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Monday, April 24, 2017


The smelt are running in Thessalon so the guys brought home "some".  They had a cleaning station set up in my kitchen and in no time they had them all cleaned and put in the fridge until we can pack them up and freeze them.  My whole upstairs smelled like fish!!
The hunters also brought up some perch which we had for dinner tonite.  It was delicious!  I can't remember when I last had such a good feed of perch.  There was 1 piece left - everyone was stuffed.  Rejean made his famous beer batter for it and I made some wild rice and cole slaw.  No roomful desert!!


Spotted this guy right in my driveway.  Good thing I had my camera ready and he stuck around for the photo op.  Probably looking for the one who flew into the window a few weeks ago - the one we ate...

Saturday, April 22, 2017


The Boys are in the first picture - Mr. Slave Driver leading his fellow hunters to the woods to clear and clean up a few trails and meadows.  He really didn't work them too hard and I know they enjoy it so they  didn't grumble too much.
We have a ton of ducks on our lake and they are fun to watch and identify.  I have my Birds of Ontario handbook and my binoculars and I still have trouble. I have to take my glasses off to look thru the binoculars then I have to put them back on to read the book to identify them.  There is one pair on the lake I haven't seen in any of my bird books.  The mystery ducks.  And our lone Loon is back.  Maybe he will find a friend this year.


I got my baby back!!  Barry is up and he brought her back after some masterful mechanizing.  Thank you very much!
And it was a beautiful day and Joanne had asked me to check up on her place so I packed my camera and sunglasses and headed out on a solo trip to Axe.  I couldn't take the trail because I didn't know what condition it was in and I didn't want to get stuck and have to walk back for help thru the woods and bears and all.  So I took the main road which is further down the highway.  There is a trail you can hit from just down the hill from our place.  You have to drive down from the highway and it is a bit of a drop down - thrilling.  Then there are small hills up and down to get over the roads in.  It is fun and then there is a sandy area that is just made for zooming on.  The road in is a bit bumpy but expected to be as it is spring.
It was nice to get back on my little Honda.  I missed her.


That phrase has a different meaning up North.  Along Highway 129 is a swamp that is always interesting to look at plus it has a beaver den on it.  It is not usually a deep body of water and the levels fluctuate because of a beaver dam.  It is quite large and bulky so it kept the water back and we had a nice swamp.  But every spring it seems the beaver dam is breached by humans.  You can tell because it is quite a large chunk perfectly straight edged chunk out of the dam and the water has receded.  As in the past the beavers always manage to rebuild their dam and I am very sure that in the next couple of weeks we will be treated to a beaver dam construction.

I have seen a moose in this swamp.  You would think...

Friday, April 14, 2017


Another beautiful day on Cheney so time to do chores.  Rejean worked on his trim on the posts and I got the cars all pretty.
The top picture was our weather 2 days ago - hard to believe.  It was so depressing.  But the past 2 days have more than made up for it.  It was breezy and warm and sunny and the ice was going fast on the lake.  I walked down to the swim rock and there was a bass swimming around - I thought it was Jacques and quickly got some worms for him.  Well turns out is was not Jacques but he got 1 worm before I scared him with another one I threw in the water.  Jacques will turn up after the spawn.
The weather is not supposed to be nice for the next few days so that is when I will get my inside chores done.

Yesterday I got the septic bed and my garden all raked up and I had a robin there today looking for worms.  It's pretty dry so I don't think he got any.  And I am saving mine for fishing!!!!

Tuesday, April 11, 2017


It was time for our annual Owl Count where we head out at dusk to count owls.
I cooked  dinner for everyone before we headed out and everyone had a good time.  John came over just before we left to keep Roger and Rejean company and to watch the hockey game.
Ute, Ginny and I started our little road trip to our starting point - right around the big burn area.  A tape of owl calls is played and then we listen for any owls to return the calls.  We then move a little further down the highway and play the tape again.  We have 10 stops along the way - the same ones each year. This year only 1 car was on the highway and they never stopped to see if we needed help or if we were in trouble.  Sometimes they do - it is a strange sight to see 3 ladies all standing on or near the road in the dark.
 I have a hard time hearing owls so I had to use an amplifier which only amplified my stomach growling and gurgling.  I did manage to hear some robins and other birds but never heard the 4 owls that the others heard.  I have heard them in the past and it is quite a thrill to hear these magnificent birds in the wild.
We hope our other Hooter, Mary, will be able to rejoin our group next year - there is always room in the car for one more.


We have lived up here full time for almost 11 years and have never been to Gilbertson's on St. Jos Island for their maple syrup season - but this year we managed to get a visit in with John and Linda.  It is quite the industry in this area and Gilbertson's is one of the largest.  We viewed the evaporators and spoke with the owner (I think) and learned some amazing facts.  Just for example all the lines are underground and it took 3 days for some workers to tap some 40,000 spiles to collect the syrup - it takes 40 gallons of sap to make 1 gallon of maple syrup.
They have a gift shop attached to the restaurant (how convenient) that sells everything Maple.  Rejean bought us all a maple candy and my teeth still hurt from the sweetness!!  There was a 45 minute wait so we walked around outside and waited our turn.
I had one pancake (it was huge) and 2 slices of pea meal bacon.  Rejean had the french toast, scrambled eggs and 2 sausages and 2 coffees and it was $31.00 - it was good but now that I have been I won't go back.  The Legion was also having a Maple Syrup Festival so next year that is where we will go.  There are tons of places that offer their Maple Syrup Festivals and we will try and hit everyone in the next few years.


Just a few more pictures to show the status of the ice around here.  Cummings is black so the ice will be gone shortly - our lake still has some thick spots but it is breaking away from shore so it won't be long now.
And I saw a Sandhill the other day so another sure sign of spring...

Thursday, April 6, 2017


Stopped and took some pictures after my foray into town today.  Some of the "swamps" are melting very quickly and there are many run offs along the way.  But Cummings is still ice covered and turning dark - which is a good sign that the next nice sunny day should see a lot of the ice go.
No bear sightings yet but I am sure it won't be too much longer...

Tuesday, April 4, 2017


With the nice weather and higher temps plus the rain we had the snow is melting and the run offs are happening everywhere.  This was spotted on highway 554 on our way back from Sprague.  There are tons along the highways and the streams and rivers are running high.

 And we spotted a couple of ducks in the ditch which is a sure sign of spring up here.

Sunday, April 2, 2017


Maple syrup is in full swing up here.  You can see Jack working his trees on the hill and Brent and Nat and Joy and Arnold are boiling their's today.  We had to go to Joanne and Mitch's to take some measurements so we stopped for a visit.  Joy gave us three venison burgers which we had for dinner this evening - and they were delicious.  

It is quite the set ups they have for processing the sap and boiling it down into syrup - no high tech evaporators or stainless steel pans - just the basics for the small amounts they boil down for their own personal use - and of visitor's...