Thursday, May 17, 2018

Motorcycle Miles 3: Peace.

Sixties Style.

[Photo Log: Pt. Bruce and I go back to the '60s. Library card still valid!] 

Full Report -

My 1994 Virago finds its own way to Port Bruce, usually through Sparta. The motor hums in the key of G, and fosters road songs in my mind. By the time I stop for coffee on the beach I'm whistling a new verse.

Yesterday, under sunny skies, I doffed my jacket, sat upon a sixties log and sipped dark roast from a thermos. When I'm too old to cycle I'll buy a sturdy drone with an attached lawn chair, fly over Pleasant Valley - runs parallel and east of Quaker Road - and over Sparta to the north shore of Erie. I'll spot my favourite log from about 100 feet, then bring 'er down gently with cruise control.

 "under sunny skies"

"the north shore of Erie"

"bring 'er down gently"

Photos GH

Sunday, May 13, 2018

Small Pleasures 8.

Wild! Morel Mushrooms.

Friday's treasure. Found beside foot path near Gibbons Park.

I don't have exact numbers, but when I'm out walking or running I look at the ground before me about 85 per cent of the time. The rest of the time I look at the sky, others on the pathway (including hundreds of Canadian geese), or straight ahead. And on Friday I just happened to spot a morel mushroom in the grass and leaf litter to my right as I approached Gibbons.

I quickly stopped. In my mind I saw pages of a calendar flipping backwards, then whole calendars opening and closing, then a pile of calendars fell upon the floor. I'd last seen and eaten a morel - fried in butter atop mother's stove - about 55 - 60 years ago. I was 12 or younger and wearing a scruffy T-shirt.

I picked the morel, searched for more, and eventually found another before continuing with my walk. And after turning around a park bench somewhere near the centre of Baldwin Flats I headed back home... but stopped at roughly the same spot on the path, searched for more morels, and - 15 minutes later - had found another pair. What good fortune!

They were delicious, fried lovingly in butter with a pinch of salt.

I wanted more. But would lightning strike twice?

Saturday's Photographs from along the way -

 Magic Mushrooms as Wild Art

Interesting species, but not what I am looking for today.

 The photo is not out of focus. That's one wily 'shroom.

 I pass an empty spot where a lovely bridge used to be,
on my way to Baldwin Flats.

Saturday's treasure (!) - carefully washed, halved, for suppertime.

Yesterday, I walked the same route and found two more - fairly easily - in the same spot on my way north. On my way south I searched a wider area for almost an hour but had no more luck. 

But two morels, lightly fried, is still a major treat for me.

Please link to Small Pleasures 7.

Photos GH

Friday, May 11, 2018

Photos: Invasion of Sicily. July 1943 (5 Pts).

Operation Husky - Canadian Forces Pull Their Weight

[Photo: Map of Sicily found in Combined Operations by C. Marks, London
Members of 80th and 81st Canadian Flotillas, manned Landing Crafts (LCMs)
in Operation Husky, near Avola (lower right of above map), July ‘43]


The Allies made gains in the Mediterranean Theatre during 1942 and 1943 with the invasion of North Africa (Operation Torch, November 1942) and invasions of Sicily and Italy (Operations Husky, then Baytown and Avalanche, July and September 1943 respectively).

Canadians in all parts of the armed forces took active part in these operations and are oft-mentioned in newspaper articles, remembered in memoirs and seen in many good-quality photographs (as displayed in five entries listed below).

The vast majority of the photographs are attributed to official Royal Navy photographers and found in extensive archives at the Imperial War Museum (IWM), United Kingdom.

Readers will find informative captions accompanying the photographs and details from veterans' memoirs that relate to the scenes revealed (75 years ago on this calendar year, 2018).

Please link to the following:

1. Operation HUSKY, Invasion of Sicily, July 1943.

2. Operation HUSKY, Invasion of Sicily, July 1943.

NA4186. Operation Husky: The Sicily Landings 9 - 10 July 1943: British
troops manhandle vehicles and equipment on the beaches as they are unloaded
from landing craft. Photo - Sergeant Frederick Wackett and IWM

Some of the Canadians in Combined Operations travelled to Sicily aboard SS Silver Walnut, and by journeying around Africa). Below are members of RCNVR (and Combined Operations) who were part of the 80th Flotilla of Canadian Landing Crafts:

Photo as found in St. Nazaire to Singapore.

3. Operation HUSKY, Invasion of Sicily, July 1943.

4. Operation HUSKY, Invasion of Sicily, July 1943.

5. Operation HUSKY, Invasion of Sicily, July 1943.

Photograph NA4072. Men of 2nd Seaforth Highlanders embarking
onto landing craft at Sousse en route for Sicily, 5 July 1943. 
Photo Credit - Sgt. Stubbs, No. 2 Army Film and Photographic
Unit and Imperial War Museum (IWM).

Please link to Photographs: Imperial War Museum - N. Africa, 1942 (5)

Unattributed Photos GH

Monday, May 7, 2018

Run Prep 4.

The Determined Runner.

[Photo: Light at the end of the pier in Port Bruce]

Once temperatures grew warmer and streets clearer at end of April, I got back to 2 - 3 runs per week - on my way to preparing for a summer 10K and fall 21.1K (half-marathon) running event, 2018.

During the month of May I will surely experience slow and steady improvements in six areas as the result of regular exercise (walking, running and my F.I.T. routine), all within my limits:

Steady results will follow steady walking and running.  

Improved stamina, strength, speed, stride efficiency, sense of satisfaction and sveltness.

Already I am running farther between 'walk breaks', and recovering faster (re regular heart-rate and breath-rate) during walk breaks*. (Sveltness may take quite a bit longer to achieve).

 I calculate a "ten-week average" at the end of every week. Steady!

 1,500 push-ups and sit-ups by the end of the week : )

Speaking of breaks: I take Port Bruce breaks regularly too.

*Walk breaks last for about 60 - 90 seconds and I take breaks when I want to or feel the need. They will decrease in length and frequency as my running legs get stronger in May.

More to follow re The GREAT Canadian Comeback, already 2 years and 7 months long!

Photos by GH.

Thursday, May 3, 2018

Now. Once Per Year.

The Apricot Tree Busts Out.

Slow down and smell the posies.

Tomorrow I may be saying "that was the day that was," because our apricot tree is now in full blossom and the show doesn't last long.

Tomorrow the front lawn will likely appear to be covered in snow because the fragile white petals will fall, by the thousands, over night.

But today I will snap a few pictures. They will remind me that beauty, though often fleeting, leaves a lasting impression.

The bees are a-buzzing.

Up Close and Personal:

 From the front...

 From the back...

From the porch.

Please link to Small Pleasures 7

Photos GH