Wednesday, 29 January 2014

Port Dover and Fort Erie

I just got back from 6 days away (aside from the brief return that I pictured in the previous post). The pictures from Sunday don't do justice to the amount of snow that there is here now, Wednesday. It has been blowing for 3 days and the drift is more than half way up the house and I am not kidding myself that I will see the hot tub again until spring. I had to dig myself in to both the garage and the cottage and that was just a narrow passageway. There will be more digging!
However my time away was fun; taking care of Fiona and then visiting Mum and Dad. Rasta is proving to be quite a peaceful travelling companion and settled quite well in both places we visited.
Very curious about everything
This was pretty well as close to Maddy as Rasta got most of the weekend. That is until Tuesday
morning, just before we left, when he jumped down a step and reached a paw to gently tap Maddy
twice on the back. Danielle thought he looked liked he'd dared himself to do it.
He enjoyed playing Mario Kart on the Wii with Fiona
and got totally relaxed on Dad's knees.
As both families have offered to "kitty sit", if needed,  its a good job he seemed to relax at both locations.

The snow was quite magnificent in Port Dover and there I could just enjoy the photographic opportunities without worrying about what impact all that snow will be having on the hot tub and the fact that my blue boxes and garbage can are well and truly buried.
Delicate snow sculpture on Port Dover Beach
Winter lighthouse
Winter fishing boat
Snow on cedars.

Monday, 27 January 2014

Long Point - winter was just toying with us

I have been taking care of my niece, Fiona, for the last few days, just outside of Simcoe. Given the crazy weather we drove back to Long Point to check on the cottage. Luckily the driveway had been plowed but I will have to dig my way in to the garage. We clambered into the cottage and then I dug my way out. The wind and the snow had built up into a huge drift that buried the garbage can, blue boxes and the hot tub. It will take me days of digging to clear it off.

The trench after I dug for about an hour

I did this post on my tablet thinking it will be easier to travel with but its not easy to use for this purpose and I don't think it has formatted the pictures right. I wont know til I post it, so here goes.

Monday, 20 January 2014

Long Point - more winter !!!!! and Rasta.

Of course there will be kitten pictures in this post but first the great outdoors. I went for a walk in the Old Provincial Park, next door, after a snowfall. Lovely and surprisingly few animal prints. No human ones, mine were the first, that day.
Not sure what little critter made these prints but the line between them is probably made by
its tail. Its living in the bathroom at the Provincial Park as the prints started there.
These were deer tracks that headed to the lake and then turned back into the park
Coyote tracks. Similar to dogs but the dog tracks zigzagged back and forth across the beach while
these were in a straight line down the beach as far as I could see in each direction.
I have been trying to get decent pictures of Rasta as he is very cute and will grow very fast. He is  however also very curious and most of them end up looking like this:

He's really mastered the "waifish" look.
He came with me to Toronto this weekend. I was quite impressed as he slept the 3 hour trip there and the two and a half hour trip back. After his yowling demonstration to the vets last week I had thought I would be in for a very uncomfortable and annoying ride, but was proved wrong. I hope this continues as I do a lot of driving and visiting and it would be ideal if he was a good traveller.
The plan was to introduce him to Two as I frequently stay with Chris and Jason in Toronto and they tend to bring Two when they come to the cottage. After an initial growl from Rasta (quite hilarious from his tiny little body) he was curious about the other cat and wanted to engage. Two on the other hand was not as co-operative. She hissed at every opportunity! We did not end up allowing them to be in the same room without supervision and even then only for short periods. I think this will take a number of meetings and a lot of comforting sounds and kitty treats.
This face does not say "Welcome little stranger, lets be friends"

Tuesday, 14 January 2014

Long Point - Introducing Rasta

First, an update on the lake.
During the deep freeze, aka "polar vortex", the lake was frozen to the horizon as the wind
blew all the chunks of ice, floating in the lake, up against the shore.
Then it thawed and all the snow on the beach melted away and sometimes there are patches
of open water far out on the lake.

Well, as I mentioned in the last blog post, Two had to go home and I had got rather used to the company. So after ensuring I had potential "cat sitters"( Mum and Dad) I checked kijiji. One person had 2 ads for a total of 6 kittens, in Simcoe. She has some kind of rescue operation. I went to see them yesterday and of course came away with one. $100 later in pet store supplies and my little black and white kitten has his home in the downstairs bathroom. He is out and about when I am home and awake but I don't trust him yet with the run of the house, too much trouble he can get into.
Introducing Rasta. Picture isn't too clear as he doesn't have the idea of posing
yet, always on the move.
In this shot you can see his little mitten feet. He has 6 toes on his front paws.
This morning we went to the vet in Port Dover and he was wormed and got his first shot. He talked to me all the way to Dover, sometimes quite angrily. I think he thought he should have the run of the car rather than be in a carrier. The vet said he seemed fine though rather skinny.
Weighed in at a whole 2.2lbs.
Purred through the whole injection process, I don't think I can rely on purring
as an indication of happiness with this cat.
Now he is curled up, purring and sleeping on my lap while I type this, one handed. I promise not to bore with too many cat pictures but there certainly will be some.

Wednesday, 8 January 2014

Long Point - Winter freeze and a cat for company

The last few days have been extreme all over the continent and here at the Point too. Minus 18 and winds of more than 70km an hour have me feeling like I am living in an icy, screaming, whirlpool of snow and sand. It has been drifting in long snakes and strange dunes but the good news is that the wind actually blew all the snow out of one side of the driveway. Made shovelling much easier.
Now we are back to sun and although it is still pretty crispy outside, its a beautiful white world.
Long morning shadows
Photographers are drawn to the strange landscape. I would love to see how much better their
pictures are with the equipment that they bring.
For the last 6 weeks or so I have borrowed Christine's cat, Two (named for the number of lives she has already used up as she was found as a very small stray kitten on a busy highway. Also she is Christine's second cat). It has been comforting to have her sleep on the bed, touch my nose with hers in the morning, cuddle and purr until she starts demanding that I get up by batting at me with her paws. Her morning ritual is to run like a mad thing all over the house and then demand breakfast. She does the crazy rushing about at about 11pm too (who knows what gets into their little heads). In between she gets into things she knows shes not supposed to (behind the computer, under the bed, in the closet, on the mantelpiece), sleeps on the back of the couch or the chair and generally demands attention.
Very curious about the grandfather clock pendulum.
Two believes that she is more important than any old book, even Dance with Dragons. In fact she's
 more important than a computer, phone, tablet, newspaper, rug hooking, just about anything that I
could be doing that is not stroking her!
I am taking her back to Toronto this week and will miss her company. I suspect I may end up fostering a cat. Its nice to have something in the house to blame the strange noises on and to talk to. Hopefully I wont become a "crazy cat lady", as Christine fears.

Wednesday, 1 January 2014

One year later

I started this blog in January 2013 with the intent of providing a place for family and friends to access what George and I were doing when we were travelling. The previous year we had spent two and a half months travelling in Europe and sent daily e-mails with pictures to share our adventures. My hope was that this would be a better way of communicating. To that goal, it has proved to be an improvement and also, in some ways, less effective. It has also resulted in unanticipated benefits.
The direct e-mail technique resulted in the anticipated audience receiving a message whether they were interested or not. The onus was then on them to open or delete. The blog technique leaves it up to the intended audience to choose whether or not to seek out the blog to read. Some of my friends have opted for the best of both worlds; they receive the blog directly to their e-mail. Some have it as one of their "bookmarks" and check it periodically.
One of the unanticipated benefits has been that total strangers have had access to my pictures and text. One individual contacted me re the trip to Merida, Mexico, as he were going there this year. Another wanted to share one of the pictures of the Interclub that I had posted. It is gratifying to think that others are reading my blog and find some benefit in it. Sometimes I find myself taking pictures specifically for the blog, trying to find ways to pinpoint something of interest or provide the most information in one picture. The other benefit has been a personal one: This blog has become an online diary for me and a repository for my pictures and memories of trips and day to day life at Long Point. Since using a digital camera I find that I print far fewer pictures and can be up to a year (maybe longer, in truth) behind in putting any in a photo album or framed and up on the wall. But I know that some of them, at least, are on the blog and hopefully will always be there. Sometimes when publishing a blog post, after checking that it looks OK (and there are not any glaring typos), I will visit some past posts and relive those trips again.
So I will continue to blog and it has evolved into something that is more for me than for anyone else though I do hope that others enjoy it too.
Christmas and New Years have passed, the first ones without George, so they were difficult, and the beach and Lake at Long Point have been changing as winter takes hold. The following pictures document some of those changes.
This was one of George's pictures. He was often up for the sunrise and would tell me
that I had missed a good one when I got up hours later. This was taken when Long
Point had it's first snow of the season, 3rd week in November. Unfortunately I seem
to be seeing more sunrises lately.
A foggy, snowy morning, later that week. Note that there is no ice buildup
yet at the edge of the lake.
In this shot the ice is beginning to build up along the lake edge. Early December.
Cold weather and high winds start the "ice mountain" formations.
There are ice caves.
There are collections of peaks.
Gradually, with each high wind day, they form into mountain ranges.
 This picture was taken after a mid December thaw. One of the ranges had been
broken away by the waves and the rest had shrunk a little.
Today, January 1, 2014, it is cold and still. There is one small range at the edge of where
the beach would end and a larger one further out. There is also ice forming out in the lake.
After Christmas, my sister made the comment that when she looks out the window she feels she should be able to see seals, it's that kind of landscape. It's beautiful and rugged, but makes you glad to be inside.

Happy New Year to all who read this.