Saturday, December 21, 2013


The winter solstice is upon us, which means today is the shortest day of the year.  From here, the days lengthen, the light changes and the earth begins the slow creep toward spring, though today is the fist day of winter.
What a different year it has been for early winter weather.  In both 2011 and 2012, we had open water on the lake this time of year.  The snowfall has been unbelievable and the temperatures have plummeted.  We will have a warm up for Christmas it seems, but the snow will remain, with much more in the forecast.


Friday, December 20, 2013

From the Weather Book

 It's been an unreasonably cold and snowy December and we are certain to have a white Christmas!

December 5
Snowy morning.

December 6
A bit of a warm up.  Water over the ice.

December 7
Cold again, with snow in the evening.

December 8
Light snow.

December 9
Wind and snow.

December 10
Piles and piles of snow! Still under a snow squall warning.

December 11

December 12

December 14
Flurries most of the day.

December 15
-25C in the morning.

December 16

December 19
Much warmer, and much easier to keep the house warm!  -5C.

Friday, November 29, 2013

Ice In

Yesterday morning we woke to a thin skim of ice covering the lake.  Throughout the day, it shifted and melted, and all but a crust remained around our shore by day's end.
This morning, we woke to a similar scene, except today's ice didn't melt.  I imagine this ice is here to stay.  The start of this winter's ice.
It's truly amazing to watch as a constantly moving thing - like a lake's surface, become still.  I know that ice really isn't perfectly still - it shifts and cracks and booms, but it's continual motion is gone, quieted by the coming winter.
Our ice is in.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

If You Live on a Lake

If you live on a lake, you see sunrises and sunsets that make you stop and stare in wonderment that such beauty can be real.
If you live on a lake, you know the dazzle of a million sparkling waves in the sun.
If you live on a lake, you see the lights blink on across the water, and you wonder about the lives that are lived over there.  You wonder if they think of you, too. 
If you live on a lake, you see vast darkness in the middle of the night, and you feel wonderfully alone.
If you live on a lake, you know the turn of seasons intimately, and know all the delicate intricacies that the changing light can bring to the lake's surface- be it water or ice.
If you live on a lake, you are lucky.

Friday, November 22, 2013

From the Weather Book

November 7

November 8

November 9
A wet, cold and grey day.  Very high water this fall.

November 11
Snow, rain and wind.  So cold. 

November 13
A cold mornig at -10C.  Hovered around 0 for the rest of the day with some sun.

November 14
 A wicked wind overnight, rain.  A grey day.

November 16

November 17, 18
Wild, wicked winds for 2 days.  Snow, ice, rain.  Power out for a short while Tuesday late afternoon.

November 19
Cold!  Very light snow on a sunny morning.

November 20
A sunny, bright day.

Thursday, November 7, 2013


A wicked wind blew through our area this past weekend, taking down many tress, and to my dismay, the big red barn at Swords.

The sound that mammoth structure must have made while coming down...well, I can't even imagine.  Huge, pounding timbers and screeching metal.  The wind that day sounded like a freight train through the trees; the barn coming down would have been other-worldly.

I visited Swords today to see the fallen barn.  As I walked all around it, I felt my heart heavy in my chest.  I'm sad to see such a landmark go.  It makes me think of the life the barn once had, the purposes it served and the lives that depended on it.  This barn held stories that I don't even know, and beyond that, was a permanent marker in many people's mental maps of the area.  Driving through Swords now, one might not even know such a thing as a massive red barn ever stood there.

I'm reminded of the importance of telling stories - connecting with those around us who know the local history of where we live.  I feel a connection to this place that I haven't felt in any other place I've lived.  I think that's because of the accessibility of it's history- it's still on the surface, so to speak, and I can visit and wander in it.  I am also connected to several people who can tell me stories of days gone by.  That history holds an importance that goes beyond words, deep into the heart and soul of the people that have lived, worked and loved here.  Beyond that, it stretches to the present and future generations.
The big red barn at Swords is just a old structure that gave way to time and the elements, sure, but to me it represents so much more.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013


I am missing writing and I am missing sharing pictures with you.  Yesterday morning the world was crusted with frost crystals and it was breath-takingly beautiful.
I had many errands to run, however, and the camera never made it out.  On one of my trips out of the house, the frost crytsals were raining down from the trees as the sun's heat loosened them from the branches and needles.  I'd never experienced anything like that before.  It was magical.  Upon my arrival home from that particular errand, the frost on the grass had melted, but the in the shadows, the ice remained.  Again, something I hadn't seen before.
I hope to be back soon.

Monday, September 23, 2013


Interesting evening skies over Maple Lake can be a rarity.  We look out east over Maple Lake so the sun sets above the fields across the road.  Sometimes we are lucky to see some of those sunsets reflected in the clouds over the lake.
Here is the moon rising a few evenings ago.

The wispy mare's tail clouds (scientifically known as cirrus uncinus) tell of rain soon to come.  The evening that followed this was full of heavy rain, lightning and wicked winds.  That is a lesson I learned from my Granddad, and one of the many reasons I think of him when venturing through the natural world.

Monday, September 16, 2013

A Mountain of Cloud

Sometimes, having rain overnight produces the most interesting sunrises.  Not every beautiful sunrise is bright and fiery.  I often find the most beauty in the cool blues and purples and creams.


Sunday, September 15, 2013


Although it isn't true fall yet, summer is officially over.  The lake is quiet once again, and the days are growing shorter and the nights cooler.
My summer went by in a flash.
A newborn baby and a toddler will suck your time away like nothing else.  It is time well spent, and I know that even the trying moments are worth it a million times over in the end.
The last August sunrise -

My sweet little time sucks -

Friday, August 2, 2013


After a week or so of hot weather, cooler temperatures seem here to stay.  Everything is still green and bright - the crunchy grass phenomenon that strikes late July is nowhere to be found.   The air is fresh, and itss always pleasant to be outside.

We have had a few days that have been a little too fall like for my liking, but in general, this summer's weather has been a welcome change for me  I do hope for a few more days of hot weather - the baby girl has cute clothes to wear!

Monday, July 15, 2013

...and then I see the diamond dust on everything.

Sometimes life takes us down difficult paths.  Ones that are hard to traverse, and often leave us wondering why.  Oftentimes these are paths we've chosen for ourselves.  It's important to remember that's it's all worth it in the end. 
My mornings these days are full of spit-up and poop and kids that need me, and even though I'm often left wondering why, I never forget that they are my diamond dust and I am a lucky, lucky person.

Title from : Grant Lee Phillips, Strangest Thing

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Maple Lake's Newest Resident

A quick update to let you know that Clare was born on Thursday, June 20 at 10:21 p.m.  She weighed 7lbs 6oz.  We are all very happy and adjusting well to life as a family of four.


Hope to have more stories of Maple Lake soon.

Sunday, June 9, 2013


I'm sure you've noticed my posting has become quite infrequent.  Being 39 weeks pregnant, I've had other things on my mind and on the go.
I'm still here and I will be back! 
But for now, I am enjoying my last few days with only one child and finishing many last minute tasks.
See you soon.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

In the Garden

I am slowly making improvements to the gardens around the house. 
When we first moved in, we pulled out many scraggly, struggling shrubs from the front, and so were left with lots of empty space, punctuated with clusters of trilliums and lily-of-the-valley amongst other shade loving woodland plants.  I am slowly filling those spaces primarily with hostas and ferns, with some foxgloves (if they decide to grow) and bleeding hearts. 

One of the side gardens is essentially wild, and will remain so for another year or two.  I like it, though.  The grassy areas surrounding it are filled with forget-me-nots at this time of year and my husband leaves the grass uncut for me.  I love looking out my kitchen window at the cloud of blue.
I am okay with some of the gardens going a little wild- my favourite type of garden is what I would describe as controlled naturalization. I want plants that will grow well in the conditions that exist, and I want to see very little bare ground. I decide what will go where and plan for the height and spread of different plants, but after that I want them to just do their thing. Organized chaos. I've never been a fan of overly manicured gardens, and I especially think they look strange out in the woods.
We are lucky to have some well-established peonies and lilacs in every shade around the other side of the house.  The peonies are in part shade right now, though, and would likely do much better if we moved them.

The sun garden farther up the lawn had been kept tidy, as has the smaller side garden.  That's as far as I will get this year.

There is still so much work to be done outside, but a little bit at a time is going to have to do for now.