Friday, April 15, 2016


They came out of hiding yesterday evening at 6:00 p.m., and they loved me! We spent the day pulling brambles and draining wet areas at the Rideau Camp. At the end of a fruitful day of work, we were sitting around our campfire, when I noticed the first mosquito land on my hand. Then the rest of the gang followed, and I was surrounded. They paid no attention at all to Attila, just me. I was wearing dark clothing, a real no-no!

We pulled three wheelbarrow loads of brambles from the Rideau Camp yesterday. This is the time of year to do it, because the earth is soft enough to pull the roots out of the ground. The soil is heavy clay, and soon it will dry out enough that it will resemble rock.

We took a break mid afternoon to grill cheese sandwiches over the open campfire, then it was back to work. I remembered to bring the bread this time!

I tended the fire for much of the day, while pulling brambles, and Attila headed out into the bush to create a drainage system for some wet spots at the back of the property.

We have a lot of frogs in the wetland at the entrance to the property, and they were in fine voice all day. Occasionally they became quite loud and seemed excited. When Attila went out to the wetland to fetch a pail of water to put out the fire, he saw a muskrat in the wetland. How wonderful that we have a muskrat on our property!

So far we have seen a Blue Crane on the neighbouring property, a pair of Hawks soaring and hunting in the skies above us, and now a Muskrat hunting in our wetland.

We were also buzzed by a small pontoon airplane, flying quite low over the property. Summer, and summer activities are beginning. The plane was probably headed for the lake.

Saturday, April 16, 2016

This morning we found mouse droppings all around the kitchen sink. They had scoured the dirty dishes in the sink! We must remember to wash the dishes before we go to bed at night, even if there is only a plate and cup. The traps were set, but baited with seeds. We are switching to peanut butter in the traps.

Today the weather is warm enough to hang clothes outside to dry. What a welcome eventuality. Attila did a large load of his laundry early in the morning, and hung it out to dry for the day.

We were off bright and early this morning, headed for the Rideau Camp. I got the camp fire going, and Attila got right back to uprooting brambles. He removed three more wheelbarrow loads, which I burned slowly in campfire. We have a long way to go burning all the deadwood, piles up brush left by a bulldozer, and brambles. But since we are having fun, and there is no big rush to get it done, the job does not seem daunting.

While Attila was preparing our grilled cheese sandwiches for grilling, a new Cadillac SUV came driving up the driveway. The couple asked me if we were the people selling the property. They were quite disappointed that we were the people who just bought the property. It is kind of nice to know that someone else thinks that it is a nice property.

Just before we left for the day, Attila gathered another bag of garbage from along the creek. If we bring a bag of garbage home with us every time we are there, by the end of the summer we should have most of it cleared away.

The mosquitoes came out again this evening at the camp, but I was ready for them! I wore my permethrin coated shirt and pants and didn’t get one bite. Funny thing though, earlier in the day I felt something crawling on my neck and flicked it off, it was a moth. Later, as Attila and I were sitting at the campfire, he reached over and removed a small moth that was crawling on my neck. Apparently the moths love me.

We drove home into the sunset once more, arriving home hungry and tired… and very happy.

I had a note from my Mom this morning, she sounds fantastic! She is out and about a lot more now, gaining weight, and healing slowly. Now all we need is some nice hot summer weather to set her right!

Worldly Distractions


9°C (high of 16C predicted)
Date: 9:00 AM EDT Saturday 16 April 2016
Condition: Mainly Sunny
Pressure: 103.3 kPa
Tendency: rising
Visibility: 24 km
Temperature: 8.5°C
Dewpoint: -2.7°C
Humidity: 45%
Wind: ENE 16 km/h


“And when it rains on your parade, look up rather than down. Without the rain, there would be no rainbow.”
Jerry Chin


  1. It seems early for mosquitoes. We have only the odd one here on the Pacific west coast, but I will never forget the mosquito experiences of my childhood! We lived in the northern part of Alberta, and the mosquitoes came out in May and stayed until September. We used to build “smudge pots” out of grass and twigs, and our parents carried them everywhere. There was a small fire burning in the pots, and producing the smoke that kept the insects away. It was inventive, and it worked!

  2. Well, where would we be without our friends! Thank you for sharing that Diane, I had not thought of smudge pots. No need to reinvent the wheel, we will definitely be trying out smudge pots when we visit our Rideau Camp from now until into July when the mosquito population dies down a bit. We will be taking down two dead trees next weekend, which is hard work. When humans sweat, mosquitoes swarm, so we will be grateful for the smudge pots!

    I found this video for smudge pots, but will be looking for more ideas.

    Did you use charcoal Diane, or just keep a small live fire in the pots? What size container did you use?

    This is so exciting!

  3. We here in New England have all been warned ad nauseum to beware the ‘skeeters this year for fear of the Vica Virus (? sp) – I am considering not keeping my birdbaths filled, but the birds are already coming and looking for a bath/drink and I may relent and just fill one of them up. We are told to get rid of any standing water this year. I’m not planning to get pregnant in this lifetime, so I guess if I got the virus, it would not be life-threatening…

    I was thinking – when you said the skeeters AND the moths all love you… I wonder if it’s because your body is basically free of a lot of chemicals and preservatives that the rest of us possibly consume… you are very careful about what you eat, so maybe those things NOT being in your system attract the bugs to you… you smell “natural” and “chemical-free” to them so, therefore, a safe bite! Just my theory! xox

  4. Bex, I think you could use Mosquito Dunks safely in your bird baths:

    They are a larvicide that only affect mosquitoes and are safe for other wildlife.

    I really like your theory on the moths and mosquitoes… maybe I should add a few chemicals to my diet… only kidding. The permethrin impregnated clothing reallly works, so I will continue wearing it, and use smudge pots in the hot humid weather when we are working hard at tree felling etx.

  5. TopsyTurvy (Teri)

    Have you put your larvicides into your water yet, Maggie? Hopefully within a few weeks you won’t have anymore need for your mosquito clothing. You could always put together May baskets for the neighbors that included Mosquito Dunks, too. 😉

    I’ve been watching the info on Zika virus. Fortunately, the mosquitos don’t come this far north. Still, it’s a scary thing for much of the world as they’re now linking Zika to Guillaine-Barre Syndrome, where the immune system attacks your nervous system. 🙁

  6. Teri, we haven’t put the Mosquito Dunks into the water yet, we would need quite a few of them, and I am still looking for something affordable. The other thing is, I read that they should not be put into water that drains into a waterway, which may be bogus info, or it may not, more research needed. Our wetland definitely drains into a swamp, and from there into the lake.

    Gone are the days when mosquitoes were a mere annoyance. I don’t even remember being annoyed by them as a child, or by black flies, they were all just part of the world we lived in. The chances of walking out in the natural world and never being bitten by a mosquito is almost nil. Now it is a more serious prospect.

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