Friday, September 19, 2014

Motorcycle Miles

Port Bruce, from the Pier


Go to the end of the pier and look west.

Link to Motorcycle Miles

Photo GH

Zoom w a View

Birdhouse Hunting

["A different take on a four-plex. Cool"]

Port Bruce has been called the birdhouse capital of SW Ontario on more than one occasion, with good reason. Many folks are proud of their numerous and unusual styles of homes. I spotted the above birdhouse on the grounds of Big Six Park, a very small (but proud) trailer park across the street from Corner View Cafe.

Will I copy the style? Just wait and see.

Link to Zoom w a View

Photo GH

Motorcycle Miles

Port Bruce, Ontario


A full 90 per cent of my motorcycle rides end in Port Bruce. And that's likely because after an easy hour of riding I like to dismount and enjoy a cup of coffee in view of the north shore of Lake Erie. While doing so I write a few notes ("workshop - cut signage for library when ya get home") and take a few photos, purely for pleasure.



Link to Motorcycle Miles

Photos GH

Bird Watching

Sparrows Take Over


Every morning I am greeted by 'four and twenty' sparrows. When they finally leave the feeder is cleaned out, right down to the floor boards. Anyone have a recipe for sparrow pie?

Link to Bird Watching

Photo GH

Thursday, September 18, 2014

The Workshop

On the Horizon

["Next up, I'll dust off shadow boxes and add cedar trim.
You can't cedar trim now but ya will later"]

Three 'fish-themed' shadow boxes have been sitting on an upper shelf for a long time, just waiting for me to snatch an hour of free time and finish them off. I now have a nice can of finish and suitable, nice lookin' trim handy. So, on the horizon - some final photos.


The door on the library is finished, works like a charm. On the horizon - signage.


Tonka Airlines sold me an old trainer. On the horizon - specialty birdhouse/airport/crop duster.


A triplex is almost ready to bring indoors. On the horizon - perches, a thorough dusting and a bit of trim.


I think by next Tuesday I'll be looking to start my next project for patient clients. I'd better check my to-do list to see who is in the on deck circle.

: )

Link to The Workshop

Photos GH

Zoom w a View

Chickadee Condos


Rescued lumber. Varnish. A bit of symmetry.

Link to Zoom w a View

Photo GH

It Strikes Me Funny

All is Well at 65


"You get to pick where we eat breakfast, Birthday Boy," said my wife this morning.

We were soon driving a few blocks north of Elmwood and out of Old South. To the West Side of town. Well, it was the West Side a few decades ago. Now it feels like it's only a hop, step and a jump from downtown London.


The West Side Family Restaurant on Wharncliffe, one block north of Riverside, is one of my favourite places for eggs, home fries and two thick slices of tomato. And when I turn 75 - along with a lot of other times in between - that's where I'm going for 'nom nom noms'.

Link to It Strikes Me Funny

Photos PH and GH

Birdhouse London

Everything Must Go

["Rustic houses with a nice coat of marine varnish... be gone"]

Once I finish a birdhouse, or a set of them, I clear (and dust) the decks in my workshop. I need the space!

["Two bee houses, each w a bamboo column, hit the road"] 

["Bat houses, 22 in. high, take up a lot of shelf space"]

["Out they go and into storage!"]

Pretty soon I'll have enough room to work on another 12 - 18 houses. More dusty times ahead.


Photos GH

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

The Workshop

Next Up - the Door


Board and batten-style trim and drip edge over the door is done. Wait. I should have said 'drip edge over the big hole in the front' is done.




One door coming up.

Link to The Workshop

Photos GH

Bird Watching

Hairy Woodpecker is Back


Six to eight weeks ago a Hairy Woodpecker started hammering away at a board overtop the door to The Annex (spare shed). It left a mess and plenty of new holes. I heard it testing a few items after lunchtime yesterday so I grabbed my camera and kneeled down in the workshop door.




Leave my birdhouses alone, I thought. Get lunch at the feeder like everybody else.

What are the odds it will eat an old birdhouse?

Link to Bird Watching

Photos GH

Birdhouse London

Solid Wee Houses


These three houses are all of a kind: Wee, solid, with small side addition, like the 'Harrison Specials' I made recently - but smaller. I think they are a perfect $15 birdhouse and, no doubt about it, I will make more of them soon.



They are made from white pine 'tongue and groove' boards rescued from Home Depot's cull pile. I was going to use the wood for birdhouse bases but - after turning the nice lumber over in my hands - cut off the broken bits and went to town.

Not a bad idea, in my opinion.

Link to more Birdhouse London 

Photos GH

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

The Workshop

Progress on Wee Library


The library I am constructing isn't really 'wee' anymore. As I add battens and cedar trim it seems to take up half the space in the workshop. However, the door and signage should be all done by Friday so I'll get some space back and go ahead with adding another dozen birdhouses to my growing collection.


Link to The Workshop

Photos GH

Monday, September 15, 2014

Zoom w a View

Mud Nest Condo Village


Mud nests made by swallows are interesting creations. I am thinking of a way to save one from winter weather so that I can put it on display, along with a couple of traditional birdhouses, inside my workshop.





Wanted: Somebody with a pickup and sturdy ladder. Somebody who isn't afraid of working under a bridge, steadying a ladder while ankle-deep in mud or falling into a crick.

: )

Link to Motorcycle Miles

Link to more Zoom w a View

Photos GH

Motorcycle Miles

Swallows' Mud Nests


When motorcycling I like to stop at a particular bridge on Hunter-Crossley Rd., SE of Belmont, in order to see if some of the strangest nests in the countryside have survived breeding season. Passing motorists probably wonder what I'm doing off my bike and scrambling down a steep, weed-covered bank in my heavy boots, camera in hand.

["A few years ago I spotted swallows darting, and stopping, under this bridge"]

["My first peek looks promising!"]

["Bonanza!"]

["A close-up of the nearest mud nests"]

The swallows are long gone. Not a one could be seen under the bridge or darting over the surrounding fields. But their many nests remain, and this year's collection is the best ever, in my opinion. Only a few will likely survive the winter.

Link to more Motorcycle Miles

Photos GH

Motorcycle Miles

Second Ride

["Hunter-Crossley Rd., SE of Belmont"]

Yesterday, once the sun warmed my back, thoughts of working in the shop were replaced by thoughts of country roads. So, I took the tarp off my bike - for only the second time since my June ride to Halifax - checked the oil and headed south-east.

["More photos from under this special bridge will follow"]

["South-east rides end in Port Bruce. Hot coffee was welcome"]


I had a quick, cold ride home but look forward to more short jaunts in the near future.

Link to Motorcycle Miles

Photos GH

The Workshop

Roof on Sunday

["A library is just a bigger birdhouse"]

The triangles from old barn board are attached and will provide suitable support for solid roof slats. And once the roof slats are in place the project will look more like a 'little free library'.

["Yesterday's bright sunshine got me thinking about a bike ride"]

I used two slats for each side of the roof. The slats overlap one another, are joined using glue and nails, so rain will not be a bother.

I would have added trim right away - I have lots handy from new and rescued lumber - but the sun was warm on my back and thoughts of a motorcycle ride entered my head.

Trim day = Monday.

Link to The Workshop

Photos GH

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Zoom w a View

Artsy Fartsy


Lovely lumber for a wee house.

Link to Zoom w a View

Photo GH

Family Photos

A Few Harrisons


Six Harrison cousins on one loveseat. Not bad!

L - R: Doug, Gord, Joyce, Brian, Gord, Jane.

I'd mention ages if I wouldn't get sued!

Below is a fine photo from Doug's black and white collection. Cliff Fidlin and Roland Harrison, circa 1955, at Turkey Point, Ont.


Link to Family Time

Photos GH