Birds · Mammals · Winter

2nd Annual Winter Visit

Yesterday we finally got the weather we have been hoping for to make a winter visit to the cottage this year. It is so nice to see it in the winter, when the leaves are off the trees and everything is more open.

DSC_8050 cottage

It is normally hard to see the cottage from the lane way as we drive in because it is behind the trees, but yesterday we got a great view. We were surprised to see the lake was still frozen. This view really gives a good idea of how the land lies, except that you can’t see what is land and what is water! Between the two tree lines is the part of the bay next to our cottage. We don’t see much of that part of the bay because there is a tree line between it and our cottage. Also it is mostly full of reeds in the summer, so you don’t really see the water either. In this picture it looks quite a large area, but it doesn’t seem that big in reality because you don’t see a large expanse of water and all around the edges is marshy too.

The other thing that this picture demonstrates better than any other photographs I have taken is the slope on our driveway. You can really see how steep it is looking at the slope coming down to the cottage here. There is another route in to the cottage between the trees on the left of the cottage, but we don’t have right of way access via that route. Whilst the farmer has said we can use that route if we need to, it is very boggy through there, so not a good route to take.

We had to park at the end of the lane way and snowshoe in across the field, as the snow was too deep to drive in. As we parked the car two woodpeckers and then a chickadee welcomed us.

Chickadee.jpg

Like last year, we could see the deer running off in the distance and there was evidence of where they have been everywhere. I was also paying more attention to tracks in the snow this time and we could see evidence of other critters in the snow too.

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It was interesting to see that the deer trail went off to the right because we had left the gate closed. There were some tracks up to the gate, but mostly they took a route to the right.

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As expected, we had to negotiate the gate! I took my snowshoes off to climb over, but my husband just went for it!

DSC_7951 Gate

He has longer legs than me!

DSC_7959 cottage

It was great to see the cottage again after four months of absence.

DSC_9731 back yard

This isn’t quite the same perspective, but it illustrates how we just don’t get to see the lake at the side of the cottage when the leaves are on the trees.

We ate lunch in the cottage, but it was -3C, so apart from our hot cup of tea to keep us warm, we were a little chilly and didn’t want to spend too long in there.  It wasn’t worth getting the fire going.  By the time we warmed the place up we would be leaving.  However, while we were in the cottage we did have a treat.  Four deer walked past on the lake.

DSC_7965 deer

They were probably the ones we saw heading off when we first arrived. I am guessing they walked behind the cottage and came around from the end of the bay there. We didn’t trust the ice as this winter has been so mild, but I guess the ice was strong, as they didn’t seem to have any issues walking on it. Even so, we didn’t take our chances!

DSC_7978 deer

They did keep looking our way, so I am guessing they were aware that we were in the cottage.

DSC_7997 deer running

Eventually they seemed to get spooked and they ran off.

DSC_7998 deer running

That was such a joy to see! It was interesting that only three ran in this direction and the other ran into the trees. A little later those three came back and headed off to join their friend. It was lovely to see and certainly made our visit all the more thrilling!  The other thrill we had was on our way out we got to see a beautiful red-tailed hawk. It flew right in front of the car and gave us a fantastic view of its red tail. What a grand finale to end our day!

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