Sunday, February 24, 2013

More x country

Mostly we see one another's backs!
We start out in a group, but ultimately, each must do it alone.

One of the things I enjoy about x-country skiing is the hills. The trails at Hardwood all have names based on Olympic Skiing sites. The hill names are designed to intimidate you. After trekking up Sochi, we came to the Eliminator.  That's not the bad part, going down, the bad part is climbing back up.  I should have known that anything called the 'Berlin Wall' on the map would be hard to climb.  All I can say, is that my heart got a good workout that day. 
It's not the downside....
Yes, it goes straight down!

The wine and cheese made up for the exercise, and the good company was the icing on the cake!
but the upside, that gets you!

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Xcountry Skiing

Our cabin for the weekend - lovely.
The view across the lake.  Great skiing, you just glide along! The weather was -20 C but you don't notice when you are skiing.
The dining room in the main lodge. Just a hop and a jump from our cabin, but you had to wear your winter gear for the walk across.

21 intrepid skiers had a great 'retired weekend' (Sun, Mon. Tues.) in Huntsville. Bright, sunny days more than made up for the cold weather. The group was very convivial and we even played Scrabble! Sigh, perfect!

Setting off on the East River Trail. There were 21 of us and yet we didn't run into anyone else.

The warming hut where we ate our packed lunch from the lodge.  It had a wood stove with drying racks over the stove.  Picnic tables were provided for lunch. 

The winding river.

Time to take the skis off and investigate.  A bridge over the river afforded a great view.

Bread crumbs from our lunch to lure the wildlife.
Now those are happy faces!.

The highlight of the day for my XC buddy was feeding the chickadees.  Those noisy little birds demand attention. As we rested at the crossroads pondering which way to go, a chickadee landed on XC buddy's hat just to let us know there weren't many seeds around. So after lunch we had to go back with our crusts.

A little red squirrel was desperate for a piece of the action. It was so fast, it darted in and out like it was in some Disney cartoon.  You could only locate it by its chatter. 

Winter Snow

View over the back fence
Gotta keep the deck  clear for winter grilling!

Well, the storm hit and we have more snow than we have had for a long time.   We got 25 cm over Feb. 8 and 9.  It's more snow than the Toronto area has had in one day for 5 years.  It sure looks pretty today, though. This is the kind of winter I remember from my childhood.  Lots of bright sunny days with lots of snow.  We played outside for hours. Of course, that was in Montreal.  I even enjoyed shovelling today. (It does help that the Handyman had the snowblower out to do the driveway and the heavy plug of snow pushed in the end of the driveway by the snowplows.) Here in the GTA, Lake Ontario seems to cast a grey pall over the landscape for most of the winter.  Rain is on the way over the next 2 days, so it will all melt away, and be back to blah. 

Friday, February 1, 2013


Miscanthus sinensis "Huron Sunset" planted at Riverwood Conservancy, Mississauga

I took these shoots this morning after an 8 AM meeting. Even in winter this grass shows its colour. You can see the faint reddish colour of the three grasses in the forground.  I believe it is Karl Foerster  beside it.  I was really anxious to see this grass 'in the flesh' so to speak. In the fall it had beautiful colour - almost purple at the base. It is one of the taller grasses and clumps up, so I am eager to see its development over the seasons.  

Pennistum alopecuroides 'Little Bunny" planted in the Enabling Garden at Riverwood conservancy. Mississauga
This grass in on the opposite side of the path at Riverwood. You can see how effective the planting is. I've forgotten the name of the Landscape Architect to credit.  I will try to get the information. This little grass is relatively new cultivar and I haven't seen either of these in the nursery near me.  It is a member of the fountain grass family. This "little Bunny' grass had such beautiful, plump flower head in Fall that looked great for months.  It grows into small clumps, so I will be anxious to watch it mature. It is only about 20 cm  (8 inches) high and 45 cm (18 inches) wide.

I'll keep you posted with pictures through the seasons!