Laying Around In The Backyard

I like the backyard.

Monty needs to be supervised while on pee patrol in the backyard, lest he start running around, or gets stuck somewhere with his knee.

It gives me a chance to enjoy the new backyard and to watch the clouds slide on by.

The last evening light illuminates the branches of the locust tree that hangs over our yard.

The setting sun casts a golden glow on the last of the clouds before they merge with the others in a dark covering.

I like the backyard.

A Walk in the Valley Woods

I went for a walk this afternoon in the valley, in the woods with my canteen, camera, knife and flint.

I turned sticks...

...into a little fire, keeping me warm on the riverbank.

This little fella decided to inspect my jacket.

Sitting on the riverbank, I could hear only birds and the rushing of water.

Amazing how it is only a couple of miles from the busiest highway in North America (the 401).

I made my way back after an hour or so, finding little sights in the woods.

The smell of the leaves and soil and blossoms was strong.

I didn't see anyone else during my time down there - it had rained earlier and I think most folks preferred to spend their Sunday indoors.

I prefer a bit of both sometimes.

Drinking from my canteen, I whittled away on a stick and watched a red cardinal flit about on the the banks.

No bears presented themselves.

No deer either, but I wouldn't have been surprised to see a fox, or as I did last week, a rabbit.

Certainly if I was to remain still for long enough, I might see some secrets down there.

Think I will bring a lightweight camping chair or something next time.

A few minutes after I got home, the heavens opened wide and an amazing rainstorm washed down the streets, and through the leaves.

Glad I'm home now.

Perfect Potato Planting Post

I am just in from some gardening. When I got home from work tonight I wandered outside with Monty and poked around the garden, surveying this rough shod, unpolished gem of a garden.

I started small - retrieving 4 willow sticks that were Monty's chewy sticks, I trimmed their ends until they were sharp as pencils with my Mora knife.

Kneeling down as I pressed the sticks into the edge of the garden and lawn, Spring assisted me with tying string to make a very straight line. I carefully edged the lawn and tossed the turf fragments towards the compost heap. Looking around again, I decided that the bag of potatoes that I had brought with us from our last home - alive with tendrils and eyes poking from their slightly shriveled bodies - was ready for planting.

Kneeling down again, I removed my knife from its Kydex sheath, muttered a prayer to the potato god, and gently yet firmly bisected the firm potatoes one by one. Carefully carved potato corpses littered at my feet, I then dug three 8-inch deep rows in a section of the garden soil, and implanted each segment eyes-up, before shoveling the soil back into the rows.

I then pulled up the string, retrieved the sticks, cut off the points, and returned them to a very relieved beagle who chewed each and every one, as though to put his mark back onto them. I wiped and then rubbed some olive oil onto my carbon-steel Mora knife blade and into the birch handle, to keep it rust-free and clean.

I have no idea when the potatoes plants will come up green and bursting with leaves and tendrils and stalks - but I can't wait for the first crop of fine Yukon potatoes. I'll take photos in time.



McMuffins and a Walk in the Woods

Yesterday I went exploring my new neighbourhood with my friend Matt.

We initially made a run to McDonalds to have a breakfast, while Spring remained at home reading a great book on the long holiday weekend.

After the obligatory McMuffins and Orange juice, we drove to the park at the mouth of the valley, which delineates the conservation area.

We scouted it out to see if we would be able to ride our mountain bikes (yes we'll be able to), and gradually descended into the valley.

The narrow ridges topped with houses soon retreated and the broad leafy park opened up before us in a maze of trails through the forest.

Soon a creek revealed itself first by the sound of rushing waters...

...and then by the glint of the early summer sun.

As we wandered through foot paths through the grass and trees, we saw apple trees in blossom - they had old, twisted trunks, covered in vines and crowded with pines and birch trees.

This must have been an orchard in years past - it will be amazing to explore to see if there are any old farmstead buildings or traces of these.

This will be a great area to wander through with Monty in time, and I will be able to practise some skills in the bush.

Thanks for dropping by,


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