Sunday, 6 December 2015

Closer To the Land

Driveway repair
We have been busy this year with working the acreage as nature tries to move back in to reclaim the area. This is when the realization of living in the country means more physical labour to exist comfortably. Our beaver colony was extending their dams in the creek and there was little water running there. This creek drains the upper areas of the fields and now this pond was becoming a small lake. We had a trapper in for the spring and he took out two of them, and destroyed the dam with an axe. However it was obvious in no time that there were more and working industriously with rebuilding. We had also had some washouts on our driveway in heavy melts and rain. If this lake continued to grow, then our drive in the lower area and the road next to the land would suffer. We had a few people to come and take down the dams even digging under theml. A few times we saw the rush of water go under the culvert in the drive. But we were soon calling in the licensed trapper these last weeks and three more beaver were removed. The water is flowing and we hope that is a sign that there are no more in the lodge. The trapper may be waiting to go back in at night to check for any more. We wait the results.

Meanwhile we have just gotten the driveway resurfaced to a smooth run of 1500 feet up the hill. There is to be a culvert put in below still, to combat any over flow on to the drive as was in the past. 

We bought a large shelter tent to house some items from the garage so that we can work more in the garage and the tent. The wind last month took the tent and we had it replaced more securely and waited out two more wind storms watching with anxiety. It’s a guessing game if it lasts this winter.

Our Deer
We have tried to live with the animals and the elements but have found nature is powerful and determined and the best we can hope for is to hold our ground. But there are the days when I’m out on the deck with my morning coffee viewing the early fog or sun. There is the delight of watching the deer in our yard near the house. Recently we have viewed a stag a couple of times. Usually they don't show up like the doe. We have snow shoes ready for this winter. I plan to photograph the land more and even get a plein air painting or two done as the subject matter is endless .In our battles we still claim joy in living on our 49 acres.

Fog Over Greenhill

Tuesday, 1 September 2015

Summer's Ending with Fulfilment

Painting of Sunflowers
This summer of 2015 was especially important for me after the last year's illness finally ended in spring, followed with 3 months of physiotherapy. My goal was to throw myself into my art, catching up with projects left undone, and thoroughly enjoy the summer weather escaping outdoors often. My goal was more than met, with many art projects on the tables and some plein air outings with a friend. The weather cooperated to give me a marvellous feeling of freedom after almost a year indoors ,long-fully looking out.

I planted a new flower garden after the ravages of the winter on the former bed. This was the year of the hummingbirds with several at the feeder at a time and a constant return. The bird feeder for the other birds thanked us with some sunflowers popping up in a few places and the sky here was full of flight activity all summer. I have sat many days on the deck enjoying the land and view. We also got in miles of walks throughout the area for enjoyment and exercise that I needed to keep up from the end of my physiotherapy. My grandson and I found an entrance to the neighbours wild rose bushes and enjoyed the array of white flowers and the long awaited bluenose ship docked in our port. The road we lived on had an heritage house visit where we learned much about our adopted country home.

Entrance too Secret Garden of Roses
The beavers are still claiming ownership on the front acreage despite us trying to move them along. And the last resort is arriving soon to demolish the lodge and dam so we can reclaim the water covered field. Our hay is high as I have ever seen it, as promises from the farmer to cut it hasn't materialized.The weather has given the local farmers an abundance of produce growth and kept them busy, so we hope to see them in fall.

Now as school starts officially, if not weather wise, beginning the fall activities, I still see many opportunities for plein air trips, and walks and time to sit on the deck. The apple trees are full now ,that being a planned plein air event, and the flowers are still in bloom, so there is much time to enjoy the outdoors.This year Im excited to be able to enjoy the autumn colours once they begin and hopefully the winter isn't as wild as last year because I want to walk  in the snow and feel that freedom in our longest season.
Visit by the Bluenose
My Best Hummingbird Photo

Tuesday, 7 April 2015

The Hard Winter Into The Late Spring

Deer in Woods

While the East coast climbs out of a deep and heavy winter snow load, many people anxiously await the big melt that will officially start this late spring. The weather is milder but the white snow banks are still high enough to hide a view. We wait for rain as well as the sun to soften and lessen the snow. It is to be hoped that it will not result in too much flooding and come gently even if that means a little longer before we see the ground.

If we are suffering this long hard season, I imagine the wildlife have had a rough go of it. On the way back from the city a few weeks ago, I saw a number of large roadkill of deer and I believe a coyote or wolf. Anything moving before out in our fields has been absent for months and even the tracks we usually see from the night are much less in number. Yesterday we did herald our first herd of 9 deer walking the tree line in the back fields.They were a little thinner than I remember so that must tell of the hardship they experienced. Birds are just arriving in small numbers and I saw my first robin a few days ago near the front window. Definitely spring is coming and hopefully not too much longer. I felt guilty this last season so next season the birdhouse goes back up, maybe a bat house, and if the winter promises to be this hard again, maybe I’II invest in a few oats from down the road, to see the deer through the winter.
Plein Air of West River in progress

Speaking of the road, I made my first walk down the long drive and out to the road this week. The drive has been too icy for me to walk it as I recuperated this winter, and the road much too narrow for safety with the high and wide banks of snow. It is a freeing experience to get out and breathe the air and at least view a bit of the scenery over the banks. Soon I’II be able to go out for more walks, photoshoots, and plein air painting and experience the full summer again. It will be a special and noteworthy time for me and an appreciation only someone deprived two full warm seasons with health issues can understand. I intend to take in every bit of the summer and autumn this year and be out of doors often.
PLein air of West River Melt

Monday, 5 January 2015

This Isn't Winter

Slow Winter for Snow Lovers

It was a long summer for me and I spent it here on the acreage while I recuperated from cancer treatment. The few days I did manage a walk out on the road, I thoroughly enjoyed the slow pace of my life and the time it takes to just watch the land. I enjoyed our deer regularly visiting and the hawk hunting low over the fields, a few times near the front window. Alas, it was all a flash and too fast to get my camera. There were not too many other visitors that I saw in the day time, but I enjoyed the change of colours this autumn.

Now that I am on my way to health and strength again, I go out for the walks often. The weather is holding up well for my outings except for some rain We had a few storms that we blamed on the washouts on the drive. Then one day our neighbour came up to ask if we’d like him to remove the beavers. We had beavers and were not aware. Once he pointed out the lodge and lake growing in the distant field, we could see where our problems originated. With sadness we agreed something had to be done as the spring melt, once the snow came, would be a costly problem, not only for us. So far, two beaver have been removed and the other or others are putting up a fight. He says that they have become trap smart and were the same beavers moved from up the road. Although we like to live with those that were here first, living in the country can bring hard truths. It is to be hoped that it will end soon.
My first Drive

Meanwhile the grass still has some green to it, the hay lays low and yellow, and there is little to no white flakes as December folds into January. It has become colder this week, so maybe the snow is just ahead of us now. It would certainly brighten up the landscape and change it from the grays. The light though is great for photographs. There is an old barn just down the road that I have longed to photograph and looking at it this year, I best get out to it. The red paint is even more faded, the top hay door is now open to the weather and it seems to sag more too. The lighter winter may save it for another year yet, but I will take the shots soon while I await the snow.
Beavers overflowing brook

My first winter walk during chemo