Tuesday, April 28, 2009


Yesterday we were graced with sun and heat and wind.  Enough to make a girl feel truly giddy.  Our forested area has hardwood trees which take a long time to leaf- but nevertheless, things are greening up, there's no denying it!

I spied some wildflowers near the house and grabbed my camera.  I know I promised a ramble, but think of this as a preview-I'll try to do a proper hike with the dogs, and boots and all of that, when it stops raining (it's bucketing down right now).

The wildflowers are usually small and delicate and easy to miss.  You have to get down low (mud on the knees of your jeans) to try and capture their beauty.

This is a Trout Lily.  I know because I looked it up.

These are white trout Lilies, which are apparently less common.  We have a great many of them, and so we must be special.

Here is a little patch of trilliums.  They are the official flower of Ontario, and so they cannot be picked.  They do look a little prim and official, don't they?

Here is more of a glamour shot of a trillium, hey even official flowers have to let loose sometimes.

At the heart of the patch is a grouping of dark red trilliums.  This patch is here year after year.

This flower is quite bold- I'm not sure but I think it's a bloodroot.  They're quite vibrant and really stand out on the forest floor.

I don't know what these delicate little fellas are called, but they're pretty.

I'll try to do a little more research on the wildflower names etc.... and failing that, I can always just make stuff up.  And until it stops raining, I guess I can just take a little breather.....

Er, I mean, do some spring cleaning!  :)

Friday, April 24, 2009

smoke gets in your eyes

I know you're not supposed to burn damp hay....

It can get awfully smokey....

....awfully quickly....

....but I do it anyway

It is spring cleanup time, after all.  Have a good weekend!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009



Just figured out yet another reason why I won't have any prize-winning perennials in the county fair this year (not that I would stand a chance anyway, but a girl can dream). 


This is the time of year when the earth gives up its secrets.

After the heaving from freeze-thaw cycles, bits of debris, or bits of history, depending on your point of view, can easily be taken from the soft soil.

We have found so many artifacts, some broken, some whole, peeking out of the ground in the springtime.  Last spring, while sowing the front horse pasture with seed (how's that for a somewhat romantic image) my husband found this old half-penny coin from 1844, and a child's play ironstone teacup.

We also have a collection of arrowheads, most of them fairly intact.  We label them with the date, location where they were found, and the name of the finder.

Here's a bottle with only a little chip, with its oxidized patina.  It's quite small, and must have been a medicine bottle.    

I have a jar on the windowsill where my kitchen desk sits, filled with bits of broken china and glass.  Those early house-dwellers must have broken a lot of dishes (or I suppose their servants did).  The best time to go looking for this treasure is in the springtime, after a rain.  It helps if you adopt a contemplative stance, with your hands clasped behind your back, and your head down, eyes scanning the ground.  Walk slowly.  You never know what you'll find.

Monday, April 20, 2009


I know I'm a bit late with this, but I hope everyone had a happy Easter.  On the other hand, if you're Orthodox, then my timing is almost spot-on and you'll appreciate this snapshot, since you'll inevitably still be digesting your Easter celebration meal.

Spring has more or less sprung in my part of the world, and we have been graced with some (but not too much) beautiful weather.  It sometimes feels like counting chickens before they're hatched, though, as yesterday was chilly and windy, and today.....

...today is rainy and cold.  However, the grass is greening up, and it will soon be time to torture the offspring with endless sessions on the riding lawnmower.  Some things in my garden (namely the ones which have escaped being sat upon by two large dogs) are beginning to unfurl.

Others remain tightly furled.

These peonies are getting ready to put on a show- it's funny, last year they only had a few modest blooms.

It's the time of rakes and shovels and rubber boots and gathering twigs and branches and burning piles....and picking up doggy doo... I keep my eyes peeled while doing so, though, because inevitably I'll come upon a treasure....

like this little woodland violet...when it warms up a little, I'll take you on a spring wildflower ramble.  Bring your boots.

Monday, April 6, 2009

peaceful morning sunshine

Today, freezing rain pellets are being driven against my windows by a relentless, gusty wind.  There have been some moments of loveliness, though, in this difficult, slow spring.  

This old house is not the greatest light-catcher, to my never-ending regret.  I think I would be a much more successful, well-rounded person, if only I were surrounded by more light.  The window-wells here are deep, and the place was built to exclude the elements, not let them in.  But a few mornings ago, I came downstairs to find the kitchen table in such a pretty, peaceful morning light, I just had to take some photos.

Can you feel the quiet?  (can you see the dust bunny?  :) )

Friday, April 3, 2009

sugar jones

There are times when there is NOTHING to snack on in the house, and since it's a little far to walk, you ask your Dad if he can give you a ride to the store for some candy.

No problem.  Meet our environmentally-friendly transportation mode.

By the way, when they got there, the store was closed:)

Thursday, April 2, 2009

spring break

Oh hi.  I seem to have inadvertently disconnected from the interwebs for quite a while now.  My only excuse is that my kids were home for March break and they commandeered my computer. This year we didn't travel anywhere, and instead took part in some championship lounging and relaxing, interrupted only by regular bouts of sleeping in (kids, not me).  It turns out that the official uniform of March break is pyjamas.

So really, you didn't miss anything.  Oh, except that I cooked quite a bit.  I even  made some chicken soup.  It was good. 

There was a great deal of greyness, rain and thawing/flooding.  Mud, mud, and more mud.

But today the sun is out and it's bright and drying things out nicely.  And signs of spring are popping up everywhere.