The Homestone

Monday, December 25, 2006

Saturday, December 09, 2006

sundowns and sundogs

Winter is here. The wood stove in the kitchen is pressed into all day service. The dogs sojurns to the out of doors are less frequent and the sheep stay close to their winter shed. As David and I watched a particularly beautiful evening sky a few days ago, David commented that these was the most spectacular sundogs he'd ever seen. I had never seen or heard of sundogs. These photographs do not do the scene justice. It was a jaw-dropper. "Sundogs, also known as mock suns or "parhelia", are a pair of brightly colored spots, one on either side of the sun. Sundogs are visible when the sun is near the horizon and on the same horizontal plane as the observer and the ice crystals. As sunlight passes through the ice crystals, it is bent by 22 degrees before reaching our eyes, much like what happens with 22 degree halos. This bending of light results in the formation of a sundog. source " And the sunsets. Ahh... a blissful everyday event. Sundown is just one time in the day when we count our many blessings.

Friday, December 01, 2006

An Aiden update

It would appear our wee grandson is sleeping well these days, or is it that mom and dad only have time to take a pic when he's napping ? :) Happy One Month Birthday Sweet Boy!

Monday, November 06, 2006

Our beautiful new grandson

Aiden ~ born Oct 31st and some scenes from the meadow

What a wonderful world!

Sunday, October 29, 2006

more first winter day pics

Fall back Sunday

We turned our clock back today. We only have one clock, not counting the computer clock. It is an Audubon clock that my Dad gave to David years ago before we lived in this place. It hangs over the door in the kitchen. If we put the other battery in the clock, the hours would be called by one of 12 birds but we prefer to leave it quiet now in favour of the natural world around us. So it's ten pm by the clock but it naturally feels later. It's been a busy day. Today is our first day of winter, we had our first real snowfall last night and we are awaiting the birth of our first grandchild, any minute now. A couple of days ago, we had a visit from a silver fox. He was actually black save for the tip of his tail and is in fact a red fox. A beautiful animal and one we hope to see again. Our other unusual visitor of late is our lone Canada Goose. He/she's been with us about a month now and can fly very well, but seems to prefer to stay here with the sheep who he hangs out with every day. This goose is not tame and obviously fairly smart as he has so far eluded the coyotes and foxes. We will set up a safe and warm shelter for him if he doesn't leave soon ~ a wee hut of hay bales with escape routes. We discovered him this morning under the shelter of an old pine tree by the cabin. Our first real snow fall last night. Took this pic off the porch with our floodlight. This morning on the meadow, the horses coming in

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

The time before winter.

15 souls have joined us for a few months. Six horses and nine cows, probably through January. They belong to a dear friend, an old cowboy who lives down the way. They are his pampered pets and fine looking' beasties, one and all. The coyotes who otherwise own the meadow at this time of year aren't bothered by their new neighbour's. The horses conveniently scare up the rodents. It's a good arrangement for the yotes'. Deer and moose wander through occasionally ~ a lovely time of year. This time before winter.

Saturday, September 02, 2006

Autumnal update

My goodness, It has been more than a month since I've posted to 'the homestone.' Where do the days go? The summer and fall seasons are such busy times there is barely a minute to spare. We are well into fall already ~ very cool mornings that call for a fire in the woodstove and and most evenings now, a fire in the wood heater in the basement too. The weather is spectacular! Mostly bright sunny days with a crispness in the air. It's firewood getting time! We had our first snowfall of the season in mid September but fortunately it came and went and we hope not to see snow again for a little while now.

So what's been happening around the place other than a change in the season? Well the dogs are getting older and sillier :) the hens continue to lay beautiful eggs and the sheep are looking great going into winter!

Couldn't resist taking a photo of our hens' lovely light brown eggs in the blue bowl. The bowl is a treasure ~ one of Charmaine Johnson's creations. Charmaine is a potter and visual artist who lives and works in Vancouver BC.

The pretty cloth that the bowl is sitting on is another treasure. It was woven by Hildred Finch, (aka Mum). Hildred is an accomplished weaver who lives in the Similkameen Valley. She is a multi talented woman ~ a writer, a master gardener, the family genealogist, an amazing cook (she still bakes her own bread)! A list of her accomplishments and talents would fill a page !! She recently started a blog called 'daybyday'. It's a wonderful read ~ we provide a link to it here in our links list.

It's Sunday today. The day before our Canadian Thanksgiving. We have so very very much to be thankful for.

Till next time. Bright blessings!

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Baby in the grass

At the height of summer we had an estimated 500 swallows around the house and yard... now we're down to 10 or 20 at most. There are two nests with late August babies. One of those nests is just over the kitchen window and we found this little swallow in the grass the other day. David gently placed her back in her nest and she hovered on the edge of it for about an hour and finally snuggled back in with her siblings. Success!! The other nest is inside the tiny old log shack that serves as winter quarters for the sheep. It's amazing to watch the swallow parents swoop in and out of the little shack ~ navigating the wire, the doorways and the low roof.

We had a visit from an owl last night. In the moonlight we could only make out his profile as he perched on the fence post just outside the kitchen. We heard him for hours as he 'bless his need for feed' took out some of the rodents who are in ample supply this time of year.

Saturday, August 19, 2006

August days

... and August nights. Two very different worlds on this high plateau. Our days are hot and sunny, our nights and mornings cool and even frosty! We're stockpiling firewood and already thinking about winter. The sheep are happily ensconced in their fall pasture courtesy of David's new fence. They are in seventh heaven ~ a heaven full of willows and shade and lots of space. We're keeping very busy. There is always much work to do ~ managing fifty acres, our off the grid lifestyle and our animals through 4 seasons is a constant challange. That being said, there is little time to write but I will take a few minutes to post some August pics from around the place. Till next time.

Saturday, July 22, 2006

Record highs

Along with much of the rest of the world, the province of British Columbia is experiencing a major heat wave right now. Temps in the high 30's and low 40's. 40 celsius is 104 Fahrenheit. In our area it's haying time. That means our ranchers and farmers are out working in the scorching heat right now haying their fields. That's if they are lucky enough to have a crop this year. Our 25 acres of hay fields are also ready. Haying will begin here in a few days. *oh yeah* Here is a pic of our fields being hayed the old fashioned way ~ with horses.

Monday, July 17, 2006

The hay - almost as high as an elephant's eye

Our creek and the hay fields ~ these fields have been hayed since the late 1800's. They are also home and refuge to an everchanging cast of characters. Does and their fawns, coyotes hunting field mice, moose in the wintertime, shorebirds and sandhill cranes ~ our binoculars are always handy on the kitchen counter and our camera often not as handy as it should be :)