What a difference a day makes!

[DEC2020] We had our first “official” (as defined by Environment Canada) Winter Storm last week. Not that a big dump of snow is anything out of the ordinary up here… we’re in the snow belt of both Lake Huron and Georgian Bay, depending which direction the wind is moving. So I thought I would try…

Thanks, Sun!

[NOV2020] Given that I am living off-grid and solar-powered here in Canada at a latitude half-way to the North Pole, it’s a different life compared to off-gridders in Arizona or New Mexico, especially this time of year when the days are short, the sun is low, and (living between two large bodies of water) there’s…

Trail to the Rising Sun

[OCT2020] Living surrounded by woodlands is lovely. But you don’t get much in the way of sunrise or sunsets. Several years ago, I added a short trail to a semi-open view of the western sky that offers great sunset views particularly during the weeks preceding and following the Equinoxes. With a little help from a…

Bleeding Tooth in the Forest

[AUG2020] There are a great variety of fungi on the property, especially in spring and autumn. Some are beautiful, some are “ugly”, some are massive (see blog post Aliens Emerging), and all are intricate. And some are downright scary! In early August I came across these along a path through the spruce tunnel in the…

Shower with a view, or not

[JUN2020] Restrictions on short-term rentals (e.g., Airbnb) relaxed a couple weeks ago. I try to approach hosting professionally so, proactively, developed a COVID-19 risk mitigation strategy. Potential guests can be clear on what is being done and make their own assessment as to whether that is sufficient. In addition to a minimum 3 day (72+…

Leaf-Out!

[MAY2020] “Leafing Out” is the wonderful time of the year when the forest turns lush and green, as the trees manifest the leaves they have been saving up as buds for many months. The fresh new “leaves” in the picture at left may look more like needles… and they are… but they belong to the…

Family Lodging

[APR2020] There are several grand old maples on the property, the kind so large that even two people could not encircle it holding hands. One of them has been rotting out its core for a few years, and this spring an enterprising raccoon mom-to-be realized that with a little “fix up” work this would make…

We’re In Deep

[FEB2020] Though the snow came early (see NOV2019 blog post) it’s turned out to be a pretty gentle winter this year–in terms of both temperature and snowfall. That is, until Feb 27+28 when we were visited by what the weather forecasters refer to as a “Texas Low”. I guess only big things come out of…

A Cool Reflection

[JAN2020] I am humbled by the delightful words guests choose to write in their Airbnb reviews but, for a host, the biggest compliment of all is when guests make a return visit. My first return visit was by a lovely young couple who were just my third guests after I began hosting 4 years ago….

The Longest Night

[DEC2019] The winter solstice, when we due to the earth’s tile farthest away from the sun, occurred yesterday evening. The short days and long nights make this a magical time, and in some way more introspective and inward than the bright, lively, long days of summer. Though, coupled with the low angle of the sun,…

Winter Arrives

[NOV2019] I have two “cover” photos I use for our cabin rental listing at airbnb.ca/h/off-grid-retreat which I alternate depending on time of year. I switch to the winter photo when that is more likely what guests will experience when they book. And I usually end up switching to the summer version when I finally get…

Solvitur Ambulando

[SEP2019] A major project here over the past 9 months has been the design and construction of a meditative walking labyrinth through the forest. With history dating back 4000 years and found in some form in most religions and spiritual traditions, a labyrinth (as distinct from a maze) is unicursal, having only one path. There…

Very Berry

[JUL2019] The wild berries are a bit late this year, I guess on account of the long spring and sometimes cooler summer temps, but now that they have appeared they are in bountiful abundance! Both red and black raspberries can be found all over the property, and are easy picking with a little patience. I…

Bug Wisdom

[JUN2019] The main nuisance insects here are mosquitos and deer flies (nothing to do with deer ticks, which can carry lyme disease). Black flies do turn up briefly in mid-May but only for a few days. Mosquitos arrive in late May or early June, with deer flies usually a week or two later. They begin…