Thursday, November 15, 2018

Wildlife Update: 21 October 2018 (Lynx)

This lynx appeared about 25 minutes after the grouse, following the same route.

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Wildlife Update: 21 October 2018 (Grouse)

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Cold Morning in the Cabin!

I woke up early this morning, it felt later than it really was, but I decided it was a good time to start the woodstove.

Sunday, November 11, 2018

Security / Game Cameras

A couple weeks ago at Canadian Tire, I picked up a few game cameras after we witnessed the lynx following some grouse along our driveway.  This coincided with a recent uptick in traffic on the homestead while we are away.

I figured that the game cameras could double as security cameras as well.

Slightly annoyingly, we're sure that they've missed some critters, as we've seen tracks in front of the their field of view, but no pictures have materialized!

Similarly, there have been times that we know we drove past, but the camera has either been extremely slow in tripping and thus only shows the driveway, or it hasn't tripped at all.

On the plus side, there are multiple cameras, so we can assume that in most cases, if one camera misses something, another will catch it.

I had planned on owning one more SD card than cameras, so that I could swap out the cameras in succession each night when we go for our after supper walk.  Unfortunately, after the first swap, I could no longer find the spare SD card.  I searched through all the bins in the corner where I THOUGHT I would have left it.

I cleared off the countertop with our computers in the family room of the cabin.  Not there either.

I figured it was a sunk (lost) cost, and purchased a new card.  I opened up the new card and sat it beside the computer.  After supper, while getting ready to go for the walk, I put the new card in my pocket, and then sat briefly on the chesterfield.

My hand slipped (for what felt like the first time ever) between the side of the chesterfield and the first cushion.  It felt an edge of plastic.  I slipped my fingertips around it and pulled out the missing SD card - NOT SIXTY SECONDS AFTER I HAD PICKED UP ITS REPLACEMENT FROM THE COUNTER.

I guess that's another sunk cost, and at least I have a spare SD card, instead of just the memories of one.  Sigh.

Here are the first pictures of wildlife we've gained from the investment.

Saturday, November 10, 2018

Partially Enclosing the Porch with Poly

Last week we got treated to a cold, wet blow of snowy rain on our north and east sides here at the cabin.  On the north side of the cabin is where we store firewood briefly before it comes into the cabin (so we don't have to go all the way to the woodshed every time we run out of wood inside - we have a couple days' supply built up in deep Rubbermaid tubs.)  As long as the lids are on these tubs, it isn't really a big issue if the weather hits them, but in this particular case, it meant that every lid had a deep pool of freezing cold slush on it that had to be removed before we could bring in that wood.  I also don't like how the snow blows up to the logs of the cabin and then melts there when the temperatures rise again.

Wood and sawdust bins close by.  Note the soaking wet deck.
Even worse, on the east side of the cabin, we sometimes leave our boots outside when we come in.  We came home during this weather event to find our boots soaked with cold snowy water.  Ugh.

No protection for the front entrance either.
For $25, I picked up a roll of medium strength poly tarp and for a few dollars more, some squeeze type clamps.

Medium weight poly.
These type of clamps are surprisingly expensive!

I cut some one inch by two inch strapping to the same height as the outside opening of the porch roof (78 inches).  I wrapped up some of the poly tarp around this strap, and then clamped it to one of the posts on the cabin.

I zig zagged through the posts to give the poly a bit more support, and then did the same thing at the opposite end of the porch.

The view from inside the porch now.  Feels actually cozy.
And in front of the entrance.  Hopefully it will offer a bit of protection.

It was hard to see through, but on the north side of the cabin, we only have a bathroom window that we sometimes look out of - so no worries there.

On the east or entrance side of the cabin, I didn't enclose the whole porch, just in front of the door, so our view through the kitchen sink window is still unobstructed.

Fingers crossed!
I then wandered off to assemble our pop up garage, but returned shortly after to see this.

I retightened everything and made a note to purchase some more clamps for extra strength.

One new, extra clamp

And an alternate angle, showing the wood slat.
I'll try to continue to report on how well it all works out.

Wednesday, November 7, 2018

A Pop Up Garage

So Donna is still making the daily trek into the city for work, and now that temperatures have dropped below zero, she's starting to encounter frost and snow some mornings.

After a brief discussion about whether or not we could find a way to make the morning routine a bit easier, we green-lit the notion of a shelter for her to park in.

I consulted carefully with the Canadian Tire website, and opted for a rounded top ten by ten structure that seemed to fit the bill (ninja edit : it was on sale too, so the decision was swayed towards this particular size and model).  I think that in the future if the fabric does ever break down, I can easily (?) cover it with sheet steel and create something really solid!

Kenny and I spent the better part of the day assembling it in a very cold drizzle, but managed to not only get it put together according to specs, I even used some of the leftover railway spikes from constructing the cabin to hammer it into the gravel where we located it!

All set up, ready to accept a vehicle into it's loving embrace!
With great excitement, I lined up the Echo and backed carefully in.

Looks good!
Nice and tight against the back fabric.
Uh oh...
Yup, I should have bought the fifteen footer.  Sigh.  Maybe measuring the vehicles would have been prudent?

Enough room to get in and out on the side ;).
At least there was room to get in and out of the vehicle without having to slide along the side of it.

The even more glaring issue is that the Hyundai that Donna drives is even longer.

Well, for now we'll try having her just pull the front in, so she doesn't have to scrape her window.  If it doesn't work out, we do have need for a structure like this to park either the ATV or the bikes or things of that nature.

Bonus cold snek picture.