…and no camera….

I took Mom out for supper last night and stupidly didn’t think to bring my camera.

The huge cloud formations were concentrating the light low on the horizon and the light was amazing. There was a field of cows and it was…. breathtaking! And then, further on, a field of not sure what… hay, I think, light green bounded by deep and pale blue-green trees and banked by huge blue to grey to black to white clouds, raking showers in the distance…. and a rainbow….. Stunning. Even if I had my camera, would I have been able to capture it?

And moments later, a huge bolt of lightning blew straight down from the clouds, straight ahead down the road….

Something I never got around to….

On Easter weekend when we were visiting with my nephew and his wife, in order to get ourselves out of their hair, Mom and I went for a drive.

I’m not terribly familiar with the area around Pickering, where my nephew lives. Rather than poke around town, Mom and I drove North to see what the countryside was like.

Straight North of Pickering is the town of Claremont, Ontario.

Claremont has the dubious distinction of being smack in the middle of the long-planned Pickering airport. This project has been in various stages of planning since at least 1972. Proponents claim that a new airport is needed. Opponents point to existing airports which easily have the capacity to handle both existing traffic and increases in traffic for he foreseeable future. They further claim that the expropriation isn’t really about an airport but is a land-grab for the GTTA (Greater Toronto Airports Authority).

Whatever the motivation, houses and farms sit empty, boarded up, and awaiting demolition.

As photographing old and abandoned buildings is one of my hobbies, I set about taking photos of as many of the buildings and the town as I could.

Here are some of the photos I took.

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PhotoHunter: “Walking”

Because of an injury I got about 20 years ago when I fell off my bike, I can’t do a lot of walking. I get spasms in my back if I walk further than a block… and even less, sometimes.

I started to at the end of the winter but have been sidetracked, working to make up the hours I took off to leave early and come back late from London (Ontario) in order to see my friend Carol before she died.

I have to start up again.

When I walk, I spend a lot of time looking down. People have said that I need to “look up and see the world”. Hell, NO! Looking down helps me find money and odds and ends to use in my sculptures and artwork. Looking down allows me to see flowers and fauna I would have missed otherwise.

I decided to put in a few photos of things I have found while walking… and looking down.

"Three Little Angels"

"Three Little Angels"

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The little angels were found one by one in different locations, each one shortly after each of my miscarriages. The first, I found while walking along a street in New York City. I had just been looking at one in a store but decided they were too expensive. Later that day, I found one on the street. Like the others that were to follow, they had been trodden on and mangled and, in a way, that seemed appropriate.

Serendipity….

"Blood Root"

"Blood Root"

Almost hidden in the leaf litter on a late Spring day.

Found the same day….

Sharp-lobed Hepatica (Hepatica acutiloba)

Sharp-lobed Hepatica (Hepatica acutiloba)

and…

Blue Cohosh (Caulophyllum thalictroides)

Blue Cohosh (Caulophyllum thalictroides)

Of course, in times gone by, walking was the only way of getting around, on land at least. Located on the edge of Pinecrest Cemetery, in Nepean (where my father is buried), are the last remnants of an Indian trail which led from a long-used stopping point down the Ottawa River, on Britannia Bay (Lake Deschaines), to Black Rapids. There is a cairn to mark one end of it but you can easily see the trail up from what is now a busy city road, through the stand of trees and up the rise into what is now the cemetery. The few people who might wander up the well-worn trail, don’t even know that they are following a trail perhaps 200 or more years old.

"Indian Trail between Lake Deschaines and Black Rapids"

"Indian Trail between Lake Deschaines and Black Rapids"

Part of the trail

Part of the trail

Looking down one end of the trail to Baseline Road

Looking down one end of the trail to Baseline Road

Things do not always go according to plan….

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In my previous posting, I mentioned that we (my mother and I) were on our way out for a much deserved jaunt after finally having gotten one of the the wheel bearings fixed in our car.

We headed out and wandered about, vaguely headed East to Lancaster, Ontario where we hoped to see if the Snow Geese were stopped on their annual migration North for the Summer. We hit Highway 2 (The King’s Higway, once the main route from Montreal Lower Canada to Toronto in Upper Canada), which follows the St. Lawrence and headed past Cardinal and Iroquois and the historic Chrysler Farm, where a battle during the War of 1812 took place. We passed Upper Canada Village, as well.

Then I spotted the large sign for the Upper Canada Migratory Bird Sanctuary and turned down the dirt road headed for it. I had opened my window in order to take a photo of a historic marker along that road (see below) an as we pulled into the parking area, I noticed a rather unnerving rumbling sound from beneath my car…. It sounded as though my muffler was suddenly not as quiet as it had been just a few minutes earlier. Since I had just had it at the shop yesterday, I thought perhaps someone hadn’t tightened something and it was rumbling.

Introduction of Holstein Friesian cattle into Ontario - 1881

Introduction of Holstein Friesian cattle into Ontario - 1881

I thought “I will just have to take it in to Terry (my mechanic) on Monday, just in case…”. We visited the sanctuary and, while there weren’t any major flocks of migratory birds to see just yet, there were some lovely little chickadees and I was able to get the photos that I didn’t get during the late winter walk I posted about two weeks ago. The docent at the visitor centre gave me a little bag of seeds to feed to them and I had them eating out of my hand in no time.

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Mom’s back was hurting so we decided to head back to the main road and go on to Lancaster.

The dirt road, it should be said, was in rather a bad state after the winter. There was a great deal of corduroy-ing over the whole road and pot-holes the full length and I suspect this may have exacerbated the initial problem with the exhaust system. I decided to head immediately in to Cornwall and find a Canadian Tire with a service bay and see if they could have a look at it. I really didn’t want to have it repaired today. If my mechanic does the work, I can pay it off weekly. If I had it done at Canadian Tire, I would have to pay the full shot today… something I can’t afford.

It was already about 20 minutes to 5:00 and the CT service bay closes at 5:00 but one of the great guys there kindly came out and took me for a little test-drive and said he would hoist it and see if he could make it road-worthy, at least.

He did and discovered that the exhaust pipe had rusted apart from the muffler. They didn’t have the parts on hand, so, after splicing in a piece of pipe and two clamps and welding the pieces together, got me (quietly) back on the road again by 5:00 on the dot. I parted gratefully with $62 and change and we headed home, again. They could easily have said “Sorry, you are too late…” and sent me on my way. Instead, they took the time to diagnose the problem and give me at least a temporary remedy. I am forever grateful!

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