By Heather-Anne Wakeling - As the sun warms the land, self-taught horticulturalists spend hours cultivating home-based gardens, coaxing plant life by digging, hoeing and watering. Their “hands in the dirt” efforts are rewarded by watching wee buds that peek their way up through freshly laid topsoil grow into full-fledged plants by early summer.Read More
By Shelley Wildgen - Hail bigger than your head! Snowbanks as high as houses! And the heat…that oppressively sweltering newly minted summertime heat! It’s everywhere and nowhere at the same time. The weather, just air that forms into droplets and crystals, then drying out only to refill and generally doing its thing like it always has…except now, well it’s…bigger.Read More
By Michelle Annette Tremblay - If there’s one gift I want to give my children this year, it’s the gift of camp. There are few things as Canadian or timeless as summer camp. Days spent swimming, sailing, playing tetherball, catching snakes; evenings around the camp fire with friends, singing favourite songs. It’s a tradition that spans generations. And it’s needed more today than ever.Read More
By Sarah Vance - Visitors to Bancroft will notice a considerable change to the former municipal office at 24 Flint Street, when they hit the scene this summer. From the outside, nothing much appears to have changed, but we all know it’s WHO is inside, that really matters and makes a difference.Read More
By Nancy Hopkins - Tweed and Company Theatre is taking the show on the road. This summer, HASTINGS! The Musical, will light up the stages at Bancroft’s Village Playhouse, Belleville’s Empire Theatre, and The Studio Theatre in Perth.Read More
By John Hopkins - We seem to have an ongoing obsession regarding whether we are alone or not in the universe. Books, movies, essays and TV shows have been produced with great regularity based on the idea that someone from another planet is looking for us and will eventually find us.Read More
By Barry Penhale - At a current bodyweight of 410 pounds, Hal Trites is but a shadow of his former self. Now that’s not to imply that the well-known Tweed businessman is svelte! But the one-time Canadian Belly-Flop Champion is way down from the avoirdupois he previously carried on his six foot-four-inch frame.Read More
By Lorraine Gibson-Alcock — When spring arrived this year, along with its rising flood waters and rain showers, it brought with it some of our old familiar “friends.” For me, the first true hint of spring’s arrival is that when I look out of my window, I see … Dandelions! And when they flower, I know summer is sure to follow. With summer come the picnics, hiking along trails or in our woodlands, swimming, boating and all those other fun activities. But with summer, plants such as the poison ivy, sumac or oak also arrive, and we all know that contact with any of these can cause skin rashes, and all those other things that are not so joyful! There are weeds and then, there are weeds!Read More
By Michelle Annette Tremblay — I'm here for the lakes. Sure, North Hastings is teeming with wildlife. It's paradise for bird watchers and nature photographers. You want foxes? We've got them. Elk? Set your shutter speed, and click away. Yes, the outdoor-adventure enthusiasts flock here too, for mountain biking and rock-climbing. Certainly this is the place to be for recreational geologists eager to dig in at next rock-cut glittering just around the corner. But me, I'm here for the wind rushing over the bay, the forlorn loon calls, the sandy shorelines, and the bloody sunsets.Read More
By John Hopkins - You hear all sorts of isolated creaks and groans in the country during winter nights -- ice cracking on the river, trees slowly shifting under the weight of snow, a large man in red landing a sleigh on your roof. But the sound that woke me up very early one morning was different. Rather than a single crack or creak this was a steady tapping sound, as if someone was throwing pebbles at a window pane. Or worse, as if water was steadily dripping from a leaky pipe. And it wasn’t stopping. Obviously I was going to have to investigate and hope for the best.Read More
By Shelley Wildgen - “I should have said…” is a much said line. Maybe it’s because what we should have said has far more value than what we did say. Should-have-saids are sparkling and witty and always turn our conversations in the direction we wish they had gone. Those should-have-saids are conversational rock stars. Shiny and unattainable. We’ve all gone places we didn’t want to go, okayed plans we didn’t want to make, spoken our mind blindly, engaged in long conversations we didn’t want to have, alienated someone with an unnecessarily sarcastic...Read More
Story and photos by Sarah Vance - It is in the woods north of Slabtown that Canadian singer and songwriter Noah Zacharin has been producing his latest music. A vintage typewriter sits atop his desk, a guitar is within reach, and his studio window overlooks the York River’s icy refracting shoreline... Zacharin finds Carlow Mayo’s tranquility absorbing as he gradually closes one chapter in his life as a dentist in Toronto’s busy inner city to pursue his parallel career as a singer, songwriter and poet northwest of Bancroft.Read More
By Angela Hawn - Step out the door of our temporary new digs in the lovely rural town of Switzerland’s Farvagny le Grand and savour the rustic sounds of cows lowing in the distance, frequently accompanied by that homey whiff of manure associated with cows everywhere. Ah, so much like our former surroundings back in beautiful Stirling, Hastings County. Except here, the cows generally sport bells, and on special occasions, flowers and even hats!When my family decided late last March to move abroad for a year courtesy of a job exchange for dad, we eagerly anticipated all the differences encountered when living in a new culture. And, to our delight, there have been many.Read More
By Susan Shipton - “First it was one dog and a small car. Then two dogs and a bigger car. Then more dogs and another move up in car size. A camper for going to trials and clinics followed.” This is how Tara Dier describes the progression of her sheep dogging hobby.Dier was settled into a career as a lawyer in Toronto when she decided to get her first dog. She had a friend with a Border Collie so she chose that breed due to what she describes with a laugh as “no great amount of imagination”. She went to her friend’s breeder and got a puppy. She called him ‘Doug’.Read More
Story and photos by Lorraine Gibson-Alcock - As I woke up the other day after my first exercise class in over 30 years, with my body aching in unfamiliar places, the old expression came to mind, “In for a penny, in for a pound!” A pound of flesh, that is!A neighbour of mine talked to me about this exercise club, ‘The Silver Foxes’, she was starting up a few years ago, but as I was still working full time I did not research it further. But as I got older and worried about the formidable aches and pains of getting older, plus the additional pounds going on my frame, I decided now was the time!Read More
Story and photos by Michelle Annette Tremblay - The Land Between is the only area in the province with exposed rock barrens, and also has the highest concentration of lakes. We have an abundance of lakes, rivers, streams and wetlands; swamps, fens, bogs, and marshes. With all this water and plant diversity comes an explosion of animal and insect diversity. The Land Between hosts flora and fauna from both the north and the south, living side by side. There are also species living here that you won't find anywhere else in the world, including the five-lined skink, Ontario's only native lizard.Read More
Story and photos by Brendan Troy
Moose are synonymous with winter. Their lengthy limbs aid them through feet of snow and hold them high to reach nutritious twigs. These Canadian giraffes can survive the toughest winters and look comfortable in any snowy scene. Often feeding along roadways...
By John Hopkins
It seems like these days longevity in the music business is measured in years, perhaps months, but certainly not decades. Yet in 2018 Belleville’s own Commodores Orchestra will celebrate nine decades of swinging. It is an impressive achievement for any musical collection, but especially for a group that not only grew and thrived through the big band era of the 1940s, but has also managed to keep the music alive through the lean years as well.
By Shelley Wildgen
Let’s face it. We all like to be liked. And now, thanks to Mark Zuckerberg and his college buddies, we can forever alternate between receiving compliments and delivering our opinions with barely a hitch.
By Barry Penhale
Guardians of Canada’s history warrant a big vote of appreciation for the countless ways our war dead have been remembered. Honouring those men and women in the armed forces who gave their all is evident in the built memorials across Hastings County and by the annual November 11 Remembrance Day services.