Anna Raeli's State Farm ice sculpture in the centre of King City, beside Hogan's Inn, that was a feature of the Christmas in King City event on December 16th, has endured for two weeks. Prevailing cool temperatures have slowed melting and the frozen castle could last into the new year.
I'm not sure how I first heard of this book but I'm delighted to have found and read it. It has changed forever how I will see and feel about trees in the future. It was a simple book to read but mind-stretching in how one's perception of the natural world can be completely changed. I won't try to explain Peter Wohlleben's startling insight into not just how trees grow, but also how they see, hear, feel, relate and even protect their offspring and neighbours. Immediately below is a photo of a mighty oak tree at Humber Trails Conservation Area, on Mill Road, near Nobleton. I have always regarded this tree as very old and in its twilight years. Now I realize a tree like this, in slightly altered circumstances, could live for a few more centuries! In the photo at bottom, a huge willow, also at Humber Trails, shows a remarkable transmogrification of its trunk at ground level. It may very well have survived and adapted to whatever afflicted its health and development with the intervention of the trees growing around and beside it. It's a pleasure to recommend a book that is so pleasurable and informative. It was a quick two-day read at 245 pages, especially with cookies and tea.
Aweek or so ago, Ellen left a comment on a blog about some bird feeders I was raving about. Here's some more info, Ellen. The smaller green feeder (see above) is called the Squirrel Buster Standard. It's about 21" long, including the longish hanging rod, and holds just over 2 cups (16 oz.) of mixed seed. The bigger beige feeder (see photo at left) is called the Eliminator. It is about 27" long, including a longish hanging rod, and holds just over 8 cups (64 oz.) of mixed seed. Ellen, these items are not cheap, but I'm saving a bundle on the seed that the squirrels used to eat and spill on the ground. It's a trade-off I'm quite pleased with. I got my Eliminator and two Squirrel Busters at the Wild Birds Unlimited store in the Nature's Emporium plaza on the south-east corner of Yonge Street and Mulock Drive. Barry Wallace
I've mentioned before how I think heavy horses are hardier than the thoroughbreds, but even the gang of big'uns at Dog Tales have finally got their blankets on this week, in the really cold temperatures we've all been experiencing just lately. Two of the smaller ones below were generating some extra heat by chasing each other around and engaging in repeated two-legged face-offs.
With the ongoing commercial development in Schomberg, centred on the intersection of Hwys. 9 and 27, plus on both sides of Hwy. 27, south of Hwy. 9, one wonders if there is a fundamental shift happening in the village of Schomberg, where the things that are at the heart of a community, are inexorably changing. Pictured above is the new McDonald's and Petro Canada on the south-east corner of Hwy. 27 at its intersection with Dr. Kay Drive and Dillane Drive, with the Trisan Centre in the background. Diagonally, at the north-west corner of the same intersection, billboards announce a new retail plaza in the near future.
The photo below shows a heritage building on Main Street that began its existence about 140 years ago as the business of druggist Alfred Eastwood. After a number of commercial retailers have come and gone here, today it is a real estate office. Other historical villages in York Region, like Kleinburg and Unionville have transformed themselves into glamorous and ultra-commercialized tourist attractions. Could that be the future for Schomberg? Or is Schomberg's Main Street a place to be the heart of a community, with commercial outlets being just one part of the many factors that contribute to a broad spectrum of civic pride and interest?
Schomberg's separate Main Street has something that neither King City nor Nobleton have. How long will Main Street's heart beat strongly?
When I'm out driving around and about, I see lots of Canadian flags. Many of them are a little worse for wear. This past weekend, I had the following thoughts about the flag (pictured below) on the 16th Sideroad. Barry, it's December.....the temperature is below freezing.....the wind is blowing at 40km. per hour.....that flag is over 15 metres above the ground.....Probably better to replace it next Canada Day, in July. Yeah, maybe a good idea..
I've been feeling guilty recently for having replaced some of our hanging bird feeders with new models that are much more squirrel-proof. Now the squirrels can't get at the seeds in the feeders anymore and have to settle for what the birds dislodge and let fall to the ground. It seems the squirrels are not getting the quantity of seeds they have gotten used to in winters past. They still look plump in mid-December, but I 'm a little concerned about what happens to them in January and February. There is a flowering crab apple tree nearby (see bottom photo above) which the squirrels have always worked away at during winters past, but this year they have already stripped that tree's fruit. I'm hoping the squirrels will just bury themselves in their huge leafy nests and hibernate until March maybe, but I'm thinking I may need to have a 'Plan B' in place, in the new year, just in case.
Just in case you missed it at the Christmas in King City event last Saturday evening, here's a shot of the ice sculpture that appeared, adjacent to the Hunt Pub, in the parkette at the corner of King Road and Keele Street.
The English Wheat Barn at Cold Creek Conservation Area was completely closed in with replacement barn boards in 2015 and sports a rather odd patchwork appearance combining older, newer and brand new boards. Curious onlookers will probably have to wait until next spring or summer to see how this situation is resolved. The barn is over 160 years old and has has already received restoration of its foundation, flooring, roof and cleaning of its interior. The barn was designated a heritage building under the Ontario Heritage Act in 2009. Donations can still be made to: Cold Creek Stewardship Barn Restoration and mailed to Cold Creek Stewardship, c/o Bob Belcher, 124 Wellar Avenue, Nobleton, Ont. L0G1N0
The King City Business & Community Association, along with the Bank of Montreal and the Township of King got together and celebrated the coming of Christmas on Saturday night, in the centre of the village. Not only were there live camels on hand, but reindeer also. Lots of food, entertainment and live music, a petting zoo, photos with Santa, plus other festivities played to a huge crowd.
King City firefighters and a fire engine, with all lights blazing, were on hand to collect Christmas gifts from King residents who wished to share the spirit of the season for those in need of a little Christmas cheer and charity.