Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Scotland 2014

Step One

So, I've bought my tickets.

Now all I have to do is plan a full, two-week-long itinerary in 14 days.

Link to Halifax and Another Hard Promise

Photos GH

It Strikes Me Funny

I Offer Free Delivery

 ["I will leave the squirrel trap outside for one more day"]

At my house there are two sides to discussions about trapping and relocating squirrels. I'm in favour. My wife is not. Outside my house the issue reveals many more sides.

Some folks trap and kill squirrels (often by drowning). Some use pellet guns to injure them. Some trap and deliver city squirrels to the country. Others feed squirrels, put up with them, shake their fist at them while watching seed-mix disappear from their bird feeders, try to make 'squirrel-proof' feeders using a wide variety of methods, etc. There seems to be as many ways to deal with squirrels as there are squirrels. I think most people just put up with them. (In many countries, including England and USA, squirrel meat is sold in butcher shops or appears on the menu).

["Gotchya. Enjoy your carrot - w PB - while I deliver you to a new address"]

I guess I fall somewhere in the middle. I don't want to shot them or cook up Brunswick Stew while the North American food basket is so full w other good choices. With my humane trap from Lee Valley I catch a few squirrels on occasion, i.e., when they regularly get into my feeder after I've tried a dozen ways to stop them from the practice. I then put them on the back of my bike or into the trunk of my car and deliver them to various green areas on the other side of the Thames River. "Sometimes they beat me back home," I like to say, because I think it's true.

My actions are all perfectly legal (according to City by-laws) but I know I put some peoples' noses out of joint.

About that. Opinions are like noses. Everybody has one. 

Link to "Kapoweee!" says the Squirrel

Photo GH

Bird Watching

Big Bird Competition

["Yesterday, while working in the shop, I heard noise at the feeder"] 

Blue Jays and Mourning Doves are the largest birds that regularly visit my feeder. I have never seen the pair sit together in the feeder and according to my casual observations the Blue Jay tends to get first sitting.

However, two seconds after the jay has had its fill, the dove swoops in for leftovers.

Did you notice the trap in the yard? More news re the squirrel population in Old South coming up.

Link to Bird Watching

Photos GH

Zoom w a View

Fav Photos from Fenelon Falls

While babysitting rambunctious twin grad-daughters on the weekend I only had time to take a few relaxed photos from my son's east-facing deck. Right around 7:30 AM the sun was peekin' thru a big maple.

Officially we were experiencing fall weather but it felt pretty summery to me.

Link to Zoom w a View

Photos GH

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Zoom w a View

Fog should be gone in an hour. Then I can do one last cannonball off my son's dock in Fenelon Falls for 2014.

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Fenelon Falls

We arrived safely in the bustling town at about 2 PM yesterday and headed straight for a favourite stored where homemade jams and jellies line the shelves. A few locally made birdhouses line walls behind the counter and I like to peek at prices. Too high, I usually think.

Then off we drove to our son's house to catch out breaths before he arrived home with his family in tow, i.e., his lovely wife and energetic twin daughters, now five years old and as full of beans as ever.

Good times, gorgeous weather.

Friday, September 26, 2014

Bird Watching

Observant Blue Jay

A large jay visited the feeder while I worked in the shop yesterday.

He noticed the yard was quieter than usual.

"Is there a squirrel missing?" it seemed to say.

Yup. One received free delivery to Springbank Park to play w its buddies.

Link to Bird Watching

Photos GH

It Strikes Me Funny

Jumpy Squirrel

I almost had the life scared out of me yesterday. While snapping photos of birds at my feeder one athletic fuzz-bomb of a squirrel jumped on top of it. Kapowee! So, later in the day I set up my humane trap in the backyard.

Within the hour I delivered one jumpy guy to Springbank Park to play with his buddies - and not to scare the birds!

Link to It Strikes me Funny

Photos GH

Birdhouse London

A Triplex w One Nervous Cat

Wow. This house sat in the workshop for 2 - 3 months waiting for some attention to last details. Let me just say, I get busy sometimes (e.g., w a motorcycle trip to Halifax, wee libraries and swap boxes, etc.) and things get shelved, then covered w dust.

When I finally found time this week for a few details I added a bit of rain protection over the main door, a nice long fence and a seed pot made from a napkin ring, among other wee things.

["A new pot from an old wooden napkin ring"]

["So, how was I made? From a bit of scrap too?"]

The cat should stay cool. He's my favourite.

: )

You stay cool too.

Link to Birdhouse London

Photos GH

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Bird Watching

"Kapoweee!" says the Squirrel

Life was good at the feeder this morning. Mrs. Cardinal gave me a wink, a few sparrows dropped by and watched their manners. Then... BANG!

["BANG! Squirrel jumps into feeder. Almost stopped my heart!"]

Mr. Squirrel shouted, "I'm back. Deal with it!"

I scared him away - that miserable cuss - but it left a trail of debris and one battered, off-kilter rooster in its wake.

Link to Bird Watching

Photos GH

Zoom w a View

In the Shadows

Little Free Libraries are bigger than birdhouses in more ways than one. They take a lot more time to build and take up a lot more space inside my wee shop.

Though I still make a lot more birdhouses than libraries (one of each in above photo), the libraries are starting to overshadow the birdhouses. (Maybe if I made a much bigger birdhouse...)

Link to Zoom w a View

Photo GH

The Workshop

Voila! Hand Delivered AOK

Final shots before I stuffed a library inside my Honda Civic. Trust me, it ain't easy. I almost called for a crane.

["Soon to be open fer business"]

The client was elated and had but one question:

"Can you make a stand and install it?"

'Have Shovel, Will Travel' is my middle name, so I guess the above photos will not be my final shots after all.

Link to The Workshop

Photos GH

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Gord's Journal

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Recently finished an iMac book re my East Coast trip, Halifax and Another Hard Promise. Books produced in this manner are expensive so I'll only order a few.

That being said, I next plan to produce the book again - with dozens more photos, all in black and white - with the help of a self-publishing program from Amazon Books. (I bet I'll sell millions!) And after that, another version as an e-book w scores of colour pictures floating about.

Nothing like keeping busy w family history.

Order now to beat the rush!

: )

Link to Gord's Journal

Photos GH

The Workshop

Library and Cedar Box

The little wee library is almost finished. I'll add a bit of bright yellow paint to the letters on the five signs this AM, and when the paint is dry, on they go. Voila! Done. Then off I go. PM delivery today to a client three blocks away. (I won't be surprised if I'm asked, "How do we put it up?" I have two answers ready, both mean more work for me. But I do own a shovel and you know what I say. Have Shovel, Will Travel).

Last look about:

The top of a complex cedar box is 'trimmed out' (except for the hand carvings on the outside) and I think I made good use of aged trim from the best western cedar available. Lots of work left to do but my enjoyment level is high. I have some Red Cabernet for the finish (about a week away, I think) and I can hardly wait to see the final results.

Fiddly work but not a lot of dust. The best of times.

Link to The Workshop

Photos GH

Monday, September 22, 2014

Zoom w a View

Holbrook - Salford Line

Good road for riding into the sunset, except on a rainy day.

Link to Zoom w a View

Photos GH

Motorcycle Miles

Troubled Skies over Holbrook

["Dark skies on the left are likely over Woodstock"]

Yesterday I stayed later in Norwich than I planned. Got talking with two couples who were connected to the Harrison family in some ways. (The Stovers worked with my parents: Mr. Stover w Dad at the Norwich Co-op. Mrs. Stover w mother at the Museum and Archives. Bev and Ena Avey knew my family as friends and neighbours and members of the Anglican Church).

On the way home the skies appeared to threaten rain. I hopped off at the entrance to a familiar laneway (the once pretty farmhouse and century-old barn are long gone and the lot is now almost entirely empty) which seemed to mark the line between the skies I had left behind and the troubled skies ahead.

 ["Unfortunately I am not riding to the NE"]

["Some blue sky ahead but I am losing it quickly"]

I was on the 401, about to exit onto Highbury Avenue (10 minutes from home), when the skies opened. Wet Boy made it home safely but my jeans are still drying out over the tub.

More photos:

 ["The skies behind me"]

 ["The skies ahead"]

 ["If I rode 1 mile to the SW I would be in the sun"]

["I'd better get a move on"]

Once I reached Salford I knew the odds of staying dry all the way home were minimal.

Link to Motorcycle Miles

Photos GH