The Homestone

Friday, March 31, 2006

Blue birds

Todays arrivals on the meadow; bluebirds, a redtailed hawk, robins, a couple of Canada Geese ... and a wicked spring storm. A flash of lightening and a great clap of thunder at about 4 oclock this afternoon was our cue to shut the power down. We don't take any chances with our power system. Our inverter caught fire one day a few years ago during a lightening storm. It was an expensive repair. With the power down and my laptop off, what to do? Reassure the dogs that the sky won't fall in, stoke up the wood stove, get dinner happening and bake a batch of cookies! I love my wood cook stove. There are challenges to living off the grid - cooking is not one of them. Okay, while I'm on the topic of cooking, I'd like to plug the world's finest kitchen knife... hand forged by Scott Richardson. He and Aki Yamamoto are the couple you'll meet at Cariboo Blades. If you need a good knife (or carving tools) this is where to find what you want. Check out Aki's artwork too. She creates the most amazing greeting cards and woodcarvings. It's Daylight Saving tomorrow and April Fools day too. Just a few weeks now till the hummingbirds return.

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

An otter morning

It wasn't an especially bright morning so I almost didn't bother taking the camera along on my walk and I am so glad I did. As I came up to the creek I spotted an otter at the edge of the ice. The otter didn't seem to notice or perhaps didn't mind my being there. We spent a just few minutes together before he slid off into the water and under the ice.

Friday, March 24, 2006

Spring storms and the world comes alive

From a letter to a friend in Upstate New York ... I think about your newly seeded hot pepper plants as I look out on our swiftly disappearing winter wonderland. Every glance out the window, the scene is changed. Grass and ground and great pools of water replacing what was two feet of snow just days ago. My morning walks are no longer accompanied by the crunching of snow underfoot, instead I come back with my boots muddied up to the ankles :) This is such an exciting time of year. We look forward to the sandhill cranes returning, the deer come back from grazing at lower elevations - there are a couple of does (that we are aware of) who come back every year to tend their fawns among the willows at the edge of the meadow. As soon as the snow on the meadow turns to a shallow lake of water, birds and ducks and waterfowl of every description return! The place just comes alive. We lose our winter refridgerator now too. During winter we put our fridge on the porch and unplug it. The great outdoors makes for a great walk in cooler... It saves a tremendous amount of power! But I see that I will have to look after that in the next day or so... no more free fridge. We do have a great cold room in the basement mind you... all year it is cool enough to keep vegetables and butter and cheese fresh. It won't be long before the swallows return. They like to build their nests all over our house so we have to curtail that a little or our house ends up looking like one large swallows nest by the end of summer... We do encourage them because they are the very best defense against mosquito's and they are beautiful! But I'm getting ahead of myself... a little blast of warm air and some ground appearing has me fast forwarded to summer days... Life is good. Our little Bella is getting big and strong! Growing so fast - she is already nibbling on hay and she's a very friendly, trusting little lamb. Just a sweetie... Today has a been a wild day weather wise ~ spring has firmly planted itself around the meadow. The creek has appeared, the trees are green again and we had a wicked hail storm this afternoon combined with some good cracks of thunder and flashes of lightening. This is our front porch littered with hail stones today.

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Still winter in this neck of the woods

A couple of pics from our latest trip to town... It's still winter in this neck of the woods. Our resident moose posed for us on our way up the hill - her young'un was not so keen to be photographed and took off to hide in the bushes. Our good news ~ 'The Mrs' gave birth to a healthy ewe lamb on March 9th. We've named her 'Bella' since she was born on Isabella's birthday. Here she is just 15 minutes old with her 'very good' Mom. The Mrs is a natural; patient and calm. This next pic is Bella at about 30 hours... we moved the two of them into a makeshift shelter in the shop where they'll stay for a week or two till it warms up a bit outside. The shop has a wood heater and a big bright window ... life is good.

Monday, March 06, 2006

Harbingers of spring...

Two blackbirds were perched on their feeder this afternoon. The feeder outside our kitchen window that hundreds of blackbirds frequent in the summer months. It was full of snow today but as soon as we spotted them David went out, cleaned the snow from the feeder and replaced it with their favourite seeds. They'll be back. We sometimes call our blackbirds 'backbirds' as one of their favourite hang outs is on the backs of our sheep. So, spring is officially springing... the blackbirds have returned.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Pussy willows ...

The stone that marks where home is ... We are at the headwaters of a beautiful creek that runs the length of the property edged all the way by willow bushes which are regularly lunched on by our local moose. In the spring there are always a few newborn fawns being tenderly cared for among the willows. Coyotes wander through, and in the fall we watch young bucks rub the velvet off their antlers in amongst the willows. The pussy willows are out now. It's the first week of March and every day is photo worthy.