Petroglyphs National Park


On one of our vacation days in the Kawarthas,  we stopped at the Petroglyphs Park, had our picnic first and then went into the education centre to learn more about it. While our daughter and son-in-law went to take the picnic stuff back to the van, the girls found a small caterpillar. They named it and pretended that it was their pet. When their parents returned they held the stick by the tree where they found it and let the caterpillar off the stick.

We were ready to tour the centre.





art and signs within that give visitors a feel for aboriginal themes and beliefs


Beautiful art combined with words



I appreciated this one, being a storyteller myself

We walked on down the path to the Petroglyph display. I was not prepared for what I saw, a large building surrounding the rocks, a place where we dared not take photos, so I kept my cell phone tucked away. Large windows let in natural light and the building is there to protect the art from eroding further.

Our granddaughters were invited to make rubbings with crayons of various shapes of the art in the teaching rocks and take them home.

According to the park website, this is the:

Largest known concentration of Indigenous rock carvings (petroglyphs) in Canada, depicting turtles, snakes, birds, humans and more; this sacred site is known as “The Teaching Rocks”

After our tour of the learning rocks we left that area of the park and stopped at a different place where we took a short hiking trail.



a photo of the Shaw family in this gorgeous scene


McGinnis Lake where we took photos was a certain kind of lake with layers of oxygen concentration. I didn’t have time to read the whole sign so I took this picture instead, to read later.


another snapshot on our way out


And on down the path returning to the van

This park was well worth the time and one could spend quite a bit longer in the centre viewing the displays, asking questions of the guides along with seeing the video shown in the theatre. Outdoors there were more places and paths to explore. We’d covered about as much as we could with the children who needed to move around more. That said, I believe they enjoyed certain parts of the adventure that day as well, even if we’d had a bit of a ride to find a place.


August 20, 2018 at 12:56 pm Leave a comment

Adam and Eve Rocks

On our way to the Settlers’ Village, we stopped to check a geocache just outside of Buckhorn, Ontario.  A rather interesting site with two huge rocks that looked like they were placed there intentionally at some point. They’re not very round, so it’s unlikely they rolled there to come to a standstill. Neither is it hilly behind the rocks. People ask, “How did they get there?”

They are apparently glacial rocks, according to the Buckhorn local attractions site.



Just outside of Buckhorn




There was a sign, but it’s not easy to read in the shadows.

Adam and Eve Road’ in Buckhorn has a romantic legend attached to it. So the story goes, if you and your partner hold hands and touch one of the two large glacial rocks found along it, your lives will be eternally blessed.



August 7, 2018 at 12:58 pm Leave a comment

Kawartha Settlers’ Village



Search page given to our granddaughters on paying the entry fee

On one of our days away, we went with our host family to Kawartha Settlers’ Village that’s located just outside of Bobcaygeon.

According to the tour booklet for the village,

In 1990, the dream of establishing a museum to preserve history and the development of the area became a reality when a small group of people calling themselves the Kawartha Region Arts and Heritage Society convinced the village of Bobcaygeon to lease them the land to establish the Kawartha Settlers’ Village.


Follow along with me on our tour of some of the buildings. Here’s the map that’s in the program booklet. It’s an easy walk through for visitors of any age.

The receptionist at the main building gave each of our granddaughters a card showing pictures of things to look for in the village and a crayon to mark off items as they found them. It became a game for all of us to help them find the items.


Quilters meet regularly in the Wray House to learn their craft. There were many interesting quilts hanging in this home.


A rather colourful and picturesque quilt



A child’s room in another home

Our granddaughters interest was limited in some areas due to their ages of 6 and 8, although the adults could have spent more time. Another time perhaps. The girls did enjoy wandering through the village and checking off the items on their card. They awaited a prize at the end.


The firehall housed an old engine and hoses and hats. The building is a replica of the original Bobcaycaygeon Fire Company station.


The Fairbairn Church


a wooden offering plate


Inside the classroom, one modelling the dunce hat and one drawing on the chalkboard


What’s inside this desk?


Outside the trapper’s cabin


A warm rug inside.


If the printer needed a graphic for a newspaper or flyers, he’d have these images…





or even these images. Not simply drawings but carvings that someone had made.



And a bit of fun at the end of the Kawartha Settlers’ Village.

The girls showed their cards at the admission centre and got their little prize and could keep the cards to remember the visit.

If you’re in the area this summer, go to the village and take the self-guided tour. It was well worth the time and price of admission, which was quite reasonable.

July 28, 2018 at 11:56 am Leave a comment

Holidays in the Kawarthas, Day One



Buckhorn docking

It was the time of year again to visit our daughter and son-in-law and two granddaughters at their trailer in the Kawarthas. It’s a wonderful opportunity to set aside daily duties and get away.

After slow-moving traffic on the 401, it was good to get on the less congested 407 for a good chunk of the journey. That driving is easier, especially on a clear sunny day until our GPS, Matilda, got caught up with trying to redirect us on what was once country road. Guess it’s past time to update her maps. Oops.

Back roads and then the 115 highway to Peterborough were similarly unremarkable that day and finally at 12: 20, give or take a few minutes, we arrived at Grandview Resort, where our daughter Laura was waiting in the golf cart with her two girls. We drove through to the trailer site and parked then hugged and greeted our family members.

In the heat of the day, it was good to relax a bit and have some lunch. I’d asked for a boat ride and the plan for it was already in motion. We headed for the launch area and assembled ourselves, life jackets and all, for Buckhorn, where we’d go for ice cream, a favourite trip for the girls.



Heading for the bridge to cross, Laura waiting for us


The Shaw’s new favourite ice-cream shop in Buckhorn, on the main street


So hard to choose from so many flavours. We enjoyed the taste.

The ice cream shop offered a bucket of chalk and opportunity to draw on the boardwalk to the sidewalk.


Down the road a bit we saw a giant moose—not a real one, of course— where the girls posed.


 Posing for fun

Walking further, we came upon a small beach area, where the girls cooled off in the  shallow water. It sounds as though this area is designated for a small park sometime in the future.



Down the road a bit sat a building that might have been a church or school at one time. It was now a curiosity shop with some neat crafts and gift items in it. Loved these owls. Had I brought some money, one of these little owls might be in my garden today.



We headed back toward the lock area where we’d cross to the place their boat was parked.



On our way back we saw that more boaters had their boats tied to the dock and had pitched a picnic shelter.

That evening, I accompanied Dave and the girls to the family swimming pool on the grounds. The water was a bit cool, but the six-year-old got in anyway and began to play in the water and swim. Eventually her Dad got in too. The eight-year-old, deciding the water was a bit too cold for her, got permission to go to the playground situated close by.




Stopping at the playground for a short time, I had opportunity to see how well the girls handled the monkey bars. Then it was back to the trailer to get the girls ready for bed.

Holidays had only begun, and we were off to a good start.




Photos on this blog are copyright of C. and L. Wilker unless otherwise noted. Please ask permission if you wish to use one.

July 23, 2018 at 3:30 pm Leave a comment

Writing our stories

My mother once called me the historian of the family and I wasn’t sure why. Was it that I asked more questions about events and people? Was it that I displayed keen interest in the stories of my grandparents? Wherever it began, it has most definitely become true, and that’s one development I’m glad about.

The year of my parents’ 60th anniversary was upon us—2009—and my mother and father wanted to leave a legacy for their family. Mom wasn’t speaking in dollar values  when she shared their wish with us, but of stories and values they’d shared. What would it mean to us after they were gone?



farm home where my siblings and I grew up

Mom had gotten in touch with a writer she knew who was doing family stories for other folks. She engaged the woman to help them get started. The challenge became how to tell the stories. What would be included? What would be left out?

Each of my siblings and I wrote some pieces of what it had meant to us growing up in the country, of where we were at the time in terms of our immediate families and our employment. In the end what my parents shared of their stories, and what we added, is of great value.



The first copy was ready for their anniversary day and more produced later. Sister Kim was the layout specialist and we all agreed she did a wonderful job in arranging the photos with the text. Her layout experience with her day job and a computer program capable of handling graphics and photos was a great asset.

Nine years later, Dad has died and the family has further blossomed with more great grandchildren for Mom and another great granddaughter about to be married this summer. In between those years, I published my memoir, Once Upon a Sandbox, of growing up on a family farm in the 50s and 60s, and then last year, in memory of Dad, Harry’s Trees, my picture book was published, which is not about me, but my Dad’s passion, beyond his family (always very important to both my parents).



July 16, 2018 at 12:52 pm 2 comments

A little fairy garden


One only needs to do a little investigating to find figures and houses for little fairies. My granddaughters are young enough yet to enjoy them.

Last year was the first year for our fairy garden, tucked in among one of my front flower beds, ideally with a bit of shade for said guests. We had the house which our fairies wouldn’t actually fit into, but with the imagination anything is possible. Beyond that open door is a little set of steps, set against the verandah wall, one could imagine a door at the top that the fairies could enter another space.

But imagination was needed outdoors too. We had a path of coloured stones that they could follow around the garden. This year, I looked everywhere—that is, everywhere but where they actually are tucked away—but I couldn’t find the coloured stones so I got some new ones. The other ones will show up when I least expect.

And this year, because there is another small girl old enough to imagine fairies, I invested in an extra fairy figure for her.

The set up is different this year. The oldest one, 8, figured the house could sit on my garden stone, itself full of coloured stones. The next one, who’s 6, wanted it somewhere else. We finally worked out a solution, after some tears, and she helped invent the new pathway for the fairies and when we added a seesaw and a well at a later date, she got to place the one of her choice.



The fairies showing off their new space for this year. The smallest fairy lives with the three-year-old for now.


the well along the path


The see-saw and a lamp for night time so fairies can find their way home


And one day when the three-year-old comes to visit, she can bring her fairy along to play in the garden.  I imagine also when the older two come for a day in August, there might be some changes take place even in the fairy garden as in the world around them.

July 14, 2018 at 1:07 pm 3 comments

The Heat Goes On

Today I posted over at The Word Guild blog as I usually do once a month. Here’s the opening of my post.


No, not the beat. It’s the heat. Not so long ago we waited for the heat to come. Now we’ve got it in spades. The ground is dry again, the grass is dead, but thank goodness for the rain we had that filled  our water barrels and soaked the ground. Our plants stood up taller and had a great growth spurt afterwards. it’s as though they were saying “thank you.”




This spring’s garden after the rain

 We could use another good rain shower for the crops and gardens. Then people wanting to picnic and have outdoor events might holler no. There’s no pleasing us humans. Some like it hot, some like it cold, some like it … in between.

We can be picky, or maybe it’s particular. Many times we just complain, but God is used to that. He’s heard it before. Centuries of it. One most notable being the philosopher in Ecclesiastes who felt nothing was right. People worked hard and got nothing for it.


granddaughter helping with gardening tasks, 2017

Read more here.

July 11, 2018 at 6:19 pm 2 comments

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