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"Canadian country lanes..."

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How can I explain…Canadian country lanes?
Where, elsewhere, lanes are short…
In Canada…they’re not!

A friend expressed the thought that it would be interesting to her, if I could do a walking blog of “Canadian country lanes”… but, I’m thinking, can I walk that far and still make it back for breakfast tomorrow?

Well….I can take a toddle down the road between my house and the neighbour’s…and there’s sure to be something interesting to show and tell? Well maybe.

I’m going to back date this blog slightly as I missed blogging in June… June is always a gorgeous month here in Eastern Ontario. Veggie gardens planted in late May, will have peas aplenty, cucumber vines twining, tomatoes, blooming in their cages, and a first crop of mesclun for the salad bowl, and breakfast radishes…yum.
In the wild…on the verges of the highways and roads…the show is starting. Please excuse me, but I get started on “wildflowers” and can’t find an ending point.
On forest margins, Joe Pye, matteuccia (Ostrich fern) Thalictrum, Pteridium (Bracken Fern), Baneberry (White and Red), Rubus, Osmunda, naturalized Virginia Creeper, wild Columbine and Blue Cohosh (Caulophyllum Thalictroides) grow and blossom and self seed the next generation…
By, or in, the streams and ponds; white waterlilies, wild arum, sedges (Carex sp.), Joe Pye, sensitive fern (Onociea sensibilis), Mentha arvensis, and Thalictrum, White Sorrel, herb robert, clematis, viburnum, salix, sharp grasses, bullrushes and saggitaria are now growing. Visible, if not flowering or in seed.
On the roadsides and sandy dry areas grows Viper’s Bugloss, Mellitilot, sorrel, chicory, ragweed (with it’s irritating pollen); wild daisies, Blackeyed Susan (Rudbeckia), Orange and yellow hawkweed (hieracium), heal all (Prunella vulgaris), Anemones, Ladies’ bedstraw, and briar roses with shining red hips.
In the meadows; Milkweed (Asclepias) smells sweet and attracts butterflies, more viper’s bugloss, flax, yarrow, alfalfa, mullein, rudbeckia, feather grasses, clovers and mustards, timothy hay, allysum, plantain, buttercups, chicory and cinqfoil, oxalis, and sheep sorrel are all weathering a dry spell. Direct sun and more or less constant wind have made the end of June and the beginning of July a challenge to gardeners here so it must be stressful for the “wild” bunch.

The lanes here in EO…are hilly and twisty and gorgeously scenic…little lakes and pocket swamps fill the areas in between the granite ridges clothed in hardwoods (maple and oak) and in areas which have been recently logged (within the last 50 yrs)…there are the reclaimers…aspens, ash, white birch, ironwood, pine, as well as the mature specimens of trees too small to be taken 50 years ago…now grown tall and stately. These are hemlocks (fir), balsam (also fir), white pine, white and golden birch, and cedar.
The largest river in our area is the Madawaska River. It has been deepened and expanded by damming the river for hydro-electric purposes. In the autumn the water level usually recedes when the dams are opened and the river allowed to take a lower bed. (That way, docks and bridge pilings are safe from the battering of ice in spring when runoff is high and water levels naturally higher.)
The soil, here, is sandy and, in places, it covers the bedrock more thinly than farther down into the Ottawa River Valley. The drainage is excellent and there is plenty of gravel and stone. Making gardens and retaining walls is not a challenge because the area is largely rock! When the glaciers receded they left huge pockets of sand and boulders, and just to the south of us there are eskers and moraines. Need gravel and sand?…no problem! Years of weathering have produced a topsoil which is mildly acidic and when combined with extra organic matter it produces one of the best growing mediums I’ve seen.
On the tops of the rock ridges there are oaks which are ancient…simply because the terrain didn’t lend itself to logging! I’ve found rocks with garnet, amethyst and quartz crystals…(it’s a garden of minerals too!) The mineral which is most common locally in amounts sufficient to mine, is graphite and to the south and east of us, there is uranium. Since it’s discovery there has been an ongoing debate about it’s exploitation. The NIMBY principle. (Not-In-My-Backyard)
I may have given the impression that we are on a rocky hill…. the actual truth is that the farms here on top of this rocky hill are fertile and productive. Although it is vanishing just about everywhere else, the family farm still exists here. Sad that it is now an alternative lifestyle, of a challenging sort. :-/ Most of my neighbours have jobs in town..as well as the farm. It’s a hard life and they need lots of children to continue the work when they have aged and can no longer “cut the mustard” ;-)
I had to include some pictures taken earlier than June to show the beginnings of the stream grasses (carex) and the stream near the road. (for illustrative purposes only…proof that I have more pictures than I know what to do with!) lol….


There are always times of strange light patterns and glows and mists that I’ve tried to capture…with only a modicum of success.

In the above the meadow is in deep shadow…the house stands out because it’s white…and the swirl of cloud around the declining sun caught my eye. It’s the time of day…and the time of my life.

More blog posts by lorilyn57

Previous post: _*The Meadow*_

Next post: Water, water everywhere....



Comments

 

Super blog, Lorilyn, I really enjoyed your country lane. Thanks for showing it.

10 Jul, 2012

 

most welcome, B. thanks for reading it.

10 Jul, 2012

 

We are blessed Lori to be living in such a great country! Loved the 'walk' ;))

10 Jul, 2012

 

Thanks Snoop :) I'll let Lori answer your question :)

10 Jul, 2012

 

Great blog Lori, you live in a beautiful area. Must disagree with your description though,I'm sorry but that is a road not a lane. A lane is a bit of tarmac (if your lucky) you can just about drive a tractor down, lol. Thats far to wide to be a lane :)))

10 Jul, 2012

 

Well these are Canadian lanes, Sam... should see our highways, they're positively Texan~ LOL.... Thanks!
Thanks Snoop...yes, twice a day usually...morning and night... usually singing..."When I'm calling youuuuuu....", ;-) big wink your way!
Hi Lil... every morning when I walk out for my first breath of fresh air ...I smile and bask in the sun on my face, and try to quit grinning. Life is good. :-)

10 Jul, 2012

 

amazing blog Lori...so many similarities with Wales in your hedgerows..it always amazes me how similar our plant life is...but as Samjp says thats no lane...lol

10 Jul, 2012

 

Lovely blog Lori

10 Jul, 2012

 

wow Lori, i need a pot of tea for that and more time than i have right now.
be back soon

10 Jul, 2012

 

great blog Lori so enjoyed it and the pictures lovely, would love to visit canada one day :o)

10 Jul, 2012

 

I am always astonished at how fast everything grows there Lori...your summer is relatively short but very intense! Lovely blog. You seem so happy there and really 'at one' with your environment. Truly blessed! :D

10 Jul, 2012

 

Lol if thats what you call a lane, I dread to think what your highways are like.

10 Jul, 2012

 

Wonderful blog. So informed and full of detail. You had a good stroll too.

10 Jul, 2012

 

What do you think Lori....post a pic of the 401 thru TO for Sam?? :)

10 Jul, 2012

 

do you have a pic, Lil? What is it...20 lanes?
four for collectors, both sides...and 12 express~ 6 east and 6 west? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ontario_Highway_401

11 Jul, 2012

 

Think it's 18 or 20 lanes at the DVP approaching the 404. Will see if I can find a pic and post it for our friends :)

11 Jul, 2012

 

thanks, Lil...I found a pic on the wiki page but can't get it to copy onto the goy page...I'm hopeless.

11 Jul, 2012

 

Just posted it in a blog. An addendum to yours.

11 Jul, 2012

 

lovely blog and so good to find out something about the natural history of your countryside too. could call this blog 'poetry in motion' i can see you driving along those 'lanes' and stopping everywhere to take ur pics ....lol
i am still checking out many of the wildflowers you mentioned. we seem to have many in common.
you might have short summers but they are very profuse. nice to soak up and store away all those impressions for the the coming winter days.

11 Jul, 2012

 

Never mind your lanes and highways - what about your trains!!!! We had an RV near Lake Louise some years ago and in the middle of the night a train rumbled by .... and rumbled by .... and rumbled by ...... it seemed to take HOURS for it to pass! Lovely photos Lorilyn.

11 Jul, 2012

 

OMG i just googled highway 401.....i think i would have to use the train...lol

11 Jul, 2012

 

Great blog Lori, really enjoyed seeing and reading of your lane and the surrounding countryside.
I took my dog down a local lane last night into the meadow, your lane is wider than the main road that I crossed to enter my lane which is all of 20ft wide, a dirt track overgrown with shrubbery, now that is an english country lane, lol....

11 Jul, 2012

 

Thanks for the happy blog, Lori :) I have heard of Joe Pye Weed . . . but can't for the life of me remember its other name. Please could you help?!

11 Jul, 2012

 

It's Eupatorium perfoliatum, Sheila. Bee and butterfly magnet. :-)
Thanks Nariz: The trains, here, are an anachronism...the only major passenger carriers are "Go" Trains in southern Ontario for commuters. You might find it hard to get around the rest of the province Sandra... In the smaller towns in Central Ontario the rails have been ripped up. When we have highway systems like the spokes that radiate from Toronto (401, 404, 400, and in the eastern part of the prov. 416 and 417, and airports everywhere, the train traffic has died a slow death...
I do remember the trains in British Columbia, bringing freight and ores to the coast being a mile (no exaggeration) long...and who was the genius that timed their arrival in the wee hours??? 4 a.m. usually.
The TransContinental passenger service is for tourism only.
I think it's our obsession with speed and the distances involved.
Lincslass: wish I could have joined you on your walk. I really want to experience the English Lanes...:-)
Thanks Resi...it's true that we have many of the same plants...thanks be to GoY...
I went up into the woods this morning and took pictures of the woodland "lane"...the next blog perhaps?

11 Jul, 2012

 

Many thanks for the ID Lori ... oops, I should have known as I have two!

11 Jul, 2012

 

These came via the stream, Sheila. I didn't plant them.
Last spring a lot of silt from up the hill (piggies pen) came down stream with the runoff...it clogged up my little pond and I had to dredge it out placing the silt along the banks of the stream. The seed of the verbena was in the soil and waiting to be unearthed...I recognized the foliage when it emerged and made sure that when I cut grass in the area, that I didn't lop off the verbena. I love it...so wonderful when nature helps you out...the ligularia, I did plant. I brought it from my last garden...last summer it was pitiful and it didn't look well this spring...but have kept it weeded out and it seems to like the verbena...happily coexisting.

11 Jul, 2012

 

Lori, is your wild verbena the same as the herb verbena officionali? or verveine here.

12 Jul, 2012

 

what I have is False Vervain...or Blue Vervain growing near the pond/stream...but it's bot. name is Verbena hastata. confusing ..a bit. It's leaves are different and the colour of the flowerheads (a purplish shade) is different from the officionalis. The leaves of the VO are more deeply toothed than the VH and it's flowers are paler. I didn't include it with the pond plants...scuse the omission. In fact, I think I posted it on the wrong page..oh dear.

12 Jul, 2012

 

what I have is False Vervain...or Blue Vervain growing near the pond/stream...but it's bot. name is Verbena hastata. confusing ..a bit. It's leaves are different and the colour of the flowerheads (a purplish shade) is different from the officionalis. The leaves of the VO are more deeply toothed than the VH and it's flowers are paler. I didn't include it with the pond plants...scuse the omission. In fact, I think I posted it on my other page.

12 Jul, 2012

 

<iframe width="420" height="315" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/Yzo6Otpgj-E" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

A piece of Canadiana...I love this.

13 Jul, 2012

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