Sunday, 25 January 2015

Trip to Almonte, Heirloom Restaurant

"Let's go," I said. To Almonte for some bird seed and bird-friendly coffee (at Gilligalou) and lunch!
"Sure," replied hubby. We went to Heirloom, it's an amazing space, with excellent food!

Artwork upstairs, wonderful heritage beams, and good food, all prepared on-site.  Food prepared simply, so hubby can eat. (He's intolerant to yeast, eggs, dairy, spelt and mushrooms!) Some amazing wine selections, too. I had a glass of white!
You don't see beams like this anymore. Only in really old heritage houses.
The sun was amazing, shining in the windows. It gives the hope of spring in its warmth.
The building also has condos.

On the way home from Almonte, we passed the sight of an OPP investigation.

I was curious, it was on Wolfe Grove Rd., one of our favourite roads. I found a sad news item:

OPP investigate fatal fire near Almonte


The Ontario Provincial Police are investigating a fatal house fire in Lanark Highlands, about an hour north-west of Ottawa. Joyce Gibson, 67, died in the fire that began at about 8:30 a.m. on Thursday morning on Gibson Road near Wolf Grove Road, between Hopetown and Almonte.
OPP; a house fire
Lots of vehicles

I wish I could make some money off of these trips, but, despite several requests a day to 'share this piece –of interest to your readers', I avoid such deceptive things. I took an ad once, for snowmobile safety links. I donated the money to my hospice group. I was given a press badge to visit Puppets Up! one year, in return for coverage. That was just plain fun. We went back the next year and took the kids and grandkids!

I noticed a terrific article in our big newspaper (Ottawa Citizen; Daytripping to Perth). I cynically wonder how much she was paid to write this, or if meals were complimentary. Why can't I earn something this way?! I wonder if it was the tourism board, or BIA, who supported her trip... It was a perky little article. Good advertising for Perth. Excuse me for being deeply suspicious! I think an ad should be stated as an ad. The line between journalism and editorials is blurring. Journalists are unashamed of providing opinions and flowery language in their 'articles.'

In the US, blogger must declare if anything was given for, for example, a book review (i.e., free book). Not so according to Canadian law. Lots of companies are using PR firms to hand out products for bloggers to try, in exchange for a favourable review and/or a giveaway contest.

Daytripping to Perth


Perth is packed full of heritage, of good food, interesting shopping and places to stay the night, as Laura Byrne Paquet found out. What did you do? Headed to Perth for a short girls’ getaway with two high school friends, Catherine and Brenda.

Saturday, 24 January 2015

A lovely day for sunshine, cats outdoors, deer burrs, trailcam

What a beautiful day it was, Tuesday, January 20th! I did a workout, fetched trailcam photos, fed the birds, and vacuumed.

I managed a snowshoe hare photo on the trail cam.

By Wed., Jan. 21st, it was only 13 C. in the family room downstairs, as it was -24 C. outside. Daisy and I built a fire. She had a nap in her cat bed. Buster and Dorah are upstairs watching the birds in the dawn. The room is now up to a more comfortable temperature! I'm blogging and processing my photos and videos. It's a good life!

I moved the trailcam, and capured the coyote, again at dinner time, and a dancing deer! Check out the change in temperature from Tuesday, the 20th, to the 23rd. I put down some cedar boughs, as Justin suggested, and they were gone within the hour (3:00 p.m)

I took off to my hair appointment. Buster and Daisy were guarding the front porch. (Those dratted red squirrels. ) The sunshine was lovely. We're on the upturn, with the sunshine warming up the car.

Out in the yard, I could tell that the deer were into the burrs! They got them off quickly after breakfast, although it'd be nice to give them a good brush! Our wee Annabelle doesn't seem to like brushing much. I'm working on this. A little each day.

We dodged a bullet Tuesday night, as there was a big power outage in our area. Thankfully, hubby's tennis was still on, since we didn't lost our power. We had TV, water pressure and our propane heat!
There was a car incident, with a hydro pole taken out. Thank goodness for local news radio. We'd never hear what was going on!

We’re still waiting for details about the accident that left more than 8,000 Hydro One customers without power last night.

Posted Wed.: More than 8,700 residences in Lanark County lost power for several hours last night due to a car crash in Lanark Highlands Township just before 6 p.m. Hydro One said power had been restored to all homes, including the last 407, at 4:30 a.m. this morning. Many residents had power back shortly after 6 p.m., except for those in Lavant, Dalhousie and Darling wards in Lanark Highlands.
Critters #58

Coyote and rabbit on video

I switched from photos to video settings, just for fun. Rabbit loped by, I repeated that on slow motion. Then, a couple of hours later, the coyote.

Coyote & rabbit from Jennifer Jilks on Vimeo.

Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks :: Wolf & Coyote Identification
Still, hubby heard a wolf in the forest. They tell us that it is a CoyWolf, a species cross between the Western coyote and the Eastern wolf. The tracks fit this, from the one hubby spotted in the backyard. Larger than the coyote tracks. Quite distinct. I hope to catch it on the Trailcam one day!

Friday, 23 January 2015

Wednesday's trek; 90 minute-walk & sewing projects

Here is Wednesday's trek. Another lovely 'forest bath.' Some call it bushwacking! The frozen snow hasn't
It was hard going, with that cold, crunchy snow. I dress warmly, but end up undoing my scarf and taking off my hat. It is darn good exercise!

No more antlers, no more blood splatters on the snow. I'm thinking they took off, a little further away. You see, I spotted more coyote tracks, right across where they had bedded down. It looks as if the coyote chewed up the snow where all the blood was. Hubby heard a wolf howl on his afternoon trip around the property. I heard nothing, an hour later. Everybody is telling us we can't have a wolf, but he did see it. Larger than the coyote, and more grey. It's funny but I've given up arguing with people. Some say it has to be a 'Eastern Coyote', but that doesn't make sense. The wolf is larger, and I have found two distinct canine tracks, one larger than the other.
You can see my most recent path –in purple.

The females deer (doe, a deer) have used our property as their winter yard. Thursday I counted 9 females. They stick closer to us. It's been so unusual to find the males around in such numbers.

Nothing exciting on the trail cam, although I spotted Fisher tracks on a well-used path which skirts our wetland shoreline. As well as rabbit droppings! I'm pursuing this.

I'm looking forward to spring. I plan to put the motion-sensor trailcam up in front of the Wood duck nesting box beside the frog pond!  The ducklings fling themselves out of the box within 24 hours of hatching, to run with mom on the wetland water.
Hooray spring!!!!

Yes, coyote is around
These are random shots. You can see where I've put up a 'no hunting' sign, at the corner of our properties. It marks our immediate property corner (16 acres), where neighbours have a hunt camp on their 35 acres, and the next door farmer's land (600 acres) further east. A trifecta corner.
These are all still photos with my videocamera. I carry my regular camera in my backpack, with my water, it has the zoom lens on, just in case. Any critters run when they hear me, though. It's for distant birds up a tree.

She wanted purple lining/trim,
pink buttons.

Back at the house, I've been creating. I found a remnant of material with ladybugs and other bugs, on it back in September. Isabelle's nickname is Isabelle Coccinelle (French for ladybug). I suggested I might make her a skirt, since there didn't seem to be much material. When I Skyped with 4-year-old Isabelle this week, I showed her that I'd made her a whole dress. She said, 'But you were going to make me a skirt!' That child's memory is amazing. Her parents are in trouble!

In tandem, while I have the sewing machine out, I created a new banner to hang at the mailbox.
(This is to help us find our driveway!)
On the one side, hearts decorated by the girls last year.

On the reverse side, a bow and heart. It's a nice pop of colour against our white snow!
It keep me off of the street!

Thursday, 22 January 2015

Deer sheds, Big Daddy

457 grams
Still watching Big Daddy. Justin has comforting words for me. Big Daddy, two days later, still has one right antler. It's hard to count, but I think 2 or 3 of our 5 bucks have lost their antlers, 'shed' them, as they say. I spotted Big Daddy, again, worrying the bird feeder. I've figured out that if I fill it early in the day the birds (AKA red squirrels) get some black sunflower seeds before the deer lick it to death!

Today, Thursday, we have had a couple of bucks sans antlers. Thing is, without name tags, it's really hard to tell them apart, except for their behaviour. Big Daddy is, of course, in charge. Other than that, I've given up!

the lightest is 180 grams

I've included before and after photos. I weighed the one antler he left me down in the forest, beyond the meadow. It was 457 grams (about a pound)!

Below are  three bucks, the two have lost both antlers.

Shed Hunting with Justin Hoffman
According to one of my books, the older, more mature bucks generally drop first. They often breed earlier and once the testosterone levels drop, the antlers are shed as they are not needed anymore. Saying that, it can definitely go both ways. I have found small sheds for young bucks early, such as last year, and bigger ones later. Not an exact science. Best thing to do is to begin searching early. Once the porcupines, squirrels and mice find them, they can make quick work of them.

Wednesday, 21 January 2015

Tay River rails - speaking of winter driving

Riverside Dr., Perth
follows the Tay River
Update on the Tay River... If you recall, we had a teenaged young lady go into the river one day last year. She was in the river, under water, went to hospital, having been freed by off-duty EMS dudes. Bless their hearts. We've been told that she is recuperating at home after a lengthy hospital stay.

After much agonising, research and debate, since it is on our Lanark County land, but in close proximity to Perth, the Perth mayor and council decided to put up a rail, since rerouting the road was very expensive. Since having heard of this incident, I've been pretty careful along this road. It's like driving on fudge some days. It can be glare ice, on sandy soil. The land drains across the road, into the river.
The peculiar thing is, on January 7th there was another incident.  Apparently, Lanark OPP report, a Dodge Caravan was negotiating the road early this month, hit the guard rails, but didn't go in. Thankfully. It was near the location of the previous incident. I'm happy the powers-that-be did something. People drive far too quickly everywhere, especially along this slippery road, on their way to the gym/spa/physiotherapy facility. You know, for relaxation!
The road takes a sudden turn at the end, don't know if people speed and don't think about the turn. I took a drive just at sunset. It's a lovely spot, where people camp on the other side in summer.
They look like robust rails, following the entire length of the river.

A 2013 spring photo