Friday, June 29, 2012

Freeze Frame

Morin Heights was a lumber town when it was first settled about 160 years ago by Irish and French settlers.  Most of the buildings on the main street date back many years to the beginning of the village.  They are not particularly attractive - they were functional, built to keep the cold out in the winter. 
Over the years, different businesses have tried to make a go of it, but not too many survive very long. There just aren't enough people in the area to support them, and they are competing with  St. Sauveur, just a few miles to the south, which has a bigger ski hill, lots of restaurants and shops.

This white building with the green roof is one of the rare successes.  It's a daycare centre.  The right-hand portion of the building is original and the left-hand part was just built last year.  They did a good job of matching the two parts.

This used to be a nice little bookshop but it was really only a hobby for its owner, so when she had to move, the shop closed.

The little Anglican church, so typical of country churches in the area.

What struck me as I looked at the names on the tombstones was how many different family names were represented.  After the War (WW2), many veterans came to Morin Heights for the fresh air, clean water, cheap housing and a quiet lifestyle .  For those who had contracted TB, there was a sanitorium not too far away.

At one end of the village, a new spa was built beside the river.  A new drugstore, a new grocery store and a couple of gas stations are really the only new commercial buildings the village has seen in the last few decades.  It's in a bit of time warp, not likely to change much any time soon.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

To The Laurentians

 A couple of  little donkeys watched over by a horse statue.

 A young alpaca who keeps company with the donkeys.  There are other alpacas on this farm but they were in a different field.

 An Anglican church in a hamlet just off the main road about halfway to Morin Heights.  The Anglican church established parishes in many rural parts of Canada.  Many of the parishes were two or three point parishes.  Travelling between the churches in pioneer times must have been very challenging.  

 At the back of the church is a small lake.  Quebec and Ontario have lots and lots of lakes, and  many of them are spring fed so the water is cold and clean.

 The whole Laurentian mountain range is basically bedrock with a thin layer of soil on top.  It's amazing that so many trees can grow on it.

One of my favourite views of the rolling hills that go on and on.
Next time, some shots of Morin Heights .

Monday, June 25, 2012

Filly Fun

 I've been enjoying watching the little filly (it's a she not a he) when I go for walks.

She is very curious and calm like her mom.

 She does her best to copy her mom.
Her tail doesn't swish very well yet, though.

 A little one needs lots of rest.

But first, a good rub in the dry hay,

 and then a roll. She manages very well with rolling over.

Life is pretty exciting so time for a long nap to recoup.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Chicory,Purple-flowering Raspberry, Dogbane,St.John's Wort

The lovely sky blue flowers of the wild chicory have to be enjoyed on the plant as they will immediately close up and wilt if picked.  The leaves, though bitter, can be eaten, and the roots can be dried to make a coffee substitute.

The purple-flowered raspberry produces an edible red fruit that looks like a flattened red raspberry, but the fruit are very seedy so they are not general eaten.  It is quite an aggressive shrub that thrives in partial shade along with hardwood trees. Unlike regular raspberries, the stems are not thorny , just hairy.

Dogbane has lovely little white bells with pink stripes on the inside.  It produces a milky sap which is toxic to animals and people.  Most livestock, however, will avoid it and only eat it if food is in short supply.

St. John's Wort has starry yellow flowers and often grows in waste areas with poor soil . Herbalist claim that it will help with depression, but, as with all herbal remedies, it is not without it hazards. It is considered poisonous to livestock (even deadly) so it should not be taken cavalierly -best not to take it at all, I would think.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Natural Vignettes

 Quiet views to relax with.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Flycatcher Babies

The flycatcher babies can hardly fit in the nest anymore.  I was happy to see that there are actually four of them, rather than just three.  They cheep all day and now their cheeps are much more mature sounding.  I was wondering if they would have fledged yesterday, but I still hear them this morning. Welcome to Glengarry, little birds.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Small Brown Butterflies

 I've been noticing little brown butterflies on the fleabane.  I think they are Northern Crescents. Interesting black markings.

This one was on the Painted Daisy and I think it is a Pearl Crescent. It's also small, only about 1 1/2" wide.
On my walk, I also saw a Great Spangled Fritillary and maybe a Baltimore Checkerspot, but alas, I didn't have my camera with me.  When will I learn to always take the camera with me?!
Check out for some really nice butterfly and dragonfly photos.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Bugs and Blooms

 Crab spider on Blanc Double de Coubert rose

 Small wasp who has crawled way into a peachleaf bellflower

Unkown bug  on white columbine

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Memories of Maine

 Evlyn has been posting about things she likes about June.  For me, June always brings back memories of holidays we took in Maine.  We always went in June before the rates went up.  These photos were taken by our son on one of our last visits.

 We started going when our oldest daughter was 4 . We made many trips down to Kennebunkport, always staying at the same resort where we could rent a housekeeping cottage.  One of the big pluses - on site washing machine!

 When I look at these photos, I can feel the crunchy seaweed on my feet, taste the salt, and feel the sand change from hot up near the sea grass to cool down by the water.  I can feel the icy cold water on my lower legs as I wade through the surf. So many  happy memories.

The kids always loved it.  They could handle the cold water and would bodysurf in on the waves.
They built lots of sandcastles and sculptures, and found lots of treasures on the beach.
This summer, our oldest daughter is going to Maine with her husband, and two little boys. Not to the same town, but not too far away.  I know they'll love it.

Sunday, June 10, 2012


 I have two ninebark bushes.  This is the flower cluster on the Dart's Gold which blooms well even in part-shade .  The shrub has also grown really fast so that in its third year it is 6' tall.  Of course being a bit short of light, it is ganglier than it would be out in full sun. I like the yellowy green leaves that brighten up the shady spot and I'm quite happy to have it overgrown as I planted it to crowd out the wild maple raspberry plants that can be so hard to control.

It's hard to see where it begins and ends because there is so much green around it, but it it probably close to 8' at its widest part.  It could be pruned if someone wanted a tidier plant and in full sun it would be shorter.  Hardy to zone 3, maybe even 2 in a sheltered spot.

The other ninebark is Coppertina which is a cross between a purple ninebark and the gold ninebark. The leaves start out yellowy-green and then gradually turn sort of bronzish.  In the fall, some of the leaves will have pinky red markings.  My Coppertina is much tidier than the Dart's Gold even though it is in a pretty shady spot, and it has only grown to  about 3' tall.  The colour is ever changing over the season which makes it an interesting plant. Both ninebarks are bug and disease free and don't seem to mind dry or wet weather.  Very easy shrub to grow.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Light and Shadow

 I always like walking in the dappled light under a canopy of trees.

 Rocks, a link to the past.

The greens are so vibrant in June.

White fence

A way in.