Posted in cottage life, loreeebee.ca, nature

Cottage Season is Coming

Cottage season is coming, fast. With increased COVID numbers and resulting restrictions, it cannot come too soon. Isolating at the lake is something we were grateful for last summer, although spending time there is always a relaxing, “unplugged” experience, regardless of what is happening around the world.

Ice on the Lake

A few weeks ago we visited Palmerston Lake to check on our cottage. We took our four year old uber-adventurous grandson with us to show him what the place looks like in winter. He was thrilled to walk on the ice and climb on the frozen pile of leaves. He was disappointed however, that the snakes and frogs were still sleeping…

This Easter weekend, less than three weeks later, we visited again to begin the annual spring cleanup. The grandson stayed home to enjoy Easter festivities, but I couldn’t help reflecting on how much he would love to see the ice breaking up.

It always amazes me how quickly the ice leaves the lake every spring. The property is now snow-free even though we had to park on the road and wade through the snow last visit. By next week the ice will be totally gone!

Cottage Season is Coming

Spring Cottage Chores

Even though we rake up most leaves in the fall at the end of each season, there are always some that are still clinging to the trees as we are closing up. That means there are still lots to rake up in the spring too.

That’s the downside of a heavily treed lot. The advantage of course, is the natural beauty and shade these trees provide in the summer months.

We use plastic bags saved from new mattresses to collect and transport the leaves to the huge leaf pile. These bags make the chore much easier, and fold up for storage between uses. Over the season the leaves break down, providing soil amendment for garden areas.

lots of leaves

Unfortunately, a cold north wind was blowing off the lake during this visit, much to the annoyance of my arthritic hips. I paid for that in pain on return to the city. Once the cold gets in my bones, the ache is hard to dispel.

Gypsy Moth Damage

Last year I told you about the infestation of gypsy moths at the lake. Apparently it was a record year for them in Eastern Ontario, affecting not only deciduous trees but evergreens too.

We have been praying that our trees will survive this onslaught. While the deciduous trees don’t appear to suffer long term, (their leaves return each year) the growth of the evergreens (spruce and pines) is much slower. The needles take much longer to regrow, if they do at all.

I hesitate to cut the damaged tops off these pines and spruce as that would alter the natural shape of the trees, making them bushier and rounder at the bottom. Instead we will wait to see how much regrowth they put out this season.

COVID Affecting Cottage and Campsite Rentals

Last summer Canadians stayed close to home, visiting local cottages and campgrounds more than ever before. We were no exception. With the heat wave we experienced it was a no brainer to isolate at our family cottage. While visitors outside our immediate family were not invited, we managed to get our sons’ families to join us, albeit separately.

Conclusion

This season promises to be even busier for cottage and campsite rentals as we head into a (possible) second summer of isolation restrictions. I’ve heard that campsites are booking up fast as families know to expect availability shortages this summer. If you haven’t already, you might want to get on it soon!

As spring weather warms us up, we relish the fact that cottage season is coming!

Cottage Season is Coming
Posted in cottage life, lorieb.wordpress.com, nature

Gypsy Moths Defoliating Eastern Ontario Forests

Gypsy moths, at least the caterpillars that morph into the moths, have defoliated many deciduous trees in Eastern Ontario

The trees at our cottage on Palmerston Lake in Ompah, Ontario have not been spared.

First we noticed lots (more than usual) of these brown moths flying around our property…

Curious, I googled them to see if they could be responsible for the defoliation of our trees.

Sure enough, the brown moths pictured above are the male gypsy moths.

The males fly around looking for the white, non-flying female versions to inpregnate. The females crawl on the ground, attracting the males with a sex hormone, after which the females crawl onto a tree trunk or any other vertical surface (including our garage wall) to lay their eggs.

The eggs are enclosed in a oval-shaped, soft sac. Once the eggs hatch, the caterpillars crawl further up the trees to continue the destructive cycle.

Gypsy moth egg sac (opened)

Once we discovered what they were, my hubby went around the property scraping (the ones he could reach) the egg sacs off, letting the eggs fall to the ground for the birds and other insects to enjoy.

Perhaps we are tampering with nature, but the damage these caterpillars inflict on.our trees is incredible.

Here’s hoping the trees will recover!

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 cottage life, lorieb.com, nature, technology

God’s country

My father used to call the area where our cottage is located “God’s Country” for a reason.  Palmerston Lake is a clean, beautiful, serene lake in Ompah, Ontario where we refer to as the middle of nowhere.  Approximately 90 minutes southwest of Ottawa, Ompah is a sleepy, uncommercialized town, perfect for getting away from the headaches of big city life….

 

Moving into the era of modern technology, Ompah now receives cell phone service and Wifi thanks to a tower recently installed by Bell Canada…

tower

 

Even though the tower sticks out like a sore thumb in pictures of beautiful scenery, this service is great for cottagers that need to be connected to the rest of the world.  I must admit the cell phone service is great for keeping in touch with my sons when they are not with us.

A modern version of God’s country!

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in cottage life, lorieb.com, weather

Storm clouds

These storm clouds circled us on Palmerston Lake this past Friday night, but we did not receive any rain until early Monday morning…

 

In fact, after the stars and moon chased away the clouds, we were able to enjoy our first campfire of the season since the fire ban had finally been lifted in the North Frontenac area…

20160722_213545

 

Please be sure to visit my other blogs:

Laugh out loud (LOL) with me at YOUR DAILY CHUCKLE

and

be inspired and motivated by famous words of wisdom at WoW

My gardening website can be viewed at www.gardens4u.ca

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…

59

 

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, lorieb.com, weather

Signs of spring at Palmerston Lake in Ompah, Ontario

We took a drive up to our cottage on Palmerston Lake in Ompah, Ontario today to see if spring has arrived up there.  Although there is quite a bit more snow up there than here in Ottawa and it was 5 degrees cooler, there were a few signs of spring…

the snow levels have subsided and the wild turkeys have been to visit:

 

the ice is breaking up on the lake:

 

and the water levels are really high:

 

Looks like it may be a while before we will be swimming in Palmerston Lake!

 

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…