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Getting to Know the Terrain


By Lori


There is more to see than meets the eye. The snow is not deep, and walking is not difficult..but you must keep your wits about you because holes and logs can trip you and leave you sprawling in the snow.

This is the trail leading up to the lookout. And it looks like there is still plenty of work to be done to give easier access to the higher ground. The sun only climbs over the ridge near midday in winter and the light is filtered through the conifers and the old oaks, maple and birch throw long shadows.

It is quite cold today…in the minus 20’s C. and the batteries in my camera died just as I reached the small cleared area near the top of the trail.
I am trying to imagine a little cabin tucked into the ledge of rock below the lookout. I think that for the comfort level required by older folk, that a cabin for resting and a cuppa is a necessity. it will be connnected by a wooden walkway to the telescope platform. Nobody wants to stumble around in the underbrush when the stars are out. Safety first. lol.

Next trip I will be prepared with extra batteries, because in the remainder of the trek I found two huge derelict golden birch that I want to photograph, and the huge stump of an aspen, the top of which, was wedged between a large maple and an even larger hemlock…about 15 feet off the ground. Dangerous.

The rest of it had been cut up and removed…but I guess whoever was cutting it fell it the wrong way…and just took what they could get easily and left the mess just hanging there… sad.
There is also a thicket of small spruce…so tight that I couldn’t walk thro it. They are so closely integrated that only the top most of their branches have any needles…the lower branches are interwoven, dead and brittle. Some judicious culling will produce a lovely little thicket.
I stood in the silence for a while, until my breathing was back to normal, and heard the whir of tiny wings above my head…I think the proper name for the Chickadee, is the Boreal Chickadee..if so, these were the boreal type.
Silent little hunters, checking out the nooks and crannies in the bark of the trees for insects and cached seeds. They are quiet but the odd melodic “chick-a-dee-dee” tells a person they are there.
Unlike the Chickadee, the other forest bird shreiks “Thief! Thief!”. The Flash of a Bluejay amongst the branches is such a bright blue that it’s like an advertisement…I’m here…don’t mess with me! They have found the feeder that I put out for the chickadees and sparrows…and they are very plentiful…Usually they are not given to flocks…but I have heard what seemed like many different calls..all screaming at once. I wonder what the excitement was…perhaps they had made a kill…(they do take smaller birds), or perhaps a cat or a fox was a little too close.
The evening is approaching …the days becoming longer.
It is now 5 pm before the sun goes down and the spring equinox is only two months away. The clouds have returned and hopefully that means it won’t be as cold tonight as it was last night.

More blog posts by Lori

Previous post: A New Year and a New Outlook

Next post: Second trip to the top...



A lovely walk that looks, lol about the Chickadee shrieks theif theif thanks for sharing you wonderful walk and showing what surrounds where you have moved to.

31 Jan, 2011


what an incredibly beautiful place, i thought narnia was picturesque but this is wonderful

1 Feb, 2011


There's something special about quiet snow-filled forests isn't there? I love to see the tracks of what I know is there watching me when I walk without the snow - and I'm always on the lookout for the shy Iberian Brown Bear - much easier to spot when it's been snowing (I'm told! I live in hope!) Enjoy many walks in your lovely new region. :o)

1 Feb, 2011


Hi Lori ....loved this blog what a glorious place to live , will you build the log cabin?

1 Feb, 2011


yes nariz i agree, beautiful stillness that snow seems to bring.

i hope you build the log cabin it would be perfect ~ i love that poem by William Butler Yeats:
some of it seems to fit:

I will arise and go now, and go to Innisfree,
And a small cabin build there, of clay and wattles made;
Nine bean rows will I have there, a hive for the honey bee,
And live alone in the bee-loud glade.

And I shall have some peace there, for peace comes dropping slow,
Dropping from the veils of the morning to where the cricket sings;
There midnight's all a glimmer, and noon a purple glow,
And evening full of the linnet's wings.

I will arise and go now, for always night and day
I hear lake water lapping with low sounds by the shore;
While I stand on the roadway, or on the pavements gray,
I hear it in the deep heart's core.

1 Feb, 2011


Lori it looks so certainly are very lucky...but there is a lot of work there, and will look forward to seeing update photos...

1 Feb, 2011


Lovely walk and descriptions, Lori . . . and good for you coping with -20 degrees!! Love the sound of a little cabin, and as Nariz says, the silence of a snow-filled forest is something special. Our light levels are about the same . . . still broad daylight today at 4.45 pm, I'm glad to say, and getting better all the time.
Great to see that poem, Sticki, my Mum knew that pretty much by heart. "midnight's all a glimmer and noon a purple glow" . . just so evocative.

1 Feb, 2011


my mum did too sheila, expect they had to learn it at school?
i love it, something about the feel of the words?

1 Feb, 2011


"And live alone in the bee-loud glade"...

The first time a read this poem I was transported. What a wonderful poet he was. Thanks Stickitoffee, I've just taken down a volume of poetry. Think I'll spend an hour or two with the bard, et al.

2 Feb, 2011


before I wander off to read...thanks everyone for your comments... will be posting the next installment soon as the weather is better...There is a winter storm alert for most of southern Ontario, should be in our area by tomorrow will be a stay-at-home, and keep warm day. I want to get back up the path to take pictures of the trees that the pileated woodpeckers are dismantling...maybe I'll be lucky and get a shot of them at work.

2 Feb, 2011


Sorry I missed your question in the first two comments, Mavis!!!... Yes, I think the cabin will be the spring project. There are a lot of prefab companies out there, making some sophisticated little cabins...but we want the rustic we'll be building it from scratch.

2 Feb, 2011


glad you like the poem lori, i hope you are lucky enough to see the woodpeckers.
greenthumb has a lovely cabin ~ its on the photos i think ~ dont know if its the sort you are planning
looking forward to your pictures and blogs.

2 Feb, 2011


I really should ask Gt about his cabin...thanks for the suggestion Stee....

3 Feb, 2011


Its all so interesting, like reading a book Lori. Perhaps you should do that, write a book when the weather won't let you go out. Like the others, I look forward to reading more.

3 Feb, 2011


wow what a wonderful place Lori.....:-)

4 Feb, 2011


Cinderella: Thank you for the nice compliment.. lol...there is a lot of publishing on the net. This blog is public...but I never thought about a book!
What a lovely idea..thanks Cinderella.
Sandra: Thanks very much Sandra,I totally agree! I love it! We are under an 8" blanket of new crisp powder snow... the ski hill operators must be in heaven!

4 Feb, 2011


A touch of paradise for you's good to see you already making plans (your cabin sounds like a fabulous idea and it will fit in so nicely with the wooded area).

12 Feb, 2011


First things first, I guess, Whistonlass. I would love to start work on the cabin immediately but it makes more sense to clean up the area first..and when the snow is gone we can see the lay of the land. Want to attach a platform for telescopes to the cabin.

12 Feb, 2011

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