This is a smaller version of the photo in the blog entry immediately below, which I posted this morning. I quickly had someone say that the flowers are Michaelmas Daisies, not pink chrysanthemums. Then someone said both types of flowers are actually Asters. I always thought that Michaelmas Daisies bloomed in mid-October and that the mums came out in early November. What I am sure of is that these flowers pictured here certainly soften the cold edges of late October and early November.
What is it about pink chrysanthemums that makes them seem to be so much hardier and abundant than other colours of mums. It's chilly in late October and downright cold in November, but I see huge clumps of pink mums in flower beds all over King Township. The mums pictured above are in my neighbour George's garden, on Bennet Drive, in behind the high school. I know, of course that colour has nothing to do with hardiness. It just that pink mums seem more attractive than red or purple or yellow mums in the drabness of late fall. Please comment if you wish. Barry Wallace
There were three migrating Trumpeter Swans on the large sewage lagoon at Schomberg, west of the arena this past Friday. They were dabbling non-stop for aquatic plant food on the bottom of the pond. The vegetation they feed on will help them finish their migration south to the Atlantic seaboard. Please comment if you wish. Barry Wallace
Everyone who travels west along Church Street in Schomberg, towards Lloydtown, has to pass and see this lovely, little waterfall on the north side of the street, on the edge of the hamlet. I've always wondered if the locals call this stream the Lloydtown Creek. It seems there is always a pair of Mallard Ducks around and about this spot. Charming, indeed.
What is it about certain free-range pigs that don't have to be fenced in? I photographed the two above on the front lawn at Puck's Farm, on the 11th Concession of King Township on Friday afternoon. They were rooting to their hearts' content. They did not wander onto the road or away from the farm. They seemed quite content to stay put on the verge. Is it good training, or perhaps the breed? I have noticed Vietnamese Pot-bellied Pigs, in particular, seem to have this agreeable and fortunate homing instinct. The Puck pigs pictured above are, I believe, Pot-bellies and quite healthy and hardy looking; neither too slim nor too fat. I spoke briefly to them and they were quite amiable. Please comment if you wish. Barry Wallace
The painting immediately below of the King City Cemetery deadhouse was painted by Apple Liu. Apple was a recent 3rd prize winner in a King Township Historical Society contest at the King City Secondary School. The purpose of the competition was to encourage students to create a drawing, painting or
photograph that reflected the long, rich history of King Township. Apple Liu, is a resident of Richmond Hill, as well as a student at KCSS. Her 3rd place win for her octagonal deadhouse painting earned her a $50 prize. The deadhouse was once used for housing the dead, in winter, before burial. Judges for the art contest were King Township artists Ed Bartram and Mary Bromley, who said: "Without knowing what a deadhouse is, the viewer gets a foreboding sense of mystery." The King City Deadhouse has been portrayed artistically by many artists and photographers and the broad artistic interpretations show an amazing assortment of vision. Compare the artwork by Apple with the photographic take on the same subject matter below. The winning artworks are on display at the King City Library. Photos by Barry Wallace
Well, it finally happened yesterday. It snowed (see photo at right). Not much, but a couple of flurries in the afternoon and the snow that did fall, quickly melted. But you can mark it on your calendar... October 23.
This past Sunday was sadly the last day for the King City Farmers Market in the All Saints Anglican Church parking lot. Regular customers at the market, like King Township Councillor Debbie Schaeffer (above), made sure to show up for her favourite items for the last time. Many customers like Debbie (and this writer) have their fingers crossed and look forward to the return of the market next year.
I photographed this young lady paddler on the West Holland River where it passes under the Graham Sideroad bridge in the Holland Marsh on Sunday Afternoon. It was a chilly 10 degrees Celsius and I called out to her to inquire if she was feeling cold. Just the opposite, she said, and peeled off a jacket before continuing up the river towards the Oak Ridges Moraine to the south.
They are not operational yet but they are installed. Many King City residents thought that the addition of new traffic lights in King City would be at the east end of the village, not the west end. But there they are at the King Road and Burns Boulevard and Charles Street intersection. Meanwhile, new lights are not that far behind, in the east end. It will be very interesting to see what what happens to traffic flow on the heavily used King Road through the village, when new traffic lights are installed at both ends of the village. Traffic accessing and exiting the new subdivisions will be greatly facilitated, but it will be two new stops for the increasing commuter traffic on the King Road.
Long-time King Township resident David Love has recently been recognized, once again, for his charitable endeavours. Most recently, the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) Greater Toronto Chapter announced its 2013 Philanthropy Awards, and David has received a Lifetime Achievement Award. He will receive his honour at the Philanthropy Awards Luncheon on November 20th as part of Congress 2013, the Greater Toronto's Chapter's annual conference. David has raised millions of dollars for environmental organizations over his 44 year career as a fundraiser. His hands-on executive contributions have benefited the likes of Pollution Probe, the World Wildlife Fund, the Conservation Foundation of Greater Toronto, Bird Studies Canada, and many other causes for the environment. Earlier this year David and his wife Ann made an impressive donation of land, in the Happy Valley area of King, to the Nature Conservancy of Canada. The 90 acres of land atop the Oak Ridges Moraine is affectionately known as Love Mountain and is a tribute to a cultural and family history. Mark Stabb, the NCC Ontario program manager said: "The Love family is leaving a wonderful natural legacy that also honours their family legacy, and we are so pleased they chose NCC to receive this gift, and trust us to guard it." After 44 years however, David is a little more rueful when he stated in a recent Toronto Star Digital Access story by Catherine Porter: "By every single biological measure, the planet is going down. The environmental movement's been a colossal failure. We put all our money and time and effort into the wrong place. I spent 20 years at the world Wildlife Fund saving polar bears. That's not the problem. People in the city are the problem." Meanwhile, Ann Love, who is also an environmental partner with her husband David, has just finished writing and publishing a new book entitled Pandemic Survival: it's why you're alive, which she co-authored with her sister, Jane Drake. Together, the sisters have written and published over 35 non-fiction titles for junior and intermediate students. Their first book on a best-seller list was the Kids Cottage Book, publihed in 1992. Ann was a teacher-librarian for many years but has retired to concentrate on writing and painting, among other things. Ann is also active in several King Township endeavours, like her husband David, and these Loves love birdwatching.
Photo of David Love (top right) by Mark Cullen
Lower photo of Ann Love (left) and Jane Drake (right) by Will Barnett
It appears the demand for Santa Carolina Chilean wines is such that Hogan's Inn is receiving the popular wine straight from the importer. This delivery vehicle was unloading cases of product for the popular dining spot on Keele Street in King City. According to the graphic emblazoned on the side of the vehicle, Santa Carolina is the "#1 Chilean Wine in Ontario". I've tried their reds and they are a pleasure. Please comment if you wish. Barry Wallace
Township of King worker Steve is seen above, near Carrying Place on Weston Road, preparing flower beds for their season of hibernation. King's Parks, Recreation and Culture department has does a highly commendable job of keeping our community beautiful since the township's successful years of competing in Canada's 'Communities in Bloom' program. Please comment if you wish. Barry Wallace
I took the photo above today in the new King City housing development, west of the railway tracks and south of the King Road. The bird is a southward-bound migrating Lesser Yellowlegs and it was stopping over at the new storm-water retention pond pictured below. King City is lucky that it is about to go through a period of time when bird life is going to boom because of the introduction of the dozens of storm-water retention ponds and the natural areas around them. It is happening at a time when almost almost 22% of the bird species common to Ontario are in decline for a variety of reasons. Given its proximity to migration routes over Lake Ontario and Lake Erie, plus its presence on the southward slope of the Oak Ridges Moraine, King City may become a bit of a bird-watching hotspot in the next few years.
While out on my photographic wanderings in King Township today, I spotted this beautiful, basketball-sized puffball at the entrance to the Lloydtown Pioneer Cemetery. When I was a child and visited my grandparents' farm, south of Barrie, in Innisfil Township, my gramma Alice would have taken charge of a puffball like this by slicing it up and frying it in butter. It would have a wonderful mushroom taste. A puffball like the one above, at about 12" in diameter, would feed a lot people on the farm. I resisted the temptation to scoop up this puffball and thought that it should probably go to someone who could feed a bunch of folks. It was definitely too big for my wife and me.
A protest sign has appeared already on the north-west corner of Keele Street and the Lloydtown-Aurora Road, south of Kettleby, regarding a proposed roundabout where the two roads intersect. York Region has made its intentions known that a roundabout is an optimal solution to reducing accidents at the collision-prone crossroads. Will slowing down at this intersection and driving in a circle (or partial circle) be safer than a full stop at traffic lights? Only time will tell.
It seems Round The Bend Farm, on Jane Street in Kettleby, is still a favourite spot for King folk in the weeks leading up to Thanksgiving Day and Hallowe'en. There isn't a weekday that goes by now when there aren't many school buses filled with kids touring the farm. Pumpkins of course are the real eye-catchers and then there are the dozens of life-sized stuffed scarecrows of every description.
It seems that there are enough pumpkins at Round The Bend Farm for every man, woman and child in King Township.
Bathurst Street is pictured above, looking south from the Graham Sideroad, in the Holland Marsh, east of Bradford. Not only is Bathurst Street being widened by the Region of York, but it is being pushed through the forest on top of the Oak Ridges Moraine, where it has been closed and overgrown for decades..
When I was a young lad and owned a 1961 Austen-Healey Sprite, I would go hill-climbing on Bathurst Street with my sports car, along with my similarly-minded King City buddies. We would head south from the marsh, making several sharp turns, up through numerous ruts and gullies (with wheels spinning if it had recently rained) until we reached the top of the moraine. Bulldozers are now reclaiming that section of the old Bathurst street but they are doing it in a much straighter fashion.
Bathurst Street is seen all the way from Dufferin Street making its slow, upward climb through the Oak Ridges Moraine forest. Motorists will eventually be able to head north unimpeded on Bathurst Street, from Hwy 9 to Hwy 11 (Yonge Street), east of Bradford. Progress...of a sort...I suppose.
Once the rain clears, hikers and mountain-bikers in King's Centennial Park on the east side of Jane Street, north of the 16th Sideroad, are about to see, this week and next, what many locals regard as one of the best spots to view fall foliage in King.