Thursday, May 30, 2013

The Iris Are In

McGarvey Iris
Not to much happening with the trailer - I have decided my leak last weekend was due to a slightly opened window combined with driving in the rain.  We had a pretty serious storm yesterday (1.6" in an hour) and everything was dry.

Plans are still on for leaving for Nova Scotia around the 14th of June.  The only thing that could hold it up is the crew painting & carpeting 3 rooms, but they promise they will be done by then.

My iris are in their glory.  I'm surprised they are still alive - I have been away for two years worth of weeding & the bed is a mess.  I grow a couple of types - the one in the photo above & below was developed by a colleague at SUNY Oswego, William G. McGarvey.  He was a well known iris hybridizer specializing in Siberian Irises. This variety is very prolific as well as tall & majestic.
McGarvey Iris

McGarvey Beardless Iris

While the McGarvey are my favorites, I also have a bunch developed by Laura Brinton for who I gardened while in high school. I spent many hours working on her gardens & her estate, much of which became the Brinton Brook Sanctuary.

Laura Brinton Bearded Iris
While not as impressive as the McGarvey variety, a field of them is beautiful:

Bearded Iris
Far less impressive, but far more practical - my blueberry bushes are also in bloom.  While everyone is having problems with a lack of bees, it looks like they are getting pollinated - hoping for a big crop later in the summer.

Till next time - 

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Going Home

Wolfe Island to USA Ferry
I left fairly early (9:00AM) for the trip back to Oswego.  While many of the group were still catching some "Zzzs", there were a few that were packing up.  Some photos of them here.

The trip home was interesting.  As anyone who reads this blog knows, I really don't like driving on interstates.  Since I prefer to crawl along at 57MPH tops, I feel like I'm standing still.  On top of that, interstates are boring!  So, when leaving Oswego I set the Garmin GPS to "avoid" highways (it doesn't have a "avoid interstate" setting).  As usual, it did strange things - it did avoid I81 (except to get across the St Lawrence River into Canada) and let me go up Route 3 (the Seaway Trail), but somehow doesn't consider Canada's 401 to be a highway.

Then again, it might.  I say that because it routed me on Canada's 401, which is an interstate (well, I guess technically an interprovience) almost all the way to the campground, but when I stopped at an ONroute (Canada's name for a Travel Plaza) for a bathroom break, without recalculating, Matilda (My GPS) changed the route, had me get off the 401 at the next exit & on to route 2, a much more enjoyable road that parallels it.

Even more interesting, on the way home it decided to stick with RT 2 almost all the way back with only a 10 K stint on the 401, after which, routed me through the city of Kingston.  Now, if it had any sense at all, why wouldn't it have used the 401 to route me around Kingston, a city with a population of 115,000 instead of through it? I will never understand GPS routing! It even routed me across Wolfe Island on a pair of ferries, something I haven't done since 2004, then without a trailer, rather than back across the Thousand Islands Bridge it used to get me to Canada 2 days earlier.

The ferries were interesting.  Onto the island is free, and a reasonably sized boat:

Between the island & the US, it is a private ferry that cost $20.00 & if my trailer was a foot longer, would not have fit, at least the way they had me park.  The front of the RAV4 hung off the port side of the departure ramp & the rear bumper of the trailer hung off the starboard ramp:

There wasn't enough room to take a picture of the full length of both the trailer & RAV4, but they sure filled the boat! The photo at the top of today's post shows the trailer & RAV4 taking up the entire width of the ferry.

After going through customs, I decided to drive out to Tibbetts Point Lighthouse in Cape Vincent. It is an interesting drive on County Rt 6.  The road keeps getting narrower and narrower, had "Dead End" signs every 1000' or so, and to top it off, an auction is going on that has cars parked on both sides.  While I did manage to weave through cars, If I had to back up through them, it wouldn't have been possible.  Eventually, I got to the end & found the lighthouse.  Even better, rather than having to do a "K" turn with the trailer, they had a loop through the parking lot to get me turned around.  

Tibbetts Point Lighthouse
The rest of the trip back to Oswego was a relaxing, non interstate drive.  So, I unpacked some of the trailer (since I'm heading for Nova Scotia in two weeks, I'm leaving as much as possible in the trailer), ordered out Chinese, and, after posting this last update, will hit the sack early!

Till next time -

EggFest Ontario, Saturday

Sparkers around the Campfire!
Saturday was bright & sunny, although still on the cool side.  Lots of activities all day long as well as time to relax and read my book.  Rather than a "Pot Luck" dinner, we had a bring your own dinner at the pavilion. It worked out well - I brought a spaghetti and chicken parmesan meal that, I have to admit, came from the freezer & Boston Market.  It is about the only one of their frozen dinners that I like.  Of course, if it had been a pot luck, I would have made a blueberry pie.

After dinner donated door prizes were handed out.  Even though my number was #1, it was picked towards the end & the choices left were getting kind of thin; I now have a lobster pin that I'll add to my type box display in the living room. I do have to get to work on adding stuff from the last two trips to the type box - most of it is still in plastic sandwich bags.  I need more rainy days! After that the prize for the most correct guesses for matching baby pictures was awarded, and finally, the 50 50 raffle.

The final event of the evening was gathering around a campfire for talk, singing, marshmallows, and sparklers. Photos from the day's events are here.

Till Next Time -

EggFest Ontario 2013 - Friday

EggFest Ontario 2013
Well, as I suspected, I didn't have an internet connection over the weekend, so I'm doing the posts now that I'm back in Oswego.

The trip to Ontario was mostly in the rain, which got lighter as I went.  Still, heavy enough that some leaked through the passenger side rear window of the trailer & soaked a corner of the bed (at least I hope the leak was from the window & not my new taillights!)

By the time I reached the Cobourg East Campground, the rain had stopped.  I have a link to some photos of the day's events here. I did get to the pavilion to take a couple of photos, but I spared the rest of the campers by not staying for the sing!

While it only got down to around 40°F Friday night, it somehow felt much colder.  I ended up getting out the electric heater & warming the trailer up to 62F before I felt comfortable, even under a pair of blankets.  I was a little concerned about running the heater since I was sharing the 30 amp service with another trailer, but, because my Pelonis heater drops the wattage as the trailer heats up, I never drew more than 15 amps, and once it was warm, only 5 amps, including 1.5 amp for the refrigerator.

Til next time -

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Heading to EggFest Ontario 2013

Canada Geese & Goslings

I stopped by the Sterling Nature Center to photograph the Great Blue Herons that nest there, however the only useful image I managed to take was of some geese on the pond.  Enough of the the trees in the heron rookery have fallen over each winter that there are nowhere near the number of nests or heron as in the past. They are also nesting in trees much further from the viewing platform.  I suspect they are adjusting to the number of visitors that stop by & nest towards the back of the swamp.

Anyhow, I spent much of today packing the trailer for the first outing.  I'm heading to EggFest Ontario this weekend.  I'm not at all used to packing for 2-3 days - I have far too much stuff!  I'll have to call it practice for packing for my trip to Nova Scotia in June, although even that will be a short trip (about a month) compared to the last two.  I did hear from a couple of friends that will be joining me during the Nova Scotia trip, one couple coming all the way from Colorado.  They have a camp in Fairhaven, NY & usually spend part of their summer on the bay.

Depending on the available internet connections over WiFi, I'll either post during the weekend, or have to wait until I get back to Oswego.  I still have not found a reasonable way to post using my cell data connections while in Canada, although I sure would like to before the Nova Scotia trip.

Till next time -