Winter Solstice

Image: Winter at the cabin.

We celebrated our first winter solstice at the cabin today. From here, we can look forward to the days getting longer. I’ve always struggled with the short, dark days of winter, and always feel uplifted as we round mid-winter solstice and start heading into spring.

We’ve been working very hard on two main projects. The first is getting the cabin walls insulated. We are putting in 2.5 inches of pink styrofoam, then sealing everything up with “red” (Tuck} tape. Each wall we complete makes a huge improvement to the warmth of the cabin – not only by preventing heat loss through the walls, but also by sealing up the cracks in the pine tongue-and-groove and stopping air leaks. The second project is splitting and drying wood for our stove. In addition to the load of wood that we were kindly given by our neighbour, we have also searched out several downed trees on the property that are relatively dry, and have bucked them up into chunks. I’ve rediscovered an old skill for splitting wood with an axe – I used to split apple wood for our wood cook stove when I was a young girl in Summerland. It seems that skills learned early in life aren’t easily lost, as I can still be pretty handy with an axe!

We love our Baker’s Choice wood stove. Not only has it been magnificent in keeping the cabin warm, but I have been cooking all our meals on it, and its been doing great. I haven’t braved the oven yet – been too busy to do any baking.

There is something very wonderful about living simply and enjoying nature around us. Even though we are in the depth of winter, there has been lots of bird life around here. The loons are still with us, and we often hear them calling – a very “Canadian” experience. A flock of Canadian geese feed on our beach regularly, and can be seen flying in V’s overhead when they get disturbed. We have lots of ducks sheltering in our quiet bay – mallards, scoters, oldsquaw, buffleheads, goldeneyes, and common mergansers. Recently, a flock of American widgeons moved in, and are keeping us amused at the moment – they sound like a yellow squeaky toy duck, and are very active in the intertidal dabbling head down, tail feathers to the sky. In the bushes around the cabin are fox sparrows, winter wrens, golden-crowned kinglets, spotted towhees, and the occasional Steller’s jay. And of course, we still have Ratchet, our resident squirrel.

Winter solstice 2

Image: Our Cabin in the Snow.