Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Fancy felines

Naomi says: "It's not a dog bed. It's a cat bed!"


Julius says: "I'm staying here until you feed me."

Naomi says: "Feed me! I'm cuter!"


Julius says: "Ignore her. I am older and wiser. Feed ME!"


Naomi says: "Older and wiser. Not cuter!"



PS: I updated The Cow Diaries. I'll try to post on there more often! I am surrounded by cows these days.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Name that caterpillar!

I found this in the garden today. I love how its head looks like a ladybug! Anyone out there care to take a stab at identifying it (because I'm too lazy to move my carcass and the get the field guide!)

And it was carnivorous, too...

video

Why I didn't become a naturalist is beyond me!


PS: MY friend Denise identified it as Pearly Wood Nymph. They turn into cool moths that look like bird poop (for reasons of camouflage!) In fact, I did a "Wood Nymph" Art Trading Card last August:



The latest buzzzz, har har har...

The Bearded One and I spent the weekend taking beekeeping courses offered by the Tech Transfer team of the Ontario Beekeepers Association. Saturday was Introductory Beekeeping, Sunday was Integrated Pest Management. Gordon spent last bee season being my grunt labour, but this year he wanted to get his hands dirty. Of course, he started out with the ceremonial lip sting back in May!

Here he is, all suited up and ready for action:



He was promptly pooed on by some bees!

The course was held at the Hector Dignard Blueberry Farm in Embrun. They also sell raspberries currants and, not surprisingly, honey!

The course was taught by Ontario bee inspector Brent Halsall, and two of the "Bee Girls" from the OBA's Tech Transfer Team, Mel and Janet.


I aspire one day to bee-keep in shorts, like the fearless Janet.



Bees crawling over the front of a hive, and hanging in a chain from the top entrance.



A couple of really short beekeepers joined in! (Kids from the blueberry farm, obviously used to the bees given how they up close and personal they were with the hives!)



Gordon sits in the foreground as Mel demonstrates a treatment method for one of the various pests afflicting honeybees here.



21 hives and a bunch of neophytes!



These were growing behind the hives and I have no idea what they are. The fruit was hard and green and the size of a large olive. I saw on on the ground that had started to turn red. I meant to ask what they were but forgot. Anyone?

And as you can see, the bees were happily flying about yesterday, as we learned about gloves to protect our hands from nasty chemicals:


video

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Une bonne amie, a wonderful border collie, and fine French cheese!


Meet Denver! He is a wonderful, well-trained border collie who responds to commands in French (not unlike our own dogs, although they have become a little more bilingual over the past three years!)



Denver loves a good tennis ball. He is being fostered by our friend Marie-Emmanuelle, who also fostered our dogs Sophie and Tristan for a couple of weeks before we took them in 2007. She is a dog-lover extraordinaire and also a great trainer (using all positive reinforcement!) Her own border collie Bïa looks like Einstein next to our dogs.



Marie-Emmanuelle came to visit us today and brought along Denver. She also brought along some fine raw-milk cheese from Québec. Oh, so good! We had a great visit and went out for a leisurely lunch. Gordon had a holiday today as he works in Québec, which celebrates Saint-Jean-Baptiste Day, aka the National Holiday.

Sophie and Tristan were extremely excited to see Auntie Marie-Emmanuelle. It's too bad I didn't think to take pictures of them. I don't think they've ever forgotten her.



I took Marie-Emmanuelle down to the coop to visit the chickens and give them some treats, in this case some scratch feed. The chickens were most pleased by this!



The hen-girls make everybody smile!



Isn't Denver a wonderful dog? And note the Montréal Canadiens I.D. tag on his collar. He's a true fan hockey fan!


What a wonderful day! Marie-Emmanuelle is a fine, kind person and we will always be grateful to her for matching us up with our beloved dogs, Sophie and Tristan, who were taken in by her after their owner tragically passed on.

And the cheese is reeeeeally good too!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

A beautiful day for kayaking

On Sunday, we took our kayaks down to South Lancaster, to paddle on the part of the St. Lawrence River known as Lake St. Francis. Just before we went out, there were two torrential downpours, which we waited out first in the marina, then the car. We launched our kayaks at Hybrid Marine, where they also sell and rent out kayaks, canoes and other boats. The owner was very nice and helpful, and we finally bought a couple of proper kayaking lifejackets for kayaking. We were tired of being all bulked out in regular lifejackets when we paddled!

The sky was dramatic, the water like glass:



This is Cairn Island, home to the Glengarry Cairn. Next time we'll paddle closer to it.



Mallard! We encountered several ducks on our outing. Most of them flew off at the sight of us, but this one calmly paddled between me and Gordon.



A view coming out of one of the canals near the Cooper Marsh Conservation Area.



My paddling companion with the perpetual smile. Kayaking makes us both very happy.




Many shades of blue, and Cairn Island.



I was very glad those dark clouds didn't open up and dump rain on us!




Bright green, highly visible on the water! I'm looking smug again. I'm getting good at that.



Lily pads and glassy water.



Love those lily pads!



Coming up on a duck nest box in the marsh.



A turtle basking platform. We need to make one of these for the pond on our farm.



I'm not sure what this is... a duck blind? There were a few of them in the marsh.



Calgon, take me away! (If you remember that commercial, you're at least as old as me!)



Back near the marina, there were lots of Canada geese and lots of half-grown goslings. Coming soon to a golf course near you!



Colourful rental boats!



And time to rack up and go home. Sigh... I can't wait to go back! It's only about a 20-minute drive from our house, so there's not excuse not to go often.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Smokin'

Suited up and ready for action. I assure you that this is the only kind of smoking I'll ever do!


I have a gift for standing downwind of the smoker that results in coughing fits and me smelling like a forest fire for the rest of the day.


Veil on, ready to go. I was just doing a quick check of my two hives to see how things were going and whether they needed new boxes yet (not yet, but soon!)

The honeybees LOVE the flowers on my sage plants. Catmint is probably their next favourite thing in my garden.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Chickens love Fleetwood Mac

Another one of my chicken music video masterpieces...

video

Mapping out Toastland...

Every morning, my sainted husband brings me a cuppa tea, and toast with cashew or peanut butter on it. Lately he has been spreading the nut butter right to the edges of the toast, so that I get it all over my fingers when I eat it. Very politely (since I am getting breakfast brought to me daily by my beloved!), I mentioned to Gordon that perhaps he could spread the butter not quite to the very edges.

This morning I got this:


"They're survey stakes."

"Whaa...?" (I had just woken up and was my usual, incoherent, drooling self.)

"They're survey stakes. They are marking out the edges of the toast, so that the cashew butter doesn't get spread too far. They also double as handy handles for eating your toast!" Gordon helpfully explained.

He just gets funnier and funnier all the time. It used to be my job to be the smartass of the couple, but now The Bearded One is striving for that crown!


Saturday, June 19, 2010

Give a cat a loving home!


If you're in the area, the SD & G Ontario SPCA, located in Cornwall, Ontario, is having an adult cat "sale" from June 14 to 21st:

ADULT CAT SALE

Discounted Cost $100.00

For this fabulous price you get a happy furry friend who is spayed/neutered, has shots, 6 weeks free insurance, advantage, and a microchip.

Come see these gorgeous adult cats during adoption hours and find a new friend.

Sale from June 14th to June 21st, 2010

For more information call (613) 936-0072

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Our awesome tripod kitty Alex came from this shelter. I encourage all you cat lovers out there to give a shelter-kitty a loving home.

Click here for the shelter website.

The Indonesian Mimic Octopus



This is fantastic! Thanks for sharing it, Jams.

Friday, June 18, 2010

So many reasons to love the rural newspaper!


I love the classified ads in our local paper. This one is all the better because I am a close personal friend of Bucky's! Alas, I know not how to shear.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

And a good show was had by all!

Last weekend we held Art Fayre 2010 at the Glengarry Pioneer Museum in Dunvegan. It went very well, and I enjoyed meeting lots of interesting people from the community. I also sold four of the five rug-hooked wallhangings I had on display, so I was pleased.


All the artists signed a chalkboard, adding their own personal touches! Guess who drew the chicken? :)

We set up the show last Wednesday, and celebrated birthdays at the same time. Ronna was having a milestone birthday (she was fabulous, as always!) and Ross the museum summer student was probably the youngest in the building... sigh! Barb made a delicious chocolate cake.


Fran and Holly did a great job of hanging the artwork!

There were lots of beautiful things to look at and buy. I love Brian Schofield's turned wood objects:





The gorgeous vase on the left was made up of something like 278 pieces of rescued mahogany!



As always, I was in love with Ronna Mogelon's painted ceramics.

Gordon bought her juicer:




Speaking of Gordon, he volunteered to help with sales. "I'm from the government. I'm here to help you!"



The Pioneer Museum is a real gem of a place!



My hooked teacup wallhanging prize went home with Greg, one of the locals! Photo by the marvellous Margaret Caldbick.



Holly Kelleher does wonderful work, like this pastel drawing.



Several bikers dropped by for the show and snacks.



Our friends Sue and Willie made the trek from Ottawa and surprised me! It was great to see them, and they came bearing chocolate from a recent trip to Europe. I was forced to share it with Gordon.



Here's Gordon checking out the Art Trading Cards display and demo table.



And here is Fran Bailey demonstrating her artistic skills. Among other things, she does exquisite watercolours. Both she and Holly were part of the Art Fayre article in the local paper yesterday!



I love Flip Flockton's humourous paintings! She is great with caricature.



Gee, I wonder who did these? :)



This painting was a joint effort by Barb Glen and Flip Flockton. Love it!



And here's Barb's folksy painted wood fish!



A wall of treasures!



Fran and a young admirer!



Aino Lutter's gorgeous oils.



And Spring, the lovely doggy-girl who welcomed everyone.

Make plans to attend Art Fayre 2011!