Sunday, 31 July 2011

RoseField Farms & Sandcastles -- July 30th, 2011

One of the camera clubs I'm in arranged an outing to Rosefield Farms north of Cobourg to see some local farmers practicing ploughing with their horse teams. They enter ploughing competitions that come up later.

After the visit to the farm some of us went to Cobourg beach to look at the Sandcastle Festival that was underway.

There were about half a dozen teams of horses.

The older of the two barns on the farm.

In the barn before the work begins...

This young guy stuck at it for an hour or more.

It was hot in the sun but the horses had time to rest between furrows.

... and to share each other's shade.

This guy wasn't interested in the ploughing but he was having a good time.

The sun was harsh and the lighting made for some very contrasty shots.

Time to get out of the hot sun for a bit.

Are the fine lines just for show?

This guy was away from the action but he showed interest now & then when he heard other horses saying something. A beautiful looking horse.

"Muffin" bales are common in this area and many farmers cover them in plastic instead of putting them in the barn.

I had to go back to Cobourg anyway to pick up the 401 for the drive home, so I checked out the Sandcastle Competition on the beach there.

Crocodile & shark...

I really didn't think I'd be posting to this blog as much as I do, but it does help me to organize my pictures sooner than I probably would otherwise. And it keeps me out of mischief I suppose.

So... until next time-- which probably won't be long the way things are going. :-)

- fini -

Thursday, 28 July 2011

Butterfly Garden, Oshawa -- July 28th, 2011

I was reminded of the Butterfly Garden that the Durham Region Field Naturalists (DRFN) set up and I was asked if I would add it to my blog. The garden is on Rossland a few blocks west of Simcoe St. "in the dip", on the north side.

It was a quiet day for butterflies but I did see two... a Cabbage White and one I didn't get a close enough look at to tell what it was.

Some of the plants are signed.


There's a wide variety of flowers at the garden and it's well worth a visit. The DRFN welcomes new members.

Here's a link to their web site... 
Durham Region Field Naturalists:

- fini -


Tuesday, 26 July 2011

Parkwood Estate, Oshawa -- July 26th, 2011

We went to Parkwood today to walk the grounds-- it's only a few blocks from home but we hadn't been there in a long while.

It was the home of R. S. McLaughlin (aka Colonel Sam), who effectively started General Motors of Canada. It's a long story. Our visit got me interested again in the history of Colonel Sam & GM so a quick look on the Net found:
    1. Parkwood was built in 1916-1917.
    2. Colonel Sam died in 1972 at the age of 100.
    3. As a philanthropist, he gave away about $200 million.
    4. Many studios have used Parkwood in their films. Actors who have filmed at Parkwood include Drew Barrymore, Tom Cruise, Brad Pitt, Adam Sandler, Ben Affleck, Alan Alda, Maureen Stapleton, James Garner, Peter O'Toole, Jeremy Irons, Angela Lansbury, Jane Seymour, Shirley MacLaine, Richard Gere, Peter Fonda, Woody Harrelson, Christopher Plummer & Mike Myers to name a few.

If you can afford to give away a couple hundred million dollars, you can live in a home like this, on a property that covers a city block. Originally the property was a city park.

The sun room overlooking the grounds.

The mansion has 55 rooms, an indoor swimming pool, an indoor bowling alley and a room with a barber chair & supplies where his personal barber cut his hair.

This would be your front door. I heard stories when we first moved to Oshawa that kids trick-or-treated at the mansion on Halloween.

The reflecting pool with the Tea House at the end of it. We had iced-tea and scones today. They were served English style... "sort of" English style Jane said. They were great.

This is the opposite end of the reflecting pool to the Tea House.

Another view of the  opposite end of the reflecting pool to the Tea House. This woman yelled at me... something about "trespassing on her property". I figured it was ok to ignore her.

I've seen 100s of plaques on garden benches over the years but this is my favourite so far-- because of the last line.

Jane resting in one of her favourite spots on her property.

Some of the sculptures on the grounds... I love sculptures, especially emotional ones, like the first two.

It was good to revisit Parkwood, relax at the Tea House and see the exotic trees that Colonel Sam imported for the estate.

It's so hard trying to imagine living in a mansion like Parkwood with enough property to entertain a couple 1000 guests.

Next time we go we plan on taking the indoor tour again. It's fascinating too.

- fini -


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