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.
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.
["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.
"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'.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!"]
["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.
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.