Today Mothers Day was set in a dense fog, a splendid day for a walk in the tranquil outdoors. I strapped Silas to my back and off we went into the obscure mist. As we crossed the field we could hear Juncos chirping to each other, likely busy catching insects in the wet grass. The cackling of a Northern Flicker echoed through the trees as we entered the forest. Our destination was the Brook winding its way through the forest.
Once we reached the brook Silas was excited to throw rocks and dump handfuls of wet sand into the water. If he had his way we would have stayed here all day, digging in the sand and pitching rocks, but as with anything fun it must come to an end.
When we were done with the play we washed our hands and off we went again to explore the surrounding forest. We left the babbling brook behind and headed back into the woods, it’s important to keep moving otherwise the black-flies will accumulate and start feasting.
As we came out of the forest we discovered a small patch of snow, the vestige of a once 8 foot deep drift deposited there just over a month ago. Silas was anxious to get out of the carrier and play in the snow, again he would have liked to stay here forever but we had to get back home.
The fog had dissipated considerably from when we had first trekked into the forest. A gentle breeze now greeted us as we crossed the field.
The fresh air, play, and steady bouncing motion of the carrier always puts Silas to sleep on these outings. Time to get home so he can have a good nap. When we arrived home Mama had also had a good nap ….. a relaxing and well deserved rest for Mama on Mothers Day.
We’ve finally had a spell of nice weather with temperatures reaching plus 18 Celsius yesterday. When the weather turns nice like this it always seems that there are endless things to get done. Most pressing now is the preparation to start construction on the house.
I’ve been able to get onto our property and have begun working in the woods again. A few trees must be removed since they are far to close to the buildings and will inevitably topple over. They are valuable building material and will become important components in our new home. For now I just peel them in preparation for milling at a later date. The thinner poles will be used for fencing and other landscape components around the property. The new clearing will become our garden area.
Snowdrops and Crocuses have been in bloom for some time and very soon a flurry of daffodils will explode with color through last years brown leaf litter. A pleasing sight and a reminder to take a moment and enjoy the simple beauty and peace surrounding us in our busy life.
Yesterday we spent a day with our kids and the students from the Middle River School visiting a farm in Margaree that makes Maple Syrup. It was a fantastic outing and everyone enjoyed themselves immensely. Even though we home-school, our kids have been invited to participate in activities at this little school. It provides wonderful interaction for them and we will integrate them into this local two classroom school in September.
With Silas strapped to my chest we joined the troop and slowly hiked up the mountain following the Tap Line winding through the maple forest. The trail gradually steepened as we ascended and the main Tap Line came in handy for many, assisting the ascent up the steep section.
The kids had a blast and as you can see Angela (the Middle River School principle) is also beaming on the hike. There are 600 maple trees tapped on this slope providing an abundance of sweet nectar for many future pancakes and other delights.
Everyone, both young and old, made it up the steep grade. The descent back down a side trail was much easier. A wonderful reward awaited us at the bottom. After having some snacks/lunch we were greeted to Maple Syrup Taffy. A pot of hot maple syrup was brought out. Everyone made a clean snowball and some hot syrup was drizzled on top. With the help of a wooden stick the cooled syrup was wrapped around the end creating a delicious sweet natural lollipop.
We also had an opportunity to bottle some fresh syrup and without any hesitation we purchased one.
Later in the afternoon I picked up some local farm eggs and made homemade pancakes topped with what else but fresh Mountain Nectar (Margaree Maple Syrup). A SWEET day overall in Cape Breton.
We started this forest project after seeing so much of the forest around us being cut down. We once enjoyed our hikes through these lush forests with our children, the beauty of the moss, lady slippers, nests and so much more to explore. Much of this is now gone., but we can do our part and give back and so can you. The trees that are being planted in this new forest will never be cut down and will contribute to a renewed Boreal Forest environment.
A big thank you for all the contributions so far.
Another reason for this initiative is to help offset the shipping aspect of our products which has always been of concern to us. It was so disheartening to send out single item parcels on a daily basis knowing full well that the same customer would be ordering more single items from me later on or from other sources elsewhere in North America. Think about the impact this shipping creates overall. When I send out one item through the mail, I am using envelopes, cello packages, tape, shipping receipts and lets not forget the gas required for this one item in it’s delivery. We feel this is far too much embodied energy required for just one item, what a waste!
To make a positive change that will directly impact our concerns with shipping I am in the process of phasing out single item shipments. The Turn A New Leaf Designs shop will now have listings of larger quantity diapering items and accessories. This does not include the already large items like bedding. To further contribute and enhance our natural environment and as an incentive for our clients we instituted this “Plant a Tree” concept.
We are making this change within our business to better ourselves, our lifestyle, you as our customer and most importantly the world we all share.
Once again the Once-ler has been up here on the Mountain wreaking havoc amongst the trees. The destruction has been somewhat more devastating and thorough this time, totally displacing and destroying a small Watershed and altering several other natural drainage’s. Adding insult to injury MacMillan Mountain Road has also sustained a major pummeling with the heavy equipment and trucks. It’s quite the obstacle course trying to avoid both potholes and large debris everywhere on the road. It definitely demonstrates that our public roads are a” Free for All” for these contractors with their “Hit and Run” method of forestry. The reprehensible fact is that the wood from this – and other clear-cuts of this nature- is destined for processing facilities that have FSC Certification.
The picture above demonstrates the complete disruption and upheaval that is created by the heavy equipment tearing through the forest. It will take many years before this tract of land is able to begin regenerating and once again sustain anything resembling a viable forest environment. The 4 foot wide ruts left by the tree skidder/forwarder have created deep murky, festering pools – up to four feet deep – in place of the natural seeps and runoffs that once contributed to the lower Rice Brook watershed. The debris on this lot is piled three, four and five feet deep in many places. How many years will this require to regenerate? This demonstrates one of the reasons why I am not a proponent for FSC certification and believe it to be a misleading farce at “Green-Washing” the public.
Santa is sure to find some good branches to put in this contractors stocking from this lot, along with the coal I hope he will get.
Time is flying us by. So very much to do, get done and think about.
I decided to walk papa’s lunch down to our land and see how things are coming along. Each time I go, I still need to remind myself that this land is ours. After 11 years of wishing and dreaming, we own our part of heaven.
My favorite part of the walk with our children is our driveway.
Papa had to clear this out first to get to the perfect spot to build our home.
This OLD road is still closed in as you pass the spot where we have cleared.
I see many adventures ahead with our children exploring these parts.
At the end, there is a stream where there once was a bridge.
Hanna and Liam love climbing the mounds of roots that had been torn out from the clearing.
I can’t wait to burn them but for now they serve as forts and secret hide outs.
My days are hard homeschooling 2 kids and chasing a crawling baby. Keeping our home organized, feeding everyone and still trying to run my studio.
Some days I want to pull my hair out and give up…. then I see papa.
Silas is standing while holding onto furniture now. He is so proud and excited to see things from a different level. It’s time to support his tiny feet. Giving him grip and a bit of extra help. Supporting his first steps can become expensive if you are looking for Eco friendly shoes or leather and suede ones. Another reason why I love thrift shops.
I found theseSee Kai Runbaby shoes in never used condition. Saving me a lot of money. What a great find at the perfect timing.
I feel it very important to have well made shoes at any age. It’s the one thing we pay good dollars for but when you can find them new for a few dollars, I glee from ear to ear.
With Silas and his new freedom to explore, we now need to move things around and up high so he can roam around without us telling him, “NO! don’t touch that”.
I love his expressions as he absorbs more of our environment.
Today began as all other previous days this summer, with the cheerfully chirping of birds in the woods and meadows, bees buzzing among the flowers and a gentle breeze rustling the leaves in the forest. The tranquility was abruptly interrupted as the roar of a diesel engine came to life at the entrance of our driveway. The birds stopped chirping and the breeze was filled with the foul smell of the diesel engines exhaust. A sickening cracking & snapping of shattering branches and trees began reverberated across the mountain as the forest was being attacked with the awful whine of a Tree Harvester (aka … Tree Killer). A 25 Acre parcel of land at the lower end of our driveway was sold in May and the owners have decided to rape it for a small profit. ( There is no polite way to say what is being done to the forest there)
Our driveway will never be the same again and the pleasant strolls we’ve enjoyed along this stretch of road will now be marred by views of devastation. The tracks of this monster are grinding the vegetation into a disgusting pulp and covering it with a thick mass of crushed and shattered branches and debris. Where the machine is sitting in this photo was one of the largest plots of Pink and White Lady Slippers on the Mountain. ( Any wonder why this plant is considered rare??) The kids and I have walked through these woods many times, enjoying all the wild things which make their home here, including a family of Spruce Grouse and a Nesting Red Tail Hawk. The other day while driving up we saw a coyote dashing across the road into the woods after spending the day feasting on strawberries in our field. These animals and others will definitely be displaced along with all the song birds nesting in this forest.
A final view of our driveway before it will be forever changed. 25 Acres of destruction will ensue, you can not imagine the heaviness in our hearts. It is truly a Sad Day on the Mountain.
Don’t miss out on these organic newborn sets. Only a few will be made with this organic German made knit.
Certified organic hemp fleece and terry. Unbleached elastics at the legs and back. These are side snap design with a center fold down for babies cord. Comes with a 3 layer hemp doubler. Soft, sweet and organic. Makes a wonderful gift.
I’ve been having loads of fun with stripes lately. I prefer natural and simple looks for everything particularly when it comes to diapering. It just makes sense to buy diapering that is gender neutral. Why have cloth diapers and covers that are too boyish or girly. Buying gender neutral diapering saves you money if you plan on having more than 1 child. Clean, natural looks are timeless as well.
These organic Hemp/cotton with an outer cotton stripe fit from birth to potty trained, adding another money saving feature.
I was kept busy completing custom orders for Wool Wraps this week. I love creating these and the woodland motif is my favorite. We live here in the Highlands so our surrounds inspire me to make these. Not only our surroundings, but my children and Husband. Many German books and tales include stories of woodland animals and characters.