Jack’s Walk

VanSittart Park ©voyager, all rights reserved

It was a damp, cold zero degrees when Jack and I were out this morning, but now it’s climbed to +4 º and melting is finally happening again. Hooray! It looks like Spring has finally decided to make a reappearance and this time it might actually stay. If the forecast is to be believed it’s supposed to stay above zero all week and might actually climb all the way up to +9º. Be still my heart. I cannot wait to see the end of snow and ice this year. It feels like winter’s been dragging on forever and I am bone tired of it. Melt, melt, melt, I say.

What a Mess

Our woods are a nature and water reserve which means that there is no commercial use of the wood. Trees that have fallen or are at risk of killing people are just cleared off the paths and left to rot, which means that you get to see decay in a way you really get to see in our tidy, tended to world.

It’s also wonderful for loot for crafting…

©Giliell, all rights reserved

©Giliell, all rights reserved

©Giliell, all rights reserved
I love you, too

They also offer space for animals, like those ants. I discovered them when I wanted to place my resin stuff on the top to take pics. I decided against it.

©Giliell, all rights reserved

©Giliell, all rights reserved

©Giliell, all rights reserved

Jack’s Walk

©voyager, all rights reserved

Jack and I ran into a couple of big, beautiful horses today. It’s maple syrup season and this farm hosts a pancake and syrup breakfast during the month of March. This team are here every year to give wagon rides to anyone who wants to bump up and down a country road full of potholes and slush. What fun! I normally try to come late enough to miss all the fuss and foofaraw, but our timing was a bit off today. Jack barked like a fool at them from the car until they were far enough down the road to let him loose. He jumped out, watched them for half a second, gave one final woof and then ran into the woods to chase after the newly emerging spring smells. Each new bare patch of land requires very careful sniffing and Jack takes this job seriously. Some places require an extra bit of pee which Jack is always happy to provide. I always know the important places, though, because Jack will pee, turn around and lift his other leg to pee again and then turn back for one final squirt. The triple pee is always done with great seriousness, but it’s only half of the ritual. Next, the boy will dig in his back feet and rake up oodles of debris and mud as he stretches his legs way out behind him before giving a final snort and moving on. I wish I spoke urine.

Jack’s Walk

It’s maple sugar season ©voyager, all rights reserved

Bubba and I thought we’d check out our wee forest today and we were pleased to see that maple syrup season is in full swing. There’s a farm adjacent to our woods that’s full of sugar maples and they process the syrup the old-fashioned way, with pails to collect the sap and an old-fashioned sugar shack where they boil it down over a wood fire. The ratio is 14 litres of sap gives you 1 litre of syrup. Jack has spent a lot of time checking out the farm and those maple trees and I’d warrant a guess that he’s peed on many, maybe even most, of the trees that are tapped. That’s why we call this farm’s maple syrup “Jack Juice.”

Tap, tap, tap ©voyager, all rights reserved

Mmm…©voyager, all rights reserved

Friday Feathers: A New Sighting

Seeing a new bird is always exciting. I knew we had black woodpeckers in the forest by their characteristic sound, but I had never seen one, so you can understand my excitement upon spotting one in the trees. The pics are taken at probably 70m distance, but do click for full size to see the fellow a little better.

©Giliell, all rights reserved

©Giliell, all rights reserved

©Giliell, all rights reserved

Jack’s Walk

At the park, ©voyager, all rights reserved

Woo Hoo! It’s +13º C today and there is melting happening. There’s also a light drizzle that’s helping the melting along and already I can see the brown earthy edges of the lawns. The ice on the sidewalks is breaking up and there is a steady stream of water running down the street to the sewers. It’s wonderful. Really wonderful. Why, it’s the most wonderful time of the year. It’s  finally Spring. At least until Saturday, that is, when it’s supposed to plummet down to zero and stay there for a week. I won’t think about that today, though. Today I’m just going to enjoy wearing my spring coat and watching Jack get muddy.

Jack’s Walk

Waiting for spring ©voyager, all rights reserved

On thin ice, ©voyager, all rights reserved

Jack and I took ourselves to our local park today and discovered that we’re not the only creatures waiting for spring. There is a paddling of ducks (I looked that up!) that is unable to paddle. The pond is still covered in ice and the river that runs through it is flowing fast and high. Not really friendly water for smallish birds. These ducks don’t migrate. They live at the park all year and are fed by a keeper in winter. These two had been sitting in the parking looking glum, but they took to the ice when they saw Jack. Sorry little ducks, stay safe.

The weather is due to change tomorrow with a promise of temps around +13º C. That sounds too good to be true, but I’ll be happy with any temp on the plus side of the scale. I’ll even happily take the rain that’s due to come with the warmer air. I’m ready for the season of mud so bring it on.

Wednesday Wings: That’s it, I move to Portugal

Nightjar hasn’t only been teasing us with her gorgeous pics of sunlight and flowers, now she’s doing it with the birds as well.

She writes: This male Sardinian Warbler is a frequent visitor to the corner of the garden in front of my bedroom’s window, the reason being evident in two of these photos: apparently, Sprenger’s asparagus berries are delicious.

©Nightja, all rights reserved

©Nightjar, all rights reserved

©Nightjar, all rights reserved

©Nightjar, all rights reserved

©Nightjar, all rights reserved

Jack’s Walk

Bon chance, mes amis ©voyager, all rights reserved

Jack and I went to the lake this morning and for the first time all winter we saw ice fishermen.  Normally we see a few ragged huts that stay on the ice all winter, but for some reason this year they were absent. Our little lake is full of bass and pike and in the winter the conservation authority lowers the level of the water by about half which concentrates the fish into the deep center of the water. I think that’s a bit unfair to the fish, but it does make sitting in the cold and watching a hole in the ice more exciting. These chaps were in good humour and full of optimism and they even took a few minutes to play with Jack before heading out to try their luck.