Tree Felling At The Rideau Camp

What a beautiful weekend we had. Saturday and Sunday were bright and sunny and warm.

On Friday evening we packed Tank and headed out to the Rideau Camp. Packing is now done from a list, and a running list is kept at both ends of our journey, one for items to take to the Camp, and one for items to bring back to Mist Cottage. Slowly Grace The Trailer is being outfitted so that few items besides clean clothing, food, and beverages will need to be brought with us. The evening at the Camp was spent organizing the items that had been packed.

Although the temperature was cool Friday overnight, we were warm enough and slept well and comfortably. I awoke at dawn, just before the birds, and could hear the light rain that ended just as the birds began to call. By the time Attila awoke, and we breakfasted, the sky was blue and the sun was peeking over the ridge in the bush, filtering and sparkling through the raindrop laden leaves.

Last weekend the lot preparations for placing Grace The Trailer began. Attila needed to fell eight 45 foot tall trees to clear the area where she will be placed. It was a project that took two days, and even so there are still branches and logs left to stack. Attila worked very hard all weekend.

Usually I start a camp fire first thing in the morning, to burn brush. However, I was on a mission Saturday morning, visiting the local building supply store in search of patio stones. I was in luck, they were on sale! I purchased eight, two by two foot patio stones. The fellow loaded the in to Tank for me, and I secured them with two ratchet straps. Attila unloaded them at the Rideau Camp, placing four of them on the prepared bed in Winnie the outhouse, to give us a clean floor for our compost toilet setup. The other four were placed at the foot of the entrance to Grace The Trailer, saving us from having to remove our work boots on the crushed stone, which is quite sharp and hard on a stockinged foot.

After changing back into my work clothing, I noticed a huge number of tent caterpillars climbing our trees, headed for their dinner, the leaves. Not able to reach most of them with a spray bottle, I opted for a long stick, to reach up and crush them against the bark of the trees. In addition, an extremely long stick was used to destroy the caterpillars up to 20 feet high on the trunks of trees. Little did I know when I began with a few patches of these pests, that I would spend the entire two day weekend killing tent caterpillars, stumbling through the bush, sticks raised above my head and brought into contact with the tree trunks strategically. What a job! Even as we left the Camp on Sunday afternoon, we stopped Tank on the driveway to destroy a few hundred caterpillars on a tree I had missed over the weekend.

All of Sunday evening, Sunday night, and Monday, if I closed my eyes, I saw tent caterpillars!

The weather was perfect throughout the visit. Saturday afternoon I did start a camp fire, managing to burn a few dead trees that I had pulled down and dragged out of the bush while killing caterpillars, and parts of a tree stump and roots from a long ago uprooted tree. Attila felled all of the trees safely, and they all came down where he wanted them to, well away from Grace The Trailer. He did a great job. We sat around the camp fire as evening fell, waiting for the stars, which came in faint as the sky was bright late into the evening. To our surprise we saw the silhouettes of a few bats flying high above us. Bats are a welcome sight, they eat a lot of mosquitoes! We were very tired from our efforts of the day, so we went to bed early.

Sometime during the night I heard three loud beeps. I got out of bed, turned on the lantern, and went to investigate. It was our refrigerator, I couldn’t figure out what was wrong with just the lantern, so I turned it off. In the morning we surmised that the battery that runs the LED control panel had died. We also discovered that one of our two propane tanks was empty. We brought the empty propane tank home with us on Sunday, and took it to be refilled on Monday evening, to discover that it expired in 2001! The tanks that came with Grace The Trailer cannot be filled. Since the people we bought it from used it to tour the US, they probably had not tried to fill the propane tanks in Canada, where they are more tightly regulated. We will need to purchase new propane tanks.

Sunday Attila cut the branches from the felled trees, stacked the branches, sectioned the trunks and stacked most of them. I continued to destroy tent caterpillars. The day was very, very windy, so that often tent caterpillars would fall from the branches on to me, it was their unlucky day. It was too windy to contemplate a campfire.

Our cleared area at the Camp has expanded, letting in more sunshine, allowing more air movement. We now have a big sunny area to enjoy, and so do the dragonflies. Dragonflies eat mosquitoes. I love dragonflies. To be honest, the mosquitoes have not been too bad so far this year at the Camp. They were much worse last spring, which is surprising because this spring has been so wet.

We discovered that someone had cut down one of our trees along the road, a beautiful cedar tree, to gain access to our property for their ATVs. We really need to get the No Trespassing signs up! Cutting down a tree on private property is really going over the top in my opinion, we suspect someone local. The felled trunks were laid carefully to provide a “track” over a wet spot, so it was a very deliberate action. Also, while we were working on Sunday, a young male on a golf cart came merrily up the driveway to explore. When he saw Attila he apologized, turned around, and left. We really, really need to get the No Trespassing signs up! I doubt any of the young males will return on their vehicles, but the tree felling was done with a chain saw, and is not the work of young adventurous males, an adult had to be involved with that intrusion. If we see any more such activity by adults, we will contact the authorities. Sometimes it is not much of a stretch to think of people as animals.

We arrived home Sunday evening tired, and happy with our progress over the weekend!

Worldly Distractions


Date: 7:00 AM EDT Tuesday 13 June 2017
Condition: Mostly Cloudy
Pressure: 101.3 kPa
Tendency: Rising
Temperature: 21.0°C
Dew point: 18.6°C
Humidity: 86%
Wind: N 6 km/h
Humidex: 27
Visibility: 16 km


“If you cannot convince them, confuse them.”
Harry S Truman
1884 – 1972

Perhaps the one who shall not be named has taken advice from a page of the Democratic Party book.

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TopsyTurvy (Teri)

Sorry to hear you’ve had some more intrusions on the property. You definitely need to get those No Trespassing signs!

You really have your work cut out for you with the tent caterpillars. Wish there was an easier way to get them short of fogging the camp with insecticide.

Busy days making the camp a home, beautiful nights under the stars. Sounds idyllic!

Stubblejumpers Café

People who trespass and do wilful damage make landowners fume! It’s SO disrespectful. Out here it’s less ATVs than snowmobiles that we hear about; they go across winter-seeded or unharvested fields and make a mess. Farmers hate them, and for good reason.

I’m not killing near as many tent caterpillars as you are; there is so much bush around that I ask myself why I even bother. But I do. Bought two more bottles of liquid dish soap when in town yesterday, to be sure there is plenty on hand when the worms start clumping up on the trees in the evening, so they can be decimated by the dozens!


TopsyTurvy (Teri)

So excited! We’re getting a cottage a block away from a Lake Huron sand beach, a little ways from Grand Bend! We close at the end of the month. Can’t wait to get in there!