Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Go Where You Shouldn't

A small town is a place where there's no place to go where you shouldn't. ~ Burt Bacharach

Come join me for a few sites from around town, taken on a sunny day or two in late April. Spring had just begun to emerge and so had the people. I hope you enjoy.

Peterborough Sunrise
One April morning, it appeared as if there was fire glowing outside of my window. This stunning sunrise had the sky all ablaze.

A bit of a worn down home, in close walking distance from my place caught my eye for the textures and collection of items in the upstairs window. There appeared to be some Christmas ornaments along with a boarded up glass pane and a knotted curtain. The photo was taken at the end of March. On May 8, I immediately recognized the home in a news report of a kitchen fire which caused extensive damage to the home's interior. Thankfully, nobody was hurt.

young swinger
Oblivious to troubles in the world, this little guy was having the time of his life swinging from a tree branch while his Dad watched over him and helped him along with a hefty push.

quaker oats water tower
A Peterborough landmark, Quaker Oats first began operating here in 1902 but suffered a major fire just fourteen years later. In 1920, it was fully rebuilt into the structure you see in this photo. If the wind is blowing the right (or wrong) way, you can smell the sickly sweetness of flavoured oatmeal wafting over the east end of the city.

Willow on Little Lake
The catkins were just emerging on the weeping willow at the large lakeside patio of The Silver Bean in town. The café offers meals, snacks and drinks to enjoy out on their patio or dock. They're closed all winter but have just opened up for the season. In the distance, you can see the foot and train bridge which connects the west and east shores of Little Lake.

graffiti - dont get close
Here's a closeup of one of the beams on that bridge as it sports some of its ever-changing graffiti.

Esker - dog sculptures
This sculpture which is situated in Millennium Park is called Esker. Depending on whose article you might read, it depicts 1) a mama wolf and her cub, 2) a sled guide dog staring down a wolf or 3) a regular canine puppy and its mother. The artists are Maryann Barkhouse and Michael Belmore and I'd assume they know the truth. Back in 2013, vandals did damage to the smaller figure when they removed it and threw it into the lake. The artists restored their work, and the pair of pooches were soon happily reunited.

children remembered
This boulder is located near the Butterfly Garden - a children's memorial put in place by The Bereaved Parents of Ontario. Easter had arrived and these colourful offering were left by grieving parents.

Sitting on the rocks, by the swift waters of Little Lake, this lone guitarist was enjoying his music.

Have a quick listen to the guitar and the water.

going fishing
I chatted with a young woman while we watched her brother head off along the walkway at the nearby lock. With the excessive rain which followed for days afterward, the walkway has now become completely submerged by the swift river current.

Only the very top of the rail is now visible.

Thousands of little minnows were dancing and darting in the water below.

This is the last we'll see of those tree roots for a while. The bottom three feet (at least) of its trunk are now under several feet of water.

big boy toys
On my way back home, I found myself amused by the collection of toys in this young man's hands. Perhaps they were inadvertently left behind by a younger boy's hands.

Sunday, May 7, 2017

Poems by Heart

It is spring again. The Earth is like a child that knows poems by heart. ~ Rainer Maria Rilke

Springtime - when everything awakens after a long winter's sleep. A couple of weeks back, I took advantage of the warm weather by heading out to walk whenever I could. All sorts of creatures had the same idea.

One day, early last summer, I ran into a man who was allowing his pair of pet snakes to sun themselves on the rocks.

ball python
Well, I encountered him again this year, and he had one of his Ball Pythons with him.

ball python and girl
Kids kept stopping by to get a closer look.

ball python and kidlet3
Some opted to try him on for size.

ball python and kidlet
This little cutie was proudly showing off his new friend to his dad.

On to other, less slithery creatures...

somebody is watching me
The ducks are enjoying the new growths of spring.

It looks as if this guy just quit smoking.

take right off eh
This mallard is sailing free over Lock 19.

Robins have been back in the area for quite a while now, but this is the first one who has held still long enough for me to photograph it. Thanks, little one.

young starling
A starling has found a nice little glass house in which to build her nest.

snapping turtle
A rather small snapping turtle was keeping her eye on things while hanging out near the water's edge. I wondered if she was laying eggs or just having a relaxing moment.

It was a treat to see this little mink pop up on the rocks with its catch. She watched me for a few seconds then disappeared back into the water with her meal.

My neighbour's cat often hangs around my place. He thinks my door is an extension of his own place and just steps right in when he gets the opportunity. Make yourself at home, Oliver.

That's it for today. More photos coming up whenever I get around to them - which is not so often, these days. Thanks for sticking by.

Sunday, April 23, 2017

The Soft Laughter of April

Our spring has come at last with the soft laughter of April suns and shadow of April showers. 
~Byron Caldwell Smith

If I didn't hurry up and post again soon, you'd all think it was still winter in my world.

It isn't.

In fact, it has turned into lovely spring weather.

At least for now.

A couple of weeks back, Carol Anne and I took a day trip into Port Perry, Ontario - less than an hour from home. The day started off sunny, warm and perfectly lovely.

driveby barn
The best part about being a passenger is the opportunity for drive-by shootings - in this case, of a barn which caught my eye.

port perry
We arrived at Port Perry just in time to have a bit of a wander before lunch.

After feeding our faces, we looked around at some of the local shops. It's not a large town so we soon ran out of shopping spots and instead, zigged and zagged down a couple of side streets.

Ozzie aka Fang
One of those streets led us to Ozzy, this adorable eight week old French Bulldog pup.
Correction: Both Theresa and Daryl indicated that they believe that Ozzy is a Boston Terrier. Mine was a guess. I stand corrected. :)

Ozzie shake
He was irresistible, and he got lots of pats and belly rubs in whilst chewing on fingers and shoes. I managed one last photo of him in the middle of a good shake.

port perry about scugog
As clouds began to gather, we were indecisive about setting out for a walk which would take us farther from the car. We stuck to the nearby waterfront of Lake Scugog.

port perry before storm
It turned out to be the right choice. We knew that rain was expected and those dark clouds approached rather quickly.

port perry storm cometh
There's something beautiful about dark, gloomy skies - especially if you aren't far from shelter.

port perry storm approaching
By now the wind had also begun to pick up so we took that as our clue to get to the car and head home.

rainy windshield2
Five minutes into the drive, and the windshield looked like this.

spring willow
But all of that rain and subsequent sunshine soon gave us new growth like this.

spring blooms
And like this.

spring tree
And this.

sun setting on buds
And now, when the sun begins to set, the newly-budded trees are ablaze with colour and life once again.

Spring has indeed sprung.

Sunday, March 26, 2017

A Soft White Damn

The snow doesn't give a soft white damn whom it touches.
~ E.E. Cummings

There is no snow on the ground as I write this. In fact, it's been teetering between rain and freezing rain all morning. The following images were taken after February's big snowfall. Hopefully it was the last big one.

Peterborough after the snow
Stepping outside of my apartment, I can see that the parking lot and walkway have been shoveled. Not all of the roads and sidewalks were as clear though. Let's head out to the lake.

Peterborough after the snow2
If those slingshot chairs, aptly named The Launch Pad were real, they might just be powerful enough to send you out into the open water.

frozen little lake
A fresh snowfall makes it difficult to discern where the land ends and the lake begins. The tree does grow rather close to the water.

Peterborough after the snow3
This walkway leads onto a large T-shaped dock. It's mostly covered in snow but you can still make out the outline.

Peterborough after the snow4
You can see it a lot better from this angle. Just a few months ago, these guys were having the time of their lives fetching tennis balls thrown from the pier, into the water.

Peterborough after the snow6
This was as far as I could get around the lake. The snow was too deep to traverse beyond this point.

firefighter in snow2
In a different direction, this guy was accepting his fate of trudging through the snow.

firefighter in snow3
He had several metres of frozen hose behind him, too.

reflection in snowy red
Heading back toward home, this bright red truck amid all of the snowy white caught my eye.

snow covered little library
The Little Library was wearing its snowcap. Nobody had visited since the recent storm.

memorial centre after snow
This is the parking lot at the Peterborough Memorial Centre. It took a long time for those piles to melt. I do believe they're completely gone by now - more than a month after the snowfall.

snow melts away2
A few days later, warming temperatures made for a quick melt. Bright, late afternoon sunshine made for saturated hues. And puddles offered some colourful reflections.

golden blvd
Walking into the lowering sun made for golden light.

golden blvd2
The road that leads to home - where Netflix awaits.