Sunday, October 30, 2005

Fruits of labour

I've come a long way from my old city habits of turning up the thermostat for warmth. Starting in September, I add chopping, hauling and stacking wood to my chore retinue. The fireplace has to cool down one day a week so I can get in there and sweep ashes. Dave and I have accumulated 6 cords of wood around the house in 5 weeks. I figure one or two more will allow us to rest on our toasty laurels till the end of April.
This stack beside the fireplace changes shape on the hour. This is a usual specimen and depending on the weather outside, it can last 1 1/2-3 days. I call this the 'John-Henry' pile, thick logs and manly looking.
Here's another day's woth of wood... It looks as if Hansel and Gretel gathered it for me. Odd shapes are hard to stack and pose a minor problem when taking it down one by one (into the fireplace). It's like playing Jenga except you don't want to be in front of 300 lbs of dirty, rough chunks of wood tumbling down on top of you.

Monday, October 24, 2005

A happy belated birthday to my plumber

He's as zany as he looks and has logged in the most hospital recuperation time despite being the fittest person I've ever met. Halloween is his time to shine... notice the jail bars are made of PVC pipe.

Shopping on eBay

I just bought these Grizzly Beer signs on the weekend from an american seller and for the life of me, I've never heard of this beer brand before. The only other animal themed brand I know of sold in Canada is Moosehead. I'm piqued about it and now I'd like to find out how to paw myself a 'Grizzly'!

New in the Gaybourhood

I lived in the West End in Vancouver on and off for ten years prior to being in Whistler, and I wished BC Transit painted their stops hot pink back then. When you're all bleary-eyed in the morning on a grey rainy day, it's handy to aim yourself towards a pink thing ahead to be sure to catch your bus to work.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Bats; Real and Imagined

little brown bat
Photo courtesy of Natureworks.
I was half asleep in bed last Monday when Dave nudged me in the shoulder and pointed into the utter darkness of the bedroom (I have non-existent night vision, even with my glasses on).
"Did you see that? If that is a moth then it's the biggest ass moth I've ever seen!", said Dave.
*Snark* "Uhhhh, I think it'z a bat... I'll get it tomorrowzzz... zz.", I mumbled, annoyed at being woken.

Tuesday morning rolls around and I'm in the kitchen stirring my coffee and trying to recall whether I dreamed the bat conversation last night when it dive bombed me, hit a window and jetted deep into living room 1 (there are 2, side by side in the house). Dave was right! Also, this is the second bat we've had sneak inside in 5 years (rural living never ceases to surprise me). I have no idea how this one got in but it must have been some days ago. The bat flew low with little flapping and acted very fatigued. A few minutes later, it tangled itself in a plant pot and I threw a tea towel on it, clutched its wings and chucked it outside. If it wern't for those creepy wings and needle sharp teeth (the little guy kept chomping on the towel till I let go) I would admit bats can be quite cuddly cute.

If you happen to find yourself catching a bat, I stongly recommend holding its face away from you and your hands. Upwards of 10% of all brown bats carry rabies.

Monday, October 17, 2005

Caption that Bear!

sloth bear
Originally uploaded by A Girl Called Jaya.
Michael Jackson and Bongo the albino sloth bear apparently go to the same plastic surgeon.

smiling bears
Originally uploaded by nicpic.
You said 'pooh'... tee-hee-hee!

Polar Bear
Originally uploaded by singe.
We had a rippin' lawn party last night and the back patio is covered with hung over polar bears.

Originally uploaded by vickitequila.
Ah-ahhhh! I love my truck tire bidet.

Originally uploaded by courtneyp.
Bear to girl, "I'm going to take a nap in my dressing room for the winter. Wake me up in Early March."

Sunday, October 16, 2005


It doesn't rain all the time there, just for most of the spring and fall seasons. Although I haven't seen any, Dave has seen moose, deer and bear recently.
Not many people see the remnants of wood cutting. The trunk cores are often rotten and sodden with water; not worth the hassle to haul out. Leaving them behind hastens decomposition of the remaining rotten logs, returning nutrients back into the soil.
One last thing... the side mirrors on ol' Nibbles stick out far enough to catch the bushes along the road. At the end of the day, there is a lovely boutonniere for each mirror. So pretty!

Saturday, October 15, 2005

Month of Softies for October

I pounced upon the only sunny day this week and installed my Were-Bear in the yard. It stands 28" tall, my largest bear to date. He, she, it... turned out to be unexpectedly crazy-looking. I don't do alot of preliminary planning and I tend to try and use up whatever old paint and wood is lying around the garage, freeing up needful space.
Check it Out!
The bear will live 8 feet from the front door, under the fir trees. I'll give it two more coats of clear lacquer as soon as the weather improves.

Must Have... Firewood!

Here we are, it's another firewood day and it's raining non stop. The round trip to Soo Valley is 50 minutes of jaw chattering, beat up logging road. We pass by the odd sedan and fancy SUV along the way, sightseers looking for views beyond Whistler proper. Every truck load of fir and cedar we manage to bring down helps us heat the house another three weeks.
The local logging company kindly stacks waste logs by the access road for us keeners to help ourselves. These are unmillable or not worth the effort to take out of the bush for one reason or another.
Dave caught a glimpse of me taking a pic and stopped for a breather. I figure there is 3/4 of a cord when the truck is loaded to the springs. His job is to saw rounds and drop them to the ground. I help him buck them into smaller chunks, chop the chunks to smaller logs and sluff off the cores and bark. My main task is stacking the truck, making sure the heaviest point of the load is on the axels... makes for an smoother 4x4 drive home.
I'm surveying Dave's spot during a break in chainsawing; looking for stray bits decent enough to bother taking home. It's raining, slippery and cold, cold, cold up there.

Nest Craft

A slightly blurry pic of an abandoned bird's nest Dave recently found in the front yard while doing something, I forget what. For your perusal there is balloon ribbons, string, yarn scraps, wire and miscellaneous plastic bits among the lichen and twigs. Oh, if we could all be as ingenius as birds.

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

A Surprise in a Pot

Dave brought home what seemed like a half dead, half off (sale price) plant at Whole Foods Market two months ago. Slowly and surely one bloom lead to three and then five... and now I'm a fan of aster flowers. It's remarkable that they thrive so late in the season when everything around them is turning brown.

October Month of Softies, here I come!

Eventually this will be a 28" pink were-bear, like the were-rabbit in that new Wallace and Grommit movie. The base coat is left over tremclad rust coat from the truck tailgate. What the heck, he's going to live outside anyway.

Wood Glorious Wood!

Last sunday found us at the 17km point up the Soo valley and we worked like mad amidst rain and mosquitos to bring in a 3/4 cord of mostly fir with a bit of yellow cedar. The local logging company, who owns the licence to log there, kindly gathered some unmillable logs by the dirt road for us erstwhile loggers to help ourselves. Otherwise, these logs would have been left to rot.

Hauling leads to chopping...
... and buzzing,
...that produces firewood
... and kindling.

A Whiff of Winter

This is the backyard view at the homestead, and is the earliest dusting of snow I've seen in my 6 years in Whistler. The race is offically on to haul as much firewood as possible before the back trails get too snowed in to go up.

Extreme Gardening

Now is the time to shore up things in anticipation of snowfall. Overhanging branches with wire under them must be pruned. A dump of snow can weigh it down and possibly take the house electricity/phone line with it.
Dave moved the ladder to work on another tree and left behind a circle of fallen branches.

Sunday, October 02, 2005

I'm Stuffed!

The Bear
Originally uploaded by David Babylon.
My mum always said if you make a taunting face long enough it'll freeze that way. Add a bowler hat and patterned wallpaper and you've got yourself some money-making schtick.

(regular posting will resume tuesday, the 4th.)

anatomically incorrent
Originally uploaded by wader.
Possible names:
- Reinbear
- Bear-o'-lope
- Caribearoo
- Big Horn Bear

What The F@*&?

Polar Bears
Originally uploaded by nailmaker.
When I was a kid I had to run past a gauntlet of snowball pelting polar bears on my path to school. Every day. These bears even had it in for me in the summer with their snowballs.

Green Bear
Originally uploaded by nilbot.
Looks like this guy is losing a bit of green fur here and there. Who's making a trip to Home Depot? We need astro turf and hot glue sticks.

flower bear6
Originally uploaded by mumblemurmur.
This is a fantastic project for those of you interested in shrub sculptures.

Originally uploaded by my pink little pony.
Artificial pine tree bear encrusted with christmas lights. All it needs are some gifts under its ass.