Posted in cottage life, lorieb.wordpress.com

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?

Posted in Canada, current events, health and wellness, lorieb.wordpress.com

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

Posted in cottage life, gardening, loreeebee.ca, nature

Cottage wildflower garden

We have a large space on our cottage property that acts as a buffer zone between the road (a major highway in those parts) and the cottage.

A 2-foot strip of vegetation along the road is cut by the township each year.   Adjacent to that the land begins to slope downward for an approximate width of five feet before it levels off.   A row of cedar hedges was planted approximately 40 feet from the road many years ago, but the area between the bottom of the slope and the cedars is rarely maintained, left to grow wild.

Last season we planted several evergreen trees (pine and spruce) at the bottom of the slope.  This season we planted more, spaced throughout the flat area to create (eventually) a forest of evergreen trees as a visual and noise barrier between the road and the cottage.

I have always felt this whole area was wasted space,  What does a gardener do with wasted space?  Turns it into a garden of course, in this case, a wildflower garden.  This season I whippersnipped the flat area around the evergreens, avoiding all of the frogs (there were tons), then sprinkled seeds (pink and white coneflowers, Queen Anne’s lace, black-eyed Susans, pink and red beebalm to name a few) along the slope and flat strip close to the road. These plants are not exactly wildflowers, more hardy and tall perennials, but I mixed all the seeds in one large bag as I was collecting them to achieve a wildflower look.

I can’t wait to see what it looks like next season!

Posted in cottage life, nature

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…

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He framed it and set it into a wall of boards like the decking so it looks like a framed piece of art!  Can you see the hummingbird within the design?  I love it!

 

Posted in cottage life, nature

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!

Posted in cottage life, nature

The cottage project that grew and grew…

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 picture shows the soil that was displaced attempting to move the water pipe…

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digging up the old 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…

adding a waterproofing system to keep the patio dry…

adding the floorboards…

then the posts and railings…

 

All under the watchful eye of several supervisors…

 

final results: an upper deck for viewing and sunbathing…

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….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 the following hummingbird fence insert for a privacy screen:446889_400x0

Stay tuned for a spring update on our cottage project…

Posted in current events, parenting

Another cottage project for Father’s Day

Last year on Father’s Day our sons brought a truck load of cedars up to the cottage for us to plant along the edges of our property for a privacy screen.  The project was a great success, a wonderful way to spend Father’s Day.

Everyone who owns a cottage knows there is always something to be done there.  We are currently in the middle of renovating a patio and deck, a job we decided to prioritize when our pipes froze and required digging up.   This year for Father’s Day our sons spent the day helping their dad work on this project…

Their hard work was topped off with a jump in the lake to cool and clean off, then a BBQ dinner, before they headed back to the city for a soccer game…

Even the weather co-operated; the forecasted rain and thunderstorms held off until our ride home later that evening.  The flowers have nothing to do with the project, just thought I would add them in as they were blooming beautifully this past weekend.

Hopefully this gift of time for Father’s Day becomes a tradition; I know it is much appreciated!

Posted in current events, nature, weather

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…