Mayflies!

Here is the post everyone has been waiting for!

(Yeah right!)

Every year at our cabin we experience one or two mayfly weekends. A mayfly weekend is pretty hard not to notice. The sides of our cabin are coated with mayflies. There is a constant buzzing and humming as the mayflies swarm. A step onto the grass sets off another swarm, and if you dare open the door to the cabin the little invaders invite themselves in to fly near the house lights all evening long.

Mayflies

Mayflies

We went to the lake and got swarmed. We tried to rake the flowerbeds and got swarmed.

Mayflies on the fence.

Mayflies on the fence.

We went to check out the noise at our neighbours and saw this…….

Mayflies swarm over the roof.

Mayflies swarm over the roof.

Even sneaking into the cabin meant dealing with these flying creatures. We left the light on at the front and went in the back door in the dark hoping to lessen the number of indoor mayflies.

Mayflies by the light over the door.

Mayflies by the light over the door.

Mayfly weekend is definitely something to see, however remember to keep your mouth closed when outside or you’ll have a not-so-tasty flying treat in your mouth!

What March 30th looks like….

woodlea march 30 2014

The street just as we turn the corner to our house.

I have to admit I can’t quite believe winter is still here. Every time I checked the weather today it indicated the temperature with windchill was -18C. How can this be? The snow in front of our house is still past my knees. The kids are fed up of snowshoeing and winter boots and winter coats and hats and mitts. My daughter wants to go for a “real walk” wearing “real shoes”. My son wants to move to the BC coast and have rain instead.

We went to Tim Hortons today and as we passed the drive-thru line everyone looked miserable. Everyone looked fed up. Everyone looked done with winter.

Coming home we passed a few neighbours. They were shoveling snow……again……or should I say hunched over their snow shovels shaking their heads. Even those with snowblowers are depressed.

It is time for it to stop snowing. It is time to warm up. It is time for spring.

Springtime at the Cabin

Amazingly spring has finally arrived after many, many, many months of winter and snow. It’s fabulous to be out and about shooting in the sunshine. ( Of course I don’t have a lot of choice thanks to a “little” water damage and the following insurance claim, but rumour has it I’ll hopefully be back to some studio shooting in about 2 weeks, but be prepared for a lot of location posts in the meantime….anyways, moan over and back to the post!) Our cabin, and its surrounding area, gives us the opportunity to experience rural life and all its joys and quirks.

view from the club house

Springtime at the cabin is wet….very wet. The image above is taken from our children’s club house at the back of the property. Our lot sits two to three feet higher than the adjacent land, and in the spring we joke about having a lakefront property (without “lakefront” taxes!) as the lot behind us fills with water, right to the fenceline. With the springtime “water feature” we also are treated to a lot of wildlife including birds, deer and frogs….lots of very, very loud frogs. The frogs are so loud this time of year that you can hear them croaking away while inside the cabin with all the doors and windows shut, and this goes on all day and night. We often go out at night just to listen to the show of frogs croaking, birds tweeting and coyotes howling in the distance; it is quite the experience.

spring sunset

While the wildlife is an upside to the wet conditions, the downside is also that there is a lot of ground water and groundwater fills up our septic holding tank overly fast. We are on a septic holding tank, rather than a field, as we are about 100 meters from the lake, so it is a pump-out system (fascinating dinner time conversation! LOL!) This time of year it can mean pump out after pump out. We suspect a crack in the tank, we also suspect if we dig down to repair it we will be opening an ugly “can of worms”, so we’ve decided to take the sensible approach and ignore the situation and pump it out more often.

As if water to the fenceline and groundwater weren’t enough, we also have water hookups to deal with in the spring. We are on a water haul system so springtime means getting our huge tank filled up and then hooking up the pump system. Some years everything goes together well and others…..well it doesn’t. This year there were no fewer than 4 leaks for my husband to solve, but he did it. He may have been soaking wet from head to toe by the end of the experience, and there may have been one significant water explosion, but he did it. Running water a fabulous thing.

first flower of springWith such a long winter it is taking a little while for things to start growing at the cabin. We’ve been raking leaves, planting bulbs and plotting where to build grow boxes and plant more trees. We are always planting trees or building decks it seems. The one little flower in the picture above was the only thing in bloom on our whole property. One tiny little flower. Hopefully this coming weekend we will see a few more signs of growth.

bird on lake isleThe lake has finally thawed a bit in spots. The birds are happily splashing around and making a lot of noise. Our lake is a pretty quiet lake so we tend to get a lot of birds; they nest among the tall grass along the edge plus there are many tiny islands that are perfect for our feathered friends. On years when the lake is high, little channels are created through the tall grass areas where the birds live. The water is usually just deep enough to gently float a canoe or kayak through the channels; here we like to sit quietly and watch the birds from just a few feet away.

birds on lake isle

Springtime at the cabin is filled with days spent outside exploring and doing projects, food cooked on the barbecue, and evenings in front of the fire……..plus a whole lot of water and mud!

The second day of spring?

The second day of spring?

snowy buddha

(Insert laugh here after looking at the pictures!)

winter scenerySnow fall warnings. Gusting winds. A 200 car pile-up on the highway north of here.

birdhouse

The $1,000,000 spent on a bike lane project here in Red Deer, Alberta was well spent!

The $1,000,000 spent on a bike lane project here in Red Deer, Alberta was well spent! It is getting a ton of use this time of year.

The good news is it has now warmed up to -11 (with windchill……..we are in Alberta you know). The bonus is we now have a “winter storm warning in effect“; Environment Canada certainly knows how to brighten one’s day.

frozen apples

fence

Is everyone enjoying global warming as much as I am?

(oh, sorry, “climate change”)

frozen buddha