Tuesday, June 19, 2012
A NEW WORLD BLOG FROM GRANDMA'S SISTER
I have a guest blogger this time - my sister Katy who lives in Canada. Could there be two more different places in which to live? Canada and Corfu Greece. Considering we started off as 'Essex girls', never dreaming our lives would eventually take us so far apart.
With great pleasure, I give you a new blog from CountyKate. who writes as follows:
COUNTYKATE AT LARGE IN CANADA
Most people have an image of Canada as a vast country, on a grand scale - The Rockies, Niagara Falls, The Great Lakes, endless plains, primeval forest, but also cosmopolitan cities, teeming with life.
Many parts of Canada remain under-populated, wild and even unexplored. But, you must consider that Up North, we have glaciers and polar bears, whilst here in Ontario where I live, I feed hummingbirds in my garden in the summer months.
And then there are the truly rural, largely passed-by, intimate landscapes of places such as where I live.
Prince Edward County. It is part of Ontario, between Toronto and Kingston, and is an 'isthmus', jutting out into Lake Ontario. We are a special place; special because it is small, originally populated by Native Indians, such as Iroquois and Algonquin tribes. They mainly resided peacefully along the shoreline, hunting and trapping for bartering purposes, fishing and living quietly, oblivious to the coming invasion of European settlers.
The Europeans began arriving in the mid 1700's; French, German and Dutch, along with many Scottish, fleeing the Jacobite Rebellions. Their descendants are still here, and small crossroads, once little hubs of activity, still bear their names, though all sign of them has gone, names such as Doxsee, Onderdonk, Bongard, Ostrander.
The 'Katmobile' - 1987 Chrysler Fifth Avenue
I took a rural drive today, in my classic car, one of my favourite activities. I left the small main town of Picton, bustling for now with summer tourists, here for the antiques, art and wineries. I took the winding road east, still on the County, past houses built by the wealthy Americans, who came here in the 19th century. Some are mansions, like Claramount, a bit of a 'Tara', in colonial revival style with white pillars and yellow woodwork. It was built as a summer'cottage' for a businessman and his two daughters, and named after his wife Clara, but now is a hotel and spa.
Onward past Victorian houses, with their wraparound porches and formal gardens, many going to the water’s edge of Picton Inlet and harbour. Once the harbour was full of three-masted sailing ships, carrying grain, canned goods, and passengers.
Typical Victorian house
As I carried on, the inlet on my left, I drove through the hamlet of Lake on the Mountain. This lake is supposedly bottomless, mysterious and haunted! Haunted, so folklore says, by an Indian princess, who waited in vain for her lover to arrive, and drowned herself in its dark depths. Or, it could be a meteor crater!
Lake on the Mountain
Shores of the lake
But the road goes on, past farms and barns, low vegetation as we are on shale beds here, not conducive to deep roots.
On my left I had wonderful views of Adolphus Reach, the continuation of Picton Inlet, rippling its way towards the open water of Lake Ontario.
Eventually I came to Prinyers Cove, an inlet of water dotted now with yachts, houseboats, dinghies, and with a small marina. Prinyers Cove was originally called Grog Cove, probably a safe port of call for the County's Rum Runners, but later, when a small group of Scottish refugees arrived, in about 1780, it became McConnell’s Cove. They settled, became prosperous farmers, but the lineage died out, and the cove acquired the name of Prinyer’s.
And so I turned around, to start off home, the end of a perfect day, for dreamers and photographers.