Story and photos by Sarah Vance - I used to take a lot of selfies, but then I started noticing the natural environment around me. You could say the change was incremental — beginning with the flight patterns of birds; the sounds of a muskrat excavating the shoreline, and the arrival of migrating ducks on a York River stop-over. I mean, have you ever noticed a Pine Grosbeak fanning its plumage in the sunlight? In November, when my girls and I found a flock of eight of these magnificent birds landing on the crabapple tree outside of our kitchen window, the change took hold.
By James Kerr - There isn’t a food that I attach more sentimentality to than ice cream. I have treasured childhood memories of “going for ice cream.” I fondly remember every part of these excursions — piling into a car headed for Empire Cheese or Reid’s Dairy, feeling the ice cream’s sugary run-off dripping down my six-year old hand, and the gleeful race against the sun’s heat as I struggled to lick my dessert before it melted. Growing up on a local dairy farm, I always took pride in knowing that our milk that we sent to Reid’s Dairy helped to create this wonderful, magical, summer treat.
By Angela Hawn - With summer in the air, it’s time to start thinking about dining al fresco, and enjoying the great outdoors for as long as possible. Canadians are good at this: we who dress in layers far longer than residents of most other countries know a good thing when it’s happening. Fast to strip off our woolies and game to brave t-shirt and shorts garb even when there’s still a chill in the air, (or mosquitos and/or blackflies hovering in our midst) we love to eat outside whenever possible.
By Vic Schukov- Born in Wallbridge on the same land he lives on, Alex McNaught is unquestionably an authority on the village’s rich history. Laughing he said “People ask me why I call it the Forgotten Little Village of Wallbridge. I ask them, ‘Do you know where it is?’ They say, ‘No.’ ”
By Barry Penhale- The provincial treasure that is Algonquin Park since becoming Ontario’s and Canada’s first provincial park in 1893, has deservedly attracted artists, photographers, filmmakers, naturalists and a wide-range of camping and recreational enthusiasts alike. It seems as if most everyone has had a memorable “Algonquin” experience.
By Shelley Wildgen- I am in France. Out my window, I can hear kidlets playing; their shrieks of excitement and reproach are the same as in Canada … only in French. Garden gates creak back and forth, a neighbourhood dog barks sharply. Its owner yells ‘Arret’, and pup arrets immediately, until it’s time to bark again. It’s Easter Sunday and French life is full in Saint-Zacharie.
By John Hopkins- The battle against pests has changed a great deal in my lifetime. When I was a boy and we had mice trouble in our cottage, we either rented a cat or set deadly traps. The cat had limited success but the traps seemed to always do the trick, a telltale snapping sound during the night attesting to their effectiveness.
The Canadian land base is well-known as being ideally suited for the growing of beans with an abundant harvest concentrated in Ontario and Quebec. In fact, 80-90% of the beans grown by those 1,200 Ontario farms that specialize in this crop are exported. Green/wax beans rate among the top four vegetables grown in Canada, and the estimated annual harvest worth ranges between $25-30 million.
By John Hopkins, Photos courtesy Bobbie-Joe Blackburn: As far as Canadian symbols go, the barbecue could rank right up there with the Maple Leaf and the beaver. Few images define the summer experience in this country quite like meat cooking on the grill in the backyard or on the deck. Magazine articles, books and television shows are dedicated to barbecue recipes, and the surest sign of spring is the appearance of grilling devices and accessories in hardware stores. However, the barbecue is much more than simply a means of cooking food.
In July 1932, eight young Belleville men travelled by canoe along the Trent-Severn Waterway. They began their journey from Belleville and continued north of Peterborough, camping on the sides of lakes, rivers and canals. The photographer was S. Alec Gordon (1905-1989), who was a music teacher for the Ontario School for the Deaf (now the Sir James Whitney School for the Deaf). This image is one of 33 taken on the journey, 13 of which have been delicately hand-tinted like this one.
Margaret Grotek, Manager at Farmtown Park says that once the park closes on September 30th, it’s an all hands-on focus as they immediately turn their attention toward their annual Christmas event, “the Festival of Trees.” While they get ready for this event, they have also rented their facilities, especially for weddings that she says are “extremely popular in September.”
As summer slips away I still crave the taste of a citrusy dessert...and this one is the best! It’s so easy and so delicious. At a dinner party that I hosted I looked down my table to see one of the guests licking out the dish...I mouthed, “Would you like more?” His response was to close his eyes and nod yes. Perfection.
Mark your calendar for August 17-19 and attend the 160th anniversary of the Stirling Agricultural Fair! Among this year’s roster is the return of the Blacksmith Show, and a new Mini-horse Chuck-wagon event. There is a strong-man competition that will run over two days. While the midway is provided by Homeniuk Rides Inc., these other exhibits are self-run, with an emphasis on family fun. The line-up features many traditional standards such as the Beef, Goat and 4-H Shows, the Big Daddy Derby (an old-fashioned derby, where guys and gals, smash their car wrecks for prize money)…
One of my favourite summer salads is a slaw made from three of the cabbage family members: cabbage, kale and Brussels sprouts. It is great to take to a potluck and it stays fresh for days in the fridge. If you have a food processor or mandolin it takes very little time to make.