Friday, January 31, 2014

Snow Play

        I have been trying all week to get this tiny video to load. It finally made it today. Just pleased with the winter that we are having even though it is a bit cooler than I like. (Read wind chills of -30 C on too many days.) However, I have been able to play with some of my snow toys like my snowshoes that have hung in the barn for several years without use and my gaiters to keep the snow out of my shoes. I still have not used my skis but then skiing at - 20 even is a bit daunting these days.

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Missed Another Run

        Woke up to lots of snow and wind again this morning. I was optimistic and put on my running gear but when I went out to feed the animals I found lots of drifts even between the house and barn. I did some shovelling just to get into the barn and found snow inside the barn by the east door, the donkey's door that just was open a crack and the goose's door that was not open but wind had taken the hay away from the crack at the bottom and replaced it with snow. After feeding the animals and getting the dogs back inside, I started shovelling the driveway. I spent two hours and about fifty minutes with shovelling but did not get the top of the driveway, where we usually turn around, finished. The main part of the driveway was finished and I shovelled out the end of the driveway twice after two different snow ploughs came by within the time I was out.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Still Cool Around the Edges

        Sixteen degrees Celsius below freezing this morning but it warmed  up to -12 this afternoon. Hoping for even warmer on the weekend. The photo below does not show the fine flakes of snow or ice crystals that were coming down just at sunrise this morning but the cold temperatures are probably evident to the eye.

        Got through my 71st birthday a couple of days ago with little fuss and bother. I did the regular routines of volunteer work at the local organic farm and then some work out time in the gym. The only real difference was the load of Facebook and e-mail greetings. I think there were over 60 of them. I did not realize that I had so many contacts that would take the time to drop a line. The next day, Fleur-Ange treated me to lunch which was an unexpected treat. Now if the dogs would only start behaving . . .

        (Ardis, is this easier for you to read?)

Monday, January 20, 2014

Yellow Avens Winter Stem

          I am 80% positive that this is a Yellow Avens (Geum aleppicum) as I know that we have lots on our property. That being said, it could be Wood Avens (Geum urbanum) as we do have some of them on our property too and they are difficult to tell apart during the summer so positive winter ID is even more problematic.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Looking for Colour

        Yesterday was not a particularly good day. It started by our dog, Sadie, slipping behind me when I was in the chicken pen looking for eggs and grabbing a chicken. She was out the door before I could stop her and so we are now down to one laying hen and 1 rooster.

        Our training run was on slippery snow so 10 k felt like a lot more by the time we were finished. Hope it is better next week.

       The cold and snow have returned, after not being very far away in the first place. It is hard to find colour to photograph. That being the case, I found a milkweed plant that had lots of pods and brought it inside out of the wind and cold and did my best to make it beautiful. Below is the result:

Tuesday, January 14, 2014


Sunday - 15 km run on pavement sometimes covered in ice.

Monday - 50 minutes in the gym with exercises and weights - 50 minutes with Pilates class in the a.m. and then 60 minutes of spin and toning followed by 60 minutes of yoga.

Tuesday a.m. = 4 hours of volunteer work at the organic farm first washing share boxes then helping fill the boxes with fruit and vegetables.

Tuesday p.m. - just too tired to go to the gym for my workout and run so I played with my camera for a bit and then did a search for a quote to go with my last photo.

Here are my last two photos and then the quote for the second photo:

A feather is trimmed, it is trimmed by the light and the bug and the post, it is trimmed by little leaning and by all sorts of mounted reserves and loud volumes. It is surely cohesive.”

― Gertrude SteinTender Buttons

Oh, both photos were taken and adjusted by an iPhone photo app. They are two parts of a whirligig that I made a year ago.

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Just by Accident

        I have always been intrigued by "accidental connections." This  morning I did not go running as usual due to a forecast of rain and high winds. (Of course we only had a bit of a drizzle and no winds to speak of so far.) Because I had a few extra minutes, I spent some of them looking at a British photo magazine that I have subscribed to on my iPad. One of the photo artists that was featured turned out to be from my home state of Kansas. Because she, Lori Nix, grew up there, with all of its tornados, and  other storms, she became interested in disasters of various sorts and the possibility of various ends of civilization with nature taking over. Rather than going out to look for such things, she makes dioramas and then photographs them. They are real enough that one is taken in for a few seconds or minutes before realizing that they are not "real." Below is one of my favourite images from my few minutes of looking at her work and then a link to a site where one can find out more information about her and her work.

Wednesday, January 08, 2014

Sunrise - January 8, 2014

The daylight hours have been getting longer since December 21 but all the extra minutes were going onto the end of the day. Sunrise was still arriving later until December 30 when it happened at 7:54 at our latatude and longitude. Since December 30th, the sunrise has remained at 7:54 or at least was rounded off to 7:54. Today, for the first time in 2014, the sunrise was earlier. It was 7:53 a.m. It will be a few seconds earlier each day until near the end of the month when it will start coming up a full minute earlier for a while. Nice to know that we have turned the corner in terms of sunrise. With any luck I may sleep in until after sunrise . . . in about 6 months . . . for a day or two . . . maybe. Actually, I almost never get up that late. The "earliest" that the sun comes up is around the summer solstice and then it comes up at 5:41 and since I almost always get up at 5:00 or before, I will still be up in time to watch the sun come up.

Friday, January 03, 2014

Mystery Vine

I found an interesting vine today when I was walking in the Royal Botanical Garden's Arboretum wilderness area. It was right beside the Capt. Cootes trail about 100 metres west from the connecting trail from the shrub collection. I was attracted to the tendrils that wrapped around several small trees and shrubs.

It was the fairly bright orange tendrils that attracted me at first and then it was the length of the vine that kept me looking. It rambled along for at least 3 or 4 metres in each direction from the starting point and climbed up as it went along from tree to shrub to tree. It was at least 3 metres up by the time it finished. I recognize and know grape vines and poison ivy vines but this was neither. I suspect that it may be a Carrion Flower vine but they are not listed as being as long as this one was. If not Carrion Flower vine, then what? 

I will have to go back in the spring and see if it is still there or starting over.