I am not a man-of-the-world in the classic sense, nor do I live under a rock. I've seen a lot of things in my time, but I'd never seen a professional, door-to-door, Barbecue Cleaner before. The gentleman above is one of five cleaners working for this company and they are busy. The amount of gear this fellow is wearing to protect himself would suggest that unclean barbecues represent quite a hazard. I haven't cooked meat on a grill for many years now, but back in the days when I did, I never looked like the fellow above when I cleaned the barbie. I only spent a couple of minutes with this Barbecue Cleaner, but I wondered after I left him about small children who intended to walk along McBride Crescent today, in King City, and had to pass him. I could see a bunch of detours being made and stories being told to moms. Please comment if you wish. Barry Wallace
Visitors to the 3rd annual Cruise for the Cure, two Sundays ago, at Tim and Brenda Schmidt's amazing farm on the Weston Road north of Laskay, got a bit of a surprise when they drove onto the grounds. Recent additions to the impressive entrance included a rusted auto from the 1930s on the north side and an equally rusted old grain binder from the last century, on the south side. They were both eye-catching, to say the least. The ordinary person hearing about such a combination could be forgiven for being very sceptical about this strange presentation, but oddly enough it worked. There was a neat symmetry to the design. The rust colour of the old metal blended with the orange ground-cover and there was a nostalgic feel to the combined new-old scene. The event raised a whopping $95,000 for Prostrate Cancer Canada and Shriners Children's Hospital, bringing the total raised in just its first three years to $215,000. Well done all around, Tim and Brenda.
Like many other things in the garden this summer, our red currants are beautiful and bountiful. Yesterday, Linda picked two quarts and this morning Linda and I picked another three quarts each. At breakfast this morning, I greeted the day with yoghurt and red currants. Delicious! It reminded me of the year, when I was 13, and my siblings and I were living on my maternal grandparent's farm, at Churchill, Ontario, south of Barrie, while our new house was being built in King City. I was kept pretty busy that summer helping my grandfather with the chores about his 50-acre farm. The farm and the farmhouse had no electricity, no running water, no plumbing and no furnace. We had oil lamps, a wood stove, a well, an outhouse, and a battery-operated radio from which my grandfather faithfully got the BBC evening news while he was having his lunch. One day, I hitched up grampa's team of horses (Maude and Lark) to the manure spreader, loaded it up and headed out to the fields. When I returned for a second load, my grandfather offered some harsh advice on the job I was doing. This surprised me as I thought the entire job was being done by the experienced horses with their amazing piece of farm machinery. I'd had enough of his constant criticism and told him if he didn't like I way I was spreading his cow poop, he could do it himself. I jumped off the spreader and sought refuge at my grandmother's knee. Like my grandfather, she also thought idle hands were the devil's playthings and sent me out to her garden to pick red currants. When I had finished picking and returned to the farmhouse, my grandma gave me a bowl of red currants, with fresh cow's milk and a spoonful of sugar. I was hooked and have been ever since. That event was a watershed moment. For the rest of that year on the farm, my grandfather didn't call on me to do as much as he had previously told me to do, but then I was doing many more chores for my grandmother, which included not only the picking of red currants, but white and black currants as well. We all seemed happy with the new arrangement. I've always thought of my grandmother as a saint. Everyone else said so also. As for my grandfather, well...I have fond memories of Sid also. 1955 was a wonderful year of discovery.
Names like this always provoke me. They make me want to drive in and ask where did they get the name for the farm. I'm sure there is an interesting story behind each. I always resist the temptation to drop in with my enquiry, of course, and then go upon my way with a bit of niggling curiosity.
It was 34.5 degrees Celsius (92F) in the shade, on Tuesday of this week. The wild bunny seen here was sharing some seed at our backyard feeder with the Mourning Doves. The heat seemed to get to her and she stretched out and relaxed for a half hour before eating some more seed and heading on her way.
While some think we've had to much rain, most gardeners hereabouts are experiencing a summer floral show that so far has been the most bountiful and beautiful in many a year. It seems as though everyone has a green thumb this year. Photos taken on Forde Crescent in King City.
The 3rd Annual Cruise for the Cure takes place this coming Sunday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., at 13200 Weston Road in King Township. Proceeds go to Prostate Cancer Canada and Shriners Hospitals for Children. There is no admission fee for this terrific family event but a $10 donation for parking will be greatly appreciated. Photos below are from last year's extremely successful show.
Photos by Barry Wallace
If you spot this sign on the west side of Weston Road, about a kilometre north of the King Road, then you have arrived at Tim & Brenda's Cruise for the Cure.
I've run one or two photos of this donkey on previous occasions but I always had the opportunity to look it square in the eye when capturing its portrait. This past Sunday, while driving about King Township on the Nobleton-King City Garden Tour, I came across this diligent donkey, doing its duty, once more, on its 15th Sideroad farm. This time however, it seemed to be in disguise. While I could not look it in the eye, it certainly could see me. It came to the fence on the roadside to check me out, gave a sniff and a snort, and turned its back on me to return to its babysitting duties. Masks to protect horses eyes from flies and other insects are routine garb around these parts, but this is the first time I have seen one on a donkey. And those ear-protectors are just too cool.
7 Nobleton and King City-area gardens stole the show during a beautifully sunny day today, on the annual garden tour. The diversity of plants and their settings were, as always, wonderfully entertaining and inspiring. (Allphotos by Barry Wallace)
Photo above and below taken at the home of Jack and Dolena Hurst's Weston Road property which features the old Strange Presbyterian kirk which dates from 1860.
Black Forest Garden Centre ~ Keele Street
The Secret Garden at Black Forest Garden Centre
Birdhouse at Black Forest Garden Centre
Water feature at the home of Adriana and Peter Tetley
The Nobleton - King City Horticultural Society is presenting its annual garden tour this Sunday, July 14, from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. Tickets may be purchased in advance at the Nobleton Pharmasave in Nobleton Plaza, Guardian Drugs on King Road in King City, and at Black Forest Garden Centre on Keele Street North, south of the Aurora Sideroad. Tickets will also be available on the day of the tour at the King Township Museum at Kinghorn and at each of the tour garden locations. Ticket/maps are $10 each. Seven lovely properties are on the tour this year.
The threat of inclement weather this past Tuesday evening moved things indoors at the Laskay Hall Raspberry Social, in the Weston Road hamlet, south of the King Road. The indoor setting gave the affair an even more nostalgic and familiar feeling for those who have made the annual event a regular feature on their social calendars.