We have been to the cottage a lot so far this summer and it has been awesome!
We found a Spotted Turtle. I love showing the girls all about the plants and animals in the world around them. It is a great opportunity to learn about the type of turtle, where they live and what they eat.
A first of many beautiful sunsets.
For Canada Day, We got all dressed up and decorated our neighbour’s boat and joined in the Canada Day boat Parade on the river. It was a great social event. It was fun to see so many people out on the water and we had a great fireworks display to end the evening.
Having a cottage isn’t always about having fun. There’s lots of work to do around the place. One of our current projects is getting a better water system in place.
The cottage air, and being outside most of the day tires a little girl out.
The river was warm enough for me to get in last weekend. It is fun being able to get out an enjoy the water with the kids.
As we are installing the new water system. We need to drill some holes for tie down points.
Rising early means, fresh blueberries for pancakes.
I can’t wait to head back north. It has been so awesome to get up to the cottage so many times this summer.
This week of the year tends to be one of my favourite weeks in the whole season. It was even better this year as the warm weather stayed the whole time. Most of the summers only cottagers head south on Labour Day, leaving us pretty much alone and the river is almost silent. It is an excellent time for hikes and being out on the water. We got stunning sunsets every night, this time of year the sun sets straight down the middle of the river.
My dad and I went out for a quick walk one evening, and he got a picture of me that pretty much sums up my life. You can dress the girl up, but that doesn’t mean you can take her out.
We saw lots of birds, bears and some very special red squirrels who claimed the cedar trees beside the cottage and they yelled at us every time we walked out the front door. We were fortunate enough to see a mother bear and her cub swimming while we were out for a sunset cruise with friends of ours. It was such an amazing site to see, I was very thankful to be in a boat and far away though. We saw some Common Mergansers swimming in our little bay fishing out all the little minnows. I also caught sight of what I think was juvenile gar fish, most likely the spotted Gar. Leah caught her first fish, and I hope she will be as hooked, pardon the pun, as me.
My dad got so much work done on the cottage this week. All the logs and sticks from the beavers this spring got burned.
He and Nick did a lot of painting, while I worked on cleaning up the insides. We still have lots of things left over from my grandparents, and stuff that was left by the people before them. It is kind of like a museum going through some of the stuff.
Nick and I got the smoker up and running again this week, and we finally have a pretty good grasp of smoking ribs. They spend about an hour soaking in a homemade dry rub, followed by 6-8hrs on the smoker, followed by an hour or so being basted in a homemade BBQ sauce. Each time we do it, it gets a bit better. Some day my dad and I might actually get around to writing the recipe.
I got my old paddle boat out for the girls and leah learned how to drive it very quickly, and we spent a lot of time paddling around our little bay looking for fish and turtles.
The girls swam almost every day. The water was so warm and a great place to cool off after a hike in the bush.
I spent most of my time with the camera at sunset, each day brought a new stunning view.
There is something so special about cottage country. The air, the water, the rocks, and not to mention the people. It is as if time kind of stops up there and things are done as they used to be. Outhouses and open cook fires are pretty much the norm, most of the cottages out on the bay don’t have electricity and rely on propane or diesel generators, some have upgraded to solar. Giving the kids a bath involves an old wash tub and using lake water that is run into the tub early in the morning so it has a chance to be warmed by the sun.
Mornings are for the odd jobs, fishing, and hiking in the bush.
Afternoons are spent watching the boats go up and down the river, swimming and lounging on the deck with a good book.
Shore lunches have to be one of my favourite traditions. We all pack into our neighbour’s big boat and head out to an island in the bay and spend the day exploring, fishing, swimming and grilling the sausages we brought for lunch because none of us are avid fishermen.
Nick has been working on getting my grandfather’s smoker up and running, and we are getting ever closer to homemade smoked ribs, Let me tell you they are SO yummy!
We went on a blueberry picking expedition, and turns out there weren’t really many out there. Just lots of horse flies and mosquitos. We did get enough for some waffles and pancakes though.
Ah sunset, my favourite part. We sometimes take the boat out and do a sunset cruise, other times we just sit in the Muskoka chairs on our point and enjoy it from there.
Now we are home again, and the garden is crying for weeding and the tomatoes are ripe for the picking.