Saturday, November 28, 2015

Across Lake Erie

You can't see Canada across lake Erie, but you know it's there. It's the same with spring. You have to have faith, especially in Cleveland.
~ Paul Fleischman

A couple of posts back, I brought you with me to Port Dover, Ontario where we celebrated Friday the 13th - biker style. True, those weren't photos from this November 13th which filled my blog page, but rather Friday the 13th of March. At the end of that post, I promised to share some different Port Dover images from that same visit, and these are them - with nary a biker to be seen in any of them.

PD lake side into the sun2
I was in Port Dover to visit my lovely sister, Andrea (hi, Andi!) who who has lived in this picturesque town for close to forty years now. Being March, we still had a fair bit of ice and snow to contend with on the northern shores of Lake Erie.

PD Creek falls 2
Yet, the melt had indeed begun as evidenced by the free-flowing creek.

PD lake erie beach pooch
It was a cold day for just sitting but this pooch and his person were enjoying the icy view.

PD Fisherman Monument
I don't think we often consider the dangers that commercial fishing entails but this community has had its share of sad losses. This monument is for them.

PD port dover lighthouse3
The lighthouse is a well-known landmark in Port Dover and it looks especially pretty when the setting sun creates such a colourful backdrop.

PD port dover lighthouse
The sign says "No Swimming - No Diving - No Jumping." With all that ice... no problem!

PD Callahans lobby
The next evening, Andrea and I went out to dinner at Callahan's Beach House. Old posters and photographs of performers decorate the walls of their lobby.

PD Callahans through the window
The rest of these images were taken through glass where reflections distract somewhat but the view was still enjoyable.

PD Callahan view sunset
This pair navigated their way over the bumpy lake ice.

PD Callahans sunset
As we enjoyed a delicious meal, we were treated to another warming sunset.

PD Callahans sunset sky
Always beautiful - Port Dover.

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Cherished to the Full

Each golden day was cherished to the full, for one had the feeling that each must be the last. Tomorrow it would be winter.
~ Elizabeth Enright

November 3rd was an amazingly warm day in Peterborough. Sweatshirts and jackets remained hung in the closet since nothing more than a t-shirt was required for a walk in the park. Well yeah, I did wear jeans too.

autumn yellow
Brilliant sunshine illuminated the last of autumn's intense colours, set off by the bright blue waters of Little Lake and the Otonabee River.

geese in flight
Occasionally, a Canada goose or two would feel mildly threatened by my approach, causing them to take wing and land in the safety of the water.

geese takeoff
Soon all of them were frantically making their way into the lake. They were never all that concerned with my presence before. What's that all about?

Ah, there's the proud little culprit.

Empty harbour
The harbour was empty of boats which are all packed away for the winter.

Empty harbour2 hands up
Don't these mooring posts look like they've all been caught robbing a bank? Come out with your hands up!

Co-opportunity Belleville artist James Smith
This is The Union Sculpture which was commissioned by the Peterborough District Labour Council to honour the history of the local labour movement.

The fluffy white plumes of ornamental grass sway like a June bride's veil flowing in the breeze. I could easily believe it was a balmy day, five months earlier.

enjoying the sun
The temperature rose to 24C (75F) which is practically unheard of for November around here. It was as if summer had lost her way and needed a place to stay for a day or two. And Ontario was happy to accommodate her.

feeding fowl first toss
And this man, dressed for this gift of warmth, was happy to oblige the ducks by tossing out crackers and bread for them to enjoy.

feeding fowl frenzy
It wasn't long before the gulls caught on to the offered treats. They swarmed the area making it difficult for the mallards to feast.

Crossing from one shore to the other was a slow-moving Canadian Pacific Railway train.

river island
One of a few mini islands off the shores of Peterborough. I wonder if the driftwood happened naturally or if it was placed there.

waiting for ice
It would seem that not all of us are happy with the return of the warm weather. This guy appears to be waiting patiently for a patch of ice on which to play his hockey game. He might have his wish soon. Today, I saw a few snow flurries.

Till next year, Summer. I'll be happy to greet you, once again.

Friday, November 13, 2015

PD13 - Friday the 13th in Port Dover

The PD13 motorcycle rally is considered by some to be the little party that grew. It all began when a couple of dozen biker friends of a local bike shop owner got together to party in 1981. They had a fine time and decided to gather again every Friday the 13th after that. Over the years, their numbers have grown considerably. So much, in fact that when the date falls during the summer months, quaint Port Dover's population grows from 6,000 to well over 150,000 - and a huge numbers of those visitors arrive by bike.

This year, Friday the 13th appeared on the calendar three times - in February, March and right now in November - the 60th such event. My sister happens to live in Port Dover and I was visiting her for a few days in March. Below are some photos depicting a few of the scenes and some of the characters who add to the charm of PD13.

PD Friday 13th storefront
Shop windows were all decked out for this busy event.

PD Friday 13th characters5
As one might expect, it was a cold and rather blustery day on the northern shore of Lake Erie in March.

PD Friday the 13th4
Some bikes were parked.

PD Friday 13th characters7
Others rolled along through Main Street while people strolled in between them to cross the roads.

PD Friday 13th characters doing business
Indoors and out, vendors were busy making sales.

PD Friday 13th doing business2
The girl behind this cheerful smile sold me one of the black jerseys to commemorate the day.

PD Friday the 13th13
All lined up in a row.

PD Friday the 13th11
It sure wasn't as crowded as it gets during the warmer summer months but considering the cold, and that there had just been a Friday the 13th four weeks earlier, the turnout wasn't bad.

PD Friday 13th characters10
There was a whole lot of leather everywhere you looked.

PD Friday 13th characters9
Nobody seemed to mind being caught on camera.

PD Friday 13th characters8
I'm sure that some were even intent upon being photographed. Check out the shoulder poodle.

PD Friday 13th characters
Many of these faces would really stand out in a crowd if it weren't for the fact that this crowd was full of these characters.

PD Friday 13th characters3
Some of these guys have been attending PD13 for many years.

PD Friday 13th doing business
You could buy pretty much any motorcycle-related accessory here.

PD Friday the 13th5
Although I don't think that's where he got his little riding buddy - The A&W Root Bear.

PD Friday the 13th9And this brings us to "the end" of Friday the 13th in Port Dover. Next PD13 is in May, 2016 - the only one of the year.

Eventually, I'll share some other photos I took around town. Until then, have a look at this video from when Rick Mercer featured Port Dover on his show in October 2013. You'll get a better idea of the crowds which were still small compared to summertime.

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Two Minutes

blooming poppy
At the eleventh hour

of the eleventh day

poppy season
of this eleventh month,

with red poppies pinned close to our hearts,

Canadians across our nation will share two silent minutes of reflection and respect to remember those who served our country.

Two minutes for those whose hearts ceased beating far too soon.

Two minutes for countless, selfless acts of courage given in exchange for our freedom.

poppy bloom 3
Two minutes for indescribable sacrifice.

It's an honour and a privilege for Canadians to pause to remember and respect those who serve.

poppy bloom
At the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month, please honour those who have given their lives so that we can enjoy the freedom we assume as our right.

wet poppy
May we never forget.

In Flanders Fields
~ John McCrae
In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.
We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved, and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders Fields.
Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders Fields.