NOTE: IN ORDER TO BETTER SEE PHOTOS IN THEIR FULL 1600 PX. RESOLUTION, VIEW THEM IN THE ALBUM FORMAT BY CLICKING ON THE LEAD PHOTO OR ANY PHOTO IN THE POST. This is especially true for landscape shots. Thanks to Mark for the idea of adding this alert so the photos can be seen at their best!

Saturday, May 16, 2020

When is a Door Not a Door

Spring is flying by, and before you know it summer will be here.


When I took my first walk up the very steep hill just 5 minutes from my house a while back I saw that one of my neighbors kept busy during the winter cutting lots of wood.


Less trees meant more views, and I was quite happy to see the new view of the Southeast Arm. 


Spring melting means lots of water on the trails.  When is a door not a door?  When it has become a bridge!  I wish I had magic pockets to keep a few old doors in so I could have laid them down in some other spots.


I wasn't wearing my rubber roots so I clung onto the spruce and made my way past.  Turn around?  Not this girl!


Warmer days, longer days, and soon everything will be green, not just the lichen on the trees.  Here in Placentia it's still down to freezing most nights, but I'm counting down the days until I can get my garden going at last.

Saturday, May 9, 2020

Mama Hen

We used to have a small hobby farm with chickens, sheep and even the odd attempt at a cow in Wisconsin.  It's hard to believe that it's 17 years since we sold the farm and moved to a "neighborhood". ..and then another neighborhood, and now hopefully our last neighborhood.

A chicken rock for my Uncle in exchange for some birds?

The good news is that the folks here are just country enough to not care if we have a few chickens, as long as we keep it clean and quiet.  Sorry, roosters, no spot at the newly built chicken palace for you.

Wayne 's in the chicken house, not the dog house

The pandemic has provided the reason to keep Wayne home enough hours to finally get a home built for some chickens.  We could probably house up to a dozen layers if we needed to, but good grief, what would we do with all the eggs?!


I was pretty excited when it left the garage and made it's way outside, but then it had to be raised off the ground and fenced in as well.


 Spring is a bit slow to get really warm here with temps still just above freezing overnight.  But with the chicken house completed Wayne needed a new project so he built some raised beds for my vegetable and herb gardening.


And today the chickens came home!  My uncle loaned me Mama for a few weeks, but she can't get too comfortable Chez Leonard because it's back to her other fowl friends she must go.  Hopefully I can pick up another 2 or 3 ladies somewhere else, and most importantly I hope these are not roosters.


Best of all our next door neighbor does woodworking so I can have all the shavings I want for bedding in exchange for a few eggs.  Here's a little video of their first try at the ramp.  Happy Mother's Day, Everybody!


Monday, April 27, 2020

Artsy Antigonish

The small village of Antigonish in Nova Scotia is home to a small college and had a few murals here and there to brighten up their winter days.


In March I stayed at the Antigonish Evergreen Inn and will definitely return to visit with the Newfie-born proprietor.  We had a lovely chat over a scrumptious homemade breakfast and I hope all is well in their little corner of Nova Scotia during these times.

Newfoundland "ugly stick" on display at the Inn

When will travel for pleasure be on again?  Even if folks don't leave their province I am sure that everyone will be itching to get out and explore.  Take a cruise?  Fly to Europe?  Maybe not for awhile, but if Canadians are traveling within their own country as much or more than before that is only a good thing for small local businesses.

Linking up to Monday Mural.

Sunday, April 26, 2020

Spring is Here

I've been holed up with a new pastime since hiding painted rocks is a no-no these days, but a few weeks ago I was getting out for a few walks a week even if there was still snow on the ground.


I believe I took these on the official first day of spring, but I hardly know what day of the week it is on any given day much less a thing like that.


Castle Hill can't be beat for views of the lift bridge, as long as it isn't too windy!  Say what you will about winter, but in the summer it isn't uncommon to come up just to find the views obscured by fog.


Any birders out there who want to chime in on identifying this bird?  Wayne took a look on the internet and guesssed some kind of finch but I forget now what he said.  Getting a few posts written up today, I promise they won't be as dull as this one!


Friday, April 3, 2020

Oh Those Winter Nights


Spring has come to Newfoundland! Before we jump into what that looks like let's take a moment to say farewell (we fervently hope) to winter.


I took a walk once or twice a week during the winter, which is more than I was able to force myself to do in Wisconsin.  We got more snow than normal in the province this year so finding a place to walk off the road that wasn't thigh deep in snowdrifts was often the challenge.

Argentia during some snow flurries

One of the advantages to late afternoon walks in the winter is that before you know it the sun is setting and the sky comes alive with color to contrast with the white landscape.


The rule is that the best photographic opportunities are the ones you don't have a camera with you, but I managed to capture a few sunsets.


Since daylight savings time went into effect it's almost alarming how late the sun sets.  But before you know it as the days get warmer they won't seem long enough to enjoy all that living on the coast has to offer!


Thursday, April 2, 2020

The South Shore and More

On this trip there just wasn't a lot of time for stopping and having a look around the many towns I visited in Nova Scotia.  When I got out to drop my business cards at an office in Liverpool I noticed they had some painted fire hydrants. I thought that would be a perfect place to place a painted rock that had been given to me by someone else to make a journey across the Gulf.


I'm looking forward to my return to Barrington where a replica of Seal Island Light is home to a museum with artifacts from the local area chronicling the lives of local lighthouse keepers and the area’s seafaring history. The museum also is home to the second order Fresnel lens, which was in use from 1902 to 1978 in the Seal Island Lighthouse.


I spent the night in Yarmouth, so I had time for a sandwich at The Old World Bakery and Deli.  The bread was really good but the cookie was crisper than I like. They also had other items, and I loved the historic building and the wood floors. And you know you're in Canada when they bring you a dish just to put your used teabag in!


It was windy and cold, but I forced myself to take a 20 minute walk around downtown Yarmouth while there was still some light.  Another historic building I eyed lookied like it might house the local art museum.


The shops might have been closed, but a bit of window shopping was just as fun.


Mostly I stuck to the main highways on my trip, which meant I missed all the charming views but got me to my destinations quickly.  When I left Prince Edward Island I had a little extra time so I took scenic Route 6 past farms and snowy views of the Northumberland Strait.


 I even saw a mural on a garage, so of course I had to stop and take a picture!


 The only other scenic route I took was from Blue Mills through Iona on Route 223.  I'd driven along the other side of Bras D'Or Lake on my way in to Nova Scotia so a different view was in order as I drove back to wait for the ferry.


I can't wait to see all these places when they are green in summer and then again when they shimmer gold in the fall!

Wednesday, April 1, 2020

Getting to Know PEI

To get to Prince Edward Island from New Brunswick most folks drive across the Confederation Bridge. At 12.9 kilometres (8 miles) it is the longest bridge in the world over ice-covered waters.  It takes approximately 10 minutes to cross over the Northumberland Strait in the southern part of the Gulf of Saint Lawrence and at the highest point the bridge reaches 60 metres above sea level.  This allows large sea vessels, including cruise ships, to navigate under the bridge between its piers.


I'd never been to PEI before, so I was curious what it had to offer besides the usual Anne of Green Gables tourist attractions.  On this trip I stayed overnight in the large city of Charlottetown where I bought some licorice honey soap and lip balm from Soap and Candle from the Hive at The Founders Food Hall and Market.


I also stopped at the Musee d'Art which featured some interesting Canadian artists like this one.

Love amongst Carrots?

I can't remember the artist's name, but the unusual pieces certainly brought a smile to my face.

Cigar and a bath anyone?

On my next visit I plan to make my stops in Charlottetown and keep on going out to the more picturesque community of Summerside to stay overnight. The Celtic heritage of PEI is alive and well  at the College of Piping and throughout the summer the College has a busy schedule of ceilidhs and concerts, including free mini-concerts each afternoon.

You know I'm trying Grand Marnier in jam this summer!

During my brief stop I had lunch at Samuels Coffee House which serves up a good variety of tea as well as coffee and of course some tasty muffins and jams. Summerside is part of the North Cape Coastal Drive and the region is chock full of Provincial parks, beaches, scenic harbour towns, lighthouses, oysters and lobster dinners. I can't wait!

A long dash back on foot on a cold windy day

Getting to PEI on the Confederation Bridge is a snap, just remember you will have to pay a $40CAD toll on your back across.  I forgot to ask for my receipt for my expense report and had to run back in the frigid wind so if you need a receipt don't forget to ask!