Kitty's photo taking in much of 2004 was limited to food related items but she made it a point to give the camera a bit of exercise on what turned out to be our last trip to the cottage for the season.
Our main purpose for this visit to the cottage was to take a walk in the woods free of the leaves that obscure the view. This outing was taken only a couple hours after we arrived after the 3 hour drive from Toronto. Paul leads the way along the older and often unrecognizable trails that he used 30+ years ago. Often we'd stop and listen for the sound of grouse which brought back memories for Paul of those hunting days. This time we just noted the different tracks along and crossing our path.
The temperature was actually a little above freezing and the snow melt fed this permanent stream.
There was so much water from melt of earlier snow that we actually detoured through the woods off to the right when we came down the hill so that we could then get back on the path.
Why this tree took the bend it did during its earlier growth isn't evident; but it sure does make an interesting frame for picture taking.
The old paths, rarely if ever used by Harcourt Park residents anymore, have fallen "victim" to numerous young trees and fallen older ones, though this one that was actually uprooted was relatively small. We removed many of the downed branches and small trees, including this one too. We surmise that newer paths chosen largely for the use of off-road bikes and snowmobiles owned by residents (younger than Paul and me) have resulted in this non-use.
[Note by Paul] Actually most of the old paths were created about 30-40 years ago when the area was heavily worked over by loggers. For reasons that I do not know, I have not seen them in the area for a couple of decades now.
We left the path and tromped through the snow where Paul's keen sense of direction told him Long Lake was located. Sure enough, with the deciduous trees bare, Moose Lake is easily seen through the trees.
Further along on our "cross-country" trek, we came along evidence of some busy beaver(s). We could see markings in the snow where the tree had been dragged.
Paul followed the trail of the dragged tree down the hill towards the water. Kitty received his report on his return - beaver settlement on Long Lake.
Three hours up and down hills, on paths and off, in freezing temperature was enough for Kitty, who doesn't deny being somewhat a tenderfoot in the cold. The car was a pleasant sight when we reached it and the cottage with a pot of hot tea even moreso. The next day we kept our walking to the roads closer to the cottage, done after a delicious roast pork dinner.Yams, carrots, cabbage, onions, surrounding 2 pork roasts are covered with sauerkraut and later mushrooms before being put into oven.Roast pork and vegetables is accompanied with green beans and broccoli - applesauce and mustard too. Delicious!
The post-dinner walk consisting of a couple of miles on park road ended back at the cottage with an inspection of the dock. The well-used canoe rests in the remnants of light snow on the dock at the end of an early winter's day. Paul looks for and does see some small bass quietly resting in the shallows. We wonder what they eat during the many cold months and even later when ice covers the surface.
The next morning, December 1 2004, we were awakened to the sound of what we soon realized was snow falling from tree limbs onto the roof.
Paul readies our pre-breakfast pills and potion while gazing out at a totally white world. Paul both admires the beauty of the newly fallen - and still falling - snow and determines that our planned leaving should be moved forward to immediately.
Before Paul packed up the car he first had to clear the vital areas of that pretty white stuff.
Less than 45 minutes later we were backing out of the driveway and on our way. All the beautiful snow in the depths of "cottage country" in Ontario that day turned to rain as we neared Toronto. Later in the month however there was plenty of snow in the city and thoughts of Arizona winter warmth became ever more pleasant.
As the year was coming to a close, Paul and Kitty decided that it was long past time for her to see the well known Allan Gardens in the heart of Toronto. We had parked our car alongside the grounds whenever we went dancing at The Phoenix but had never taken the time to visit this large indoor horticultural conservatory. Our walk began in light snow but the temperature was just below freezing and so the walkways were easily travelled at our regular brisk pace. We arrived in plenty of time to enjoy the gardens and then proceed onto our dentist's office in a large circular route.
The displays in the various temperature and humidity controlled rooms were "amplified" by enormous numbers of poinsettias and topiaries in the shapes of a colorful Yuletide fireplace, Christmas trees and snowmen. Maybe Kitty should have taken more photos, but then we were enjoying just looking, admiring and noting the numerous varieties of the many plants. (The link above provides several good photos of the 5 greenhouses, but enlarging the newly opened windows is necessary.) On the way out we made our "value for value" payment for what we thought at the time (from the description given there) was a privately funded organization, but later we found out is a "free" presentation by Toronto's Park and Recreation Department. Since we already pay a greater percentage of our apartment rent to city taxes than does a homeowner on his effective house "rent", we now realize this value for value payment was, in fact, an error on our part.
The topiary hearth setting was so nice, that when we finished viewing the areas off the west side of the main room we decided to try a self-portrait.
Paul did a better job of picture taking in the large hot houses than did Kitty - sorry for the blurred Paul.
Before continuing on by foot to our dentist, we took the time to get the main Allan Gardens conservatory building - and Kitty - in a picture. Several enormous palm trees, numerous varieties of poinsettias and the lovely Yuletide hearth are just some of the large planted area in this building alone. The connecting buildings, out of sight to the east and west, house different plant types - one even dedicated to cactus and succulents from around the world.
Who would guess how colorful the ordinary cabbage would become when a strain of the plant was developed for its beauty rather than edible quality. These plants, surrounding the evergreens in the two pots behind Kitty can be seen in numerous gardens and decorative pots around Toronto.