Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Motorcycle Miles - Port Bruce

More Fishermen

Yesterday afternoon turned hot so I warmed up the bike and headed to Port Bruce to enjoy cooler breezes off Lake Erie, a cup of hot coffee and scenes of the channel. Again, many people were out with fishing poles - on the pier, along the channel, on the lake, with a few on the beach (their numbers down from last Friday).

"I walked north, and kept my pace under 6 km/h"

Once I had coffee I walked past my bike to the pier. Then I turned north for the walk toward an active Purple Martin house. How active? Stay tuned.

Link to more Motorcycle Miles

Photos GH

Monday, June 29, 2015

Port Bruce Purple Martins

Caught in Flight

Port Bruce is the birdhouse capital of SW Ontario. One active martin house caught my eye shortly after I arrived in town last Friday.

Pack some sandwiches, a camera and a straw hat. See you in the Bruce on the next nice warm day this week. I'll be on an early '90s Virago and wearing a '50s Stratton (outta Chicago) straw hat.

: )

Link to Birdhouse Hunting - Purple Martins

Photos GH

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Motorcycle Miles - Port Bruce

Fair Fishing on Friday

Fishermen pulled perch from the water in Port Bruce this week. Men, women and children with poles lined the beach and pier, several boats entered and exitted the channel while I snapped a few pictures, and some fellows dipped their nets to snag minnows for bait. Busy times in fair weather.

The motorcycle ran like a charm and as I cruised through Sparta I thought of a little biking holiday to Ottawa. It might be something I will do in late July, in warmer, drier weather, and include stops in Fenelon Falls and Kingston on the way out and back. We shall see!

Link to Motorcycle Miles - Port Bruce

Photos GH

Birdhouse Hunting - Purple Martins

Visit Port Bruce

It's still true. Port Bruce is the Birdhouse Capital of Southwestern Ontario, maybe all of Canada. And as soon as I'd parked my bike near the main drag this past Friday I noticed a large birdhouse near the channel was active. Purple Martins? I had to get closer.

Purple Martins darted here and there and the occasional sparrow made an appearance as well. This is the second time I've seen sparrows and martins share a box. The first time was several years ago in Goderich, Port Albert or Bayfield, in large communal boxes near the main beach.

Instead of going on a wild goose chase to the above-mentioned Lake Huron destinations, visit Port Bruce on the north shore of Lake Erie. The Martins are very active, feeding their young broods. Especially check out Rush Creek Rd. west of the highway leading into Pt. Bruce.

Happy hunting.

Link to Motorcycle Miles - Port Burwell

Photos GH

Friday, June 26, 2015

Ten Barnboard Birdhouses 2

Yup, Still in Progress

These things take time.

"Beauties for the back yard"

I usually add wee cats to the wee benches. But my mind is turning over a new idea. Stay tuned.

Link to Ten Barnboard Birdhouses 1

As well, link to one of Gord's new blogs - dedicated to The Workshop

Photos GH

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Ten Barnboard Birdhouses

Work In Progress

 "Waiting for the weekend and a 'full-on' trim day"

I like working with barnboard from Handley Lumber, Fenelon Falls. Gray on both sides, cuts, sands, assembles like a charm.

Ten birdhouses are underway. I will prepare four with natural roofs. Six will be painted. And I should be able to add trim by the weekend.

"Two coats of paint, coming up!"

Tune in again!

Please link to B & W in The Workshop

Photos GH

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

B & W in The Workshop

Larger Red Cedar Birdhouses

More details related to this next batch of birdhouses can be seen (in living colour) at one of Gord's new blogs -

The Workshop by G. Harrison

Photo GH

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Eight Red Cedar Birdhouses

Ready for Storage

"Western red cedar faces, sides, roofs and bases : ) Solid comfort" 

I think it was on Friday - just before company arrived - I moved this batch of birdhouses out of the workshop, into the house and onto basement shelves.

"Lots of trim and good character too!"

Though I consider these to be small birdhouses the interior space is quite good, at least 30 square inches of floor space for a songbird's nest.

The 'birdhouse-building-production-line' is now back in action and by the end of this week I can almost guarantee another dozen and a half birdhouses will join these in storage.

Link to Black and White Workshop

Photos GH

Friday, June 19, 2015

Black & White Workshop

Various Projects

You've come at a busy time. I sold over 40 items at a recent sale and am working hard at building up my stock of birdhouses.

Link to The Workshop

Photo GH

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Wee Side Job

Hot Wheels. Hot Wood

I admit, the toys have seen better days and the wood is from my scrap pile. But together they say something.

"Don't just throw us away!"

Link to The Workshop by G. Harrison (i.e., Wee Side Job 4)

Photos GH

Monday, June 15, 2015

Small Job. Big Job

Busy Times

There are a few long days ahead - in black and white - inside the workshop.

Link to The Workshop by G. Harrison

Photos GH

Saturday, June 13, 2015

What's Going on Here?

The Workshop

The side shelf inside my workshop is loaded with birdhouse stock... and more.

Once I start sanding all this stuff the dust will fly for at least three hours.

So, stand back if you're wearing nice duds.

See what's going on - The Workshop by G. Harrison

Photo GH

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Black and White

Motorcycle Miles

I stop for coffee, flea markets and hop farms.

Link to Motorcycle Miles - Port Burwell

Photo GH

Steady Eddy in the Workshop

More Birdhouses and Other Stuff

After morning coffee at Fire Roasted I will write a bit (another entry for relatively new blog 'Canadians in Combined Operations, WW2'), then continue rebuilding birdhouse supplies in the workshop and taking another step on a table/shelf unit.

Lots of sanding today, about two hour's worth. Maybe I'll be lucky and catch a breeze.

"Thirteen units on this shelf"

Link to The Workshop - Building Birdhouses 1

Photos GH

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

A Hop Farm 2

The Humble Hayhoe Hop Crop

"New hop vines are visible 100 yards behind my old Virago"

Near the southern end of Springfield Line (between Port Burwell and Port Bruce, north of Nova Scotia Line) lies a hop farm - two or three acres in size. Only a small portion of the poles now support hop vines, but in the future I expect the business to expand as Ontario's craft brewers find opportunities to enter the growing craft beer market.

Link to Motorcycle Miles - A Hop Farm

Photo GH

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Motorcycle Miles - Port Burwell

Quiet Day at the Beach and Submarine

Last Sunday PM, after inspecting a hop farm on Springfield Line, I motorcycled east on Nova Scotia Line to my second favourite pit stop in the universe, Port Burwell. Home to a lighthouse, bank turned into a Lunch Box and one of the world's last Red & White grocery stores.

Q: Why does Gord always mention the Red & White store? I mean, it's small, terribly out-dated!

While chomping on a foot-long w extra tomato and onions I noticed part of a black hulk blocking my view of the Otter River Valley. Wow! It's the Ojibway, I said.

I'll be back soon. That's one attraction I really want to explore. Maybe take 'er out fer a spin, eh!

Link to more Motorcycle Miles

Photos GH

Motorcycle Miles - A Hop Farm

On the Way to Port Burwell

On Sunday I picked my way - zig, zag, this way, that - to my second favourite port on Lake Erie's north shore, and while lazily doing so I spotted a new hop farm on Springfield Line, a kilometer north of the Nova Scotia Line (between Port Bruce and Burwell). I hopped off the bike and snapped a few pictures.

"Lots of room for more hops. Will the crop be viable?"

"The purple martin house (upper left) appeared to have a few boarders"

I say 'new' farm because most of the poles, cables and twine meant to support vigorous vines sit empty. Only part of the farthest three or four rows from the road have been planted.

Will more hops appear or be planted this year? I do not know.

So, as Arnold says, "I'll be back."

Link to more Motorcycle Miles

Photos GH

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Motorcycle Miles - Dreaming

It's a Strong Maybe

I woke up this morning to a warm June day. My mind, after a java jolt, turned to Yamaha, specifically to the 1994 Virago motorcycle sitting under a tarp in my side yard.

Pt. Bruce? Yeah, it's a definite possibility.

Link to Motorcycle Miles - Port Bruce

Photos GH

Monday, June 1, 2015

Combined Operations, WW2

A Fascinating Book

Lloyd Evans was a landing craft operator during WW2. His memoirs provide a comprehensive, fascinating look at his wartime experiences.

Link to Canadians in Combined Operations, WW2 by G. Harrison for more details.

Photo 1 - used with permission from L. Evans

Photo 2 - from Canada's War At Sea