It’s April, Right?

We’re not really sure what month it is any more. The weather just keeps getting more erratic. In this case though, it allows me to provide a plethora of beautiful nature photos for all of you wonderful people.

Things have been falling out of the sky all weekend and when I woke up this morning, this is the view that greeted me.

Everything was covered in thick, heavy wet snow.

As you can imagine, many smaller trees suffer when this happens.

It does, however, provide some really awesome scenery and the chance to go out and spend time in the quiet of the forest.

We live in a fairly isolated spot to begin with. Once you cover everything with a large blanket of snow, it gets really quiet.

I think all of these trees have frosting on them 😛

With all of the noises muffled by the snow, your footsteps end up sounding extra loud. You have to stop often just to let the forest’s atmosphere sink in.

The snow didn’t seem to bother these two massive white pines.

Tunnel of snow silence.

It was overcast, but the pictures make it look ominous. It really wasn’t, it was fairly bright actually, not that we ever saw the sun today.

Back up at the pond at the top of the hill. There isn’t much of a difference in height to indicate where the pond actually starts. (It’s just in front of the bench).

Surrounded by balsam fir trees, the sounds of the outside world just disappear.

There was hardly a breath of wind, so you can imagine how quiet it was out in the forest. You’d think you’d hear more birds and there were some, but the vast majority of all of the tweetering going on was back at the trailer.

This next picture was taken just outside and you can see all of those little feathered forest denizens up in the tree.

Yeah, the ones in the tree were just waiting for their opportunity to head down and raid the bird feeder.

I caught a number of them in that picture, but a video would be better as they move in and out so fast and in so many numbers. In case you were wondering, we have golden finches, chickadees, dark-eyed junkos, purple finches, nut hatches, blue jays and a few variety of sparrows.

Unfortunately, the forest wasn’t the only thing to suffer damage from all of the heavy snow.

That is our truck shelter tent thing. The heavy snow made the canvas split. I put in an impromptu patch by working a tarp in under the metal rails. It’s not perfect, by far, but hopefully it will get us passed all of this snow.

In the mean time, when I’m not out trekking around the forest, I melt snow on the wood stove.

It comes in handy for washing hands and dishes.

Anyway, I need to run and rescue my socks as they are being attacked by a kitten right now.

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It’s Official

It’s official that I am now and official Earthship aficionado.

I don’t quite have that piece of paper in my hands yet, but it’s in Kat’s hands so I figure that’s close enough. She will be receiving one of these herself at the end of the month. Then we’ll both be official.

In other news, I found our very own ice wall on our property as I was wandering around it a while back.

It’s not that tall, maybe 3m (10′) but it is a lot of fun to look at. If I were more adept at image manipulation I’d put some Lego persons doing the ice climbing thing on it.

It’s April and that means highly erratic weather up here in this part of the world. Some days it’s nice and sunny and all of the snow is melting, then the next day you get this.

I also managed to snap a shot of a chickadee in mid-flight on his way out from the bird feeder. (Left side of the picture)

Mix in some rain, ice rain and heavy wind with all of that and you never really know what the next day will bring from mother nature. It hasn’t been very cold, so I guess there are some good parts.

As you may know I’m up here at the trailer taking care of things while Kat is away down south. While some might imagine this means wandering around in my underwear eating hot dogs and KD all the time, let me put those thoughts to rest. This is what I had for dinner tonight.

Those are baked chicken thighs in a peanut/salsa sauce with mashed sweet potatoes (with added pecans) and some sweet and sour purple cabbage. For those who know me, you know that I do most of the cooking when Kat is here, so eating well isn’t a problem. The only difference now is I have to do the dishes as well 😛 I’m sure I can handle this burden that has been placed upon me.

Stay healthy!

April Activities

So with Kat away for this month doing the Earthship Academy in Taos, NM, I’m left here at the trailer to maintain the fort, as it were. There is all of the regular things to do: cook, clean, feed the cats, melt snow for wash water, bring in fire wood, those sorts of things. However, with Kat away, I have also been tasked with feeding the horses.

We have our two Arabians currently boarded at a nearby facility, and they do get hay, but one of them especially needs a bit extra as he seems to lose weight otherwise. I have been out with Kat to do this numerous times, but this is the first time I had to do it by myself. Fortunately, the boys didn’t seem to mind.

They paused a bit when I showed up, probably wondering where Kat was. But as soon as I showed them the buckets, they wandered over and proceeded to eat their portions. Nothing too difficult to handle, they are very well behaved.

As you probably noticed in the above picture, the ground is looking mighty white. We did have quite a bit of bare ground, but that all changed Tuesday evening. First we had wet snow, then we had ice rain which switched to regular rain and then back to snow. After it was all done, we ended up with this inverted Oreo cookie type situation. That would be where you have two layers of frosting with the hard cookie part in between. Why someone hasn’t come out with cookies like that yet, I will never know.

In any event, it has made everything very white again, and quite crunchy too. Fortunately, it’s not all that cold and with the sun shining, it clears the roof pretty quick. Here you can see all the snow piled up in front of the trailer’s plastic shield that fell off the roof earlier.

These are also excellent conditions for spotting animal tracks.

That’s just a picture of our garden bed and most of it is squirrel tracks, though there is what seems to be cat tracks going through the middle of it.

With it being such a nice day today, I decided to take a wander through our forest. This is a great way to spot trees that we will be harvesting for firewood, the time for which is rapidly approaching. I did come across this interesting specimen.

I can’t say for 100% certainty, but it looks to me like a porcupine had a major noms festival on that tree. They are notorious for stripping trees down to their underwear, as it were.

Here is exhibit number 2.

This tree didn’t have as much of it’s bark stripped, but it was also a much smaller tree.

I wandered for a while and eventually came up to the pond at the top of our hill.

You can see by the far shoreline just how full the pond is. We’ve been fairly fortunate that we haven’t had a tonne of precipitation or otherwise we’d be facing a lot of flooding like last year.

Finally, here is a picture of some snowy spruce trees.

Things are pretty quiet here otherwise. Most days it’s above freezing so there is a fair amount of melting going on. Hopefully as that progresses I’ll be able to start the firewood harvesting.

Kat’s Adventure

My Earthship talk last Wednesday went quite well. We had around 18 people show up. I gave them a thorough overview of what exactly an Earthship is and answered all the questions that were thrown my way.

Now, it’s Kat’s turn. Back in 2014, I started this blog when I went down to participate in the first session of the Earthship Academy down in Taos, NM. Kat is leaving tomorrow to go do the same thing, four years after I did. She will be gone for the month of April and be immersed in all things Earthship, six – dare I say – seven days a week.

Fortunately for us, we can all follow what she is doing on her blog, which is listed under the list of blogs that I follow.

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