I go to nature to be soothed and healed, and to have my senses put in order.
John Burroughs

Wednesday, January 12, 2022

A tree a day....

 The temperature has risen from -29C (-20F) yesterday morning, to -5C (23F) this morning. The forecast calls for more cold temperatures over the coming weekend, actually colder than those we've just experienced. I sure wish we could have a good fall of snow to insulate everything. This crazy temperature fluctuation is hard on everything, especially since there is such a scant covering of snow. (the present header picture was taken mid January 2019)

It being so much milder today, we headed out and got back at tree harvesting.


We are working away at felling beech trees, cutting them for firewood before the Beech Bark fungus totally takes the good out of the trees.
We are trying to haul in enough wood to replace what we'll be burning this winter.

The rounds will be split in the spring, hopefully before the biting insects come out, and will be piled to cure in the empty space in the woodshed.

All that bending and lifting is good exercise, and doing just one tree a day ensures that we don't overdo it.  

Sunday, January 9, 2022

January? Not according to this weather.....

 Well...it is January, and the weather is not January-like. Our temperature has been going up and down like a yo-yo. We've gone from mild and rain, to beautifully cold, crispy squeaky boot walking for a day, and now we are a little above 0C. Tomorrow we are supposed to plunge to even colder temperatures, and the wind is ushering it in now, howling around, the temperature slowly dropping back below the freezing mark.

We don't have a lot of snow cover, just enough to get one thinking that maybe snowshoes should be brought out and readied for use. There have been a few brilliant sunny days, but they've been few and far between. 

I've been doing some baking, some sewing and some knitting, and going for regular daily walks. 

I tried my hand at a bit of colour work, and made this simple cowl, holding one colour in each hand. One colour is knit English style, the other Continental style. It sure keeps the yarn from getting tangled up.
This is a summer top, knitted with a new to me yarn, a rayon/bamboo. It is very slippery and a little 'splitty', but the summer top is now complete, blocked, and is drying. The edges are all I-cord bind offs, a very nice finish to the garment.
This morning, I got out my graphed garden bed sketches, and have penciled in prospective plantings, made and sent a seed order.
Best get it in before all those 'sold out' banners get splashed across the seed order site's pages! I've ordered 3 blueberry bushes, compliments of a gift card from a friend. The local wild crop has been very inconsistent, and it would be nice to have a small harvest we can count on. 

 Recently I retrieved my dried cayenne peppers, ground them up in a coffee grinder I reserve for such things, and have a nice little amount, enough to last quite a while.


In the woods, the deer are slowly progressing down to their winter yard, a few still showing up on the trail cameras. 


Thursday, December 16, 2021

Weather, deer and Christmas wishes....

Our weather is on some weird roller-coaster ride at present. Lately, we've had every kind of precipitation known to man. Last night the temperature did not even drop to freezing, and today the temperature is supposed to go up to an unprecedented 12C. (54F) There is a skim of 'sort of' snow...ice pellets/sleet, on the ground, and lots of icy spots, so walking is pretty iffy on untreated surfaces. I am longing for a proper snowfall and cold, cold temperatures. (The header picture is from a previous, more snowy December!)

I've been doing a little Christmas baking for humans, and dog friends.

On the crafting front, some crocheted pot holders, a little gift for a friend.


 The deer were starting to move to their winter yards before the snow melted.




Oh Oh...Busted!!

Here is a cute, short video of a young 'button buck', this spring's fawn. It was taken earlier, in November. He was eating apples from under the apple tree behind the barn. The direction he is looking in, is toward the house, so maybe he heard a thump from us, perhaps getting wood out of the back porch, as he did not run away.


 Just wanted to drop in and wish everyone happiness, good health and peace for the Christmas season.

Saturday, December 4, 2021

Snow, snow...Beautiful Snow!!

 This morning, finally...a lovely dusting of snow has fallen, a beautiful curtain of white flakes, visible as the daylight grew. There is a brightness to a snowy morning, even though the sky is grey. The silence is a palpable thing, and you know before you even look out, that snow has come. 


We've had a skiff or two over the past weeks, but they have melted off every time. From -8C (18F) this morning, the temperature has risen to -1C (30F), and the sun has emerged, so the roof is dripping and this lovely white blanket may not last, but I am hoping it will, as the forecast calls for -10 tonight. 


December has arrived, so I've put up a few red ribbons and bows to welcome the season, and have strung a wire of very efficient LED lights across the front of the verandah. They will reflect very prettily out on the snow tonight.

On the crafting front, I finished piecing the poinsettia wall hanging. There is enough of the dark red for binding, but I haven't got enough of any of the fabrics to back it, so am waiting for a trip to town to find something to match the little swatches of fabric I am taking with me. I have yet to peruse my button box, as the pattern calls for sewing red buttons at the base of the green pieces, to simulate holly berries.



This quilt is called Blue Ribbon Twist, but I am calling my version Ribbons and Stars. I've had the pieces cut out and stored since we moved, and have been working away on the blocks. The fabrics are all prints with various celestial bodies on them, comets, shooting stars, moons etc. I hope to get it together for a sky obsessed friend, sometime in the future.


The Christmas pudding is made and stored, a couple balls of cookie dough are resting in the fridge, ready to be rolled and baked. I'm planning a town trip next week to pickup anything I need for the recipes I've planned for our festive meals. It feels good to get some of the preparation done. Having a plan to execute makes the holidays much more stress free. 

Wednesday, November 17, 2021

Crafting....

 Well, the weather has been a bit dreary and grey lately. We had a small skim of snow overnight on Sunday, but it has since melted off, except for a bit in north-facing, shaded spots....So, thought I'd post a more cheery header. This is a log cabin afghan that I crocheted quite a few years ago. I put all my yarn ball-ends in two bags, one of light coloured balls, and one of dark coloured balls and just pulled out whatever my hand grabbed and went with it, keeping the darks and lights in their proper sequence, of course.

Last spring, I started knitting this sweater for Hubby,


and worked away at it, mostly in the evenings. Being a 'typical' man, he just knew I was knitting, (again), and never asked what I was making. It has been stashed away all summer. Recently, I dug out the pieces, blocked and sewed them together while he was out. It still needs the buttons put on and a final blocking done.

Over the summer and fall, I was able to work through a few pairs of socks for Christmas giving.


These long, dark mornings are helpful, as I can never adjust to the fall time change, and still arise around the same time as in the summer, which works out to be between 4 and 5 AM. There is a pair for our son, for Hubby, his brother, (still working on them), and one for my friend. Also for my friend, is a shawl I've been puttering away at for forever..it seems.

It got put away so many times, as it got boorrringg! But, now it is done, and I hope she enjoys it's bit of warmth while she waits for the fire to get going in the mornings, while sipping her morning beverage.


An afghan...a C2C crocheted blanket, just random stripes, made out of an easy wash and wear acrylic, for our son. That also was put away for a long time, but finished this fall. The yarn was purchased for a much more interesting cat-patterned afghan, but on starting it, I changed my mind, as it was way too involved and I knew it would never be finished.

In September, I joined a hand quilting circle, and we worked away on some things, a couple of hot pads to start, then I made a pillow top and just completed that.


Our ancestors used to make quilts all by hand, and it is relaxing, and yes, addictive (!) to stitch away. It is a very portable craft as well. This brings to mind a  memory of long ago, when my mother had me cut out tiny squares, probably no bigger than 2 inchers, and showed me how to sew them together, by hand. It was a scrappy 9 patch. Many years later, when I returned home after a sojourn overseas, I found, on my bed, my little uneven blocks all sashed and made into a quilt. She had rooted out my squares and made me a quilt as a coming home gift. I'm sure she had to reinforce some of my wobbling stitch lines! That quilt has long since disintegrated, but was such a lovely surprise at the time, as I'd forgotten all about those labourously sewn together squares. Now with acrylic rulers and rotary cutters, one can be much more accurate.


Here are some squares and rectangles cut out ready for today's class, as I am hoping to make at least the center of this quilt, (a festive pillow top?), or if I get really ambitious, perhaps I'll finish the whole thing.

As for the garden...it is pretty much bare now, the herbs are keeled over from the frost, although the kale is still usable. The glad corms got cleaned and hung up in onion bags in the cool room. I had a lovely sunny day to do the job.


It always is amazing to see the shriveled up, depleted remains of what was, the spring-planted fat bulb, adhering to the bottom of the new, bigger corm.  Those old corms produced 2 flower spikes each, some even threw up a third spike, and grew a new corm as well!

Wednesday, November 10, 2021

Bush wandering...

 It is mid November, and crazily warm for this time of year here. The days are sunny and still, the temperatures going up into the teens C, (53 to 59F), and there have been only a few, very light frosts visible as a white coating on the grass, some mornings. 

The gardens are settled for winter, the garlic bed is leaf mulched, but in the herb barrels, the mint is still green and vibrant, the oregano shows only a bit of frost singeing, and the parsley is verdant. The chard and kale are fine, and we'll continue to use them until the deer find them, then they are out of there, as I don't want habituated garden deer!


 It has been wonderful weather for walking in the woods, the leaves crunching and rustling under our feet. I've noted a few things on my walks. The red squirrels also prepare for winter by drying things... Here and there in the bush, one finds a mushroom propped up in a tree branch crotch. A red squirrel has put it there to dry, and will retrieve it later and store it away. 

Here is a deer rub on a sapling, probably made by a small buck, maybe by the little fork horn that I showed a night picture of in the last post.


Day light buck pictures would be rare, as they are very, very cautious about showing themselves, the big ones get that way by being cautious! 

Yesterday, on a meander through the hemlock grove, my attention was immediately captured by a small, rapidly moving critter...it was Marty, a martin.


They are very inquisitive animals, and he came up to within 10 feet, looking at me with those beady black eyes. Martins never seem to stop moving, only just briefly, to look, then are off, fossicking around roots and rocks and logs. The resident squirrels and chipmunks knew he was there, and were all scolding madly within the vicinity. 
The temperatures are supposed to move into more November-like territory on the weekend, so, unlike a lot of folk....yes, I am looking forward to snow!

Thursday, November 4, 2021

Pumpkins in the woods....

It is that time of year again....and all those pumpkins are looking for this...



or this.

 The annual two week rifle hunt for deer is on in our neck of the woods. Bow season starts earlier and carries on after this two week period, but for the rifle season, all hunters are required to wear blaze orange. We are located in an hunting area, private camps are around us as well as crown land and county forest, where hunters have been coming for years. It is wise to wear orange when out and about, so I don my orange fleecy for regular walks on the road, and even in our bush, as one never knows when someone has come wandering in by mistake. 


Once this madness is over, I feel a sense of freedom, as the bush empties out, and we can wander at will without concern.

We are finally getting regular frosts, after the October 23rd frost that put paid to my late blooming marigolds and nasturtiums. The kale pops back to vertical every day, despite the now regular nightly coating of frost. We are having a run of beautiful, crisp, sunny fall days, the frost causing the final aspen and maple leaves to come drifting down once the morning sun hits the canopy. Beech leaves hang on, and will stay until spring when the swelling buds dislodge the old leaves, which will fade from yellow, to coppery bronze before spring arrives.