Saturday, June 13

An Afternoon at Niagara

Today we had planned on meeting Pea from Pea's Corner and Steve in Niagara Falls. We got there about 3:30 pm. Once we had visited for a while, we headed to Dufferin Islands. Hubby and I had never been there before and it's an awesome nature area.

Steve parked the car and we walked across the footbridge and saw this beautiful scene. The sound of birds and water were refreshing to the soul.
Another lovely spot. It was a nice day, not too hot and a pleasant day to enjoy this tranquil nature area.

Carole, Dwight and Steve walking over another footbridge. We've had lots of rain this year so the foliage was vivid green.

The water in this area was bubbling and gurgling over the stones. Two mallard ducks used this as a water slide. They slipped into the water by the stone and let the current take them downstream. You can see one of the ducks in the right hand corner of the photo.

There were lots of Canada geese and ducks in the area. Some of them had goslings. They flocked to the people who had food for them.
Hubby and Steve looking at something interesting from one of the footbridges. I enjoyed the sound of the water.

Carole watching the guys. She had just taken a photo of hubby and Steve on the footbridge.

Here we are, two women who met through blogging. This is the second time we've met in person. Both Carole and Steve are fun to be around. Like us, they enjoy the simple things in life.

Lots of waterfowl and even a seagull in the foreground. I love the colour of the water.

Then it was time to leave. We went back to the car and headed to the Falls to find a parking spot. We were successful. Steve is great at finding places to park.

The American Falls through the trees. This gives almost a border effect. These trees were only saplings when I was a kid and went to the Falls. It's unbelieveable how much they've grown.

At the foot of the America Falls, the Maid of the Mist was taking people on a tour. A beautiful rainbow arched across the water.

A photo from further back. This is an awesome scene. I'm surprised that I got the rainbow to show up in the photos.

The American Falls on the left and the Bridal Veil Falls on the right. Those little yellow dots you see by the Bridal Veil Falls are people taking a tour on the American side.

When we left the Falls, we went for dinner at Monta*na's. It was delicious and was made even more so with the company of great friends. We passed on desert and made our way to a little family run store that sells Italian ice cream. I had never had it before and it is sooo good.

Then it was time for hubby and I to head home. Carole and Steve were heading out for a walking tour. Be sure to visit Carole in the next couple of days. She will also be posting photos, I'm sure.

We got home about 9pm and Dakota had been so good while we were gone. He was happy to see us though and we had enjoyed a great day. There's nothing nicer than spending time with good friends.

Friday, June 12

A Surprise Visit from Pea

I was standing on the side porch about 4 pm today talking to the boys on the phone when a car pulled up across the street. The man driving looked very familiar and as he stepped out of the car, I saw the female passenger. It was Pea from Pea's Corner and her friend, Steve. They were on their way to Niagara Falls and stopped by so we could go for coffee. I was delighted.

Hubby was out doing an errand. While we were waiting for him to return, I gave Pea and Steve a tour of the garden.

The photo above is of the side garden. Excuse the empty pots. Hubby, Brandon and I were working in the yard today and I hadn't got the pots picked up before I took the photo. The mini carnations are in bloom and the balloon plant. We've added hollyhocks and blanket flowers to this garden. Hubby's bears are in there and my rock, along with a little alysum. We now have a fixture on which to wind the hose.
Brandon designed and created the pot above. He has great taste in color. He liked the contrast of the red begonias and nicotina and the green and cream ivy. I think he did a super job. (Excuse the weeds along there. It takes time to get everything done.)

The front garden is still looking pretty sparse, but we have added a foxglove along with the purple flowers that Michelle gave me last year. I'm thinking they are some kind of lillies, but they are roots and not bulbs, so I could be wrong.

This is the other end of the front garden. I'm not sure what the pink ground cover is. It was given to me by my neighbor many years ago. She calls it Hungarian geranium, but I have no idea if that is the true name. It grows like wildfire and every year I have to dig some of it out. I've already given some to Michelle and my friend here would like some. Never fear, by the end of the summer, it will be trying to take over the bed.

I love the yellow daylilly and the cosmos back toward the porch railing. I want something in there to hide the dirt and rocks under the porch. Cosmos grow tall and spread and I've also planted some hollyhock seed in there. We will see how it does.

Unless something comes up, we are planning to meet Pea and Steve in Niagara Falls tomorrow afternoon. It should be fun. Pea got a photo today, but I neglected to take my camera to the coffee shop. If we do head out to Niagara, I will be sure to take it along.

Enjoy your weekend and the company of family and friends.

Thursday, June 11

Climate in Canada

I noticed that some of my readers were wondering why we have an AC when we live in southern Ontario. Above is a picture of the Grand River, which runs south from Riverview, Ontario to Lake Erie. It is so pretty right now with everything so green. The rains we've had this spring and the cool temperatures have kept everything colorful. However, we do have some springs when it is very hot. Our climate varies a little from year to year. I would guess the average temperature this year has been about 60 degrees F.

Different parts of Canada have different climates. British Columbia gets a lot of rain in winter and moderate temperatures in summer. Because Vancouver is on the Pacific Coast, it is milder there. However, the interior of BC gets lots of snow and minus temperatures. I visited there twice and each time the temperatures went down to minus 16 F and one day the kids were kept home from school because it was minus 25 and there was a chance their lungs would freeze. When you are in BC, you don't feel the cold like you do here in Ontario. Ours is a damper cold while that in BC is a dry cold.

We don't have igloos or ice and snow all summer long. Even in Nunavut and the North West Territories, there is summer, though temperatures would be cooler, similar to Alaska. Where my friend Marrianne is working in Iqulait, they still have snow and will until mid June or later. Winter will set in early and temperatures of minus 40 F are not uncommon.

Where I live in southern Ontario, summer temperatures can go into the high 90s, though that doesn't happen often. August is the hottest month, usually, and temperatures range from the high 80s to mid 90s. It can get hotter. A few years ago, temperatures reached 112 F and the day Mom and Dad were married in 1945, it was 110F.

The Maritime Provinces are on the Atlantic and have harsh winters and summers that vary from year to year. While talking to my MIL the other day, she said it was 80 and here it was only 60, so it depends where you are and what the weather is doing at the time.

Hope this helps everyone sort out our weather patterns. We have much the same weather as Michigan, as Detroit and Windsor, Ontario are just across the Ambassador Bridge from each other.

Wherever you are, I hope your weather is nice. It was a cool day today and rain began to fall about the time the boys were getting out of school.

Wednesday, June 10

Around the Yard

This is the front flower bed. We got it all cleaned out and there are a few perennials coming up from last year. I'm not sure what the purple and yellow flowers are. I think maybe the yellow ones are some kind of lillies. Jordan planted the nicotina and he still has more to do. Hopefully the boys will get over here to finish this bed tomorrow. I asked them if they wanted me to do it and they said no, they wanted to. So, I'm keeping the plants watered for them.

This is the veggie garden. The lettuce is doing very well. I didn't expect it to grow so fast. Everything else is growing but not as fast. There are a few cosmos in the corner beside the latest addition to my fairy collection. She is solar and the frog she is holding lights up at night. Cute. A nice gift.
Here is a better shot of her, though it doesn't do her justice unless you enlarge it. She is pretty sitting there watching over the garden holding that little frog that lights up.

We have other plants to put into the gardens. I purchased a plant that I've always loved, but could never find. I found it at a corner store and spent over an hour Goo*gling it to try and find out what it was. Today I was going past the store and stopped to ask about it. The lady there told me it is Astilbe. I'm hoping to find other colors and they will be added to the front garden, as it is very shady there. I will have to add some peat and rocks to the area once the hole is dug. It likes moist, well-drained soil and shady conditions.

Today was warmer and not a spot of rain. However, I fear we are going to go from chilly to hot without any real spring. I love that 70 degree weather.

Tuesday, June 9

Fun in the Yard

Everyday at noon, Dakota wants to go outside with hubby and spend some time romping in the grass. On the days it rains and he can't go out, he is much more hyper. He needs that exercise to keep him calm and in control.
Today hubby took him out with one of his squeaky toys. Dakota threw it down the terrace and hubby went to get it. In the photo above, he is getting ready to kick it to Dakota. Notice how the dog is crouched, ready to pounce.
He caught it and each time he did, he had to squeak that sheep before tossing it down the terrace again.

Finally, he decided that he would just throw it and pounce on it himself without any help.

Here he is squeaking it and taking it nearer to the stump. He wants to make sure that it is with him and that no one or anything else can get it. When he has this toy outside, he is very protective of it. It doesn't leave his side unless hubby is playing kick the sheep. lol (Notice the hole he's dug in the yard. Grrr!)

It's time for a rest. He loves laying on the clover. It's soft and cool. Even though it wasn't a hot day, Dakota is panting up a storm. He's done in and that makes him a much better companion for the rest of the day.

What would we do without our pets. Each has a special place in our hearts and remain there all of our lives. Dakota has worked his way into our hearts in the very short time he's been with us. We laugh at his antics and frown when he misbehaves, but he brings a lot of joy into our home.

PS. No sheep were harmed during this exercise. :-)

Monday, June 8

Dakota Helping with Yard Work

One of my readers had asked for photos of Dakota and it so happens that on the weekend he helped hubby do a bit of yard work.

We had this unsightly area at the corner just outside the flower bed. There used to be a sidewalk here, but when our sewer backed up, they had to remove it and dig a trench in the lawn to get to the street. We were quite tired of looking at it and the rain was eroding the bank, so on the weekend, we decided to do something about it.
Hubby was out there picking up stones and loosening the soil. Dakota was supervising. That is until...

He decided that all of the rocks didn't belong in the tub where hubby was putting them. So he started taking them out as fast as hubby was putting them in. Then he would throw them across the yard. Very helpful.

After a couple hours of work, this is what it now looks like. A lot better than it was, don't you think. Now we need to put a little topsoil on the terrace and plant some grass and it will look 100% better.

When you own a house, there is always something that needs doing. It's been a productive year so far and we have changed things a lot. Everything is beginning to look neat and tidy.

Enjoy your week and remember to do a random act of kindness.

Sunday, June 7

Spring Beauties

My regular readers will remember the photo of the poppy buds that I posted last week.
This is what they looked like this morning when I ventured out with my camera.

And here is a closeup. These poppies came to me from the Earth a few years ago. One year they weren't there and the next spring they appeared. I absolutely love them.
Another look from a different angle. Too bad the weatherman is predicting rain because they will not last through a rain storm. Last year it was so hot when they came out that they turned black within two days. I wish they would bloom all summer long. They are my favorite flower in my gardens.

Hope everyone had a great weekend. We tended the yard. I will have more photos tomorrow.