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

Thursday, November 30, 2023

Critters, weather and some green stuff......

November 30, 2023 

Mother Nature has been trying really hard to lay her white carpet, but the trolls in the temperature department keep thwarting her efforts, as they are gleefully fluctuating the temperature up and down, from nice and cold, to mild and rainy. Apparently this is normal for an El Nino year, so say all the weather forecasters. On the colder days, our footsteps crunch through the crust on the crispy snow, on milder days, they make a crumping sound, the soft snow compressing down under each step. 

Yesterday morning, big soft snow flakes were drifting down gently.  

This morning is milder and that 'goose down' snow has evaporated.

Now that the deer season rifle hunt is over around here, there are just a few bow hunters out and I know which properties they are on, so I can confidently wander further afield.

There isn't much activity on the trail cameras... just Foxy

and the odd deer.
Perhaps he hears sleigh bells....??

The twin fawns have been showing up here and there around the yard, usually later in the day just after sunset, but a few times they've been here mid day. They are eating the tufts of grass that protrude around the bases of trees and poles. (After finishing off the parsley, the catnip, and frozen phlox leaves in the garden beds.)

This was taken on the 10th of the month, and a few days later, on the 15th, milder temperatures had melted the snow down.

The fawns looked at the photographer before deciding to leave in a flurry of bounding feet and waving white tails. 

Being mild and still this morning, on our pre-breakfast walk, we ventured along a trail through our neighbour's property, where the bush is predominately beech. The beech bark disease has ravaged this section, trees and branches have fallen, blocking the trail in places. It is so sad to see the mess. It would be dangerous to walk along it on a day with any wind at all. The trees are covered with all sorts of fungi, so nature is looking after things.

This mess is pretty much right across the trail.
Sadly, once the disease has advanced far enough to cause branches to fall, the wood is not any good for firewood.
Evergreen club mosses provide a bit of greenery, sunlight warming and melting the snow away from the protruding branches, as the snow is not deep enough yet to completely cover them up. (Ground pine and Staghorn club mosses with spore clusters still visible.)

I am not so patiently awaiting enough snow to get out the snowshoes and wander further afield.

Wednesday, November 1, 2023

Horse parking and sock knitting addiction....

November 1, 2023

The first heavy frost arrived overnight on the 23rd of October,

which did in the dahlia,

then the first white blanket arrived overnight on the 30th, but melted off by noon. This morning, the world is white again. Yeah!

Last weekend, we went to an auction sale at a farm south of Renfrew, and were interested in the parking arrangements.

There is a sizable Mennonite community in the area.

The woodshed is full, a two year supply, and recently I've been getting the winter's kindling supply split and ferreted away in the barn.


The 'dynamic duo' (this year's fawn twins) have been boldly grazing in our clearing in daylight. We took these pictures just after the noon hour one day, by creeping around and pointing the camera around the side of the Battery House. With the aid of binoculars, one can see tiny nubs growing on one's head.

The snow is still coming down, fairly wet and heavy, so it is a good time to finally do some sorting and organizing in the sock knitting department...

Most of it is Kroy sock wool, which has a nice feel while knitting, and wears very well. Behind are little balls, the remains of many pairs of socks. Still trying to decide on a project with them. Perhaps some funky looking fingerless gloves? In the little bag at the front are all the little bits, too small for much except perhaps darning. 

There are a couple of skeins of hand-dyed 90% merino sock yarn from Hedge Hog fibres, a gift from last Christmas, which I haven't decided what to do with yet, some homespun from Madawaska Highlands, 100% pure wool, and the remains of a gifted skein of hand-spun silk-bamboo, a gift from a fellow spinner-knitter, out of which I made a lacy cowl.

Temperatures appear to be staying lower for the next while, so hope I to get to wear it soon!

Sunday, October 22, 2023

Wet leaves, last blooms, and a little crafting....

 October 22, 2023

We are enduring a spate of grey, rainy days. Today there is "attitude" in the rain; flying white particles. Despite the wind and weather, one needs exercise, so I suited up in rain gear and headed out. Gusts of strong wind are causing flurries of leaves to fall. 

 My little camera comes along. None of the leaf or flower pics needed any processing. They are straight off the SD card. 

Mother Nature sure knows how to wield her palette. 

The last flowers to bloom...cosmos, brown-eyed susans, and a red poppy.

Perhaps a little bachelor button....

This padded snap pouch, a gift when we moved, has held and cushioned my little camera well. It pops into my pocket and comes with me. It has served its purpose but the snap has worn through, one side is gone altogether, the edges are frayed, and perhaps when duct tape comes out, it is past time for a serious fix!

A rainy afternoon is a good time to rectify this.

A new, padded, zippered, pouch.

So, having shown it off to Hubby...the suggestion was made that he needs a new case for his camera as well.

 Done. Now I have the sewing bug, so a list is being made for a trip to the fabric store!

Thursday, October 19, 2023

Still growing and blooming....

October 19, 2023

The sun was shining through the young beech leaves this morning, casting a golden glow on the world.

Here and there, a flash of colour lingers.

The oaks are starting to change colour now.

Under our crab apple tree, this year's single puff ball grew and grew...
September 30

October 13

 The water tanks are all drained and stored for the winter.

60 fat garlic cloves are nestled into the earth, mulched with leaves and covered with screening and rocks.

The baby plum trees have had their trunks wrapped to prevent vole incursions over the winter, and then fenced to deter deer nibbling.
The pond is very low. By spring it will be full to the topmost step visible in the photo...hopefully.

The spuds have been dug, cured, brushed off and stored. Red, Gold and Russet.

There has not been an hard frost at all yet. A few asters and nasturtium seeds I poked into the new perennial bed later in the summer, are now blooming.

A couple more of the sad little rutabaga seedlings I also popped in there have come into their own. The last two are showing their mettle. We ate one of the previously harvested ones at Thanksgiving...so delicious.

Marigolds are still a cheery blast of colour, and a small bed of spinach is doing very well under it's deer deterrent cage.
Radicchio, arugula and a few lettuces under deer deterrent screening are really enjoying these mild fall days.

Saturday, October 7, 2023

I've been "got"!

 October 7, 2023

This is my fall greens patch. It was pak choy and collards. I am pretty sure these are the culprits. (ignore the date on the camera.)
There is a doe with two fawns, (one of the fawns is front and centre, and the doe is behind her) who have been hanging around. We have many trail camera pictures of them and have seen them in daylight under the apple trees in the front yard and behind the barn. The little guys appear to not have a care in the world, prancing around and play butting each other, their little white tails flipping up, while the doe watches cautiously. We are pretty sure it is the same threesome I posted a picture of in the spring when the fawns were small and still had their spots. 

So...I cleared out that mess and installed hardware cloth to protect the lettuce and radicchio that are behind, because I am sure they will be back. They also had a nibble on the broccoli plants that I have been harvesting shoots from, so those are pulled and composted as well.  

We have still not had a hard frost, and all the remaining blooms are crawling with pollen and nectar gathering insects. The red dahlia has exploded into this.....

the blooms all drooping down from the heavy rain we had Thursday.

We did a little back roads drive to see some colour before the rain arrived.

The colours are a little muted this year because of the last few weeks of drought. I did find a branch or two that was worth a close-up.

I am so done with apples. This is the last harvest I did with ladder and picking pole.

And this is where some of those apples are now.
More apple pie filling. The rest are filling a crisper drawer in the fridge, and will give us an "apple a day" for quite a while.