Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Thanksgiving Weekend

It was Thanksgiving weekend this past weekend, and there were a few fun things going on at my house in preparation. The daycare kids made some cute paper plate turkeys ...

I set up my pumpkin and gourds on a small table in the kitchen ...

A new pattern was used for knitted oak leaves. You can find the pattern here if you're interested. I thought they turned out pretty well. I blocked the brown leaves, but the shape was pretty good with the yellow leaves, so I didn't block them. These were all sent out to my card & tea exchange group (as were cards with some rustic lettering I did on the inside ... top photo). 

Although there is an acorn included with the oak leaf pattern, I made this acorn up myself, but I only had time to create one. I'll revisit that little piece and write out a pattern to share.

I made a big turkey dinner even though there were only four of us in attendance. We seem to have a lot of leftovers! My family loves turkey leftovers, and I'll be making a turkey pot pie and turkey soup and turkey stock from the one bird. I also made butternut squash soup! The squash was bit rude looking though, don't you think?! haha

It seems one of my daycare kids got hold of my camera from the kitchen table and shot four photos. Obviously, I'll have to be more careful about where I leave the camera now :[  I rather like the one of the wrought iron lamp over the table though.

One thing that was distracting me all weekend long were the beautiful blue blooms of the heavenly blue morning glory. I'm glad these are late summer bloomers, and the fact that it was up in the high 20s (C) on the weekend keeps it going. Every day there are a set of new blooms bursting open, but by the time the sun has been on them for only a few hours, the beautiful blue turns to purple, and the flower is spent. 

Just a short catch-up today. I hope my fellow Canadians had a wonderful weekend with their families. The weather was gorgeous, and here we were sitting around the dinner table in shorts and capris with the patio door wide open and balmy breezes blowing through the house the entire day. 

Thanks for stopping by!


one that got away ;)

Friday, September 29, 2017

The Graveyard, Canoe Lake

Last year my son took us up to see the Mowat graveyard on Canoe Lake. It's a very small plot with only a couple of graves. There is an ancient birch tree standing sentinel within the confines of the picket fence all covered in moss and debris from the forest now surrounding it. Last year the branches on the tree were thick and heavy, and it was amazing they were still attached to the tree as their weight looked to be more than the tree itself. One large branch is the first thing you see reaching out to you when you first arrive at the site. 

summer 2016

summer 2016

summer 2016

summer 2016

summer 2016

On the weekend, my husband and I retraced our steps back to the graveyard only to find that over the course of winter or spring, one of the large branches gave up the ghost and collapsed onto the forest floor. Not only did the branch break off, it left a massive hole in the trunk of the tree. Someone has cut up the branch to clear it out of the grave site, and you can see the thickness of the branch on the small portion left there. We should have counted the rings! It would be interesting to know how old this tree really is.

where the branch broke down the picket fence

Luckily the branch didn't break the large hand carved gravestone directly under it, but the fencing took a beating. The graveyard birch tree has lost some of its impressive grandeur. The picket fence has lost some of its pickets, and the overall look of the graveyard is taking on more and more of an abandoned look.

There are only two marked graves within the original gravesite. One is of a 21 year old worker who died at the mill in this former lumber mill village. The other is of a small boy. There is also the disputed 'grave' of Tom Thomson just north of the picket fence. A cross was placed here in his memory, but the actual grave is further north in the underbrush. I walked up through the brush a bit, but couldn't see anything that might be the grave. The mosquitoes were terrible here that day, so I wasn't inclined to look too carefully. At the recommendation of the cottagers we met in the summertime, I picked up the book "Northern Lights" by Roy McGregor. He has written an indepth look at Tom Thomson's life and controversial death/burial. Mr McGregor has me convinced that Tom Thomson's body is still buried here in the park on the shores of Canoe Lake where he spent some happy summers, and where he eventually died. People have suddenly placed coins on the cross ... and a tiny black button! There's enough money here now to buy you a Tom Thomson burger at the Portage Store restaurant (if you hurry!).

the cross that marks an approximate location of Thomson's grave

The large gravestone in the background (leaning on another rock) is of the mill worker,
 the young boy's gravestone is in the foreground.

If you've never been to the gravesite, and are in the area, here is how to get there from the Portage Store on Canoe Lake. Paddle north on the lake, past the two large islands, to where you see cottages lining the north shore. This is the former village of Mowat, and some of the cottages are original to the village. This is the cluster of cottages you are aiming for ...

Now paddle to the east (right) of these cottages and just around the bend you will see a small low rocky point. This is where you will pull up your canoe. You will see lots of log debris in the water still here from the mill operation beside this rocky point. Apply copious amounts of bug spray now.

Walk straight up into the woods where you will see the former lumber mill's big rock foundations rising up from the ground. 

mill's rock foundations
There is a vague path straight past the foundations, but basically head straight up from the lake until you come out to the end of a laneway that is still used by the cottagers. There may be a few cars parked here. Walk out along this lane to a connecting gravel roadway. Turn west (left) at the road and continue walking until you see a path emerge on the right-hand side of the road. We passed two hydro poles alongside the road and the path was just past the second pole. Follow the path into the woods. The underbrush is thick here, and you'll end up with lots of scrapes and scratches if you're in shorts and t-shirts :) The path then comes to a more open grassy area, which can sometimes be quite boggy. When we walked through this time, it was like a lake and we just slogged straight through the ankle deep water. Despite the stifling heat over the last few weeks, this water was really cold, so it must be from a creek or spring. Oh yeah, wear footwear that you don't mind getting wet (flip flops will get sucked off in the bog). Once through the grassy bog, you're in a piney woods that continue for another stretch until you suddenly climb a short steep hill and poof! you're at the gravesite. At this point you will be glad that you have the bug spray on. You may even want to reapply after walking through the springfed waters. Enjoy your visit!

log dumping ground from the former lumber mills ... over 100 years and the logs are still sitting here
Thanks for stopping by!


Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Ragged Falls

Just outside the tiny town of Dwight along Hwy 60 in Ontario is Ragged Falls park. There is a very pretty falls that cascades down a chute of dark grey rocks that is quite mesmerizing and well worth visiting if you're driving by. We stopped in here after we hiked Centennial Ridges on Saturday. 

The fall colours aren't that spectacular this year, most likely because the weather has been extremely hot. Even the nights aren't as chilly as they normally are this time of year. Lots of trees were already bare, and there was a lot of brown, rather than the vibrant reds, oranges and yellows.

We spent some time walking to the top of the falls and then clambering over the rocks to get right beside the water. It was extremely loud and thrilling to watch all that white water so close. Of course the best way to appreciate the falls is to see a video!


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