This morning when I woke up the rain had just begun to fall. I flew out of bed to uncover the garden and headed back into Tiny House Ontario to get dressed and organize my day. My cousin Tracey and I planned on a slumbie at her place in the city tonight, so I had a few things to pack into the car.
I was just about to put them there when I noticed there was a HUGE turkey just beside my door. Instead of going out, I grabbed the camera and took a couple of photos. Unfortunately, he got a few feet from the house… and through the glass the photos are not terrifically clear. Even so, they are better than nothing and I did not want to scare turkey off. These wild turkeys run fast and fly quite well so I am lucky to get a photo from 20 feet.
The turkey was alone as far as I could see. Probably attracted by the mix I put out for the birds and chipmunks. It certainly looked well fed and mature. I would guess that this turkey was well in excess of 20 pounds.
I knew that there were turkeys here on our historical land because I often see their tracks in the snow; large arrows pointing in direction that they left behind. It is the first I have seen one come so close so I am thrilled and hoping for more!
The wild turkey is really making a comeback in Eastern Ontario. I understand from my grandparents that they were once very plentiful; however, as a child I do not recall ever seeing one nor do I recall ever hearing of anyone who hunts ever killing one. Yet, in the last decade they seem to be thriving. I also understand that these turkeys were reintroduced to the area from the United States. Apparently 274 birds were brought in a couple of decades ago and now there are some 35,000 of them in the area.
No matter the details, it was thrilling to have a turkey visit THO this morning! Now I am signing off because I am going to gobble down some lunch… turkey free, of course!
Categories: Environmentalism, Forest, Kingston, Magical, Nature, Off Grid, Ontario, Open your eyes, Simple living, Tiny House Ontario
Tags: nature, outdoors, turkey visit, wild turkeys
Pair of dice by the cloth porch light.
A little too long in the forest perhaps?
Seriously though… it is cold today. My friend G, Hj, Sister A and B were over too – we had a frosty lunch on the porch together and were glad to back in the house where it was warm! We have had a little rain and even some hail. Come on back warm weather!
What a difference a day makes! This morning when I woke at THO – I could not longer see over the escarpment to the windmills on Wolfe Island… I could not even see the Rideau Canal. As a matter of fact, I could not see the end of the ridge. By next week the canopy will steal the sky.
Categories: Forest, Nature, Off Grid, Ontario, Open your eyes, Tiny House Ontario, View
Tags: escarpment, nature, outdoors, rideau canal, windmills, wolfe island
The ice storm had some very nice effect on the THO forest. Have a peek.
I knew the storm was coming so I spent a couple of nights with my cousin Tracey. The house is strong, so I was not worried about it caving in on me, but I was here in Ontario for ice storm 98 and saw the effect that ice can have. I was concerned that I could be trapped by falling trees.
When the ice stopped falling and I found out from my community that the roads were sufficiently clear, I drove out. It was interesting out there! Like having bags of ice dumped on your head. Slowly dropping ice-cubes, actually.
Today, I worked my first day at the market. It was miserably cold! The nicest parts of the day were my friends Guillaume, and Geoff popping in to see me. Sadly I missed my oldest boyfriend Kevin and his fiancee Tim. I gave up at 1:30 because I was frozen to the ground.
Here is proof that I was there! (Photo credit: Prof. Geoff Smith)
We did not have any rabbits who showed up on Easter Sunday morning. There was not even a tiny egg hidden, but there were a lot of visiting woodpeckers. My husband and I sat outside in the sun reading and watching the woodpeckers flying around. There are a ton of tiny downy woodpeckers around THO. They are so cute flitting up and down the trees looking for insects. They are quiet too, so if you don’t keep your eyes open you miss them. We also have at least one hairy woodpecker he is a lot noisier than his tiny cousin. Both the flap of his wings and the hammering of his beak on the trees is loud. They are quite similar in appearance. both are specked and showy with a little red on the back of their heads, but the the size difference between them makes them easy to distinguish.
My sister has a pileated woodpecker who lives near their place. Unfortunately, I have never caught a glimpse of it, though she says it is a frequent visitor. They are very noisy birds! I saw one only once before and hope that a least one will come to join me in the forest this year.
On another quizzical note. When we arrived on Friday there was a wild animal at THO. I do not know what it was. I did not see it too closely because it ran when we pulled the car in. It was the size, colour and shape of a fisher, but it appeared to have softer fur similar to a cat. It also had a bobbed tail with a spot of white on the end. This is not an April fools thing if you are wondering. I really would like to know what it was. ANYONE?
Speaking of things that lurk in the forest, it looks like we had a visitor in the night. Actually I think that there were four or perhaps five of them. It is hard to guess because the footprints are all mixed up. They were travelling East. This visitor left paw prints as big as the palm of my hand. I think he must be a very big boy!
Can you believe that I never heard a peep or a howl. Incredible since they were very close to THO, the snow is so crunchy and I sleep with my head next to the open window.
I wish I would have seen them!
Beware the ides of March!
Out in the forest there are a lot of things that go bump in the night. I love this about THO! Being so close to nature is brilliant. Even so, I have been very nervous about letting my dogs out after dark. In 2011 our poor little handicapped Phyllis (who died in 2012) had a very close call with a fisher even though I was just a foot away from her. If you have never heard one here is a little video. Imagine how scary is was to have that thing screaming outside your house for hours after scooping up a little dog and bringing her in to safety; bloodcurdling! The creature was mighty mad that it missed the poodle meal! Despite what the ladies in the video said, it is my experience that these fishers seem to have little fear of humans, I hear them outside very frequently. This is why I only bring out the dogs individually on a short leash after dark if they ABSOLUTELY have to go.
I purchased a powerful but costly little 12 volt spotlight last year when I was getting the wiring for the house but at the time I did not have a ladder to get up there. Now that it is warm enough and I have a ladder, I got the light into place. I wish I had the sort of camera that worked well in night conditions so that I could show you how bright the candle is for this little light, but since I don’t I will estimate that it is similar in brightness to a 200 watt bulb.
It looks terrific and is bright! In fact, the dog garden lights up like a ball field. Obviously, I don’t want to light pollute at THO and keep away the fireflies and other wild wonders, but it is great to be able to get the dogs out and feel safely able to see what is out there. This said, I won’t use it except to let the dogs out and also to help people see to get to their vehicle at night. Despite the $100 cost it is a very nice safety feature to have.
I have finally installed the wood spirit that I purchased from wood carver, Steven Kenzora. When I wrote about the purchase in an earlier post, I said that it would be put in a place of honour.
Since picking it up I gave quite some thought to where this would be. I decided, finally, to secure it in the arms of an ironwood tree and is facing the entry door of the house. The tree is due North-West of THO which marks the line between black and white, earth and air and is directionally the mark of the winter solstice with respect to THO itself. What is interesting, at least to me, is that the tree, an ironwood (considered to be magical by those who practice Wicca) seems to have grown in the specific location and shape to hold this carving. Ironwood is a slow growing tree with a 7.0 growth factor; so this tree, with a ten inch diameter is about 75-85 years old. I guess this tree is a sister to Twerp (so named for Tolkein) who is due South-West to THO and perhaps 20-30 years older than what is now named, Wood Spirit Tree. Interesting too, I think, THO has ironwood trees that are at all four directional cusps and each is within a couple of hundred feet of the house at each of the cusp directions.
What I did not notice until I joined the two is that there is a howling wolf that was carved by nature into the wood which Steven carved into. Like the Wood Spirit the wolf is a symbol of community and communication, but the wolf is also a loyal guardian.
A lot of symbolic meaning hidden in plain sight. If you know about these things than you may have guessed that I have been recently influenced by a viking.
Can you see any other symbolism that I failed to mention here?
Categories: Art, Erazim Kohák, Forest, Magical, Nature, Ontario, Open your eyes, Tiny House Ontario, View
Tags: arts, meaning, nature, Symbolism, Wiccan
It is great to get out on a sunny afternoon and snowshoe! Yesterday, my husband and I strapped up and headed out.
There are lots of tracks out there in the forest. The little arrows of wild turkeys, our own tracks, coyote/wolf/dog tracks, the little tracks that look like human babies but are really racoons and another long fingered critter perhaps the dreaded fisher. On our walk about we also found a few holes which may belong to weasels. Sadly too, it looks like one of our paper wasp colonies died this winter. Their entire hive was shredded and opened.
What in life could be better than having your own little place and some land to walk on?
Arrived safe at THO. It was only minus 1 degree celsius in the house. I started the heater and emptied the car while Hj shovelled up near the doorway and the gate. I am grateful to my cousin Kenny who keeps me ploughed out. I have been able to drive right up to the house so far any time I have come and today was no exception. The snow banks are about half the size of the house… which isn’t saying too much… tee hee…
As soon as these few little tasks were accomplished, we tapped the maple trees. They are dripping now into the buckets. All feels right in the world!