Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Pssst. Wanna TOP Secret?

Rare Maps for Sale.

[Photo: They ain't ready yet. But soon.]

Undoubtedly.

This year will be a boom year for those who love elderberry pies (or wine, elixir, jams, and jelly) as much as I do. Double undoubtedly.

While touring on my motorcycle in late June and July, I noticed elderberry plants in bloom in many familiar and unfamiliar locations between London and.... Shhhhh. TOP Secret.

That said, I can't possibly harvest or eat them all - though I'd like to - so, for one time only, I am willing to sell nicely detailed maps to 7 of the 8 patches* that I have found. But, for BIG bucks, 'cause I know how much some people love, just looove elderberries.

"Oh, where could this possibly be?" (Price negotiable)

More enticing photos from who knows where**:


"You'd better act sooon!"

*Map to #8, The Mother Lode, is mine, all mine. (As Lucy used to say, "All I want is my fair share. All I want is what's rightfully mine.")

**I know where : )

For a small clue, please link to Gord's Hop Farm 6.

Rare Photos by GH

Gord's Hop Farm 6.

Just in Time!

Vines are following twine across the gap between lattices.

Hop vines grow before your eyes. I don't know how high or wide they grow in a season but I thought, last week, after noticing mine wanted to grow higher and wider than my first lattice, and along a twine highway I'd attached to the house.

Yesterday I closed the gap between 'first lattice ' and 'second' with a highway of cedar, and though I don't think the hops will fill the second lattice this year, they might next year, after I move a few root balls here and there.

 Four-foot gap is now spanned by a cedar bridge

 Will several vines play "follow the leader?"

 The vines are already more than 20 feet long.

 Hop vines near Port Bruce are already in flower. Not mine.

Not hops. Elderberry bushes are fruiting, also near Port Bruce. 

More views to follow of ripening hops and elderberries.

Please link to Gord's Hop Farm 5.

Monday, July 17, 2017

Birds, Pt. Bruce and Berries 3.


I spotted sailboats on calm waters yesterday soon after rounding the bend in the beach road. I parked my bike, walked to the pier and watched sailors bring one home. 


Faint clouds on the horizon and soft tones in the water served as nature's palette.

More photos from along the way on Sunday:

 Welcome to Port Bruce, south of Aylmer.

 Gulls rest while swallows dart here and there.


 Elderberries not ready for pies.

 Mud nests may soon hold a second brood of young swallows.



Hop plants are in flower, south of Mount Salem.



Photos GH

Saturday, July 15, 2017

Gord's Hop Farm 5.

Heading North.

[Photo: Hop vines crossing the gap.]

Earlier this summer I built cedar lattice just in time for hop vines to take over the back deck. Those vigorous vines now fill most of the lattice, and some vines are heading north, across the gap, via two pieces of twine.

Note to self: Build more lattice. Quick!

Trumpet vines are booming on a fence shared with neighbours too.


More to follow as vines take over.

Please link to Gord's Hop Farm 4.

Photos GH

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Back to the Beach 3.

[Photo: Parked with a View]

It doesn't take long. If I leave London by 10 a.m. I can be parked in one of Pt. Bruce's shady spots by 11. After wandering about, and snapping photos, I can be sitting at The Corner View with a toasted BLT by noon.

"Home by two," I often say to Pat.

Photos from along the way:









I know. I can't go home without checking on my favourite nesting site for swallows, i.e., under a bridge on Crossley-Hunter Line.

More to follow, for certain.

Please link to Back to the Beach 2.

Photos GH

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Back to the Beach 2.

Hazy Day at Port Bruce

 [Photo: Gateway to the Sea]

Recently I enjoyed a walk on the beach while wondering where the distant horizon was. Still out there?


I spotted a bit of colour in front of a cottage. Future project in The Workshop?


Please link to Back to the Beach.

Photos GH

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Birds, Pt. Bruce and Berries 2.

The Easy Life.

[Photo: Curious Boy is rewarded, 30 minutes from home.]

I could say we are both curious. I frequently check out mud swallow nests; mud swallows check out me.

Within 60 kilometres of my front door I can easily make a handful of stops - while motorcycling - that are both pleasant and rewarding. I can park myself under a small bridge and watch birds soar past me at 100 miles per hour. I can stroll a humble beach area, feel a fresh breeze blow through what's left of my hair. I can stop to gauge the health of this year's elderberry crop (Top Rate).

Photos from along the way:

 I expected more swallows at the door. All up and gone?


 Elderberry bushes are in full flush, with countless blooms and berries

 Soon the blush of purple will appear

 Two classics and a wannabe!





Bike. Bike. Beauty.

And pleasant stops offer more. A glimpse of classic cars and aroma of classic BLTs and the stir of wind and wave.

Please link to Birds and Elderberries.

Photos GH

Monday, July 10, 2017

Hot Dog.

[Photo: Best Dog in London]

I dropped off items related to the Labatt Park birdhouse at noon on Friday and - seconds before leaving - I noticed a ball player (for the London Majors) putting condiments onto a hot dog.

Stomach to Brain: Gord didn't have breakfast. It's lunchtime. I'm hungry.

Brain: And?

Stomach to Brain: I'd go for a hot dog. Best in London.

Brain: I'll stop the car.

I walked over to the concession stand, took out my wallet, asked for one hot dog and handed a tenner toward the chef.

"Want something to drink?" he asked.

I said, "I'm fine. Just heading home."

He handed me a dog in tin foil and shook off the tenner. I offered sincere gratitude, loaded up on all available condiments and hit the road. Home in five minutes with the best dog in town.

Any arguments?

Please link to Heartwood at this link.

Photos GH

Gord's Hop Farm 4.

Staying Only One Step Ahead.

[Photo: Hops are growing faster by the day]

It's the wet and the weather. The ground is damp and the air is warm, and hop vines know when to make hay.

They are moving quickly - 6 to 12 inches per day - and will soon fill the first set of cedar lattice I put into place just moments before the vines arrived from their starting point, i.e., the side fence. And dozens of tendrils are now reaching out from the lattice to the sky, because they want more places to explore.

So, I've attached twine to the top of the lattice, and it stretched it north toward the house and a second section of lattice not yet built.... to be built seconds before the vines arrive!



Daily, vines are reaching out farther, and I need to get into gear. 

More to follow.

Please link to Gord's Hop Farm 3.

Photos GH