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…

SoundForest

[MAY2019] I have long been fascinated by the sounds of nature, and always enjoyed percussive musical instruments, so it was I guess only a matter of time until inspiration hit to bring them together. Out in the middle of the Red Pines area I’ve fashioned a set-up to suspend wind chimes between trees. Don’t ask…

Dear Deer

[APR2019] Dear Deer, Thanks for stopping by my new trail cam. It seems you are as interested in it as I am, though from different sides of the coin as it were. I’ve bought all kinds of gadgets over the course of my life but this one I think will be one of the best…

Canadian Sunbathing

[MAR2019] Astronomical spring (the vernal equinox) arrived March 20th this year. Meteorological spring arrives March 1st every year—which, living here, sounds rather astonishing but who am I to argue with Environment Canada. The pictures on this page were taken earlier this month. You see, I get to a point each year when I am

Snowshoe Season

[JAN2019] I am declaring it officially the start of snowshoe season here. It’s a somewhat subjective decision… based generally on snow getting to more-or-less the depth of my knee in open areas, but also on (a) how clumsily I move around with just boots on my feet and (b) observing that Oscar, a medium-to-large size…

Moon Magic

[JAN2019] I am writing this Off Grid blog post as I kill some time, waiting for the lunar eclipse coming later this evening. A full moon in winter is always magical here… the combination of a bright moon, dry crisp air, and snow on the ground, means distinct moon shadows and the eerie sensation of…

Christmas Greetings

[DEC2018] To say that 2018 was not a good year for peace is a whopping understatement. On both a macro- and micro-level, the range and extent of harm perpetrated by humans against other humans, and against the natural world which supports humans and all life, has been perhaps unprecedented. Not highly encouraging, and much of…

Winter Preview

[NOV2018] Winter is never a no-show up here. In fact, it was escaping the GTA in search of “real” winter and white snow one weekend ten years ago that led me by chance to find this country place I now call home! It’s just a question of how early it arrives and how long it…

Talking Turkey

[OCT2018] My last guests wrote a lovely review on Airbnb, and mentioned how nice it was to see wildlife both around the property and even right from the Cordwood Cabin they were staying in. Wild Turkeys, in particular, have been common sightings this time of year. These pictures were taken from my front porch the…