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Christmas Week

December 26, 2013


Chill winter has definitely arrived in Bruce County. But unlike previous winters, it somehow brings cheer rather than gloom and apprehension. Perhaps it’s because we’ve been spared the worst of the freezing rain and power outages of our neighbours to the south.  Or perhaps it’s because I’ve got a proper set of snow tires on the car this year. Or perhaps it’s simply that it’s Christmas with loved ones in the house, leftover turkey sandwiches in abundance, and some downtime to enjoy the farm and the beauty of the countryside at this time of year.

Sauble in winter

The Sauble River, just upstream from the farm. This photo was taken in nearly the exact spot as one that appeared in a post of four months ago. The current here is sufficient to keep the river open throughout most of the winter. Only during the most frigid spells does it freeze over completely.


A female Goldeneye takes off in a panic as I appear over the bridge railing to take her picture. Several of these ducks were sheltering here, likely glad of the calm, open water – a place to access food on the riverbed, and escape the wind and waves of Lake Huron.

high bush cranberry

High bush cranberries still encased in ice after last week’s freezing rain storm. As mentioned above, this storm swept through much of eastern Canada earlier in the week. Hundreds of thousands of homes were left without electricity and many still have no power today. Somehow, we were mostly spared in Bruce this time, although power outages due to both winter blizzards and summer thunderstorms are common.

Grey Road 5

“Grey Road 5” looking east towards Owen Sound. These are typical road conditions from December to the end of March. Looking at it now, it’s hard to believe that in summer I commute to work along this route on my bicycle!

no eggs

The farm down the road from me where I usually buy eggs.  The hormones that govern a hen’s egg-laying machinery are highly attuned to light conditions. As a result, egg production drops off drastically during the short days of winter unless the natural daylight is augmented with artificial. My neighbours however forgo the extra light to give the girls a rest during the winter. This sign replaces the usual “eggs for sale”.

By the way, you might be wondering why I’m buying eggs and not eating ones produced by my own hens. The truth is they still managed this year to hide them from me and I simply gave up. In fact as a result, next year’s flock are going to be free-ranged meat birds rather than layers. Happy new year!

2 Comments leave one →
  1. December 28, 2013 6:18 pm

    Happy Twixtmas! That looks properly cold. But the snow is beautiful. I guess you can’t really get hot under the collar about snow, coming from where you are ;). It is as it is. You would not believe the complaining that happens pretty quickly when it snows here. But maybe we are just not set up for it in the same way. Snow tires sound good.

  2. January 1, 2014 6:56 pm

    Thanks same to you! And you’re right about not complaining but do feel a bit wistful about English winters. Especially since I’ve been following

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