We (Paul and Kitty Antonik Wakfer) arrived back in Harcourt Park Ontario at the very beginning of the first full week in May. On our first drive for our mail to Wilberforce using the southern route (Burleigh Road), Kitty noticed that a large tree was down and across one of the best blackberry patches we routinely pick in the Park. One fasting day the following week, when it was also not raining, we drove back to this area under the power lines taking with us a collection of hand tools. (We rarely use power tools since productive physical work is excellent exercise - we don't use gyms ;>)
We concluded that the ice, snow and winds broke the tree which fell onto and broke the power lines - a good size blackened area was visible on the downed tree trunk - and then the Hydro One (major Ontario power company) line workers cut the tree off as part of restoring power. However they just left the entire tree right on top of some of the best blackberry cane area. That first day we (mostly Paul) cut all the branches off the large trunk and Kitty hauled most of them across the road and well into the woods; the rest went into the woods beyond the remaining tree stump itself. Then Paul (with Kitty taking over at times) hand sawed the major part of the trunk in two and we rolled (with considerable effort) the pieces down the grade and into the slight ditch alongside the road for later work. A portion of the trunk was still partially attached to the stump; this we managed to push away from the berry patch and back slightly into the woods. It was a lot of work, more than Paul realized we would have to do just to get the tree off the berries. He hadn't actually seen the downed tree on that first drive since Kitty just mentioned it to him as she drove past.
On this second day of work at the blackberry patch (about a week after the first), we managed to get a few rounds cut off one of the two halves of the trunk. It was tougher going because we didn't have a sufficient variety of levers for use with the trunk located as it was. Plus that, the May black flies were an annoyance even with the jackets in place. Only 3 rounds were brought home this day; the remaining 1 from the 2nd double cut was left to serve as a support for next time.
The same week as above, we noticed a (at least one) robin pecking around our yard and then busily at work building a nest in the tree closest to the kitchen window. Unfortunately after about 2 weeks we no longer saw any robin activity in the nest and wondered whether the site had been assessed as inadequate by one of the mates. Maybe our activity outside was just too much. (More on robins)
The last day of May was an extremely interesting one for the weather extremes.
It was a cloudy chilly morning, and before 11:30am the showers became a hail storm. The temperature recorded on our deck was just a couple degrees above 0C.
The hail squall was just that - sudden and violent, but short lived. These two shots were taken less that 5 minutes after the previous one. While the temperature had not risen, the winds were near calm and the sun was shinning.
And so ended our first month back in Harcourt Park Ontario for 2009.