Category Archives: Scenery

The place where great scenery shots are posted.

December 2017 Wrap Up

Well, here we are in December already. Things are moving pretty quickly, as we try to get ready for our trip and the holidays at the same time. I thought I would take a few moments to wrap up things here at the trailer and let all of you good folk see how things are doing here.

This post will also serve as a test. As we are heading to Indonesia in January, Kat and I will be updating our blogs from there as well. However, we are not taking our laptops as they are rather expensive and we would hate to have anything happen to them. So what we did instead is we bought a keyboard for our tablet computer, which I am trying to use right now to type this out. The keyboard is quite a bit smaller than your standard one, so is taking some getting used to.

In any event, things up here have progressed pretty much as one might expect at this time of year. It gets colder, things start to freeze and eventually you get snow.

Going back to November 10th, we had a particularly frosty night and woke up to rather stiff looking pond.

It wasn’t perfectly smooth, but it look pretty neat, none the less.

The driveway received a light dusting of snow as well.

By this point we had already put up the plastic shield on the front of the trailer. It can be a bit of a pain to put up, but it is entirely worth it as it gives us a nice clear walk way over to the smurf house.

Speaking of the smurf house (composting toilet room), unlike the plastic shield in front of the trailer which we take down in the spring every year, the shield on the smurf house has never been taken down or replaced since we put it up. This will be it’s third winter and the 6mil plastic still looks to be in great shape. All we did this year was detach the one side and tighten it up a bit. People have told us that 6mil would deteriorate quickly, but so far that has not been the case.

Of course, it wasn’t much longer after that we received our first real snow. This picture was taken on the morning of Nov 20th.

A day early, in my books, as usually it is the 21st (my birthday) when we wake up to the first snow. Of course, if you’re going to mention the first-snow, there better be a picture of some trees with snow on them.

Fast forward to Dec 11th and things are looking even more winter-like.

Interestingly enough, that evening it began snowing again and didn’t stop until early morning on Dec 13th.

We have our bird feeder up now as well and the bluejays and chikadees are regular visitors, especially if you put peanuts out. They can clear out the whole feeder in one day if you do that.

Random picture of snowy evergreen.

Here you can see the trailer, with smoke coming out of the chimney and the solar panels cleared of all white stuff. That is a regular chore in the morning as you want to grab as much sun as you can, what with the days being so short and cloudy most of the time.

To help with the cloudy days, we bought a new generator as our old one died last February. The new one isn’t quite as nice as the old one, and it is definitely louder (unfortunately), but it is a bit more powerful and it gets the job done nicely and quickly, so we can’t really complain.

Lastly we have a shot down the snowy driveway after it was ploughed.

We’ll be heading out on Jan 2nd, but we will be having a friend of ours (and brave soul) come to stay at the trailer to take care of the kittens while we are away. The only small snag we have is that he can’t start until the 4th so we still need to find someone to take care of the cats those first two nights. If you or anyone you know wants to experience winter life in a trailer for two nights in January, please let us know.

Advertisements

Autumn 2017, part 2

I was driving home today from visiting family during Thanksgiving (yes, that was today, if you’re Canadian) and it started out rainy, but as I got closer to home it cleared up and was a really nice sunny day. I also noticed that we have pretty much reached the peak of the second round of autumn colours so I decided to take a walk around our property and shoot some pictures to share with all of you nice folks.

Actually, this first one is from last Thursday (Oct 5th). It’s the standard view looking over the trailer roof. You can compare it to the other pictures I from my previous Autumn 2017 post.

Now we move on to today’s batch. There are some real doozy’s in here that I’m sure you’ll enjoy. All pictures can be clicked on for larger versions.

As I said, it was a really nice sunny day and we’re big into the golds and bright oranges now. There are still some reds around here and there, but most of the reds happened earlier.

I also happened to be up at the family cottage during the last week of September and I snagged this awesome sunset picture over the lake. It also has the extra added bonus of having a flock of geese flying through it. You will most likely need to click on the picture for the larger version to see them, though.

Autumn 2017

According to my calendar, today was the autumn equinox (at 16:02 EDT if you want to be precise). Early autumn is a great time of year here because its usually still fairly warm and there aren’t any bugs so you can really enjoy the outdoors. Of course, every year is a little different and this year has been very wet.

We didn’t have much summer at all. It wasn’t all that hot and we had a lot of rain. We never needed to water our garden at all. Nights were often cool and by the time the start of September arrived we had been hit by sub freezing temperatures overnight three times. The garden really didn’t like the frost either.

With all of that cool weather, the trees started showing signs of autumn colours as far back as mid August. I know that might sound crazy, but it’s true. Of course, autumn being very colourful, I have pictures.

This first set I took on August 31st. All of these I took on our property, and some of them are just barely showing signs of changing. Traveling around the area there were lots of other trees showing more colouring that I didn’t take pictures of.

Next, I took this picture on September the 8th. I had been watching this little tree that is located out at the boarding facility where we have our horses for a while and it had been slowly changing in to the colours you see here for some weeks.

A few days later (September 12th) I took this one of the big maples behind the trailer to the north-east. You can compare this one to the second one from the Aug 31st set above as they are the same trees.

Last Friday (Sep 15th), I decided to get a little more serious with the picture taking. Here is one looking down the road we live on.

All of the rest of these were taken on our property, right near the trailer. Some you will recognize from earlier versions posted above.

This next one deserves a special mention. It’s a maple tree that is easily viewable from inside the trailer. The picture was pretty optimal in timing because that tree no longer has any of its leaves; they have all dropped just one week later.

Finally, one last shot over the roof of the trailer, once again. This one from September 17th.

After we had that bout of frost, it warmed up dramatically. We have been enjoying very summer like weather for the last two weeks. Humidex ratings over 30C (86+ in F). This, I’m sure, is causing all sorts of weirdness with the trees and other plants. They were getting ready for colder weather, and all of a sudden it’s warm again. Those trees already having moved into their fall colours just kept going. Some trees that had only just barely started changing seem to have halted and other trees are still completely green. So we have everything from completely bare to completely green. It’s turning out to be an autumn where we aren’t getting a huge riot of colours all at once, just patches here and there.

I’ll do my best to take some more pictures as things progress. If we continue to have these small patches of colours, autumn might get stretched out for some time. This is not a bad thing.

Soggy spring

I would love to say that we have accomplished a whole lot in the last month since I posted, but unfortunately we haven’t. This is largely due to the weather. I think this past May has been the soggiest one on record. Rain is pretty common in May, but it has been rather severe this year.

Our area was pretty lucky in that the worst we had were a few basements where the sub-pump broke and they wet basement floors. Other parts of Ontario and Quebec had full blown evacuations and states of emergency. When you come back to your house after it all resides and find that the water was up to the level of your counter-top in your kitchen, you could say that we had a lot of rain.

My last post was on May 2nd and it wasn’t long after that when things started to get crazy. We had two days of severe rain, then this happened on the 7th.

Yeah, that’s right. It started snowing. This has been known to happen in May, so it wasn’t so much of a big deal, except for the fact that it didn’t stop. I bet you can guess when I took the following picture?

That wasn’t the end of it either. It just kept snowing, right through until the 9th.

You can see that there wasn’t a whole lot of accumulation, but still, three days of snow in May?

Someone needs to turn up the outdoor thermostat.

That wasn’t the end of it either. I think we had a day or two break and then we had two more solid days of rain. When I say solid, I mean around 60mm (2.5 inches) of rain. That number may seem small, but if I put that in equivalent snow terms that would be 60cm (2 feet) of snow. It rained A LOT!

Those were the two heaviest days, but we’ve had quite a few days where it rained since then. Not nearly as bad. On May 14th we had a severe thunder storm which included hail. I had just done my weekly trip to the dump and it started on my way back. I was pulling into the driveway when the hail started so I sat in the truck for a bit and snapped this picture of the hail building up on the windshield wipers.

Not only has it been wet, it hasn’t been particularly warm either. We’ve had a few days above 20C (68F) but not many. And on those days when it isn’t cold and raining, the bugs are bad enough to pick you up and carry you off if you aren’t careful. The black flies especially are having a bumper year. We’re hoping the dragon flies will show up soon and we have seen one or two, but the big swarms of them have yet to arrive. They help a lot with reducing the biting insects.

All of this wetness has put a big damper on our firewood harvest this year. Going out in the pouring rain to cut down a tree isn’t a great thing to do. It’s even more inadvisable if there is high wind. Don’t try cutting down a tree in high wind and expect it to drop where you want it. I avoid that at all costs.

In addition to this, because of all of the rain, there were times we couldn’t even get the truck up the hill for fear of burying it out of sight just because the ground was so saturated with water. We still can’t drive to the top of our hill because a lot of water is draining down the road and it’s very squishy.

Of course there is the bug factor as well. Once you do get a decent day to go cut wood, you have to deal with the bugs. So, needless to say, we are behind in our firewood harvesting.

Fortunately, we haven’t been completely idle. We did get started on installing a new sink and finishing the counter-top around it. Here you can see the cutting of the hole where the sink is going to go.

Slightly closer so you can see the sink outline in pencil.

There we have it, a hole for a sink.

We even have a sink to put in that hole too! We bought it at the Re-store which I have to say, is kind of a hit or miss in terms of whether it’s really worth it or not. The sink we bought didn’t have holes for faucets, nor did it have a strainer basket. We weren’t too concerned about the faucet holes as we aren’t likely to have any faucet for a while. A new strainer basket cost $20 for the cheap one. The sink cost us $45. I could have bought a brand new sink for $100 that included holes for the faucet and strainer basket. Add some tax in there and you start to wonder if it was really worth the savings. Things to think about if you ever go to the Re-store for building materials.

Now for the counter-top we decided to use a 19mm (3/4 inch) piece of plywood with red oak veneer. One sheet of that will set you back $85 so you don’t want to mess it up. I cut out the piece to size for the counter first.

I scribed the hole for the sink from underneath and then cut out the hole for the sink as well.

Voila! New counter-top. Well, almost. The counter then went out to the staining and finishing department. I can say that it has been stained and had two coats of varnish put on it. The next step is to put a thick coat of epoxy on it to make it durable and waterproof. We have the epoxy, but it is sensitive to temperature and humidity so that part has been put on hold until things dry up and warm up a bit.

So it’s been a slow start to the year. We haven’t planted anything in the garden yet either because it’s been so cold. Last night we had a low of 2C (36F). Yes, we had a fire. They say we should be safe for planting after the full moon in June, which is this Friday. We can only wait and see at this point.