We had some more snow

They put out a snowfall warning of a possible 10 cm on Friday. It was issued when there was already 7 cm on the ground so a pretty safe bet. On Saturday I cleared the driveway because, you’ll laugh, it was going to go above freezing for highs on the weekend. But that’s okay because (hold on to your sides) more snow is expected Monday! Another (wait for it) 10 cm. This to be followed by highs above freezing then … Do you see what’s going on here? It would be hilarious if we didn’t have to cope with it.

Anyway, some pictures from the snowfall.

Snow on the rose. (Kodak P850)
Snow on everything. (Kodak P850)
Help! The moon’s stuck in a tree! (Nikon P610)
Marley says she’s had enough snow. (Nikon P610)

Bleak week

The weather promises to be truly awful all week. I got in a day of wood harvest and shutting down the water system at the cabin. In light of the forecast, here’s some images in black and white – which is how it will look the next few days.

Raven on the wing. (Canon T100)

Northern flicker. (Fuji EXR)

Plane in flight. (Kodak P850)

Moon, of course. (Nikon P610)

Layers of trees. (Panasonic Lumix ZS60)

Ghost dog. (Tesco trail camera)

Nikon nice ones

As the venerable P610 heads towards yet another 1000 pictures to its credit and while it is still (fairly) working, a few shots before both camera and photographer give up. The weather has gone vile, and I find myself looking at new equipment for no good reason. What I really want is some decent circumstances in which to use what I’ve got! But you can’t buy that. And if I buy a new camera I’ll just be all the more frustrated for not being able to use it.

Leaf me alone.

How green was my algae.

One foggy morning.

Cotton ice.

Austrian skyscraper.

The End

Pairs of pictures

It didn’t rain Tuesday (until after nightfall). So I ‘stole’ fifteen minutes of the day and walked around the woods. It confirmed my suspicion that some of the loud noises heard during the storms were trees giving up and going over.

Half fallen

This poplar broke about 20 feet off the ground and then the top got hung up in some other trees as it went down. Poplars often rot inside and are very unstable in that respect, so taking it down the rest of the way will be left to Mother Nature. Right now it spans the lane that goes over to the neighbours’, so I’m not worried about it.

Fallen fir

This old fir tree had a lot of fungal growth on it so it’s not surprising it came down. The surprising part is that it fell away from the road, not on to it. The bare patch in the lower right corner is the road.

Here’s another “why I like my Nikon” series:

The first image is a 100% crop of the second. For an inexpensive ‘bridge’ camera the old P610 really excels. The bad part? This was the third attempt to get it to take the picture. It is fraught with failed focusing and incorrect exposures. I still use it a lot because I like the camera so much, but the reality is it has gone from “90% success rate” to “33% success rate” and I suspect it will get worse before it quits altogether.

Dog toothed violet is neither dog nor toothed nor violet, but they are pretty flowers:

These are the same picture. The first is “as-is”, right out of the forest. The second I used the white balance adjustment in GIMP to alter the background colour to a more pleasant blue. It didn’t alter the flower itself much at all.

Wood stove base

There’s the start of it. It looks simple until you try to build it. Especially the part where you have to compensate for the floor slanting 1 ¼” over 45″ while expecting it to handle 400 lbs. of stove. Good thing I’m an engineer. This will be topped with 2x to spread the load out and then tiled to make it fire resistant.

It’s Wednesday as I write this. I’ve driven back to town for more supplies and to mow the lawn at home. Busy, busy. Oh they graded the infamous road out to the 23 km mark. Some of it is even flat. That would be the parts that were already flat before. The old potholes simply reappear with every rain shower. Guess what’s in the forecast?

It’s now Thursday. Yesterday was overly busy. Time to publish this. The sky is overcast again. It’s going to rain.

Eventful two days

It would be nice if the events were all pleasant and consisted mainly of taking nice pictures of wildlife or something. But no. The events were about nipping back home to resupply and returning to work.

Starting with Wednesday and waiting for the rain to stop, or more accurately for the generator to finish recharging the batteries because there wasn’t any sun to do it. I loaded up what I needed to take back, and got soaked in the process. Once underway it stopped raining (of course) and a nice, sunny afternoon was spent running errands. That’s a lot of traveling for one day, and I felt it.

The second obstacle of the day was being met with this right at the chain gate:

Tree down

Yes that’s a tree down across the road. This is why I always carry a chainsaw. Luckily it wasn’t a big one (although quite tall) and three slices took care of it.

How much did it rain? On my way out part of the road collapsed from under me and tried to tip the Xterra over into the ditch. Suddenly finding yourself tilted at near 45 degrees while moving at 50 KPH is an experience I don’t recommend. But the vehicle is good and a quick twitch of the wheel got me back on what passes for solid road. That road needs serious repair. Again.

The town trip errands were the usual long time to get only some of the list. They had blocked off all the entrances to one of the shopping plazas, apparently trapping people in the parking lot from what I could see, while they did some repaving. Oh yes; all the roads in town are badly broken up and needing repair too. It was a harsh winter for roads. Anyway, skipped two stores there completely.

Thursday was run around and get ready to come back out here and work. Yes, a sunny morning wasted in travel. Along the way I noticed several red “SOLD” tags put up, right out to and on Marsik Road, which is a little disconcerting. They seem to be marking the route out to the property next door which has just been sold. What’s the point? Didn’t the people go and look at it before they bought? These days you can never tell.

I did encounter two trucks along the way, past the last vestige of civilization. First one was a Ford, and then several kilometers on a Chevy. Both driving slowly and carefully as though lost or looking for something. Like red “SOLD” signs perhaps? Also they were “pretty” trucks, not at all suited to grinding down unmaintained gravel roads at any speed. I passed each in turn, and wondered what they would do when they got to where the trees are blown down on the road. Maybe they gave up and went home. If you don’t know how to handle it, you shouldn’t be out here; this is not a safe place to be and I don’t mean because of the wild animals.

It was still before noon and bright and sunny when I got back, put things away, and got to work again. I managed quite a bit in the afternoon; primed the kitchen window frame and built a frame for under the kitchen cabinet as well as a few other, little chores.

Kitchen window

Last night it all went wahoonie-shaped as the mosquitoes got up after I’d gone to bed. They kept me awake ’til midnight with their antics and my swatting. Now this morning it is cool and rainy – and I’m still killing mosquitoes. Probably have to fire up the furnace (after needing the A/C yesterday) and the generator because there’s no sun.

What will I get done today? That’s a very good question.

It’s good to be back

Home for a few days as the weather is turning awful and the ache in my bones is something wicked. The digging is nearing completion, which just means I then shift to a different phase of the project. Hopefully an easier phase. Bound to be. Anyway here’s what the target area looks like now:


The dirt had been all the way up to that log on the right. Over 50 wheelbarrows full have been taken out (yes I kind of lost track). Why? To make room for the drain pipes. If you have really good eyes you can see the 4″ ABS in the dark on the right and a 1½” piece sticking down in the foreground. There are others that all need to be joined up now that they can’t take separate exits due to the skirting all around the cabin. This would have been a lot easier if the people who built the place 70 years ago had made some effort towards leveling the site first!

I haven’t had much opportunity to take many pictures while there. The weather has been pretty bad and so have the mosquitoes. On the way home I saw a young deer with its mama, a young brown bear without, and a fast moving coyote. None of which did I manage to capture an image of because they were all faster than me and my camera.

For stationary subjects you can’t beat trees. Even ones that should have been removed from the road by now:


Oh well, they don’t stop me. This picture is “moody” because I forgot how I had the camera set for the previous shot and messed up the exposure something wicked.

Anyway, a few days of R&R and getting things done at home before I go back to the labour camp. I really appreciate what those prisoners at Stalag 17 went through.

Another round

Well Wednesday was a day, make no mistake. In fact it was a day and a half. Maybe even two days. It was longer than normal in ‘up hours’ and more full of activity than I would like.

I went out to the cabin, and on the way there was greeted with this:

Blown Down

Quite a large blow-down of trees on the road. Fortunately someone else had already been cutting them off and I was able to drive through, or rather over some of the smaller bits to one side. This is what happens when it rains a lot and the wind blows and the trees have shallow roots like conifers do. Also when someone has done some not-quite-to-spec logging up behind them.

Anyway I got out there and got the batteries changed so the power is back up to normal. I also managed to get the water system up and running, although there’s a couple of leaks to be seen to. I heard a lot of birds, but it may have just been this trickster putting me on:

Another Raven

If it was, he’s very talented.

Probably wasn’t a safe day to go out on the lake, as this sea monster was sunning itself out there:

Sea Serpent

Great, spiny thing leftover from the age of dinosaurs. They eat boats, you know.

Of course a day without art is a day without art, so here’s some art:

Water Abstract

The Beetles stopped by to entertain:

100% Beetles

Anyhow, I’m one (hopefully) day’s work away from being able to take the trailer out there and set up camp. And then really start working.

Or maybe spend more time trying to take pictures of birds.


Salmagundi Sunday

All sorts of things going on here, interfering with plans and being the plans that get interfered with. So here’s a loose assortment of images to amuse you.

Female Pileated woodpecker in a pine tree
Two high Canadian geese
First butterfly of the year
The Light in the Forest

Because Jim Grey likes bridges, here is the wooden one on our cabin property. It crosses Buster Creek to access the sliver of our land on the other side. Made entirely of wood; specifically four large tree trunks spanning the creek (on top of a couple at either end to retain the banks) and decked with pressure treated 4x4s. We’ve had to replace it once since 2002. It’s pretty sturdy as an excavator and a bulldozer have been over it without consequence. I can’t get down in the currently raging creek to take a good side view right now.

My Bridge
Ironically it allows access to the neighbours

These next two are old film images that somehow ended up on some digital media I was going over. I’m not sure of the origins other than where they were taken and that I took them.

Big Bend, Letchwork Park New York
Wolf Creek, Letchworth Park New York