Saturday, 2 March 2013

Cottage in Winter

Staying at our cottage in winter is a lot easier than it used to be. Years ago, we stayed at the little cottage that my grandfather built and my dad renovated. Despite the oil stove and wood range, it was a chilly place: after three days, the first foot of air above the floor would finally begin to warm up. We had a lot of good times there anyway, but it was much nicer, when I arrived with Dodie and Myles on Friday late-afternoon, to come into a cozy place!  The tile is bone-chilling cold, however, and I somewhat regret not putting in the heated pad when we were building, when I step onto it in sock feet.

We DO have water indoors, however!  Not to all of the taps, of course: that will have to wait for spring; but pails are easily filled from the well, right in the utility room. The water was mud-brown when Iain first ran it, but cleared up after a few hours: typical for a well left alone for several months, especially one so new.

While he was waiting for us to arrive, Iain puttered about the place and at one point needed a tool, which led him to search in the shed.  He didn't find the allan key he wanted, but he did find where the squirrel had stored his winter supply of acorns.
It was a fruitful year for the oak trees, and the squirrels took full advantage of it.
We had a chance to visit our friend Judy, who is blessed to be able to live in her cabin all year round.  She treats a herd of deer (her babies) with alfalfa, and we dropped in to visit with her and see them come for a snack.
These two are fairly tame.  One had a broken leg earlier this year, but has healed and can use it now.
Judy has a variety of wildlife around.  While we were waiting for more deer to arrive, Dodie spotted an ermine outside. I was lucky enough to get a shot of it grabbing a mouse from under the snow and carrying it back to its nest.
These guys are fast!
More deer came in. She often has about 19.
She also has regular visits from a Gray Jay. I think this is the first time I have ever seen one; certainly the first time for one at such close range!
He doesn't look very big in this picture, but Gray Jays are as large as a Blue Jay, or perhaps a bit bigger.


Brent Buckner said...

Nice pix!

(That's one organized squirrel)

Deb said...

Thanks Brent!
We left his stash as we found it, until the spring at least!