Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Ghost Day

Today was a ghost of a day. 
The rain was heavy and the fog thick.  These kind of layers always make me feel disconnected from the land.  Like I am floating in an in-between space. 
While walking there is a great unnatural stillness.  Driving, you move into nothingness, just a small stretch of road visible before you.
Landmarks are unknown and unfamiliar.
It's hard to feel centered on this earth when the spaces you know so well are transformed. Maneuvering on a deeply foggy day is quite like moving through uncertain times in your life.
Sometimes we move through our own lives like ghosts, fear or apprehension of the unknown creates a layer between us and our reality.  It can become hard to see your way.
Just as with walking through the fog, you just keep going and keep faith that soon you`ll glimpse something recognizable, solid and sure, and all will become clear.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013


Another January thaw is on the way.  After a stint of frigid temperatures, it has warmed up and will continue to do so for the next few days.  We are expecting rain, rain and more rain.

I think it's good.  A respite from the cold is always nice, but it's also helpful in terms of getting the roads cleared.  With the freezing rain and snow of two weekends ago, and then the deep freeze, the roads have been perpetually icy every since.

Sunday, January 27, 2013


I'm trying to like winter.  I really, really am.
And I do.  I love it when I get to stay home and only go outside when I choose.  I like it when the flakes fall softly down, and there are skaters silently gliding on the lake.  I love the snow covered tree branches.
Last year, I was a winter-lover, but this year, having to drive so much more, and having to go outside when I don't want to, well, I am seeing the bad side of winter.  The slush and ice covered roads.  The frigid temperatures.  I'm longing for spring, but trying to live in the moment and take in the beauty that surrounds me.  I'm going too fast these days, though, and am finding it difficult.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013


Beams creak and ice booms. 
It's cold. 
The temperature is forecasted to reach -32C tonight.  Sunny skies today and a clear sky tonight mean there is literally nothing to keep any sort of warmth close to the earth's surface.
Now, I know that for some of my readers, this is positively balmy.  That's fine.  This cold will more than suffice.

Monday, January 21, 2013

From the Weather Book

January 7
- cold (-25C)

January 8
- very mild (2C)

January 9
- rain, wild, windy stormy night

January 10
- warm, rain

January 12
- warm, rain, run

January 13
- rain, mist, mild, grey

January 16
- -20C

January 17
- -22C

January 18
- -24C
- snowy afternoon and evening

January 19
- 0C
- mild, snow

Monday, January 14, 2013

Ice, Snow

Winter weather has returned once again. 

We had quite a few days that were well above seasonal temperatures.  The lake was covered in standing water, and snow banks were decimated.

Last night we had a burst of freezing rain and then light flurries off and on until this evening.  There is more snow forecasted for tomorrow.

Being that it is still January - and only the middle of January, this is just fine with me.  We need the frosty winter to truly appreciate Spring when it finally decides to truly grace us with it's presence. 

Until then, I look forward to invigorating days and cozy nights.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

"Good for my soul...

...heaven knows she's good for my soul"

A January thaw is good for the soul.  We are in the midst of one right now.  Earlier today the sun was shining and snow was melting.  A few posts ago I mentioned how the days lengthening were a sign that Spring will find us.  Thaws (be it in January, February or even in March) are a wonderful sign, too.
They refresh and rejuvenate and remind us that we won't be ensconced in snow and darkness forever.  We need that where we are- the seasons can be unpredictable in central Ontario.  We could face snow up until early May. 
Today felt like late March, but I'm still looking forward to many more sparkling days of winter.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013


We are in the midst of a wild and blustery night on Maple Lake.  The wind is howling, the snow is horizontal and the way the large tree trunks are shifting around outside the windows makes me very nervous.
Stormy nights are good for popping popcron and snuggling up with a good book or movie - and for hoping that the weather clears before you are due to be anywhere the next day.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

There is a certain slant of light....

I love this time of year for the light.  The days are just beginning to lengthen- the sun rising earlier and setting ever so slightly later each day.

Even though we are still in the depths of winter, this is the first  sign that the great wheels are turning, and spring will eventually find us.

For now, though, I'm enjoying the crisp, sparkling days and deep violet nights.

Title from: Emily Dickinson

Monday, January 7, 2013


We heat our home with a combination of oil and wood.  The cost of heating alone with the oil furnace is prohibitive, so we supplement with our wood stove.
This isn't the most convenient of arrangements, considering the amount of work that goes into feeding the fire, but in the end it's worth it.
From early fall to late spring, wood is on our minds.  Rick spends most of his spare moments in the fall cutting, collecting, splitting and stacking wood.  The fire is then on from the first temperature dip to late spring.
Fire is relentless.  To be kept up, it demands to be fed regularly.  It's the last thing we do before we go to bed, and the first thing we do upon waking.  Luckily, Rick is a night owl and I am an early bird- there are only about five or six hours overnight when the fire is unattended.  If we are away for the duration of the day though, it's a different story.  All you can do is load it up, close it down and hope that by the time you get home, there are enough embers left to start it quickly once more.
As much work as it is, I do love keeping a fire burning.  It's cozy.  It speaks of days spent snuggled up, and of playing outside, coming in to hot tea and flushed cheeks.  The wood stove, and fire, are essential elements of our winters here on Maple Lake.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

From the Weather Book

December 22
- cold, snow
- blue sky, wind - lake opened up

December 23
- cold, snow
- ice building on lake

December 25
- sunny, lovely

December 26
- -15C

January 1
- bright, sunny day
- MapleLake365 turns 1 today

January 3
- snow, heavy all day
- wicked wind

January 4
- gloomy
- very windy

January 5
- sparkling morning, cloudy afternoon


Saturday, January 5, 2013

Indoor Beauty

Amaryllis always bring a freshness and light to the New Year.  I am never organized enough to have them bloom for Christmas, but I enjoy their vibrant blooms on dull winter days and sunny mornings when they glow.
There particular bulbs were supposed to be white, but I guess the box was mislabeled.  Oh well, these are beautiful anyway.

Friday, January 4, 2013

In the Trees

The past few days have been blustery ones.  I've cursed the wind and stinging snow, and in particular, the horrific driving conditions.  But, in the night as I lay in bed falling asleep, the sounds high in trees remind me that this place isn't so bad after all.
I love the wildness of it.  I like living somewhere where the unpredictability of the natural world is right there - a glance outside my window and footsteps outside my door.  I love being able to hike half an hour into the bush and be somewhere where no one may have ever laid eyes- or haven't for many years.  We are slowly changing that, of course, with all the exploring that we do.
The noises in the trees reminds me why I wanted to live here in the first place.  When I was younger I always had a vision of myself living in a forest. We don't exactly reside right in a forest, but we are obviously surrounded by them, and by trees large enough to make that whoosh when the wind whistles through their highest boughs.
I'm lucky to live in such a place. 

Thursday, January 3, 2013


There are a few people in my life that need some extra care right now. 

You know who you are. 

From my heart (and the heart of Maple Lake), this angel is for you.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013


I love this photo. 

Henry loves to walk on the ice - it's flat and easy to maneuvre on and so different from all his other landscapes. 

He leaves the cutest little trails.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Our Fox

There is plenty of fox activity around Maple Lake.  From a solitary fox running across our front lawn, to the mother and nursing kits I saw on a run last spring, they are everywhere, and I love them.

I'm not always lucky enough to see them, so winter's snow provides a perfect opportunity to see what our resident fox has been doing.  Tracks along the lake shore and across the ice are the most common.  He or she also lopes up our slope, coming quite near to the house.

In Celtic lore, the fox symbolizes a cunning wisdom, having an intimate knowledge of the woods and acting as a guide... or possibly leading enemies astray. This makes perfect sense to me when I observe our fox's trails.  The trails are confidently laid; this creature knows where he is coming from and where he is going.
I don't doubt for a second that our fox isn't very aware of our movements.  This is probably why we rarely lay eyes on him.  When I saw the mother and kits that spring day while running, my granddad said that the mother had been watching me for a long time to let me stop and watch without running off immediately.  I believe this to be true - animals know more about us than we know about them.  They are far more skilled in the art of watching than we are.

I love knowing that animals are flourishing all around us in the fields and forest that surround Maple Lake.  It is always a good day when I see new tracks, or even better, catch a glimpse of our rusty-red furred friend.