Saturday, October 24, 2009

Three pools

I'll be off for awhile. Last trips to Mahone Bay and Cape Breton before heading back to Toronto, don't expect to have time to post here until I get to Toronto. I've spent the last couple of days packing the truck and there's still more to do, but I am leaving tomorrow morning.

It hailed and sleeted this morning and now it's howling out, and I am listening to Matt Anderson on Holger Petersen's Saturday Night Blues. My favourite blues man.

This is a favourite spot of mine on the Fraser Brook. We used to call it the Three Pools, but it isn't really three pools. Its main feature is a water slide into the pool at the bottom. When my kids were little we used to come down here in the summer and the kids would slide into the pool while the adults sunned themselves on the rock beside the pool.

Sheila had never been here before, so I took her and her daughter Jana down here the other day. We had to cross someone else's property to get here, but he didn't mind. Sheila has lived in the Harbour for many years and never knew about this spot.

We had a potluck lunch at Valerie's on Friday, it was very fine. Curried squash soup, hummus and pita bread, chicken stirfry, marinated tomato slices on white rolls, and cake and tea. The dog walk ladies gave me a going away card, but Nancy said it wasn't really a going away card, it was a come back again card. Sherry told a horrific story about having hornets in her house walls, she figured she had already killed hundreds and they were still going strong. While she was having lunch with us, the exterminator was trying to find the hornet's nest. She said if any kids showed up at her door on Hallowe'en as hornets, she'd squash 'em.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Fader house

From a distance, this little house looks OK, cute even.

It was built in the '70s by a young family, a series of different people lived here over the years. I don't know when the last person moved out, but it then began it's slow decline into what it is today.

I took these photos last year, this year it is in even worse shape.

The location is lovely, perched on the edge of the vault with a view down onto the Fraser Brook. At one point we thought that it might actually have been built on someone else's land, it was so close to the boundary of the hundred acre woods. But an aerial view proved it to be placed on the right side of that boundary.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Socks and tiers

I brought some knitting along with me from Toronto, but I have done very little work on it, too much else to do I guess. However I thought I'd show what I have done so far anyway.

This is a pair of socks in Fleece Artist sock yarn, Fleece Artist is Nova Scotian. I had quite a bit of the sock on the left done when I arrived and started the second sock here. The reason the two socks are still on needles is because I want to make both of them the same length (duh...) and don't know how far this ball of yarn will go.

It's hard to see the pattern, but basically it's kind of a leaf motif. You can make it out on the right side of the sock in the middle, the left side has the same motif in mirror-image. I found it in a book of knitting stitches and decided to try it out on a pair of socks. I love the colours!

These are toe-up socks, you start at the toe and work up. There is a technique for doing both socks at once, but I would have had to divide my yarn into two balls right at the beginning and use a very long (or maybe two very long) circular needle(s), but I didn't do that.

While in showing off mode, here is my neighbour's handiwork tiering wood. I've never heard that term before, I always say 'stacking' wood, but 'tiering' is the correct term around here.

Another neighbour thought this photo was a classic Nova Scotian fall dooryard scene: the squash (on the purple picnic table), the firewood, and the apple trees.

My neighbour is finished tiering, the last of the pile on the left is being burned now so no point moving it around. Great job, eh?

The Dog House

The Dog House was built some time after the Kat Kabin, it never aspired to be a work of art. The owner-builder had a beagle named Annie; it's kind of weird to hear a dog being called by your name.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

The Kat Kabin

One of the cabins built on the land back in the '70s was the Kat Kabin. It's still there but it's a wreck now. I knew where it was but there is no trail into it now so finding it was a matter of crashing around in the bushes till it appeared.

It was beautiful in its day, built by an artist-carpenter who threw the rules out when he started in on this. You can't get any idea of how beautiful it was from the wreckage that remains...

Monday, October 19, 2009

This time of year

Still haven't heard the last of the medical mystery and I am abandoning the whole issue. It occurs to me that the shortage of medical isotopes due to Chalk River shutting down is impacting how fast they can schedule me for a CT scan; when I called the clinic they mentioned that they were triaging appointments so I'm guessing I am way down on the priority list. Personally I take that as good news, they must not think my situation is serious. Nor do I, so I am fine with skipping the whole thing.

The squirrels are having some drama. Not sure exactly, but I think they have another squirrel trying to move in on them. Lots of noise and teeth-clicking going on, and running in and out. They completely ignore me when I remind them of their promise to keep quiet.

With the truck I negotiated the minimum in repairs, which meant no undercoat, but then I changed my mind so now I have to go back for that. Annoying but my own fault.

I want to visit friends in Cape Breton, but their schedule is that they are too busy for visitors between Thursday and Sunday. The only window of opportunity is Monday to Wednesday, and it takes a day to drive there. I could have gone today, except that the only undercoating time slot I could get was either Tuesday or Wednesday of this week. Although after cancelling out on the Cape Breton trip they then told me I could come in on Tuesday of next week for the undercoating. That would have worked better, but it's too late now.

So I am still trying to figure out when to go back to Toronto. I could drive up to Cape Breton next Monday, stay for a couple of days and then leave from there, but that will add an extra day of driving to the trip to Toronto.

Or I could go to CB, return here, and then leave from here right around Hallowe'en.

NOT! If you need to know anything about Nova Scotia and New Brunswick, it's


No way, no how!

OK, more pics.

This is the little red maple tree in my 'front yard'. It lights the whole place up on the darkest dullest days.

One day the moon was up on a bright sunny day.

My outhouse (now why would I need a curtain? that reflection is curtain enough!)

The Fraser Brook (the other major brook in these woods) down in the vault...

...and up close, looking upstream...

...and down.

In a normal year this brook runs almost dry by August, but this year it has looked like these pics pretty much since July. Except for the yellow leaves of course, that's recent.

And a bright yellow shelf fungus on red rotting wood.

I'm glad I stayed here until now, in spite of the various frustrations. As the guy who delivered my firewood said, This time of year make's it all worthwhile. I've been repeating that comment to everyone I meet around here, it's become a bit of a joke now, people are starting to say it back to me.

This time of year makes it all worthwhile!

Saturday, October 17, 2009

A walk in the woods (3)

Some of the things I saw on my walk...

British soldier lichen on a log

Reindeer moss, when it is dry it is crispy brittle, but when it is wet it is very soft

Red maple leaf and rotting birch

Black mushroom

Amazing variety of mushrooms abound

"The three amigos"

Little sombreros in the moss

Shelf fungus

Little neon yellow spikes

A root elbow sticking up from the ground

A branch elbow hanging over the vault

A walk in the woods (2)

I turned off the road onto a trail by the Yellow Rope Road. So named for the huge yellow rope hanging on the tree by the entrance to the trail. It was there when the land was first bought, back in the '70s, and when it finally rotted away it was replaced with a new yellow rope. I don't know how many times it has been replaced, and I am sure no one knows why there was a rope on that tree in the first place...

The trail goes deep into the woods

It widens into an avenue...

A fork in the trail, filled with bracken. I took the left fork...

The woods get denser, the trail narrows

...and narrower

Trail along the edge of the vault. If you step a foot to one side you can't see the trail at all, it just disappears in the trees.

Tiny red berries

Step moss

Moss on a tree stump

More moss!

A walk in the woods (1)

All these photos are from a walk in the Hundred Acre Woods at the end of September. I was armed with my camera because I wanted to find caterpillars and photograph them for my blog post, Caterpillars. I ended up photographing a whole lot of other stuff too...

This is looking up into the tree at the bend in the road in the first photo.


I think this flower is Eyebright

More mudpuddles...


Yes, I like mudpuddles...

One of the two main brooks in this woods.

Brook heading into culvert under the road.

This is the turn-off for the Yellow Rope Road, brilliantly marked by yellow poplars.