Monday, September 12, 2016

Getting to Know Our Area

I thought I’d take the time to share a few things with you around our area that we are enjoying this summer. Get ready for a ride!

Farmers: the field behind us was filled with grain so watching the process from July to date has been interesting. There is a conglomeration of farms owned by the same ‘farmer’ responsible for over 35,000 acres in this West Grey area. Funny story about this is that he has so many fields that when he 'misplaced' a piece of equipment, he had to hire a helicopter to fly overhead to search for it.

Resting overnight

Bales of straw

So, this explains the large farm machinery we’ve seen in and out of the fields, back and forth on North Line in front of us. We missed the ploughing and planting but have witnessed the harvesting and baling.

Turbines: even though this is a sore spot for a lot of people, neighbours to our north have been quite verbal about it, although not to us, we enjoy watching them. They are huge, fairly close and never a problem for us.
 It is of interest to us to watch them turn to catch the breeze and the speed of the blades on any given day.

Neighbours: we haven’t met too many but when one drives through the grain field with his pick up because it isn't licensed and climbs over your fence to ask to borrow your cell phone, the opportunity arises. Lordy oh Lordy!

We have  Don and Cheryl to our left, southwest of us and they have a lovely cottage style home built for living strictly off the grid, no hydro. 
They understand our full-time living completely, since they live with genny and solar power and only have what they need in their 800 sq. ft home. Unique story in that the hound dog, Ellie May, came with the house when they bought 2 years ago. Thankfully for E.M. they accepted the deal rather than have her put down. She is old, has some health issues but wanders over to say hello a couple of times a week. Bill and I greet her, refraining from petting or feeding so as not to encourage her to stay. Clemson tolerates her, she is a gentle soul.

To the right of us, is a large two storey home with a family whom we’ve made acquaintance with only briefly. The husband here is a building inspector so perhaps a good person to get to know just in case........They have an enticing above ground swimming pool which we can see too easily especially on those hot humid days and a friendly dog, Cooper.
Cooper from the next property

Back to Ivan, the fence climber. He is an interesting fellow with lots of stories about the property we live on and the former owner, cedar rail fence etc. Ivan, aka Mitch aka Elvis makes you wonder what the real story is behind the names but he made for a fun 45 minute conversation and lives in what he calls ‘the house of many colours’.
The house of many colours
Elvis may not be good at building houses
but apparently he is a great auto body man!
(and singer, maybe?)
We’ve met one other neighbor from further down North Line to the southwest and this one was through Kijiji. If you’ve read Bill’s blog post you’ve read that I found his Cub Cadet riding mower for him. Turned out Frank lived on our road so we found him easily. The entry to his placed likened Bill to the movie Deliverance, which we now chuckle over. You pull in and have to stop under a very closed in swatch of trees on each side because there is an iron gate preventing entry. Signs all over: No Trespassing, STOP honk for assistance, Beware of Dog and our favourite ‘Due to the high cost of ammunition, there will be no warning shot’. Would you get out of the car? 
Because we had called ahead, we ventured out, leaving Clemson to guard the car. How deceiving it all was! What a beautiful spot Frank has, not in the ‘citified’ and ‘rich’ sense of the word, but in a 'comfortable country, do what I want living' sort of way. Three or four cabins, varying in size appear as you walk beyond the gate, a couple of fifth wheels where friends and/or family reside or visit and an absolutely gorgeous property. 93 acres in total. He actually hosted the huge Poker Run in August. Terrific guy with a wonderful sense of humour, we liked him immediately, even with the terrifying greetings at the gate!

Our last known neighbor is family. Donna and Gerry, my sister 
and her husband,

Occasionally we trip into Durham for their yummy fish and chips

our landlords live 3 concessions over, about 5 minutes away. We are back and forth fairly often, sharing campfires, helping each other with projects or just plain sitting around for drinks. Their drilled well supplies us with our fresh water when we need it. Free and fast! I buy bottled water for travelling but this water is great for Clemson and I to drink. It is nice to be so close yet not on each other’s door step. You can’t choose your family so we are very lucky we get along so well.

Traffic: our road is pretty quiet although because it is gravel, every vehicle back and forth sounds like it is coming up our driveway. Cars, trucks, gravel trucks, garbage trucks, graders, FedEx, Stanley Tool vans, mail trucks, farm machinery, now school buses and even 4 wheelers. Oh my!  Entertaining, yes.

Cattle Drives: yes, these are frequent on Edgehill Rd. just one concession over from us.  A nifty sign can be seen at each end of the road to inform/warn drivers of a 9:00 am drive as well as another one at 4:30 pm.

Moving from north to south, it's a family affair

The farmer'sson suggested we close our windows so
the cows couldn't get in! 

Settled in the south field
 Luckily, yes since we are retired we timed it right by accident, we were able to witness one first hand. If I’m ever bored, I know where and when to go to watch the farmer and his hands move his cattle from one field to another across the road.

Birds, Chipmunks and Clemson: my interest for winged creatures has certainly been piqued living here. Bill has a great ‘hawk’-eye too and when he sees a large bird or heron he is quick to advise me so I can dash into the Suite and grab my Canon with 300mm zoom. Provided I am quick enough, this provides me with many consecutive snaps until I am satisfied. The birds don’t always co-operate and sometimes as I creep down the driveway they know I’m coming and just as I spot the heron standing in the drying waterbed, he spots me too and takes off.

The chipmunks are a daily sighting, they love our cedar rail fencing all around the property, and I’m sure this isn’t all business for them. I believe they love the adventure as they often stop and look at us, almost in a dare. Clemson doesn’t always see “Chippee”, good thing or he’d probably scare the little gapher away for good! Once in a while he sees him and gives chase. Comical to watch, for an ole guy at 12 yrs. old, Clemmy can run when he wants to.

Speaking of our mutt, he loves this home, inside and out. He spends 90% of his day outside, if we do, and he loves to wander and explore the property. He hasn’t ventured beyond the coral yet but sure loves to run in the open field with me. 

Clemson also knows how to rest and relax with the best of them. Give him a pillow, soft grass or piece of our discarded clothing and he is content.
 From a sunny spot to a shady one, breeze to no breeze he moves for his own benefit.

Welbeck Sawmill: this is our favourite wood depot. Nestled in the woods on a country road, aptly named Welbeck Road, is this Home Hardware franchise. It reminds me of the trip out west we took in 2011. In South Dakota we passed sign upon sign along the interstate “The Wall”, “Don’t forget to Visit the Wall” etc. If you’ve been that way, you know what I mean. 

Anyway, from miles away there are white signs “Welbeck Sawmill ” on many corners, in town and out in country. The first time we drove it, it seemed to be waayy out of the way and doubted we would return. However, we’re glad we did. Bonnie, Neil and Steve are the owners and treat you like family. Most of our wood products, screws, hinges etc. came from this business.

I think that sums up things we’ve experienced this summer, our first one at The Ridge. I’m sure there will be more treats and treasures in the years to come!

Thank you for following along, feel free to leave a comment.


  1. There is really nothing quite as nice and relaxing as country living and wide open spaces. Glad you are enjoying it and had a wonderful first summer there.
    Soon you be on the road heading south.

    1. My ex husband was very musically talented and we wrote a song entitled "Country Living" which my Dad loved. I think of it again now with pride, it sums it up nicely!