Monday, June 16, 2008

shuswap retreat...

I awoke this morning to the smell of freshly cut hay...and rolled over to look out the window to this view!

How good to be have sunshine after a long grey and dreary spell..and to take in that sweet smell of grass. While we were off enjoying ourselves at the cabin over the weekend, Jeremy cut down all the second-crop grass today they will be busy chopping it all for silage.

We had a wonderful time at the cabin once has been a family retreat of sorts for many years. It is located in the North Shuswap recreational area...right next to the provincial park at Scotch Creek. My parents bought the property as a vacation place for the family...and over the years we have enjoyed going there on many occasions. Two years ago, my sisters purchased the property...and so we can continue to enjoy visiting there on occasion.

Shortly after we arrived on Friday, we took a walk through the park. The sunshine we had been promised had not yet materialized...and the clouds hung low over the lake.

We had visions of walking along the shore, but we soon realized there was no beach! With all the rain and the spring run-off, the water levels in the lake were much higher than usual.

Not to worry, there would be no dogs running on the beach...although we did spot one playing in the water. We walked past many pine trees that looked rather sad...

...a result of devastation caused by the pine beetle. It has definitely left a mark on the forests of British Columbia.

We had been warned that there was a young black bear on the loose in the park, but weren't really expecting a personal visit. While we ate supper outside on Saturday night, he came walking down the driveway and right past us...he rather looked like he was on a mission. I grabbed the camera and took lots of pictures as he rummaged through the fire pit and checked out the fence...only to realize later that the camera was on the wrong setting and there was no bear to be seen. Oh well...he came back briefly an hour later and I shot photos once more. As we ate breakfast yesterday morning, we spotted him once again.

The sun was out as promised on Saturday and Sunday.

The entire park seemed to be in bloom...wild roses, daisies, honeysuckle and clover...and it smelled heavenly. We enjoyed time together...walking, talking and eating.

It was Father's Day...we listened to our father tell stories. Some of those stories we have heard many times, but yesterday I grabbed a pen a wrote a few things down for the record...little tidbits of family history that should be documented. Things like...My dad's great-uncle Cornelius was an advisor to the last tsar of Russia, and housed the personal library of Nicholas II in his home.

We went for a bike ride yesterday afternoon...on 'the cabin bikes'. All the family cast-off bikes have found their way to the cabin over the years...and still do the trick, for the most part. I stopped to photograph my favorite barn...

...which I have photographed on many previous occasions. There's just something about those old buildings!

We left for home rather late...but had the most wonderful drive home. Driving the Coquihalla Pass on one of the longest days of the year under clear skies with a big yellow moon, was a very different experience than driving the Coquihalla on the shortest day of the year in a snowstorm! It was a wonderful drive...and as we neared home we could smell the fesh hay. We knew there was work to be done in the morning.

It was a good weekend...thanks for the invitation to join you at the cabin, Dot & Terry!


  1. Judy, your pictures of the old barn are just wonderful. I'm looking for that sort of scene myself. Very nice.
    Oh. .don't you just love it when the camera is on the wrong setting. . that happens to me more times than it should.
    Oh. . and could you PLEASE do a post on making hay and silage? I'm serious. . Terry and I were just talking the other day wondering really what silage is. .does it turn all mucky. .where is it stored now adays. .still in silos? We may be farmers but we know very little about dairy farming.

    Your father's day weekend looks like it was wonderful. . even though the weather was a little off to start.

  2. A delicious post from beginning to end. I was particularly charmed by your family's camp on the lake as my own has one in New Brunswick that has been in the family since 1930.

    The way the mountains rise straight up is impressive and makes the lake look hidden there. What a visitor! Ackkkk, you were brave to be snapping pictures.

    Such an interesting tidbit you wrote down from family history! I'm sure that there's more where that comes from.

    I love the smell of freshly mown hay... Hope that your beautiful weather holds. We're getting what you had earlier...rain, rain, and more rain.

  3. Oh, that looks awesome.
    I love your post of freshly cut hay.
    I can smell it from here as we drive by.
    Sound like so much fun.
    I can't imagine how many times they had to stop for you taking pictures.
    I have all sort of nicknames after yesterday.

  4. Judy...Clouds or sunshine you have a beautiful restful place for rest and relaxation...I can remember smelling fresh hay...thank you for such a lovely post..

  5. Hi Judy,
    What a beautiful view you have out your window!
    Your Father's Day weekend trip sounds like it was wonderful.
    It is so interesting to see what life on a farm in British Columbia is like. It looks very satisfying.
    Thanks for sharing.

  6. That sounds so lovely. When we stayed with my daughter up in Northern BC one year, we took a cabin on a lakeside for a few days. Wonderful...complete with a little boat and fishing tackle, so fresh fish for breakfast. What a lovely country it is.

  7. British Columbia is so beautiful, it just seems that there is beauty all around.

    How refreshing to smell the freshly mowed hay.

    Your weekend sounds absolutely blissful. And, I am glad you made a new friend - your bear buddy.

  8. Oh my freshly cut hay..that scent ought to be bottled!
    Pics of old barns and buildings..I love them, there is just something about them that captivates me.
    Good thing you wrote down some of those memories shared yesterday. The next generation will be so glad you did.

  9. Thank you for sharing with us....I can almost smell the new-cut hay. It resides somewhere in my memory banks from a visit to a farm long ago...

    I'm sorry to learn that destructive beetle is also in your area....the pine forests in our local mountains, such as at Big Bear and Lake Arrowhead have been decimated too.

  10. Judy: That sounds simply wonderful...a weekend retreat and with family! I love your descriptive words about the cabin bikes...I can just imagine them wobbling and creaking as you tour the cabin setting. Wonderful pics too. Interesting that old buildings evoke such a passion....I think it is like a 'snapshot' of time gone by. We relate to the structure still standing though it is empty now...that kind of thing.

    Thanks for deserved a real get away.

  11. What a great place. I so enjoyed the pictures of the water. Our lakes are so low in Georgia. What a beautiful place to get away to. I'm happy for you and know you had a special time. There must have been such lovely sounds. The bear is adorable.

  12. Hello Judy, you had me with the smell of new mown hay. Your photos of the vacation spot are so lovely. It is so nice to get away from it all.
    We lived on a farm when I was small and I still remember that heavenly smell so well. Out mountain grass comes close when mowed. Our farm was a dairy farm and the silo had to be filled for the winter. A dairy farm is a wonderful place for a kid.
    Enjoyed your post today.

  13. Wow, I can't believe you wake up to that view every morning. Amazing!

  14. Wow, even in that first photo, I was wondering what happened to the beach! Amazing how high the water can get. That is so much water! Beautiful photos of the cabin! I miss it. Hopefully we'll be out in summer 09. Dates keep getting pushed back though, because of work situations, but the cabin is waiting for me, I know it :)

  15. It sounds as if you had a wonderful time! I love your pictures (as always)! I have a thing for bears and especially enjoyed your photo of that guy!
    So happy you had an enjoyable weekend!


  16. Such a lovely post Judy...wish we could have been there. I love the photo of the bear and admire that you didn't panic when he ambled into your many would have!

  17. i can only see such breathtaking views in the pages of a magazine or in movies.truly amazing!!!

  18. Lovely, peaceful scenes! And I really like the first photo of the grass swaths stripes and mountains in the background. What kind of grass do you use for this silage?


'The ornament of a house is the friends who frequent it.'
~ Ralph Waldo Emerson