The sun was shining again this morning. The light breeze tickled the leaves, they laughed gently and cast frivolity across the living room floor. It was cool, which was refreshing after the recent spell of heat and humidity. Clouds appeared on the blue canvas above, they slowly coloured the sky grey as the day wore on.
A quiet day is developing.
A few days ago I made chili, for dinner that night, and some to freeze in mason jars, two servings in each jar, to enjoy as quick suppers at the Rideau Camp. Dishes like chili lend themselves to the adventurous use of food odds and ends, things found in the refrigerator that will go bad soon, if they are not used up. The recent chili included onions from an older bag of onions that had been sitting far too long waiting for inclusion in a recipe, and part of an older bag of carrots. The bag of onions was emptied into a large metal bowl, all of the soft onions were separated into another metal bowl for the compost, and the remaining sound onions were either used for the chili, or stored in the vegetable crisper in the refrigerator. The entire bag of carrots was trimmed, peeled, and reduced to small granules in the food processor. Two cups of carrot bits were added to the chili, and two cups were placed in a container in the refrigerator. This morning the carrots in the refrigerator were added to a muffin recipe, and the resulting muffins were very pleasant.
When it is cool I can bake in the morning, my favoured time of day for projects. I am a morning person. The summer time-of-use hydro billing allow me to bake at mid-peak prices for electricity, so I take advantage of this to do my baking at a time of day when I will enjoy it, rather than it feeling like a chore. When it is hot outside in the summer, I tend not to bake at all, since the heat from the oven would necessitate hard work from the air conditioning. It seems pointless, and expensive, to heat the air with the oven, while cooling it with the air conditioner. If I need to bake on a hot day, I will resort to using the Nesco on the back porch, and the air it heats will not need to be cooled.
The crocheted “water balloon” project continues. I have been following the pattern using my laptop, which is not really convenient. The laptop is five years old now and not so portable as it was, the battery does not hold a charge for very long, so that the unit needs to be tethered to an electrical cord and outlet. I like to carry my project bag with me to the back porch in the morning, so a printed copy of the pattern seemed just the thing.
My printer has been misbehaving. I haven’t taken the time to figure out why the new black ink cartridge would not print properly, a few feeble attempts were made to remedy the problem, but it persisted. A few hours of fiddling around with it, and having a google around the internet to see what other’s were saying about this particular printer, and the problem was solved. Apparently ALL FOUR ink cartridges have to have adequate ink in them, to print black and white. Two of the three colour cartridges were spent, making it impossible to print in black and white. I had been using the cartridges that came with the printer, but they were small volume sample cartridges and were spent easily. Luckily I had ordered full sized cartridges from 123 Ink Cartridges when the printer was purchased, so I was able to replace the spent cartridges, and print my one page of black and white text. It will be interesting to see how much Costco will charge to refill the full size colour cartridges, when the time comes.
Attila and I have been talking about getting a water gun. It is a child’s toy that will shoot a stream of water quite a distance. Last summer a red fox circled us for an entire afternoon, boldly coming towards us as we ate our lunch, and our then our dinner. Attila would scare him off, but he would sit in the shadow of the trees watching us, and return again. The neighbours told us about the nearby cottager on the lake who feeds the wild foxes, teaching them to approach humans for food. I regard this as highly disrespectful of wild animals. We eventually had to throw rocks at the poor thing, to get it to retreat into its own world of the forest. At the time I researched possible solutions, and many people experiencing similar issues recommended a water gun.
Canadian Tire have water guns on sale at the moment, so off we went after work last night to buy one. It shoots a stream of water 38 feet, which should give the fox lots of warning that his/her company is not wanted.
The last time we stayed at the Rideau Camp we could hear coyotes, more than one, yipping and howling nearby. It did not seem that they were actually on our property, but we knew they were close. I had been reading about various problems with coyotes in southern Ontario, e.g. Oakville and Mississauga, and feel that we had best be prepared for the worst case scenario, no matter how unlikely it seems. We surmise that the local coyotes are hunting rodents, and young farm animals from the surrounding farms. Last summer we passed a dead lamb, partially eaten, at the side of the highway near the camp. Our guess was that it was coyotes, who were scared away from their kill by traffic. The water gun will be a part of our strategy if coyotes come too close. We will also be purchasing bear spray, which will probably never be used, but will be available in the unlikely event that a coyote or bear becomes aggressive when we are in the bush. We already own a bear horn, but luckily did not have to use it when we lived at the country house.
I actually posted a query on Facebook about water guns, and was mildly mocked by a few of my urban friends; not all, Teri responded with thoughtful and useful information. This type of mild mockery of cautionary measures has happened to me many times in my life, because I do take the unlikely seriously, which many people would rather not do, rather not think about. I can think of many, many instances where those who mocked ran into the very situation they assumed was unlikely, and were unprepared to deal with it effectively. I have never offered them my sympathy. I don’t say “I told you so”, I just quietly give myself a little hug of appreciation that had it happened to me, the outcome would have been more positive.
Date: 9:00 AM EDT Thursday 22 June 2017
Condition: Mostly Cloudy
Pressure: 101.5 kPa
Dew point: 12.3°C
Wind: WSW 8 km/h
Visibility: 24 km
“An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”
Sometimes attributed to Benjamin Franklin
I was honestly appalled by the commentor who told you the wild animals would never approach you and you should do nothing, that any type of gun is only going to change the situation. Seriously, that kind of commentary when you were discussing a water gun? A child’s SuperSoaker toy? I started to answer that comment a couple of times but gave up, not knowing what kind of response I might get from the person, but I couldn’t help but think does this guy think Maggie is going to be outgunned by a fox?
It sounds like you’ve been having the reverse of our weather. We’ve barely made it to 20C the last few days and the nights have been cool enough that we switched the heat on just in case. Today, after a cool start and some rain, now we’re suddenly supposed to jump up to 26C as a warm front comes through.
I was talking to DH about your fox. He was concerned as foxes are known carriers of rabies. He thought your fox feeder should be reported to the Ministry of Natural Resources, though I think that might not get you anywhere.
Teri, a lot of urban wildlife types, who have never lived in the bush, and are far removed from the reality of natural balance in the wild, have opinions like that. I am only surprised that they venture an opinion, but the opinion itself is what one might expect from someone who only recreates in nature.
My Grandpa would have grunted disgustedly at that comment. When Grandpa was 13 years old he and his younger brother were stationed on a remote section of the family farm, staying in a rough cabin, we can see the field from our Ancestral Camp, to shepherd a flock of sheep though the summer. Wolves regularly killed sheep, the boys had rifles to protect the livestock, and that was the food supply for the boys, the wolf slaughtered sheep. My Grandpa hated wolves, and never, ever, ever ate mutton or lamb again.
People who live in cities think of nature as something they can either control or save, when really it is a force unto itself that must be understood on its own terms and respected. It can kill you, it won’t think twice about killing you. Survival is dependent on your awareness and preparedness. My Grandpa learned how to survive as a fifth generation pioneer in the wilds of Upper Canada, he paid attention to the lessons of experience. He did not have contempt for urban people, and he did not have any respect for their opinions about life in the bush.
We do think about rabies. I have seen a rabid fox, we had one on our farm when I was a kid. The fox approaching us was not rabid, just hungry with false expectations. Rabies is definitely something to watch out for though, every siting of a wild animal requires careful scrutiny, particularly if they arpproach.
Urban wildlife types. Ah, yes. Those that walk near a moose or bear cub and turn their backs on them so they can take a selfie with the animal. Quite a few surprised people attacked that way, with a number of bear deaths already reported this year.
They rank right up there with the people going into the sulfur pools of Yosemite, thinking they can have a temperature controlled spa experience and ending up with third degree burns, or worse.
It’s scary how little people respect or understand nature and wildlife now.
I remember being told by a young father that I was being overprotective when I didn’t allow my small child to run beside the fire.
People can be really stupid.
I’d rather err on the side of caution when it comes to the safety of my children, thank you very much, fool. (I thought, but probably did not say.)
Kate, I’m with you 100%, erring on the side of caution is the only way to fly, particularly with our children!
Being prepared was something I learned in Brownies and Guides, and of course it appealed to my own natural propensities.
“It’s scary how little people respect or understand nature and wildlife now.”
I agree Teri. Humans have pretty much detached themselves from the planet that supports them. I think of all the talk of sending people to live on Mars, and how harsh that environment would be, and how ill equpped humans would be to survive there in the long term, considering that they don’t seem to be managing very well here on Mother Earth, a paradise by comparison to Mars.