How to Train Your Dragonfly

DragonflyIt was a perfect weekend to take advantage of the high water levels and explore some small winding rivers where usually this wouldn’t be possible. Although there were two problems  – mosquitoes and black flies.  What’s a great defense against these?  Dragonflies.

I found there would always be one that hovered around the bow of the canoe. If we went too fast or too slow, it was gone. Since these guys can eat their weight in insects (the kind who bite us), every 30 minutes, they are great to have around.

We often think of insects as an annoyance, but dragonflies actually take pests out of our way.








Is it a Hot Chocolate or Lemonade Day?

ABYC_2It was both – 10 degrees on the lake but warm at the dock.

Expect it to be colder than you think, and you’ll end up being warmer. Ok, that’s the theory, but I still ended up being cold, even though I was wearing more layers of clothes than I usually wear skiing. Similar to skiing though, once you start moving around more, you warm up, the cold becomes something to joke about, and you enjoy the day.

Still, it’s great to be outside, with your beverage of choice. Once we were back at the dock this hot chocolate/lemonade day turned into a beer day.


Chalk One Up For Spring

chalk-drawingAfter this long winter, the relatively warmer temperatures we had hoped for are finally here. Although when the snowbanks melted, what they left behind doesn’t look so great – dirt and bits of branches from the ice storm.

In an attempt to offset the grim look of the street, I thought I’d try to add something more cheerful.

Not art – just having fun.


One Way to Keep Warm This Winter

pan It seems winter isn’t letting up anytime soon, so here’s something to try this weekend –  why not walk to your local bakery, and pick up a loaf of bread, fresh from the oven.

I am told that this brown paper wrapped piping hot package will keep you warm for the whole walk home – even at minus 30.

After a walk in the crisp air, breakfast tastes even better.

What’s your favorite view?

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Sometimes it’s situational. For instance, if I have just finished a 6 day canoe trip, then I’m most captivated by the view of the chip stand at the side of a dirt road on the drive home.

But overall there are places that standout, because they take our breath away, put us at ease or make us smile.

When you’re outside, you aren’t just seeing the view, but experiencing the place as well. A picture may be worth a thousand words, but it doesn’t replace being there.

Wolves and Otters Showing Us How It’s Done

wolves2We heard them long before we saw them – three wolves howling –  a sound that is beautiful and haunting at the same time. I wondered why they were howling, but figured they must have been calling their pal, since they stopped when a fourth wolf showed up.

Winter is my favorite time to go to the zoo because:

  • There aren’t any crowds.
  • It makes for a really interesting walk when you see so many different animals.
  • You get more opportunities to ask zoo keepers questions.

We met a keeper yesterday who is a vet technician, having started his career as a youth volunteer at the zoo. He said he finds the work so rewarding, because he loves caring for the animals, getting to know their distinct personalities, and he enjoys educating the public about these wonderful creatures.

A lot of people have been complaining about the winter this season, but an otter I saw yesterday could not have been happier – making snowballs, tossing them, running and sliding on the snow on his belly.

These ambassador animals not only teach us something about wildlife and their habitats but also about having fun.

What’s Your Favorite Thing to Make out of Snow?


I have to admit , I wasn’t as enthusiastic as usual about a weekend away to enjoy the outdoors, considering the holiday season, without power (due to the ice storm), had been a bit like winter camping.

The arrival was promising – lots of snow. But the first day also brought rain. Still, it ends up that the rain created great packing snow, which is perfect for making:

  • forts
  • sculptures
  • winter treats – make a snowball and drizzle it with Bailey’s Irish Cream

So I make this little rabbit – and then I sat back in the snow and enjoyed a snowball with a little Bailey’s on top.