Tuesday, August 30, 2022

Black History Cairn

When I get to Harrison Park I always like to pay my respects at the Black History Cairn, and I figured I didn't need more new pictures because I did have many in my files from past visits.  Sadly, though I have hunted for several days, I've been unable to find those old pictures.  Luckily I did find one earlier post from which I could copy these photos.

The memorial combines the image of a church with the two stone walls and the window frames, along with the patio squares including several quilt tiles.  Quilts were a main symbol for the underground railroad.

Each of these quilt symbols had a meaning, and quilts hung outdoors were used as messages signalling safe houses or the route for escaping slaves.

The windows themselves echoed the windows found in the first small black church in Owen Sound, widely considered the end of the underground railroad in Ontario.

Rocks used in the stone walls came from a number of U.S. states.

And there are a number of interpretive plaques that explain all this.  The Black community gathers for an Emancipation Picnic here on Aug. 1st, the date slavery was abolished in the British Empire.  This year was the 160th anniversary!

Monday, August 29, 2022

One Mile Trail Ride

Believe it or not, a month ago today was was our anniversary.  Now we never make a fuss over birthdays or anniversaries, but this was our 50th!  Both of us wanted to do something special, and it started with a visit to Harrison Park in Owen Sound.  I rode the One-Mile Trail and Mrs. F.G. walked the entire way with me.

She walks faster than I ride because I'm constantly stopping to take pictures.

And it was certainly a beautiful day for taking pictures, sunny and blue skies, with the sun turning the green leaves almost fluorescent.  There's another glimpse of Mrs. F.G.

There are some pretty big trees along the trail too.

Is that Mrs. F.G. in the distance?

Here she's not in the distance anymore, but still ahead of me.

This is actually a side trail of the Bruce Trail, as you can see by the blue blaze on this big tree at the end..

Mrs. F.G. suggested a picture of me as we finished.  Happy Anniversary!

Friday, August 26, 2022

Bringing You Up-to-Date

I'm making progress in recovery and getting back to 'normal', while noticing lots of interesting things around town.   I made it downtown to McGinty's Cafe for lunch with my coffee buddies yesterday, so that really made me feel I have recovered, though my voice still sounds sort of croaky.

Although there's another lunch place downtown, The Kitchen, it has no indoor dining, so our group has 
stuck with McGinty's.

We've had lots of rain recently, so much so that I looked out one day and saw the tree trunks were green with moss.  The Redbud leaves seem to hold the raindrops best.

Picking up some fruit and veggies at Goldsmiths, Mrs. F.G. also brought home some bright sunflowers for the dining room table.

And this is about half of her antipaste efforts from the other day.  Antipaste is a traditional appetizer to start Italian meals, often sliced meat and cheese.  But this is a canned mix of veggies, olives, mushrooms and other good stuff that is simply the best thing I have ever tasted on crackers!

We still have Day Lilies blooming, though only a few each day now.

When I go riding along Thompson Street I pass the site of the new Meaford Long Term Care Home.  It's supposed to open this October when they'll begin transferring patients, and admitting new ones.  It's looking like they're getting toward the final outside touches.

They've been using the Rec Centre parking lot to store gravel, and suddenly, yesterday, there are four new piles of gravel or dirt.  I presume they're moving this the block east when they heed it.

Downtown they've painted the orange background for Meaford's new Indigenous crosswalk, a block north of the existing LGBTQ rainbow crosswalk outside the library.  This one will be finished with a pattern of white feathers.

And back on our own front lawn they've painted the fire hydrant bright yellow, one of the first in town to be changed from dark red.  Apparently this follows the new National Fire Protection Association code.  I've seen more and more of these yellow hydrants as I ride around town.

That brings you up-to-date!

Wednesday, August 24, 2022

Keady Market

Yesterday we headed out to the locally famous Keady Market, where you can buy just about anything under the sun.  Keady Market started out as a livestock market, which it still is, but now vendors can rent space for stalls selling everything from fruits and veggies (which is what we were after) to sunglasses, hats and sheets.

It still is a livestock market, and the auctioneers sell everything from rabbits to cattle, outside for the small animals and poultry (this is the auctioneer) and inside for the large animals.  This is the place to come, whether you're a farmer who has cattle to sell, you want to buy a few rabbits for your backyard or your teenager wants to buy a calf to raise and show at the fall fair.

It was the crowds that worried us.  Driving a wheelchair through crowds is never comfortable, and main street at the market is crowded!  We were both a little anxious about how it would go.

We were here for the fruits and veggies (and a little baking).  So we worked our way down main street and managed to get what Mrs. F.G. needed to make her antipaste, one of our delicious treats.  And we only succumbed to a little baking, a cherry strudel and some delicious Calebrese bread.

There were lots of fresh veggies, but we found the prices absurdly high this year.  This is not the place to come for cheap produce, nor is it necessarily local, though most is.
It isn't just fruits and veggies, as I said.  There are several aisles of stalls selling crafts, clothing, sunglasses, hats, and just about anything else.  We deliberately did not drive down any other aisles, sticking to the fruits and veggies.

We passed a couple of busking musicians.  I normally don't take pictures of people, but if they are there to perform in this setting, I make an exception.

Much of the fruit here, especially the peaches, will have come from the famous Niagara area, but if that's the closest place you can successfully grown peaches, then I consider it local.

There were quite a few flowers and plants, though we didn't buy any.

And at the end we drove back through the small village of Kilsyth where my grandparents ran this general store in the 30's and 40's.  Mrs. F.G. and I lived in the family home one summer after my last relative living in the village died.  Great memories!

Going to Keady Market was an interesting challenge for both of us.  I think we were both anxious about finding a place to park and unload me, about riding down the busy main street and about how other visitors would behave towards me.  It was a fine balance between waiting for people to get out of the way and just barging ahead!

The anxiety could easily have been enough to keep us at home, but we went and we conquered it successfully.  I just figured I had as much right to be there as anyone else, and I tried to drive slowly and safely.  I didn't use my shrill horn even once.  I'm finding that there's a huge tendency to become a hermit if you don't make the effort to get out.  Keady was a good reminder that you need to keep getting out and about!

Tuesday, August 23, 2022

A Late Summer Haircut for the Garden

Mrs. F.G. is a great one for deadheading in the garden.  In theory if you clip off blossoms that are fading  you can encourage a second spurt of new blooms.  It works well with some plants but not others.  So last week the garden got its late summer haircut.

The Lavender was the most obvious target.  The four plants like this one looked purple before the garden shears got to them.  We'll see how much reblooming there is.

Pruning the Lavender left this strip of garden between the patio and deck looking a lot less colourful, but the orange Calendula have taken over and now look quite bright.

The large Daisies have also been trimmed;  I'm waiting to see if we get a second flush of blooms.

Of course other plants have simply ended their season of blooming.  These are the twisted stems of one of our fine-flowered Clematis.

Other plants like Hostas keep providing colour all summer long, even after their flowers have gone, because of their multi-coloured leaves.

I do wish we'd had more Cleome blooming; I'll hope for more next year.  This one is entirely gone now.

We do have a small number of Day Lily blossoms each day, but they are tapering off rapidly too.

The Zinnias are the flower of fall, and they're coming on strong now after a failure of germination earlier.   We've decided that the bright red ones are the ones we prefer.

Saturday, August 20, 2022


 We've been watching two Monarchs emerge from their chrysalis.  Makes you glad you let the Milkweed stay!  And it's yet another look at the miracles of nature.

Although the caterpillars lived on the Milkweed, they moved off and found a very different pot to transform into a chrysalis.  One we found on the back of a deck chair

We didn't stay watching the entire time, so we missed it breaking out, but here it is.

It hung on to the outside of the chrysalis for a bit before moving off.

And when it moved it didn't move far.  This was the last we saw of it.  It fluttered its wings and off it went.

The other caterpillar took itself off to a tall bean plant in the far corner of the garden.  Mrs. F.G. captured a bit of the bean plant and draped it over plants on our deck so I could see it well.

Terrible focus here, but you can clearly see the wing pattern inside the chrysalis, just before the butterfly emerged.

Then it was out and hanging there while its wings dried.

Soon it was stretching out its wings to their full extent and after 10 or so stretches it lifted into the air and was gone.  A fascinating process to watch!