Drone Photography at the Lake

My nephew Jack is currently enrolled in videography at Durham College. His talent for video production and photography has been obvious for years to those of us that know him well. His latest passion involves capturing breathtaking footage and pictures with his new drone.

If you have a business that could use his talent and skills, contact Jack through the email address listed in the photo credits below. He currently lives in Ingleside, Ontario area but will travel to the Ottawa area and cottage country.

On a recent visit to our family cottage, he took some amazing pictures of our property and the lake. Click on the pictures to enlarge them. That is Jack, my son and a friend in the boat on the lake. I plan to enlarge and frame one of these for my hubby’s upcoming birthday…

They are all so gorgeous, my dilemma now is choosing just one to enlarge and frame. Which one do you like best?

Do as I Say, not as I do

Is anyone else annoyed that Justin Trudeau is spending Easter weekend at his cottage in Quebec with his wife, children, mother and staff?

The rest of us, however, have been implored to practice social distancing. To stay away from anyone that does not live with us, especially those over the age of 70,  restrict travel to essential trips, stay away from our cottages, avoid congregating in groups of more than five, and limit trips across the Ontario/Quebec border to essential ones.

With his weekend jaunt, Trudeau has broken all the rules he has imposed on us.  He crossed the Ontario/Quebec border, went to his cottage, and is spending time with those not in his immediate family, including his 71 year old mother.

In the meantime, most of us are complying to the social distancing rules. You can see it in the deserted roadways, parking lots, and parks, as well as the direction arrows and other limitations in the grocery stores.  Chats with neighbours are from the ends of our respective driveways.  Socializing with friends and family is achieved through Zoom “meetings” or Facebook video chats.  Our evening walks are eerie, like walking through a ghost town.  Not that I have experienced a ghost town, but I can imagine.

Our three sons and 4 grandchildren do not live with us so we have only seen them on videos or from a distance of 6 feet for almost a month now. This has been very confusing for the grandchildren as they don’t understand why they cannot visit, play with, snuggle and hug this Grandma or their other grandparents. We have resisted taking trips to our cottage, located in a remote area of Ontario.  We have limited our exposure to others by reducing grocery shopping to once a week and forgoing other shopping altogether.  Even my 60th birthday was regulated by social distancing rules.

Like most other residents of Canada, we have been following these recommendations AS  REQUESTED BY OUR GOVERNMENT, yet our leader is not practicing social distancing. Instead he is playing “Do as I Say and not as I do.”

This is not a good way to lead a country through turbulent times, especially if you expect us to follow the rules.

 

JT
Credit to the Toronto Sun

 

Photo credit from feature image (top of page) to Markus Spiske and Pexels

Cottage Renovations Never End

The winter of 2015 was so cold our buried water pipe running between the lake and our cottage froze in Ompah, Ontario.  This has never happened before and the cottage was built way back in 1972.  Apparently, the frost line was deeper than normal for this area of Canada this winter.  Digging down to find the buried water pipe, we found the ground frozen solid six feet down!  Fortunately, the soil at the cottage is sandy rather than full of clay as it is here in Kanata, although it was still a big job.  This was just the beginning of our cottage renovations that just keep on going.

Image result for cold winter

Replacing the Water Pipe

The good news is we had planned (eventually) to rebuild the patio, so the frozen pipe turned out to be the motivation to start the patio project. This project turned out to be an ongoing adventure, however, snowballing into rebuilding the patio and deck, which then lead to considering replacing doors and windows.

The pipe was rerouted so it no longer goes under the covered patio, but instead will be snow-covered for better insulation in winters to come. This first set of pictures shows the soil that was displaced while attempting to move the water pipe…

Patio Renovation

Next up was digging up the existing patio and expanding the width. length and depth so it is more comfortable. Eventually, we plan on replacing and adding to the existing patio stones so they extend out further than the deck above. Perhaps the addition of a hot tub is on the horizon too.

Deck Renovation

Then came removing the old deck, and discovering the damage caused by carpenter ants…

then replacing the old, chewed boards, footings, and joists with new ones…

Up next we added a waterproofing system to keep the patio dry, added the floorboards, then the posts and railings. Final results: an upper deck for viewing or sunbathing, and a lower, covered patio, perfect for storm watching, reading, or working in the shade…

Unfortunately, our cottage renovations have been put on the back burner because of a family issue.  My father-in-law fell and broke his hip and the ensuing drama had us very busy.  The side railings of the deck still have to be installed, including a hummingbird fence insert for a privacy screen.

New Windows and Doors for Rooms with a View

As renovations continued at our family cottage, our front door and bedroom window have now been replaced with patio doors, creating rooms with a spectacular view of the lake…

We enlisted the help of two sons and a friend to remove the old door and window, create the necessary rough-ins and install the new doors…

The process of finding, ordering, and getting patio doors delivered to the cottage was a frustrating experience.  In this age of online shopping, it was next to impossible to see the doors in real life before ordering.  Due to the possible extreme weather conditions at the cottage, we wanted something more durable than the base models available at local DIY stores like Home Depot or Lowes.  Stores that specialized in patio doors could not show us any doors and were very confusing on the details of what we were trying to order.  Thanks to the manager of the Lookout Home Hardware Building Center in Plevna we were able to order doors specific to our needs and even get them delivered to the cottage.

Now that this project is complete, we plan to add windows to the side of the cottage and replace the door at the side as well as the window at the back with patio doors. 

When the exterior is complete, including new siding, the interior renovations begin…stay tuned!

Lumber Shortage Thwarts New Dock Steps

Anyone trying to complete a DIY project involving wood recently knows what I mean about a lumber shortage. I’m not sure just how widespread the shortage was, but we sure felt it here in the Ottawa area. Of course, the shortage is COVID related, isn’t everything bad related to the dreaded virus these days?

Last fall, when we dug up most of our cottage property to install a new water pipe, we decided to replace and widen the ancient steps and base to our dock. We figured we could get them replaced before cottage season began in earnest.

Enter the pandemic, throwing everything and everyone into chaos, even the best-laid plans.

Luckily hubby had some pressure-treated lumber stashed away, remnants from our deck project several summers ago. I won’t be living down this (only) advantage of his “discard nothing” personality anytime soon!

We were able to get started using this leftover lumber but had to wait (what seemed like) forever for the floorboards. I was finally able to locate some 12-footers we needed to finish the project this past week. Thankfully, our son has a large truck and could transport the boards from Ottawa to the cottage for us.

We finally completed the project, a few months later than planned. This base will look awesome next summer when the cedars are trimmed and a few of my specialties, planters full of colorful flowers, are added.

Back Veranda and Garden

On days when the wind is blowing off the lake from the north, we prefer to sit on the south, sunnier side of the cottage. A new veranda on that side of the cottage was just the answer. It also makes cleaning out the eavestrough easier for hubby.

Once the veranda began to take shape, I marked out a design for a new garden bed in front of the veranda. We removed the sod from the area, transplanting it to the slope that leads down to the lake. We also added stepping stones so we could easily cross the yard.

The pictures show the progression of both the veranda and the garden…

Ideas for more cottage renovations just keep turning up…stay tuned!

Privacy Screen Extraordinaire

While shopping for another part of our new deck at the cottage, I saw a black metal panel that I thought would make a beautiful privacy screen.  We need something at the side of the deck between our cottage and the one next door.  The panel I saw was not large enough, so I started looking around at various stores to see if I could find something more suitable.

I have been very busy with my gardening business, so my husband has been going up to the cottage a few days during the week to work on the deck.  Last weekend when I went up, the privacy screen was in place…He framed it and set it into a wall of boards like the decking so it looks like a framedpiece of art!

Dragonflies, nature’s bug exterminator

I heard that dragonflies are released each spring on Palmerston Lake where our cottage is located.  This practice is to reduce the number of annoying mosquitoes, horse flies, deer flies, black flies and such, naturally…

 

While I have seen numerous dragonflies circling around, I had never seen one catch or eat any of the thousands of mosquitoes or black, deer and horse flys prevalent this time of year at the lake.   Until this past weekend…

As we worked on the final stages of our new deck project, a large blue dragonfly landed right beside us on a board, with a horsefly in its grasp.  For the next 30 minutes, the dragonfly chomped away on the horsefly, paying no attention to us.  It was so intent on devouring its prize, that it did not budge as I snapped pictures and a video of the action from inches away…

 

Watch the jaws at work:

Trying to stuff the whole horse fly into its mouth…

 

and then finishing it off:

 

Shortly after it had devoured the fly, the dragonfly took off and I got back to work.   I bet the dragonfly flew off to have a nap somewhere; that was a workout!  The bugs seem to be worse than ever this spring, but I have proof there is now one less horse fly around to bite me!

The cottage project that grew and grew…

Cottage Renos

When we discovered that our water pipe running from the cottage to the lake had frozen this past winter, we decided to dig it up, replace portions and reroute the rest so that it would be buried deeper and under snow cover for future winters.  This project turned out to be an ongoing adventure, snowballing into rebuilding the patio and deck, which then lead to considering replacing doors and windows, which will have to wait.

This first set of pictures shows the soil that was displaced attempting to move the water pipe…

Next up was digging up the existing patio and expanding the width. length and depth so it is more comfortable. Then came removing the old deck, and discovering the damage caused by carpenter ants…

then replacing the old, chewed boards, footings, and joists with new ones…

Then adding a waterproofing system to keep the patio dry, adding the floorboards, then the posts and railings. Final results: an upper deck for viewing or sunbathing, and a lower, covered patio, perfect for storm watching, reading, or working in the shade…

Unfortunately, our cottage project has been put on the back burner because of a family issue.  My father-in-law fell and broke his hip in June this past summer and the ensuing drama has had us very busy.  The side railings of the deck still have to be installed, including a hummingbird fence insert for a privacy screen:

Stay tuned for a spring update on this ever-growing cottage project…

Palmerston Lake

 

We won’t be swimming anytime soon in Palmerston Lake.  This past Sunday we drove up to our family cottage on Palmerston Lake at Ompah, Ontario to check on the cottage and to see how much snow is left up there…

The lake is still ice and snow-covered; not very inviting.  The top of a birch tree on our property had snapped and fallen onto our wood shed; fortunately its fall was broken by two small deciduous trees, so there was no damage to the roof of the shed.

Like my gardening season,  cottage season (at least the swimming part of it) may be delayed a bit this year thanks to the long, cold winter we have endured here in eastern Ontario…