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

Friday, March 31, 2023

Its time!!!!

March 31, 2023

There is nothing like a walk in the early spring woods.

Milder daytime temperatures have melted and compacted the snow down a bit, but after a cold night, walking pretty much anywhere in the bush, or across the field without snowshoes, is possible, at least until the day warms up.

The stronger sunlight is melting the cowls of snow away from tree trunks,
and sweet water is rising in the maples.

The air is crisp and clear, the sky bluer, and there is more active bird life. The woodpeckers are vigorously tapping out their spring messages, Barred owls are talking, and the Chickadees are making their 2 note, “sweet spring” song. A few Red winged blackbirds have arrived, their somewhat raucous, ”oak-a-lees”, resonating from the treetops. They are giving the greedy Blue Jays a run for the seed tray. The first Robin was spotted here a few days ago, hopping along the edge of exposed lawn beside the driveway snowbank.

The garden beds at the end of March are just vague humps in the snow, only the taller edge of the strawberry bed frame is visible.

But....planting has begun!

It is about 8 weeks until we should be able to plant outdoors, so time to get some pepper and tomato seeds into soil. Despite mapping out a strict garden plan, I always end up starting more plants than the plan calls for...but they'll fit in somewhere....or I'll share!

There have been a few blustery days recently, with strong winds, snow flurries of huge flakes, whiting out visibility; and a few nights with actual snow accumulation, but it melts off rapidly on the next sunny day. Slowly, bits of bare ground are melting out on the south and west facing banks of the pond, and melt water is flooding out over the ice, looking very blue, reflecting the sunny spring sky.

Recently, some productive time has been spent crafting a few things in my sewing room for fun.

I recently purchased a bias tape maker, and used it to make tape to encase cording, to put piping around the edge of these bags, a technique new to me. 

This bag is made from old jeans.

There are many different ways of making a fold able shopping bag, and this one appealed to me because of the little quilt sandwich the bag rolls into.

It opens up the possibility of using up scraps of different fabrics, or even making mini quilt squares.

Monday, March 6, 2023

Beasts and butterflies.....

 March 6, 2023

The latest snow storm on March 3, that came up across the States, dumped about 6 to 8 inches of snow on us. It seems like that may have been Winter's last hurrah, (but we won't count on that!!) as we are now being blessed with gorgeous sunshine, just below freezing temperatures at night, and just above freezing temperatures in the day...perfect for maple sap to run. There is a different feel to the air...it is balmy and soft...the sun so warm. There are degrees of Spring, and we are in the first degrees of Spring here in the north woods. 

Wherever snow has been ploughed away, patches of bare ground are quickly appearing. Snow banks along the road are high, but the strength of that sunshine will soon have them melting down. 

Camera was held at eye level for this shot.

The first job after a snowfall, is to clear the panels, to get whatever light is available.

March 4

Clearing the lane is next, ploughed into a middle ridge, then blown off.
Photo bombing Chickadee

We have been seeing Marten tracks around the house on a daily basis, and they often appeared going across the back step, visible in any new skiff of snow. One day we actually saw the critter bounding across the garden area, coming toward the house, her face stuffed with what appeared to be leaves. On back-tracking her later, it seems she has been helping herself to leaves out of a bag stored in my garden shed. Being curious about what she was up to, we looked around carefully, and discovered a tunnel going in under the back step, heading under the back porch. After the dump of snow on March 4, the tunnel was filled in, then a little later....ta da! 

You can even see the bits of snow on the step that has come off of her paws. We think we have a female marten who is bringing in nesting material in preparation to raising her brood under our porch. Martens give birth in March-April. In the fall, Hubby had positioned thick hemlock planks around the base of the porch, so we could bank the perimeter with insulating snow, so under there is a clear, dry space. We usually remove the planks once the snow has melted away...but.....

On a recent snowshoe hike, we discovered our neighbour's property riddled with moose tracks, some very fresh. The moose had been stripping the bark off of soft maples, pushing over young poplars and browsing their buds.

Hubby is just over 6 feet, and is on snowshoes on top of 2+ feet of snow, so one can see how far the moose can reach up and bite strips of bark. It is amazing what food sustains that large animal throughout the winter.

On the needlework front, the Papillon shawl is finished. It really was so much easier to do than it looks. Basic knitting skills are all that is needed, L and R increasing, and doing wrap and turns....and being able to concentrate and count!!