Celebrating the O’Hara Mill Homestead: Resurrecting History with a Bit of Magical Elbow Grease

Celebrating the O’Hara Mill Homestead: Resurrecting History with a Bit of Magical Elbow Grease

By Angela Hawn - Dave Little, whose colleagues teasingly refer to as “Father O’Hara,” a recipient of the Governor General’s Medal for Volunteerism, knows a thing or two about getting projects done. Simply put: gather a few good people. … Add a liberal dose of enthusiasm and mix in some passion for local history, being outdoors, and you’ve got the makings for something magical. Little calls that special kind of community magic,..

Read More

Just Saying: Turn Off, Tune Out, Drop Data… The Art of Re-sensitizing

Just Saying: Turn Off, Tune Out, Drop Data… The Art of Re-sensitizing

BY SHELLEY WILDGEN - “No phone, no tel-e-phone!” she over-enunciated. “Maybe a bit of phone?” I pleaded. “Absolutely none.” Twenty years ago, I remember a conversation where my friend at the other end of the phone had become exhausted from listening to me talk about my exhaustion, so she interrupted my monotonous diatribe and ordered me a verbal phone-free prescription.

Read More

Remembering: The Bunkhouse Buck... And Other Reminders of an Earlier Time

Remembering: The Bunkhouse Buck... And Other Reminders of an Earlier Time

By Barry Penhale - What better winter reading than a trip back to the not so distant past through an eclectic assortment of colourful, perhaps occasionally embellished stories? One such account is an amusing yarn that my delightful Bancroft friend Henry Taylor enjoyed telling whenever he was encouraged to recall old bush days.

Read More

Escaping to the Country: Where the Serenity of Rural Living Quietly Silences City Traffic

Escaping to the Country: Where the Serenity of Rural Living Quietly Silences City Traffic

By Teddy Ryan - Escape to the Country, a BBC production which airs on CBC TV, is an armchair traveler’s dream. The program often showcases city dwellers from London, England who are eager to leave their urban way of life and move to the country. Facilitated by a real estate agent specializing in relocating people to idyllic homes in the country-sides of England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales, the program highlights panoramic landscapes of lush rolling hills, brisk seascapes and quaint little towns. In Canada, Ontario boasts many such places with some of the most spectacular vistas located right here in Hastings County.

Read More

Exploring Nature’s Mecca: The Heritage Trail

Exploring Nature’s Mecca: The Heritage Trail

By Sarah Vance - Does your sense of adventure ever make you want to get out into the wilderness and tork, gear, walk, run, or dance away from it all? Or, perhaps your pragmatism reminds you that you will need to push a baby carriage, help along a few tots on bicycles, or haul an ATV and dirt bike, to keep the whole family engaged … whilst getting away from it all? If this sounds like you, then North Hastings’ meandering trails might be just the place for your family to meet your travel needs.

Read More

The Village Idiot: The Bird Feeder, Part 2

The Village Idiot: The Bird Feeder, Part 2

By John Hopkins - I awoke early one morning this summer to a gentle tapping coming from outside. I had heard it before, but in my groggy state of mind I could not place it. The source seemed to be the patio, so I wearily made my way downstairs and looked outside. Suddenly it all came back to me. Just like six months earlier, I had been roused by the sound of a tiny bird wing rapping against the glass patio door.

Read More

Walking Belleville: Strolling historic streets that showcase masonry perfection 

Walking Belleville: Strolling historic streets that showcase masonry perfection 

By Shelley Wildgen - About 147 years ago when my friend Carissa and I were squeezing out our last year of trick or treating on the streets of Belleville, we nervously stopped on the sidewalk to one particular house. We were 12 years-old, a little long in the tooth for candy hopping … and we knew it. The longish walkway up to this house was a bit daunting. But walked it we did, and there we stood, at the doorstop, sporting our tracksuits and matching cat eye-masks only to be greeted by a predictable ‘Aren’t you a bit old for Hallowe’en?’

Read More

Just Saying: The Widow Barlow Shall Remain Seated

Just Saying: The Widow Barlow Shall Remain Seated

By Shelley Wildgen - This summer I lost my husband. Not in the snack aisle at Dewe’s, which has been known to happen. On June 26th, my husband left this world. It’s the day we all wonder about when we’ve lived and loved for a long time. My husband, Rob, was several years older than me and he had a chronic illness — Parkinson’s — so perhaps I gave endings more thought than most. I don’t know how I visualized it happening, but it was always far worse than what actually occurred. Death was kind to Rob.

Read More

Remembering Oronhyatekha: A Giant in His Time

Remembering Oronhyatekha: A Giant in His Time

By Barry Penhale - Many Ontario heritage enthusiasts have their own short list of favourite historical figures. Locally in the Quinte region the historical interests of the late C.W. (Bill) Hunt of Belleville, culminated in a baker’s dozen of popular books with an emphasis on Bill’s keen interest in the prohibition/rum running era and his equal preoccupation with early aviation.

Read More

The Moonlight Mermaid Surfaces in Germany: crash site found by archaeologists

The Moonlight Mermaid Surfaces in Germany: crash site found by archaeologists

By Heather-Anne Wakeling - In the 1930’s-40’s, parents the world over saw their youth leave for war while collective memories of the Great War still haunted their dreams. Again years passed — surviving soldiers began to lower their rifles, fighter aircraft ceased to bomb, medical aprons remained clean, well almost. Civilians surfaced from shelters and Armistices were signed. People found ways to return to daily life although multitudes never knew what really transpired to end their loved ones’ lives…

Read More

From Farm to Table: Everything old is new again

From Farm to Table: Everything old is new again

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

Just Saying: Weather or Not…

Just Saying: Weather or Not…

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

Summer Unplugged: Rediscovering how to be a kid at summer camp

Summer Unplugged: Rediscovering how to be a kid at summer camp

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

Making a Splash! “Hamburger” Hal Trites — Belly-Flop Champion Extraordinaire

Making a Splash! “Hamburger” Hal Trites — Belly-Flop Champion Extraordinaire

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

Best Be On the Lookout for Noxious and Invasive Land and Water Weeds

Best Be On the Lookout for  Noxious and Invasive Land and Water Weeds

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