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Mini Road Trip

I just got back yesterday from a mini road trip.

Sister Mary has guests visiting from Japan, and she wanted to take them to see Mount Robson in the Rockies.  I tagged along.

The first stop was in Clearwater for a picnic lunch.

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Then off to Valemount, where we met our friend Dawne.  She had volunteered to be our guide.

The gates to the park.

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The weather was hot, and it would have been lovely and clear, except for the smoke from the forest fires burning around the province.

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It was hard to get a good picture of Mount Robson, but at least it wasn’t hidden in clouds.

The flowers were beautiful.

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Then it was off to see some waterfalls.

First was Overlander Falls.

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There were lots of pictures taken.

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We timed it just right.  When we arrived there were kayakers, preparing to go over the falls. Quite something to watch, not for the faint of heart.

Then it was on to Rearguard Falls.

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Our Japanese friends were very impressed!

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After a full day we headed back to Valemount and our very comfortable accommodations at Willow Burl Cabins.

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After a good night’s sleep and breakfast we headed back towards Clearwater and Wells Gray Park.  Off to see more waterfalls.

Spahats Creek Falls,

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Dawson Falls,

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and last but not least, Helmcken Falls.

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You can still see the hazy blue smoke hovering everywhere.

Two more stops, first at Dairy Queen for ice cream, and then at a fruit stand and we were on our way home.

It was a great mini road trip, and fun to be a tourist in our own backyard.

 

 

Days of Summer

It has been a good summer so far.  Lots of hot, sunny days followed by a good rain.

The dogs love the walks and always find water to cool off in, a nice clean creek…

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or a grungy pond.

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It makes no difference to them, as long as it is wet.

We came across this on one of our walks.

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Very tempting, might just have to take it out for a spin around the lake.

While we are enjoying these summer days, we are also looking ahead to fall and winter.  Yes, winter.

The hay is baled, stacked and under cover.

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This makes the cows very happy.  Not only do have they have food for the winter, but once the hay is off the fields the animals can graze on the hay fields.  They have been waiting for this day.

We open the gate, and call out and just like that, they all come.

PJ and her two girls are the first.

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Then Birdie, Olivia, and the rest.  One by one, down the fence line and through the gate.

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Out into the big, green field. I won’t see as much of them on my side of the fence now until fall.

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I am also working on my wood supply for the winter.  I have had three loads delivered so far and will be getting two more. It is starting to pile up.

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Having it delivered is the easy part.  Now begins my work, splitting and stacking in the shed.

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I actually enjoy the work.  It is not physically hard, and becomes kind of meditative.  Pick up a log, center it on the splitter, split it and toss it onto the pile.  Pick up another log…

The stacking is fun too, just like a jigsaw puzzle, trying to fit the pieces in.

While working on the wood I noticed this robin’s nest in the rafters.

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Three little heads peeping over the top.  The mother robin became so used to me being in the shed I was even able to get this shot.

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Back and forth she went, all afternoon, bringing food to her babies.  It won’t be long before they fly away and the nest will be empty.

Hope you are enjoying your summer days too, they go by so quickly.

Stay Tuned?

I ended my last post with the phrase “stay tuned”, almost two months ago.

Usually “stay tuned” means something to follow soon.  Two months is not soon.

The days go by, and I take lots of pictures, and think of many things to share with you, but just don’t take the time to sit down and post.

I will try to do better.

So, for those of you who did stay tuned….

Abby was not pregnant so we only have four lambs this year.  They are all healthy and growing like weeds.

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Birdie was the last to have her calf, two and a half weeks overdue.  We were beginning to wonder if maybe she wasn’t pregnant either.

Then one day it happened, a beautiful little white-faced, red heifer.  She is called Brie, and will be staying on the farm.

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Here are all three calves, two boys, Jack and Jake, and Brie.  They can always be found hanging out together.

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Five cows and three calves.  A nice size herd, but hard to get a picture of them all together.  Here is Hope with the two boys.

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and here is Olivia, Birdie, Brie, big Jack and Jenny.

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Jenny is hard to see, hiding behind Jack.

It is so wonderful to see the green fields in July and all the wild daisies.  Last year everything was brown, dry and we were in the middle of a horrid fire season.  Although there are fires in other areas, so far we are okay this year.  The creeks and ponds still have water in them, and even part of the hay-field was too wet to cut.

The flowers are doing well, adding colour to the yard.

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The poppies are taking over my garden.  I hate to pull them out, but if I don’t, eventually I will have nothing but poppies.

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I took a wool felting class last week and made a bowl.  I was quite happy with how it turned out.  I had dyed the wool myself, and blended the colours.

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Not bad for a first attempt.  Next time I will make the opening a little bigger so the bowl will be more functional.  This is more decorative than functional.

That’s all for now, hope you are enjoying your summer!

 

 

I think the 2018 lambing season on Morris Brook Farm is over.  The best way to describe it is backwards, blocked and blank.

It all began with Cotton and her two boys.  The were both born breach (backwards) but are doing well now.

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Then it was PJ’s turn.  Her labour seemed to go on too long, so I called my neighbour again.  He did an internal exam and found two lambs, nose to nose, both trying to come out at the same time.  Blocked.  A little manipulation and he got the first one out and breathing, and then the second one.  Two little girls, also doing well two weeks later.

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So the only one left is Abbie.  Abbie is pretty fat, and looks like she has a baby or two in there.

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but the days are going by and she is quite a bit overdue.  I am beginning to think she is just fat with no baby inside.  Blank.

That would be okay, we have four healthy lambs.

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Everyone is doing well, enjoying the spring weather and snoozing with the cows.

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I do have one other little project to share with you.

What would spring be without a renovation or two?

Before…

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and after.

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I have closed in one-third of the deck and made a lovely little sun room.  Now I will be able to grow tomatoes, basil, peppers and other tender vegetables without worrying about frost.  It is also a wonderful place to sit and enjoy a glass of wine, or cup of coffee.

We are still expecting one more calf, and who knows, maybe Abbie will surprise me yet.

Stay tuned!

About Time!

My last post was three months ago.  It was all about winter, and how long it was taking for spring to arrive.  I told myself I wouldn’t post again until spring was here.  Now it is May, and it is about time I brought you all up to date.

Only a month ago, April 16th, it still looked like this here.

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Not much spring to write about.  The garden waited patiently.

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Then it happened…spring.

The birds came back, red-winged and yellow-headed blackbirds.

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An eagle watched us on our walk.

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We were walking on bare ground again!

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The garden beckoned.

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The baby bellies grew big.

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The wild flowers burst into colour.

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In the last week the rhubarb tripled in size, and the gooseberry and black currant bushes are filling out.

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Redford the rooster and his flock of ladies are enjoying the warm weather and scratching in the bare ground.

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Jenny had her first calf…we called him Jake.

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Then Olivia had her fifth calf…we called him Blackjack.  Olivia has always had chocolate-brown calves, just like her.  Her boys have always been called Jack.  This year, for some unknown reason, her calf is black.  Hence the name!

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Yesterday Cotton decided to have her lambs.  It was an interesting time.  All my sheep have delivered their lambs on their own with no real problem.  I noticed Cotton seemed to be taking longer than normal, and struggling a bit.  Fortunately I have a neighbour/friend who used to raise sheep in New Zealand.  A quick call and he was pulling in to the driveway.  We headed back to the pen and we were just in time to see Cotton deliver a little boy…backwards!  It was a breach birth, but she managed to do it on her own.  We pulled up some lawn chairs and watched her clean and bond with the little fellow.  It wasn’t long before he had had a drink and was settling down for a nap.  Good thing too, because then Cotton proceeded to give birth to another little boy…another backwards delivery!  24 hours later and Mom and both boys are doing just fine.

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Now we watch and wait for the next two ewes to lamb.  Poor PJ looks like she could pop.

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Hopefully she won’t have to wait too long.  I will keep you posted!

So spring is here, about time too.

It’s Still Here

It is the middle of February and it is still here.  Winter, that is.

The snow and cold continues, as does the beauty.

There have been clear, sunny days,

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days when the views just make your heart sing.

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There have also been overcast, grey days,

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but they have their own kind of beauty.

Many thanks to one of my readers, who suggested putting oil on Emma’s feet before we walk.  I have been rubbing a bit of olive oil on her pads, and she can walk and walk without getting snow and ice balls building up.  Such a simple solution! Thanks Maureen at Mo Bloggin.

The lingering winter has allowed me to continue working with my wool.  I have set up an area of my house as my “wool” room.

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I can’t say it motivates me to spend more time spinning, but as least it keeps it all together in one space.

Here are a few things I have been working on.

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I have been spinning plain white wool.  I met a local lady who is very experienced with spinning and knitting and she gave me a lesson in spinning.  It helped a lot, and I now believe that with practice, my spinning will improve.

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Still need lots of practice!

I have dabbled in dying too.  Believe it or not, this was supposed to turn out red.  Guess I will have to try again.  Half the fun of dying wool is the surprise of how it turns out.

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My last project was a scarf.  I used wool I had dyed a while ago, and after spinning and knitting I ended up with something I can actually wear.

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Sometimes I spin, and sometimes I knit and sometimes I just sit and marvel at the views outside my windows. Smoke from Brother Tom’s chimney drifting and dancing across the field.

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Winter is still here, and we might as well enjoy it while it lasts.

It won’t last forever.

 

 

 

A Good Start

We are only two days into the new year and so far it has been a good start.

It is still cold, -12 but the clouds are gone and it is sunny out.

Our first daily walk of the year was filled with the beauty of winter.

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Home, sweet home.

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Blue, blue skies.

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Thanks to Brother Tom and John Deere for the paths to walk on.

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An early morning shot of the full moon before it sank behind the hills.

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I even found time to do some knitting.   It may not look like it, but it is a cotton dishcloth.  A wool dishcloth wouldn’t work too well, so I splurged and bought a skein of cotton.

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It’s not quite square, has a few mistakes, and is far from perfect, but it is finished and ready to use.

A good start to the year!