This Sounds Like Me!

I recently discovered this quote that pretty much describes me…

Not all who wander are lost.

–JRR Tolkien, The Fellowship of the Ring.


I am hoping this blog will be an enjoyable journey to the sights and delights of Eastern Ontario, especially my hometown of Kingston.  It is for those who are homesick, those who have visited and loved it and those who are lucky enough to be here.   I lived in Vancouver for 25 years and I did miss Kingston, and would have liked something like this to look at.   I will add photos from outside the area now and again but in general I will stick to Eastern Ontario and I will usually focus on Kingston and immediate area.   I hope you will love my hometown.


Boat Ride!

On Sunday I got to go on a boat around the Gananoque area. I hadn’t been on a small private boat since 1989, so it was a big treat.

The Gananoque Marina.

Look at the big apartment complex over there, where Gordon’s Marine used to be. And to the left, hundreds of seagulls sitting on the dock of the Boat Museum.

Various island cottages.

Sunflowers on the way home–Hwy. 2, about 2/3 of the way to Gananoque from Kingston.

I sure enjoyed that.

Drives with elderly clients tomorrow but it’s supposed to rain…again.

K&P Trail Bur Brook Rd to Unity Rd

I went for a little walk on Sunday evening. It was a beautiful evening but the mosquitoes were out. But I survived.

A Queen Anne’s Lace–just coming out. I love these beautiful flowers.

This may be a beefsteak fungus, which is edible. Or not.

No idea what these are. They seem to be fairly rare? The only picture I could find on Google images that looked just like these, the person was looking for ID, so that didn’t help me.

Anyone know what these little things are?

Sometimes I just like the patterns of all the different green leaves.

I think this is some Joe Pye weed, just opening up. I’ve seen a few goldenrods starting to come out too. In a couple of weeks the countryside will be covered in both of these flowers. One thing I haven’t noticed yet is the buzzing in the grass–crickets and grasshoppers. The cicadas are going a little bit. It’s been a slightly cooler than usual summer and a fair bit of rain, so maybe that’s put them off.

Tomorrow: I go for a boat ride!

Around Town and the K&P

Guys playing cricket next to the Memorial Centre dog park on Saturday.

It is changing soooooo much over on the east side of the river, along Hwy. 15–new subdivisions, new malls. This is at the little mall on Gore Road–a big new Dollarama–pretty much the last thing Kingston needs (there was already a dollar store at the old mall next door.) There is also a new cannabis shop back in the corner. The yellow that you can see to the right is a big building replacing the old Fairfield Manor East. I’m not sure if it will be apartments or another assisted living building.

A view of the city, and a lot of wires, from old Barriefield village.

A couple of beautiful old Barriefield homes, with their gardens.


Yesterday was sunny and warm and hazy again from smoke that comes from fires burning in northwestern Ontario. I went for a walk on the K&P Trail, going north from Bur Brook Road.

I’m used to seeing these kinds of notices around Vancouver, but not here. This does not look official though.

I got to the trail much later than I had planned and the mosquitoes were coming out. I am a favourite prey–they come from miles around to bite me. I keep a couple of containers of mosquito spray in the car but do you think I ever think to put it on? So now I have a few souvenirs of my walk.

More from this walk tomorrow and I am having a treat today. I will be riding on a boat and visiting one of the Thousand Islands! More to come!

Miscellaneous Travels

On Thursday I went for the usual drive with my elderly client, out Hwy. 2 to the east.

Maybe the closest thing to a stately home that Kingston has–the Whitney Manor on Glen Lawrence Avenue–an elegant guesthouse, as it is described on Streetview.

Eastview, with the Eastview water tower on the hill.

The Cove Restaurant. This has gone through various incarnations and is usually only open in the summer. I have no idea what the food is like these days but the location overlooking the water, and the lovely wrap around porch can’t be beat.

And there it is from the causeway to Treasure Island–our next destination.

One of the smaller Thousand Islands.

A Treasure Island resident.

Seagulls behind OHIP, waiting for something to happen.

These geese have climbed out of the water, lounged for a while in the shade and then surged up onto the grass to eat their full, parting like the Red Sea at every approaching dog.

Another community garden–this one on Elliott Avenue. They sell their organic veg at the Rideau Heights Community Centre on Tuesday afternoons.

They’ve got big purple tomatoes and little purple tomatoes.

The wind is blowing up and we are supposed to get heavy rain tonight but by morning it should be pleasant again. This unsettled weather makes it hard to plan ahead but the temperatures haven’t been too bad this summer, so far.

K&P Trail-Sydenham Road to Bur Brook Road

Yesterday evening I got out for a bike ride on the K&P Trail.

The Queen Anne’s lace is abundant now.

The marsh next to the 401.

North of the 401, a exuberant grape vine covers a sumac bush.

I have to find a new wildflower website, but if I remember rightly, this is soapwort.

I went a little north of Bur Brook Rd., until it started climbing uphill.

Looking west up Bur Brook Road.

Re-entering the trail at Jackson Mill Road.

Going under the 401–it’s nice and cool under here.

On either side the countryside is bucolic, but this very noisy ribbon of death roars through. I try to avoid the 401 whenever possible.

Just on the other side of the underpass–a tiny waterfall.

A family of geese hang out on the trail. The parent will hiss at you as you go by, but since the kids are nearly grown it’s not that serious.

A cool sighting of a green heron.

I watched it catch a small frog. It didn’t seem to be too bothered by me being there. There was at least one muskrat swimming around as well but I didn’t get a photo.

Heading Home–Smith’s Falls

On the way up to Ottawa I went through Smith’s Falls and noticed that they had spruced the place up. I had planned to go home via Perth but it was a dull drizzly day so I decided to just take the most direct route home. It wasn’t raining when I went through Smith’s Falls so I thought I would get out and take a look at the improvements. I have been through Smith’s Falls dozens of times and never once felt the urge to take a closer look, but they have made an effort so I thought I would have a walk around. Maybe now that they are home to a golf champion, Brooke Henderson, they decided to up their game.

Getting the hay in.

A grand stand of grand mullein.

Just north of Smith’s Falls they have installed a couple of sets of wildlife fences. I like it!

Four shots of the downtown. New sidewalks, planters, benches, bike paths and decorative brickwork on the corners. Smith’s Falls has a big wide main street downtown so they had lots of space, something that Kingston does not have on Princess Street. Too bad that I didn’t have sunshine for my walk.

Then I checked out the Rideau Canal.

Walking under the main street.

A very attractive mural.

This building is the thing that caught my eye on the way up to Ottawa. I had never taken note of this beautiful building before! It has all been renovated and the big balcony added to the entrance. You can look it up by googling Hotel Rideau. I always used to admire similar buildings in Vancouver and wish I could live in one (although brick buildings aren’t desirable in Vancouver because of earthquakes). Kingston really only has one of a similar style, at William and Barrie (condos). Kingston’s apartments are all in either new apartment buildings, or in old houses, with the exception of the Annandale apartments, which are also lovely, but not this style.

I’ll have to have a drive around Smith’s Falls one of these days and get to know it better.

Tomorrow: the last day of my holidays and photos from a K&P ride that I did this evening.

Britannia and Carp

Mud Lake looking north.

Some little wood ducks. Don’t go near that big snapping turtle that’s under the mud!

I have no idea what these are but they’re pretty. The Wildflowers of Ontario page that I have used for years has been suspended! Waaaahhhh!

I didn’t see any colourful male wood ducks. Either this is a young male that hasn’t got it’s colourful feathers yet, or the males moult at this time of year. I have to look into that. If anyone knows, please fill me in!

Back out in Britannia, the cafe.

Across from the cafe, and then later somewhere else, the wildflowers are at their absolute best right now. The sides of the road are stunning. Yellows from trefoils and buttercups. Blues from bugloss and chicory. A few white daisies left and the Queen Anne’s Lace is coming out and some brown eyed Susans and day lilies thrown in as well. Monty Don could not have done a better job!

Sailboat races on the Ottawa River, near Andrew Haydon Park. I’m thinking that I must bring my bike up next time and ride the bike path all along the river.

Looking across the valley from Carp Road.

Just outside of Carp, the Diefenbunker. I have never gone. I must remedy that next trip.

About the Diefenbunker

This glorious garden is across from the popular ice cream place in Carp.

Tomorrow: I check out Smith’s Falls.

First Post Covid Holiday!

I have travelled to the Ottawa area to visit a relative, for the first time since Christmas 2019. Bloody marvellous! This morning I went to Britannia Beach and Mud Lake for a wee walk.

Britannia Beach, looking west and looking east, along the Ottawa River.

Views of the park and recreational trail, which runs all along the river to downtown.

Over by Mud Lake, this section seems to be for geese only.

Walking along a little ridge that runs between Mud Lake and the river.

Looking from the ridge to a set of rapids. There were several places where you could go down to the river to get a better view, but then you had to climb back up again. Uh…nope.

Scenes around Mud Lake.

Berry bushes are heavily laden this year. Certainly in the last month there has been a good mix of sun, heat, humidity and rain.

A little red squirrel posing nicely.

More from Mud Lake tomorrow.

Lunch in Westport 2

My visit to Westport this past Sunday.

I arrived early in Westport so went for a bit of a walk around town.

The Westport Museum. Look at the tree. I think this is probably one of the ones denuded by gypsy moths. A lot of trees north of Kingston are looking like this. On some though, leaves are re-growing.

Not sure what this is, but it’s cute.

The view from the Cove Inn patio. The road down Foley Mountain is all torn up and being re-done.

Turning to yesterday, the big news in town is the arrival of Theodore Tugboat. This little tug is travelling from Halifax to his new home in Hamilton, stopping at places along the way.

He is docked at the Marine Museum on Ontario Street.

Dramatic skies just before two rip-roaring thunderstorms. Cats are usually much more chill than dogs about thunderstorms but one big clap of thunder sent mine under the bed.

Tomorrow we head over to Newboro, not too far from Westport.

Lunch in Westport

On Sunday I went for a lovely lunch on the generous patio of the Cove Inn in Westport. It’s a beautiful spot with a view over an attractive garden, a lake, and over to Foley Mountain.

It was a cloudy day but still quite pleasant. This is Buck Lake.

Some scenes at Bedford Mill.

I’d say they timed their retirement well!

Help Wanted signs are pretty ubiquitous these days.

Three signs seen in Westport. We’re in fishing country here–the land of hundreds of lakes.

More from this trip tomorrow.