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Late Summer & Fall 2009
At & Near the Cottage

Cottage related projects are something we will likely not soon run short of because it is Paul's legal residence and therefore much more than the "vacation/holiday" home of most owners here in Harcourt Park. We are in need of a (tool & storage) shed, so that is Paul's next major task and, since he wants it to be constructed as much possible from his saved cedar, this requires much planning before "breaking ground".

The shed is currently planned as 10ftx12ft, erected to utilize 8feet of the northeast corner of the house itself, but with no entrance from it. One wall will be made from the cedar that was part of the interior wall and closets we (mostly Paul) removed back in 2004.
Getting the pattern correct to utilize short pieces and maintain strengthOnce trimmed, the log ends will fit into the cap piece on the deck beyond Paul Paul carefully spaced the interior vertical supports and then selected the different length pieces so that placement would not interfere with the wall's finished strength but also best utilize the limited number of logs.
Paul makes sure this corner of the 'wall' is squareSquareness is checked on the 'bottom' too Once he and Kitty were satisfied with the placement, Paul sawed off excess wood.
Kitty marks each cedar piece with it's own placement number for future wall erection Kitty recorded the placement location of each piece, by penciling the row and log number onto the log itself and also noting it in a notebook, just for added insurance. Then all pieces were removed from the deck and stored under the house till next summer.

Kitty got into a photo-recording mood of the both of us in the first part of September.
Kitty & Paul at base of the biggest tree on our propertyBiggest tree on our property - magnificent pine behind usThe house is above us on top of the cliff Paul didn't hesitate to climb out to this rockAnd then he easily just stood up on it and posed for the camera Kitty decided the cedar 'seat' was easier than the rock Paul decided to take another pic

Great looking sunset from the deckWe enjoyed a truly splendid sunset September 11 - Kitty took a first shot from the deck and then,
Spectacular when viewed from down on the dock realizing that it would likely look even better from the dock, hurried down to do just that. It was even more spectacular than one Kitty photographed in late August.
Canadian Geese flying south at sunset Two days later as we ate our fruit cocktail sitting on neighbor Susan's dock, Kitty (having had the foresight to bring her camera) captured this photo of a flock of Canadian geese flying south overhead. A wonderfully delightful sight!

Paul hadn't seen what he looks like without his beard and mustache for many years, so he decided to shave them off - one at a time - and let Kitty record his appearance.
Paul without his beardOn September 22 Paul shaved off his beard - sure does make a difference!

Paul without beard, mustache and glasses - *really* different!But when the mustache was removed the next day, he looked like an entirely different person!! Yes, this really is Paul! Of course, not wearing his glasses alters his appearance too.

The old Leeson Farm is part of Harcourt Park, the private park in Ontario in which Paul has his legal residence. The farm area is now used by park members mostly for skeet shooting, but sometime in the latter 1800s it was owned by a family named Leeson, having obtained the land via one of many government land grants that were promoted in the latter half of the 1800s for the purpose of inducing more immigrants from Europe to settle the still rather unpopulated area of Southern Ontario. Unfortunately the land is very rocky - an actual shelf only a few inches below the surface in very many places - and not very appropriate to most types of farming. Although the Leeson family abandoned the farm (when we do not know), apparently due to lack of successful farming, a number of apple trees survived and younger ones sprouted from some of their apples, either directly after falling or once having passed through a deer or bear. We decided on our first trip to the farm this Fall that since so many of the trees continued to produce at least some apples (many of which we have eaten fresh or turned into applesauce), we would rescue as many as seemed feasible, depending on their location and condition. The following series of photos is of just one of several apple trees from which we cleared encroaching other trees of various sizes and types, both evergreen and deciduous.
Paul has started the 'rescue' process; earlier downed evergreen in foregroundPaul has removed another encroaching evergreenPaul is removing some of the branches of another evergreen to be removedPaul has sawed partly through and pushes on the largest of evergreens to be removedLarge lower branches removed from felled large evergreenFinal task was to leave trunk of removed tree as a support for gangling apple tree during the winter We were pleased with this effort and hoped to find the tree had survived the winter snows, made a bit easier on its gangling outward growing trunk by providing a temporary prop. All the removed trees/branches were dragged off into the woods for eventual decomposition. Lots of work over 2 days in cold weather, just above freezing.

Almonds Paul drops for 'chippie' are preferred to avocado seed piecesThe friendliest critters on or near our property are the chipmunks, at least the ones that comes into our yard. Paul frequently carries nuts with him to feed to "chippie" when s/he comes near - often right up onto our feet. S/he didn't care for the avocado seed pieces we'd left on the rock wall but relished the almonds Paul dropped from his fingers.
Less common black squirrel 'caught' leaving our front deck railingBlack squirrels are the most common type in Toronto while the smaller red squirrels are far more common out here in the northern rural areas. We've wondered if the current black ones had progenitors that hitched a ride with some city resident cottagers in the past. This one was the first we've seen on our front deck. Kitty had to be quick getting the camera to catch it before it left the railing completely.
Red fox hurries up incline towards Susan's cottageKitty was surprised as she sat at her computer next to our very large picture window to see a red fox stroll by headed north across our driveway. She hurried to gather her camera and made it to the kitchen window and just as the fox started up the incline towards Susan's cottage.
Red fox in our yard for 2nd day in rowThe next afternoon in the same hour as Kitty again was at her computer, there was a red fox once again - this time coming in from the road just beyond our driveway. She was a little faster getting to the side door window snapping off several shots as the fox hurried by and again up the incline towards Susan's. This was the least blurred picture taken - Kitty hasn't yet gotten the knack of keeping her camera motionless with wildlife action shots. Interestingly we also saw (from our picture window) in this Fall time frame a fox (this one?) trotting northward up the road with a kill in its mouth (looked like a black squirrel) and a car just patiently trailing behind waiting for it to "exit".

Paul won't let a dead stump hold him backPutting some muscle into turning it upPaul grins, 'Nothing to it!'One of the last major tree-related tasks Paul took on in October 2009 was the downing of another dead evergreen in our side yard, with removal of the stump. Paul wrestled that stump out in less than an hour just using a pickaxe and sledge hammer.

Paul - and Kitty too - got lots of upper body work from the many purposeful tasks we took on while in Ontario in 2009, similarly as in other years. Wood preparing for eventual firewood and, this year, apple tree rescuing are lots of work and good exercise. We enjoyed - and will into the future - the output of both.


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Initially posted 6/1/2010
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