Thursday, August 2, 2018

Gems in our own back yard

This morning I read an article on the BBC news that an ancient Roman 24K gold signet ring (200 - 300 AD) was found by a metal detectorist in a Somerset field.  The ring has been referred to the British Museum for assessment.  Meanwhile in less dramatic outings today (but with equal attention to the local environment) I discovered some jewels of a different nature in my own backyard. While I can't assert there is anything particularly startling about my discoveries, they are nonetheless sufficiently noteworthy to warrant recognition.  Given the current popularity of all things local, I thought this intelligence may be of some value.

Our day today began as usual with an improving bicycle ride on Country Street, Rae Road and along the 8th Line of Ramsay. Before leaving home we first nourished ourselves with some black berries and tea.  We had already discussed going to Neat Café in Burnstown for a late breakfast or lunch after our bike ride.

Once we arrived on Calabogie Road in Burnstown we were reminded of Laurent's Ice Cream Parlour where - to be specific - he sells two extraordinary drinks - Bissap (hibiscus) and ginger juices.  We immediately noticed evidence of recent construction in front of the store.  The owner (Laurent) came outside and informed us that due to the lack of rain his well water supply had completely dried up.  The well driller had already drilled down three hundred feet and had only located a small pocket of water.  Laurent (who is a trained geologist) explained that where he is on the north side of the Madawaska River, the land mass rises considerably and consists almost entirely of split rock formation (which accordingly limits the pockets of available water). I marvelled at Laurent's singularly optimistic view of the dilemma.

With our bottle of ginger in hand we headed across the street to Neat Café. There we ordered the lunch special, a chicken, bacon and brie cheese wrap with salad and tomato bisque soup.  We couldn't resist the assortment of desserts - of which we chose cheese cake and peanut butter/chocolate squares.

Apart from the persistent flies, the meal was superb!  You want to go there with an appetite!

This afternoon - after going back home briefly - I wandered down Hwy#416 from Ottawa towards Merrickville.  It is a route which I have travelled many times.  And as many times I have queried the Burritts Rapids Road which twice connects to the main road to Merrickville.  Today I had the foresight to turn right onto Burritts Rapid Road.  It was an unqualified delight! Because the road is on the east side of the Rideau River it was no surprise to discover that many of the homes located there are magnificent.  And because there are few (if any) accesses across the River to the other side, the road tends to be quaint and untraveled.  In many instances the road is a cool path hidden among towering roadside trees.

It is unexpected experiences and discoveries such as these which stimulate a perfectly enjoyable summer afternoon.  Naturally I added to my pleasure by opening the windows and landau room of the car.  The air was balmy and soothing. The shrill hum of the August cicadas accompanied my soporific tour around the countryside.

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