Sunday, July 23, 2017

Gord's Hop Farm 7.

The First Hop Flowers.

[Photo: Gord's Hop Farm, July 22]

I visit a Mount Salem hop farm occasionally while motorcycling toward Port Bruce, and on July 16 hop flowers could be seen. Earlier than mine.

Photos from Hayhoe's hop farm, 2 miles south of Mt. Salem:

June 11 -



July 16 -





I believe my hops are healthy as well, not as tall as Hayhoe's due to my short and wide lattice, but my vines are longer than last year, I believe. I did not notice flowers on my vines until yesterday, and in a week or two we will have quite the show on the back deck.

Photos from Gord's Hop Farm, one-quarter mile southwest of downtown Wortley Village : )

June 9 - 


July 17 - 


My neighbours' shared fence, last fence over, is covered too.

Yesterday, July 22 - 


Flowers to follow.

Please link to Gord's Hop Farm 6.

Photos GH

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Birds, Pt. Bruce and Berries 4.

A Few Surprises!

[Photo: Old-timer on tractor waved to old-timer on motorcycle]

Crossley-Hunter bridge was dead silent until a small tractor rolled by. Few swallows were in the air, and - I was quite surprised - none were under the bridge as in past weeks. I asked myself, have they flown the coop while thinking about brood number two?

I tasted a few small purple berries before returning to my motorcycle. They were indeed elderberries, but the bush did not appear very healthy. Other healthier bushes nearby, which I reckoned were elderberries too, tasted bitter. Not elderberries, for certain.  (My earlier forecasts of a bumper crop do not now include these Crossley-Hunter bushes!) Maybe currants?

I stopped at a couple of other elderberry sites on my way to Pt. Bruce, and my prediction of a "great season for elderberry pies" still stands.

Photos from along the way:





Elderberries, asparagus are between Menno Mex and Luton : )

Lone songster at Crossley-Hunter bridge.






In spite of a few surprises and one regret (I did not take a swimsuit and the water looked and felt lovely), I'll be back on the bike next week, when good weather allows.


Photos GH

Friday, July 21, 2017

Trumpet Vines

More Red and Greenery


Out here on the hop farm, right beside the hop vines that take over the back deck, are trumpet vines - all in a tangle - growing on a shared fence.

I can't look at them without thinking of the trumpet section of a colourful orchestra, bedecked in red. And for some reason I think of Mick Jagger and The Rolling Stones lips logo.




Toot!

Please link to Pssst. Wanna TOP Secret?

Photos GH

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Pssst. Wanna TOP Secret?

Rare Maps for Sale.

[Photo: They ain't ready yet. But soon.]

Undoubtedly.

This year will be a boom year for those who love elderberry pies (or wine, elixir, jams, and jelly) as much as I do. Double undoubtedly.

While touring on my motorcycle in late June and July, I noticed elderberry plants in bloom in many familiar and unfamiliar locations between London and.... Shhhhh. TOP Secret.

That said, I can't possibly harvest or eat them all - though I'd like to - so, for one time only, I am willing to sell nicely detailed maps to 7 of the 8 patches* that I have found. But, for BIG bucks, 'cause I know how much some people love, just looove elderberries.

"Oh, where could this possibly be?" (Price negotiable)

More enticing photos from who knows where**:


"You'd better act sooon!"

*Map to #8, The Mother Lode, is mine, all mine. (As Lucy used to say, "All I want is my fair share. All I want is what's rightfully mine.")

**I know where : )

For a small clue, please link to Gord's Hop Farm 6.

Rare Photos by GH

Gord's Hop Farm 6.

Just in Time!

Vines are following twine across the gap between lattices.

Hop vines grow before your eyes. I don't know how high or wide they grow in a season but I thought, last week, after noticing mine wanted to grow higher and wider than my first lattice, and along a twine highway I'd attached to the house.

Yesterday I closed the gap between 'first lattice ' and 'second' with a highway of cedar, and though I don't think the hops will fill the second lattice this year, they might next year, after I move a few root balls here and there.

 Four-foot gap is now spanned by a cedar bridge

 Will several vines play "follow the leader?"

 The vines are already more than 20 feet long.

 Hop vines near Port Bruce are already in flower. Not mine.

Not hops. Elderberry bushes are fruiting, also near Port Bruce. 

More views to follow of ripening hops and elderberries.

Please link to Gord's Hop Farm 5.

Monday, July 17, 2017

Birds, Pt. Bruce and Berries 3.


I spotted sailboats on calm waters yesterday soon after rounding the bend in the beach road. I parked my bike, walked to the pier and watched sailors bring one home. 


Faint clouds on the horizon and soft tones in the water served as nature's palette.

More photos from along the way on Sunday:

 Welcome to Port Bruce, south of Aylmer.

 Gulls rest while swallows dart here and there.


 Elderberries not ready for pies.

 Mud nests may soon hold a second brood of young swallows.



Hop plants are in flower, south of Mount Salem.



Photos GH

Saturday, July 15, 2017

Gord's Hop Farm 5.

Heading North.

[Photo: Hop vines crossing the gap.]

Earlier this summer I built cedar lattice just in time for hop vines to take over the back deck. Those vigorous vines now fill most of the lattice, and some vines are heading north, across the gap, via two pieces of twine.

Note to self: Build more lattice. Quick!

Trumpet vines are booming on a fence shared with neighbours too.


More to follow as vines take over.

Please link to Gord's Hop Farm 4.

Photos GH