Saturday, July 20, 2019

I Think We're Getting Some Rain!

It's been dry here for weeks, even though it has rained heavily further south in Ontario.  Today was brutally hot, under the 'heat dome' they've been forecasting.  There have been heat warnings for 2 or 3 days.  But out for a ride this afternoon it had cooled off considerably in spite of the forecast.  So I checked the radar.  This is what I found.

Two maps from the Weather Network, both showing the rain (green), heavy rain (yellow), and the second highlighting the thunderstorms (red).  Both storms are moving straight east and we are located on the south shore of Georgian Bay, directly east of the red patches on the second map.

Yes, I think we're getting rain.  We'll just stay inside and watch the storm.


Friday, July 19, 2019

Around the Block

Recently I have taken to driving 'around the block' to explore and get some fresh air.  It's not really a block but a long street that ends at a main road.  I stay off the main road, as there are no sidewalks in sight.  But I've got my bright fluorescent orange wide-brimmed hat for visibility.  Everyone I meet likes it.

Just around the corner is this beautiful patch of Day Lilies, 'Flowers of the Field' as we call them, but others just call them 'Ditch Lilies'.  As they started blooming, all the ones in the sun bloomed, but those in the shade of the hedge didn't bloom until two days later.

Brilliant orange in the sunshine.

An interesting enclosure decorated with glass lanterns and plates.

A nice small barn behind another house.

And I was quite surprised to see that one neighbour keeps racing pigeons!  I haven't seen a pigeon coop like this in about 60 years when another neighbour three doors over kept homing pigeons.  Once he allowed us kids in for a look.

 And every time I look up along one of the streets I see all these wires that keep our homes functioning.

Thursday, July 18, 2019

Around the Neighbourhood

As I'm sure you know by now, I drive repeatedly back and forth on our dead end street here.  It didn't take long before I started to notice things.  I'm reminded of a comment by 'Woody' on my June 1st post, that: "There's always something interesting to see and photograph, even if it was a "weed" managing to survive in the crack of a sidewalk".  I've been watching for such things ever since.

 Bright red Geraniums beside a driveway.

Bright pink Dwarf Lilacs. 

 Flowers by the front door.

 Bright purple Sweet Williams - love the colour.

 Garden monsters.

 Beautiful pots from Mexico.

 Mourning Dove family.

Fire hydrant lawn ornament - a real fire hydrant, buried 6' deep!


Wednesday, July 17, 2019

In the Yard

Lots of things happening in the garden here at home.  Mrs. F.G. has created a genuine oasis of interesting plants which are all unfolding as summer progresses.  Steady sun and warmth recently has helped them.  Clematis and Hostas are blooming, and Day Lilies are about to burst.  Still occasional birds stopping to visit, notably the Cardinal and Blue Jay.

Two of the new Clematis flowers

 Pinks that are really pink!


 Reddish-brown Pansies that I like

Canna Lily on the deck

 One of several succulents in our tiny scree garden, with gravel for mulch

 Cabbage White - can you spot it?

 Cardinal and Blue Jay in the grass

I think this is our tiniest Hosta in bloom

A month ago it wasn't the Hosta but the tiny succulent in front of it in bloom.



Tuesday, July 16, 2019

Summer Weed Flowers

Mid July is the time when many summer 'weeds' burst into bloom.  I'd call them wildflowers, but most people know them as weeds.  Never-the-less their flowers are often beautiful, and they're an important mark of the seasons.  Here's a selection, all taken along my own street, or around the block where I regularly ride.

 Red Clover

 A variety of Crown Vetch

Another variety of Crown Vetch

Daisies 

 Yarrow

 
Sow Thistle,
and after it has gone to seed.

Chicory

 St. John's-wort

 Queen Anne's Lace
I like this one because my mother gathered it to use in her wedding bouquet.
Beautiful even before the flower unfolds.

Field Bindweed

Sweet Peas
A pretty addition to roadsides and ditches around here.

All of these plants colonize bare or disturbed ground, like the vacant lots at the end of our street.  It saddens me to think that once all the houses get built these will all disappear, replaced by the uniformity of grass lawns - a stunning loss of biodiversity in a small area, at huge cost.

And where will I go to get pictures then?


Monday, July 15, 2019

Saturday was Jam Day!

Friday afternoon we drove out to Dykstra's farm to buy fresh strawberries for making jam.  Mrs. F.G. has always made jam - strawberry, peach, raspberry, black currant, you name it.  It's an annual summer ritual never to be broken.  Even though we don't use a lot, it gets used for small thank you gifts on various occasions when a personal touch is appreciated.  And my favourite, the black currant, does get used!

Dykstra's farm outside Clarksburg is the place to go locally, even though their main annual crop is apples.

We also stopped at Goldsmith's farm market outside Thornbury where they have a good selection of fresh veggies, meats and some baking, all local food if it's available.  They had strawberries too, and cheaper, but by going direct to the farm we got the best, biggest and freshest berries, ideal for jam making.

Look at the size of these berries!  I hope your mouth is watering.

And after several hours of hard work by Mrs. F.G. on Saturday morning, here it is, the final product, 20 jars of strawberry jam.  And I should say that Mrs. F.G. is the world's best jam maker, great taste and perfect texture.  My job was just to stay out of the way!