I love living outside the city.

Don't get me wrong, I like the city too:  Art, Culture, Movies, more people than cows.
Although cows are actually rather entertaining to watch.

Who knew right?
And you thought we just tipped them over 'round these here parts!

Have you ever laid on your back in the soft grass and stared up at a country sky?
Away from the city lights and air pollution; it's not the same sky.

Source: Creative Commons

I didn't take that picture.  My camera isn't quite good enough to capture a night sky like that.
Or rather, I am not quite good enough.  Yet.

You know what makes you better?
Thus, welcome to my Walkabout Series!!

This is where Me, and Camera get out into the great wide yonder.   Well, that is within an hour or two around my own home town for now.  Because I did in fact say that I didn't have to travel further than my own backyard to find contentment.   But - then I realized: I haven't explored my own "backyard" very much at all!!

And there are so many lovely little towns full of artists and musicians and writers around me!!  It's a treasure trove!
But, yes - also cows.  Because country!!

So, first stop is a town about 25 minutes South of me:  Almonte. 

Almonte used to operate on the textile industry, but the mill has now closed, and the town is mostly considered a tourist destination.   There are many artists shops, historical locations, cafes, picturesque settings.

This scene greeted me on the drive in with my mom:
(Click any image to enlarge for a better view)

Hello Fall!!

The Mississippi River runs through the town - no connection to the famous America river; but it still offers some nice views.

That bench with the lovely river views is where a Minister and his Wife often came to sit and enjoy the peaceful sound of the river.    The bench was made in their memory.

From this bench you can take a lovely River Walkway that winds just around the outside of the downtown core, following the river past the old mill, several waterfalls,  and finally down to a lovely park.

It was not a long walk, but there was a hill and lots of fresh air, and that can only mean one thing:  Appetite!!!
Thank goodness the town caters to tourists with some delightful tea shops, cafes, and restaurants.    My mom and I ate at this place called the Mill Street Crepe Company  and Oh My Belly!!!   This was crepes for lunch, mine specifically pulled pork with an amazing BBQ sauce, fried onions and a salad on the side.  Delicious!

The Creperie demonstrates what I love best about this little town: Art!
It has the sculptures of Featured Artist Richard Gill on it's wall, and I LOVE his work.  It's very unique, and one day: on my wall hopefully!

Richard's studio is located in another small town about 15 minutes North from me called Burnstown.  Another artists haven and delight, and also the location of many of my family beach shots shown here.    We will visit Burnstown on a future Walk About.

Almonte retains much of it's 19 century architecture, and that is definitely a pleasure to for the photographer's eye to see.   It's like a step back in time.    Where you share the sidewalk with friendly folks who say a greeting with a smile - maybe even recommend the best soup in town on a chilly Fall day, and the planters are over flowing with beautiful blooms, and each store beckons you inside.   Certainly you will stop for tea at the appropriate hour!

Looking for a unique gift that is vintage, re purposed, salvaged, recycled, home-made, and well loved?    The Tin Barn Market is the place for you!   My mom bought the coolest set of Mason Jar style light chandeliers that you ever saw!!   And I am definitely going back to buy some of their Chalk Paint for an old desk I am repainting.

I dare you to try and not peek into the Baker Bob's bakery next door.
You. Will. Fail.
I left with buns, a pie, some old fashioned dime store candy for the kids, and the most delicious little coconut and chocolate truffle filled morsel you ever tasted!!

Finally, I could simply not leave town without a simple bouquet of flowers from a flower shop that was anything but simple!   Shout out to  Acanthusfloral for my beautiful daisies. You have to check out their Gallery to see the most beautiful and amazing natural decorations, live arrangements, and terrariums.  I am definitely making one of those one day.

One final walk back to the car, arms full of flowers, hands wrapped around warm coffee to go, and I confess:  a few jelly beans in my tummy.
It was a lot of walking after all!   :)

That balcony tho!!  Wow.

Two interesting things in the collage above:

1.  James Naismith is pictured with the basketball.  Why?   Because he is the local man who invented the game in 1891.    Yes, a Canadian invented basketball.   However, he did live in Springfield, Mass. at the time teaching at what is now Springfield College. 

2.  The Volunteer War Memorial:  This memorial is both to the fallen of the First World War, and to a particular soldier - and local boy - of the Great War, Lieutenant Alexander Rosamond.  He was heir to the great textile business in Almonte, and was learning/running the business from school in the UK when war broke out in 1914.  He enlisted in the British Army as a private soldier, but with his excellent Leadership skill soon switched to an officer in the Canadian Army.  He was killed in action during the Somme offensive, but it is unknown the exact place where he fell; thus he has no known grave.  His will stipulated and made provision for a War memorial to be built back in his hometown Almonte, and the locals also decided to make a cast statue of Alexander himself for those who knew him to pay tribute.

 A little bit of shopping, a little bit of eating, a whole lot of history, and a beautiful view no matter which way your head turns:  Yes, I do love the country.

 Mississippi Mills Waterfalls.jpeg
"Mississippi Mills Waterfalls" by Saffron Blaze - Own work. Licensed under Resolution restricted-by-sa via Commons.

What is your favourite Walk About place?

*this series will always be titled "Walk About" for those readers who are not local, and/or just prefer to skip reading this series.*