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

Friday, February 16, 2024

Winter has come back...maybe....

 February 16, 2024

It started snowing yesterday PM, and as the day progressed, the snow came down heavier and heavier. After dark, flicking on the outside lights illuminated the snow pelting down. This morning there was a tinge of blue here and there in the sky, but it has since clouded right over. We have accumulated about 5 inches. Perfect for padding up our snow shoe trails.

Hubby has the panels and the drive cleared, but the plough has not come up the hill yet. I love the feeling of being socked in. Of course we could get out if we wanted to, although getting back up the un-ploughed hill might be a challenge! I'm pretty sure we would have to resort to "Shank's mare"!

The 12+ Blue Jays are mobbing the scoop of corn we put out in the tray feeder. There have been small flocks of Pine Siskins and Red Polls pecking at the exposed gravel on the road. They fly up in a chittering flurry as I walk toward them. My Merlin app also told me there are Red Crossbills around. A group of 6 Evening Grosbeaks show up at the feeder periodically, but this winter, there have only been a few Chickadees about.

Our son arrived last night for Family Day weekend. He arrived late, having had a long and slow slog from the Big Smoke. (Toronto) Most wise folk stayed off the roads, so there was very little traffic to contend with and only the odd snow plough.

I browned a couple of chicken thighs in the cast iron pot on the wood stove, sauteed some veg, and now a good pot of soup is simmering there. I'll shred the thighs and add some orzo close to lunch time.

Other than daily, good cardio walks down and back up the hill, I've been spending time crafting and baking. My most recent build is this tote bag with a draw string top. There are two roomy zippered pockets, one on the outside, and one on the inside. The drawstring top folds down smoothly against the upper insides of the bag, and can be pulled up and used as needed. 

In the baking department, muffins, cookies and some good whole-grain bread full of seeds and grains.

 We discovered some medium sized wolf tracks on a walk around earlier in the week. Things were frozen and we were able to walk without our snow shoes, as long as we stayed on the packed trails.

The wolves had been through on a mild day, their prints sunk into the soft surface.

 On a recent sunny Sunday, we did a bit of a back roads foray, and stopped at Fourth Chute on the Bonnechere. The rocks here are limestone, and are filled with fossils. It is a fun site to visit on a hot summer day, as there are shelves of rock descending into the river.

The Aero garden is doing well. I've been well supplied with dill and mint. The basil has been transplanted out into a pot, not liking the move, but now is showing a little more life. The empty pods are now growing lettuce, and the parsley is just getting usable.

My bit 'o green keeps me company on a table in my craft room.


Thursday, February 8, 2024

The winter that isn't.....

February 8, 2024

 We are just muddling through this winter that isn't. The few and far between sunny days are enjoyed. By mid-morning, the sun is slanting into our south-facing verandah, and I have been known to dress warmly and sit out there in the warm sunshine and read. What little snow we've accumulated, has settled from the mild temperatures and rain, and the surface is a hard crust that may or may not support one's weight, but the smooth icy surface is deadly to try walking or snowshoeing on.

Recently we took a day trip over to Algonquin to look up the Canada Jays. They made a brief appearance, then flew off before we could get the cameras up. The Chickadees were friendly.


It was a very dull, overcast day. We walked the Big Pines trail.

It meanders from one giant white pine, to another and circles around the sunken remains of an old logging camp, the foundation mounds fenced in for protection. 

Meanwhile, on the home acreage, the deer are pretty much all gone to the yard. This is a regular runway that they travel on.

There is just the odd fresh track around now. Earlier, they were scouting under all the apple trees for dropped fruit.
We seem to be experiencing an upswing in the rabbit population. We are seeing more rabbit tracks now, or we were, before the snow crusted over. A few years ago, they were scarce. Under the branches of this pine tree is all packed with rabbit tracks. They must have been nibbling on the needles.
I have been spending a bit of time crafting. The Fair Isle cardigan has languished a bit while I finished a pair of fingerless gloves, made out of sock wool.
I had fun making these pin cushions. The left one is a wrist pin cushion. I stuffed them with steel wool, polyfil and dried lavender. They smell so nice. The one on the right is just a tuna can with a weight glued into the bottom, and fabric glued over the can.

I made this cross-body bag out of old jeans, and just have to get a buckle for the strap.

I found the pretty lining fabric in a thrift store, and only had to buy a couple of zippers. The top zipper is inset into the bag. It was a fun build.