visiting south-western ontario

  •     – Rainer-and-Lynn live almost as far south as you can go in Canada. Lake Erie is two miles from their front door.
  •     – At one time, the entire area, around their house, was marsh-land. Early settlers, in the 1700, in order to farm, built a series of ditches to drain the water. Many of those ditches are still in use, but many are blocked with silt accumulated over the centuries.
  •     – This is a corn year, but because the field in front of the house was under water during the planting season – early spring, the farmer ended up putting in the faster growing soy. And, because it’s basically a filler crop, he hasn’t tended it as scrupulously resulting in tall weeds among the low soy plants. (The drainage ditch, in the field in front of their house, was clogged and in spring the field became a shallow pond. Swans found the water and stayed eating the seeds that had settled on the bottom.)
  •     – Bungalows are everywhere in the area. Rainer-and-Lynn’s 19th century farmhouse is the anomaly. Rainer said that the farmer who severed the property they own from his larger holding, would love to buy it back and that his first improvement would be to tear down the old, original farmhouse.
  •     – All the houses around Rainer-and-Lynn are all on septic tanks and weeping-fields; and all the houses have wells that they get their water from. Even if Essex Township brought sewage and water to the area, tapping in would be very expensive. Their house is some 500 feet from the road.
  •     – The only time you hear noise is when there’s a car on Gore Road.
  •     – Self-reliance along with chipping-in to help your neighbor are key pillars of living almost off the grid.
  •     – There are many families living on the edge of poverty. And many of these same families have more than 2 children.
  •     – The modern world with its Internet, smart-phones, tablets is peripheral for many people living in this rural area.
  •     – A cash-only and a barter system are common economic models among the people living in this part of south-western Ontario.
  •     – Rainer said they’ve been hearing people coming onto their property late at night and trying to get into their out-buildings. Many are also scouring the area looking for marijuana plants. Small marijuana growers are not harassed in a province getting ready to legalize marijuana. The Provincial Government has announced that on July 1, 2018 marijuana will be on sale in all its wine and alcohol stores across the province.


Saturday morning, at first-light, I’m outside with my camera. And the cats, assuming that I’m there to feed them, swarm around me. There are currently 14 cats on the property and none of the females will go into heat until early spring. This will be the first winter Rainer-and-Lynn will have this large of a pride through winter.

One of the things I like best about the image of the cats in the tree is the direction of the light. The morning sun falls on the eastern side of the tree trunk.

The image on the right is of Ron’s 1988 Lincoln Town Car (I refer to it as the boat ). It was his brother Louie’s car. We are on Gore Road, facing east. Ron had gone home to Leamington to water the new sod he had put in around his house. In the image, Rainer is standing on the left and Franchino is talking to Ron who is in the driver’s seat.