Happy New Year from Gerald at Friendly Forest!
May 12, 2019 While I was neglecting this page Spring has finally come to this land. This morning I was able to watch numerous pairs of ducks flying around and swimming on the pond. Since they are still appearing as pairs I assume they have not yet started nesting. At the same time the Canada Geese pair that successfully defended the nesting spot on the beaver lodge, have started to brood their eggs nearly two weeks ago. This time the goose selected a spot just a few feet down from the top of the lodge and on the side facing the house so I can watch things easily. She simply seems to have found a spot supported by one of the logs the beaver had dragged onto the top of the lodge. I always wonder that their eggs do not roll down into the water when they move around.
The abundance of the other water fowl suggests a shortage of other suitable bodies of water near by as well as a likely safer nesting space. If there are lots of coyotes, fox or raccoons around not too many nests succeed. Later I can expect the ravens to come hunting. They may not know exactly where a nest is, but they fly around the grassy areas around the pond squeaking in their raucous manner trying to cause the nesting parent to move and so be detected. Then they come back to chase the mother duck off the nest and feast on the eggs. Even when a hatch is successful and they make it to the water, I have seen ravens hunting ducklings off the surface of the water like an eagle would. Nature provides many hazards to these birds.
I have not seen sign of raccoons yet this spring. When there is a racoon there will likely be no successful nestings on land. That varmint is incredibly efficient and leaves no survivors. Some years the only water birds to nest successfully were the grebes who have a floating nest out in the water, anchored to an emerging shrub.
On Easter Sunday I was able to host friends and neighbours to an Easter Sunday brunch ... pot-luck style. I proposed a menu list and asked those coming to bring what they wanted to make. We ended up with 20 at table and the food was just great. Thank you for helping me celebrate that day. I also enjoyed the left-over food you packed into my fridge.
Once Easter was past I started to do some work in the shop. The weather turned miserable for the past few weeks so I used my daily activity quota out there. I am now waiting on warm weather so I can do some of the finishing work outside so I do not have to deal with varnish and lacquer fumes indoors. I will post images once that is done.
Earlier this year I was working on my Simply Accounting business program, making entries for the past year etc. As I was doing that I made a journal entry that reversed the credit / debit column. I spotted it when I called up a report and the errant entry stood out. So I went back and did a reverse journal entry ... or so I thought. Instead I made the same mistake I had done earlier. It took me a third time to make the correction as needed. Maybe it was the effect of the Gabapentin that I need to take, but that shook my confidence in what I was doing. I know that I am prone to doing reversals as part of my dyslexia, but usually I correct things without making things worse. As a result this year I submitted my tax work to an accountant and let them file my tax returns. I just handed over my paper records and my laptop that I use for my accounting program and gave them the required passwords. It cost me some money but saved a lot of anxiety. I do not like to mess up my accounts.
One of the things that complicated things for me was that I was removing old or defective products from my inventory. Items that I had relegated to boxes in corners as never likely to be sold ended up heating my shop during the cold days. It was a shame. When I made those items I was proud of them but now know that they have no commercial value. What something is worth is what someone else is willing to pay for it ... on the business end of things. It does not matter how much I might like it, or even how much someone else likes it, if I cannot find a good selling price, it has no commercial value. It is much harder to have that cold attitude about your own creative work than it would about an item you are simply merchandising. Ah well, the things I like now may also end up that way.
March 24, 2019 Planning for our 263 Art Studio Tour for 2019 is underway. We are still open to receiving new members for the Tour. I have been updating the web site but we still need some confirmations before we can create the new Tour Brochure and the Maps to the different site locations.
Click on our logo to go to the web site:
The images I had posted at the end of 2018 were a reasonable depiction of what was happening here at Friendly forest and for most of Saskatchewan ... cold weather followed by very cold weather followed by cold weather ....
Even as the Sun returned to our northern skies we knew that there would have to be a break at some time, and that sometime seemed to have happened two weeks ago. Even though we have returned to colder temperatures there has been considerable melting of the snow that was here since last October.
I did no serious shop work for the three months as it was not worth the effort to heat that space and I had no pressing custom requests.
I am looking forward to spending more time out there soon and will enjoy as much as my persistent back injury will permit.
I have been learning what I can and what I should not attempt. I am also slowly dealing with my doctor's advice to lean how to manage things as the injury is not likely to resolve or things get better. That is a hard thing to consider after so many years of having a very fit and strong body that seemed ready to undertake nearly everything I asked it to do. The double hernia that i got about 4 years ago should have been a good warning to slow things down . Once that issue had been resolved by surgery and time for healing, I was once more feeling great and competent.
When I renewed my handicapped parking permit the other day it was not for the one year time span as before, but for at least three years. That too reflects the doctor's assessment of what I can expect. I am most impressed and grateful to the Saskatchewan Abilities Council not only for managing that program, but also for their assistance to me in providing me with a good wheelchair and walker . These are at no cost to me for as long as I need them, and then they return to the Council for re-use. I asked the manager what rate of eventual return they had on their equipment. He guessed that it was well up in the 90 percent range. That statistic was also impressive.
December 31 2018 Signing off for the year 2018, I decided to post a few of the images I captured with my camera during the month of December. We had many grey days as the Sun continued to visit the Souhern Hemisphere before its Post-Solstice return to this land. Some of those days and nights were with fog and the resulting hoar frost on everything.
There were also a few days, like today, when the Sun did look through our skies at the land it will soon re-visit and the white of a frost-covered forest is framed against a blue sky. It is when one compares the blue skies of this time of year with those of mid summer that one realizes just how much yellow light there is as the low-angled sun light is filtered by the atmosphere. These images were taken close to noon.
A few large aspen that have still survived the beaver attacks
To the North end of the pond
A bit further right of the image above. Note the long shadows from the trees on the South end of the pond.
To the North-East
Near the South East edge of the pond
Zooming in with the camera lense
Zooming out with the camera lens; taken off the edge of the deck
On a dark Saturday morning; the local moose shows itself along the inside of the pond
It pauses for a moment before ramming more of the dead tree trunks and then ambling off into the forest where some suitable browse could be found.