Hello and welcome!
These past few weeks have been dark, so dark! Today, after a tumultuous day of wind, rain, hail and snow the sun set at 4:30 pm. Our chickens were resting on their roosts ready to be closed in for the long night. The sun has been elusive and I have grown so accustomed to an ever present fog. I am sitting here by our first wood fire of the cold season, the lights flickering and mourning the death of a tall spruce that the wind brought to an unseemly end.
The mist and varying shades of grey play on the landscape, dance across and make it so enticing! Last week, I took Henry on the ferry and spent some time in North Eastern Nova Scotia with my parents, sister and brother in law. The closest place I can go to an expansive wilderness with little human intervention. I love it there.
It’s strange how I feel when I go out to this place – such a deep connection to the earth. I spend most of my time outside, somewhere. Walking with the dogs, sitting by the river or off to the beach to be with the rocks and waves. All of the above photographs are from our walks or about the house. When it grows dark, we have a homemade meal together (made with many vegetables grown from the soil beneath our feet) and then we sit together and go back in time, where the women of the house knit or mend but of course before an glowing screen.
I was determined to have some woodland fires and at least make a cup of tea regardless of the less than hospitable conditions. When I graduated from STFX, before moving to Toronto, I spent so much time having campfires on the beaches or in the woods. I loved this time and wanted to do it again. However, everything outside was soaking because of our beloved November. My Dad taught me to use resin from the trees on top of birch bark to light a campfire after a heavy rain. Resin is incredibly flammable, I’m guessing to offer some aid in the natural occurring forest fires. I collected the dried, scab like resin that has accumulated over the trees to heal past wounds. I made a base layer of birch park, spruce and fir resin and placed dead branches from the base of spruce to get a fire going. Once I had a decent fire, I began to add live wood (recently felled trees) to my fire. In the end I had delicious pot of piping hot rosehip and spruce needle tea!
Over my past few visits, my Dad has been working on a new barn, made by his own devices. Using lumber he has made himself using a chainsaw and dead trees from around the property, salvaged windows and some nails he has made a beautiful, beautiful building. I hope to write and share more about it and his process in a future blog post, but for the time being, I’d like to share a few photographs ❤
I will return in the winter, the most beautiful cold, stark time.
P.S. And apparently, snowy night – I just went to put Henry outside and there is snow – lots of snow.
7 thoughts on “Cold, Haily, Windy Night”
What a beautiful place you live in Julia. The woods, the walks, the kettle on the fire, the mossy tree roots. Wonderfully described. Me too love all the same things. In our front porch we have a stone build open firewood oven. We use it as much we can, for food, to get rid of dead branches and leafs from the apple trees. And for lots of these cozy evenings gathering of friends talking, smelling and looking at the fire, be present, looking up on the moon…. So precious these moments.
Thank you so much Aina! It’s so nice to hear from others who feel the same way about such simple things. I will look you up on instagram as soon as I use my phone and we can connect there 🙂
I have been a follower on Instagram for a while and love seeing your beautiful knitting. I also knit, love the forest,the ocean and being mindful to enjoy the small moments in each day. I know I will enjoy your words here too! Roxboth on instagram
Thank you so much Charlene! It means a lot to find people who have similar mindsets, especially when one is so use to being bombarded with well the opposite, on TV, Movies and social media. I’m glad you found your way here, although I am not very active with my posts! Especially now with the onset of winter, yesterday we were all day without power 😦
Thanks for taking us along on your trip! Love every photo – makes me long to be there for real! 🌲🐿
Beautiful barn! I loved reading about using the birch resin to start a fire when its damp, and your photos are heartfelt and gorgeous.
Im loving your blog so much, the pictures are amazing