Saturday, July 31, 2010

Happy Birthday Mom!

Today is my mom's birthday. My parents were at their timeshare (Carriage Hills at Horseshoe Valley) this week. My niece stayed with them the whole time. My sister Lynda and her family came for most of the time. My sister Leanne visited for a day. Connor stayed for a few days and enjoyed the activities at the Adventure Park (mini-golf, zip-lining, zorbing and tree-top trekking (I challenge you to say that 3 times fast). Victoria picked all the girls up, took them to the drive-in then brought them here for a sleep over (my mom breathed a giant sigh of relief for a quiet night). Kevin took Lynda, Mike and David to the marine railway then canoeing. They played in rapids and whirlpools and had a picnic. Tori and the girls went to the beach. We visited 2 nights. On one of those nights we surprised my mom with a birthday cake. It was lemon - her favourite. It was rather plain so I brought my cake decorating odds and ends and candles and gave the cake and decorations to the kids in the other room and told them to decorate it. They used every single decoration! What an interesting mix of baby shower, juvenile birthday, Christmas and New Years. See?

My mom was definitely surprised!


We have lived here almost 10 years and have never been to the world-famous Collingwood Elvis Festival. Mostly because we don't like crowds. This year I decided it was time to experience it so Kevin and I went for a few hours. It was just as much fun watching the Elvis fans dancing and wearing sunglasses with fake sideburns as it was listening to the impersonators. I would go again but maybe go to some of the paid events (and plan better so we can see who we want to).

Anywhere there were tribute artists wandering, fans were trying to get photographed with them. Little kids, whole families and lots of ladies waiting impatiently for their turn with the King. I have no idea what the "hair" of the impersonator on the right is made of.

This artist was quite interesting. He would strike a pose and freeze while people took his picture.

More Garden Discoveries

The picture doesn't do justice to this insect. He is actually quite golden and the red markings are very vivid (click for a better look). Unfortunately, I have no idea what it is - my best guess would be a leafhopper but I can't find any others that look like this little beauty.

This little frog was quite entertaining. He gulped and blinked and scratched the whole time we watched him. Note the impressive slime running from his neck to "hand", "paw" or whatever frogs have. Sometimes it is hard to work when there are so many entertaining things in the garden!

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Garden Tour - Keppel Croft

After visiting Larkwhistle we had a lovely buffet lunch at the historic Wiarton Inn. Yummy!

Then we headed to the second garden. It is in the rocky Keppel township - hence the name. This is a Wollen Pine. An ancient tree only recently rediscovered in Australia. It was the first time I had seen one.

Red hot poker blooms. The stems couldn't support the blooms so it looks like they are growing out of the rocks. Keppel Croft is situated on an old gravel pit and they have made good use of all the stones they dig up as they plant. They use them as mulch, paths and various other projects.

I have no idea how they did this.

A snake in the biggest pond. The pond was filled with minnows and bullfrog tadpoles. I think this is a very happy snake.

And that is it for the living things.

This garden puts huge emphasis on hardscaping or Art Installations. They really are the highlight of the gardens. The paths are well constructed and laid out and lead you to many surprises as you will see if you scroll down.
Two shots of the dry river bed. I love dry river beds.

These two projects were intense. They involved daily marking of the sun, even in the winter!

A close up of the henge - their millenium project.

And the analemmatic sundial. Each stone has a number on it from one to 12. If you stand on the month with your back to the sun, your shadow marks the time. It was about 3:30 when we were there.

A stork and it's nest.
And me.
I loved this family! I do not feel very creative after seeing this place.
This nest was at their feet.

An elegant spot to enjoy your picnic.

I just liked the colour contrast of all their bedding blowing in the breeze.

And last, but certainly not least, the "splendid" outhouse. That is what they call it. It is a composting toilet and when you were inside it was just like being in an old cottage bathroom with linoleum and wooden walls, compete with pictures. It truly was splendid - totally unexpected when you open the door.