Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Holy Snow!

If you have been watching the news, you already know that we have been pummelled with snow in the past two weeks. It's unbelievable!! Everyday, we wake up to another 6-8 inches of fresh stuff. Yikes.

The temperatures in the early part of the week were hovering between -18 and - 21, but have turned positively balmy today at - 3. But the snow continues to fall. Driving back from town, the flakes were ever larger on the way in the road, so I took some pictures out the window.

Here is what you are in for if you are venturing this way over the holidays. Check out the size of the snowflakes.

The trees really do look beautiful, and if you never had to shovel the snow, you could admire it all day long.

Here is our front door. My hanging baskets have completely disappeared and our snow bank is already February or March size. Everyone is running out of places to put the stuff.

But I will wish you all happy holidays with this pretty picture. It does look suspiciously like a gingerbread house, doesn't it?

Thursday, November 28, 2013

The Ice Man Cometh

Wow, hard to believe I haven't posted in nearly two months. But I guess that's because things have been relatively boring up here lately. You know how November is. Once the leaves are down, it's just a matter of time before the white stuff follows.

We have had to shovel once so far. Not a lot, but being married to someone who likes a clear driveway can be a bit frustrating. And now Lurch (our overly-macho snowblower) is in for a tune up. Seems someone was nesting in the bag.

Anyway, this morning when I got up, here is what I saw and photographed. It was the coldest night yet, so not surprising the first skim of ice is on the bay. It may not last, since the sun is shining, but it's the beginning.

The lake that Trailside is on (I can never remember the name) has had ice and snow for over a week now, but ours has been clear and still is in the channel. We always seem to be the last to freeze.

And I took a few snaps through different windows to remind you what snow looks like up here.

So hopefully your boats are all out and the lines are drained. Maybe this year, we'll have a lake we can actually skate, ski, walk on.

I will keep you posted. 

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Awesome October So Far

The past two weeks have been absolutely sensational here. The leaves are even more spectacular than I remember them being last year. I think it's because there are distinct red, orange and yellow hues, so driving in the road is like being in that Group of Seven painting that arrives every fall.

Here are a few pictures that I took on the drive in the other day.

And it truly is the blue sky on a sunny day that makes them all look their best.

There is more good news to report!!! The new portage on the Otter Lake side is finished.

Work just began a couple of days ago, but today it is finished, so here are some pics to share. The sequence is how the pathway looks walking down from the road. It is great!!

I took a couple more looking back up from the bottom to show that they even left cedars where they were on either side, so not too much was disturbed.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Signs of Fall

As well as crazy temperatures that have the smell of fireplaces in the air here, there are other signs that we are well into fall.

The fall foliage is well under way with new patches of colour coming daily. This picture was taken a couple of weeks ago, when the swamp maples were leading the charge.The sumach are starting to put on their red coats as well.

But a tell-tale sign of the ups and downs of the temps is the water. Yesterday morning, before the sun burned it off, this was the mist that covered the lake.

It looks almost like a snow blizzard. And it dances across the lake in pretty much the same fashion.

After the 30+ degree day last week, we are now into single digit nights, which is why this phenomenon occurs. Pretty, but an omen of colder things to come.

I will share more pics of the colours as they appear.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

More of Willie's Wonderful Work

Last week, just before our AGM, Willie (who installed our portage art sculpture) took us on a boat ride to see more of his work on Otter Lake.

He has a few pieces out front of his own place, marking a shoal in the water, which has been indicated with the usual water bottle markers until recently. He decided if he really wanted people to slow down, he should give them a good reason. And I think he has. (More about this at the end of the post, but first, some great pictures.)

From his lakefront, it looks like there's a swimming party out a bit.

Here's a couple with their noodles.

Deep in conversation - sunglasses, ball caps, the whole nine yards.

A pair of feet sticking up from an old ski belt.

A snorkler with mask, snorkel, fins and NO suit. (click on here to see larger)

And the rare Ontario Crocodile or Alligator - can never get them straight.

Another view of his friendly smile from the front.
Everything is hand carved from foam to float easily on the surface. They are all anchored to the same shoal and run the width of it. Very little possibility of hitting it if you have slowed down for the bobbing art show.

The croc and the scuba diver are articulated so that they move with the water. Well, so do the others, but they are basically bobbing in the wake. These ones have been constructed so that different parts move independently.  The croc has rubber flip flops between each of his spine segments so that they will move like a real croc - the tail actually swishes and goes back to position.

The scuba diver has a metal piece connecting his head to his torso and another connecting his heels to his torso. So, his head moves first when the waves hit and his feet move last. So much fun!!!

In another part of the lake, a larger sculpture that is a bit like a light house crossed with the Statue of Liberty. It has been placed on a private island for the summer and will be taken home again after Labour Day. The American who owns the cottage loves public sculpture and has a lighthouse sculpture at the other end of the island.

On a down side, and something that I certainly didn't know - if you choose to mark a rock or shoal, and it is known that the marker is yours, a lawyer on Otter says that you can be held personally responsible if someone hits that rock or shoal. Can you believe it!!!! This is what Willie has been told. He and his father before him have marked that shoal for 20 years, and the lawyer said that if someone hit it, knowing the marker was his, he could lose his cottage. Apparently, it's consider an "unofficial" marker and therefore personal liability can follow. So, after Labour Day, the swimming party - and the water bottle - will be taken down forever. I guess that leaves fast boaters who aren't paying attention to the mercy of the shoal.

When I asked who is SUPPOSED to mark these dangerous rocks and shoals, there was no answer.
I guess that is a BIG question for another day. And one we should learn the answer to for our own lake.

In the meantime, I think Willie's work IS indeed wonderful. It brings a smile to nearly everyone, save a few people who don't get it.

Cheers Willie.

PS. If you are a fan, and you want to see more, just knock on Willie's door (314 Salmon Lake Road). He'll be happy to give you a tour of the yard, and if you are lucky, maybe even the lake.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Art Installation at the Portage

For those of you who saw it last summer, there was an art installation in the pond near Trailside Park.
It was beautiful, looked like a plant and really was incredible with the flowering water lilies. It appeared suddenly and stayed for about a month. It was my first official "art bombing".

George, our valiant secretary, thought it was a plant and even went online to find out what he was seeing. He was flabbergasted to learn, just this month, that it was man made.

Luckily for us the artist, whose installation it was, approached us (and we in turn approached the executive) to see about putting a similar installation on our lake. We said yes and this past week, under cover of darkness (again), he worked his magic.

Here is what you will see if you paddle right into the bay near the portage - or walk down the road.

In order  to not disturb anything, it is tucked in right near the road, past the fallen logs. You really have to go right into the tiny bay to see it. I discovered it on my paddleboard on the weekend.

So, who is behind this wonderful "art bombing"? Willie Schenk, who is actually a full-time resident on Otter Lake, not Salmon. He is the fellow with the metal sculptures near the road - the large sun flower and the big eyes with the sunglasses.

He has a number of sculptures and carvings that he is happy to share with the world at large, and you too, if you go and knock on his door. I think we are very lucky to have this addition on our lake - for however long he chooses to leave it here.

Friday, June 7, 2013

Our Transfer Station Transformed

If you haven't been watching the weather up here, it's been pretty awful. The worst June sine we moved up full time. The temperatures have been up and down like crazy. And we definitely got the rain we were hoping for. The grass beside the road is nearly to my shoulders.

But there is some big news to share!!! After nearly two years of waiting, the transfer station has had its makeover.

The bins have been relocated to the new site. It is much better to have it all in off the intersection. Certainly the sight line is better for driving.

There are many more grey bins - all for garbage. And four HUGE bins for recycling.

This is the view from Salmon Lake Road - everything away from the road now.

Look at all those shiny new bins!

The new recycling station. Very very large.

The Bon Echo entrance/exit.

Let's see if any of this cuts down on the amount of stuff that people keep dumping there.

Fingers crossed that we soon have a temperature transformation as well.

Friday, May 10, 2013

Finally a Little Rain

At last - spring - if only for a day. It has been sooooo warm here - at least 5 degrees warmer than TO pretty much every day for well over a week.

Here is a picture of the leaves from the walk this past Monday.

And here they are again yesterday.

You could nearly watch them grow. I swear there were barely any buds last weekend. And by Wednesday, you couldn't see the place next door. Mother Nature in over drive.

The rain is a good thing, since the road is a dust bowl and everything needs a rinse. Our neighbour Janet was in the lake day before yesterday and said it wasn't that cold - SURE!!

On the bad news side, the black flies are here. They were swarming on Thursday when we walked, but still not biting. I am pretty sure this rain will activate that response. But if we get some good hot days next week, maybe they will be gone for the long weekend.

Spoken like a true cottager.

Hope to see you soon.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Ten Days Later and It Feels Like Summer

The ice is gone.
The boats are in.
The geese are going overhead in droves.
The peepers are singing in the bogs.

The garden is growing so quickly, you can almost watch.
And on our walks, there are dog-tooth violets in the ditches and the trilliums are coming along.

And so far, no black flies!!!

Yesterday, it was 25 here and we celebrated with a tin boat ride. The first one is always the best. If this keeps up, there might be swimming on the long weekend.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Ice Nearly Gone

Well, today may be the day. The ice may finally be gone.

The weekend was more than a little strange. We woke up Saturday to flurries (c'mon, really?)

But yesterday was sunny - though a bit cool - and the sun undid the bit of ice skim that had formed on Friday and Saturday night. And we did not experience any of the rising waters that Huntsville and Bracebridge did.  Everything is surprisingly dry.

This morning, the sun is dancing on the water and I think the rest of the ice will be gone by dinner time. Mind you, who can predict anything this year!

Our duck water marker is free and clear of the ice and was communing with all the wood ducks that dropped by on Friday. It was strange to see them swimming up the edge of the ice and then just sitting there all day.

Hopefully, this warming trend will continue and before we know it boats will be in.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Is it spring yet?

After two sessions of "winter avoidance therapy", we arrived home on Monday to find that although spring is not quite sprung, it is trying.

I checked some spring posts from last year and by April 19th, we already had trillium leaves, buds and our first dandelions, so we are definitely behind. Our boat was in by now, so we have a long way to go still.

Here's a bit of an update:

The snow is mostly gone from the properties - still a bit in the woods - but the lake is still iced over.
Except for close to the shoreline, it is still solid. The snowmobile tracks are beautiful patterns as the ice turns darker.

In our garden, the first of the daffodil shoots are peeking up, so there is hope. Other than the possibility of snow on Saturday, this week has been sunny and clear.

Here are a few pictures we took on our walk yesterday. 

The Otter Lake side of the portage - little snow, lots of water.

The water line duck is emerging from the ice.

Two "real" ducks who came for a visit.

Melting near the shoreline.

Eager daffodils.

The last tracks of the season.
I will monitor progress in the next while. I am sure that black fly season will come directly behind spring.