For the first time in 3 weeks, we left the Mount Madonna retreat to go in to town. What a revelation! Life all of a sudden became hectic, and the beauty of nature discovered in the Redwoods felt extremely distant. However, acclimatizing myself to life off the mountain is good thing. I thoroughly enjoyed our visit to Santa Cruz, stocking up on yummy organic chocolate from Trader Joe’s while also stocking up on Kombucha (I have a love affair with GT Dave’s Kombucha). We then made a glorious visit to the beach, following in our tradition to touch the ocean whenever possible. But alas our return to MMC and the Redwood Forest was even more splendid. A homecoming of sorts to the ideals, values and nature we have grown to cherish.
Verona, within a historic region of Eastern Ontario, has a population of about 1,800. It lies at the southern edge of the Canadian Shield, where the friendly mix of farmland, rocky-shored lakes, and mixed woodland make it the ideal place to visit with our Airstream. It kind of feels like cottage country, and with Verona being so small, the lovely mix of wildlife, vast expanses of nature, clean fresh air and peacefulness has me feeling right at home in the country. And when it comes right down to it, I’m a country girl at heart.
Agnes and Wally have a lovely older home with a big backyard, large lovely trees, a lake just a stones throw away and a humorous gaggle of Chipmunks that squabble for food amongst each other. I can say that I’ve never hand-fed or petted a little Chipmunk. They’re really quite sweet!
Typical of many small towns and cities, a Farmer’s Market was in full swing early Saturday morning. I really love to support local farmers, especially when they opt for environmentally friendly practises in their food production. It’s interesting to find myself so instantly at home in this small community. I can walk everywhere quite easily. Parking our Airstream on the front lawn was not an issue either (which in larger communities, this can pose a problem). Seems that as long as I have Wifi, space to stretch, breath and move, and readily available healthy eating options, I am happy to settle down wherever we may wander. Life is good!
Elora is spectacular. Our current home away from home, where the village is perched on the edge of a dramatic gorge. Elora Gorge is a conservation area where the Grande and Irvine Rivers nestle the rugged terrain and rolling hills, making this area a magical and picturesque dream hideaway. The perfect spot for us to decompress after our crazy past month. And with the generosity of our friend’s 35 foot driveway, we were able to squeak our trailer snugly into a precise fitting refuge meant just for us, savouring in this moment. Yay for kind neighbours and a township that allows for driveway parking.
My favourite memories of our week in Elora? There are SO many … may the photos accompanying my thoughts create a wonderful picture of the beauty found here.
Having Jennifer read her 1.5 hour one-woman play to us in an Irish accent throughout.
Escaping for walks along the Gorge.
Enthralled by the beauty of Nature and evening campfires
Spending an evening with Silver family friends in their gorgeous Elora home, sharing yogaFLIGHT and talking in to the wee hours.
Loads of quiet time to contemplate, take photos and read.
It’s so amazing to step outside our Airstream on a clear dark night like tonight, witness all the gloriously bright stars, hear the whispering winds beckoning me to make a wish and send that love out in to the universe. I love the solitude of quiet nights especially where we are right now, feeling safe and at peace with the world. We are parked at the local airport in the country, where no bright lights exist apart from the solar lights which mark the edges of the stationary trailers and a few strands of rope lights highlighting the buildings edges.
And in moments like this, I stare up at the stars, remember those whom I have lost, and see them shine brilliantly in each star above. Oh how they are loved and are missed …..
We had every intention to spend but a few days in Bloomingdale on their Farm with our friends Brian, Jennifer and Roger. Yet having come across a magical place to park our Airstream in the woods with nature surrounding us, flowers fully in bloom, I was finding it difficult to find the momentum to carry forward with our weekend plans. Foreseeing that a weather front was scheduled to move in over the long weekend, we felt it an ideal solution to stay put on the Farm instead of hanging out at the dz on a wet and windy weekend. You see, our intention was to set up our home base at Skydive Burnaby for a few weeks before heading south to Alumapalooza in Jackson Centre, Ohio (where the 1st annual Airstream rally is being held from June 1-6). But I’m happy to say that we decided to stop and smell the roses, enjoying the farm life (which will end for Brian and friends at the end of July = eviction date) before our adventures once again shift and mould into diverse and spontaneous pathways yet unknown to both us and our friends on the farm. Here lies therein the premise behind living in the moment, enjoying the opportunities which arise and loving the freedom of a nomadic life.
Breathtaking spring flowers have exploded everywhere in the forests. And I’m a trigger-happy photographer, trying to capture the essence of shadow and light play on this amazingly scenic canvas. The scent of fresh rain, the sounds of the neighbouring horses and the bellowing nature calls have left me intoxicated with happiness and beauty. It almost feels as if we are sheltered by this magical bubble. Amidst the flurry of preparations for Monday evening’s Stephen Fearing house concert, there is peace and intellectual conversation flowing between new and old friends. Sock puppet plays, spontaneous moonlit concerts by the campfire, luxurious forest walks sprinkled with annoying mosquitos, farmers market meanderings and feasts of marvellous proportions (of course, sprinkled with the glorious consumption of delicious red wine) made for a long enjoyable weekend of bliss and heady tranquility.
Spring has sprung and I’m starting to think about gardening, birth, renewal. Tomorrow the world will celebrate Mother Earth in a collective vote of consciousness, with “Earth Hour”. Everyday I make an active choice to be conscious of my actions towards the Earth that nurtures and supports me. My husband and I actively compost, just as one example of the giving back to the earth. We’ve been long interested in the thoughts of worm composting. Luckily, we currently have a community garden to drop off our weekly 5 gallon pail full of organic matter. But what about when we are living and travelling in the RV? I wonder how many RVers have successfully maintained an environmentally friendly lifestyle, one which includes composting? We’ve even gone as far as thinking of adding a composting toilet, but are uncertain as to whether the inclusion of such an item will outstretch our weight limitations on our Dodge 3/4 ton truck used to pull the Airstream (normally this wouldn’t be a concern, but the luxury of having granite countertops adds to the equation of poundage).
So in the spirit of green education, in honour of our earth Mother, below are listed some tips from the US Natural Resources Conservation Service to spark the movement towards an eco-friendly world and consciousness.
Composting turns household wastes into valuable fertilizer and soil organic matter.Vermicomposting uses worms to compost. This takes up very little space and can be done year-round in a basement or garage (or RV?!). It is an excellent way to dispose of kitchen wastes.
1. You need a plastic storage bin. One (1′ x 2′ x 3.5′) may be enough to meet the needs of a family of 6.
2. Drill 8 to 10 holes, approximately 1/4″ in diameter, in the bottom of the bin for drainage.
3. Line the bottom of the bin with fine nylon mesh to keep the worms from escaping.
4. Put a tray underneath to catch the drainage.
5. Shredded newspaper works well as bedding. Rip into pieces and water well so that it is thoroughly moist. Place on one side of your bin. Do not let it dry out.
6. Add worms to your bin. Redworms are recommended for best composting, but other species can be used. Redworms are the common small worms found in most gardens and lawns. You can collect them from under a pile of mulch or order them from a garden catalog.
7. Provide worms with food wastes such as vegetable peelings. Do not add fat or meat products. Limit feed–too much at once may cause the material to rot.
8. Keep the bin in a dark location away from extreme temperatures.
9. In about 3 months the worms should have changed the bedding and food wastes into compost. At this time add fresh bedding and more food to the other side of the bin. The worms should migrate to the new food supply.
10. After a couple of weeks, open your bin in a bright light. The worms will burrow into the bedding. Scoop out the finished compost and apply to your plants or save for use in the spring.
Compost can be used for all your planting needs. Compost is an excellent source of organic matter to add to your garden. It helps improve soil structure which contributes to good aeration and moisture-holding capacity. Compost is also a source of plant nutrients.
Compost can also be used as a mulch material. Studies have shown that compost used as a mulch, or mixed with the top one-inch layer of soil, can help prevent some plant diseases, including some of those that cause damping of seedlings.
This is a big day … Number 100! Fabulous 🙂
A precious delicate moment, frozen in time, on this wintery morning in Hawkesville, Ontario.
A glorious desert drop zone sunset.
This weeks task: anything in nature that’s red! It could be red leaves, red animals, red sunsets. Anything, as long as the photo has red in it and includes nature.
Ah yes, sigh, I’m behind AGAIN! I’ll endeavor to catch up today and post a bunch. But NO promises though, eh?!