What's happening locally?

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Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture
What's happening locally?

I hope this is the right place to discuss what's happening locally near you -

Lots of construction here for the new federal wharf - right now they're still unloading the massive barge that brought everything here. This is a six month federal project that will end in October at a cost of I think $37million. Massive amounts of very heavy thick steel are being unloaded this weekend by two huge cranes brought in for that purpose.

A second project is all set - the construction firm is still waiting for final signatures on their contract, namely construction of the road from here to Natashquan, to finally connect the Lower North Shore with mainland Quebec. The project this summer is just for eleven kilometers at $3million per kilometer, although I think the reason the contract is taking so long is because someone feels that's awfully expensive for a gravel road. But that's including the cost of several barges bringing equipment back and forth, and accomodations for a large number of crew. We expect this project will result in 3.5 years of work, just to connect Kegaska to Natashquan. Connecting the rest of the Lower North Shore (Quebec) will take probably ten years. There has been talking of connecting the entire Lower North Shore by road since 1946 and it still hasn't happened.

Finally, the Coast Guard is sending a new fast rescue craft to be based here in Kegaska - and I think it's called a "rollover" type boat, in other words, it can right itself if it tips over in a bad storm. Sounds scary as hell, especially if it rolls all the way over, which I guess is very unlikely to happen.

Local people are also employed to work at the B&B which is housing and feeding to their capacity - about 25 people - and both construction operations are bringing in trailers to accomodate even more workers. I've never seen this much construction in one village anywhere on the coast, and I've lived on the Lower North Shore since 1995.

Each of these three projects include hiring small numbers of folks locally, so our unemployment rate this summer will be close to zero - we're only a population of just over a hundred people! - another source of employment here is the annual Snow Crab fishery which is underway, and the boats are bring back very good catches of crab. There's also much smaller cod, clam, scallop, and lobster fisheries which begin later in the year.



Next month, public hearings will begin to gather public input for the disposal of lands and buildings that are currently occupied by the Ontario Psychiatric Hospital on Highbury Ave, south of Oxford and North of Dundas. 

It's a beautiful section of land which includes the original infirmary and a chapel that date back to the late 1800's.  The chapel is in good shape, however I'm not sure the infirmary is salvagable.  Too bad, increadible building.

So far, the idea is to create a village within the city. 

I think it's a real opportunity for London to illustrate that development has shifted from being 100% developer dominated to development that is community driven.

Here's a video report that doesn't do complete justice to the land, but it gives you a good idea:



ElizaQ ElizaQ's picture

Boom Boom,   I really enjoy reading about where you live. I find it really interesting in general and this is a great topic. It really got me thinking about what I notice going around me.

Right now it's pouring rain but that didn't stop me from going out to a town horticultural societies plant sale and a open house at a local organic farm. I go there every year.  We're entering the season of these sorts of things. I'm surrounded by a lot of small towns and it seems like every weekend there's something going on somewhere.  It's also the season of town wide garage sales which are fun and really social events.  Just drive into the town and there's sales everywhere.  There was one today in the town I drove through and it didn't seem like that was stopping people.  I got caught up in the main intersection it was so busy and the neat thing is that there were almost as many horse and buggies as there were cars.  Maple syrup season has just passed and I stocked up at one of the nurmerous buggy stands that just pop up along the main roads.

The farmers are also out in the fields doing their things. It seems like you can always tell when bad weather is coming at this time of year because you see the lights flickering around as they work into the night. I knew it was going to rain today because last night they were all over the fields. Lots of cattle out in the fields now and of course lots of babies everywhere.

I drove through Sauble Beach the other day and yep tourist season is definately coming as stores were opening up and lots of people working around getting things ready. It gets pretty crazy there in the summer.  The same goes for places like Wiarton and heck the whole Bruce Pennisula it's like air about it is gearing up for the summer season.  Oh and the Snowbirds are all back.  It's a noticable difference in numbers with some of the meetings and events I attend regularly.   Another way you can always tell that spring as hit is because everyone and everybody is out cutting their grass.  Lawn tractors galore.  It was pretty funny and I wish I had a camera with me when I drove into town the other day and there were six older men in the space of two blocks, all wearing big hats and all on green John Deere tractors toodling around their yards.   The last few days have also seen all the spring bulbs blooming and it's quite spectacular in some places and a welcome sight after a month of dingy wet brown.

I've also noticed that there does seem to be a lot more cottages for sale this year and couple of housing developments seem to be just sitting there with nothing going on.  The big news in town last week was that the local Timbermart switched to Home Hardware. News because of the switch and news because it's the grand opening is next weekend and they're having some pretty nifty sales.  The second piece of big news is that there are a couple of new doctors coming into the area. Actually that's huge news as one left rather suddenly last fall.  I got phonecalls from two people who knew that I was looking for one last year and they wanted to make sure that I knew.

Almost forgot the frogs. It's mating season. The noise behind my house is deafening in the evening. It's so loud that you can still hear them even when all the windows are closed.  When I watch tv and have the screen door open every single show's soundtrack has frogs and bullfrogs in the background.  I guess I amuse easily  because I catch myself thinking "Now why in the heck do they have frogs on Grey's Anatomy" and laugh when I realize that no they don't really.  They're in every single wet spot that you might pass so if you drive down the road with your window open it's sounds really strange.   "Normal, normal, frooooooooogs, normal, normal, normal, froooooooooooooooogs.'  You get a sound that's something like a siren effect as you drive by.

ElizaQ ElizaQ's picture

I forgot the trilliums! I love when they bloom.  The forests are just carpeted in white right now.  It takes my breath away every year.  Growing up on the West Coast we just never had anything like that as most of the forest are evergreen. I had heard about it but it was nothing compared to when I was actually here to see it.


Are you sure they aren't toads?  A neighbor a few doors over has a backyard pond, and the toads that spawn there have been chirping like there's no tomorrow for the last couple of weeks.

Rebecca West and I took a walk around  Spettigue's pond here in London yesterday, and yes there were trilliums. And expanses of skunk cabbage in the boggy parts.  It's a great time of year, as the foliage isn't full yet, and you can still see deep into the woods. And, no mosquitos yet.  I expect them to arrive by next weekend.

ElizaQ ElizaQ's picture

 Yeah there's toads as well. I went out to our drainage pond yesterday and there were frogs and toads.  It's like a choir with all sorts of different voices.  I live on the edge of a marsh and the water comes right up the back of the property and then slowly recedes. Last year I was on the deck and it looked like the back of the yard was boiling and it wasn't until I took a walk that I realized it was all of them jumping around like crazy.  I expect the cranes will make an appearance soon.  They just spend their days walking back and forth feasting and driving my dogs crazy.   I saw a few dragonflies yesterday so know that the mosquitos are only a few days ahead.  Last year I counted about a dozen different types of dragonflies around my house.    It's pretty cool though, between the dragonflies and the bats they're never that bad around the house but walk back a hundred feet and yowsa! 

 I also saw a fisher for the first time ever.   Cool but not so cool since we have chickens.

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

I started my gardening and landscaping today! The road crew brought me a load of black soil and I'll spend the next month spreading it around the gardens. You should see all the birds - still hungry, devouring the bucket of seed I set out every morning at 6am. The fields outside the village are still snow covreed, so I guess the birds are having trouble finding food in the wild. I'll keep feeding them until the end of this month, and then not so much every day, until next winter comes. There's half a dozen other people feeding birds on my block (including my next door neighbour) so if I'm gone or something happens to me, others will continue to feed the birds.

The ground is still frozen so it'll the end of the month before I start planting the main veggie garden - same as last year.

I'll have to see if there's a gardening thread up yet!

ETA: darn, can not edit my opening post - the wharf is NOT a $37million project - about one third that amount. My misteak.

Bookish Agrarian

I guess I was one of those farmers out in the dark.  I worked unitl 4 am the other night/morning and then had to work off the farm the next day.  Can't say I was very productive!


All kinds of peepers out around here.  I loved your description of driving with the window open Eliza.  That was exactly my experience on the way home the other evening.  The muffler is going on our little car and I could still hear them over the roar.


I stood around today in the rain trying to buy a tractor at an auction sale.  2nd auction this week I was out bid by a different dealer.  They can bid whatever they want and tack on a profit and way they go.  Our main loader tractor is pooched.  Even a moderate sized piece of crap is $10,000  If I want an actual decent one a used one it 15-20,000.  A new 50 HP one is close to $40,000.  Maybe it's all those old retired guys that want a small tractor to put around on I am competing against?


The thing happening here is we now have a 3 day old calf living on our porch.  It is the smallest calf I have ever seen still alive.  None of our cows want to claim it - so we don't know if it was a premature calf, a twin to a few that came in this week, or a cow we have been expecting to calve.  Anyway the poor thing is blind too.  It is so small I just threw it over my shoulder and walked up the lane with it.  Now I think I can claim to be sort of stronger than the average bear, but I sure am not that strong!   I'm about to go out and make it a calf shelter out of an old truck cap and some bales as it is really cool and nasty here and it is getting shivery.

Here's a link to a local story you might find interesting





Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

Good link, BA, thanks for sharing. I wish more folks could read that article, and stop taking farmers and food for granted.


ETA: I grow far more veggies than I need, and I give away many bushels of produce at the end of every summer.


Boom Boom, I love the idea behind this thread.

Around here (in Winnipeg these days) Mayor Katz has wrapped himself around a homeless man who saved a teen from drowning after he tried to jump the span between two bridges - under which Mr. Farron Hill lives - and landed himself instead in the middle of a fast river. It's really a remarkable story, but it's also unnerving. I have my fears that all the public adulation and attention are going to create further stress for a man who has not had a very good go at life. He didn't ask for celebrity; he helped someone who needed help.

remind remind's picture

Excellent thread boom boom, and ohhhhhhhhhh BA, you going to raise the calf by hand? Poor wee thing. (crying a bit)

Lovely visualizations ElizaQ, I love going to the coast when all the plums trees are in bloom down the streets of Nanaimo and Victoria. It is amazing driving through all the blossoms, and smelling their scent.



"I'll have to see if there's a gardening thread up yet!"

This year, I've resisted any temptation to chronicle the spring, thinking of you, Boom Boom.  Wouldn't want to rub our six week advance in your face.

But, the last of the magnolia flowers are falling off my small tree out front, and our lilacs are flowering now. 

It's been a wet spring here, lots of standing water everywhere so I expect a heavy mosquito season.  Best, I think, to go out and get bit a few times.  The worst bites seem to be the first ones. Maybe our systems need a wake up.

Anyway, remember that catnip, rubbed lightly on exposed skin is an excellent mosquito repellent.  And that the crushed leaves of the broad leaf plantain, rubbed vigourously on a mosquito bite will eliminate the itch, and stop the welt from growing any larger than when the plantain was applied.

I happened to see a Great Blue Heron fly over our plant here in London back in late January or early February.  Sent me scrambling for my field guide when I got home, to try to figure out if it was an early arrival or if they over wintered here.   The field guide says the rare one does over winter, but that the survival rate of those was pretty low.  Wonder how the thing fared through the rest of the winter and early spring.


Maybe it's all those old retired guys that want a small tractor to put around on I am competing against?

There may be something to that.  My friends up near Dundalk, who rent out their land, keep an old Czech Zetor to plow the driveway.  And my nephew has an old British tractor made just after the WWII to cut his grass-- about 4 acres.  Then again, I don't think either are implements a business could rely on.  Maybe the Zetor after some work.  Okay, maybe a lot of work.

Which makes me think, it's too bad there isn't a pool of labour sitting around idle in the cities that know a thing or two about welding, hydaulics, electrical, that under the right circumstances, (wink wink, nudge nudge)  could work cheap for some farmers.    You know, like if you had something broken under your table.




Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

Tommy_Paine wrote:
This year, I've resisted any temptation to chronicle the spring, thinking of you, Boom Boom.  Wouldn't want to rub our six week advance in your face.

Oh, you`re too kind! Do carry on with news of your gardening escapades, dear chap.Laughing


Actually, Rebecca West is the real gardner.  All I've done so far is weeding, and transplanting three dame's rockets that were growing in the wrong spot, only to have Rebecca discover that one wasn't a dame's rocket.  I put it back today.  Hope it survives the double transplant....

I have some maple saplings I really have to dig up and give away this spring.   And an oak seedling I should dig up and pot.  I have bad luck with oak, for some reason.  Oh-- not for some reason-- because of the fucking squirels.  And there's some elm I should look at trying to dig up.  Even if they don't make it, they can't be left to grow where they are.  Similarly, an ash tree has grown to a point where I have to make some kind of decision on it, and a walnut that I should talk to my neighbour about.    They're all fine trees, just growing in the wrong spots too close to the houses.  The walnut might be okay where it is. I've been hemming and hawing about what to do with it for three years now.

The oak tree that I left to grow out back grew more than a foot last year, and I noticed today that there's already two inches of new green growth from where it left off last year-- and the leaves are just now coming out.

ElizaQ ElizaQ's picture

 My gardening isn't getting off to a great start this year. My thumb seems to be very brown. I planted my tomatos a while back and most of the first seedlings ended up with dampening off. Big pain as it spreads. It was still early enough so I scrapped most of them did some serious sterilization of the soil and planted some more and then the room overheated and those pretty much all bit the dust. Arrgh.  I grow heritage tomatos so it's pain because you can't just buy them at a regular nursery.  There is one place though so as much as I hated to I spent the wad of money and got a whole bunch. They had some of the types that I plant so all is not lost.  Now knock on wood I can keep them alive until they go into the ground.

Since the fisher sighting the other day I've been really concerned about my chickens. Fishers are nasty. They are safe right now in the coop but should be outside on the pasture and in my veggie patch to get it cleaned up for planting.  Since the fisher was actually out in the middle of the day I'm really nervous to let them out.  I am getting some portable electric fencing but that's not coming for a couple of weeks.  I've been contemplating getting a guardian dog that actually stays with the flock for protection. So I spent the day researching the different breeds and looking for potential dogs. I spent hours searching through the rescue sites across Ontario and the Northern US looking for pups the right age as they have to start getting aclimated with the flock at a young age and the right potential breed mixes because I would be happy to have a mutt. It's hard though with a mutt because you just don't know what traits will be prominent. There were lots of pups available but they were all mixes of herd dogs AND birding/hunting dogs. Not a great thing to leave for chance.     I  then spent hours looking at pure bred sites and trying to figure out which were bred for show and which were actually bred for working and didn't have much luck plus they are really expensive.  Then finally when my brain was hurting and I was about to give up I found an ad for some pups that come from working farm dogs, of the exact breed that I was most interested in and  it ended up they are just a few kilometers up the road from me.  Figures.....

Anyways I now know a whole lot about working and stock dogs. It's pretty cool.  I learned that conservationists have been using them for some really interesting things, like guarding penguin colonies that are endangered.  They were doing some trials on a couple islands somewhere near Australia where the colonies were almost gone and since the dogs were introduced the numbers have doubled each year.

Refuge Refuge's picture

Well, I don't know about locally but in my house I am pleased that my little mouse friend - Georgette - is back. I haven't seen her in a few months and was a little worried.  She just scampered across my floor with a little pause halfway through to check and make sure that I am seated in front of the computer and not moving.  Then she continued on to go behind the refridgerator.

On the gardening front, I have my seeds, have been told that it is better to buy tomato already sprouted (I was even told where I could get some organic ones!) for a new gardener and am waiting until the last week in May to plant my new found garden and see how it goes.  To bolster my confidence there are 6 tulips and 2 daffodiles growing in backyard.  I didn't even know they were there so it was a pleasant surprise, hopefully all the gardening will be so successful.



Fishers are nasty.


We have friends that live in a small former mill town just north of Kingston, and a few years ago they mentioned that Fishers were active in the area.

A few weeks ago, I came across something I thought might have been the work of a fisher, on the banks of the Thames.  While I did run into an expert on local varmints and he said fishers weren't active in this neck of the woods, he said exactly that:  "Fishers are nasty".

Here's a fairly good site on the Fisher, Martes Pennanti:


Note the size.

I was reading the dietary habits of the Fisher on another site, and I had this flash back to a bugs bunny cartoon, when bugs was reading the dietary habits of the Tasmanian Devil.

I'd also note that the Fisher has no predators.

Seems all the Fisher sites I went to are behind the times when it lists it's habitat.  The link above says they are absent from Ontario, and we know that's not true.  That site also said that it's natural range was south of the Great Lakes, so we can probably expect Fishers to keep reclaiming their former turf, bringing them down here.  

ElizaQ, I'm not sure a dog would be able to control this beastie.

I'd try to get a hold of an old time trapper, and ask him or her what they know about this varmint.


Thinking about it, I think maybe the answer is something like your electric fence idea, or some kind of physical barrier.  Obviously, the Fisher is part of some species re-introduction program, so I don't think you'll find much sympathy from the Ministry.   And, with the size and speed of this critter, I'm not sure there's a dog that could deffend agasint it.  A couple of dogs, perhaps.



remind remind's picture

I think tommy you are correct,  we had 3 dogs and it did  not protect our chickens from a martin,  however I would advise getting Guinea hens, they are incredible watch birds, and when any preditor comes around you know it. They did more to protect our chickens than anything else.

Going to paint some fences today, it is bright and blue skied, the mountains, raisng in their majestic snow capped glory, are amazing this morning.

Though sadly the snow melted slopes ravaged by the pine beetle,  are depressingly grey and battered looking.  It is very weird looking at mountains that have no green on them.


remind remind's picture

Oh, and I wanted mention some bird  things happening.

We have wood peckers arriving here over the last 2 days that are from Florida, and New Mexico, never seen them up here before, though we have had some wild aqua coloured jays from the south western states here over the last few years feeding on the pine beetles.

Also, we watched a Robin swoop out of a tree, like a hawk or eagle, and catch a big white moth out of the air in its feet. It was amazing, has anyone else ever observed a Robin acting like a bird of prey?


No aqua coloured Jays here so far in the Big Smoke. Not even that field of artificial turf called the Grand-Theft Rogers Centre, or something like that. Nor do we have a trillium field as a sign of spring, but we do have one distictive urban sign. As soon as the snow banks melt, we can detect mounds of cigarette butts left by smokers as they grab a few moments relief around doorways.

Fortunately the acid rain has washed all that away by now, and the only things that pedestrians have to avoid (aside from the obvious unmentionables) are bicyclists, skate boarders, and reversing back hoes.

I mention the back hoe, since I live near the Bloor-Yonge corner ( main intersection of Toronto), which has several local happenings, or in one case, non-happenings.

The happening is the continuing tearing down of the sidewalks and roads along Bloor from Church to Avenue Road.  Sidewalks have been torn up, laid (if that's the correct term), torn up and then laid again. Back hoes have been pinning people against walls as they emerged from the Bay.

The non-happening is the 80 or 100 story condo that had people lining up overnight to buy, and is now represented by a vacant lot  right on the corner n the centre of Canada (we like to think.) They tore down Roy's Square, and because of the financial shenanigans of capitalism represented by the Lehman Brothers, we don't even have a construction site so far.

With these happenings, both real and illusionary, our corner looks like pictures of Berlin after World War II. So feeling whistful about the lack of natural phenomenon that some people are able to write about here, I had to try to use "humour" to cover up the sadness.


Bookish Agrarian

Eliza Oh a fisher.  They are nasty, nasty things.  Killed two of our house cats when we lived in the north.

I would be trapping the thing.  Once they get a sense of a meal they are like raccoons and will always be back.  Eventually they will get what they want.  You could try rabbit or poultry netting.  Even two rings of sheep netting.  The other thing you might use in a pinch is that plastic snow fencing with the really small holes.  Run some electric low to the ground though too.  It should be in stock most places.  If not put up a few quick strands of electric and wire some aluminium pie plates to it.  It is a very poor subsitute but it might help. 

Our wee little blind calf if doing well despite the cold.  It is about the size of a medium sized dog.  And yes remind we are hand raising.  Right now it is fine.  I am not sure how I will feel about an affectionate, blind 1200 lb animal later though.  Will be dangerous without meaning to be.  It have to give the thing its due though.  It is a fiesty thing.

Tommy it is my cylinder head.  While I am always willing to do some table work, on this one I am cutting and running and putting the money into something new, and better.  It is an old Case/David Brown and it is time to let the old thing go.  Everyone else complains it is too hard to drive anyway.  I like the old girl but it is a bit ackward for some jobs.


It was amazing, has anyone else ever observed a Robin acting like a bird of prey?

That's a first for me.  But I've seen Robins do unusual things.  I've seen them foraging for grubs in my lawn. The stand still, and then run over to a spot three or four feet away, dig and always come up with a grub.  I figure they must see some tell tale twitch of a blade of grass as the grubs eat the roots.  They never come up empty on a dig.

Another behavior people have noted about Robins is "dancing" for worms during dry weather.  I was told by my dad when I was a kid that the Robins jump up and down to simulate rain drops, which draws the worms to the surface. This never really made much sense to me.  But I've seen Robins dance like that.

A month or two ago, however, I watched a feature on the "Daily Planet" about "worm grunting"  or "worm charming".  People tease worms out onto the surface by generating low frequency vibrations through the soil.  Seems the vibrations mimic the vibrations of moles moving through the soil, sending the worms surfaceward to aviod the "mole".

I now surmise that the Robins are attempting to do this when they "dance". 

Back to ElizaQ's Fisher, I think trapping would only be a temporary solution.  Sooner or later, another one would come along.  They range widely.  And, besides cars, they are the only control on porcupine populations, which can be pests too.

I wonder if, say, the application of wolverine scent might send them packing?  I wonder if there's such a product avialable, and what hospital treats the people who harvest wolverine scent?  :)

It is an old Case/David Brown and it is time to let the old thing go.  Everyone else complains it is too hard to drive anyway.  I like the old girl but it is a bit ackward for some jobs.

I'm sure you know there's a market for old tractors as collector items.  My Nephew has had offers on his.  I wish I remembered the make-- apparently the company that made them had the Commonwealth Countries as a kind of prefered market for a while, as part of the plan to get British manufacturing back on it's feet, and part of the way Britain paid off it's war debt.

So, it still might pay to get it back in running order, if not working order.  It's sale to some semi-rural retired from city life rube might defray the cost of the replacement.




Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

It's snowing here today.Frown


That must be disheartening at this time of year.  It may raise your spirits to know that a cold front came through here yesterday morning, and it's not been very nice at all since.  In fact, my furnace has kicked on just now.

Did some more reading up on our friend the nasty Fisher.  Although I ran into some contradictory information, it seems they prefer transition zones, such as forest to creek or river, or forest to meadow, for example.  And, they don't like open ground.  Keeping your chickens as far from tree or long grass cover as possible may help.  One site said Fishers are only nocturnal when they start to get close to humans-- they are active night or day in wilderness areas.  Another site said a motion sensitive flood light might help.

It seems that Fishers will den anywhere, but have a preference for hollow trees for raising kits.  With a ten mile diameter range, I guess one can't ensure no such habitat exists, however, I think one can take steps to ensure one is not the closest meal outlet for a den with kits by getting rid of large standing hollow dead trees, and perhaps fallen ones too.   Potential family dens should be easy to spot in a conventional woodlot in S/W Ontario.


Refuge Refuge's picture

Tommy_Paine wrote:

It was amazing, has anyone else ever observed a Robin acting like a bird of prey?

That's a first for me.  But I've seen Robins do unusual things.  I've seen them foraging for grubs in my lawn. The stand still, and then run over to a spot three or four feet away, dig and always come up with a grub.  I figure they must see some tell tale twitch of a blade of grass as the grubs eat the roots.  They never come up empty on a dig.

Another behavior people have noted about Robins is "dancing" for worms during dry weather.  I was told by my dad when I was a kid that the Robins jump up and down to simulate rain drops, which draws the worms to the surface. This never really made much sense to me.  But I've seen Robins dance like that.

Ohhh - that is why they do that. I have seen many robins in the early morning jumping then ducking down to grab the worms. I just thought they were just ADHD.

In terms of odd preditor behaviours of robins I have seen the swooping before but they have always missed as far as I have seen. But they always act like they suceeded.

remind remind's picture

No misss for this Robin, it snatched the moth mid air and went flying off with it. It was sitting on branch overlooking the front lawn and swooped down on it from behind. We were actually kinda stunned for a nano second, and then went running to the windows facing the direction it went, and it flew off through the trees with it clutched in its "talons" ;)  I guess to its nest somewhere.

I finished  a large section of the fence painting today, and got a wee red blush to my skin, while painting and listening to Dire Straights, and Fleetwoodmac, did a bit of dancing around too though. Now it is clouding over. :(


Skinny Dipper

There is a Tamil-Canadian protest on the Gardiner Expressway in Toronto.

One thing interesting about the Tamil protests lately is that they have been unannounced to the general community.  The locals are surprised when they occur.  Today, no one knew that tthe Tamil-Canadians would end up on the Gardiner Expressway.

I don't know if this is an appropriate word to use.  I would call this "guerrilla" protesting.  It would be like "guerrilla" marketing.  It's a surprise.

Refuge Refuge's picture
remind remind's picture

Going to paint some more today, though it is not quite so brillianty blue skies as yesterday when I did some.

Transplanting my seedling tomatoes into bigger pots also. Still too cold to even consider putting them outside, even under glass. it is weird some are strong and healthy while others spindly and yellow, even though from same seed source and in same potting soil.


ElizaQ ElizaQ's picture

Thanks for all the suggestions regarding the Fisher.   The chickens are safe right now as they are in a totally secured shed at night and in big outside pens during the day.  I do want to bring them outside of the pens to range on some of the pasture and will be getting some electronet fencing for that.   Tommy the back of my property is a transition zone right on the edge of a marsh and large forest.  It's pretty much an animal highway. I've started taking my dog for a walk twice a day along a made up perimeter line which hopefully will help establish some boundries.  One of the dogs I already have seems to have taken up guard duty all on her own. Our balcony looks up over the yard and overlooks the chicken pens and she spends most of the day just lying there watching now that they are outside.  One of the chickens actually got loose and wander away due to bad me leaving a gate open and she actually came inside where I was napping on the couch and woke me up to tell me. It was a real Lassie moment with her whining and running back and forth to the door trying to get me to follow.  :D    She was also the one that spied the fisher from her balconey watch tower in the first place.


This morning I learned the hard way that the swallows are back in full force.  I realised to late, after sitting down on my tractor, that I had parked it under a swallows nest in our implement shed.

It is still very wet here on the farm, have only been working on the higher grounds. Planted a small patch with barley , oats and sunflowers, for my small flock of chickens. Screened around half a ton of compost for our garden and for some folks in town. Been building some bee hives, and hope to install some bees in them tomorrow. Cleaning up a big basswood tree that fell over in a fence row. And then fencing repairs. Small fields are nice but they sure require a lot of fence maintenance work.

And two days ago my asparagus got frostbite.

A local hunter has seen evidence of Fisher activity here this winter, but sofar it has stayed away from the house and barns.  Have had very few problems with wildlife the last few years. An ocational skunk comes by, and some deer damage to the electric fences. That is about it. I attribute that to having a dog around.


Lets see. What's happening locally?

The feds and province announced funding for two interchanges on the Anthony Henday. A  rookie police officer shot a dude "known to police". A whole stack of violent crime in Edmonton. My ex boss is still a whacko crazy person. Babywood is making cute talkie noises and is getting cuter by the day.

It all balances.



A further thought on the Fisher:  You don't have to make your place "Fisher proof"  just more fisher proof than your neighbours.  Your dog might prove more utility that way than I would have thought.


Locally, last evening I went over to the stuperstore to pick up a presciption. While walking across the parking lot, I noticed a plume of smoke to the south soutwest.  When I emerged, the parking lot was fogged with smoke, and you could see a large cloud at the point of origin.

Instead of heading home, I decided to go south, thinking I'd get a view of whatever it was from the Quebec street overpass.  Just in case it was a tanker on fire in the CP yard.  Though, you could smell it was a wood fire, and not some noxious chemical.  If it was the latter, I figured on going home, collecting up the lovables, and taking a drive until the smoke settled.

Turns out it was the old Embassy Hotel, on Dundas east.  Explains the wood smell.  The building was over a hunert years old.

Seems the building was slated for demolition later this year.

It's a trend in London.  I think city hall must make their demolition permits out of thermite or something.


My ex boss is still a whacko crazy person. Babywood is making cute talkie noises and is getting cuter by the day.

It all balances.

And that supplies me with my morning peacefull smile,  thanks.



The Devil

I'm having air conditioning installed.  Just in my personal quarters of course.


well, i'm not sure this fits with the tone of this thread, but i came to it to report on an item in the local paper, which the OFA commented on, regarding the increasing number of farms being sold out this way, and i've noticed it myself on the backroads.

the commentary went on re: too many repeated hits, farmers selling andheading off to min wage service jobs, and what's left is factory farms.  guess that was the intention of big ag in the first place, and mining, and water investors, and 'developers', etc. so they can pick up the land cheap and trash it, having trashed the existing occupants.

this economic charade is looking more and more like a few rich people at the table are collecting all the chips.



did you ever read Naomis 'Shock Doctrine' ?

Well the same principle has been applied to the family farms for probably more then a hundred years.

The farm I live on has been around since about 1850.  I think it started off, supplying grain, flower, meat and milk for the local community. I have come across bits of millstones to grind flower, hoists to lift cattle for butchering, and dairy equipment. There used to be a little cheese factory two mile down the road.

Try selling flower, meat and dairy products from any farm now.  Probably every time a death occured that could be traced to some food gone bad the 'Shock doctrine' was set in to remove a product from farm and local little processing plants into a bigger near monopolistic entity.  And it gets applied to ever more items. Eggs, chickens, maple syrup, honey, firewood, They keep piling on the restrictions and regulations, always it seems to the disadvantage of the small producer and to the advantage of the big processors.

Sometimes I wish they would do a real risk assesment on food safety.



A pair of woodpeckers (Northern Flickers) appropriated the nest that a pair of nuthatches had started in Moose Dupont (that's what we call the big ol' dead weeping birch that sits in the middle of our backyard rink).  The other day one of the woodpeckers (about five times as big as a nuthatch) was pecking away at the hole in the tree while the two little guys sat on nearby branches...just watching.  There wasn't anything they could do.


It's been snowing here for two days.  I haven't even finished working up the garden yet, and I usually plant on the Victoria Day long weekend.

Refuge Refuge's picture

Bubbles wrote:
Someimes I wish they would do a real risk assessment on food safety.

Agreed.  I wonder how much the actualy "danger" of farm food is much like violent crime involving strangers - reported so much and highly in the media that people think that their safety is at risk when in reality the chances of falling victim to a violent crime from a stranger are so low.

I would be interested to see a real risk assessment as well.



Seems there will be a delay in inspecting the remains of the Embassy Hotel to determine the cause of the blaze.  They found the place was full of asbestos.  Well, not as much as before the fire-- I suppose a good bit of it became airborne, and settled out over North London.

I don't see why they have to investigate anyway-- Doesn't seem to be much of any motive for arson. (insert sidelong glace emoticon here)


Try selling flower, meat and dairy products from any farm now.

The City of London increased the fees for setting up seasonal produce stands in strip malls and places like that.  Places where a local farm could sell Christmas trees, pumpkins, etc.   So much so, you don't see them anymore.

But not to worry, you can still buy all those things at the Stuperstore, or A&P.

You know, we can rant and rail about this, but I believe we can find a way around this issue and maybe a few others.

I think the answer may even be at our finger tips.






remind remind's picture

Bubbles wrote:
thanks,did you ever read Naomis 'Shock Doctrine' ?

Well the same principle has been applied to the family farms for probably more then a hundred years.

yep, though I would say, it has intensified since the 60's. It was a topic at my family's dinner table way back then. The desired takeover of the family farm for corporate industrial farming that is, and how they were doing it.

They keep piling on the restrictions and regulations, always it seems to the disadvantage of the small producer and to the advantage of the big processors.

Sometimes I wish they would do a real risk assesment on food safety.

yes, there certainly is a segment of our society, even amongst alleged progressives, that want us all regulated to the point where we sit in our houses, do nothing, and consuming crappie industrial grown food. All for our own safety of course.


Well, no more truck plant...


The only thing growing here in Oshawa seems to be vacated industrial land.


That's our Minister of Finance's Ridding, isn't it?



Nope, he's next door in Whitby.  We're represented here in Oshawa riding by an irrelevent little backbencher named Colin Carrie.  He has a very nice smile, and a certain skill at appearing sincere.

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

I`m back after a short visit down the coast, and it`s very windy here. The fishing boats have to anchor offshore because of the wharf construction, and they`re really bobbing in the wind. I hope none of them capsize. Very cold, too.


yes, it's an old tactic to displace occupants from land.

i noticed in the local paper that as of Apr. 22, all rural land is in an electronic database of property registration called 'Teraview'.

i haven't checked the site out yet. wonder for whose benefit this was set up.  actually, i don't wonder.

Refuge Refuge's picture

Well I started on my low cost / no cost garden today.

I have now planted my strawberries very firmly in old sheets and and an old robe with strofoam from the solar panels that I bought last year providing breathability for the roots.  I have an upside down water bottle filled with fertalizer and chicken poo.

I used an old tire as a planter with a garbage bag to prevent any water from dripping out.  Then I put in an old robe and filled it with styrofome.  I then added 2tbsp fertilizer and 1 tbsp chicken manure then another layer of cloth and strofoam followed by the fertilizer and chicken manure.  Then I planted the strawberry plants in them and put rocks on the top.  There is also a water bottle that I am using as water source/food source as an irrigation system.  Not including the plants I spent a total of 26.92 but have enough fertalizer to plant the rest of my garden and probably do me for I would say the rest of the summer (I may have to correct myself at some point) but 25 bucks for a whole season of gardening is pretty good if it does last!

Next I want to try the sock/pop can garden.  I have already been dumpster diving and collected a few cans so hopefully will be ready to go by next week (I think that is illegal in TO now but hopefully my 6th sense for the cops will be working!)  I think I will try the tomato plants in there, maybe the raspberry plant as well.






that last post refuge sounded like a GMO cross between stephen leacock's 'How I Built My House for $4.94' and 'velcro-ripper loose on site 41'.

you are never allowed near my plot, ever.

Refuge Refuge's picture

How did you  know that I loved Scared Sacred and now the new one advertised all over the site (Fierce Light).  You must be psychic.  I haven't told Velcrow about my garden, maybe I should Wink

remind remind's picture

Its snowinggggggggggggggggggggggggg!


i haven't seen scared sacred . 

i would become an addict if i watched videos, even film links and youtube.  it's a self-discipline strategy to keep myself limited to text or i'd never get any work done.  yes i know i miss alot.  but i see the fierce light in nature's growth during this season, which is inspiring in its own way.  will have to catch up on films in winter


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