Sunday, November 29, 2009
Squeequee's person Judy has two of the local Junior A Hockey team players staying with her this winter. Jacob, when he gets the chance away from practice, workouts and work, likes to come with her to the stable and pitch in. (Today he learned about Her a'Laying, the Loft Chicken, and how to collect the eggs from her special nest) Today his mom and sister were here, too -- Jocelyn got introduced to Bailey and learned how to groom. Bailey loves attention -- his nose and tongue are always busy when someone is scratching those itchy places on his back, and from the look of this, Jocelyn hit the sweet spot for him!
Friday, November 27, 2009
Tuesday, November 24, 2009
We have increased the flock. We've also reduced the flock, so the end numbers come out the same -- no, we didn't have chicken soup, we sent six chickens down the road to live at Foxwood, where hopefully the Fox that gives the place its name won't eat them like it did the last lot they had.
Why on earth would we want one, let alone six, of these? Well, they lay coloured eggs. Yes, yes, we know... white is a colour. Brown is a colour. But these eggs range from an off white cream to a greeny blue tint. It's just the shell -- the egg is the same, but every now and then we find a green egg! It's like having Dr. Seuss living in the rafters...
This month, Jan successfully defended her thesis at the University of Tennessee, and can now add that coveted bunch of letters behind her name. Congratulations Dr. Jan! To celebrate, her friends awarded her the coveted "Pewter Plunger", a fabulous antique, heaven knows where they scared it up, to decorate her mantle piece and remind her of the trials and tribulations of academia.
Friday, November 20, 2009
All the same, we shouldn't forget that November brings sunsets like these... it's all good.
I could pass on the rain, though. Bring on the snow! You can PLAY with snow, in a way that is almost impossible when it comes to playing with rain...
Here's another of Brian's photos from his last flight. One of the cool things about this is how you can see the shape of the land -- often that's hidden by the leaves. This time of year you can see right down to the shape of the land beneath. That's Ten Mile Bay in the background again.
Thursday, November 19, 2009
Wednesday, November 18, 2009
Tuesday, November 17, 2009
Monday, November 16, 2009
He was an impatient, difficult creature when I bought him, at the age of 3. Many of the best horses are like that, less than easy. One of the top hunter show barns in the country sold him, because he was too difficult, too quirky, to suit their plans. That made him affordable for someone like my myself, if that self was willing to look past the fact that one end bit, one end kicked and the bit in the middle bucked.
Until late in his life, Bacon was not friendly in his stall. That was his private place. We’d joke that if he was a person, he’d be one of those teenage boys with the signs on the door: Keep Out. Private. No Girls Allowed. This Means You. Bring him out of the stall, however, saddle him up, and he was all business, all manners. This horse competed in three day events when they WERE three day events, before they altered into what is now called the Short Format. That meant that he was required to produce dressage tests, cover the distance on the Roads and Tracks, gallop on a Steeplechase course, jump round testing cross country courses over solid obstacles, and come back to show jump over coloured fences. Those horses have to be fit, and tough minded, versatile and brave, submissive and bold.
He retired from high level competition when he ran out of places to compete north of the American border. The time and cash to keep competing in the U.S. was prohibitive, and we’d run out of wall space for his awards anyway. Besides, he was no longer so young, he’d had some injuries too, and it seemed unreasonable to ask him to keep offering . Mellower now, he happily picked up the task of teaching new riders – but still with little patience for their mistakes. When David rode him during the opening of the Trans Canada Trail, he refused to wait for the other horses to keep up. He posed for an artists' retreat. He took apples gently from small hands, and let small people stand on a stool to brush him. He looked after Abby when she was weaned. Barb called him "Uncle Bacon."
Sunday, November 15, 2009
The first two weeks of November incorporate the gun hunt for deer up here. That means trucks parked along roadsides, hunters in the woods. The sound of guns. That's the hunt most people are aware of, although there is a longer season of bow-hunting, which being silent tends to be overlooked by the general public. Not overlooked by the deer, however.
The fact is that up here we have too many deer, and that largesse means the deer are over-grazing the forests. And that means that come spring, it's heavy sledding for these lovely animals. Food is scarce. The wolf pack does well. So no, we don't forbid hunting on our property, but we are very very careful about who we allow to be on it to hunt. There is a hunt camp located just to the east of us, and another farther down the Port Cunnington Road.
But the deer seem to know. I think they mark their calendars. The first week of the hunt, our hunters (who only had buck tags, and therefore could not hunt any of the does) saw not a single buck out there from morning to night, while up to twenty female deer came wandering past their stands, gazing at them incuriously. They went home empty handed. No venison on their tables this winter.
This little herd (there were 12 of them in total, not all crowded into my photo) were seen yesterday, in the field across from the Firehall, the field that leads to our Frisbee Golf course. They were happy, relaxed, and they know they've made it through.
Now, if they can find enough food to make it through the winter...
And I'm willing to bet that we'll start to see the bucks, probably next week, coming boldly out of the deep forest places.
I haven't posted for a few days -- there is a reason. I'm still working on the words for the post that needs to fill in the gap... it was a sad day for me on Thursday.
Sunday, November 8, 2009
During WWII Rosemary worked in London, on the Scramble Switchboard, under St. Paul's cathedral, during the worst of the Blitz. She related some of her wartime experiences, and they have become part of our family lore.
Paul's middle name, Pax, was given to him because he was born Dec. 24th, 1918... just a month after the famous peace treaty that was hoped to end all wars.
War is dark. November 11 is the day we gather to remind ourselves of that sombre fact, and to remember those who fought -- and those who are still fighting -- for the freedoms and the lifestyle we enjoy in Canada today. These men and women, both those in uniform and those civilians that work to support the troops in dark times, shone their light into those unspeakably dark places.
The wreath laying ceremony in Dwight, at the Veteran's Wall, takes place early -- today in fact -- so that the Colour Guard, pipers, and organizing personnel can be available on November 11th as well. Nancy had the honour of laying a wreath today, on behalf of the Township of Lake of Bays, but really on behalf of all of us, in gratitude for the courage and strength, the determination and honour of the men and women who bravely go when called into that darkness, and shine so brightly.
Get your poppies on your lapels, and get yourselves out to the Remembrance Day Services near you. Remember.
Friday, November 6, 2009
Thursday, November 5, 2009
No matter how many times it is explained to Rocky that he is NOT a bird -- Does not have a beak. Does not have three toes. No wings. Can't cluck -- he remains unconvinced and shows up every evening to raid the bird feeders.
I am always tinged a little green when he sends me photos, since he really is much better behind the lens (and no doubt in front of it!) than I am.
Here it is for those who didn't find the comment link back to his flickr site.
Thanks for sharing Don! Keep clicking!!!