Friday, April 28, 2017

Port Bruce: Colour vs Black and White.

Motorcycle Miles on Thursday.

Heading south on Old Vic to Scotland Road.

I like April mornings that are dry, with a light breeze, about 20 degrees C, with blue, sunny skies and a few clouds overhead. In other words, motorcycling weather.

By 10:30 a.m. I was heading east on Commissioners toward Old 'Vic' (Victoria) Sideroad on my way to Port Bruce. I stopped once on the way to the lake, i.e., at a short bridge on Hunter-Crossley Line, a few miles southeast of Belmont, to see if swallows had started building mud houses underneath it.

 Swallows make mud nests under this quiet bridge

I was too early. Mud nests will appear in upper right corner soon

I saw one pair of swallows on a wire, then in the sky, so I felt I will have more to show interested viewers in another week or so. Evidence proves this is a popular spot for mud nest builders. The mud is readily available from the creek bed, and except for the odd photographer, no one bothers the nest builders. (More photos soon to follow, I hope).

Once in Port Bruce I chatted briefly with John Hesch from London (he was busy catching minnows), then checked the skies to see if predicted rain was on the horizon ("2PM", said local weather casts). See for yourself.

 The skies overhead and over Port Burwell (east) looked untroubled.

Skies southeast of the pier were darker. I left before any storm brewed.

The Corner View Cafe was closed, so I took my thermos of coffee to the beach and enjoyed peace and quiet under warm skies. I left by 12:45 in order to be home by two, and the predicted rain storm hit London at about 3 PM. 

(I was well off the bike but got drenched while planting a post for a birdhouse in a neighbourhood front garden. Fortunately, it was a warm rain).

More to follow.

Photos GH

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Cool and Comfortable.

The Benefits of Walking After Supper.

I have been taking more evening walks lately because my mornings and afternoons are busier, full. My motorcycle and workshop always lure me away from walking routes and running shoes during spring and summer.

In the early evening the day's temperature cools down and I feel like I can walk farther and faster than during the heat of the day. Other people skate, walk, bike or run past me. Surely some of them feel that the evening is the best time of day for their activity as well.

NP17 means.... walk 17 out of 120 in a set of walks entitled "No Pressure" 

 I aim to bring my weekly mileage to 26.5 miles (marathon distance)

8 PM. Nice time of day

See you out there after supper?

Please link to Terry Fox Pathway and Beyond

Photos GH

Birdhouse Hunting

If I Had a Hammer

On Sunday, during a 'sunny day, blue skies' motorcycle ride to my chief childhood hometown, I stopped to peek inside five of my birdhouses - scattered around a quiet cemetery one and a half miles outside Norwich.

While checking their condition - one needed a well-placed nail to hold it steady - the noise from birds in nearby trees could be described as an unrelenting racket. Redwing blackbirds, swallows, sparrows, finches and more filled the air in flight and with their calls and squawks.

The birdhouse - under the blackbird - is almost invisible

I shall return, with hammer and nails and earplugs!

Please link to Motorcycle Miles - Pt. Bruce, April 10, 2017.

Photos GH

Monday, April 24, 2017

Birdhouses: Checking on Their Condition.

Norwich - April 23, 2017.

Good motorcycle ride to Norwich yesterday, under very blue skies.

After checking the condition of my parent's gravesite, I walked the perimeter of the cemetery to see if a few sturdy birdhouses were surviving.

Two were active, nests being used; two require a clean out; one needs another nail to support it properly. So, I shall return.

Please link to The Workshop in Review 2016 (6).

Photos GH

Friday, April 21, 2017

A Man's Port is His Castle.

"Black and White"

"Bonfire and bourbon, Saturday night"

Though the small - not insignificant - port looks better in colour, I chose black and white in order to highlight a few details, especially the rare view of 'the king of the castle' in the last photograph.

Usually, once the Yamaha is parked, I do a short walk-about with cameras in tow. I snap a few shots of this and that while thinking, "Fries or a BLT?"

Cold shoulder! Lake Erie gives me a chill early in the year if my leather jacket isn't zipped up tightly. When I see all the timber tossed on shore I think, "Bonfire and bourbon, Saturday night."

 "Once the Yamaha is parked"

"I do a short walk-about"

 "This and that"

 "Lake Erie gives me a chill"

"Rare view of the king of the castle"

Please link to Pt. Bruce, April 17, 2017

Photos GH

Little Free Libraries, Progress Continues (8).

Two for a Park are Finished

Wee 'community libraries' stand tall atop a workshop table. Voila. Fini.

People in the know will be able to spot a couple of differences between these and earlier models.

Because gray-on-both-sides barn board has dried up I now use white pine barn board, knowing it will turn a golden bronze colour over the first two years before showing signs of very light gray.

Because I am out of tongue and groove cedar (1/2-inch thick; also rare) I now use 1-inch thick cedar decking for roofs and trim, and make my own ship lap or overlap style for the roofs. Finished libraries are at least 5 pounds heavier as a result.

Dimensions are slightly bigger than in the past. So, now that they are heavier on two counts, installation should be a lot more fun! : )

Still the same: Board and batten walls and some splashes of colour still seem to set them off nicely, in my opinion.


Last photo: A third model, for another client, is almost finished. An interior shelf requires paint and installation, signage is needed over the front door, and the platform and stand need to be painted and assembled.

So, guess what is on my to-do list this weekend?

Please link to Little Free Libraries, Progress Continues (7).

Photos GH

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Pt. Bruce, April 17, 2017.

Three in a Row!

I know. I'm hooked on motorcycling to Port Bruce.

Why? The answer is blowin' in the wind.

When I think, "Get yer motor runnin'", I catch the fresh scent of coffee, BLTs, King Burgers, fresh water awakening from its icy grip, and an easy ride to Port Bruce next springs to mind.

Bike insurance now stands at $270 per ride. Cheaper by the dozen!

It's all 'in the wind', like I said.

Please link to Pt. Bruce, April 14, 2017.

Photos GH

Bust a Bloom 3.

"HERE TODAY": Dried Up, Blown Away

Under the heading of "Here Today, Gone Tomorrow",  I share these last photos of apricot blooms and blossoms:

Where'd they all go?

Blowin' in the wind.

Please link to Bust a Bloom 2.

Photos GH

Saturday, April 15, 2017

Bob Dylan Plays London.

I'm No Expert.

One album that gets a lot of play in my workshop is 'Time Out Of Mind'. It is described as "a stunning work" in Classic Bob Dylan 1962-69: My Back Pages by Andy Gill. Though not stunned by it, I have played it ten times in a row -more than a few times - before replacing it with another Dylan CD from a dusty, hefty pile.

All I will say now is, his music captures my interest. It has since 1963 when I was a fresh-faced 13-year-old. Even the old Bob Dylan captures my interest much more than other old artists I grew to like as a young fellow, like Ian Tyson, Gord Lightfoot, Willie Nelson, the Rolling Stones and all other comers.

At I checked out Bob Dylan's albums in Chronological order: 'Time Out Of Mind' was preceded by 37 other albums and followed by 14 others, signifying more than a long and healthy career.

When friend Reg and I go to see Dylan in London on July 6, Reg will be hoping to hear one of his favourite songs from 'Modern Times' (2006), i.e., 'Workingman's Blues #2'. And I'll be hoping to hear a bit of harmonica - for old-time's sake - in a song from the 1960's.

Andy Gill writes:

But whatever the merits (or otherwise) of his subsequent work , and notwithstanding in particular the greatness of 'Blood On The Tracks', it's upon his sixties songs that Bob Dylan's reputation ultimately rests: that extraordinary sequence of records which unerringly tracked the tenor of the times as he moved through his various incarnations as raw young folkie, prince of protest, folk-rock innovator, symbolist rocker and country-rock pioneer.

I won't call out a favourite from the crowd. I'll just let Bob do his thing.

Please link to The Way We Roll 8

Photo GH

Pt. Bruce, April 14, 2017.

World Famous Views.

There are those who will argue, but by dead-reckoning - and with help from official Canadian survey markers - I've discovered that Port Bruce, Ontario (comfortably situated on the north shore of Lake Erie, 61 kilometres south-east of my front porch in London), is the centre of the known universe. 

Dead-centre, by my own series of complex mathematical computations, is in front of the 'order here' window at The Corner View Cafe.

The place was abuzz with activity yesterday. Three children were playing near the beach, a few young adults discussed the time of "tonight's bonfire", expensive motorcycles and a few classic cars circled 'the loop', and the 'order here' window slid open and closed more times than I could count.

 No. B77 - B for Bruce, File 77. X marks the spot.

You gotta go. Besides the views, The Corner View Cafe's world famous BLT is still $4.95.

Be there. Be square.

Please link to Pt. Bruce, April 10, 2017 (2).