Friday, July 26, 2013

Parting Shots - St. Lawrence River

The layered rocky cliffs on the Canadian side of the river rise quite high above the water, but on the American side the land is almost level with the water.

Great chunks of rock providing an interesting interplay of light and shadow.

 It's quite amazing how trees can grow on these rocky islands that have so little soil.  Usually it is evergreens that have fairly shallow roots, but sometimes you see some hardwoods that must have found a deep crack in the rock where they could send down a root.

 There were two men who were purposefully swimming in the river - this one going upstream, and another man going downstream.  Either way, you would need to be a strong, confident swimmer to swim any distance in the river as there is a strong current.  They were both fairly close to shore which seemed like a wise idea.

 I like the lime green sparse grass carpeting this rock.

 Some of the little islands are barely above the surface of the water.  Boaters would have to be on the look-out at all times to avoid them.  In the spring, they could potentially be just below the surface which would be even more dangerous.

A last look to the west of the beautiful St. Lawrence river.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Island Cottages - 1000 Islands

 Many islands, in the 1000 Islands area of the St. Lawrence River, are small.  The island this little cottage is on doesn't quite fill the frame of the photo.  What fun to own your very own island!  A mini kingdom surrounded by the flowing moat of the river.

 This one almost looks a bit like a squashed lighthouse.
I thought I had more pictures of the island cottages but alas, only two.  Further west, up river, more of the islands have cottages .

 A different kind of cottage.  These are cormorants that have built lots of nests in the trees.  I did a little reading about the cormorants.  In the 60's and 70's due to DDT, they were almost extinct but like the Canada goose they have made a remarkable recovery and now are considered pests by some biologists because of all the fish they eat and their impact on the environment.  They strip trees of their leaves when they are building their nests and their guano is so rich that within 3-10 years the trees that they nest in die.

Part of the flock was sunning itself on this rocky island.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

More Cottages - Brockville

 I like the clean lines and neutral colours that fit in well with the rocky outcroppings along the shoreline.  Their roof blends perfectly with the stone wall.

 Notice the wheelbarrow.  Now what were they doing with a wheelbarrow on the rocks? Not gardening, surely.  Hmm...

 A wonderful rope and wood plank bridge spans the gap between the house and boathouse.  Wow, would kids ever love that!

 This boat house looks rather like a blockhouse.  Not the warmest building we saw, but it certainly looks solid.

This is the main house that goes with the preceding boat house.  It's more welcoming looking.
Next time, a few island cottages.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

River Cottages- Brockville area

 Such a variety of cottages along the St. Lawrence river  near Brockville.  Everything from fancy Victorian style mansions to

 quiet little cottages tucked away in the trees.

 This is a boat house with a good-sized apartment up top.  Great for hosting visitors.  The main house is to the left.

 Don't have to worry about cutting the lawn on this lot.  I like the vertical lines of the windows.

The sunburst decorative railings are real eye-catchers.

The gable on this cottage is most unusual.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Boats Part 2

 Colourful collection of kayaks.  People sitting on their decks would often wave at us as our boat went by.

 This seadoo followed us for a time.  Maybe the wake was giving them some bumps.

 Couple of natty crafts anchored while the people picnicked on the rocks.

 A shallower cove is a good place for some leisurely fishing.  Even the dog came along (he's on the rocks).

 A seadoo really zooming along.  I love the water spurting out the back. 

These kids were jumping into the water from the top of the rock cliff.  Not something I enjoy watching .  Hope they all get through the summer safe and sound.
Next time, some of the houses along the way.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Boats Part 1

 There were quite a few different kinds of boats out on the water.  The wind was fresh enough for the sailors to enjoy a good outing.

 A fun little houseboat.  The photos are blurry because my camera doesn't have much in the way of stabilizing and the water was a bit choppy.

 Quite a few spiffy sailboats with the prerequisite attractive young couple soaking up the sun.

 This boat is big enough for a family gathering. It looks very festive with the red, white and blue.

Beached blue kayak(?) by a whale of a rock.
More boats to come.

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Brockville Boat Cruise

 My husband and I have been trying to organize a day away for several weeks, but this and that kept coming up and delaying us.  Finally, today we got our outing.  It was a perfect day, sunny and not too hot.  We took a boat cruise leaving from Brockville and touring around some of the islands in that part of the St. Lawrence.  A little further west is the area known as The 1000 Islands because there are so many small, rocky islands in the river.  Near Brockville, the river is narrower than further west but it is still plenty wide enough for a real sense of being out on the water.  We sat on a bench in the bow with just a railing between us and the water so we had a great view and a good breeze blowing over us.  The roof above us kept us from frying in the sun.  The tour was an hour and a half, just the right length of time for me.

 Someone was flying a bright kite off the dock in Brockville.  A cheery send off.

 The bow wake was a lovely frothy sparkly mix.

 Brockville in the distance.  The tallest building is new condos that will sell for a pretty price, I'm sure.  They will have a wonderful view of the water and the boats and ships that go by.

Another view of Brockville.  Like many old towns, there are several churches in Brockville. My father was born in Brockville and was named after the church, St. Peter's, where his father was rector.

More photos to come of some of the interesting houses and boats and islands we saw on the cruise.

Friday, July 12, 2013

July Flowers

 Dragonwing begonia brightening up a shady spot.

The wild orange lilies are especially vibrant this year.  All the rain, I guess.

 Just as beautiful as any hybrid.

 A little bug enjoying a Japanese iris.

These pretty impatiens were an end of season bargain at $1 for a 4" pot.  One plant is easily filling a 10" pot.  I really like the soft green of the leaves and the frilly flowers.

Monday, July 1, 2013

Happy Canada Day

Happy Canada Day!
What do I love about Canada?
I love the space - even our cities are spacious. You are never far from wilderness, and the wilderness is huge.  There is lots of room for wildlife and people.  The natural resources are incredibly abundant : water, forests, wild animals, fish, birds.
I love our health care system.  We all pay into it through our taxes and we are guaranteed access to health care 24/7 .  I so appreciate not having to worry about whether or not I can afford a trip to the doctor's or a stay in the hospital.  Sometimes we have to wait for treatments, but the system is pretty good to triage patients and urgent ones do get quicker service.
I like our education system that allows a child from a small town or a poor district in the city to go to the local public school and be sufficiently prepared to go to college or one of our very good universities when they graduate.
Case in point: Mark Carney, now Governor of the Bank of England, who grew up in Northern Canada.
I like our social conscience.  On the whole, we believe we are our brother's keeper and are willing to pay higher taxes so that no one is left destitute.  It makes for a happier environment for everyone when we help each other.
And finally, I like WINTER! Yes, that cold, blowy, snowy season of storms and bulky clothes. 
So on today, and every day, I say,"Hip Hip Hooray" for Canada.  I wouldn't want to live anywhere else.