Friday, June 30, 2017

The Birds Have It.

Port Bruce is a Good Destination.

[Photo: And 'Under the Bridge' is a Grand Detour.]

My motorcycle knows the way by heart. Head south of Belmont two miles, to Hunter-Crossley Rd. Turn left.

Once dismounted beside the bridge, I prepare for the trek down under. I proceed carefully down a grassy creek bank in motorcycle boots, carrying two cameras. And I hope to see young birds, with their heads at the door of the mud nests, accepting food from parents during a fly-by.

Shortly after I am standing directly under the centre of the bridge, and near the edge of a creek, I realize I am a bit early in the year. The chicks are too small to push their way or step toward the door, so adult birds are not doing fly-bys. They stop to enter the nest to feed young, or they cling to its edge and stretch inwards with food in their mouth or throat.

 An adult swallow plays peek-a-boo with me. Nervous birds.

Soon, heads will be at the door. "Feed me," they'll cry.

I'll return to Hunter-Crossley bridge in the near future. To see heads at every door is my goal.

Next, I land in Port Bruce. First thing I see are gulls sitting on the breakwater near the channel, neatly groomed for photographs.

More photos from along the way:

 Abandon ship!

 Female Martin takes a break, upper right on perch

Gateway to the sea 

The beat goes on

Please link to Motorcycle Skies.

Photos GH

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Gord's Hop Farm 2.

Halfway There.

The western cedar lattice is solid, and needs to be, because the hops are hoppin' from the side fence to the lattice at lightning speed, i.e., at the rate of about 6 - 12 inches per day.

So, the vines will be across the full lattice by the 3rd week of July, or sooner.

Hop flowers will arrive during the summer and cones shortly thereafter, followed by ripening time and harvest. Thousands of photos to follow. : )

Please link to Gord's Hop Farm.

Photos GH

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Motorcycle Skies.

Bright Blue over Erie.

[Photo reveals extensive cloud cover, south of Belmont.]

Early yesterday morning the sky was clear over my back deck. Hardly any breeze. Motorcycle time, I thought, still in my PJs. I was on my way south an hour later.

I discovered, while heading toward Port Bruce, a wide band of clouds stretched from London to Lake Erie's north shore. But over the water clear skies prevailed. Goodly numbers of people dotted the pier and rustic beach areas, soaking in a perfect day.

Photos from along the way, with snappy commentary : )

 In ten years I'll be parking in the shade.

 A break in the wall.

 Faint cloud cover several miles south.

 Purple Martins and sparrows share a house near the channel.

 Martins carry on lengthy conversations.

 Swallows feed their young under a bridge.

Within a week, wee heads will be visible at the doors.

I shall return.

Please link to Motorcycle Monday.

Photos GH

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Motorcycle Monday.

A Gateway to the Sea.

[Photo: Hop over a log and you're there!]

Yesterday morning, the TV said "rain starts at 2 PM for London and area." So, I quickly warmed up the bike, sailed to Port Bruce, and returned by 1:30. Could have stayed longer, but I'd left the workshop door open, with projects - ready for attention - on the workbench.

I stopped to check out mud condos along the way, parked in the shade at Port Bruce by 11:30, sipped coffee on the beach, saw dozens of swallows at play, discovered a gateway to the sea and felt grateful that Lake Erie is only 60 kilometres from my front porch. 

Photos from along the way:

 Swallow nests under a bridge lined w grass. No young birds visible, yet.

 "I keep my eye on the cloud cover"

 The Gateway to the Sea

Pat always offers her cellphone. I prefer rotary-dial!

I didn't have time for my usual BLT. However, on my way to Erie, I did stop at Spicer's Bakery, on Aylmer's main street (near the four corners), and enjoyed date squares, Trilbies, and a thermos of coffee under clear blue skies around noon. Sweeet.

Photos GH

Friday, June 16, 2017

Port Burwell Wind Turbines.

Close Enough for a Haircut.

My motorcycle stops for turbines.

As I near Port Burwell on Nova Scotia Line, from Copenhagen (outside Port Bruce), I look for my most-photographed wind turbine. It sits near a curve in the road, about a mile from the beach, and I can park right under it.

 SWOOSH!! "A little off the top, Gord?"

From the Port Burwell pier:

Please link to Port Bruce: Two Months Later.

Photos GH

Thursday, June 15, 2017


Walking through Harris Park.

A week ago Sunday, strong wind and rain battered the Forest City, and its trees - big and small. Tonnes of debris still lines walking routes throughout Harris and Gibbons Park and elsewhere.

Bark, sapwood and heartwood are clearly visible (above), and if one likes counting rings to estimate the age of a tree, the opportunity exists.

I estimate my dad was but a twinkle in his father's eye when this tree first poked it's head above the ground in Harris Park, beside the Thames River.

Please link to Walking Thru Wortley Village.

Photos GH

Scene of a Crime

It's not a good sign. When I see a disturbed nest and debris on the porch floor, I know a thief has come in the night.

The adult sparrows visited the birdhouse at various times throughout the day, by instinct, but there was nothing to be done.

My wife and I noticed the stillness, the quiet, and the watchful parents in the nearby apricot tree. A cat, a raccoon had done its dirty deed last night?

We also checked the box several times yesterday but all was still.

Please link to "Feed Me, Ma!"

Photos GH

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Swallows Rule the Air 2.

Mud Nests Lined Up Like Ducks.

Under the bridge on Hunter Crossley Line (it runs east-west, south of Belmont) reside 100s of mud swallows. After several 100s of trips with beakfuls of mud, from the nearby creek bed to the under-corner of the bridge, they created unique and sturdy nests in which young are born and raised.

Last week I counted about 85 nests.

When I stand under the roadway, the swallows are fearful, noisy at times, some swoop close to my head to inspect my intentions (all good, I assure you), and they fill the air around me while I photograph their homes - magical creations - lined up like mottled ducks in a row.

When I step back, a ways from the creek and bridge, the swallows return to work. The space under the bridge becomes a blur of activity.

More to follow.

Please link to Swallows Rule the Air.

Photos GH