DIARY FROM ONTARIO CANADA AUGUST 2000

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Very often, in writing this diary, we tell of the less pleasant things, as well as some of the good things about the area. Our purpose in providing this information is to enable buyers to beware. No-one else will tell you the unpleasant things about an area. We have never seen information like this made available before. Buying a home is the most expensive investment you will ever make. We are not sales people. Apart from our own homes, we do not own any property in the area. Please do not write to us telling us the good things about this area .. any sales person or the local tourist office can provide that information. Of course, they are only interested in selling. That is the only information they want you to know. For other such matters of interest about Guelph go to http://www.sentex.net/~oficserv/Guelph.html

Thursday 24th August 2000

Very pleasant weather .. a bit humid tho'. Yesterday we took a day trip with Cherrey/Maxey Bus Lines. We enjoyed this immensely. The trip took from 10:30 a.m. and we arrived back in Guelph at 6:30 p.m. The drive was generally along fast-moving country roads, with beautiful rolling hills and scenery.

We set out from Guelph at 10:30 a.m. and reached the Nottawasaga Inn for lunch at about 12. I hadn't seen the Inn for about 25 years. It is a lovely resort now, with all kinds of vacation amenities. They were only working on it when I last visited and was surrounded by fields and numerous turf farms .. or sod farms, as they call them in Canada. (There is a web page for the Inn at http://www.nottawasagaresort.com/ ).

The buffet lunch was really extensive: numerous fresh crisp salads; veal in a herb sauce; mixed vegetables; roast beef; haddock in a tomato and herb sauce; many fresh desserts; fruit salad; fresh brewed coffee.

After that we went to the South Simcoe Steam Railway, for a ride on the 100 year-old train and carriages. (There is a web page for this railway at http://www.steamtrain.com). This hour-long ride took us through the fields along an old branch line. This ends up close to "Nowhere" - which can also be pronounced "Now Here".

We took a few videos and pictures, then went on to the Tottenham School of Falconry. (There is a web page for the Centre at http://www.falconrycentre.com.) Here we were treated to an interesting display of falconry. The Instructor told us how these raptors are to be seen: not as tamed birds. They are still quite wild. Although they would fly around and return to his hand, they would only return if they were still hungry.

He showed us two of the falcons and an eagle. The birds were certainly anxious to get his attention and give their display. They were literally jumping up and down on their perches. Of course, it was their daily ration - as well as a chance to have a fly round. He explained that the birds don't really like to fly for fun though. They only fly to hunt - and after catching their daily ration they would then settle down on a branch for (in the case of the eagles) 24 hours. Of course, the smaller raptors have to eat smaller creatures and hunt more often. I was surprised that they do not drink. The creatures they live on contain enough liquid to satisfy that requirement. If they drank, then it would just be excess liquid weight with no energy for their demanding flights.

I took a few pictures:

There are other pictures at the web-sites, which I have mentioned.

Saturday 19th August 2000

Last Sunday night there was a terrific thunder storm late at night. A transmission unit in the northern area of Guelph was struck by lightening. The electricity (or hydro, as we call it here) was cut from many homes for the rest of the night. Normally I enjoy a good thunder storm. This, however, was particularly violent and kept making the walls of my home tremble with the heavy rain and thunder crashing.

After that the weather has turned really cool. In fact, it has been warmer in England (at least, in London). I don't know how you can manage without air-conditioning. When it gets over about 80F or about 30C I find it just too hot to sleep, garden, walk the dogs - or do anything but swim. .. and one can't very well spend all day soaking in cold water! I find the cool weather really splendid. Unfortunately tho', the trees are showing first signs of turning yellow. I guess the autumn won't be long. The Canadian National Exhibition has just started - always a sign of the end of summer.

Sunday 13th August 2000

Tremendously hot today. I've just been for a long walk with Tsunami all around town and back through the park by the river. Of course, she was desperate to get into the water. She dove in head first and I thought she would never come out .. while I stood there in the blistering heat absolutely melting. Well, I didn't begrudge her a good swim. She had to wait for me outside my favourite coffee house.

I'm sorry to say that, a few days ago, Quatic burnt to the ground. It was only recently I noticed in passing that he had moved the whole factory out into the country, beside his house. I thought my old friend might be interested in this piece of news, since we used to work for Quatic, about twenty-five years ago. I managed to get this picture.

Monday 7th August 2000

Today is the August Civic Holiday in Canada, so everywhere is very quiet. Yesterday was foggy and there was a very fine rain all day. The temperature was only 19C. This is very unusual for August. Today has cleared up and is sunny. It should get up to 29C.

I wandered around the garden yesterday and took some more pictures. A magnifying glass, or better still, a jeweller's loup, is interesting to examine the flowers closely. I think I may eventually get a strong magnification lense - for, to me, flowers close-up are even more interesting and exquisite than they are from a distance. I was examining the lamb's ears flower. The whole thing is a composite of tiny perfect orchid-like blooms. Of course, it makes sense that flowers should appeal to bees and suchlike insects - they would naturally appear so beautiful to the eye-view of a bee!


Red Hollyhock


Mint Flower


Shade Flower - I have to check on the name for this.


I have to get someone to id this


White wild rose


Red Hollyhock

Sunday 6th August 2000

What extraordinary weather we are having. During the last weeks of July it had been unusually cool, with frequent thunder storms. A force two tornado touched down in Guelph. This took down garages and trees. It also took the roofs off houses. I am fortunate to have always lived in hillier parts of this area. I feel sorry for the many people who are now living and building homes on the broad, flatter plains which surround Guelph. By the time these areas are completely built up, and all the old-growth trees and woodlands are stripped away, they will provide ideal conditions for tremendous orographic lift and subsequent formation of tornadoes. These flat overheated areas over blacktop parking lots, or the many close-developed rooftops of housing estates are disasters waiting to happen. What can anyone do .. the so-called "developers" will have their way.

This morning it is very pleasantly cool, with a fine misty rain .. more like Dorset in England, than the usual Canadian weather. I took the dogs for a walk and went to my favourite coffee bar for a rest. I really like that little restaurant. They play pleasant piano music. The coffee is good. The cookies are chunky home-made. They don't have smoking.

Yesterday I had to mow the lawn. It was about 8 p.m. - I prefer to wait until later, as the sun is so strong during the day. It really does burn ones skin very quickly. There are quite a lot of flowers in the garden, so I decided I could pick a selection and took this photograph.

These are the flowers of late July: nasturtium, hollyhock, Canterbury bells, sweet peas, larkspur, geranium, Queen Ann's lace, lamb's ears, hosta lilly.


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Visit a site for many photographs of North American Birds and animals.

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