African Methodist Episcopal Church in Oro, 1849

African Methodist Episcopal Church in Oro, 1849

Originally uploaded by canuckshutterer.
“Between 1830 and 1850 some 24 Negro families who had fled from slavery in the United States to freedom in Canada were settled in Oro mostly on the concession running north of Shanty Bay, known as Wilberforce Street. In 1849, they acquired this piece of land for a burying ground and built here this African Episcopal Church. Dedicated to the memory of the Black pioneers who settled in this area.

The first settlers were soldiers of Captain Runchey’s “Company of Coloured Men” who fought the Americans in the War of 1812. The next wave of settlers were freemen from the Northern U.S. They initially settled on Wilberforce Street (Line #1), worshipped in this Church and were buried in this and nearby cemeteries.

“It is with the highest esteem we acknowledge the challenge they accepted, the contribution they made to the development of this community and their unique spirituality.”

Renovations 1947, 1956″

Text from historic plaques at the site. 

this church building is located just NE from Barrie, Ontario, Canada

photo taken with a Leica IIIf with an Elmar 5cm f3.5

winter feeding

For years we have been putting out seed for birds to feed upon in the winter. This year it was very mild into part of January then winter arrived and we have had some cold weather, down near to -20 Celsius.

Although it is seed for birds, a gang of black squirrels and one little red squirrel have been stopping by to grab some food as well. We used to see quite a few chipmunks running around the place but not so many in the past two years. I may be wrong but I think they lay up for the winter with their store of seed and other goodies of the chipmunk kind.

This year we don’t seem to have any sparrows around. Used to see a couple of varieties of them. Maybe they will turn up yet. So far it has been mainly mourning doves, chickadees, and nut hatches.

Less frequently in the past, we see blue jays and rarely a cardinal or two. That blue and that red are something to see against the snow. The special whirring sound of mourning doves taking flight is a real treat to hear.

This year the five wild kittens who we have adopted, all indoor cats except for Cadbury who tries to get outside with little success, have been spending less time watching TV and instead watch the live nature channel out the kitchen window. The bird feeder hangs from a branch stub about twenty feet from that window. I have set two old benches out closer to the window from that tree and I brush snow off them and spread seed there. I also clear off the deck railing and pour seed on it.

If I just refilled the feeder, one black squirrel would tie that up all day with his stunt feeding acrobatics. This morning I counted nine mourning doves feeding. Yesterday we set a local world record with seven black squirrels feeding at the same time.

drive-in sleeping under snow

drive-in sleeping under snow

Originally uploaded by canuckshutterer.

one of my favourite odd ball winter photographs

the drive-in screen is behind me as I take this photo….the speaker mounts have all popped their heads out of the snow looking for spring’s arrival

Alberto Manguel – two books you would enjoy

Alberto Manguel was born in Buenos Aires in 1948, was educated there, and was a friend of Jorge Luis Borges late in Borges’s life. He was raised in Israel where his father was the Argentine ambassador. In 1984 he became a Canadian citizen. Manguel is a gifted anthologist, translator, editor, and occasional novelist. He now lives in France

I just finished reading The Library at Night and felt compelled to see if my local small town library had any other books by him. Found A History of Reading on a bottom shelf, unfortunately covered in dust. I am part way through it and plan to keep searching out his books.

I have been remembering my early history of reading and sat down and made a list of libraries I have studied in or at least visited. My current library is about 3000 books. It includes some old leather bound volumes that belonged to my grandfather, Dr. William Gibson, of Kingston. These include poetry by Coleridge, novels by Stevenson. Books that I inherited from my parents include many of Rex Stout’s Nero Wolfe and Archie Goodwin mysteries. I still have a book I requested as the only gift I wanted for a birthday when I was about 12, A History of Warfare by Field Marshal Bernard Montgomery. I still have it. One book I still value very much although it is in tatters and is marked up in several colours of ink, is a paperback edition from Faber and Faber of T. S. Eliot’s Four Quartets.

If you have an interest in reading, in collecting books, in libraries, in the magic of words then by all means available, go find these two titles and enjoy them.

ice cats

observing behaviour of the fab five, wild kittens adopted back in August, they now run things….

observation: When I open the freezer door and pull out a  blue plastic ice tray and crack the tray to extract some ice, I am no longer alone in the kitchen.  First one then many kittens arrive. They may have been asleep but it does not matter.  They arrive because they are hopeful that a small ice chip will explode out of the tray when I tilt it to catch the ice and drop them into my glass. Often this happens. Then the kittens watch as the designated chip batter bats the ice chip around on the linoleum floor.

I have considered flooding the kitchen floor and putting down a miniature puck, but it has been pretty mild this winter and I don’t think the rink would hold for long.

Fr. O’Malley would be spinning

from the NY TIMES today article about financial embezzlement in Catholic parishes….

“In October alone, three large cases of embezzlement surfaced, including one in Delray Beach, Fla., where two priests spent $8.6 million on trips to Las Vegas, dental work, property taxes and other expenses over four decades.”

maybe they thought they were making a Road picture, or a new take on Going My Way

winter out of sorts

The new year seems completely wrong, the weather is all wrong….well above freezing, the lawns looking bright green. I keep feeling that I may have to start mowing again, maybe in another week.  I keep thinking how much we paid the guy with the plow on his pickup truck to plow our driveway this winter. How he is sleeping late and not buying any gasoline. I try to keep my level of resentment managed in  the dark time of the year. Sometimes I succeed.

I am sure a good blizzard snow dump will cure me.