Welcome to my blog

If you enjoy finding a lot of different outlets for your creativity, then we may just be kindred spirits.
This blog is an outlet for my interest in miniatures, crochet, plastic canvas, and many other various arts and crafts.

I also love walking, taking digital photos, and most recently, have rediscovered an old love...bike riding! I purchased an amazing new bike, a comfy Townie by Electra this summer, and have been having a grand time exploring the area as though for the first time. It's like being a kid again!

If you enjoy any of these things too, pour a cup of coffee and tea, sit down, and join me.

Take care!

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Bike Ride 15, A Hungry Beaver!

I saw the cutest beaver yesterday evening at sunset! 

I was riding on Whitefish Island, which is near the Sault Locks canal.  You can see it in the map below.
My route
I had originally planned to do a different, longer bike ride, but when I drove to Fort Creek, where I wanted to hop onto the trail, I discovered my hatch wouldn't open.  My Dad banged into my trusty old Chevy Blazer with his much bigger Dodge Ram a few days ago.  He swore he didn't hit hard enough to damage it, but it turns out he had hit my spare tire and pushed in the door enough to make it so the latch on the hatch wouldn't release.  My Uncle Buck and cousin Wayne fixed it.  Wayne had to attach a chain from my truck to his tow thing, and I had to sit in my truck, pushing on the brakes while he gave it a few yanks with his truck. Good thing I had my seatbelt on or my head would have hit the windshield!  It was uncomfortable, but it worked, and I was able to open my hatch to get my beautiful bike out.  It was too late to ride at Fort Creek so I parked at the mall and biked over to the canal, and then to Whitefish Island.

The first part of the trail was dirt with loose gravel and steep but short hills, down, up, down, up.  There were so many twists and turns and the path was so narrow that I had to get off and push several times.  When I came to a turn with a wider path, I took it and headed left.  I was trying to get onto the circle that would do a circuit of the island but somehow missed it and ended up following a path that led to several wooden bridges over a swamp or marsh.  It went right under the International Bridge.

My bike on a bridge on Whitefish Island

Under the International Bridge
 I took a smaller path, to the right, and rode under the bridge into a field of flowers.  The path was going away from the open water and back to the canal though, so I turned around and went back to the fork and headed left instead, toward the rapids.
Rapids under the International Bridge
 I rode as far as I could, but then the path became impassible by bike so I stopped for a short breather and took loads of photos.
St. Mary's River
 The water was very high and I always worry about getting stuck in a flood zone if they let too much water through (it happened once but was nice because it was a hot day and the knee high water was cool, lol).
My bike at the end of the path
 The photo above shows where I had to stop.  There were too many boulders and rocks along the shore line for me to take the bike further. Right after I took this photo, my front basket came loose. I'd been carrying a cooler bag with one frozen bottle of water, one half frozen bottle of water, and one non frozen bottle of water inside, and the weight was too much for the little shower curtain holders that I was using to attach the basket to the bike handles.  Luckily I have a sturdier basket at the back of the bike, on the rear rack,  so I just put the cooler there instead. 
 I headed back the way I'd come, and paused to take photos of the swamp/marsh and it's cute inhabitants.
Cute ducks!
The ducks were very sweet and curious, and they all swam up to me hoping I had treats for them.  Sadly, I did not.  Next time I'll have to bring some bird seeds.
Bridge over swamp/marsh
 The long bridge over the wetlands area was so cool.  The water was high, right up to the bottom of the bridge, and I stopped often to watch the ducks and beavers.
Coral Townie by Electra
 My bike has taken me to so many pretty places, but I think this is the prettiest so far.  I love my bike!
Geese flying
 Sunset brought a slight cooling of the air, thank God .We've been having the hottest summer on record; almost every day is between 90-100 F with the humidity...something we are not used to in Northern Ontario,  Canada.  Normally 80 F is perceived of as very hot, but now it actually feels cool to me when it "drops" to 80.  It felt so nice that I stood here for awhile, enjoying the scenery, the geese and ducks and beaver and the absence of mosquitoes.  Usually a swampy area has tons of mosquitoes but this area was free of the pests; maybe because the ducks eat all of the larvae?  I don't know why it they weren't buzzing around, but it was lovely to be bite free.

 This one beaver lay there floating and eating the water plants for about half an hour.  It was so comical to watch him or her stuff his or her face with both little human-like hands. I had to use zoom to get these photos; the video at the start of this blog entry shows the little guy a lot better.
Sunset over the bridge
 The sunset was lovely, and when I left the marshy area for the clear water at the end of the (flooded) bridge, a flock of ducks swam over to greet me, and then quacked loudly because I had no food for them.
Curious ducks
 You can see from their wake that they made a beeline to me from across the pond.  So cute!
Hungry ducks
 When the realized I had no treats for them, most of the ducks swam back across the pond, but some decided to take a walk on the bridge, lol.
Ducks on a bridge
They were so cute and comical. I love how they shake their tail feathers when they walk.

Soo Locks Canal at sunset
 The last hilly bit of Whitefish Island almost did me in and I had to sit by the locks for a bit to recover from an asthma attack. It's my own fault; I shouldn't have tried to ride the bike up a very steep but short hill. It was too much for my lungs to cope with, especially on such a hot and humid evening.  After I could breathe again I walked across the canal on the little swinging bridge they have set up, and biked back to the hub trail near the mall.
Boardwalk near Station Mall, at night
I sat and admired the view and the bit of breeze coming off the river for a few minutes and then rode my bike back to my truck.  I passed my parents along the way (they walk along the boardwalk almost every night), and my Dad told me he has a tire shaped dent in the back of his truck, from hitting mine.  Oops.  Maybe next time he'll look before backing into the driveway.  Thankfully nobody was hurt, and neither vehicle was badly damaged.

I couldn't go for a bike ride today because it poured rain all day. I'm not complaining though; we so needed the rain. Maybe I can take the bike out tomorrow.  I want to try the Fort Creek portion of the hub trail.

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