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.

FYI

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.

 

Grass Creek Park and Wilmer Road

On Thursday the sun came out and made a great day for a drive with my elderly client. We stopped at Grass Creek Park.

This building was just recently built. I imagine it is washrooms and maybe showers for swimmers.

There were lots of swans–a large group around to the right of this picture.

A heron comes in for a landing.

There were a few dogs walking on the green, but I wouldn’t think that there will be sheepdog trials again this year. 😦

Maclachlan Woodworking Museum.

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Loughborough Lake. This was on the way out to Wilmer Road. We had had a lot of dramatic cloud action and I thought that there would be a spectacular sunset. Wilmer Road is my favourite spot for sunsets.

Sydenham Lake from Wilmer Road. The sunset didn’t end up amounting to much but it was still beautiful and the bird song at the boat launch was incredible. It sounded like a million birds, with a few frogs thrown in as well. Totally worth the trip!

Spring Ups and Downs

This has pretty much been our weather for the last week or so, except for Thursday. But today we have some sun, thank goodness.

This place is looking VERY jolly! Beautiful!

I’m not wildlife photographer. I don’t have the camera for it. But here is a pair of ospreys on McKendry Road. One brings food to the nest and they switch off for a bit.

Leaves are in various stages at this point.

My annual shot of the Johnson Street dandelions. Spectacular!

I liked the various layers of colour and pattern here.

Clouds from Wright Crescent.

Tomorrow I will have pictures of my drive to Wilmer Road last night and a visit to Grass Creek Park on Thursday.

More Dogs and Flowers

On Sunday I walked my new friend, a highly energetic dog whose owner is not able to walk her at the moment. I was going to take her around the Cataraqui Cemetery but found out that you’re not supposed to walk dogs there. So I took her to Old Colony Park in Bayridge.

Trout lilies.

Trilliums.

Some pretty cool fungus.

An attractive new sitting area at Archbishop O’Sullivan Catholic School.

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On Monday I went to do a bit more plant shopping at Sun Harvest nursery in Glenburnie. On the way I stopped at my happy place to see what was coming up.

Lots of green things emerging. I’m wondering if the little whorls of leaves are birdsfoot trefoil.

I think the little reddish leaf might be one of these. As you can see in the top picture, plastic garbage is growing too. There was even a satellite dish dumped down there and lots of bits of metal. The spot is lovely and peaceful during the day but stuff seems to go on there at other times of the day. There are signs of a burned car at the beginning of the trail. It’s almost a year since I started going to this spot regularly and it was interesting to see the different plants going through their stages. This year I will see them from the beginning. I’ll continue to go back and see what these green shoots turn into.

Flowers and Dogs

On Monday, I returned down Hwy. 15.

The sky from Kingston Mills.

Hwy. 15 has changed a lot in the last five years, and is going to change a lot more. Work is being done in the old quarry, making it into another subdivision. I hope at some point they will put a public walkway along the river on both sides.

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Yesterday I had to go to Burt’s Greenhouses to pick up my order. They are doing curbside pickup and in store shopping. I could have gone and picked out my own plants because there weren’t many people there.

This is Mudd, the Burt’s greeter. He is wearing a GPS collar so they can keep track of him. He did disappear for a few days two or three years ago but happily was found.

I love this view from Chipmunk Ridge Road, just near Burt’s. The stream wends it’s way curvaceously through the field and under Wilton Road. It’s the only thing I painted this winter–a summer scene.

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After Burt’s yesterday I took my new dog friend for a walk, which I will show you tomorrow. The crow pictures are from today. The crow would pick up several fries near the car and fly them over to a more socially distanced spot where he/she could eat in peace, and then come back for more.

Then and Now

So yesterday I went to Yarker and Colebrook trying to track down the locations of some photos I took nearly 40 years ago.

For some reason this roll of B&W film had little white marks all over it. It’s not actually snowing.

The back of Choctaw Ridge Road.

I think these barns were up closer to Colebrook. From another photo of the same barns, there is a stream running in the foreground. If it is where I think this was, the stream has been filled in and the barns are gone.

The shrubbery has grown up quite a bit and it was hard to get a decent picture.

I also had a B&W of this house. I know that I had the picture not that long ago and compared it to the house now but I have no idea where the B&W is now. It’s probably around somewhere. I think the bit on the left is a more recent extension.

That’s it for old photos for now. Maybe someday I should post some more of my old photos of Kingston.

The lower blossoms were being strongly blown by a south wind.

Along McLean Road. Am I imagining things or do things look more extraordinarily green this year? Something to do with the warm spring?

Today I walked a new dog friend in Old Colony Park. Pics tomorrow.

Yarker

So, I forgot a couple from my Monday walk. For some reason WordPress puts the last picture at the beginning, so half the time you forget about it. The other one I just forget on my own. I will add those today and then we are going to head off to Yarker.

Across from the Staples on Queen Street.

Some blossoms coming out near Quattrochi’s.

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Star Corners.

Someone is doing a beautiful job of refurbishing this shed. It’s gorgeous!

The gargoyle house.

Downtown Yarker. Yup, this is it!

I went down this street to find Billy Jo MacAllister but no luck.

I like this detail above the door on the yellow building.

I was going through some old photos today and I found a few B&W photos of a drive through Yarker and Colebrook nearly 40 years ago. I thought I would go and see if I could get present day photos of the same spots. I’ll show you some of those tomorrow.

More Monday Walk Plus Dog Lake

The Prince George Hotel, City Hall, and off in the distance, the old firehall, now a Lone Star restaurant.

The tour boats have come out of the dry dock and are primed and ready for action. They were able to operate last summer, so they might be able to this year but right now we are in lockdown.

Not many boats in the water yet.

The beloved old S&R store, now a variety of things. Milestone’s restaurant is on the left. The corner is a cannabis shop and there is or was a Marble Slab ice cream to the right.

Lovely handmade things in the window at the Cornerstone craft store. Sadly, at the moment, no one can buy them.

Looking along King Street to Market Square.

One of my favourite stores–Modern Primitive. Just before the pandemic it sold to new owners. It is not a place you want to be during a pandemic, VERY small and usually packed with shoppers. (Although maybe like Pasta Genova they only allow one person in at a time and you get the place and the staff to yourself. ) But when covid dies down, I’d like to get in there and see what they have.

Wellington Street.

Yesterday I took my elderly client for a drive. As you can see it was raining. We stopped by Dog Lake near Battersea. There were some mixed breed ducks and a wandering guinea fowl that I thought maybe came from the next door farm. But then I saw another guinea fowl walking along Battersea Road waaaaaaay over on the southern end of Battersea. Is Battersea having problems with feral fowl?

Below, a house that I would be very happy to live in. Nice location.

We’re having a bit of a foul night tonight–cold, windy with nasty, icy mixed precipitation. The next two days aren’t going to be too bad so hopefully I will have some photos for you.

Waterfront Walk

Continuing my downtown walk from Monday.

RMC and the Fort Frederick martello tower.

And the Wolfe Islander between two martello towers.

The sad walkway behind this building has been livened up with Love Kingston signs and red chairs. The chairs are nice because usually that pathetic bench to the far right is the only bench along here. No trees or flowers in pots. No visual interest on the bare walls.

These buildings were built in the late 70s and ideas have changed a lot since then about making a place liveable. The other walkway under the curved windows is even worse than the red brick one–dreary, unadorned and hung with spider webs. Not the slightest bit inviting. A lot of people don’t like the high rises on the old Block D behind here, but their waterfront park is quite attractive–unlike these ones. I don’t usually get outspoken on here but this could be improved. They could start with blowing up the ugly hotel to the right of this picture. Time to get with city planning in the 21rst century.

I liked this little gang of drakes. I photographed them from the south and then from the north. The northern one is nicer of the ducks, but the southern one is a great one of the water and reflections. I like both for different reasons and I couldn’t choose just one.

Looking up Johnson Street.

The old Frontenac Hotel. I’m not sure what goes on upstairs now. Has it all been made into apartments? A musician friend who played and stayed there in the 70s says that the fire escape was a rope tied to the radiator.

Left hanging…

There are still some of that walk but I also have some of this evening. When I left work at 8pm, it was beautiful out–cool but pleasantly so, damp and atmospheric after a rain. It would have been a fabulous bike ride home but alas, I had the car.

I counted 13-14 swans in the Cataraqui River behind Rideaucrest.

Two robins havin a distanced chat on the fence.

I stopped at the Oak Street Community Garden on the way home to smell the earth and enjoy the night. From what I could see in the near darkness, gardeners have already been busy. One of the gardeners brought some wood the other evening to build raised beds the next day. It was stolen overnight. Neighbours banded together and by the day he after that he had more wood than he had started with and the beds were built.

Downtown

The title made me think of the Petula Clark song. She’s singing about how if you’re lonely and bored you can always go where the lights are bright and where things are going on. Well maybe not so much during covid. Downtown is pretty quiet these days.

On Monday afternoon I went for a walk along Bagot Street, down Lower Union, along King and down to Ontario Street.

The very 1050s Post Office, one of many of similar style built across the country.

Looking down Brock and Clarence Streets.

This was a surprise. The Curry Original has been around for quite a while but is moving from it’s spot at the bottom of Princess Street to here. It replaces the Rustic Spud, which was a busy and happening spot…before covid.

This is more focussed on the trees, but we are looking down West Street from Bagot.

I love this beautiful house.

The end of Gore Street. I think this might have been one of the industrial buildings that were here, renovated into a home.

The city is carrying on the idea of providing red adirondack chairs to sit in, something that the National parks have been doing for a few years.

More from this walk tomorrow–Ontario Street. Meanwhile today it is raining and we had some decent thunderstorms last night.

Napanee on a Sunny Day

Today I popped over to Napanee. It was a beautiful sunny day but quite chilly. I only wore a sweater, not sure of how warm it would feel outside. It was not enough. It never did get any warmer. But it was a pleasant day nonetheless.

These are all at Riverside Park. Someone has been guerilla gardening.

Does anyone have any idea what these are? I don’t remember ever seeing them before and I can’t find them on my wildflower site.

I was very impressed with this six sided information kiosk, which I had never taken notice of before. Lots of great Napanee history.

The leaves are coming along apace–some farther along than others. Wonderful to see green!

These are not in Napanee. Later in the day I went downtown. This lovely magnolia is on James Street. I read that magnolias would be damaged by our recent little spell of winter, with snow and that the flowers would probably fall quickly. I immortalized some of the best blooms. Many were already browning even though they just came out.

Next door, this house was looking particularly pretty today. New door colour with matching mailbox? Nice pot of forsythia.

Tomorrow I will have more pictures of my walk downtown. It will be great to continue the sun in the blog, even though it will be dull and rainy outside.