Fall Leaves

Fall Leaves

Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Thanksgiving Long Weekend at the Farm

 Hello dear friends, and Happy Thanksgiving to all of our Canadian friends!

As always we like to take this week as a vacation week.  The gardens always need an end of season clean up and I often order my spring bulbs to be planted at this time of year.  Gardening friends I have been very disciplined this year (mostly disciplined this year!) and have not ordered any bulbs at all.  I really feel that I need to spend at least a year cleaning the gardens before rewarding myself with a new supply of luscious spring bulbs!

Our little garden privy is one of my favourite things to photograph.  The leaves are changing colour and we have a glorious show of yellows, golds, oranges and reds at the farm.

Sugar maples put on the most amazing fall display.  We have many mature sugar maples at the farm but we have never tapped them for syrup.  In the spring we see many of our neighbours tapping their trees.  Maple syrup is a lovely treat!

This is Millicent and she guards the stone staircase.  I love collecting statuary to scatter throughout the gardens.  We purchased all of our statues from a local shop which sadly closed down earlier this summer.

As we are at home we have been sending the sheep across the road for pasture during the day.  The sheep are excited to head across the road for several hours of grazing and then are excited to come back home again.

Abby is trying very had to be a good sheep herding dog.  She has a strong herding instinct but is still quite immature and makes "mistakes"...some days more than others!  Some shepherds refer to the desire to chase and nip as "flossing their teeth".  We find that Abby is the most focused if she is the only dog, when we bring Lucy along chaos generally ensues.

I keep watch for traffic while waiting for Abby to gather up the sheep.  The area that we live in is very rolling and although the posted speed limit on our section of road is only 50 kph many cars fly by at at a much higher rate of speed.  Luckily we dont have much traffic here.  The hills make it difficult to see oncoming cars and we definitely don't want any accidents.  This is a view of part of our property from the road.

A view towards the rear of the house from the end of our driveway,

This Annabelle hydrangea needs to be relocated to another area.  I have several varieties of hydrangeas at the farm but seem to only have success with this variety.  

We enjoyed a family Thanksgiving dinner here on Saturday and I received this stunning floral collection from my sister in law.  Thank you Cass!

This metal bird house has been perched at the top of our water fall garden for several years and has never attracted a bird.

On the other hand this acorn bird house has received a lot of interest and the log bird feeder is very popular every winter.  We fill the holes in the feeder with suet mixed with bird seeds.

Abby turned 2 years old yesterday!

Another one of my statues.  I have been meaning to move it to one of the gardens but here it is, several years later, sitting on our stone wall.

A view towards the south west.  We are fortunate to be surrounded by forests in all directions.

This is one of the sugar maples we had ordered from Maple Leaves Forever.  This organization works to promote the planting of native tree species.  The trees are sold as small saplings about 18-24" tall and are distributed through specialty nurseries.  These trees are now about 6 feet tall and we have had them about 5 years.  We planted them along a new driveway that we made when we had our addition built.

The annuals I had planted earlier this summer are thriving in the fall temperatures.  We have already has several frosts but the snaps, petunias and dahlias are all still doing very well.

Each year these large puff mushrooms appear in the same section of our lawn.

My little garden shed.

Our new fire pit with the sheep in the distance. So far we have only been able to enjoy it once but if the weather holds we might be able to enjoy a glass of wine around the fire once or twice more before we pack the furniture away.

The plants at the koi pond are starting to die back.  The water is getting cooler and the koi are starting to slow down.

It will soon be time to start loading up the bird feeders.  Hopefully the black squirrels that plagued us last year found another home!

A little patch of sunflowers in the garden.

A view of the back of our house.

Golden leaves.

We added succulents to our stone wall this year and will look forwarding to see them thriving in the crevices.

And finally some freshly baked bread to make sandwiches from our left over turkey and ham.

~Thank you for visiting!~

Tuesday, October 1, 2019

Spectacular Lake Superior

Hello dear friends, 
Saturday was the last day of our mini vacation through Northern Ontario.  We took a leisurely drive from Sault Ste Marie north to the Lake Superior Provincial Park with some stops along the way.  We traveled on Highway 17 which is part of the Trans Canada Highway.

We stopped at a picnic area that has a plaque displaying some interesting facts about the Trans Canada Highway including that our stop was at the mid point of the highway!

We stopped at two provincial parks.  Pancake Bay Provincial Park and Lake Superior Provincial Park were less than one hour apart.  As this is already past the traditional summer camping season the parks were not busy.  It was very interesting to see the variety of mosses and mushrooms.  The types, sizes and colours were fascinating!  When we had previously stopped at a gift shop I noticed a book that could be used to identify mushrooms in Ontario.  After seeing the amazing assortment of mushrooms today I was sorry that I hadn't purchased it.

Lake Superior is one of the world's largest freshwater lakes with a surface of 31,700 square miles.  The lake is bounded by Ontario in Canada and Wisconsin, Michigan and Minnesota in the US.  The lake is an important shipping link in the Great Lakes Waterway allowing freighters to move iron ore and other products between the US and Canada as well as between the bordering US states.  Lake Superior is an unforgiving body of water with November marking the start of the stormy season.  I had read that there are over 350 shipwrecks including the famous wreck of the Edmond Fitzgerald which is also the subject of a very famous ballad by Gordon Lightfoot.

This part of Ontario has a rugged beauty.  The rock outcroppings provide home to many varieties of plants and trees.

It is astonishing to see how these evergreens were able to gain a foothold in such an inhospitable area!

The views were simply stunning and it seemed that as we rounded each curve we saw another sight that took our breaths away.  Unfortunately there were very few areas of the highway that allowed us to pull over safely so many of the views (including one of an amazing rock cut) will be stored in our memories.  This was a trip that we would definitely want to repeat!

Later I have some other photos to share of our trip on the Chi Cheemaun Ferry which allowed us to travel from Tobermory to Manitoulin Island on our way north as well as some of the photos of our return trip.

Thank you for joining me on this little vacation!

Monday, September 30, 2019

All Aboard!!

Hello dear friends, 
I have been away for a while but am back with a some exciting photos to share!  A very dear friend and I decided that we should have a little vacation together.  We last traveled together over 20 years ago and have been great friends for some 40 years.  For those of you that read my blog you will know that we have a working farm so it is very hard for my husband and I to take time away.  I have been thinking of taking a little trip to Northern Ontario and my dear friend graciously agreed to come along for the ride.  I hope you will join us!

We started our mini-vacation on Wednesday and I will have other posts to share about how we started our trip together.  Our destination was the northern town of Sault Ste Marie and it was from that point that we took the train to Agawa Canyon!

All Aboard!!

We started our day early by catching the train at the Algoma Central Railway Station in Sault Ste Marie.  We took advantage of a special package and were able to easily walk from our hotel to the train station.  This is a very popular attraction and we wanted to make sure that we had good seats and that we could sit together.  

This is the peak season for fall colours in this part of Ontario.  Even though I had booked our vacation a couple of months ago the Saturday trip was already sold out.  There were 16 passenger cars in the train and each car had a name.  Our car was named Ogidaki Lake.

A daily review of the weather forecast for the area had predicted steady rain for the day of our excursion.  Unfortunately the weather forecast came to pass and we experienced a combination of wet, drizzly and rainy conditions.  In sunlight the changing leaves would have produced a spectacular display of fall colours.  We were a little disappointed but of course we know we cannot control the weather!

In spite of the overcast conditions our train ride allowed us to enjoy the rugged beauty of Northern Ontario.  Large and small bodies of water, evergreens and vast amounts of rock make up this section of our beautiful province.

There are many inland lakes and islands.  This area is popular for hunters and anglers and many of the lakes are stocked with trout from a hatchery in Sault Ste Marie.

We wondered how the inhabitants of some of the cottages we saw along the way were able to gain access as there as there seem to be very few roads in the region.  The roads we did see seemed to be logging roads or perhaps for access for the train crews to work on the tracks.  During the winter a snowmobile would be required for access.

There were many twists and turns on the journey.  At times going to and from Agawa Canyon we could see the cars either ahead or behind us.

One of the rail tresles along the line.  The train took us over the Montreal River with a view of a power generating station.

Canada's famous Group of Seven took much of their inspiration from the spectacular scenery of the Algoma region.  It is easy to see how the harsh beauty of the region would inspire such creativity.

A view from our rail car.

The many bodies of water provide popular areas for fishing.

The rain and mist made it a little more difficult to see the incredible beauty of the changing colour of the leaves.  Even in the mist though the area has an incredible beauty.

Passengers have approximately 90 minutes to explore the spectacular trails in the Agawa Canyon.  By the time we arrived however we were met with a steady rain.  Athough we started walking the trails we quickly became soaked, even with our new waterproof ponchos.  After a quick and thorough soaking we sadly returned to the passenger car without having made it to view the waterfalls.

The train patiently waiting,

Many of our fellow passengers didnt bother exiting the train.  Some bravely started the trails but then decided to return to the train while some of the other die-hard passengers completed the entire trail and were rewarded for their efforts with spectacular views.  

So sad.  Our rain ponchos provided scant protection and after a soaking we decided to leave the rest of the hike to passengers that were more hardy!

Even in the mist the area is beautiful.

The gloomy weather couldnt hide the beauty of the glorious fall leaves.

The train traveled 114 miles into the canyon and took almost 4 hours. We were sorry that the weather hadn't been more cooperative but I am happy to report that we spent a total of 5 days on this little adventure and I will have other photos to share!

Thank you for visiting my blog and I hope you enjoyed this tiny tour of beautiful Northern Ontario.