Saturday, August 15

A Nice Afternoon at Elora Gorge

This afternoon, hubby and I decided to get away from the house for a while and drive to Elora Gorge. He had never been there and I haven't been there for years...I was probably in my early 20s the last time I visited.

We entered the Conservation Area and drove to the area of the gorge. We were welcomed by this sign. "Hole in the Rock" piqued our interest, so we headed that way.
This is the path we walked along. As soon as we stepped into the trees, we could feel a change in temperature. Though it was still humid, the air was much cooler.

This is the first glimpse we had of the gorge. The water runs swiftly here but it is quite shallow.

This is the Grand River. There are rapids in the gorge and many people were swimming and tubing.
We reached "Hole in the Rock." The stairs are made of rock. Notice the tree roots on the right.

I went down the rock stairs until we came to this set of steel stairs that were very steep. I knew if I ever went down I'd have a problem getting back up because I have trouble bending and lifting my left leg. I told hubby to go on ahead.

Here he is viewing the gorge. He was down quite far, as I used the zoom on my camera to get this shot.

If you look between the branches of the trees, you can see two people tubing. They said the water was lovely.

We stopped at a lookout point and I took this photo of the gorge wall. That is the top of the trees that grow along the water. We met a family here. The lady and her family were from Toronto and her brother from India was with them. He had his photograph taken alone and I asked him why he didn't have his picture taken with the lady. She said he was her brother visiting from India. I told her that was all the more reason to have her picture taken with him. Then the father asked if I would take a photo of the entire family. They were very nice and I was happy to oblige.

By this time the area was getting a little humid and after walking up several knolls, we headed back to the parking lot. It was a nice walk and we took our time. It was far too hot to hurry. It was 31C with a humidex of 40C. That means it was 87.8 F with a humidex of 104. We were glad to get back to the van and turn on the AC.

As we left the gorge, there were many people swimming in this area. The girls in the foreground were trying to catch a frog. What a fun past time for a hot summer day.

We saw families galore camping, picnicking and enjoying time together. What great memories these people were making.
On the way home, we spotted this house. It was beautiful. I would love to have a place like this.

At the left end of the pond, there was a waterfall. Yeap, right up my alley. I know I will never own a house like this but I can dream...dreams give us hope and a goal to work toward.

I hope all my friends and readers enjoyed coming along with us this afternoon. Enjoy the rest of the weekend.

Friday, August 14

Fun at Niagara Falls

This week the boys' parents have been on holidays. On Thursday they went to Niagara Falls for the day and had some family fun. Michelle knows I stole borrowed these photos. They actually took the elevator down into the earth and spent some time behind the Falls. Since blogger is giving me a hard time, these aren't in order.

Michelle and the boys all dressed up in the raincoats that they give you to keep you dry while you're behind the Falls. They are squinting because of the mist.

The area where you look out onto the Falls is like a fortress and is made of rock. I remember many years ago, probably in the 70s, when I went on this tour. At that time the raincoats were yellow.

Maid of the Mist taken from behind the Falls. You can see these people are wearing the identical rain gear and heading right into the rainbow.

Brandon, taking in the sights and if I know him, doing a bit of deep thinking. He is camera shy at this age.
Jordan with the Falls in the background. He enjoys having his picture taken. I think both of these photos are nice. Behind Brandon is the American Falls and the Niagara River. Behind Jordan, the Horseshoe Falls, which are on the Canadian side.

The Horseshoe Falls from behind the Falls. The water sounds like thunder at this vantage point. 150,000 gallons per second go over the American Falls...600,000 gallons per second over the Horseshoe Falls. No wonder the Native Peoples of the area called it "Ongniaahra," meaning Thunder of Waters.

This is part of the Niagara Escarpment. On the right of the photo is the Niagara River. The water in the River always looks turquoise.

Another glimpse of the Falls from the tour.

And this one. The experience of going into the bowels of the Earth and viewing the Falls from behind is awesome...something that everyone should experience at least once in their life.

This one shows the rocks behind the Falls. You can even see the mist coming off the water. Michelle told me it was very misty that day. No matter what the day is like there is always mist coming off the Falls. The wind direction carries the mist to either the American or Canadian side. I've been at the Falls on days when the mist was so heavy you'd think it was raining.

I hope you enjoyed this glimpse of Niagara Falls from behind on the Canadian side. It's a place I never tire of.

Thursday, August 13

Sockeye Salmon Vanishing from British Columbia River

For hundreds, maybe thousands of years, red sockeye salmon have moved up the Fraser River in British Columbia to spawn. While in the ocean, they are not red, but in spawning season, this is the color that they turn.

In the past up to 10.6 million sockeye have spawned in the Fraser River. They've provided Native Peoples with food for years and commercial fisherman make their living fishing for them. However, the last three years, the British Columbia government have closed the Fraser to both commercial and recreational fishing, which has affected the livliehood of many.

In the Globe and Mail (Toronto newspaper) this morning, an article stated that only approximately one million salmon has moved up the Fraser River to spawn this year. It seems the sockeye salmon stock is being depleted and no one knows why. There are several theories but none of them are absolute. Could the fish have been infected by sea lice, which is a marine parasite. Could it be that global warming is to blame? The temperature of the Fraser has risen in the past few years and may have weakened the sockeye.

The Canadian government has stated that the sockeye are dying in the ocean and not the Fraser River. The Department of Fisheries and Oceans have no idea how widespread the loss is, but say that other types of salmon, such as the chinook, pink and coho don't seem to be affected.

Because the salmon have diminished, the environment along the Fraser River will be changed. After salmon spawn, they die and become food for bears and eagles and nutrients for plants that grow along the banks. Food companies will also have to look elsewhere for their supply of sockeye.

Tuesday, August 11

A Walk at Her Majesty's Chapel of the Mohawks

Today was a beautiful summer day. Yes, it was hot, but there wasn't much humidity. It was plenty warm in the van when hubby and I went to the grocery store but in the shade, it was lovely.

Mid-afternoon I went for a drive and ended up at a local historical church. Though we call it Mohawk Chapel, it is really Her Majesty's Chapel of the Mohawks.

The church was the first protestant church in Upper Canada (now Ontario) and was built by the Crown in 1785. At that time what is now Canada was under British rule. The Crown gave the church to the Mohawk Indians, who were led by Joseph Brant, for their support as Allies during the American Revolution. When the British lost, Brant lead his people to the Grand River Valley and the Crown awarded them 760,000 acres along the Grand River.

Many United Empire Loyalists also settled in this area and some are buried in the cemetery beside the church, which is the oldest remaining church in Ontario and the only Royal Chapel in North America. Native Canadians are also buried here.

The above photo was taken from the front steps. In recent years a lot of renovations have taken place.
The front doors and the gardens. Everything is so pretty here and the Chapel is surrounded by many different species of trees.

This is the original Chapel bell. A few years ago it was stolen from this spot in the fall. The next spring it was found along the banks of the Grand River. Why would anyone want to destroy a piece of history for no logical reason? It was then restored and hung where it stands today.

The gardens are beautiful. Many of the flowers have gone to seed, but there were still many beautiful blooms on both side of the large, wooden doors.

I have always liked this headstone. On the left it says, A.J. Davies. 65 years 1910. On the right it says Baby Edna 9 months 1886.

This is another old stone. There are many of them in this cemetery.

In his later years, Joseph Brant lived in Burlington, Ontario and when he passed, he was buried there. The guide at the Chapel today explained to visitors that when his son died, his body was exhumed and they were both laid to rest here at the Chapel.

Queen Elizabeth has visited the Chapel several times. It was officially given Royal designation by King Edward VII in 1904. Over the years, it has been renovated several times, the last being in 1983. Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip visited the following year. The Chapel has never been allowed to fall into disrepair again.

The above photo shows Joseph Brant and his son John's tomb. They lay here together for eternity.

At one time the Chapel had eight stained glass windows. These were replaced between 1959 and 1962 with stained glass windows that each tell a story. The Chapel was open today but unfortunately photography is not allowed inside.

I hope you enjoyed strolling through the grounds of Her Majesty's Chapel of the Mohawks with me. It was shady and cool in the church yard and I met a couple from New York State who were here looking for the gentleman's roots. They were very friendly and interested in the many Native historical sites along the banks of the Grand River.

Monday, August 10

An Easter Bargain in August

On Sunday, we had torrential rains and thunderstorms off and on all day. Mid afternoon there was a lull in the storms, so hubby and I decided to take a drive to my favourite garden store. Unfortunately, they had closed down for the season. The same man owns the dollar store next door, so we decided to see if there were any bargains.

When I saw this mother bunny with her baby bunny, I fell in love with her. I thought the pair looked very natural.
On the shelf right next to her were these three little fellas. It looks like they all belong in the same family.

These had been marked down by half and then there was a sign that said they were half off again. A real Easter bargain and for about one third of the original price.

Hubby asked me what I was going to do with them. I told him they were perfect for Easter decorating. If I decide not to keep them, I can always give them to Mom. She loves bunnies of all kinds and has a huge collection that she puts out each year at Easter. Or, since they are resin, I can always use them for garden ornaments. Time will tell if the bunnies continue to live at my house or if they find a new and loving home.

Another hot and humid day here but not as bad as yesterday. Apparently it is to stay hot and humid for at least a couple of weeks. Not my kind of weather but normal for August in this neck of the woods.

Sunday, August 9

Yesterday I posted about the rainy day drive that hubby and I took. One person who commented said they'd never seen tobacco kilns like this, so I decided to post the other photo that I took while we were out.
This shows the tobacco kilns up closer. These were very near the road. These were all over the area when I was growing up and they came in two or red.

The tobacco industry was a good money maker when I was young. When I was fifteen, you could make $500 in one summer working in tobacco. That was great money for that time...1964. Though it was back-breaking work, the pay was good and most of the tobacco farmers treated their employees great. I remember they used to pick people up around 6am at the city square and drop them off in the evening.

There were several jobs that you could do. Suckering for me was the easiest and though it was hard, hot work, it was not as hot as working in the kiln. Hanging the tobacco was no fun at all and I didn't mind being out in the fields.

Today, there isn't much tobacco grown in this area. The tobacco that is grown is harvested by machine and it seems that the younger generation doesn't want to do that kind of manual labor. Many people come here from Jamaica and Mexico to work in the tobacco and produce industries.

Hubby and I didn't do much today. This afternoon there were thunderstorms and torrential rains. It quit for a bit and we went out to do a bit of shopping. Tomorrow I will show you the bargain that I got. Tonight I watched Regis and Millionaire and then the new show called Shark Tank, but programming was interrupted because of another major storm. The temperatures were in the high 90s with a humidex of over 100F. Tomorrow is to be less humid but the hot trend continues. I really enjoyed the cooler temperatures and hope they resume.