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.

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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.

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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?’

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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.

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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.

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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…

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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.

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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. 

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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.

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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.

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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!

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FROM THE ARCHIVES: The Beaches of Hastings County

FROM THE ARCHIVES: The Beaches of Hastings County

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.

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The Village Idiot: The bird feeder

The Village Idiot: The bird feeder

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.

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Just Saying: Responses less travelled

Just Saying:  Responses less travelled

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...

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The Next Chapter: Winter words with Noah Zacharin

The Next Chapter: Winter words with Noah Zacharin

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.

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Worlds Apart? Swiss region and Stirling share some traits

Worlds Apart? Swiss region and Stirling share some traits

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.

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Working Class Dogs: Trials all business for this crew

Working Class Dogs: Trials all business for this crew

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’.

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