Saturday, December 27, 2008

Oh deer - they are only metres away

The kids and I had fun building a deer blind in the back yard.

Every evening at about 5:30 the deer walk through the woods at the back of the yard. We built a wall and put a sheet over us so the deer would walk right past us.

Worked great he first night when the first group of deer walked close to us. When the second group of deer came close a strange sound that seemed to be coming from behind caught my attention.

I could not resist I had to take a look. When I ducked out from under the sheet it must have spooked the gang of 9 deer. While walking up the hill I dicovered the noise I was interested in was actually the daughters stomach. We should have eaten before we came down.

The next evening 3 deer ran through the yard just as I started to go down to the blind. We waited for an hour for the big gang to arrive, but they never showed.

Roll'n had to sit this one out. The first evening we were here he got to chase the deer, but they are so fast he only get of look at which direction they went and never saw them again. He did not run after them for too long.

Hope everyone is having fun this holiday season.

What kind of trees are these?

Yesterday I went for a nice long walk with Roll'n. We are in Richard's Landing for the holidays. We got on the snow machine trail and walked for a couple of hours. Made a round trip out of it, the GPS tells me we walked more then 9 km.

A very different forest here then what I see around me in Timmins. Shagbark hickory and Sugar maple are not found in the Timmins area. Other trees I know what they are but there are some that I have to collect the buds to take home to confirm what I am looking at. The forest here is mostly hardwoods, I am rusty at hardwood identification.

One other common thing seen today on my walk was the long clear rubber tubing connecting the Sugar maple. It is these lines that in the spring will carry the sap to a central location to be boiled down to maple syrup.

I have made maple syrup in the past but have used buckets to collect the sap. Don't do the boiling down in the house, it gets sticky everywhere!

Hope everyone is having a great holiday.

Picture is looking south from 16-0726484-5129082 Map It

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

New Video on Youtube

This is my 5th video. 1 is just Ben, the others are all related.
I shot this video last week and just finished the creation this evening.
Take a look, leave a comment!

See the video now

or paste this if the link does not work

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Muddy Mark Goes to School

went to school the other day. My kids class was interested in how I became a Forestry Technologist.

I like to think the impression I left them with was that they had to be totally interested in what they choose to do with their future.

If you pick the correct path your job can just be an extension of yourself. Find the best part of your job and do them the most, while making the best of the parts of the job that are not your favorite.

Also very important here in Northern Ontario is to be able to speak french. I can not and I wish I could. The kids are teaching me, but they are better students then teachers!

Classmates, please leave a comment!

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Going to school

I am going to my daughters class on Tuesday. I expect they will all have looked at this and be able to ask interesting questions and be able to answer questions. Important questions about the forests of Northern Ontario.

While in class I might ask questions like :
1. What is the provincial trees of Ontario and why is it important?
2. What forest products are made here in Timmins?
3. What is a better construction material, wood or steal?
4. What tree species are found in and around Timmins.
5. What is the biggest tree in Timmins?
6. What is the oldest tree in Ontario?
7. Where can you buy a piece of hollow birch bark?

Questions that might get asked of me so that you sound smart might include:
1. Do you think it is working in the outdoors that keeps you looking so good!?
2. Who cuts your hair?
3. If I make a mark on a tree at 1 meter when I am 10, how high on the tree will the mark be when I am 20?
4. If I get lost in the bush how do I know which way to keep walking, which way is north?
5. Are you afraid of bears, do you get to see any?
6. How do you get seeds for growing trees?
7. How important are trees to the carbon footprint I am creating?

Hope the class is prepared. I will be there with as much 'hands on' stuff as my dog and I can carry.

Winter WonderLand

Snow has arrived in the Great White North.

The white pine, which is the arboreal emblem of Ontario, look good with a dusting of snow.

In the background is McKeown Lake. Today Roll'n and I walked about 5 kilometers in the snow. The snow is not deep enough for snowshoes yet, but sometimes the snow is up to my knees. Roll'n needs to jump sometimes making him look like a running deer.
I do have my snowshoes in the truck with me now, just in case I need them.

Black-capped chickadees and a single woodpecker traveling together worked their way past me while they searched for food in the trees.