Saturday, January 11, 2014

Our Winter Escapades...

 Every fall I lament the end of the garden.

Maybe for the first day or so, I actually celebrate it.
A slight reprieve for my breaking back.

That celebratory feeling never lasts long...

Each fall I also think about the things I want to learn more about...
Ideally when I'm sitting by the fire, hiding from the cold for 4 months.

Somehow it never quite works out...all this free time I think I'll have each winter.

Perhaps it's because we still spend a fair amount of time outdoors.
Even in winter!

We make sure that we bundle up properly before heading out on any given day.
We check the forecasts to make sure we aren't putting ourselves at risk.

Me!  all bundled up...
 Our family has been watching the History Channel's program 
"Mountain Men".

It has really inspired 6 yr old Owen!
Me too actually...

One mild day (around 0 degrees Celsius) we ventured outside
to track the beasts of the wild!

Raccoon Tracks
Muskrat tracks

We found raccoon track right outside our front door...
you can tell its a raccoon because the print looks so similar to a cat paw...
but note the thumb on the side!

A short walk to our dock revealed a muskrat has been making tracks to get 
under cover from a nearby predator.
Muskrat tracks looks like small rodent prints with a line
made by its rat-like tail dragging in the snow.

Owen recently said he wants to start trapping muskrat...we'll see....

The above picture is a shot from the end of our dock into the swamp.
The nearby Lazy Acres Cottages are all boarded up for the end of the season.
A distant reminder of how much quieter it is now that resort/cottager season is over. 

The open area at my feet looks like a great spot for a small ice rink!
We'll be sure to check the ice depth before any major "construction" ensues.

Can you see the open creek?
Too fast moving to freeze over unless the cold becomes extreme.

Our beautiful backyard is blanketed in white.
Our fire pit in the backyard has its own woodpile.
 It too is aching for one of our winter time blazes!
The snow is so deep that each tree seems to have a hole. 

Even the frilly fungus persists...

On a fallen log at the swamp's edge.

As time passed, I realized I couldn't hear Owen.
As most parents know...the silence is more scary than the noise of children.
I look around to see that he was busying himself in the swap...
fashioning himself his very own Mountain Men Lean-to.
Some dry bark off a fallen tree and dead branches make a fantastic boy-sized teepee. 

Owen fancies himself the next character on Mountain Men

The work is never done (much like the frontier lifestyle).
With the extremely cold weather we've became obvious we were 
running out of wood for our wood stove.
One mild day, a chainsaw and some standing deadwood becomes short work.
We make sure not to clear cut our property as we like the shade 
and windbreak that trees can provide.

Dusk brings a small wisp of sunlight...

And the allure of the outdoors makes us not want to go inside just yet.
We assemble a fire on top of where we think the firepit was before all the deep snow.

My favorite winter thing:

That time of day when the snow looks like its turned blue!

What have you been doing this winter?

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