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 <3
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.