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Life in Rockburn, eh?
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“Any dogs barkin'?”
“Nope. The coyotes will be yipping at night soon.
The geese are about to leave and are hanging round in the fieids fattening up. I saw one flock of snows yesterday, but it's not wet enough for them and they didn't stay. This gang must be late arrivals. It has been the driest March here since 1946.
Sugaring has pretty much ended - no steam to-day. It hasn't begun on the north side of the St. Lawrence and it's not been a good season in the Eastern Townships (north of Vermont). About half the Quebec production comes from a region called the Beauce, but it hasn't begun there yet.
I just barely missed a hawk driving in to the village.
That's about as exciting as it gets round here. I'm going to buy a digital camera and learn how to post pics of the local colour, mostly people (well, sorta people).
last edited: 3/31/09 12:33:51 PM”
“I'll be looking forward to your pics.”
The ducks are back!
“A lot of wood ducks flying overhead.
This morning I drove in to the village early to get my Golf's first service before driving to Toronto to see my daughter to-morrow. I saw my son last week. The geese were arriving off Lake St. Francis wave after wave to throw themselves into the corn fields. Local geese were still lounging about on the river.
Wedensday I drove over to Cooper Marsh in eastern Ontario on the north shore of Lake St. Francis and walked the trails on the dikes. I first heard the 'creep, creep' of a pair of wood ducks I had flushed. Canada geese were screaming all about me. I heard one holler at me after I'd passed it by; perhaps he wanted a hullo (and I gave him one).
I flushed a flock of greenwing teal (butterballs) and then a flock of black ducks; then two different flocks of mallards.
I came back across the boardwalk the crosses the marsh and jumped a Canada that only went a yard and stared at me when I spoke to it softly. Its mate was a few paces further, buy did not react.
As I left the car park a vulture circled just above me. Of course there were robins American thrush, red winged black birds and chickadees (black capped tits) all round.
On the bridge ove rthe St. Francis I saw a large flock of whistlers - common goldeney (bucaphelia clangulans) and near home a pair of vultures circling low.
When I left home an hour or so ago, ducks were chuckling in the swampy area south of my house - I wondered when they'd get back. There are a lot of hawks about (falco) and the redwing hawks are circling their fields - a hawk per field they say.
The rhubarb is atarting to show, but not the horseradish and the ground's still too cold to plant unless you're really adventurous and want to try peas.
I ahven't heard the coyotes yet.
That's about it, eh?
“Wow, Doug. That sounds awesome.”
“...you're really adventurous and want to try peas.
Last time I did that I pead in the bed :o/”
“Chuckling ducklings, huh?”
“hiya MarkO Hard throws a kiss at ya.”
“Yea I came across some pictures of ya swimming nude. Your very healthy.”
“Rockburn rocks! Thanks to a local Rockburner for supplying me with a can of organic maple syrup :-) You made my day a great day. I was so excited to find something in my letter box that looked like a granade wrapped in brown paper. I was jumping up and down in excitement, until a neighbour came out of the front door. Then I stopped jumping, took my brown granade and went quietly indoors.
“Its too late Euro, they already know.......”
“Syrup comes in a can?????
Euro, if I send you a gift will you jump up and down excitedly for me?”
“Why wouldn't it come in a can?”
“Ya want it in a bucket, Noncom?”
“Not in all my life have I seen syrup coming in a can, so I was kind of surprised too :-)
Noncon, if something like that happens to me at the end of a day that was just going to the dogs it gets me so excited and happy that I jump up and down.
I think I may take the can of syrup with me to bed tonight and keep it clutched to my shoulder.
....mmmmm, let me think about it...can of syrup is kind of hard and may give my shoulder a bruise. Maybe I just put it on my bed side table, where the lamp used to be, that I knocked down in my sleep the other night.
“What sort of container have you seen syrup in?
If you spill that stuff in bed don't be cryin' here about it.”
“Maybe it's a Northeast thing. Around here maple syrup comes in 3 different containers, bottles (glass or plastic), cans, or mason jars. National producers are almost always in bottles. Local producers is about 50 50 bottles or cans. Homemade is almost always in mason jars. Maybe I should have put this post in the "Life in Lumberzac's Adirondacks."”
“What sort of container have you seen syrup in?
Plastik or glas bottles.
mmmm, yes, you're probably right, the very idea of me in bed, covered in organic, canadian, maple syrup is indeed too outrageous.”
“I'll bring the waffles!”
“If she's in bed covered in syrup and you're waffling, you're probably too old.”
“Don't give me that crepe!”
“I don't think I've ever seen syrup in a can, only glass (the pure syrup) or plastic bottles. Does it come in a six pack?
Euro, you need to meet my friend Miriam.”
“Is she hot?
Does she have a nice can??
“In Canada we usually put the can in the kitchen - in the refrigerator once it's opened. Other uses are frowned upon up here.
Just thought - with the exception of using it as a body lotion followed by CENSORED.
I'm really happy you got the syrup before you leave and I hope you enjoy its unique flavour. I hope you got a laugh or two from the pics of the Rockburn gang - no-one normal in the pack.
Funny, you say New York and Vermont make maple syrup? That's Fuego.”
“Insects on the windshield diving up to the village. The Chateauguay River is at its normal level flowing through the village of Huntingdon. I'm getting my fishing licence to-day and checking my gear.”
What sort of waffles is MarkO bringing?”
That's the can
My mon used to only buy (sugar) Cane Syrup that came in paint can style cans. It had a very strong flavor and was made locally.
My dad liked it, but I didn't.
Sugar cane grows like a weed here in South MS. Maple trees......not so much. ;-)”
“Good luck fishing Grem. I've only managed to get out a few times. I'm looking forward to having my first Adirondack Surf and Turf dinner; venison steaks and fresh brook trout.”
“wow, Stovie, it looks like dark varnish. Sure it was Cane syrup?
The can I got has nothing to open it, so I guess I have to punch a whole or two into it.”
“Hopefully a bunch of snakes don't spring out, lol.”
Fark Headline, for Gremlin
“Biker gangs have sprung up in Canada; are just like their U.S. counterparts except they use quiet mufflers on their bikes to be considerate of others, and main form of intimidation is strongly-worded letters”
“LOL, Stovie. Actually, in the last few days there has been a gigantic raid on Hell's Angels, their enterprises, associates and 'bunkers'. It's a product of 3 years effort using a series of informers (maybe they got tired of being un-Canadian in their general rudeness). The raids took place here in Quebec and in Ontario, New Brunswick as well as France (France?) and the Dominican Republic.
Euro, you're on your own for opening the can. Here we use kitchen scissors and twist them in the hole. Good luck (it's organic and low tech remember). Punch two holes on opposite sides of the top.
last edited: 4/17/09 12:08:39 PM”
“Canuck/upstate New York surf and turf sounds good, Zac. I have a few deer steaks left and there's a brown trout waiting for me in The Chateauguay. Tiny black stonefly nymphs or big alder fly nymphs? Decisions, decisions.”
“Turkey season opens Friday and the boys are getting antsy. I posted on the T-shirt thread that we went to Gander Mountain in Plattsburg, NY to get some last minute stuff Sunday morning. There were a bunch of trucks with people stting in them. Gander Mountain opens at 10:00 on Sundays and we had about ten minutes to wait.
'You know?' I said, 'You know you're a redneck when you're sitting in your vehicle waiting for Gander Mountain to open on a Sunday and you're not alone.'
I'm cutting down all the wild plum trees behind my house - they're all diseased and dying. I've never sprayed them and made organic wild plum jam every two years when we got plums. I hope they'll grow back.
My buddy came over yesterday and we cut up a dead elm. My buddy Bob, his cousin, dropped over and we had a few beers leaning on the box of his truck. Now I'll have to stack wood and get a burn permit froom the town.
The tree frogs (spring peepers pseudacris crvcifer for the white cross on their back) are peeping in the swamp every evening following the wood duck concert.
Saturday morning is the turkey hunt breakfast at my buddy's, but I'm driving down to Toronto to see my daughter. We only have two week-ends to hunt and we have a trophy (of course) made out of a plastic turkey planter that someone found in the garbage. It has been re-painted and otherwise 'beautified'. We measure the turkeys' weight in ounces, the length of the beard in inches, as well as the length of the longest spur, and and divide by three. The highest number wins the trophy. I'll keep you posted.”
“i miss hearing the spring peepers... it's rare to hear them out here, on occasion though and when i do, it's a treat.”
“I forgot to mention the woodpecker. It happens every year, but I don't know if it's the same one. He perches on my steel chimney and pecks at it to attract a female. They peck on signs and my buddy saw one pecking a silo blower's curved shute. He said it sounded like a heavy metal band. My stove at the other end acts like a resonator and it nearly shakes me out of bed - it starts at dawn, about 5:15. I don't know if it's a hairy or a downy, I can't tell them apart. I hope he gets lucky soon.”
I enjoy reading your thread...refreshing. Actually, I check for it...”
“a good read...i saw a pileated(sp) the other day...they're so goofy lookin, they make me laugh”
To-day is a really good day.
“We have a couple of pileated pairs here and I think we're very lucky to have them. It's incredible what they do to a dead maple tree.
I woke up at 5:15, made coffee, went back to bed and fell back into the Sleep of the Just (sleeping and dreaming that you're sleeping). The rumble of my buddy's truck woke me up at 9:0 and I realise there had been no woodpecker - Halellujiah (I wonder if he was hummin that song as he and his new mate build their nest).
My buddy was all showered and dressed and was already back from the registration station in the village of Ormstown.
He needed an official witness and we weighed his bird on the official, hand-held Zebco Fishing Scale with the built-in tape measure - (all measure is English measure because) 23 lbs, 9ž" beard and 1ź" spurs.
We had a coffee and a tea when my buddy Bob (his cousin) showed up. Bob and his brother had barely got an answer to their calling and had given up for the day (hunting is permitted only before noon).
To top everything of, I dropped over to the post office in Chateaugay, NY on my way here and my zip-off trousers had arrived from Campmor, as well as a new forestock for my buddy'y new .22-250 barrel for his TC Encore. AND THEN, they didn't charge me duty at the border. They just asked if I had a fever and if I was going to visit a farm!!! When I said, 'Uuuuuuuuhhh where else?' she asked me (she was reading the questions) if it would be a pig farm. Now pork production is essentially industrial and wouldn't even be called a farm here, but the beueaucrats in Ottawa wouldn't know that.
Anyway, great day so far.”
“Driving back in for errands I saw the trilliums are out. Nothing yesterday and to-day the beginnings of a white carpet beneath the trees. There are purple ones over by the Chateauguay River. This means fiddleheads and ramps are about to appear. Both trilliums and ramps are protected here, there's a limit of 50 ramp bulbs, but my buddy grows them legally.
My crazy (ier) buddy Giles hasn't called and so I guess he didn't get his bird. He just bought a Remington 700CDL - the classic model in 7mm Rem. Mag. He wanted a Leupold 'scope in Leupold mounts, but the gunsmith offered him a Czeck 2-7X, 30mm tube scope that is out of this world for CAD 900$, about half what a Zeiss or Swarovski would cost. He mounted it on European QD steel mounts and the outfit has so much class we feel embarassed in its presence.
We've been thinking about going back for caribou at Christmas and he wanted an outfit that could 'reach out and touch someone' to recall the Bell advert slogan. He wants to put a peep sight on his Win. M88 in .308 and use it as a brush gun much like my Marlin M336 in .35 Rem. My .308 (Savage M99) is fine for the winter 'bou hunt, but I am developping a serious case of envies here, what with my buddy building a super-duper coyote rifle, Giles' class act and Eurohike eating lamb cous-cous in Casablance.
“Funny, yesterday nothing and this morning the orchards and the wild trees are all in bloom. Time for a pint on the terrasse of our local pub while admiring the orchard across the road.”
“Gremlin, I have determined from your postings on here that you lead a VERY rough life :)”
“I have had, Rosey, but sometimes you just have to appreciate the good things round us, as well as the beauty.
The hard times are for another thread.
That being said, life here is awfully good.
“Yeah, I know. We've all got our demons. I just meant that when you post up about Rockburn, you do seem to always be enjoying it and it always sounds like a good time. It's good to read.
Take it easy!”
“Yup, Gremlin has to walk 10K in the driving snow uphill both ways to the pub.”
“That's only 8.5K US due to the exchange rate.”
You won\'t believe this, but...
“It's 600 metres (660 yds?) uphill to the pub, and 600 downhill back. How cool is that? I took the ditch once, but luckily I was on foot.
I rarely get inebriated (at FYAO they tie me down and pour it into my nostrils. That's my story and I'm sticking to it.), but one advantage to being an elderly local is that they drive me home when it happens and it's only a short walk to pick up my car the next morning. If there are a lot of people at the pub I wake up to see my car in my driveway.
“It happened! I am officially retired as of yesterday. The bad news is that I won't get my June retirement, but will get a double cheque July 15. I'm lying low to make my payments and have cashed in my gov't bonds. On the bright side, because I'm retiring early for medical reasons my group insurance, without my contributions, continues for another year. This gives me travel insurance (100% throughout the world, but for me travelling in the US is most important, as well as a more generous medication insurance than the gov't plan).
I saw my first great egrets during a walk in the wetland and wildlife reserve last Thursday and a fisher on the drive home. It ran across the road not far from my home. In over 50 years of an active life in the out-of-doors this is only the third one I've seen. One near Lac Pékan (pékan = fisher), northwest of Montreal while deer hunting in 1978 and one in NY State driving back from Catamount MT. in the Dacks in 2 003.
Also, I have been an idiot. Now I don't want this to turn into Fuego, but I'll explain a bit about our medical system here. It is a single payer comprehensive medical insurance like the one you have in the US for people over 65. Doctors and clinics are private and the state insurance pays them a specified fee for different services.
My family doctor is at the local clinic here in Huntingdon and when I want to see her, I can make and appointment, or drop in to the clinic on the days she works on a first come-first serve basis. This is one morning and one evening each week. She also gives a day at the local hospital which is now a long term care facility. I can also drop in at othe times and see whoever is working that day for a referral to an orthopaedic surgeon at a hospital of my choice (waiting times are posted per hospital on the 'net).
Now, my neck (and knee) injuries are caused by thirty+ years of rugby (I turned 54 during my last full season). I also coached for over twenty years and when one is part of that community (and others of course) one learns about doctors and medical clinics. I got the name of Dr. Larry Coughlin at the West Island Sports Clinic and I called them for a exam (this was 1992). Coughlin was then the doctor for the Expos (now the Washington Nationals).
I called them and the nurse told me to get a referral and I dropped in at the local where where a doctor (not mine) signed the referral. 'Coughlin!' he said, 'Is he still round? I thought he'd be in L.A. now.'
I called the sports clinc to tell them I had my referral and she gave me an appointment and said, 'Doug, I come from where you live (she is the daughter of a former mayor of Huntingdon) and before you leave to come here call if it's a nice day.'
Well, that's why he's not in L.A - he'd have to work to pay for his multi-million $ mansion, while here he can live the good life and take the day off to play golf or sail when it's nice out.
Last year (he's now the chief Dr. for the Montreal Canadiens and a part owner) he operated on my right knee, the third operation and we agreed another operation on my left knee would give no results. he wants to change them both, but I'm putting it off for as long as I can hike.
I told him about my neck and about the pain, blackouts and loss of movement on my left side, as well as numbness in my left hand and he sent me to the neck guy's office right away. The neck guy sent me to get X-rayed the following morning at the local hospital and I got my MRI after a three month wait. I went back to see him and he referred me to a surgeon at the Montreal Neurological Institute, one of the best in the world (this is why I went to them). I faxed the referral, as per the recorded instructions when I called and forgot about it - mostly because I'm scared witless about the operation.
Well, I've been on the 'phone over all the arrangements for my retirement (payment arrangements, insurance, et c.) and I decided to call the sports clinic because I hadn't heard from the Neuro in six months. The girl on the other end gave me shyte: 'Didn't I know that 6 months is far too long for my condition?' She told me to go to the Neuro and speak to a human being.
I drove in to downtown Montreal rather than park and use public transport, even if it meant paying for parking and went in a asked for the surgeon's office. When I went in a very nice nurse took my X-ray and MRI discs and the report, checked and said I wasn't on their list. Bummer! - six months wasted. She said Dr. Hall would look at everything and she'd get back to me.
That was last Wednesday and I got the call Monday (yesterday) morning saying that Dr. Hall has referred me to the Neuro's Spine Clinic. I guess he decided I needed a team. Now I'm really scared. Please wish me luck.
Also they didn't charge me for parking, but when I saw my own doctor last week to fill out another (!) form I told her about it and she was really pi$$y about not knowing anything about it - we've been friends for over thirty years.
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