Sunday, 19 November 2017

Miscellaneous November items

At a rug hooking friends I was introduced to a couple of lovely black labs;
Bosco (the big one) and Fiver (the puppy) were very well behaved and after enthusiastic greetings were happy to sleep in the sun.
We were colour planning a rug which resulted in piles of discarded wool tossed on the floor. When Bosco moved, Fiver decided that it would make a great dog bed.
I have been assigned an Art Nouveau piece to teach, next year, for the McGown  accreditation. It has to be hooked as a monochromatic. I have too many ideas and don't know which one to pursue so  I traced the pattern and redrew wedges of it onto backing to use as experiments/samples.
The first one is hooked in denim
The five pairs of blue jeans (from the Port Rowan thrift store) that constitute my denim "swatch".
The end result. The thing to the right is the tape I used to take all the shreddy bits off it.
I didn't enjoy hooking with denim although I really like the final result.
Pros: jeans are cheap and easy to come by (4 of these pairs were free as they weren't in good enough condition for the thrift store to sell, but the back of the legs gives the best denim as it is least warn). They are durable and the rug can be washed.
Cons: Jeans now are made a little stretchy so they are woven on the bias which results in them shedding little pieces while they are being hooked in. They don't have as nice a feel as wool and they are tougher to pull through the backing.

The second one is hooked using a swatch
The blue swatch on the background I used.
Although Art Nouveau usually has an outline I chose not to as the bright swatch stood out well against the navy background.
This one was fun and hooked up quickly although did take some thought to make sure it was clear which part of the elements were on top and which were behind.

Lastly, a couple of sky shots. I really do get to see some magnificent skies here.

Tuesday, 14 November 2017

Bruce Trail - Governers Rd to Rock Chapel, Dundas

After an excellent breakfast at Serenity Ranch (fruit, yogurt, croissant, bacon, sausages, eggs, tomato with salsa and lots of coffee) we dropped one car at the parking spot on Valley Rd. The Bruce Trail Reference book not only gives us a map of the trail but also suggested parking spots and the number of cars that can fit there.
It was actually warmer than yesterday but the lack of sun and damp feeling made it seem colder.
Groups of people kept running past us and we asked at this gathering what was going on. It was some sort of competitive orienteering run. They had maps and compasses and were serious runners.
We knew from the map that there was a lot of "urban hiking" and after the golf course,
down a road,
over a river
and past this beautiful old school converted into loft apartments,
we were hiking through the streets of Dundas. Beautiful large Victorian homes with well kept gardens so it really wasn't a chore although our hips and ankles are happier hiking on dirt than on cement.
And above, the ever present escarpment.
To get up the escarpment the trail follows the Sydenham Rd hill. Jason biked the hill this year, and last, to raise money for research into a disorder that his nephew has.
It's quite a hill - long and steep. These cyclists were going at walking pace but took off when we challenged them to race.
Near the top it was back into the woods.
The trail wasn't as well used or as well maintained on this stretch.
We spent quite a while trying to get a decent photo of this Pileated woodpecker, Nicola with her phone and me with my little camera. The Pileated is listed as "uncommon" in my birdbook and worth the effort to try and get his picture.

None of the pictures turned out well. He was a dark bird, high in a dark tree, with other trees in the way, back-lit and pecking rapidly. He really did look like Woody Woodpecker.
A little more walking on the road and then we were into the Rock Chapel area.
The trail was quite smooth and well traveled
and the lack of leaves meant we had good views over Cootes Paradise
and Hamilton Bay with its industrial side.

Although there were some yellow leaves left it was the copper and burgundy foliage of the oaks that were most noticeable.
We saw lots of squirrels (grey and black) but not much other wildlife.
Another waterfall and we could hear that it was quite high but couldn't get beyond it to look.
Neat ice formations though.
Back onto the road, over a bridge and onto RBG property
and we got around to the other side to see the waterfall
and the ring of ice it created at the base.
Each time we hike we get better at reading the maps. We knew that the last section would have some steep climbs as the contour markings on the map were close together.
We hiked for about 4 hours, stopping to take pictures, eat snacks and drink water. We walked 10.7km.

Bruce Trail 2017 Summary.
We started this journey on June 18th at Brock's Monument, Niagara. This hike, November 12 is probably the last for this year. We hiked on 9 days. Our shortest hike was only 6km and our longest (on November 11) was 12.5km.
Our total for this year is 81.9km. As the trail is 898.6km long we have completed 9.14%. At this rate it will take us more than 10years and to quote a friend of Nicola's "the Bruce isn't conducive to walkers" (and he meant the kind you use if you have mobility issues) so we will have to step it up a bit if we want to get it done in 3 - 5 years.
We are going to plan to start earlier next year, set aside more days for hiking and keep increasing our distances.

Saturday, 11 November 2017

Bruce Trail - Scenic Drive to Governors Road, Dundas.

Snow yesterday and a cold morning (complete with a coyote trotting down the beach) had me doubting the idea of hiking the Bruce in November but, after a 2 hour drive, Nicky and I met and dropped her car on Governors Rd, Dundas, drove back to Scenic Drive and set out on what was to be our longest hike yet.
The first section was through a lovely wooded area that is closed during the week in November and December due to aboriginal hunting rights
Crossed the 403. We were in layers of clothing and head bands and gloves but quite comfortable. After about half an hour the head bands and gloves came off and we unzipped the top layer.
The cold nights and wind have bought most of the leaves down but they are still providing colour on the ground.
There were some pretty steep bits.
I mean really steep.
We were thankful to those Katimavik builders for this part.
That squirrel looks like he needs gloves and a head band.
Ice on the water.
We hadn't realized that the trail went right past a waterfall. We thought they were all on side trails.
We took the opportunity to get someone to take a picture of us. We are not really good at selfies.
Then took a break to play with waterfall and ice photos.
It made me wish that I had bought the good camera with me.
Ice photos could have kept me occupied for hours
People climbing on the waerfalls has been a bit of a problem in Hamilton this past summer.
Seed heads in the sun.
By this point we were in the Dundas Valley Conservation Area and on a multi-use trail
which meant that we sometimes needed to step aside to let the mountain bikers go by.
The recently refurbished Hermitage.
It was sunny most of the time giving use these long crisscrossed shadows.
We stopped to use the washroom at the Trail Centre which also had info on the area and the Bruce Trail.
From there it wasn't much further to the car.
Drove back to get my car and then to Serenity Ranch B and B (we stayed there last time we hiked the Hamilton section) for a hot shower then off to St Catherines for dinner with Mum and Dad at Cafe Amore (great Italian food). We deserved it; just over 12kms, 22,000+ steps.