Sunday, December 12, 2021

A day out, and a Bayfield Mews update

A trail in the Pinery park

Today was a gorgeous day for this time of the year, Our earlier snow has melted, and in spite of some high winds recently it feels more like an extended fall than mid-Dec. 

A naturalist blogger we follow (Nature Nuggets) recently mentioned seeing many Tundra swans stopping over here and there during their southern migration, so we set out to see if we could find some in our area  today.

We drove south from our place to a spot we often go to Swan-watch in the spring. The swans are usually not so concentrated this time of year in that area, but we did see a few passing by: 


And a few on the ground, in the distance

This area is behind the Lambton Heritage Museum, which is on Hwy 21 almost across from the entrance to Pinery Provincial Park. 

When talking to a couple of locals, we (of course) found that we should have been there last week, when any water in the fields was chock-full of swans. Nice to see some anyway.

After the swan views we headed across the road to the Pinery for a little light hiking. The Pinery is still open and charging for day use, but we have an annual day-use pass (courtesy of our daughter for last Christmas) for all Ontario Provincial Parks so free for us.

Not far inside the Pinery we parked and took a trail we hadn't been on before. Just a nice trail through the woods, with a lookout stop partway around. Not sure how many steps led up to the lookout, but it felt like we had a workout:

Meanwhile back at the ranch, the long-awaited Mews Activity Center (officially the Hearthstone project) has finally gotten underway. Expected to be completed by mid(ish) 2022, good progress has been made in a fairly short time. Almost all of these pictures were taken from our living room window, so we have a front-row seat.

After initial excavation, pouring the concrete footings...

Then the forms arrived to support the new foundation walls:

After only a day for the concrete to cure somewhat, the wall forms were removed:


With 5 more days to allow the walls to more fully cure, backfilling started:

It was interesting to see this guy get up on that dirt pile

Very careful backfilling, as the concrete is still somewhat fragile here

A large trench was then dug to run water lines etc:


Then filling and levelling the interior base was started. This will support the concrete floor, poured after utilities etc are placed. The large excavator built a sand ramp to let the Bobcat get in to level out the interior area, as the big excavator scooped in the sand:

Lots of back-and-forth for the Bobcat

Many if not most people at the Mews are quite excited to see this long-awaited addition taking place.