Thursday, September 21, 2017

The Greenest Frog Ever!

Found this amazing fellow on the driveway the other day.  Not sure why he wasn't hanging out in the trees where he'd blend in better, but we were happy to make his acquaintance!

Gorgeous colours!

A little encouragement to hop into the greenery.

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Kenny Attacked by Venomous Snake!

While clearing brush around the woodshed, we must have disturbed this fearless and ferocious fellow!  Kenny tried to come in for a closer look and was very nearly set upon!

You can feel the anger!
Luckily the strike of this venomous reptile fell a little short, and we quickly released him back into the undergrowth to go harass some other creatures before finding a place to hunker down for the winter.

Uh oh, is he eyeing me now?

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

In Which I Disappoint Grandpa by Felling a Tree the Wrong Way

Whelp, as I've mentioned a few times already, I've been working hard at clearing away brush and superfluous trees from the woodshed and cabin.

A couple weeks ago, I was working close to the woodshed and managed to clear out space around two trees that were growing nearly right against one another.  They probably were a single tree sharing a root system...

Due to the fact they were so close together while growing, all the branches on each were missing from the side against their partner.  I like this feature when cutting them up, as it means that I only have to go down one side of the trunk to remove the side branches.  As with anything though, the law of unforeseen (admittedly, not unforeseeable) consequences comes consistently into play.

The branches on the tree I was cutting down were all about ninety degrees to the direction my wedge cut was pointing.  The tree as it fell decided to "split the difference" and fell at a 45 degree angle.  Completely missing two other tall trees that I was certain would have acted as guidance in the event that it didn't fall as I wanted.  Instead, as if pulled by a magnetic force, or Murphy's Law, the tree came down directly on the end of the woodshed itself.

Harder to do a better hit if I had aimed it!  Note the uneven load of branches.
Kenny was safely ensconced on the cabin porch, as I don't permit him to be closer than a radius of twice the height of whatever trees I may be cutting, but even so, I asked him to go back into the cabin as I needed to say some things out loud that I'd rather he not hear.

I'm just pleased I was able to winch it off with tearing down the porch roof too.
The damage to the steel was cosmetic and annoying, but nothing too crippling.  It did open up the seam slightly, but not enough that I was going to try to rush to repair it.  I'm not sure how I can repair it, as I don't want to stand on the porch roof, so I think that maybe once the shed is emptied of wood, I will go inside and see if I can massage the steel in that manner.  Otherwise, I may not lose sleep over it.  We'll see.

A slight gap at the top shouldn't let in a worrying amount of rain or snow.
It did make me feel much more confident about the snow load the roof and porch roof can hold.  The tree was not insubstantial, and even with me winching it off of the roof there didn't seem to be undo hardship caused.

The change in expression on Grandpa's face when I related that no, it wasn't a windfall that caused this, but my own cutting was something to behold.  :)

Next time I will try to see if I can't find a way of coaxing trees to fall better when they are anywhere near my buildings or equipment.

Monday, September 18, 2017

The Eclipse

We happened to be visiting with my parents during the recent "Eclipse of the Century" (by what metric?)

I managed to snag this picture with my camera from an internal reflection.  Not too shabby I think.

Sunday, September 17, 2017

An Answer to a Mystery?

So far, to our knowledge, pine boring grubs notwithstanding, we haven't really had too many critters invade our cabin.  We do what we feel is a pretty good job of keeping food scraps in their proper places, and the space is small enough that there aren't really any nooks or crannies that don't get exposed regularly.

There was ONE episode a couple years ago where we discovered a small mole or vole in the thunderbox, but we were unable to ascertain really how it go there.

One possible solution to this mystery did arise a few weeks ago.  It was still warm enough that our bedroom door was open and the screen was allowing in a breeze.  Kenny and I happened to be in the bedroom and heard a quiet noise from the deck that just didn't sound like something the wind could produce.  Twice I stepped out onto the deck and the sound stopped, I assumed there was a bunny or something similar perhaps under the deck that didn't want to cause trouble.

Finally, it was time to change the toilet bucket, and that's when I discovered it...

Kenny remarked "Oh so cute!"
Somehow this little fellow had climbed the wall of the cabin, then dropped down into the bucket.  What an experience!  He had been scrabbling around for a few hours at least, perhaps the most part of a day!

I tipped him out on the steps and encouraged him to live free, free as the wind blows...  Without undue haste, he made his way to the edge of the steps and jumped into the grass, hopefully to return to a relieved family for the season.

Ready to head home with tales of high adventure!

Monday, September 4, 2017

A Short Update

As summer is winding down, I'm getting more and more apprehensive about how little I feel I have accomplished during our short, snow-free months.  It's not been an easy year here for me, although things are still always getting better overall.

This past month since I last wrote, I suffered through a(nother) sinus infection that unfortunately coincided with my brother and sister-in-law visiting us.  I was in pretty rough shape for most of their time here and wasn't able to participate in many activities.  I sure hope they are willing to give us another try!

One nice feature of their visit was that we all left the homestead and travelled to Killbear Provincial Park together.  By this time I had visited my nurse practitioner clinic and received a prescription for nasal steroids, as well as antibiotics for the strep.  I did feel a bit vindicated when the NP looked down my throat and exclaimed "Oh my God!  That's crazy!"  She reassured me (again) that I wasn't a hypochondriac.
He's a ZipLine natural!
A budding Dr. Doolittle?
God bless modern medicine.  Within a day the antibiotics had me feeling much more relaxed about our trip.  I could eat again!

After a few days with our whole family in Killbear, we proceeded down to Waterloo to spend another week with my parents and catching up with friends and family.  It was nice that my Aunt and Uncle from Australia were able to drop in while they were visiting Canada.  It's becoming a very rare treat to meet up with my father's side of the family.

For the second summer in a row, we replaced wheel bearings in our Echo while in Waterloo before returning home.

One notable milestone was that shortly after returning, I actually had to trot out the generator and run it for the first time in a few months because the batteries were low and sun wasn't in the forecast.  This, and whenever we put on our first fire, are the real landmarks on our calendar.

I know I have more blog posts already in my brain, wriggling to get out, so I'll try to work on them later.  For now, I do have real world chores to work at.