Come for a Bike Ride in my Neighbourhood

Weather permitting, I've been starting my day with a bike ride. I'm usually out by 7:30 am, which I think is the best time. St Marys is in a valley so it's quite hilly. During my 40 minute ride, I get a good cardio workout and the best scenery. 

Hop on my handlebars and let's go!

The nature trail near my home is covered by a thick canopy of leaves and leads to... 

the Grand Trunk trail bridge which goes over the River Thames.

View on the right (north). In the distance the cows are out.

On the left (south), way over there is the Queen Street bridge (formally: Victoria Bridge). We will be riding on it a little later. The two little white spots in the water are the swans of St Marys, on loan every year from Stratford. I think we get the 'misbehaving' ones that don't get along with the others - banished to St Marys.

Looking down from the bridge, I spot a heron grooming itself.

St Marys and its surroundings are a bird lovers' paradise.

In the neighbourhood across from the bridge on Queen street West, I ride pass a little privately owned garden centre - I will come back later in the season to buy some perennials.

A portion of the old picket fence bordering the garden centre. You can't fake that finish.

At the back there is a shed painted in a lovely 'robin's egg blue'.

Coming back towards the river Thames on Robinson Street, ducks are on their way to visit John and Mary's house - Riverside B&B.

This is the Grand Trunk Trail bridge we were just on.

View of the Thames and Milt Dunnell Field.

Made my way down to the Queen Street bridge, featuring new flower boxes carefully planned, built and generously funded by several local companies and organizations under the banner of the St Marys Beautification Committee. To read more about this volunteering effort go to:
  Victoria Bridge is in Bloom

This is the view we get on the Queen street bridge, the little falls St Marys is so well known for. Can you spot the heron on the right?

Here he is, so concentrated on fishing.

Coming off the Queen Street bridge, I go over the mill race and ride on the flood wall...

and this is what I see, the beginning of Trout Creek. Many people canoe or kayak on the river and the creek.

 The path leads to Water Street Bridge, now a pedestrian bridge. Too many trucks were not obeying the weight and height limits, resulting in extensive damage. This is a precious little century old bridge and in my opinion, should remain a pedestrian bridge. Wouldn't it be lovely if the farmers, arts, crafts and flower market could set up here? To know more about the farmers market in St Marys go to:
St Marys Farmers Market

Water Street Bridge postcard circa late 1890.
Photograph courtesy of the St Marys Museum.
 This is the view we get once on the bridge.
St Marys Water Street Bridge - July 2014
Now on Water Street North just pass the bridge, we are heading back home. The Dusty Victorian is at the top of the hill, so lets get that heart pumping again - good thing you are feather light.

Almost there.

 Here we are, one last effort to bring the bike up the stairs to the side gate. Many thanks to Doug at Stonetown Cycle for making my bike road-worthy again.

We've come full circle. Hope you've enjoyed the ride.

Trails and Parks in and around St Marys

All photographs are taken by me unless otherwise mentioned.

'Fretworking' - Part III

The first porch post is complete, along with its corbels, spandrel and brackets.

But before moving to the front exterior, I finished off the inside end-sections.

 Vertical red accents.

 The rectangle sections in the spandrel are green. Wasps, flies, spiders, mosquitos, moths, etc... all came to say hello. The bugs that were evicted were not very happy, I'm sure. Even earwigs were up there - couldn't believe it.

One section done, five more to go.

'Fretworking' - Part II

 Cleaned, scrapped, sanded, primed and painted. In these shots, the colour appears greenish, but it's actually more cream.

 Inner front fretwork is done.

Here is the front corner...

looking down the length of the side porch.

I'm always amazed by the effect of fresh paint.

 It's been smooth sailing/sanding up to the last side section. There may have been some water damage at some point in the past - the arrow shows slightly warped ceiling boards. That area of the fretwork below the arrow shows very brittled paint that no longer sticks to the wood - alligatoring.

This a close-up of the area which I stripped with a heat gun. Tried with our steamer, but the remaining paint was just too thick.

Here is the end of the porch leading to the garden. Two sections to do.

Note the brackets, one with hook, one with hole, present at the top of every post except for one. I think they were meant for curtains. Just love the fact that they're still there.

The Puddicombe House in New Hamburg ON 
Wondering how the Dusty Victorian would look with curtains around its porch? Here is Puddicombe House in New Hamburg built in 1868. A much fancier version of our house. I like the effect, giving the impression of added living space. The front curtains would also shield us from the sun from 2:00 pm until sunset.