Archive for August 16th, 2010

At the end of a hot summer day, it’s nice to take a picnic supper or pick up a take-out meal and head down by the St. Lawrence river at the Prescott harbour. No matter how hot the day, there always seems to be a cool, comfortable breeze blowing in off the water.

The town of Prescott is located on the St. Lawrence River about 40 miles from Lake Ontario. Down by the harbour, there’s just enough activity to add interest without being crowded. You can enjoy some people-watching and admire the boats while you eat.

There are always a few opportunistic gulls hoping for a handout.

After supper, you can head over to the Inner Harbour Lighthouse. The 40-foot replica lighthouse was built in 1989 by the Rotary Club of Prescott.

You can climb the interior stairs to the top of the lighthouse and see the lantern and fifth order lens up close. The lens and related devices were used in the training of lightkeepers at the Prescott Dominion Lighthouse Depot (DLD), which operated from 1903 to 1962, when the facility was taken over by the Canadian Coast Guard (CCG) . The lantern is the one that was on top of the old DLD building. Back in its day, the DLD was the biggest supplier of lighthouse equipment in Canada.

The lighthouse offers a good view of the river. That’s Ogdensburg, New York that you can see across the water.

We could see a Tall Ship docked just up the river.

After picking up a cone in the Lighthouse Ice Cream Shoppe, we walked over to see the ship.

The Fair Jeanne was built by Captain Thomas Fuller between 1979 and 1982, on the Ottawa River. The 110-foot Brigantine sailed the oceans of the world as a private yacht before being leased to the not-for-profit youth charity Bytown Brigantine as a sail training ship.

In the last 15 years, the ship has logged over 150,000 nautical miles (280,000 kilometres). Now, Fair Jeanne sails mostly on the Great Lakes, particularly Lake Ontario. Below is a photograph from Wikipedia that shows the ship with her 4500 square feet of sails comprising 10 sails in a brigantine rig.

After viewing the ship we walked back to the car and headed for home. It’s a pleasant spot to spend a summer evening.

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Down the Garden Path

During the dog days of summer, when temperatures soared and humidity was sky high, I took a break from garden work. However, there comes a time when the gardener must return once more into the breach and take up arms against the weeds. In particular, I had roughed in a path through a section of the garden with a view to finishing it with gravel.

In the end, I decided just to lay down wood shavings, at least for this year. I have used shavings in the past and have found this approach is quite effective in keeping down weeds. The shavings soon pack down and form a well-compacted, natural-looking surface.

I dug out the crop of weeds that had taken over the dirt path and layed down the shavings. The opposite side of the yard has a rough former-border-gone-wild waiting for a similar treatment.

Meanwhile, I laid out a new bed and began removing sod with an eye toward having it ready to plant next spring. One of the great things about gardening is the way it extends your life. Every hour working out in the hot sun feels like five! But the results are very satisfying.

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