hostas and daylilies were OK, but some astilbes, bellflower, aster, beebalm, and a few others also died.  Oh well, gardening is always about change.

 A pale pink physostegia. 

 A rudbeckia laciniata.  I was very happy to see this guy back. A couple of years ago a rabbit ate most of it and, for some reason, last year it didn't bloom either.  I like it because it is very tall and doesn't get outsized by the surrounding asters. It's also a vibrant yellow.  According to pictures on the internet, it could potentially turn into a good sized clump.
 I'm a big fan of coleus and my shady property is great in terms of the right light requirements for it to thrive, but it is susceptible to viruses and/or blights.  This year, though, because it has been so dry, the coleus has grown really well.  Something early in the season ate a circle around a couple of the stems but  I just broke off the stems above the chew and stuck them in the soil.  I watered them in, and soon they had rooted and grew as if nothing had happened to them.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Voyageur Provincial Park

 We decided to have a picnic at a nearby provincial park on the shore of the Ottawa River.  It was quite windy and the waves lapping the shore made a pleasant beachy sound. There is a sandy beach in another part of the park with some roped off swimming areas. But it was quite chilly when we were there so we didn't go into the water.
 The park is on the Ontario side.  The blue hills in the distance are in Quebec.
In the early 1960's, a hydroelectric dam was built downstream which widened this part of the river and formed some shallower inlets of water.  The park is situated on one of the inlets where the current isn't as strong as in the middle of the river.

 We started on a nature trail through the forested part of the park.  The remains of an old stone fence mark the beginning of the trail.
We hadn't gone too far though when we were stopped by a large puddle with no easy way around it.  We had a very dry spring and summer, but during the last two weeks we have had about 7" of rain . Oh well, we can come back on a drier day and do the walk in the woods.

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Fair Day

 We recently went to the Williamstown Fair and, as always, there was lots to see.  This handsome fellow is a Royal Palm turkey.  He was very full of himself and spent the whole time strutting around crowing. 
 A couple of sweet ponies wait to give rides to the wee-ones.  Perhaps that's a rider to the right of the photo.
A woman weaves a beautiful fine piece of cloth.
 Ponies lined up for the final judging of their class.
 I was pleased to see that our township is equipped to handle just about any emergency.  This off-road vehicle has a stretcher, a chainsaw, rope, a generator, and who knows what else.
 It was a beautiful sunny day, just right for people of all ages.
This team of oxen comes from Upper Canada Village, a  historical recreation of a town from the 1800's. Someone always wants to chat with the friendly driver.
A Clydesdale watching the people go by. 
 The dog agility class is always lots of fun to watch especially when the puppies are giving it a go.  This young dog is doing well going through the tire but...
then he saw a grasshopper, and it was game over.
The fair had lots more to see and do: a variety of food vendors, cow show, petting zoo, Western horse show, craft and baking exhibits, art and photography exhibits, chili bake-off, vegetable and flowers classes, music, beach volley-ball, old steam machinery.  The list just goes on and on.  A fabulous feat of organizing by a dedicated group of volunteers.