A Good Home, Doves and Babies

Back to the Birdies


A parent dove sees everything.

Including us, spying on him as he sits on the nest. 

(Dove mothers sit on the nest at night, fathers during the day. )

Blog Photo - Dove looks back

Hamlin set up his camera and tripod just inside the window. Timing was everything.  He said, one day:

“Do you know how long I sat there, waiting for feeding time?  And that bird wouldn’t do anything.

“I was precariously perched and couldn’t move, just in case I scared him off.

“We basically waited each other out, I guess: he got tired of waiting and started feeding them.”

Blog Photo - Dove parent feeds growing offspring

The babies’ feathers were looking ready, but their heads still looked fuzzy and not quite ready for nest-leaving.

Blog Photo - Dove babies getting their feathers

So we relaxed a little, thinking we had a couple more days before they left us.

Blog Photo - Dove Baby under Parent

But in the picture below, the father must have been giving them the crucial pep talk… 

Blog Photo - Dove Parent and Babies

… because when we weren’t looking, parents and young ones flew away. We were all quite bereft — Hamlin perhaps most of all.

“They didn’t even say goodbye,” he joked, trying to mask his feelings, I’m sure.

We eventually had to face the fact that the bond of affection was entirely one-sided, and that doves, it seems, will nest wherever they feel safe.

Blog Photo - Dove in Nursery sign

For proof, Hamlin offers these two photos, taken in a local plant nursery.

Blog Photo - Dove in Flower Pot in Plant Nursery

But it was fun while it lasted, and we were glad to have provided safe lodging for “our” birdies.

A Good Home

Blind Trust

My friend Kaye gave me a shock.

We were in the middle of a conversation some years ago when I casually said something about “being a black woman” and Kaye asked:

“You’re black?”

“Of course!” I replied. Then: “Wait …. You didn’t know that I’m black, Kaye? How is that possible? We’ve known each other for years!”

“Well,” Kaye promptly replied. “How would I know?”

“But how could you not know that I’m black?”

“Cynthia…. I’m blind, remember?”

Right. Of course.

But once I get a bee in my bonnet, Lord help us. So I kept going:

“Well,  what about all the talks we’ve had about life and diversity, and social injustice and ….”

“Yes… It’s one of the reasons we get along so well. We care about many of the same things. But I still didn’t know you were black, Cynthia.”

Shock. Realization. Awe. Followed by peals of laughter from both of us.

“I think we can now conclude that I am a total idiot…” I finally said. 

Of course, I’ve not captured the dialogue word-for-word here, but close enough for truth.

Diversity is a wondrous thing. In humans, nature and even ways of thinking. But after that conversation, I wondered what the world would be like if we couldn’t see each other’s colour, body shape and such things. If we could only “see” people through their character.

I thought about it again this morning when blogger David Prosser shared this link to a video of one man’s experiment.  Here it is:


A Good Home, Canadian Gardens, The Garden in Early June, Tree Peonies

Garden Porn – ish

Well, it would be garden porn but we’re at that in-between stage right now.

Flowering plants are still budding up…

Blog Photo - Garden Peony about to bloom

Vines are twining up…

Blog Photo - Garden Clematis vine in June

And if it weren’t for the Jack In The Pulpits, cuddling up to an overwhelmingly tall hosta…

Blog Photo - Garden Jacks

Blog Photo - Garden Light Green large hosta

And these sweet little wild anemone flowers cozying up against the stone wall ….

Blog Photo - Garden Whtie flowers against wall

And the vegetable garden, with tomato plants and eggplants and peppers and herbs shooting up in the hot sun….

Blog Photo - Garden Tomatoes and eggplant plants

Or the annuals in pots, under the guardian’s unwavering gaze…. 

Blog Photo - Garden Face and flowers

Or the empty coffee mug forgotten on the Muskoka chair….

Blog Photo - Garden Mug on Chair

Blog Photo - Garden and pot and chair

Blog Photo - Garden Blue pots CU

And green stuff on the ground or climbing up the walls….

Blog Photo - Garden Path and Greenery

And this one and only bloom on this most reluctant tree peony…

Blog Photo - garden Peony in bloom

Overseen by a multitude of ferns and other shrubs not yet blooming…

Blog Photo - Garden peony shrubs and walls

I’d have nothing to show you at all!

A Good Home, Doors Open Clarington, Heritage Homes, Lakeside living, March Cottage in Port Granby, March Hotel in Port Granby

Port Granby’s March Cottage

On Saturday, June 9, it will be Doors Open in Port Granby and Newtonville, east of Toronto. 

If you’ve never heard of Port Granby, you’re not alone. Once a thriving village and busy port, Port Granby is now a quiet hamlet on the shores of Lake Ontario. It’s home to several families.

Blog Photo - Doors Open - Hilltop farm
Hilltop Farm

Three of those homes, built during Port Granby’s heyday (between the late 1850’s and early 1880’s) are on the Doors Open Clarington tour this year: Hilltop Farm, the March Hotel and March Cottage. 

David March owned the latter two.

Blog Photo - Doors Open Clarington March Hotel old

March Hotel today

The records from that time usually showed only men as owners and proprietors of homes and businesses. So while there were certainly women in Port Granby, and David March probably had a wife, I haven’t found her name.

Blog Photo - Doors Open Clarington Port Granby boat load of people

March, like many others of his time, was clearly a multi-tasker: between the late 1850’s to the early 1880’s, he was the local innkeeper, carpenter, builder, postmaster, grain dealer, elevator operator and “general merchant” (shopkeeper). 

Blog Photo - Doors Open Clarington March Hotel2
March Hotel today

I’m told he bought March Cottage for his mother.  

Blog Photo - Doors Open Clarington March Cottage (2)

Blog Photo - Doors Open clarington March cottage exterior
March Cottage today

Today, both the old March Hotel and March Cottage are residences — owned by families who cherish their history.

Paul Sahota’s parents bought March Cottage in 1993: 

Blog Photo - Doors Open Photo of snowy cottage by Paul Sahota

“They saw it in the dead of winter and brought me to come see it on their second viewing. My mother sat looking out at the lake over the snow as my father and I tromped down over the bridge to the shore. As we drove away I asked my parents when they were putting an offer in, being so sure that it was the right place for them.”

Blog Photo - Doors Open Photo of Cottage and Gate Posts by Paul Sahota


Paul and his wife Susan took over the cottage nine years ago.   It was a daunting task at first, but the family has enjoyed many happy times there.

“We love that it is spacious enough to host gatherings with family and friends in all seasons. 

March Cottage Interior

“We love the soft shaded lawn for playing croquet, frisbee, baseball and cartwheeling.”

March Cottage includes original features ( e.g. the family-room’s fireplace),  and modern additions.

Blog Photo - Doors Open Photo of Cottage Garage by Paul Sahota

The family also loves the lake.

“We all spend hours watching the lake. We watch the waves (small and huge), the storms roll in, the many, many different shades of blue that the lake turns, the birds, ducks, loons, swans and heron come and go, the giant lakers, speed boats and sailboats move through the water and we watch for the calm when we can grab our kayaks and canoe and go for a paddle along the shore.

“The shore is a place to relax and get wet in the summer and, at times, an arctic adventure in the winter.”

Blog Photo - Doors Open Photo of Children in snow by Paul Sahota

The family will offer a warm welcome to visitors this Saturday:

“We have previously enjoyed other Doors Open experiences and are happy to share our little piece of Port Granby with the community.  We hope people get a sense of the history and the beauty of our community.”

For more information:


Photo Credits: Paul Sahota; Bernice Norton & Christine McSorley (Doors Open Clarington) and Newcastle Village and District Historical Society.