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

Wednesday, November 17, 2021


 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.