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Sunday, April 22, 2012

Doors Open Ontario marks bicentennial of War of 1812; events happening in 57 communities

   One-Tank Trip for April 21/12

   (c) By Jim Fox

   It was 200 years ago that Canada and the British Empire were at war with the Americans.
   The War of 1812 is to be commemorated during Doors Open Ontario 2012, the popular annual heritage touring program.
    “Defending a Nation" is the theme that will unlock the doors to a “diverse range of defence-related sites” including battlefields, military fortifications, armouries, armament-manufacturing facilities, legion halls, commemorative monuments and peace gardens.
   Communities are being encouraged to “unveil their stories behind the war and the defence of our fledgling nation,” said Thomas H.B. Symons, who chairs the sponsoring Ontario Heritage Trust.
   Several events, including those in Brant and Middlesex, will offer War of 1812 battle re-enactments to mark the bicentennial, while Niagara has many prime war locations open to tour.
The Battle Ground Hotel Museum, a restored 1850’s tavern, is on the hallowed grounds of the War of 1812 Lundy’s Lane Battlefield in Niagara Falls. It can be toured during Doors Open Niagara.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Big birds are coming home to roost; fish are biting, birds are singing . . .

   One-Tank Trip for April 14/12
   (c) By Jim Fox

   The raptors are coming home to roost, the fish are biting and the birds are chirping.
   So, it’s time to get into the great outdoors and embrace the changing season.
   A Raptorfest to watch the migration, perch derby and songbird festival are among the options.

   Lots of screeching and cawing
   A spectacle of nature is the migration of thousands of hawks, eagles, vultures and falcons along the Niagara Escarpment.
   Learn about these winged wonders at RaptorFest, a free event next Saturday (April 21) from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Peach King Centre in Grimsby.
   Niagara Peninsula Hawkwatch, which has monitored the migration since 1975, recorded its 500,000th raptor last year.
   So far this year, there have been some 8,300 raptors counted including about 2,500 in the first nine days of April at the Beamer Memorial Conservation Area.
Counters from Niagara Peninsula Hawkwatch view migrating birds from this tower at the Beamer Memorial Conservation Area. (Photo by Mike Street)

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Elvis has "left the building" but legacy rocks on

   One-Tank Trip for April 7/12

   (c) By Jim Fox

   "Ladies and gentlemen, Elvis has left the building.”
   Even though it’s been 35 years since Elvis left for good, his legacy rocks on.
   Elvis mania is unabated, highlighted by many “tribute artist” shows and events.
People from around the world travel to Memphis to visit the grave site of Elvis at Graceland. (Photo by Jim Fox)
   Rock, roll and remember
   Tens of thousands of fans from around the world make the pilgrimage to the Elvis mansion, Graceland, in Memphis, Tenn. annually.
   A highlight is Elvis Week, Aug. 10 to 18, with concerts, discussions and events including a candlelight vigil on Aug. 15 to mark his death at age 42.
   The 30th anniversary attracted 75,000 people and even more are expected this year.