Confessions of a Street Walker -Part 37

It is possible that you have seen a rather peculiar woman walking around the streets of Hamilton over the last six years. If you have, I hope you gave a wave…because I am she.

My walk on Monday had me wandering through Greensville. What a lovely village. I especially liked Crooks Hollow Road. I confess that Cramer Road was too steep for me to bound my way up. It felt like I was climbing Everest. And I forgot about the bugs. Yeah, not so fond of the bugs.

Crooks Hollow Road was a lovely walk along the water.
Had a lovely (safely-distanced) chat with this gentleman. He even told me his name but I confess that I cannot remember it. : (
He made my day. I really do run into the nicest people.
LOVE this tree. It has so much character.
Love the splashes of colour that keep me company at this time of year. According to Google Lens, this is Marsh Marigold.
I enjoy coming across interesting bits of history.
I can imagine that this could look spooky but the happy water babbling by was so peaceful.
I have been parking at the Greensville Library and left a couple of rocks by the front door. No one has taken them yet.

So there is only one more walk and Greensville will be done. Then it will be on to the more rural roads of Flamborough. Looking forward to it.

It is possible that you have seen a rather peculiar woman walking around the streets of Hamilton over the last six years. If you have, I hope you gave a wave…because I am she.

Confessions of a Street Walker – Part 36

It is possible that you have seen a rather peculiar woman walking around the streets of Hamilton over the last six years. If you have, I hope you gave a wave…because I am she.

Today’s walk was COLD. After our first tastes of spring and some warmer weather, we were rather shocked by a good old Canadian dumping of snow yesterday. There was not a lot of accumulation but our recently sprouted spring flowers were complaining mightily (as were the humans that enjoy them). Hopefully there was not too much damage. I had walked yesterday but it was only around the neighbourhood and not a part of my walking project. I confess that I wanted to wait until tomorrow when the weather was promising to be warmer but I bundled up again, tied up my shoes and headed out.

In Ontario, we have been shut down again. We are asked to stay at home and not interact with anyone outside of our household except for essential purposes. Thank goodness that most exercise is deemed essential. I am walking on some of the most isolated roads that the Regional Municipality of Hamilton-Wentworth has. Today I headed out to Greensville again. I am parking at the public library and I will eventually be walking east and west and north and south. I am hoping to get quite a few roads done from that one parking spot. It’s a good thing because places to leave my car are rather scarce on country roads.

Left my painted rock (a ladybug) in the Little Library on Highway 8. Compliments on this library. There were some really good choices in there. Scored the book ‘Educated’ which was on my Recommended Books list. Thank you little library.
Walked across a lake according to Google Maps.
If it hadn’t been so cold, I might have stopped to take some closer pictures of this barn. Intriguing.
Will have to drop in on this place once the government says it is safe to do so.

I managed to walk through three separate incidents of ‘snow flurries’ which, I confess, did not thrill me to bits. Looking forward to seeing the rest of the Greensville area over the next month or so.

Confessions of a Street Walker – Part 35 – Epic Walker: A Duck Story

It is possible that you have seen a rather peculiar woman walking around the streets of Hamilton over the last six years. If you have, I hope you gave a wave…because I am she.

Since starting this walking project of mine, I confess that I’ve become totally impressed by “epic walkers.” Folks that have taken their walking to another level and something about it becomes epic. Sometimes it is distance or maybe location. Lots of things can make walking epic. I like it when I can watch or read about their walking projects and through social media I have ‘met’ some of them. I guess I just feel a connection with people whose walking takes on a life of its own. Herein follows the story of an epic walker local to Hamilton.

There comes a time in every community’s life that a superhero appears. Gotham City has it’s Batman. In Hamilton we have Lewis. Lewis Mallard. Lewis Mallard is an artist in Hamilton and he is a duck on a mission and his mission just tickles my fancy. I started following him on Instagram. @lewis_mallard

Click on the video to learn why I am such a fan of Lewis Mallard
Lewis finds a friend

Wandering around Hamilton is something I have enjoyed doing and I have had the chance to chat a bit with some pretty nice people. I have not yet spotted Lewis in the wild but it is on my bucket list. Like Batman and his secret identity, Lewis does not seek attention for himself but has a greater good to do. We need more ducks like Lewis.

Since I started making encouragement rocks and leaving them while I am out and about on my walks, I decided it might be fun to try to create some Lewis Mallard Duck Eggs. One of Lewis’s art series shows us that things are not always what they seem to be. I attached one of my favourite pieces to egg-ish looking rocks and it seemed to work out.

Are those Lewis Mallard Duck Eggs?

I hope to leave some duck eggs in Gage Park sometime this spring and I look forward to spotting Lewis in the wild one day.

This sits near my front porch and makes me happy each time I see it.

Confessions of a Street Walker – part 34

It is possible that you have seen a rather peculiar woman walking around the streets of Hamilton over the last six years. If you have, I hope you gave a wave…because I am she.

My walk today had me on the relatively new Keddy Access Trail. I had not yet been on this trail that takes us up and down our escarpment. It was really planned well with a number of access points to get off and on. I thought that being able to access the Jolley Cut – upbound and downbound – was quite practical. I do not like doing the escarpment steps but this was a gentle incline that was quite manageable. I left a couple of ladybugs there.

One at the top and one at the bottom.
Hopefully they will brighten someones day.

The winter weather here has provided snowy and icy sidewalks for much of January and February. I was not going to go out for my walking project until it dries up a bit. Country roads need to be respected when there are wet or icy shoulders. Since we were also in the middle of another lockdown I did much of my walking for the last two months quite close to home. I will confess that it did get quite boring.

I shoveled the sidewalk and the driveway was clear.
I wonder what the neighbours think.
Went up and down the driveway a lot of times that day.

Looking forward to spring and the nicer weather that comes along with it.

Confessions of a Street Walker – part 33

It is possible that you have seen a rather peculiar woman walking around the streets of Hamilton over the last six years. If you have, I hope you gave a wave…because I am she.

So we had a short taste of winter earlier this week. I confess that I didn’t like it. At least it did not stay. When I went to walk on Tuesday morning country roads that I wanted to be walking on were going to be too wet and slushy so I decided to walk closer to home.

Last year at this time I wrote out my name in the ‘mapmywalk’ app tracker so this week I tried to get a little more ambitious.

Didn’t quite work out the way it was supposed to. For the top of the ‘H’ I was supposed to traipse through the middle of a park. I remembered for the first stick of the ‘H’ but for the second stick I forgot and walked down the street. This made my ‘H’ too wide and I had to lengthen the whole word. Then when I got to the ‘l’ a fence was in the way so I pressed pause, walked around the fence, and pressed resume. Otherwise my ‘l’ would have been wonky. When I got done I went to turn off the app so I could finish off the word but the phone just died before I could press ‘save’. Ahhh, panic set in. All that for nothing? It turns out that my Google Maps follows my walks too.

But it doesn’t always record distances quite as accurately.

from a walk a couple of weeks ago – not exactly my route

When I turned the phone back on the walk did get saved after all.

Now I confess that it might be fun to think of other words to write and then try to find applicable streets that allow the lettering to take place. I don’t know that it would be such a great idea to just walk through a stranger’s back yard and hop their fence all so I could make a more accurate ‘m’ but I think it will do for now.

Until next time.

Confessions of a Street Walker – part 31

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It is possible that you have seen a rather peculiar woman walking around the streets of Hamilton over the last five years. If you have, I hope you gave a wave…because I am she.

My walking project affords me an interesting glimpse at the wildflowers of our area throughout the year. I confess that I have long had an interest in wildflowers and try to educate myself using one of my Audubon Field Guide or by asking Google. I can so easily appreciate God’s creation when it is so colourful and interesting. I am certainly not an expert but ask me sometime how well I shared my wildflower expertise with a group of Grade 5 students on a class trip. I don’t recall ever being asked to chaperone a class trip after that.

My walk this past Monday included a section of meandering down a short section of a local trail.  I typically stick to paved sidewalks and roads but sometimes a trail just calls. I decided to pay some attention to the flora. The Chippewa Rail Trail used to be a railroad line but is now a wonderful way to travel a good number of miles with a limited amount of road crossings. My android camera did a decent job most of the time but there were some focusing issues and it is hard to clearly see just what you are taking a picture of, especially when it’s sunny. I confess that I was surprised that when it did get a good focus, how really quite clear it was, especially close up

20200817_111631A first-year Common Mullein. I love the velvety leaves. These plants have Latin names and more common names and then some of them also have nicknames. This one is also called ‘Cowboy Toilet Paper’ which I am pretty sure is not it’s Latin name.

20200817_111553 mothmullenA second-year Common Mullein. They do not get the tall spikes until their second year.

♦  ♦  ♦  ♦  ♦  ♦  ♦  ♦  ♦

20200817_105229_HDROntario has lots and lots of Queen Anne’s Lace – some of them have the tiny purple flower in their center.

20200817_112002The not-yet bloomed Queen Anne’s Lace.

20200817_112204_HDRHere is a Queen Annes Lace that looks more like Cow Parsnip but the leaves are a giveaway that it’s not.

♦  ♦  ♦  ♦  ♦  ♦  ♦  ♦  ♦

20200817_111121A first or maybe second-year Milkweed. The distinctive pink flowers do not appear until the third year.

♦  ♦  ♦  ♦  ♦  ♦  ♦  ♦  ♦

20200817_105352This looks like Burdock but I call it ‘Sticks-To-Your-Clothes-If-You-Come-Any-Closer’.

♦  ♦  ♦  ♦  ♦  ♦  ♦  ♦  ♦

20200817_105305_HDR (1)Daisy Fleabane – now that sounds like the name of a dame in a detective story from the 1940s.

♦  ♦  ♦  ♦  ♦  ♦  ♦  ♦  ♦

20200817_105934_HDRStaghorn Sumac – again texturally soft and velvety

♦  ♦  ♦  ♦  ♦  ♦  ♦  ♦  ♦

20200817_105147I think this is bright, yellow wildflower is Hawkweed.

♦  ♦  ♦  ♦  ♦  ♦  ♦  ♦  ♦

20200817_110543Spotted Knapweed

♦  ♦  ♦  ♦  ♦  ♦  ♦  ♦  ♦

20200817_111508Vipers Bugloss

♦  ♦  ♦  ♦  ♦  ♦  ♦  ♦  ♦

20200817_110709This looks like Goldenrod. Very lucky to catch a bee busy at work.

I also saw Birdsfoot Trefoil, Cattails, White Sweet Clover, Ragweed, Butter and Eggs, Crown Vetch, and Chicory. I will confess that I saw other flowers but I have no clue as to what their names are.

The time of year makes such a difference in variety. Flowers you can find in the spring are long gone by the time fall rolls around. I saw asters just starting but they typically arrive in the fall which tells me that summer days are waning and fall is approaching. I will enjoy this weather while I can. I hope you can too.

 

Confessions of a Street Walker – part 30

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It is possible that you have seen a rather peculiar woman walking around the streets of Hamilton over the last five years. If you have, I hope you gave a wave…because I am she.

Another milestone has been reached. I have finished walking all of Glanbrook.

I started this walking project in September of 2014. By the summer of 2016, I had finished walking all the streets on the Hamilton Mountain. By September of 2018, I had finished all of Hamilton. By the late summer of 2019, I had finished all of Stoney Creek. And now I can confess that all of Glanbrook has been trod upon by my raggedy running shoes.

While keeping track of the completed streets on my HSR transit map I actually ran out of map so had to improvise.

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The red dots are the places I parked and the green half dots are places that I started leaving my ‘have a nice day’ rocks (see Confessions part 29). I used smaller maps for the new subdivisions in Mount Hope and in Binbrook. During this time of our mandated physical distancing I confess that it was good to spend my time walking down the ruralest of rural roads in our part of southern Ontario – from the ‘Welcome to West Lincoln’ and ‘Welcome to Haldimand-Norfolk’ signs I have wandered and roamed. The final street was walked on today.

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It was actually a road that I had walked on many times before but that had been years ago. We had lived on Glover Road in Hannon (R.R.#2 in fact) from when we married in 1980 until the summer of 1986 when we moved because we outgrew our cute little starter house.  We had four daughters under the age of six and Martin had just taken over his father’s construction business and we were quickly running out of room. So we packed up our things and moved closer to Hamilton so we would not have to pay long-distance charges to talk to many of our customers. It was not a built-up area at the time and we had two acres but over 30 years has changed that quite a bit.

So where do I go from here? I have already been walking in Ancaster and hope to get all of the roads south of the 403 done before winter. A lofty goal, methinks, but we will see.

Confessions of a Street Walker – Part 29

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It is possible that you have seen a rather peculiar woman walking around the streets of Hamilton over the last five years. If you have, I hope you gave a wave…because I am she.

I confess that I have started playing with rocks again. When I was younger, I used to collect shiny or sparkly or fossily rocks. It was always fun to pick up a stone that looked cool, for one reason or another and bring it home. I looked for hidden gems and remember finding ‘fools gold’ at Aunt Dorothy’s place in Keene. Ask my mom about the very special soft rock that I found when I was a small child.

But since the spring I have renewed my fascination with rocks. I have always wanted to do fancy, colourful painting on rocks …

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…but my skills and my patience are limited.

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… really very quite limited. : )

If I am travelling about and in a special place I often try to look for a rock to commemorate the occasion. I have lugged them home in my purse and in pockets and in suitcases. I confess I have even shlepped them over the ocean and across borders. I have ‘stolen’ rocks from all over. I write on each one where and when I found each rock.

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This collection started with the stones we got from Timothy and Danielle at their wedding. Then I found one on an alp in Switzerland and on the property of my father’s family home in Smilde. I found one in the cemetery where my grandparents are buried. I also found one in Jeffrey and Laura’s driveway in Echo Bay and in Fred and Amy’s driveway on Lookout Mountain. The rocks help me remember and I find them a fun memento.

I suppose that rock collecting might run in the family. When he was but a young lad, our son Henry would bring home gravel from school and squirrel it away in his pockets. Good thing he had deep pockets.

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Years later we made a donation to the school and I confessed that I felt I was just finally paying for all of the gravel that Henry had pilfered. So, sometimes the rock doesn’t fall very far from the boulder.

So what does my fascination for rocks have to do with my walking project? I decided to find some rather plain rocks and write brief messages that only required a sharpie and no sort of skill other than penmanship. I wanted to remind people to have a good day.

When Martin leaves for work, he gets up and gets ready for his day. I am usually in bed and he always comes to say goodbye and give me a kiss. He says something like “I should be home by supper. I reply with “Have a good day.” While those are my words I always take that time to silently pray “Lord, keep him safe and be with all of our kids and grandkids.” Sometimes the prayer is a little longer depending on what we are dealing with at the time. But there is always that simple prayer.

So when making my little messages on the rocks I picked “Have a good day” or I might insert ‘nice’ or ‘wonderful’. Because it is so long, ‘wonderful’ is saved for the bigger rocks.

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I confess that I have been having fun leaving rocks in unexpected places during my walks. Glanbrook has been getting its share since I have been walking there lately.

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And so it is that when I am out on a walk and I leave a rock, it comes with a prayer that whoever sees it will be blessed. Maybe you will come across one of my rocks one day but even if you don’t – ‘Have a good day’.

Confessions of a Street Walker – part 28

It is possible that you have seen a rather peculiar woman walking around the streets of Hamilton over the last five years. If you have, I hope you gave a wave…because I am she.

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‘Long time – no post’ about my walking project. I have still been out walking I just haven’t been confessing for a while. 

With the COVID restrictions in Ontario, it became my intention to stay as far away from other people as possible while I was meandering. The rural roads of Glanbrook have really been most pleasant to walk down. Most of the time I see no one and I never come even close to the physical distancing limits set by our province. Usually, it is just a wave to a fellow walker or, more frequently, a bicyclist. I try to give a brief wave of thanks for the vehicles who either slow down or move over to let me know that they see me. I feel a little hard to miss with my high-vis vest on but I am grateful for all of the considerate drivers out there. I confess that I occasionally have a properly distanced chat with a homeowner or fellow walker and people are always so kind.

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For much of the spring and now into the summer, I have mostly been wandering around Binbrook and Mount Hope and the other tiny hamlets that have been pretty much swallowed up by belonging to a larger municipality. Sometimes there is only a sign as the clue that the little cluster of houses for a stretch was a separate community – a small community but a community nonetheless. I have come across a number of the Haldimand and West Lincoln boundary signs which provide much satisfaction.

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Sometimes the map is wrong about the fact that the road is still a road. This one used to be a road but is no longer.

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Someone in Binbrook has a wonderful sense of humour.

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I estimate all of Glanbrook will be covered by September. The last road I will walk on to complete this part of the project is Glover Road. It is symbolic of beginnings as I will pass the first house we bought together just before we were married.

During our stage-one restrictions, we were not allowed to go to get our haircut. This was a challenge for me as I started to look and feel like a sheepdog.

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As the weather got better and the sun shone stronger I had to remember to put on sunscreen. I confess that one day I did not do that. I had worn a hat and the sun managed to give me a great horizontal tan line (more burnt than tanned at that point) on my forehead.

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This I solved, rather ingeniously, I think. I put sunscreen on the burnt lower half of my forehead so that the next walk would burn the top half of my forehead and – voila – my forehead was even again. 

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The difficult thing about country road walking has been finding a place to park. Most rural roads do not bode well to pulling your car over to the side of the shoulder and just leaving your vehicle whilst you traipse about for a couple of hours or more. Church parking lots have been convenient and a few businesses as well. I usually leave a note. I parked at Gourmet Meats last week, took a five-mile walk, and then went in to buy some really yummy steak kebabs for the weekend. I did find a lady on a local Facebook group who graciously allowed me to park in her driveway a couple of times. Thanks, Genevieve. 

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This whole walking project has allowed me to meet so many nice people. I chatted with this gentleman.

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He was waiting along Dickenson Road to watch the famed Lancaster airplane from WW2 take flight from the Warplane Heritage Museum. It is not often that you can see them fly. Truly a sight to behold.  

Next time I will give a rock report. Until then.

Confessions of a Street Walker – Part 27

It is possible that you have seen a rather peculiar woman walking around the streets of Hamilton over the last five years. If you have, I hope you gave a wave…because I am she.

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Most of last summer and fall I spent on the sidewalks of Ancaster and Dundas. I have a few left to do but most of them have been covered. I confess that I stayed off of the rural roads over the winter because I usually found the shoulders weren’t wide enough to hold slushy piles of snow and me.

My walking project moved along fine over our cold Canadian winter but there were some weeks that the sidewalks were too snowy or icy. It was those weeks that I stayed very close to home or went to the mall to get my 10 miles per week done. When the sidewalks were clearer I also got most of Binbrook’s built-up area done.

I am really enjoying the warmer spring weather. Now, because of Co-vid 19, we are all supposed to be distancing ourselves from one another. I am happy to be able to walk on the ruralest of the rural roads of the greater Hamilton area where I am not even close to being close to anyone.  As it is with most of the rural routes the difficulty remains with where to leave my car while I am out walking.

Last fall I did some walking in rural Mount Hope and Ancaster. We have friends who allowed me to park in their driveway whilst I trompled my way down the country roads in their area. Thanks Gord and Glenda! They were lovely roads with their own charms.

Some notes on those walks:

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The lower right map shows a part of the road that I missed. An accident on Highway 6 forced me to detour and head east and add another 3 miles to my walk that day.

20191028_135454I was tempted to jump in the back of the wagon but they were going in the opposite direction.

I passed a baked goods manufacturing facility I know as Oakrun Farm Bakery. I don’t know what they were making the day that I was walking past but boy did that ever smell good.

I was able to stop by a cemetery where Danielle’s body lies – I confess that the tears still flow and I am thankful for such a peaceful place.

I was walking down a very quiet road when a car pulled over. It was my friend Diane who lived nearby.  It was nice to see a friendly face.

I have taken to wearing a hi-vis vest as I want to be as safe as possible on country roads. I am presently wandering around rural Binbrook.

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A windy day in Glanbrook near the city boundaries. I confess that my attempt at a selfie thumbs-up appears only moderately successful.  :  )