Living in the Canadian woods and googling doings.

Here's a little video I made last summer which answers the question which a lot of people ask me, What is it you do all day up there?

Scene of the crime
Some would call them doings. The technical term is scat. Whatever you call it - it was residing on our porch sofa when we turned up at the cottage after a long winter. But who was responsible? 
Now it might not be your idea of a rural idyll to look at pictures of poo on your laptop computer while sitting infront of a log fire - but this is what novices to country life need to do. Such are the unexpected tasks of living in a cottage in the Canadian woods. Yes we chop our own firewood with an axe, yes we wear net hats to avoid the bugs and we have a sundowner on the porch each night like a MUCH younger version of On Golden Pond but sometimes you have to know about poo.

I always have a feeling as we prepare to leave in the Fall that hundreds of pairs of eyes are watching us from the woods, eager to get into the cottage. I make my husband walk in first when we return in the Spring. I imagine a family of raccoons sitting on the sofa smoking cigarettes and warming their toes by the fire. They really are that cheeky. As I read our loud that you should get professionals in to clear raccoon droppings (blunt ended, three quarter inch in diameter) as they can be fatal (too much health and safety surely) he explains to me that he swept it up earlier. Oh well, we go back to watching the fire and hope the repairs to the screen are keeping our porch from being a raccoon toilet.

But there is too much beauty around to worry about all that. My rhubarb plants which were just peeking through the soil two weeks ago, are now healthy bushy plants. (were raccoons involved here?) and our shasta daisies are coming on strong.
Meanwhile the ice has disappeared but the lake temperature is officially freezing - according to my husband who waded in.

We once spent a summer asking a friend the lake temperature and noticed it was often around 71 degrees. It wasn't for weeks that we realised the blooming underwater thermometer she was consulting, was broken. Now it's a family joke that we say it's about 71 no matter how cold it feels. It's too early for the morning swim though I'm sure a few hardcore folk are eyeing up their wetsuits.
Listen to my BBC radio features from Quebec on Bear Hunting for Women and Getting Married in the Ice Hotel here. Be patient and give it a minute to load.


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