I am sitting in my easy chair, with a cold beverage beside me on the side table, my crochet project set aside to take up the computer, so here I type.
This morning was cloudy and it was cold out there. We had snow on the ground, but it was melting fast. On the spur of the moment we decided to take a drive out to the Rideau Camp to see what was what out there. Last week a letter came in the mail to tell us the hydro work crews were coming through to clear under the hydro lines, and take down the marked trees (only one our property), and clear out all brush. We wanted to see if they’d been in to do that work. We also wanted to switch out the bucket mouse trap, from a bucket of water to just an empty bucket with some peanut butter near the bottom. A dry trap seems the better way to go, there will be no possible leakage.
When we arrived at the Camp there was a lot more snow than we had anticipated, as it was assumed there would be the same amount as at Mist Cottage. Wrong! There was about six inches of snow, and quite a snow bank across teh end of our driveway. We parked on the road, and I trekked into the property on foot, while Attila dug out a parking space at the end of the driveway that would get the vehicle off the narrow road.
It was oh so beautiful and still at the Camp. The snow was deep enough that true trudging was required to walk all the way into the Camp from the road. I enjoyed the crisp fresh air, a slight breeze that brought a gentle sway to the tree tops, and calm, sweet quiet. We heard a few crows, but no human sounds reached our ears, other than our small scurryings along the drive and here and there into the forest to see what was what.
The bucket mouse trap in Grace the trailer had captured two more mice, and the water had frozen into a solid block. Since the mice died natural deaths, as no poison was involved, it was safe to dump the icy grave far into the bush, with no fear of harm to other animals in the ecosystem there. We dumped the rainwater barrel, and upturned it for the winter, put away the screen that sits on top of it, and carried out the propane tank, as we won’t be using propane at the Camp again until late March, or April.
With all the leaves gone we can see into the bush all around, see features in the landscape that are usually obscured by greenery. A few trees had fallen since last winter, out into the bush. They will be left to natural processes, as it is only the land that is actually being used for camping that needs to be cleared and kept cleared. Our plan is to leave the rest of the environment to its own natural processes.
After an hour or so we began to feel the cold, and so made our way through the snow and back out to the car. A neighbour driving by stopped and got out to chat with us. He lives across the road from our property and keeps an eye out for our place, noting license plate numbers of any vehicle that he knows doesn’t belong in the area. He is also going to keep a parking area cleared out for us, as he goes by with his plough quite frequently, which is very, very nice of him. Two of our other neighbours also keep an eye out for our property and in the neighbourhood, it is a small community.
We arrived home in time for lunch.
Meanwhile, back in the kitchen, I had a bag of Honeycrisp apples that were beginning to deteriorate in the refrigerator. There is also a good supply of rhubarb in the freezer, which we harvested from our garden here at Mist Cottage. So I decided to combine the two, applesauce/stewed rhubarb, in one pot. So three pounds of peeled, cored and sliced apples, combined with eight cups of frozen diced rhubarb went into the stock pot with a cup of sugar. I had my doubts. But wow, is it ever good! We have eaten the first container of three. The other two were frozen, and so the second container is now thawing on the kitchen counter. This is a real winner, I find it so much more pleasant than plain stewed rhubarb, and enjoy the tanginess it lends to the apples.
My Crabapple Vinegar project seems to be doing well, no mold, and the strong alcohol aroma is dying down, as it slowly turns from hard cider into vinegar.
During the summer I collected seed heads from the Marigolds, Giant Marigolds, and Cosmos. They were placed in paper bags which I hung from the clothes line on the back porch, where they completely dried. For the last week it has been a project to sort out the seeds from the dried petals and stems. This was a fairly easy thing to do with the Giant Marigolds and Marigolds, but not so simple with the Cosmos, that has smaller seeds that are more difficult to detect. The job was done yesterday, the seeds stored in labelled envelopes, and the envelopes set aside to be stored. This evening a ladder was fetched to bring down the collection of empty metal tins that reside on top of the refrigerator. They were dusted off, and one was chosen for the seeds. The seeds will be kept in the basement, where they will stay dry in their rodent proof metal container.
So another quiet Saturday night is in progress. Attila is out working in his garage, still finishing up with blocking the rafters, and installing wiring for the spotlight outside. i am crocheting, reading, chatting away here, and just generally feeling satisfied with my day.
Date: 9:00 PM EST Saturday 17 November 2018
Condition: Mostly Cloudy
Dew point: -6.3°C
Wind: WNW 9 km/h
Wind Chill: -5
Visibility: 24 km
“The moment we choose to love we begin to move towards freedom…”
You probably know this and chose to do it another way, but it isn’t necessary to separate the seeds from the shells/leaves/whatever that come with the dry flowerheads. I just take the whole head and then break them apart with my fingers, gently, when it’s time to sow, and throw them (seeds and everything else) into soil. I’m not as meticulous as you are! But it works just as well unless you’re putting them so-many-seeds-at-a-time into peat pots or something. I did that this spring with my giant zinnias and hardly any came up (only 3 out of 108 carefully separated and counted seeds), but the ones I threw willy-nilly into pots without sorting came up like crazy and in abundance! Mind you, to overwinter I keep the flowerheads in paper envelopes with air holes poked into them, so there’s no mould from hidden moisture coming out over the winter months.
Nice to hear you found peace and quiet at the camp.
I’m glad you had a pleasant day! ….Joan
Kate, thanks for sharing your experience, even though I grew up on a farm, we farmed for profit, seeds were purchased, so i wasn’t exposed to saving seeds for the next season. Most of our farm was fruit trees and annual plants, so there weren’t a lot of seeds to deal with anyway. Good to know that the flowerheads work as is, if I can get them dried out enough next autumn I’ll give that a go as well. I think my main motivation is to assure they are dry, I wasn’t entirely confident that the flower heads had dried out completely. There were a few very tiny bugs crawling around in there as well, so sorting them helped me find those and get rid of them. Our place is small enough that there aren’t really any places to leave seeds out and exposed to the air for drying, they have to be dry when they go into the tins, which keep the mice from eating all of them. One year we didn’t store them in tins, and the mice ate the lot. We don’t have mice in here now, but if they get in it would be an awful way to discover it!
Yes, the quiet is something very special, and while the construction continues a few doors down from us at Mist Cottage, it is not available at home. You must experience quite a bit of quiet where you are! And open sky! And fresh air!
Thanks Joan, it was really quite restful, despite struggling through the snow. I think that did me good!
Sounds like a pleasant, gentle weekend. Nothing better!
It was Teri! And I agree, nothing better than pleasant and gentle. It is nice to be able to change plans spontaneiously, which is not possible when a major project like the garage roof is underway. I didn’t remember about the trailer step being down until Sunday morning, and because there were no pressing projects, the second trip to the Camp was an outing and not task, two completely different feels to the same activity.