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bugs
Member
# Posted: 13 Jul 2010 18:13
Reply 


And of course lots of neat flowers and bugs. The last pic is of an aphid colony being tended by ants. A larval ladybug (ladybird beetle) is busy sneaking in and munching on an aphid whenever the ants let down their defences. Carnage at the aphid ranch to be sure.
bee on thistle
bee on thistle
paintbrush
paintbrush
flower
flower
aphid farm
aphid farm


RickandRandy
Member
# Posted: 14 Jul 2010 09:50
Reply 


LOVE IT! great idea with the T-Shirts, makes them functional and puts them on display at the same time. I think it's a great idea to decorate and furnish the cabin in a way that you would not attempt at home. As always, your photos are beautiful and the posts educational.

Speaking of education, do you know much about the needs of fireflies? We weed-whaked the edge of the stream so that we can actually see it and get to it, and I am concerned about affecting the firefly habitat, even though they have plenty of foliage elsewhere around the stream if they do need it. The foliage on the edge of the stream was mostly just tall weeds. There is a large patch of cattails in the stream as well, plus all the bush of the other side of the stream. Incidentally we were looking at the stream at night for the first time and saw tons of nocturnal creatures, including frogs/toads, and a grand-daddy of all crayfish that is the size of a lobster that I am naming Sebastien.

bugs
Member
# Posted: 29 Jul 2010 13:36 - Edited by: bugs
Reply 


The other weekend at the shed the early morning was splendidly fogged in resulting in some great photo opps.

And, while we were sitting on the porch we heard an ominous chewing sound. Hmmmmmm. It stopped before we could locate the spot. Then that night it started again. So on a 1 am bathroom break..... I guess I am of that age now. I heard the gnawing again. So after much investigation and triangulation I ascertained it was coming from our fridge cabinet. Hmmmm. Checked the cabinet nothing. Hmmmmm. Then looked at the back of the fridge unit itself and there was a pair of bright eyes and nose of a deer mouse peering at me through the back grill. Hmmmmmmmm. Turns out the one inch hole used for the heat to escape from the pilot light etc on the back of the fridge was a ready made entrance. Mom mouse used that as an access point and setup a nest in a corner of the fridge back amongst all the wiring etc. She must have been there for about 3 weeks as the four babies were all ready to leave the nest. So at 1:15 am we were busy dismantling the back of our treasured fridge and extricating the mice and the nesting material without breaking anything. Thank goodness we have lights. The entrance hole now has a screen over it. Pleasures of cabin life. Strangely enough neither of us felt the need to photograph this experience!!! No Hantavirus symptoms yet.
driveway fog
driveway fog
pond fog
pond fog
webs
webs
web
web


bugs
Member
# Posted: 29 Jul 2010 13:41
Reply 


Some pix.
wren
wren
aster
aster
hyssop
hyssop
spider and egg sac
spider and egg sac


bugs
Member
# Posted: 29 Jul 2010 13:50
Reply 


Gravel day!!! After many months of waiting we were finally able to get gravel delivered. Quite the production with two semis and a loader. Special permission from the municipality to unload the gravel on the road and five trips to the gravel pit and many loader trips up and down the driveway. 90 yards later, with a 5 yard pile in reserve for future reference, we have, hopefully, a driveway that will withstand some rain and spring runoff now. Have some ruts to fill in etc but the yard site looks good. No more mud!
loader
loader
belly dump semi
belly dump semi
yard site
yard site


bugs
Member
# Posted: 29 Jul 2010 13:54
Reply 


While the gravel was being spread we were putting up a wall mounted shelving unit to replace the metal one we had. Our habitat reno store has had a number of research lab cabinets and shelving units go through it. We have been able to pick up some well-made real wood units to furnish our little shed. The new shelving has created enough space we can fit in a folding chair and read a book or watch dvd's in more comfort than the kitchen chairs we had before.

We were able to spend four days at the shed last week. We tacked together a small pier/dock for our little pond. Due to high water levels we had to make it over 30 feet long before we got it past the ring of willows so we could have uninterrupted views of the pond. And after much sweating and burning of body we moved the solar panel from the flush mount roof position to approximately 45 degree mount to improve its collection efficiency. The panel mount was built from angle "iron" bought at CDN tire. The many holes allowed for easy assembly and adjustment.
shelf
shelf
dock
dock
solar
solar
graveled hill
graveled hill


bugs
Member
# Posted: 29 Jul 2010 13:57 - Edited by: bugs
Reply 


With the new mount on the solar panel THE projects are finally done for this year until we start clearing trails in the fall. So we can finally kick back, relax and drink some beverages (a chilled bottle of the wife's 2008 Rhubarb wine was the beverage of choice) and enjoy the place.

The dock really has paid off with great views of sunsets (nw winds brought in smoke from northern SK and AB forest fires making the sunsets incredibly red) and waterfowl. We both have already spent many hours there just watching.

Our yard site that was essentially barren clay last year is full of flowers (dragons head, asters, golden rod, thistles and many others). The flowers/seeds in turn bring in the insects and the birds, which make our time at the yard so interesting. And of course visits from deer, moose, skunks and the ever-present squirrels, chipmunks and snakes add to the whole experience.
sunset A
sunset A
sunset B
sunset B
storm
storm
yard flowers
yard flowers


bugs
Member
# Posted: 29 Jul 2010 14:00
Reply 


some more pix
warbler
warbler
white throated sparrow
white throated sparrow
red necked grebe
red necked grebe
red necked grebe stretching
red necked grebe stretching


CabinBuilder
Admin
# Posted: 29 Jul 2010 14:22 - Edited by: CabinBuilder
Reply 


Thanks for the update, bugs. Great pictures, as always!

dk1393
Member
# Posted: 29 Jul 2010 17:11
Reply 


Very nice place you have. Thanks for the pictures.

RickandRandy
Member
# Posted: 4 Aug 2010 10:04
Reply 


Bugs, you guys have done so much work! I can't get over it... lookin' good! the gravel must make a world of difference.

Love the mouse story... I'm surprised we don't have mice as we sure as hell found lots of mouse droppings as we cleaned the place out when we first got there, wearing rubber gloves, goggles and N95 masks and all.

Wonderful photos too!

R&R

bugs
Member
# Posted: 4 Aug 2010 13:30
Reply 


We were talking to a real estate agent and he said bathrooms really help increase the value of a "home". So on that note we were off to the habitat reno store and found a resin bathroom sink and some 2x4's. Now we have a very posh (??) 3 piece bathroom.....

Sorry about the colour. I call it dieing blue green algae bloom. Someone actually thought they wanted this colour for their deck but returned it. So their mistake is our gain and we snapped it up for half price. As noted above our dock now sports some of this colour. Love mistints.
3 piece bathroom
3 piece bathroom


RnR
Member
# Posted: 5 Aug 2010 19:46
Reply 


Bugs! RickandRandy here, I had our username changed to RnR since it seemed to just naturally become that. We love the bathroom! R has a question, do the flying insects bother you much while showering outdoors? we seem to have had lots of deerflies, horseflies and mosquitoes, although they are likely settling down no. Maybe its because we re more in the forest? again LOVE IT!

R&R

Xplorer
Member
# Posted: 6 Aug 2010 15:18
Reply 


We hang our solar showers from a pulley system hung from our barns rafter. We use a horse stall mat (made od recycled rubber) to stand on. Keeps the bugs away.

MikeOnBike
Member
# Posted: 6 Aug 2010 17:46
Reply 


Our solar shower, complete with pulley.

Shower made from scrap lumber

My wife really likes your 3 piece bathroom ensemble. I think she has a couple of projects for me.

any
Member
# Posted: 13 Aug 2010 08:56
Reply 


Great, I never knew this, thanks.

bugs
Member
# Posted: 26 Aug 2010 10:01
Reply 


Had a significant event happen at the property. Our neighbour was able to bale some alfalfa off our crop land. We are pseudofarmers which means the various levels of government have to consider the land agricultural and not a recreational acreage. Means a great deal re property taxes etc and we will have a tiny income from the property.

We "lost" a lot of land this year with the high rainfall (more than 200% of normal). The google pic was taken around 2005. The blue line is where the main water bodies have extended this year. Thankfully our yard is on a hill about 30 feet above the pond level and we chose as much high ground for our driveway as we could.

With all the moisture the hazelnuts produced a large harvest much to the enjoyment of the squirrels and chipmunks.
first bale
first bale
2010 water area
2010 water area
chipmunk eating hazelnut
chipmunk eating hazelnut
Syrphid
Syrphid


RnR
Member
# Posted: 26 Aug 2010 10:22
Reply 


Very cool Bugs, It must be nice to know your crop land is producing something useful.

spelk1
Member
# Posted: 26 Aug 2010 10:31
Reply 


Hi all, just wanted to say hi and comment on what a great site this is. Bugs, we just closed on some property south of you, by Good Spirit lake. Will be building a 12x16 'shed' there until we can get our main cabin up. Can't wait to get out there and see some of the same wildlife you are!

Kevin

bugs
Member
# Posted: 26 Aug 2010 10:33
Reply 


Yes RnR it is kind of good especially re the taxation.

But the way we look at it even when the land was idle it was still valuable habitat. Last year we counted six pairs of killdeers nesting on it and there were a host of weeds err wildflowers plus big game and small animals (judging by the tracks) that were using it for grazing and foraging.

I think only people/generic society try to create vacuums with their sterile buildings, asphalt and pavement. And then these same people try and designate parks which are spa'ed (ie sprayed, manicured, tinted, blow dried, and buffed... even lipsunctioined!!!) to develop a metaphor.

bugs
Member
# Posted: 26 Aug 2010 11:06
Reply 


Hey spelk

Congrats re the purchase.

Hope you start up a thread and keep us posted on your progress.

Will be interesting to compare notes as the time goes on.

RnR
Member
# Posted: 26 Aug 2010 11:46
Reply 


Congratulations Spelk! yes keep us posted.
RnR

bugs
Member
# Posted: 26 Aug 2010 12:18
Reply 


Forgot to mention Spelk1

There is a series on SCN (if it is still on the air) called A year on 40 Acres. There are 12 episodes related to the monthly changes on this guys property near Balgonie in the southern aspen parkland. We found it very enjoyable and interesting to compare his wildlife and experiences with our place. Our place is just a few miles from boreal forests.

We enjoyed the series so much we purchased the dvd's. Nice to see something home grown.

bugs

RnR
Member
# Posted: 22 Sep 2010 21:26
Reply 


Hey Bugs! We require an update... nothing much to report here, just loaded and unloaded 3 cords of firewood...

RnR

bugs
Member
# Posted: 28 Sep 2010 18:56
Reply 


RnR we too got our 3 cords of birch wood delivered to the house and stacked ready for the winter. Will enjoy sitting by the fireplace while the snow whips around and the temp reaches 30C. Played this old "bugger" out tho getting it stacked. Now that there is no real large lumber/pulp mills in SK anymore the birch is coming from MB.

As to our little shed.

Most of our time since our last post has been spent clearing trails when it is cool, although we were rained out for a couple of weekends. We have also been building a number of benches and placing them at strategic places along the trails to rest (we are getting to that age.... You can never have enough benches) and just sit and enjoy the views and listen. This year the aspens and birch are making the place ablaze with yellows and oranges after the few mid Sep frosts we have had.
yard view
yard view
bench in old pasture
bench in old pasture
bench on north trail
bench on north trail
driveway colours
driveway colours


bugs
Member
# Posted: 28 Sep 2010 18:58
Reply 


The wet weather has produced a host of mushrooms of all types and colours.
fungi A
fungi A
fungi B
fungi B
fungi C
fungi C
fungi D
fungi D


bugs
Member
# Posted: 28 Sep 2010 19:01
Reply 


Some deer mice infiltrated our perimeter and got under the shed and then gnawed their way into the walls and ceiling. They also got into the interior through the hole we ran the solar wires through. We plugged the outside hole when we put the wires through but did not think to do the inside. The mice had a couple of weeks to go through the stuff inside and carry enough insulation through this little hole and under the bed to make a nest. Luckily they did not get into the single malt!!! We now have the inside hole caulked with mesh over it and all the cooking utensils etc are in plastic (mouse proof ???) boxes. Still the mice are doing their song and dances all night in the walls and ceiling. We try to make as much noise during the day to keep them awake but they seem to be heavy sleepers. Short of using claymore explosives we are slowly checking and rechecking all possible openings along the mesh skirting and caulking or meshing the holes. Eventually we will either seal them in or out. At least they are not white mice aka extensions of hyper-intelligent, pan-dimensional beings in our universe or they would continue to experiment on us.

We met another neighbour. He runs cattle on 720 acres across the road from our place. He mentioned last winter he saw three wolves trotting down the road by our place and cougar, lesser cats and bear are seen or their tracks are seen regularly. So we have quite the wild frontier out there. Last weekend, once the winds calmed down, it was a steady stream of flocks of geese flying south over our yard. Quite spectacular to watch.

It seems we spend a great deal of time just sitting at the picnic table or porch and watching. We watched a bald eagle hunting the ducks and coots on the slough and the vultures (the pair had at least two chicks this year) are still around soaring. The eagles and vultures use the hill our yard is on to get some altitude so they were often beginning to soar just above the tree tops. Quite incredible to see them so close

The other evening while I was cooking our steaks on the fire pit I looked over the pond and saw this big wake in the water. Thought someone had launched a boat into the pond. But then in the binoculars I could see the bow of the wake were antlers.
Bald eagle
Bald eagle
"We're not dead yet!!!"
"We're not dead yet!!!"
moose
moose
yellow rumped
yellow rumped


Kithera
Member
# Posted: 29 Sep 2010 10:26
Reply 


Your always post such beautiful pictures and I really like the H2G2 reference.

bugs
Member
# Posted: 14 Oct 2010 19:08
Reply 


We have been getting away to the "cabin" for long weekends (nice being self employed!) the last while. With warm temperatures we have quit working and are just sitting back and enjoying the place.

We are still dealing with the mice in the walls but it appears the peppermint and cedar has kept them out of the interior. Cayenne pepper is the next thing we are going to try to get them to vacate.

I built a stone compass on our highest exposed hill and placed a bench there so we can enjoy good views of our pond and property from this vantage point.

As usual the wildlife continue to entertain us whether it be meeting skunks at the outhouse in the middle of the night, watching a weasel hunting or the waterfowl loafing in the pond. There seem to be a family group of three bald eagles hanging around the pond looking for a meal. We had a curious great horned owl fly up into a tree next to us while we were looking through the telescope. Not sure what it was thinking.

All in all a very enjoyable fall. Soon we will have to get back to clearing trails for snowshoeing this winter.
compass
compass
sunset
sunset
coot and ruddy duck
coot and ruddy duck
moose
moose


Gary O
Member
# Posted: 14 Oct 2010 21:14
Reply 


Bugs-

You have a great knack in capturing the remarkable flora and fauna in your area, and the sunsets, nature's sedative. Mighty mighty nice.
The shot of cumulus (page one), mirrored on your pond, demostrate balanced perspective, again remarkable.

Thank you for sharing it all.

Encore!

Gary O'

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