Sunday, January 29, 2012

Between the slush and rain

Snowshoe in the Greenbelt

We manage to get out here and there and when we can but compared to other years, this winter is not exactly cooperating. The trick is to keep the skis and snowshoes close at hand (read, in the van) and be ready to go at a moment's notice. Oh, and bring the camera.

Skiing the Marlboro Forest Gimme shelter
Skiing the Greenbelt Another foot and the dogs will have free rein
I see red Nature's Chinese lanterns

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Wintry Adventures

Mikey at Ashdaddy Ski time

We finally managed to coordinate our schedule with the Neills' and meet up for a wintry adventure in Ashdad. As you can see from the photos above, things were a little different the last time we were out here at the cabin. Winter has since washed away all the colour and left a wonderland that we were more than ready to take advantage of with our skis and snowshoes.

Friday evening was filled with chatter and adult beverages while the kids tobogganed up and down the laneway in the dark. Come morning Mike and I were not long in purchasing a couple of 4 shot espressos at the Neat Cafe to jump start our day. Cheers for that.

We arrived at the trail head around noon and while most of us opted to ski the short distance to the cabin with our snowshoes in hand, Mikey the mule volunteered to pull in the toboggan loaded with food and drink. From that point on it was a blur of skiing and snowshoeing with short breaks for food and warmth by the woodstove. The sun was toasty warm making the the -10C feel like +10C and we spent much of our cabin time soaking it in on the pond-side porch.

Photos always tell a story, and the story here is that the kids are growing more and more independent. As you'll notice from the pics, our ski and snowshoe adventure teams were always divided into two groups - adults and "children". (Note to self: Ask Maddie for some of her team photos that she snapped with her awesome new camera.)

Reflections of a great winter's day Snowshoeing
Laurel checks the ice The old homestead
Warming up Sunset over the pond

Sunday, January 08, 2012

Snow time


Finally the snow arrived and the timing was right for a family outing on the xc skis. A little backlogged on our list of chores, we opted to stay close to home and hit one of the many trails in the Greenbelt. As you can see, the conditions were great with only the odd rock hiding underneath the freshly fallen snow.

Ski time in the Greenbelt Ski time in the Greenbelt

After some Sunday morning footie, we cooked up a batch of chili and left it simmering on the stove while we hit the trails with some friends. Unfortunately not everyone had skis or snowshoes so we had to go old school... yes, walk. As per usual the birds swarmed us looking for handouts which we gladly provided. Jason was wise enough to plan ahead and came armed with some crushed nuts while my crew had to "borrowing" from one of the many feeders along the way. Hey, these birds aren't picky.

Feeding the angry birds IMG_9561
Penguin Sara Out for a hike with friends

Hopefully the snow stays and continues to pile on covering up the remaining rocks and roots. Is that really too much for a Canadian boy to ask?

Monday, January 02, 2012

A White Christmas

Amber with the girls

One again we made the trek back to Peterborough on Christmas day only this year it was looking like it would be a green Christmas as the snow still hadn't fallen in sufficient quantity in Peterborough to actually stick. Then BLAMMO! We hit the town of Madoc and the snow started to fall. Yeah!!

At first if was fun to watch the flakes as they floated down and melted on the windscreen. Then the wind picked up and the flakes got bigger and bigger. Then darkness fell.

"Oh look everyone, it's like we're in the Millennium Falcon and we've just reached hyperspace." Click. (high beams) "And back to regular speed." Click. (low beams) Yeah, fun. That is until the wind picked up even more and the snow fall turned to snow squall. Then we watched as the black top of the road turned white and all those comforting yellow lines disappeared. Slowed to a 40km/hr crawl the kids asked for another light speed encore as Mom shouted, "No Bryan!" Hearing my given name I knew this was getting serious. The 40km an hour dipped to 30 but like an optical illusion the blowing snow had us feeling like we were doing 110. The occasional drift into the left lane followed by the slump of the wheels off the right shoulder weren't exactly confidence boosting either. Time for the back up plan. Tail behind another car at a speed and distance that would allow me to avoid following him into the ditch. It was a good plan and after a slow 30 minutes we were turning off the highway to my parents' place and Christmas dinner.

And yes, I was one of those eejits wishing for a white Christmas. Um, thanks Mother Nature, now pile it on and leave it be until mid-April.

Enough of the chatter, enjoy the pics.

IMG_9371-2 IMG_9421
IMG_9386 Amber
IMG_9149 Looking at death on a stick
Making a fresh snowman Is that a snow-woman?
Look at the wee boy Dinner chez McMullan

Happy 2012 everyone! Wishing you all health and heaps of happiness.

Christmas touques
Christmas touques