Sunday, August 28, 2016

Motorcycle Miles - Port Bruce, August 27 (1)

Automatic Pilot

Risk? You could be watching the waves and fall off the pier

My motorcycle started 'first time, every time' at 10:30 AM Saturday, warmed up like a champ, and I landed at my favourite vantage point for photos by 11:30. I aimed by cameras at Port Bruce's pier and beyond. Cloud formations to the west were very pleasing to the eye, water colour was rich and Port Bruce sat under almost perfectly clear skies.







No wonder I end up sipping coffee at The Corner View Cafe near the pier 9 times out of 10 rides. I think the Yamaha could find its way without me!

Please link to Motorcycle Miles - Port Burwell, August 21 (2)

Photos GH

Friday, August 26, 2016

Good Salvage - Rescued Lumber 2

Fancy Schmancy Perch

The cedar shakes really make a lovely roof

When I selected a few bits of lumber recently, from a friend's garage, I knew there were birdhouses to be made. Two came together quickly.

Four faces - 9"H x 6.25"W - came from one fir slat. The sides - 5.5"H x 6"W - were cut from skid lumber, 1/2" thick. The first roof for each - 5"H x 7"W - was cut from plywood and the bases - 5 x 6 - were cut from scrap.

This one comes with one free birdhouse!

My only expenses - the wooden spoon perch (50 cents), nails and a few screws. Though I buy more lumber now than I rescue, I still get great pleasure from turning land fill material into a practical, functional birdhouse or other project.

Please link to Good Salvage - Rescued Lumber 1

Photos GH

Good Salvage - Rescued Lumber 1

A Quick and Easy Job

The two on the right are from select, rescued lumber

The phone rang last week and the following conversation began:

LP: My wife and I are moving in the spring. I am cleaning lumber out of the garage and thought of you.

GH: I'll be over in five.

From LP's stash I selected odd bits of plywood, pine slats of various widths and a pile of cedar shakes. (About the shakes I was thinking.... roofing material for birdhouses.)

I did not select a ton of odds and sods, but likely enough for 10 - 12 rustic looking birdhouses.

Here is the first one - total cost to me $1.00 for the metal perch, and a few cents for nails and screws - with a cedar shake roof:

 Faces are from lovely rustic fir; the first roof is 1/4" plywood

Cedar shake roof atop the plywood 

 I buy bits and bobs for unique perches

Rescued lumber oft-times looks pretty rustic. Thumbs up, I say

One more will quickly follow.

Please link to another rescue... Birdhouse Trim, Perches and Stands 3

Photos GH

White Pine is for Painting 7

Fini. Voila!

This one brightens up rustic surroundings

Inside this white pine birdhouse a family of chickadees would find ample floor space (approx. 30 sq. inches) for building a nest, raising a brood, or just hanging out after a long day at the office.

Outside, one finds bright colours and an eye-catching perch.



Hey, the sun came out. Lookin' good

I assembled five white pine painted models, three with sturdy stands (cedar block bases, metal poles). I will display some of them on Sunday at Gathering on The Green 2, 11 - 5 PM. Hope to see you there.

Please link to White Pine is for Painting 6

Photos GH

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

White Pine is for Painting 6

Last Steps on the Last Ones

This pair needs another thirty minute's worth of attention

Three of the white pine painted models ended up on sturdy metal poles and cedar stands, but the last two need just a few more items before they too are finished. The first coat of paint is already drying on roof ridges and roof edge trim, so these two should be completely ready for final photos late this PM or early tomorrow.

Stay tuned.

Please link to White Pine is for Painting 5

Photo GH

The Transition Zone 9 - Steady Jogging

Some Kind of Miracle

August 17 - A great bit of shuffling with no rest breaks. Progress!!
However, I slowed the pace a bit on the next two walkajogs

One week ago I had such a breakthrough that I felt as if I'd set a new world record. I set out on a relatively cool evening - with no crippling humidity - with a walkajog on my mind. I walked for five minutes to warm up, then started to shuffle off to Buffalo, and (surprise, surprise) I kept on shuffling past the 1 mile marker, 2 mile marker, three mile marker, four mile marker.... and only stopped a short distance from home. I reckon, out of 5.25 total miles I jogged over 4.5 of them.

"Where did that come from?" I asked myself. Certainly out of the blue, but also out of months of walking and shuffling goodly distances on a regular basis. (The excitement soon past. It had to happen sooner or later.)

Since then, I have not been pushing my way out the door each day to complete walkajogs at the same pace. I have the time to let a jogging habit establish itself by walking most days and walkajogging at a comfortable pace two or three times per week. Last night for example, I covered four miles and walked at jogged at regular intervals, with walking breaks lasting 1 - 2 minutes in length and jogging intervals of 2 - 3 minutes at a time. My pace was slower than a few recent jogs but I was just fine with that.

I went out the door twice yesterday, at an easy pace*

Go slow and enjoy the view, I say. I know that if I keep up my GOTD rate (Get Out The Door) and cover an average of 20 - 25 miles per week, good things will continue to happen.

No need to push myself more than I am already doing. I have lots of other things on my plate:

 I try to cover some miles on my motorcycle each week as well

 I like to photograph things of interest, e.g.,  hop crop near Lake Erie

 I keep an eye on my own crop of hop cones

 I always have projects on the go inside my wee workshop too

Summer is for some 'relax time' as well (Port Burwell)

Please link to The Transition Zone 8

*When I jog, I keep track of the distance and time, then calculate an average pace per mile. My average pace is generally about 30% faster than my walking pace, so I'm not setting any world records out there : )

Photos GH

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Motorcycle Miles - Port Burwell, August 21 (2)

Camera Number 2

When on the bike, the clouds looked gray

The bike is running like a charm so I want to get some more use out of it (can't let it sit when insurance cost is high) while the weather is good.

Under cloudy skies, then bright, then cloudy, I rode to Port Burwell on Sunday. I recommend sitting on the beach with a can of ginger ale and plate of small fries. Not a bad groove to run in sometimes.

 Motorcycle miles, on Springfield Line, one mile from Lake Erie

 Hop farm adjacent to my roadside parking spot




Once home I went for a 5 mile walkajog to help burn off the fries.

Please link to Motorcycle Miles - Port Burwell, August 21 

Photos GH

Little Beggar

Hairy Woodpecker, Naughty Boy

"Are you talkin to me?"

"What?"

Noise from the front porch disturbed me the other day so I went for a look. This little toot was back to take a whack at an already damaged hole.

"Get away," I say.

"Who me?" he says.

"Yeah, you," I say.

Little beggar then went after my Christmas lights.

Please link to My Morning Smile 4

Photo GH

Monday, August 22, 2016

Motorcycle Miles - Port Burwell, August 21

Farther East

 Port Bruce, looking east to Port Burwell

Port Burwell, looking south to cloudy horizon and USA

Usually, my Virago lands me in Port Bruce - out of habit and my fondness for BLTs at The Corner View Cafe. Yesterday, however, I hit upon John Wise Line, county road 45, and knew it lead to a hop farm and the road to Port Burwell. Easy sailing, after a stop to view Mr. Hayhoe's hop vines.

 Looking north to Mt. Salem on Springfield Line, hop vines on the left

Looking south. Lake Erie, less than a mile away, under blue skies

Threatening clouds were seen overhead while riding east and west, but my time at the beach was perfectly clear. Excellent ride, all in all.

Please link to Motorcycle Miles - August 18

Photos GH

Saturday, August 20, 2016

The Production Line - Cedar Birdhouse Models 11

Voila! Fini! (Now What?!)

Solid red cedar model with a shiny, sturdy perch

Though the cedar birdhouse production line was slowed on occasion - by painted models, cedar stands, Rietveld chairs, hockey, motorcycling, hop vines, lawn care, and a bunch of other stuff - the last three came off the line the other day, shiny brass perches included. I would have revealed these photos sooner but I went to Port Bruce with Pat, got caught up counting seagulls near the channel, and motorcycled to Port Burwell yesterday so I could feel t fresh breeze blow through what's left of my hair.

Yeh, life happens.... oft-times outside the workshop. Who knew?



The sides are 1/2" thick, attached to the sides of the face

Because I now attach the sides (cedar slats) in such a way that they are visible from the front and back (i.e., onto the sides of the face and back end), the base is larger - 5 by 6 - and provides more square footage for the interior nesting space. I say, smooth move, Einstein.

Another project, related to JR-style birdhouses, soon to follow.

Please link to The Production Line - Cedar Birdhouse Models 10

Photos GH

Motorcycle Miles - August 18

Crampton Road and Port Bruce

Looking east on Crampton Rd.

Crampton Road begins south of Nilestown, about 1 - 2 miles south of the 401. It runs east, is both paved and gravelled, and ends at Pigram Rd. (east of Putnam Rd.). It provides more than one opportunity to take photos from a hilltop and connects with highways that run south to Lake Erie.

Looking west on Crampton

I heard from an experienced fisherman in Port Bruce that pickerel are now biting but are a long way out from shore. I was on two wheels so settled for black cherry ice cream at The Corner View Cafe. Gulls, lined up in a row, were visibly jealous.



Please link to Motorcycle Miles on August 3

Photos GH


Cicada at Rest

Camera was Handy


My wife flicked a leaf on our hop vines yesterday and a cicada flew past our noses - one of us yelped*, I think it was me - and landed on a back deck table between us. Fortunately I had a camera in my back pocket.

I snapped three photos before the large bug flew up, up and away. I've often heard them singing during the last week but haven't had a close up look in quite some time. (They live underground for 2 - 17 years before venturing above ground. Link to more about the cicada life cycle.)


Please link to another rare sighting of mud nests at Port Bruce Photos (2)

*To those who live in Wortley Village, I apologize for the blood-curdling scream at about 5 PM yesterday.

Photos GH

My Morning Smile 24

Going to Seed?

Seeds amongst the cones?

So, I say to my wife, "I think the hop vine is going to seed."

She says, "You must know how that feels."



As Jackie Gleason* used to say, "Har-dee har har har!"

Please link to My Morning Smile 23

*Not a good reference. I showed my age on that one, eh.

Photos GH