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Winter and Critter Observations

29 Oct

The weather has turned colder and snow has started to fall. a light dusting but something to watch out for. The paved road #222 has worn down into grooves, not quite ruts, where any melt water collects to produce a thin layer of black ice that runs along the grooves. Nastily slick when covered by a snow dusting, especially on the curves. Saw one car that had slid off the road into the ditch and rolled. The city had reported a 20 car pileup on one of its bridges. Seems every year we have to re-learn how to drive in bad weather.

Rodent Restaurant in our Rav4 Cabin Air Filter

I had to take the car into Winnipeg for a lube job  and oil change. Trips into the city now have to be connected to some must-do reason. Discovered a new aspect of country living that I had not noticed before: some rodent had decided recently to take up residence in the car near the cabin air filter. The thought that we were breathing in rodent bits as we drove was a bit revolting, especially with concerns about hanta virus. Seems like a frequent visual inspection is in order. On the way home, in the dark, we missed  hitting a deer,  on the highway, by a hair’s breadth. It passed between me and an oncoming car. I had averted my eyes to avoid the glare of the oncoming car. The deer came from that car’s side. My sudden braking action showed the value of seatbelts. A double dose of critter contact that day.

Deer caress fender,

Rodents set up home snack bar.

Battered, munchy car.

Bald Eagle Nest on Top of Hydro Pole

While checking around the neighbourhood I noticed a bald eagle nest on top of a hydro pole. Empty of course but it did get me thinking as to how the parents and fledglings avoided the wires. Big birds but obviously graceful in close quarters. I’ll have to keep an eye on it next year to see if the nest is re-used. Judging from the size of it I assume it will be re-furbished. I thought the little dogs in the area would have to watch out for coyotes but eagles are a new item.

All the basic chores to prepare for winter have been done except for winterizing the lawn mower, an easy chore.


Preparing For the Cold: Work, Work, Work

16 Oct

Snow Fence and Leaf Cover over Septic Field

This week and next are devoted to getting ready for winter. A big task was putting up the snow fence and laying out a bed of leaves over the septic field and our water lines. We are grandfathered in; otherwise, we would have to have a holding tank since we are on the lake. We have used leaves before as well as bales of straw. Both seem to work well. I find that leaves are easier to dispose of come the spring. They make a great mulch for the garden and can be mulch-mowed into the grass. The fence not only catches the snow along with the leaves. The principal purpose of the fence, however, is to keep out the deer. Over the winter they seem to have an appetite for anything organic. We do not rake and bag  the leaves anymore. A neat lawn is not priority. We are not are not in the suburbs! Our first year we did bag leaves: 63 big bags! Never again.

Turned over the garden to let it regenerate over the winter. Nothing was left except one tiny cucumber and small remnants of swiss chard. The birds have picked over the red berries of the asparagus. Nothing left but feathery ferns. Some might have fallen to the ground. Maybe new spears in two years.

Lake Wiinipeg, Looking South, Mist, October

Today was very foggy. The fog lasted all day. Water drops hung heavy on the branches sparkling in the sunlight.


Crystal Mist Drops on Bare Limbs, October

Surprising beauty

Crystal drops hang on bare limbs

October geese calls.

Fall Haiku

27 Sep

Driveway weeds sleep, brown

Mower silent now dormant

Geese honk their way south.

The Driveway, Early Fall. Worm’s-Eye View

The driveway, my gateway to the world. Whenever I mow, the world invites itself for visits. Synchronicity? As the driveway grass grows so do the visitors. Don’t be fooled by the little bit of grass. In the Summer parts can grow knee high along with the weeds. It is an ecosystem unto itself and it knows how to survive, to reproduce.