PhotoHunter: Purple

It’s been a while since I posted for the PhotoHunter themes. I was busy moving and just haven’t had the time or energy to post (plus, a few of the last ones I couldn’t think of any photos for….).

Purple (this week’s theme) is a dodge.

Recently, Mom and I have been taking a drive along a favourite road, Bolton Road (which eventually becomes Kyle Road), in Augusta Township. It’s a lovely drive and there are a lot of wildflowers starting to bloom. If you check out the link above, you’ll see what other little surprises were in store for us.

Meanwhile… “Purple”!

Alfalfa- Medicago sativa

Red Clover, (Trifolium pratense)

Cow Vetch - Vicia cracca

Bladder Campion - Silene nivea

Vetch and ant

Sunday Drive

On Sunday, Mom and I went on another Sunday drive, along a favourite route. Bolton Road, which eventually becomes Kyle Road, runs south from Highway 43, west of Kemptville just east of Merrickville, all the way south to Throoptown on Highway 21. That’s a distance of about 22.56 km (14.02 miles). It is a lovely drive along mostly dirt roads.

We continued after the trip right down Bolton and Kyle Roads by driving back up to where Land O’Nod Road starts at Bolton Road.  Land O’Nod Road ends at Highway 15, south of Merrickville, a distance of 10.19 km (6.33 miles). Like the Bolton/Kyle Road trip, it is mostly dirt road and lovely. Don’tcha just love the name Land O’Nod Road? Makes me sleepy just thinking of it!

THE LAND OF NOD
(Robert Louis Stevenson)

From breakfast on through all the day
At home among my friends I stay;
But every night I go abroad
Afar into the Land of Nod.

All by myself I have to go,
With none to tell me what to do –
All alone beside the streams
And up the mountain-sides of dreams.

The strangest things are there for me,
Both things to eat and things to see,
And many frightening sights abroad
Till morning in the Land of Nod.

Try as I like to find the way,
I never can get back by day,
Nor can remember plain and clear
The curious music that I hear.

The round trip from Highway 43 down Bolton/Kyle, back up to Land O Nod Road, along Land O Nod, and up Highway 43 is about 65.64 km, give or take. If you add the kms for the trip from our house to the point on 43 where we turned to go down Bolton, which is about… 115.22 km so the total evening drive was about 180.86 which is a SHORT evening drive for us.

On the Bolton I stopped to take some photos of wildflowers. There was alfalfa which I had never seen in the wild before… or never seen in a field, either, for that matter. It looks a lot different dried in a bag or compressed into pellets for feeding gerbils. It is really pretty and looks like a sort of unkempt clover. Same family, I guess. The flowers are purple and mauve (pronounced “mowv,” not “mawv.” It’s a French word and you look like an idiot if you pronounce if mawv, no matter how many times you hear the likes of Martha Stewart or Oprah pronounce it [incorrectly]. And, in case you need to know “foyer” is pronounced “foy-ay” not “foy-er”. Again… it’s French and that’s how they pronounce it, so they ought to know).

Alfalfa

Birdfoot Trefoil, Red Clover

Just a short hop down Bolton, I spotted a turtle in the middle of the road. Since it didn’t appear that there was anything resembling turtle habitat either where it was headed or where it had come from, I picked it up off the road and drove along (quite some considerable distance) until I found the bridge over the Rideau River. I released it there.

It wasn’t terribly pleased to have been rescued but I think it would have been less pleased to have been run over by a 4×4… Every so often, it would start scrabbling in my hand (it was too powerful for Mom to hold) and try to get away… then it would pee on me, the steering wheel, the console, Mom…

I took some photos and identified it later as a Blanding’s turtle.

Blanding's Turtle (isn't he cute?!)

Continuing on our way, just about a mile down the road from releasing the first turtle, I spotted a Snapping turtle in the middle of the road…

Snapping Turtle

...not so cute...

It was a smallish one, about a foot wide and about a foot and a half long, not counting the tail and head. Knowing how fast and vicious they can be, I took a few photos and then looked for something to move it off the road with. The last time I encountered a Snapper on the road, it was about 3 times as big and so heavy that all we could do was bulldoze it to the side of the road. Even so, when it reared up, we were in danger of losing a finger!

This one being smaller, I figured if I could find a stick I could try the old Indian trick of getting it to bite on the stick and lifting it up and carrying it hanging from the stick. But since I couldn’t find the appropriate-sized stick (and, indeed, don’t know if this actually works, I resorted to using my car scraper/brush, flipping it on its back, and pushing it across the road. I  flipped it back over on the other side of the road into a field.

One thing about Snappers is that they STINK! Whether it’s because of their diet or the fact that they wallow in marshes, I don’t know.

Again, it didn’t appreciate the effort I had gone to but since a 4×4 went roaring by a few minutes after I moved it off the road, I think it was in its best interests to be moved. So there….

Snappers are endangered, here in Ontario, and you can make a report to the Ontario Department of Natural Resources, along with other endangered flora and fauna.

Eye Institute today

The good news regarding my eye is that the virus (which they say is a Herpes virus but can’t say if it is Simplex or Zoster) seems to have been knocked out.

There is some scar tissue on the cornea which they hope the medication will shrink. If it doesn’t, they may have to do a laser procedure to shrink them. I will see the cornea specialist next week.

Unfortunately, here is nothing they can do for the large number of “floaters” in the left eye which is affecting the eyesight in THAT eye. I can only hope that they don’t worsen. They are actually more annoying than the virus in the right eye, though the scarring on the right eye has slightly worse long-term consequences.

Today was a good day!

This evening, Mom and I attended the Child Haven fundraiser dinner, at the Tudor Hall.

They have a great silent auction and sale tables. I bought a small figurine of Ganesh

and bid on three items in the silent auction. I managed to score all three items.

The first were a pair of silver earrings.

The second was an embroidered shawl for Mom. It is beautiful! (Sorry no photo. Mom took it into her room so I will have to take one tomorrow.)

The third thing I bought — and this was my BIG find — was this great hand-woven wool carpet from Nepal.

Isn’t that the most amazing thing you have ever seen!… Well. Maybe YOU don’t think so. I fell for it the second I saw it! I have this “thing” for images of death, skeletons, and skulls. I am hoping to be able to get some traditional Day of the Dead things as well, some day.

It is a “Tantric” carpet. Traditionally, they had skeletons and skulls, flayed animals or humans, or tiger skins. Not terribly surprising, I was the only bidder and I paid the reserve price.

Earlier in the day, after seeing a photo posted by my dear friend Az I had a terrific hankering for cheese. Some time ago, I heard an interview on the CBC with the owner of a new cheese shop in Old Ottawa South, on Bank Street. I have been wanting to pop in and pick up some cheese from Serious Cheese and today was the perfect day.

There was a very helpful and enthusiastic (and knowledgeable) clerk, named Julian, in the shop and he helped me make some choices (he also cheerfully got my mother a chair to sit on and offered her a glass of water to sip while I shopped).

I had wanted to try Le 1608 from Laiterie Charlevoix since I heard the radio interview. Le 1608 is made from the milk of The Canadienne, the oldest breed of cattle in Canada (and only breed developed on the North American continent!). The Canadienne, with less than 500 head left in North America, is now considered endangered.

It was delicious! A semi-firm, brine-washed cheese, it had a wonderful taste and an equally wonderful after-taste.

I also picked up a sheep milk cheese called Counting Sheep from Ontario’s Fifth Town artisan cheese maker. It is a soft Brie-like cheese. I haven’t tried a lot of sheep cheeses and was worried that like some goat cheeses, it might have a rather unpleasant flavour I associate with goat cheeses. I needn’t have worried. It was lovely! I’m not sure if it was “older” or “younger” but I took a sip of Mom’s red wine with the cheese and it was a wonderful compliment. I don’t generally drink wine but I might just have a tiny glass with it, in future.

I bought 7 cheeses , in total, including a smoked blue cheese which was, if I recall, Smokey Blue from Rogue Creamery; and Le Fleuron de Bruges, a soft Belgian cow’s milk cheese.  The latter reminded me of Oka which, due to my boycotting of this cheese (because of the role in the Oka monastery in taking from the Mohawks of the area the traditional lands…. which ultimately led to the Oka Crisis and ongoing land disputes), I refuse to eat. This is a slightly softer cheese but with much the same flavour.

Get off my porch!…

On the door of my old house, I was forced to put up the following sign.

NO DOOR-TO-DOOR!

NO UTILITY SALES OF ANY KIND!

BEFORE YOU RING MY BELL, PLEASE READ.

NEIGHBOURHOOD KIDS DOING FUNDRAISING OR COLLECTING FOR EVENTS ARE WELCOME!

OTHERWISE…. IF:

- YOU ARE SELLING ANYTHING (INCLUDING GOD)

- YOU EXPECT ME TO GIVE YOU, OR ANOTHER AGENT FOR YOUR COMPANY, MONEY AT ANY POINT DURING OR AFTER OUR CONVERSATION

- YOU WANT ME TO SIGN ANYTHING THAT WILL, NOW OR AT ANY TIME, REQUIRE ME TO GIVE, SEND, OR DONATE MONEY

- YOU REPRESENT A COMPANY WHICH WISHES TO SIGN ME UP FOR A PRODUCT, SERVICE, OR UTILITY, WHICH YOU OR AN AGENT OF THE COMPANY WILL EXPECT ME, NOW OR AT ANY TIME, TO GIVE, SEND, OR DONATE MONEY

GET OFF MY PORCH!

THANK YOU

REPRESENTATIVES FROM:

- DIRECT ENERGY ESSENTIAL HOME SERVICES

- ONTARIO ENERGY SAVINGS CORP.

- OR ANY OTHER UTILITY COMPANY

WILL BE SERVED WITH A RESTRAINING ORDER

Within a day of having moved in I knew I was going to have to put up the same sign on the door of the new house. I was having trouble finding a copy if the wording I had used before. However, I finally located it on a posting on the H2G2 site I posted on before (I am again but it has been a few years).

So the sign is going up tomorrow if I can find my printing materials. I am going to print it up on a magnetic sheet.

This morning I was awakened at 9:30 am by proselytizers ringing my bell. As I have been having problems sleeping and had taken a sleeping pill the night before, I was too groggy to go down and get it and yelled to my Mom to answer….

Mom is too polite to tell them to get lost and stood there talking to them. Meanwhile, Benjamin was making his way down stairs and I knew he was going to try and get out the door. Sure enough… he got out. I came roaring down swearing and blasphemed in a way I hope they would take note and had to run out in my nightgown (sans culottes!) and catch him. NEEDLESS to say, the busybody mother of my neighbour and isn’t even a member of the co-op but has been making a point of butting into everyone who IS a member’s business just “happened” to be standing in the walkway behind my house. I was just waiting for her to make some comment (because she has been complaining to everyone but me about Benjamin being out prowling). I was hoping she would because I am just ready to tear her a new one.

Regarding the mother of my neighbour, apparently, the busybody is actually living in her daughter’s house and the daughter, who has lived here for many years, knows the rules and has been more than happy to report other people who have had guests staying longer than they should. Odd that she should be bitching about other people not abiding by the rules, all the while breaking them herself…

I discovered this evening that there have been a number of other members who have borne the brunt of this woman’s (the mother’s) rude, nasty, and condescending remarks. She has ordered members to pick up or clean up their properties; to pick up things that they didn’t leave about; yelled at kids for playing “too loudly”, for drawing on the sidewalks with chalk, for walking on MY walkway, for playing on the lawns….

Both she and the daughter have gone into one of the member’s yards and cleaned the yard without asking and berated her for having a “messy yard”.

I mentioned before about how she took it upon herself to destroy the nest of the little red squirrel that was inside the utility box on MY property.

Since she doesn’t live here, nothing that happens in the co-op is any of her business. She doesn’t have any business interfering with anybody or anything on the property. Her daughter, even though she lives here, has no business entering anyone else’s property or commenting on their gardening skills or the condition of their yard.

I was just hoping that she would say something to me because I was going to tear her off a strip and tell her that if she bothers me one more time or butts into my business one more time I will call the police and serve her with a restraining order which will make it a little hard to visit her daughter…

Bitch.

Oh… and we are having a picnic weekend after next and non-members have to pay $2 if they want to eat. I was worried that someone would not realize that she doesn’t live here and let her eat for free (it is only $2 but dammit, the money is going to charity and… she’s a bitch). I volunteered for the administration table which hands out bracelets to members and ensures that visitors pay…. She is going to pay. That’s for DAMN sure!

Shit, shit, shit…

I have some sort of viral infection in my eye but the clinic doesn’t think it is Shingles… or at least that it is STILL Shingles. It could be Herpes Simplex or some other virus but there’s no way of telling, at this point.

More drops… more visits every second day to the Eye Institute.

They said my vision in my damaged eye was “better” than when I was there in February. However, I have a difficult time reading documents which is a pain since that is a good part of what I do. At least on the computer, I can expand the image so I can read them. The actual documents are a bit more difficult and I have to hold them right up to my face if the image is too small or the resolution is poor (and with historical documents, more often than not, the copies are REALLY bad).

Off to put the drops in, again….

Damn my eyes…

I have to go to the Eye Institute, again. My right eye is acting up again and I think the Shingles have recurred (or are still there).

Probably my own fault. What with the preparations for tax time followed closely by the move, I missed and then forgot to rebook my follow-up.

Still, I am seeing my family doctor next week and going to request the Shingles inoculation. I just hope I can get it while I am suffering from the eye Shingles. Fingers crossed.

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