Cataraqui Reflections

Monday, December 20, 2010

The new reality...


is how white it is now in my world. Yes, three days ago I was wearing sandals but that won't be possible now. About 7 inches of snow has fallen since then. Only winter boots will do today when I go outside.

Hello out there. Trenton has finally joined the rest of Ontario under a clean white blanket of snow spread out across the countryside. It has been snowing on and off for the past 3 days. I am luckier than most that the amount of snow is quite manageable and I do have snow tires and all time four wheel drive on my car. I can zip through that amount of snow anytime. It's the other guys I have to watch out for who don't have the proper equipment on theirs.

I took these pictures yesterday while I was out to the gym. Snow is certainly here and it's not yet officially winter.



Friday, December 10, 2010

Some snow in OhiO

and now here in Quinte West as well. Hello to all. I have returned from a one week jaunt into Ohio, which took me through a part of New York and Pennsylvania. While in Ohio I also visited in West Virginia for one day and night. Some snow there too, but only a dusting.

I stayed in Niagara Falls Ontario as a mid stop to Ohio and took these pictures.

These are the American falls. My room faced these falls.


Here they are after I have zoomed in a little.


This is the morning of my last day, nice and sunny to drive home to Trenton.


Fun was had in the U.S. and I enjoyed my visit. Still, I am glad I am home again and I hope I don't have to travel too far by car for some time to come.

Oh yeah, I got my first gig for the Lions Club in Frankford. I will be playing a few songs before their Christmas dinner. As luck would have it, I think I picked up a cold on my travels. I am hoping it won't affect my voice too much. I'll be rehearsing all weekend. Check back, I'll let you know how it went. Bye for now.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Snow has arrived in Quinte West



Yes, it had to happen and it has - the world filling up with white bits that swirl and fly in the wind right outside my windows.

Hello everyone. The first signs of winter have reached the southeast corner of Ontario. Here are some pictures of the first snowfall.





The world was white momentarily and then the sun came out, ending the first snow event of 2010.



All of November is almost gone and these are the first pictures I have taken. It does cause huge gaps in time between posts but if you are reading this, thanks for being here.

Since my move to Trenton, I have had to cross railway tracks with regularity if I go north from my home to catch an east-west road that is not as busy as highway 2. The railway crossings are terrible and in need of some maintenance.

I had been threatening for 5 months to write an email to the town council with my complaint. What brought it to a head was the weekend closure of highway 2 that forced thousands of cars traveling along the highway to go over these tracks. This caused a hastening in the deterioration of the planks at these crossings.

So I went ahead and fired off an email to advise the town council of their shape and suggested the use of some taxpayer dollars to rectify a situation that could soon endanger the public.

Well, three days later, there are a few fresh planks and some gravel to smooth out the worst crossing. A day after that, White's Road was closed for 36 hours. When I finally went up White's Road, the railway crossing was completely redone, with new planks and asphalt. Ta Da!

Now I think it was my email that sparked this activity, but my sister Shirley, thinks that I probably wasn't the only one to complain so I'll just say that my email had something to do with the improvement. Other crossings remain to be attended to but the worst of the lot has been upgraded and I am grateful for that.

Never underestimate the power of your voice, be it spoken or written.

I have two more pictures to show you. One is a train crossing over the Trent River and the other is a neat tree that I am posting in black and white, found along the banks of the Trent.





This will probably be my last post for November. I am going on a trip to Ohio to visit friends the first week of December (weather permitting!) so I'll be sure to take some pictures to post here upon my return. Hope you will check back then.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Another month almost over

It has been a while since I posted but the internet is not always running at a high enough speed for me to download pictures to my blog and I don't like posting without pictures. I use an internet stick and in the area that I live, the coverage is not always good.

It has been a good month. Trenton has only had one night that dipped below the freezing mark. For someone who has lived the balance of her life in the north, this is most unusual, but very welcome. I have been wearing sandals right up until yesterday and it is possible I might be able to continue to wear them through November.





The above nests were in the birch tree in my sister's driveway. All summer we enjoyed watching the robins fly in and out of the tree on feeding missions for the little ones.

The following pictures were taken on a day trip to Ohare Mill in nearby Madoc Ontario. Enjoy the scenery.









Monday, October 11, 2010

Along the line of smokey hills...


The crimson forest stands.


And all the day the blue jay calls throughout the autumn lands.

Just when you think you have it all under control, a death occurs that makes you stop and reassess everything you value and prioritize. My friend, Linda Knies, passed away unexpectedly in September. I drove up to Kirkland Lake for her funeral. Despite the sad occasion, it was good to see old friends again that I have been missing since I moved away to Trenton.


Raindrops fell on the funeral procession for Linda like tears from heaven at her passing.



A taste of Kirkland Lake, a booming mining town at present. The area can use a boost to its economy after being a depressed area for so long.

Signs of progress abound in the 40 km stretch of Highway 11 that is still only two lanes.



The picture below shows where the new highway will lie just south of Sundridge.



I wasn't back long when the news came that another friend, Clark Hosick, had passed away in Ohio. He had been sick for a long time. Still, it was sad news. My thoughts and condolences go to those who mourn his passing.

I am off later today for a look at some tall trees. In this part of the world, it would be interesting to see them as this whole area has been tree harvested a couple of times. If there is any picture I take worth posting, I'll be back here with an update.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Slowing down somewhat

I did go off to Kawartha Lakes (aka Manilla) last Friday night for a Mars viewing party. The moon and Mars tracked each other across the evening and morning sky and was quite visible out in the country. It was a marvelous night. The band that played in front of the barn were working out a few kinks in their act but by the second set were beginning to sound pretty tight. I played some songs on my guitar after they had packed up and left. Their sound was entirely different from mine so I waited until later to play by a small fire.

I had a good time. I slept in a little bunkhouse separate from the main house and got up bright and early to hit the road home. As I was leaving, I stopped and took a picture of Marie's farm house.



The house needs a lot of work and I wish Marie well. She will need all the help she can get over the next while but she is happy to be where she is and that is what is important.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

You know you're getting old when...

you go to Toronto for the day and it takes three days to recover. Unbelievable but true. I left on Saturday morning to meet up with three friends I hadn't seen in 36 years and met them at the Sheraton Center in Toronto.

I didn't do much drinking, just a beer and a shot of Canadian Club over lunch and then a glass of red wine on the train back to Belleville. That being said, I woke up on Sunday feeling like I'd been on a bender for 3 days. I napped on and off all day Sunday and took it easy on Monday and Tuesday. By Wednesday I was back to normal, except that my weight is up about 10 lbs. I'm hoping this isn't the beginning of my body fighting back over the weight loss I have achieved so far.

Here is a picture of the 'girls' 36 years later.


They are from left, Debi, Nancy, Lynne and Cathy.

I am pleased to say that none of us are on any medication and are healthy. The picture was taken by Lynne's grandson Aaron.

Good thing I am all rested up because I am off again tomorrow for a Mars party at a friend's farm about 2 hours from my home. I will be staying overnight. There is supposed to be a band playing and I might get to sing with them. I'll let you know.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Sun and Surf

Today is my birthday. I won't tell you how old I am but let's just say that I'm way beyond the age of majority and all is going well. I am having a wonderful day.

Ahhhh...



Yesterday I spent another day at Sandbanks Provincial Park, only this time I had company - my sister's 14 year old granddaughter Rebecca. What a perfect day it was. We swam and played in the waves and laid on the beach, she in the sun, me in the shade.




As what sometimes happens when you're having a good time, a thunder cloud wanted to join the party at the beach so we had to pack up and get the 'h' out of there. We drove out of the rain back to my place and watched the end of a Nickelback concert I had recorded. What fun that was.

Rebecca will be going back to her home near Kitchener tomorrow and I am sorry I didn't spend more time with her, but she'll be back again.

A new adventure awaits. Tomorrow I am taking the train into Toronto where I will be meeting up with three friends I haven't seen since 1974 and 1976. I am so looking forward to seeing them again. There is much to discuss. Stay tuned.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

The non-event Sunday

Not much has been happening around here so on Saturday I took a trip to Sandbanks Provincial Park, about an hour from my home. It has a magnificent beach.



I took the picture below on the causeway before entering the park.



It was really windy and it was picking up a lot of sand so I didn't stick around after I had my lunch. Still, it was a nice place to visit.

I had a request to post a picture of my home so here it is below.



I did cut the grass and dig the weeds out of the patio stones later. :">)
And this is my current view.



These sunflowers came up without my doing anything and I am happy to have them brighten up my life.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Wish upon a shooting star after midnight

Tonight just after midnight till near dawn and tomorrow night too, the sky will be filled with shooting stars from the Perseid constellation. Every year the earth passes through this meteor belt and this year promises to be spectacular. I was out last night around 10pm and saw 3 and this was before midnight. I am going to stay awake until midnight so I can take in the show.

Speaking of shows, I was in Orillia on Wednesday night and saw Sheryl Crow in concert.



I picked this shot of her on stage at the concert off an internet story about the show. She has a whole new sound, more soul than before and her band was exceptionally tight. It was a wonderful concert.

I hope someone stays up to watch the show besides myself. I love falling stars and this is the time to see them in all their glory. I'll report tomorrow night how many I actually saw.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Back from the north

My sister Shirley and I went to New Liskeard over the weekend to visit family and friends. I confess to not taking any pictures on the way up but we crossed over into Quebec to bypass construction on Highway 11 for the return leg to North Bay.The highway in Quebec runs along the eastern side of Lake Temiskaming. I did take a few pictures there.

The lake is beautiful on this side too.


It was soon apparent we were in Quebec.



The countryside looked peaceful and serene on this hazy August day.



There was a field planted with sunflowers that had seen better days so I found one that wasn't quite so tired looking.



In the town of Temiscaming, we were wondering just what was on the other side of this hill.



Turns out it was a combination of both smoke and fog, er, smog from the Tembec Lumber mills that operate in the town.

And then we were back in Ontario.



From that point on, it was known territory and I put the camera away. It also began to rain in North Bay and it rained almost all the way back to Frankford, our starting point. It was a good adventure and I saw the far side of Lake Temiskaming where I had never been before.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Time for a little tale

After I had moved into my new home and got settled a bit, I took the train into Toronto, basically just because I could now. My Achilles tendon was killing me but I walked around downtown Toronto and had supper here at the Hard Rock's outdoor cafe.


I tried a couple of the fancy margaritas they were serving.

Mighty tasty.

While sitting there I looked around. The street has been widened at the corner of Dundas and Yonge to accomodate a large meeting and greeting area.



I was able to watch TV from my seat on the patio as the monitor about 6 stories up had the words printing across the bottom, like it's done for the hearing impaired.
Of course the advertising was screaming from the ads in every direction.



I loved it, loved the fact that I was just visiting and was able to leave and go to a much quieter, peaceful place.

Here are some pictures of downtown Toronto as it was July 2010.