Sunday, July 19, 2015

Clovermead and Lake Erie

Scorching temperatures during mid-summer send us on a day trip along the many ports and into the shallow, sandy waters of Lake Erie. We pick Saturday because the Clovermead Adventure, Honey and Bee Farm isn't open on Sunday and its been awhile since we last visited. In fact the 24 million bees, plus or minus, have been very busy and the place has seen many great additions to the Adventure Farm. We leave home after 1pm to try to avoid some of the weekend crowds - which worked out great.
During the trip we listen to Stompin' Tom Connors singing his Canadian folk songs, especially his song of Tilsonburg, his 'back still aches when he hears that word' about the back breaking work in the tobacco fields.
The giant yellow pillow and jump pad with misting sprinklers
Billy Goats have an elevated expressway through part of the grounds

Deciding to avoid the City of Hamilton we head west on Highway 401 and take the Elgin Road/County Road 73 (exit 203) south through Harrietsville. Both Clovermead and TCM  Metal Art are along this route and we love to stop at the metal works so that we can add to our collection of their interesting pieces. This time we picked up a hummingbird feeding from a flower which will join our first hummingbird. These large and small steel pieces are meant to be put outdoors where the original shine caused when creating the art rusts over time and provides a lovely finish.

I won the rubber ducky race

Further south in Aylmer we come to the bee and human fun zone at Clovermead. The adventure land costs about $11 plus tax and includes 4 person pedal go carts, a fast tricycle track, friendly farm animals, a mist maze, zip lines and many more fun activities. We start up with a wagon ride along the outskirts of the property and then it is right to the pedal power rides, followed with some jumping action on the giant pillow and the adjacent jump pad with misting sprayers. Exploring some of the buildings we find large bee hives safely behind thick and see through plexiglass walls. I can report that the bees seemed busy.

In October the Adventure Park opens their pumpkin patch and shoot off a few of the big round vegetables with special air canons. They are open daily 9am to 5:30pm from June till the end of October.
Joe holds up a submarine

Among the fine shoreline of the shallow Great Lake there are many ports and beaches to chose from, almost all are perfect for beach picnics and enjoying the cooling waters on a hot summer day. Today we decide to hit Port Burwell because it is the home of a retired military submarine, the HMCS Ojibwa. The large seaborne, underwater, cold war military machine became the first of the artifacts planned for the Museum of Naval History. We were too late for the tour but they let us have a peak at the torpedo room.
We stop at a store in Port Burwell that seems to carry everything and Fresh Joe buys an Explorer 300 blow up dingy and we head down to the beach for some sun, sand and swimming. If you enjoy weed free swimming in not too cold water, the Lake Erie shoreline is perfect for you. Sand bars continue out quite far, sometimes you get shallower the farther you go from shore, before it starts to gradually drop off. I like to float on some pool noodles and just enjoy the water. It was really exciting to see a couple of horses on the beach, it was so Californian!

We didn't have time to fit in a visit to Winter Wheat in Sparta which is another fun destination in South West Ontario. That we will save for next time. See more of the trip after the jump.
Bees working the weekend
Sending some food up to the billy goats
A bee getting some pollen from Echnops ritro Globe Thistle


Tiny horses

The duck races

Feeding some roosters

Zebra muscles clean the water, then later the shells wash up on shore

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