Friday, December 21, 2012

First Rose of Winter

Instead of the last rose of summer. . .

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Sunday Morning

All of the X-mas projects are finished and I've time to do other activities. Already cleaned the goat's stall, fixed the light in the chicken coop, moved some furniture, cleaned a bit of my desk top, and planned lunch so it's time for a few minutes in front of our fire in the fireplace.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Puddles !!!

It may not seem like a big deal but I don't remember seeing puddles in the driveway for months.

Saturday, December 08, 2012

Saturday "Long Run"

11 kilometres in fog, drizzle, mist, and light rain at 4 degrees. (6.8 miles at 39 degrees F for y'all down south.) As usual the hardest part was getting out of the house and car to start the run. The second hardest part was getting back into the car, soaking wet, and driving to the gym to shower. The actual run was actually fairly comfortable after the first 10 minutes of warming up a bit. I enjoyed the rain hitting my face and cooling me down from the run. I did a trail run right next to the river on a rail trail so it was fairly level. Down river for the first 5.5 km and then back up river for the last 5.5 km. Long ago a friend told me that one should be able to run a 10 race easily in the number of minutes that corresponded to the number of years in ones age. That being said, I was pleased that my "long slow run" ended up with a 10 km time that equalled my age years. Guess I was running too fast.

Friday, December 07, 2012

Wild Flowers

This Charlock was one of 24 wild flowers that I found in bloom today. This is after several hard frosts and two snow storms here in southern Ontario.

Thursday, December 06, 2012

Notes re Problems with Feet

Well, it appears that Facebook is the way to go for lots of feedback although I did get some feedback here on the blog and because of the blog on my e-mail. For those that are interested here is some of the feedback I got:

Liz Macdonald-Cameron Dean, I use pure vitamin E on my heels and it works great.

Sara Crowe I used to get this in winter from constantly getting wet feet when walking the dog. E45 cream worked best for me - slather it on generously and often!

Marie Waldron two ideas for your feet
1. Vaseline your feet put them in a loose plastic bag then put your socks on and go to bed
2. Moroccan oil
I use it in my hair and it has given me very soft hands despite the hand washing and sanitizing I do at work

Jenny Vanderlip Kenwell Bag Balm from T.S.C. for your feet.

Arlene Laskey Dean, 2 of my children had this sort of problem with their feet. A dermatologist diagnosed eczema. He warned against synthetic fibres for socks...only, wool or cotton... and against rubber soles and synthetics in shoes. Emu oil has been suggested as a treatment for the skin but my kids had a cortisone cream. My daughter believes in the power of Epsom salts baths for the skin as well, followed by complete drying.

Danielle Gugler … try immersing feet in warm water and honey for 15 minutes. Honey works wonders for treating cracked feet.

Heron Driftwood Mom's remedy of Vaseline petroleum jelly on just washed (and dried) feet, then fresh clean cotton socks every night for about a week

Pam Shack My physical therapist daughter recommends the same as Heron Driftwood - but using udder cream instead of Vaseline.

lynda joiner  I saw your plea this morning and during a pedicure after work today read your symptoms to Lori. She immediately responded with a product that hopefully will help you. She carries this and recommends this product - Gehwol - Salve for cracked skin.

Ardis Gugler  look for a moisturizing lotion that contains at least 6% dimethicone.

If I remember all the locations correctly there were response from 2 provinces, 2 U.S. States and from Wales. Nice to be popular and to know that there are people that care. Now all I have to do is to decide which to try first. As I come from a farming background, way back, I am leaning toward the TSC (Tractor Service Centre) Bag Balm as I remember using meds, or rather having meds used on me, that were for the cows on all kinds of cuts and scratches when I was a child including one that as I look back realize was really blood poisoning. You know when red streaks start going up your leg from the scratch that came from rusty barbed wire. As I remember it was a stop gap thing until someone had time to drive me to town to the doctor but since it got better I never did go and it saved lots of money . . .

Wednesday, December 05, 2012

Help Needed

I just put the following note on my Facebook page but thought I should repeat it here just in case . . .

Advice needed: 
Every year, around December, the bottoms of my feet dry and start to crack open making them very painful. The heel area is the worst. I have tried various naturopathic, homeopathic, and drugstore solutions. All of them have failed. 
I am open to new ideas. 

Oh, while I am in the begging mood, for the last few year I have also caught a cold in December which leaves a dry cough that lasts until late spring. Again, various solutions from various sources have not worked so if you have any ideas for me to try I would be grateful

Sunday, December 02, 2012

Where Does the Time Go . . . again

Well part of the time went into a new book for children. Have a look at this while I go out to take care of our animals . . .

(Oh, by the way, if your child is named in the first few pages, don't buy the book. It's a present and will be delivered in due time.)

Monday, November 05, 2012

Morning Treat

Wish I had a photo but it was not to be. This morning when our dog and I were out for our walk, two deer suddenly rushed out from near us and ran across the field and then stopped to look back. I saw that the buck had the largest set of antlers that I have ever seen in our area. It was a beautiful six-point set. I had a good look with my binoculars but could not get the photo. Maybe later?

Sunday, November 04, 2012

Another Half Marathon

My chip time for the half marathon race was a bit faster as in 2:27:22. I was pleased that it was 7 minutes faster than last year and that I felt good for the whole race for a difference. Thanks to my running friend Moira for all the long run practices and for being with me for the race today! Thanks to Coach Ron and the Road Rebel group for the faster week day runs and coaching.

I was 1742 out of 1942 who finished the race; 794 out of 831 men who finished; 11/15 men in the 65 - 69 age group.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Special Window

This is painful; however, the photo challenge of the day is "window," so I am posting a special window.

Sixteen years ago, while studying and travelling in Australia, my youngest daughter died in a car accident in the middle of one of the Australian deserts. I was taking a class in stained glass at the time and designed and built this stained glass window in her memory. Her name was Dawn.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Old Wheels

I just put this photo up on my Flickr site and on my Facebook page and thought I might as well put it up here too for anyone who does not visit either of those pages.

My father made this tractor and trailer for me while he was in a Naval Hospital back in 1945. He made 9 wheels for the toy if one counts the steering wheel. I had to dig it out of storage and do some repair work before I could photograph it today for a photo challenge. It's nice for me to see it again as it's been in a box for a long time.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Friday Flowers - Oct. 26, 2012

        Even though it was raining for part of the time I was out and very cloudy for the entire time, I did manage to find 66 wild flowers blooming in the Hendrie Valley and the Hamilton Waterfront trail.

        The photo below is of the Slender Speedwell (Veronica filiformis). I usually find it in the spring and sometimes in the fall but I think I missed it this past spring.


Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Sunshine Makes My Day

We had sunshine on Monday morning but then the skies turned rainy. We need the rain but I am missing the sun.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Friday Wild Flowers




Above are three of the 70 wild flowers that I found in bloom yesterday in the Hamilton area. The third one is the most rare of these as it is an all female Common Ragweed. The ragweeds almost always have both male and female flowers with most of them being male.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Waxing Moon

October 17: The waxing moon is showing almost 9 % of its face and is in the constellation of Scorpio.

Sunday, October 14, 2012


Just saw 7 Turkey Vultures overhead. They must be migrating through.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Early Morning Sky

We had two clear mornings in a row with good views of Venus and the moon before sunrise. As a person that does not check the movement of the moon and planets every night, I was amazed at how much different the relative positions were on the two different mornings.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

A cool rainy October morning with some sun expected later. The building in the centre is our barn. It is home to our donkey, goats, geese, chickens, cat, and dog during the night but they come and go during the day.

Sunday, October 07, 2012


Thanks to Fleur-Ange for helping moving these 70 bales to the barn. Only took an hour and a half to move them 60 metres into the barn and to stack them there.

Monday, October 01, 2012

So we had a warm winter with very little snow then a hot summer with almost no rain and we expected the well to go dry at any time. Now it is fall and we have had a few good rains and now the well is too low for the pump to bring up any water.

We had a truck load of water dumped into the well a few minutes ago and now we will have water for a bit but I saw the water drop a good metre before the truck got out of the driveway. I checked all the water taps and flushed the toilets and then the water slowed to a trickle. Not sure what is wrong now.

Sunday, September 30, 2012


. . . in her Princess bed.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

New Resident

Rescued from Hamilton SPCA.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Moving On

The fall season moves on. The Goldenrods loose colours as the trees gain in yellows, oranges, and reds.

Sent from my iPhone

Monday, September 24, 2012

Yes, it's fall time again. We had our first frost this September 24 morning on the second official day of fall.

And from yesterday a few more signs of fall.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Today is the day that we change to autumn. I still hear crickets in the morning and, since the recent rains, I am hearing the odd spring peeper as well as a few geese thinking about heading south. Bird songs are less frequent. I need to spend some time listening to hear what is still around.

Meanwhile, where does the time go? When did I last post anything on this blog? I wonder if I should close it down or just continue doing the odd note as my mind suddenly remembers that I do have a blog.

It's here for another day.

If anyone is not following my Flickr or Facebook accounts, here is my photo of the day:

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Dry Pond

First full day of summer and our east "pond" has lost all of its water.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Look out Cat!

Here we come!

Wednesday, June 13, 2012


Some new animals have arrived. We might be a farm yet someday.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Just back from the vets with cat and dog and much lighter wallet. Why does it cost so much, these days, to keep animals healthy?

Sunday, May 20, 2012


Sometimes I forget how lucky I am. As I sit at my breakfast table this morning, having just read a National Geographic story about the crowded life in Hong Kong, I cannot see or hear one person. The only sound, right now, is that of a solitary mourning dove cooing outside. Tomorrow it will be marginally more crowded and noisy as Fleur-Ange will be back home but even then the lack of other peoples and noise will be pleasant.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Late April Morning

Temperature is -2 C this morning at 5:15. What is that all about? It's almost May.
A Great Horned Owl is the noisiest bird, except for, of course, our rooster. A Field Sparrow and American Robin are giving some competition but not much. I think I will have to wear gloves again for my 16 k run this morning. Sigh!

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Wednesday 5:45 a.m.

Slept in today so it was 5:45 when I went out to see and hear what was happening outside. Clear in the west with many bird songs: Cardinals, Blue Jays, Mourning Doves, Field Sparrows, Robins, Wild Turkeys, and our Rooster were all competing for sound space.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Home Again

Gone to Montreal for a week. Not too many changes here at home. The sun is coming up earlier and 4 degrees further north and going down later and 5 degrees further north. The American Woodcocks are still twittering in the meadows. The temperatures are lower again. Meanwhile, even in the darkness at 5:30, I could see that the trees have larger leaves. Looking forward to sunrise when I can see what else has happened during the week we were away.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

100th Anniversary of the Sinking of the Titanic

Thinking of the Titanic this morning. Put up several photos on Facebook and Flickr from the book I inherited from my grandfather, "Sinking of the Titanic." The book was published in 1912 shortly after the actual incident.

Meanwhile, back on the farm, the rooster was crowing at 5:15 in company with some wild turkeys, one cardinal, a song sparrow and several spring peepers. I had not heard the peepers for a few weeks and thought they were finished until the fall but I was wrong.

Friday, April 13, 2012


Opening night.

Wednesday, April 04, 2012

Morning "Stars"

The two bright objects in the western sky at 5:30 a.m. are Saturn & Spica.

Monday, April 02, 2012


The Towee's are back and the evening sun is moving north.

Monday, March 26, 2012


Yesterday my friend Moira and I ran 15 km legs of a 30 km race in a two person relay. We both ran similar times i.e. about 1:45 for Moira and 1:47 for me with about a 3 minute time to move the timing chip from her shoe to mine. We were not concerned about speed but did come in ahead of quite a few runners that were younger that us. Now we are training for Moira to do a half marathon later this spring and both of us are signing up for a half marathon in the fall.

Thursday, March 22, 2012


First Forsythia flower of the year.

Saturday, March 17, 2012


Meadowlarks are singing this morning & the Elm Trees are starting to bloom.

Sent from my iPhone

Thursday, March 15, 2012


Thunderstorm, heavy rain, hail this morning. Hail was between 1 & 2 cm in diameter.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

5:20 a.m.

Spring Peepers peeping!
Chorus Frogs calling.
Rooster crowing.

Sent from my iPhone

Thursday, March 08, 2012

Woodcocks and Singing Robins

The American Woodcocks have been twittering and buzzing since last Saturday evening. They were early arriving last year on March 10th so hearing them on the 3rd was rather amazing. However, I had heard that they were in the Hamilton/Dundas area already last week so I was expecting them.

The Robins started singing on Tuesday, Mar. 6th. I forgot to write down when I first heard them last year but the year before it was on the 15th.

Killdeer have been heard in the Hamilton area but I am still listening with no results. I am also listening for Song Sparrows.

Meanwhile, our donkey sings every morning.

Friday, March 02, 2012

Tundra Swans

As I walked in the RBG's Arboretum today flocks and flocks of Tundra Swans flew overhead. My iPhone camera could not capture them but my G11 Canon managed to get a photo.

Monday, February 27, 2012

First Willow Buds Opening

And I heard a Red-winged Blackbird this morning.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Quiet Sunday Morning

Very quiet outside at 5:30 this morning except for a "wup, wup, wup, wup, . . . in the distance to the north. I have no idea what is making that noise. Part of the feeling of quiet is the fact that there seems to be no wind after being very windy yesterday.

Listening for the American Woodcock. They should be back soon. Thought I might have heard a Killdeer last Thursday but was not sure enough to write it down. Skunk Cabbage has been blooming for over a week. Soon more spring sounds and flowers will be perceived after our almost non-winter.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Monday Morning Birdsongs

Blue Jay
and new
American Tree Sparrow!
(Wonder where the Carolina Wren is this morning?)
Just noticed on my map yesterday that lots of people are visiting
from a variety of places even though I have seldom
been posting lately. Wonder who and why?
20 February @ 8:43 : Warren, Ohio, US
20 February @ 8:37 : Fulton, New York, US
20 February @ 8:34 : Modena, IT
20 February @ 8:15 : Lvov, UA
20 February @ 6:42 : Wautoma, Wisconsin, US
20 February @ 5:52 : Bangkok, TH
20 February @ 5:48 : Epsom, GB
20 February @ 4:03 : Uganda, UG
20 February @ 1:33 : Grand Valley, CA

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Blogging Today

Every day I write a blog . . . in my head. Then, when I get back to the house and the computer, there are many other things that take over my brain and the blog disappears before it gets posted. OK, another trial to put up something more often.

Some special events: I found the Skunk Cabbage blooming again this past week on Friday, Feb. 17th. It was blooming at the RBG Hendrie Valley where I usually look for the first blooms and also at the RBG's Arboretum along the Capt. Cootes Trail. Just for the record, this is the earliest in the year that I have ever found the Skunk Cabbage in bloom.

This morning I heard the Cardinal starting to sing it's spring song. Several times before I thought I had heard it but when I listened again it was the Carolina Wren that has been here all winter this year. This morning it was the Cardinal for sure.

The Chickadees have been singing for at least two weeks now.

Sunday, February 05, 2012

February Butterfly

I know these butterflies hibernate, but I never expected to find one in February.

February Flower #16

This is the 16th species seen this week.

Friday, February 03, 2012

February Flower

One of 15 outdoor plants found
blooming today. Seven of them I had never seen before in February.

Wednesday, February 01, 2012

Warm February 1st

It was +8 degrees C when I checked the thermometer at 5:30 this morning. What will the groundhog think tomorrow?

Sent from my iPhone

Friday, January 13, 2012

Almost Blooming

In addition to some almost blooming plants, I did find 5 species of plants blooming this morning.

Sunday, January 08, 2012

Another Corner

The daylight hours have been increasing since the solstice in December; however, today is the first day the sun has come up earlier. It has come up at 7:54 for at least the last week but this morning it came up at 7:53 at our latitude and longitude.

Friday, January 06, 2012


Leo is coming into the western sky as I get up in the morning.