Sault Ste. Marie – a bit of birding

Sault Ste. Marie – a bit of birding

We had spent 4 days identifying bird songs and counting birds as part of  a Breeding Bird Survey and were now homeward bound. We were tired.  A series of early morning rises will do that to you sometimes. Under the circumstances, stopping in Sault Ste. Marie seemed to make more sense than pushing on to Sudbury so, here we were in Sault Ste Marie with plenty of daylight left to explore. The front desk staff at our motel gave us directions to the waterfront walkway and directions for access to islands in the river and off we went, camera and binoculars in hand.

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RON_3574-Pigeons RON_3576-Black-crowned-nigh

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New England Trip 2012 – Day 10 – Chatham to Woods Hole, Cape Cod MA

New England Trip 2012 – Day 10 – Chatham to Woods Hole, Cape Cod MA

With the first clouds of Hurricane Sandy beginning to appear off to the south of our location, we decided that it would be a good idea for us to begin heading back north to Ottawa. We had spent two nights at the Queen Anne Inn in Chatham. Since their cook was getting married on the weekend, that meant that, with the family and friends coming in for the wedding, the proverbial “No Room At The Inn” would apply and we would need to be packing anyway.

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New England Trip 2012 – Day 9 – Chatham to Provincetown, Cape Cod

Chatham Lighthouse Cape Cod

Our plan for the day was to drive to Provincetown at the end of Cape Cod and then return to Chatham again in the evening. We had never been to Provincetown, so weren’t sure what we might find when we got there, or what we might see along the way. Our first side trip was to see the Chatham lighthouse and to look at a bit of the local shoreline. (above – click on thumbnail for larger version of information plaque) Continue reading

New England Trip 2012 – Day 6 – Olde Mistik Village Shopping Mall

New England Trip 2012 – Day 6 – Olde Mistik Village Shopping Mall

We were beginning to worry about running out of daylight by the time that we crossed the Mystic River and arrived at the Olde Mistik Village Shopping Mall near the village of Mystic, Connecticut. Not out of shopping time though :-). Continue reading

New England Trip 2012 – Day 4 – Creamery Bridge, Brattleboro, VT

New England Trip 2012 – Day 4 – Creamery Bridge, Brattleboro, VT

After doing a bit of sightseeing in Wilmington VT, we headed on our way along Vermont Route #9 toward Brattleboro VT.  A pull-off area at the end of a nice climb provides a wonderful view to the south. Maple syrup ice cream was also on sale at this location so we had to have a bit of ice cream before continuing to Brattleboro.

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Montebello, Quebec – A Glimpse at the Village

Montebello, Quebec – A Glimpse at the Village

We stayed overnight at the Chateau Montebello, had some breakfast there and then walked along the wooded path over to the village of Montebello, Quebec. The path that we took, passed through the Manoir Papineau National Historic Site so I was able to take a few more photos to add to the blog entry relating specifically to the Manoir Papineau. Once we arrived at the village, we stopped for a few moments in the tourist centre which is housed in the old train station. Then we headed off on our self-guided walking tour down the main street of the village. The street used to be heavy with traffic but the recent completion of the the #50 route from Montreal to Gatineau/Ottawa, had diverted most of the truck traffic, in particular, away from the village. Still plenty to see but without as much danger of being run over by a truck.

The Quebec government has erected small placards/signs in front of many of the buildings and businesses. The placards are unilingual French and, although I can read them just fine, I don’t have the time at the moment to translate the information for this blog entry, I have included a thumbnail image of the placard beside each image. (Sorry, didn’t photograph all of them). Clicking on the placard will open a larger version of the placard in another window for those who are comfortable reading the information in French.

 

With a central location on Montebello’s main street, the Catholic Church, Our Lady of Good Hope, is an impressive structure.  The attached presbytery is currently up for sale as is another adjacent building but Saturdays the building is used for a very successful magic show. Not sure what this might all mean for the the future of the building itself but at present it is certainly a prominent feature of the architectural landscape of the village of Montebello.

 

One of the fascinating features that we found on our self-guided walking tour of Montebello was a stainless steel sun dial.  This sundial is much different than the traditional sun dial and in addition to a different shape, it is also able to display both standard time and daylight savings time.

Click to enlarge 

Click to enlarge

 

As we walked along the main route and read the information about the history of the various buildings and the people who had lived in them, I couldn’t help but think that it was a shame that the signage wasn’t multilingual so that the information would be more readily available to the very important international tourist population that is drawn to Montebello by the Fairmont Chateau Montebello and internationally known events such as the Canadian Ski Marathon. There was a lot of local history captured in those little placards along the street. Fun to walk, read and get a glimpse of what Montebello’s past might have been like.

 

 

 

Each winter, cross-country skis are fashionable on the wooded trails throughout Eastern Ontario and Quebec, and the village of Montebello is the center of a great deal of attention as the planning and organizing of the longest annual ski marathon/tour in North America gets underway and everyone starts to pray for the right amount of snow to fall at the right time of the year.

For those who want to ski the entire 160 km distance from LaChute to Gatineau, the Canadian Ski Marathon is a two day event with a stop-ever night in Montebello. For others, it might just be a more leisurely  ski of one or a two of the 5 sections.  Whatever the case, those who participate, get to ski through Laurentian country on trails that may only be groomed once a year specifically for the Canadian Ski Marathon. Visit their website directly for more information on the 2013 edition of this great event: Canadian Ski Marathon.

 

   

 

 

The Village of Montebello has a wide array of dining options ranging from quick take-out or pub food to more relaxed dining in elegance so we were happy to drive back into town after dark for an enjoyable meal at Le Napoléon.

In addition to hiking in the hills and boating on the Ottawa River, the area around Montebello is still an important area for fishing, trapping and hunting, and for a small store, Jo’s Cabane is chock full of interesting things for the hunter or fisherman to consider adding to their collection of gear.

 

According to the clock in front of one of the pubs, it was just about 4PM if you were heading north and only shortly after lunch time if you were heading south.  In any case, we had a tee-off time at the Chateau Montebello Golf Course to think about so it was time to walk back to the Chateau Montebello.

For those who follow my blogs and might be a bit worried that I didn’t photograph a Montebello fire hydrant, here is what you have been waiting for :-).

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Downhill ski equipment from Amazon.com
X-Country Ski equipment from Amazon.com

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Manoir Papineau National Historic Site, Montebello, Quebec

Manoir Papineau National Historic Site, Montebello, Quebec

While we were visiting at the Chateau Montebello, we decided that it would be nice to take the short stroll over to the grounds of the Manoir Papineau National Historic Site directly adjacent to the Chateau properties. (Location) It was late in the day as we explored the exterior properties in the setting sun and then we returned in the morning expecting that we would be able to see the inside of the building. Unfortunately, it was the first week that the Fall hours were instituted and, being a Monday, this was the first day that the buildings were not open for viewing.

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Carp Farmer’s Market 2012

Carp Farmer’s Market 2012

We took a quick trip out to the Carp Farmer’s Market to take a look at what was for offer this year. My wife purchased a bit of farm produce and I chatted with a few photographers and snapped the shutter a few times.

The 149th Annual Carp Fair opens Sept 21st-23rd this year.  For more information about that country fair, visit their website at: Carp Fair 2012

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A few more fire hydrants for my collection of fire hydrant images, this time they come from the fair grounds at Carp, Ontario.

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Fort Ontario, Oswego, NY

Fort Ontario, Oswego, NY

I had spent the night in my tent at Selkirk Shores State Park which is located about 20 miles to the east of Oswego, NY. While checking out in the morning, park staff had told me that there was a fort in Oswego that was operated by the New York State Parks and Historic Preservation organization. With only that information, and no specific directions, off I headed for Oswego, NY stopping along the way to photograph a fire hydrant or two :-).

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New York State Fair 2012, Syracuse, NY

New York State Fair 2012, Syracuse, NY

After taking a look at Fort Ontario and the Marine Museum in Oswego, NY, I headed into Syracuse to meet up with my son at the New York State Fair. I had not been to a large fair in quite a number of years and was surprised to find that not a lot had changed.  Food stands were plentiful and there were plentiful games to play if you wanted or hoped for another stuffed animal or cartoon character. The following images might bring back a few memories for those who, like me, have been deprived of an annual dose of fairdom.

In order to survive at a large fair, you must be happy maneuvering through large crowds and trying to keep your appetite under control is always a challenge.

Before considering which of the many fattening treats we might sink our teeth into, we stopped with many others to smile and laugh as entertainer, Michael Hilby , worked his magic atop a unicycle.

 

Then, of course, we had to stop and check out a car or two that caught our eye. Any car with “Daytona 500” decals is bound to get a bit more attention than any of the other vehicles.

We eventually made our decision.  Pizza won the vote. I didn’t need the calories but pizza was likely the least fattening of all of the foods that were on offer.

Cotton candy and candied apples would have been a nice substitute for dessert but, again, I was able to show restraint but just barely! A bit of applause please :-).

Once we had succumbed to the food demons, we headed out into the rest of the Fairgrounds where we found an interesting assortment of rides and a fantastic selection of games of chance, skill, and humiliation.  Over the years, I have learned that no matter how hard I try I won’t be able to knock over the requisite number of little milk bottles nor find a way to break a balloon with a dart, so I am satisfied to just walk around clicking the shutter.

I was rather surprised to find that some of the games and exhibits were the same as they had been twenty or more years before, but I guess if something is successful, there is no real urgency to change the game plan.

Last chance! Everyone is a potential winner!

I was eventually coerced into trying my hand at one of the games.  I knew that it was a foregone conclusion that I would not likely be successful with the bowling ball but I tried anyway. NO success! It was starting to get dark and I didn’t have my tripod with me so  soon my shutter clicking potential would diminish and it would be time to head home.

T-shirts anyone?

 

One last flash shot for the night – a fire hydrant on the way back to the car.

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