Tuesday, November 29, 2016

The Meaford Red Chair Tour

I have noticed three giant red Adirondack chairs recently, in odd locations.  There was one on the beach beside the playground in Meaford, and I took a picture.  But because I'd now seen three of these, all the same, I knew there must be something going on!

I even managed a shadow selfie on the chair by the bay. 

Then by chance I walked behind the chair, and found a big poster that explains it all.  The Meaford Red Chair Tour is a tourism marketing effort, a rather interesting one I thought, designed to attract people to particular sites in the region. There are ten of them, both in the town and in the surrounding township.

So we headed out on the tour one beautiful late November day, thinking we'd have fun seeing the red chairs and getting to a couple of new places.  What we didn't know was that they send out a crew to gather up these chairs and put them away for the winter!

So we stopped at FIVE different places on the tour before we saw a single red chair.  We only found ONE, still out there on the beach at Leith, a short distance from the cemetery where Tom Thomson is buried.   When you look closely, these chairs are HUGE!  They're mostly made of 2x10s and 2x12s.  It takes a crew of four to put them away for the winter.  Next spring when they're all in place again you can go on the tour yourself - get the map at 'Meaford Chairs'.
The view of the bay from the Leith red chair.

And to celebrate the wonderful visit we've had out here in Abbotsford with our daughter, son-in-law and grandchildren, a rare pic of Mrs. Furry Gnome and Mr. Furry Gnome.  We fly home tomorrow.

Monday, November 28, 2016

Meaford Harbour

I hadn't been up to see the bay for a few weeks, so one day I went up to Meaford to check it out and get some pictures.  The boating season is almost over (and most years would be), and things in the harbour are winding down for another year.

Only a few boats still in the water.  Most were up on land for their winter storage, or taken home.

But the little light at the end of the breakwater was still flashing.

And on that day Georgian Bay looked incredible, blue water and blue sky, though not much in the way of waves.

The one motor yacht still in the water really appealed to me, all wood and brass trim.

You just don't see many boats like this in the harbour any more

It seems to be a local boat, out of Owen Sound, the next harbour to the west.

I snuck a peak in through the window, and it was all beautiful wood finish inside too.  If I had the money and the interest, that would be my kind of boat!

Stopped to say hello to the Canadian Coast Guard Cutter Westfort while I was passing.

Meanwhile it's been raining a lot out here.  November is the rainiest month and this year is the rainiest November in decades!  So we're not seeing much fun.

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Big Barns

I had to drive south to Kitchener last week for medical tests, so I was driving through some pretty nice farmland.  The farms looked big and prosperous, all of the original barns expanded by additions or entirely new barns.  Here's a selection of that agricultural landscape, very different from here in the valley.

These barns with silos are likely all dairy operations, with vastly expanded space for the cows.

Long low well-ventilated barns like this new one can be used because they don't need to store hay inside the barn with the new big round plastic-wrapped bales.

This barn is a brand new one near the valley, and doesn't even look like it's being used yet.  I like the style.
And a big canyon between some large rectangular straw bales, likely left from a wheat harvest.  They'll probably end up used for bedding in horse barns further south.

Linking to

The Barn Collective

Saturday, November 26, 2016


Driving around last week I was keeping my eye out for critters and barns and fences and such for photos.  We don't have many flocks of sheep, so when I spotted this one I stopped.  Then I noticed somethling extra!

Can you see it?

Yes, it was a Llama, guarding the sheep.

The sheep just grazed on,

But the Llama stayed with them.  I wonder how well Llama sheep guards work?

Raining and dull here, but I'm managing a few pictures for later.

Thursday, November 24, 2016


WhTen the supermoon was with us a couple of weeks ago we actually had clear moonlit nights, so I got out there with my camera, reviewed how to photograph the moon, and took a great many photos.  This is the best I got.
To be honest, I was disappointed.  I was using manual focus and going back and forth trying to get it perfect, but all my shots are slightly (or a lot) blurry.  I just need to keep on trying! 


We're in Abbotsford today, checking out the town and the new house where our grandchildren now live in B.C.  Seems like a great place, and the grandkids are doing fine.  Dark heavy clouds and rain, but I'm trying to get some pix from our adventures which I'll eventually share.

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Celebrating 'Good Fences'

TexWisGirl, who runs the 'Good Fences' meme, is retiring her blog.

It seems so simple, collecting pictures of fences for the 'Good Fences' meme on Thursdays has made me so much more aware of the details of the rural farm landscape around here.  I've enjoyed participating and really appreciated it.  

Thanks TexWisGirl!

Driving around recently and finding photos to take, I've come upon various different styles of fences, so here are a few of my finds.

A typical bunch of fences at a horse farm - don't know what the double fence is for.
A fence at the Ontario Hydro power plant north of Eugenia Falls.  Do you think that shingle caps on all the fenceposts really help?  First time I can recall seeing that.

A bit of huge old anchor chain as a decorative fence by the museum in Meaford harbour.

And of course at this time of year, good old-fashioned snow fence has gone up in a few bad spots along the highway.  All of these shots were taken before our current snow cover arrived!

 Linking to:
for the last time.  
Good-by and thanks TexWisGirl!

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Jones Falls

I had heard that there was a new Bruce Trail side trail that led to the base of Jones Falls.  That sounded worth exploring to me, because the view of the falls is otherwise very limited.  So we headed up to Owen Sound and walked the short distance on the trail across the Nottawasaga River, looking for the new side trail.

This is the view of the falls you end up getting; you really are at the base of the falls.  I see lots of new opportunities for good waterfall pictures here.

It's actually called the Memorial Forest Side Trail, and extends some distance along the base of the cliff.  We only walked the short distance from the top of the cliff down to the falls.

Helpfully, there's a perfect crevice for a trail - about 3-4 feet wide, and extending right down the main cliff to the valley below.

This is the usual view of Jones Falls, taken from out on the highway, in the spring when water was high. You only see it through a lot of vegetation.

In contrast, this is the view you get from going down the new trail - admittedly at a time of much lower water flow.  But picture this view in the spring with the water flow in the picture above!

Of course I played around with some falling water pictures; these ones were shot at 1/400 and 1/800, with the ISO cranked all the way up to 6400, trying to 'stop' the water.

Then I got out my tripod, which I had deliberately brought on this walk, and tried some 'slow' waterfall pictures, the ISO dropped down to the minimum 100, and the exposure from 1/2 sec. to a full 2 sec.  I could have stayed there and taken many more pictures!

It was great to find this new easy trail to the perfect viewpoint for this falls.  And I was also reminded that waterfalls change enormously over the season as the water flow rises and falls.  It's been a dry fall here this year.  I will be back to this place more than once in the future!


Off on another adventure for a bit; posts may be short, sweet or missing depending on internet access and my time over the next week!  Pictures to come.

Monday, November 21, 2016

Snow in the Garden

It hasn't been a very pleasant day!  Cold and windy, and leftover ice from yesterday, even if there wasn't more snow.  But I always think that a dusting of snow makes things in the garden look a lot better than the dull brown everything has been looking for most of November.  Here's a selection.

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Winter Arrives

Winter has arrived here.  We don't have much snow, but it came as sleet and slowly froze, leaving crusty ice and slush on the roads.  There's an inch or three across the yard, it's 10° below zero, and there's a bitter cold wind.  Outside you can hear ice on the shrubs crackling in the wind.

I caught the first snowplow of the year as it went by this morning.  They're good at taking care of the winter roads around here.

And the back yard looked pretty white, even though it's not deep.  I'm not expecting it to last long, but I think the cold temperatures are here to stay after Friday's 20°C!


What I really wanted to write about tonight was a big old barn down the road.  The house and barn seem to have been unused for about 3 years though, and I was beginning to wonder about its future.  Two weeks ago I noticed they were working on the barn and building new fences, so I dropped in and spoke to the new owner, and asked permission to take a few pictures.

This picture was taken in 2015, while the barn and farm was sitting idle.  As you can see, it's a very large barn compared to other older barns around here, perhaps double the usual size.

This time I noticed that the one end of the lower floor had been knocked open.  I was afraid they were going to start tearing it down, so I came back with my camera a day or two later.

It turns out the farm did sit unused for about 3 years, and a new farmer has purchased it.  They are planning to repair the barn, and graze cattle on the farm.  I was encourage to hear an older barn would be fixed up to use.

It really is a huge old barn!  

Inside the lower floor they've brought in a small bulldozer, knocked out the south wall, and lowered the floor.  I expect they're going to pour a new concrete floor here, and who knows what other changes they'll make.

The posts they put up in the meantime looked a little flimsy to me, but it's a barn crew who are working on it, so I presume they know what they're doing.

I plan to go back and see what gets done, and then I'll report back on it.  I've seen cattle in the fields already, so I'll try to get pictures of them too.  But the grazing won't be too good now that we have snow!

Linking to The Barn Collective at Tom, the Backroads Traveller.