Friday, November 30, 2018

Thursday, November 29, 2018

More Snow

Snow coating every branch of deciduous trees is pretty, but snow draped heavily over evergreens gives a completely different impression.

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Winter Wonderland Continues

Driving to Owen Sound today we watched the snow clinging to branches most of the way, turning the world to a white fantasy..  Parts of the woodland we drove by were just a tangle of white branches.

Mysteriously, the sticky snow only extended 2/3 of the way up the trees, while the canopy branches were bare.  I'm wondering if it's maybe a temperature difference.  Any ideas?

At any rate, it sure made for another pretty drive.

Tuesday, November 27, 2018


We had a gentle snowfall of heavy wet snow in the early morning hours, the kind of snow that stuck to every branch and twig, one of those 'winter wonderland' days.  Here are a few shots from the yard for your viewing pleasure.

Monday, November 26, 2018

A Yucky Day!

It's hard to think of a worse day weather-wise, than today.  With the temperature hovering just above freezing, and a cold rain most of the day, it was just about as unpleasant a day as you can imagine!  What snow we had turned to slush and the heavy dark cloud cover never changed.  No wonder November has such a bad reputation.  It wasn't quite so bad on Saturday when we headed down into the valley for a drive.

Not all the blackbirds have left for the south.

In the village of Heathcote, the Blackbird Pie Company provides the best fruit and meat pies in the region, as well as the cinnamon buns and scones that we left with.

As we got closer to Kimberley, you could see the far western slope of the valley. 

There are a number of farms on the eastern slope that we drove by.  This looks like it has been a prosperous farm, at least until recently.

This is a big barn, but I'm not sure it's actively used anymore.

As we got down to the bottom of the valley we came up against the huge Silver Maple swamp that occupies the valley floor.  And you could see where the road went up the western slope, after a gap for that swamp.

We drove beside that big swamp for nearly 5 miles.

until we came to the village of Kimberley.  Here the Beaver River curls around in front of the old Talisman ski runs.  Then it was back north to Meaford.

Sunday, November 25, 2018

Saturday Drive

Saturday morning we headed for a craft show in the museum.  Then we decided to go for a drive, even though the day was dull and rain threatened.  This time we headed east to Thornbury, and eventually made a large loop down into the valley to Kimberley, and home again.

The waves were rolling in from the northeast, and rain was starting to spatter the windshield.

You could easily see the ski runs at Georgian Peaks.

Then the iphone refocussed on the windshield, but the rain didn't last..

All the sailboats are out of the water, waiting for next season.

The boulders protecting nearby houses are covered in ice.

The diehard fishermen continue to hope for a bite.

We followed the geese south out of town toward the valley.

Friday, November 23, 2018

Highway 26

Let me share a few more pictures of the road between here and Owen Sound, and help you relate to the landscape around here.

You start with a long slow rise up the hill from Georgian Bay.  This is the view you see when you return to Meaford.

There are a few farms along the way, but they don't appear very prosperous.

At the other end of the drive the highway drops down off the higher bedrock of the Niagara Escarpment toward the city of Owen Sound in the distance.

Below that rocky ridge there are some more prosperous looking farms like this one, a sheep farm.

In the middle of the trip is Owen Sound's airport, the Billy Bishop Regional Airport.  Billy Bishop was Canada's WWI flying ace, and was a native of Owen Sound.  His home and birthplace is now a museum.

This is a quiet rural airport for smaller mostly private planes, but Owen Sound is very proud of it, and of Billy.  There were a few complaints a decade or two ago when the Toronto Island airport rebranded itself as the Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport - just another example of the big city trampling over rural Ontario!

Wednesday, November 21, 2018

Meaford Countryside

I've been trying to find a way to describe the landscape around here, the rural countryside and how it's changing, but I'm not getting out for any of those countryside drives except when we go back and forth to Owen Sound twice a week for my physiotherapy sessions.  So I'm going to share my impressions of the land along Hwy 26 from here west to try and give you an overall impression.

This view is typical, a mix of forests and fields and some rolling valleys.

In several places there are rock cuts through the dolostones of the Niagara Escarpment.  You can guess that bedrock is never far below the surface in the entire region.

There are quite a few farms still operating as you drive along the highway, but there doesn't appear to have been much recent reinvestment.  It's a big contrast with farms further south.  I'll share more pictures over the next few days.

We passed a couple of snowplows, though the highway was pretty well bare.  We'll see a lot more of these over the next few months.

Half-way to Owen Sound there's a sand dome, full of 'pickled' sand (mixed with salt), ready for all those trucks to use this winter.  With my physiotherapy appointments in Owen Sound twice a week, I'm hoping we won't see many serious winter storms.

Corn Mould

I mentioned the "catastrophic" spread of corn mould in rural Ontario, leading to vomitoxins, which render the crop unusable (except perhaps for ethanol production).  I'm told by a reliable source that this is only a problem further south in Ontario; there are no known cases here in Grey County.

Tuesday, November 20, 2018


We've been looking at generators, for those days when winter storms cut the power.  We've had as long as 5 days without power over the past few years, and it gets a little chilly!  But now that I depend on an electric lift to get in and out of bed, to get into the house, and of course to run my wheelchair, it's rather more important to always have electricity.

We started out with a beautiful sunrise.

We were headed for the local John Deere farm equipment dealer, Huron Tractor, where we'd been told Honda generators were available.  Several people had recommended these.  The lot was filled with lawn tractors like these, as well as much bigger farm tractors.

And lots of tractor size snowblowers, like these.  Anyway, we did get our generator; it will be delivered tomorrow.  That's enough to protect us, but we're planning to have an electrician wire it in to cover selected circuits in the house to make it as easy for Mrs. F.G. as possible.

We've learned that many farmers are having a problem with corn harvest due to the growth of mould, which produces a vomitoxin, making the corn unfit for consumption by cattle.  Farm groups have described it as a 'catastrophe'.  Note the interesting clerestory roof on the barn, very unusual here.