Saturday, 11 August 2018

Kayaking the Saugeen River

A lovely couple of days spent along the Saugeen River. My first kayaking trip was 8.5 kms and just perfect for my first experience. Smooth water other than a few boulders to avoid, beautiful weather, fun cousins to do it with, and just a wonderful time. I'm just sorry it's taken me 51 years to try it! I had no idea what I've been missing.




Saturday, 4 August 2018

And then there were none

The rabbits were growing well and it looked like mama was taking good care of them in their newly-constructed nest. But after about 4 days, we went outside to find the ferny covering raked aside and no sign of the bunnies. No sign of violence, either, though, and no idea where they've gone or what happened. A raccoon? Mama moved them elsewhere? I don't know. It's a bit disturbing, thinking of some mayhem happening in our yard under cover of night while we were sleeping...

I can only do so much, I know, and then nature does her thing and I can't control the outcome. And no doubt there will be another new nest somewhere in the yard eventually. But still feeling sad and disappointed.

Tuesday, 31 July 2018

We're down to two

Well, I think mama rabbit must have come in the night, because two of the babies are alert and look contented in their "nest." But one of them disappeared, and we spent a long time looking for him before finally finding him, dead, halfway across the yard in the old nest the rabbits used and abandoned in the spring. It's as if mama rabbit tried to relocate him back to the old nest. But maybe she was too rough with him, or he was too exposed, and he didn't survive. I don't know why she didn't move all three. Puzzling and sad.

Waiting until light this morning so I can go check on the remaining two, to see if she came to feed them in the night. I am not entirely sure how to tell they're getting enough nourishment, and I'm afraid I may leave it too late to intervene if I need to. How do you tell if a rabbit baby is just sleeping or getting weak and lethargic? They're not active enough yet to really be able to tell.

So much intense concentration on these tiny ounces of fuzz! But really, all life is precious, and the beauty of nature always makes me feel deeply alive and connected. These aren't just bunnies. They're my brothers. Or sisters. Hard to tell which, really...I don't feel we've gotten well enough acquainted yet to ask...

Sunday, 29 July 2018

We're back to rabbits again

This blog seems to keep returning to the theme of rabbits. A rabbit's nest is how this blog started about five years ago, and we've come full circle again. We removed the leaf-catcher net from our pool this spring but just rolled it up under the maple tree and never got around to shaking it out and properly folding it until today. And it wasn't until we'd dragged it out to the boulevard so we had room to work with it that we discovered a rabbit had kindled in it. Three little plump babies rolled out (plus one that had been deceased for some time). Oh no!

It was too late to restore them to where they'd been, and they're only about ten days old, not old enough to fend for themselves. I gently scooped them into a pouch made with my shirt---so smooth and sleek and beautiful--and scooped out a shallow hole under the maple tree near where they'd been. I lined it with leaves, clover, and whatever of mama's fur I could gather. I placed the babies in it and gave them a light covering of asparagus fern to give them shelter but hopefully not so much that mama can't find them. It's up to mother nature to take care of things now, I've done the best I can for them, but I still feel horrible about it.

For a while they snuggled down together and seemed content to wait it out, but when I checked on them at dusk, one of them had wandered off to explore. I think his eyes are open, but he's shaky and not able to hop yet. He has a spot of white on his head just like Brio's. He seems to have more spunk than the other two. I put him back in the nest and he snuggled down again. Now there's nothing to be done but wait to see if mama comes back. And pray the neighbour's cat doesn't discover them.

If she doesn't come back, my husband will have to figure out what to do next, because I'll be at work. I suppose it seems silly to worry over three rabbits when there's certainly no shortage of rabbits around here. And I'm a gardener, after all. But I really hope they'll be okay.

Friday, 27 July 2018

Childhood Songs

This morning I woke up humming True Blue Bill, a song I learned in First Grade. No idea why. It got me thinking about all the fun songs I sang as a kid: The Little Red Schoolhouse, Bill Grogan's Goat, Pecos Bill, Davy Crockett, Sing Your Way Home, the Handcart Song, I'm Gettin' Nothing for Christmas, All I Want for Christmas, The Hat I Got For Christmas is Too Big (I see a theme, here)...

I'll have to sit down and make a proper list and teach them to my grandchildren.

Tuesday, 24 July 2018

Sick Day

I caught a bad cold and sore throat on the weekend, so I've been down for the count for a few days. I thought I'd spend the unexpected gift of time reading and working on needlepoint, but I was just too bleh to do anything yesterday, though today I managed to work at home and also got the garlic cleaned and ready to store. Tomorrow it's back to the office.

One thing that always happens when I get sick is I lose my voice. Not just hoarse. Totally gone. So I've been whispering for about three days. The funny thing I've noticed is that when this happens, everyone around me gets quieter too. Because I'm whispering, people automatically reply in a whisper. It's amusing but also quite instructive. I wish I'd figured this out when my kids were young. We would have had a much calmer, quieter household!

Had the house to myself this evening so watched the original Karate Kid (yup. and without my sons forcing it on me, either!) and sucking down hot lemon and honey. Meanwhile my garden is languishing, the floor needs mopping, I should be writing... Usually I can keep moving fast enough that germs can't catch me, but when they do finally get me, there's no point in fighting it. I think sometimes our resistance to something makes it all the worse. Another instructive point to remember!

True to his nature, Brio can tell I'm not well and has been Velcroed to my side for two days. Every time I shift position, he leaps to his feet to see what I'm doing or where I'm going. Whenever I sit, he plops his head into my lap or on my foot. It's like having a fuzzy, four-legged hot water bottle permanently attached. There's nothing quite so comforting as placing my hand on his soft, smooth head. That's love, right there.

Monday, 16 July 2018

Artists on the River

Well, Artists on the River ended up being Artists in the Curling Rink, because after weeks of drought it decided to rain. Buckets of it. A deluge. So that made the farmers happy, but I think many would-be visitors were deterred by the weather...or couldn't find our new location...because not a lot of people came through. A decent number, I suppose, for the size of the village, but I was hoping for more. Ah well, I sold some books, met some cool people, and had a good time. Some really talented people in the area, I'll have to say. Silversmiths, painters, potters, weavers, wood workers, and stained glass makers. And I met a musician who can play some mean Spanish guitar. He handed me his Deering banjo at one point and we had a fun impromptu jam session.

I can't tell you how many women looked at my crocheted Christmas ornaments and said "Oh, my mom/grandma used to make those!" Which by the end of the day had me feeling as old as their mothers/grandmothers. I'm glad I've kept some of the old traditions alive. I wish more of the younger women would pick up the torch.

I met one woman who makes beautiful wood furniture. There was a harvest table there that I could easily envision as an island in my kitchen. Maybe someday. It made me happy to see a woman doing these things. We all know about equality and women's capability yada yada, but it was great to see someone taking it to heart and putting it into action. She followed her unconventional bliss, and she's found what makes her happy. And she's very good at it.

I also met someone from the local county museum, who was interested in me teaching a workshop on writing family histories, which would be great to do.

All in all a fun day, and I'll do it again next year.