John Dykeman Blog

aimless ramblings of a humble gentleman from Montreal. Urban Gardening, Travel, Flight, Art, Science

My Photo
Location: Kirkland, QC, Canada

Sharing some images and thoughts from travel, local area, garden. Family roots in USA.

Thursday, December 21, 2017

The Noizy Neighbourz at Rock of Ages 2

Noizy NeighbourZ at Rosewood Bar and other events

Monday, July 31, 2017

Granddogs in garden

Dogs love being around people and make good subjects for photographs.

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Wild columbine flowers

Garden 2017: new year, new garden, new challenges

Here we are in a new year, with hope and esprit for growth, flourishing of crops and flowers.

May, June, to October are all growing seasons in Cold Canada, but during this time, things happen: fruit trees, vegetable gardens, wild and tame flowers abound. Can't hold this back so embrace and engage. Make it so , Number One as Jean-Luc Picard would say (that confident, irascible Captain of the Enterprise V 2 from the 1980's : the revival of the Star Trek franchise which was started in 1967,

Basta ja....enough talk!

Garden space is limited as is sunshine with Tree Creep: constant horizontal growth of the main maple tree in the backyard space.

House limits some light especially in later months as sun descends in its elliptic travel. A large locust tree, also increasing its horizontal and vertical spread (both up and down) are limiting light in a garden space.

Well: Tomatoes, Zucchinis, Bell Peppers are major items.

Some space for Kentucky Wonder climbing bean stalks (my late dad's favourite, Dr Captain Dykeman)...he would approve. He was born on a farm in New Brunswick and with a grade 9 education, rose to become a Medical Doctor (family care) in Richmond , QC . 

So: on to the garden items. 

Tomatoes, Bell Peppers, Zucchinis 

Corn> overview Front stoop

corn, beginning

Kentucky Wonder Beans, with planks, timbers to prevent trampling by dogs

interconnected garden, Lebanon zucchini and wild dill (swimming pool in background)

Cherry tomatoes, with Lebanon Zucchini in June

Lebanon Zucchini flowers
zucchini and wild dill

Mr Bee doing his thing

corn Maize lending support to peas and beans

high altitude bean flowers 

Monday, October 31, 2016

Loyalist Roots (from USA to Canada 200 years ago)

Dykeman FAMILY in North America are descended from Jan Dijckman of Harlem NY (Manhattan). He was a farmer with land at the upper end of Manhattan Island. One of his descendants decided not to stay in what was to become the United States of America, but rather, to stay loyal to the British Crown under George III after 1783. In popular culture, this family is mentioned in Mad Men (TV show) where one character, Peter Dyckman Campbell, is said to have descended.

The descendant that moved to what is now Canada (at the time it was The Colony of Nova Scotia) in about 1786.

Garrett Dyckman (changed to Dykeman as he moved to 'Canada') lived the remainder of his life in his new adopted country. This Loyalist (United Empire Loyalist offically, or UEL) was given a tract of land which he was able to farm in what is now close to the Saint John River. This is s wide gentle river, which has no cataracts between north of Fredericton (now the capital of New Brunswick) to one at Saint John which is at tide water. The cataract at Saint John can be traversed at high tide as Bay of Fundy tides are amoung the highest in the world: enough to carry small personal boats with no issue if properly timed.

Entry of his entry from the Find A Grave website:

Birth: Mar. 4, 1741
White Plains
Westchester County
New York, USA
Death: Jun. 20, 1813
New Brunswick, Canada

Son of Jacob Dyckman and Rebecca Dyckman nee Vermilye.

Tradition says he changed his name from Gerrit Dyckman to appear less foreign to the English-domnated colonial New York society.

Following the Revolutionary War, in 1783 Garret emigrated with his wife and family to the British Colony of Nova Scotia. On April 20, 1784 they were granted Lot no. 66 in Parr Town (now Saint John, NB)

Soon thereafter, on August 16, 1784, the Colony of New Brunswick was created by partition. On January 20, 1787, the Dykemans were granted Lot no. 9 containing 150 acres on Jemseg Creek, Parish of Waterborough, Queen's County, New Brunswick, where they settled to farm.

He has been called "The grandfather of all the Loyalist Dykemans"

Family links:
  Eunice Ann Hatfield Dykeman (1746 - 1808)

  Gilbert Hatfield Dykeman (1769 - 1851)*
  Moses A. Dykeman (1772 - 1850)*

*Calculated relationship
Saint John's Anglican Church Cemetery
Queens County
New Brunswick, Canada
Plot: In the shade of a large pine tree

The Children of Garrett are buried at the Dykeman family cemetary in Jemseg, NB on the ancestral Dykeman family farm.

Great Grandfather and Grandmother graves

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Garden (End of Season) 2016

Canada is not a hot country but from May to end October it is frost free in many areas including Southern Quebec. This provides an ample opportunity to grow many different legumes, maize, root vegetables as well. Fruit is limited to pears, apples and grapes in local area. Peaches, apricots and more common variety of grapes are not hardy enough for the cold winters (-30C usually once or twice a winter). Vegatables grown from seed such as tomatoes, squash, pumpkin types grow well in the warm summer days.

Garden plants are a beauty of minor details which can be captured on film (or electronic film). Here below are some of the captured images:

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Mayan Garden in Canada

Companion Planting: Mayan Agriculture in Canada

A few years ago it became fashionable to plant the 'Three Sisters', a method of inter cropping developed by the Mayan's to produce all three of their staple crops on one plot of land.

The basic method used in 'Three Sisters' planting is to plant Corn, Beans, and Squash in the same vegetable patch. The Sweet corn will grow tall and strong and provide a support for the Beans. The Beans grow up the Corn whilst adding Nitrogen to the soil, and the Squash plants spread out around the base and proved a live mulch and spiky protection. A simple and natural way to inter crop your vegetables


Montreal Canada is not a tropical zone for agriculture, having winters that can approach arctic temperatures of -40F (-40C), but blessed with summers that are frost free from early May to mid October. The months from May to September are the prime time for agriculture, as October time is not ideal for plants. In late summer, early autumn, the temperatures at night are becoming colder which produces dampness. This favours insects and rot, so as a consequence, the plants tend to become diseased and cease to be productive.

Montreal summers are warm to hot (10-20 days of 30+C (high 80's+F), with good sunshine and ample rainfall (usually). The southern Quebec region is between 45 and 47 in latitude, resulting in days having sunrise before 5am (Daylight Savings time) and sunset after 8 pm. 

Saturday, May 21, 2016

SEM - Caricature Artist in France, turn of the 19th Century.

SEM (Georges Goursat) caricatures

Georges Goursat was born and raised in an upper-middle-class family from Perigueux.  The wealth inherited from his father at the age of 21 allowed him to sustain a gilded youth.

He had access to high society of France, who were mainly centered in Paris (entertainment, food, drink), and Monte Carlo (racing, betting). SEM, as he signed, produced these lithographs seen here below from our private collection. Some are framed and some are not.

Années Folles (1918–1934)

After the war, Goursat came back to the kind of caricatures that made him famous. In 1919, he published Le Grand Monde à l'envers (High Society upside down).]Around 1923, he published 3 almums under the general title of Le Nouveau Monde (The New World). In 1923, he was made an officer of the Légion d'honneur. In 1929, he was severely impoverished by the  economic crisis. After a heart attack in 1933,mhe died in 1934.