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Canada Day celebrations—Orrville style

We went all the way to Orville, Ontario to celebrate Canada Day this year and we weren't disappointed! The big, outdoor evernt was rained out so they had kids stuff to do in the auditorium with live music and big tables for the adults to sit around and ignore their young ones for hours.
   The day ended with a massive fireworks show at the ball diamond which most people viewed from their cars. But the headliner for the kids was definitely the display of snakes—lots and lots of snakes.
check this-s-s out->
Water, water everywhere!
Ice wreaks havoc on Virtanen House dock

Record precipitation over the winter formed massive ice flows which mangled then carried away more than a few docks on Duck Lake. One of those docks, of course, was mine.
  "I wasn't sure if the dock was crooked or if I'd had too much to drink," mumbled a tipsy Gaza, as he staggered along the dock
. Alas, it was the dock—well, likely a bit of both. see->

2006
Babes in Cottageland
The big Keyes-a-thon in the woods

The infamous Gananoque get-together has moved to the bustling metropolis of Orrville. The clan gathered at Duckeyes Cottageland in the Parry Sound district for the August long weekend extravaganza.
   Cottageland now consists of two cozy dwellings: The ever-popular "Wiley Cabin" with all its fabled history, and the brand new (to us) "Virtanen House" on the point.
   The barbecue seemed to run non-stop and the weather cooperated for a splendid weekend of good old fashioned fun at the lake.
see what i mean->
We're now on Cottage Time
Fun in the sun has begun for another summer

Hot! That's was the weather on Canada Day at the cottage.
    We partied at the Orrville community centre during their all-day celebrations. There was flag-waving, bird house-building, food-eating, fireworks-watching and dancing 'til dawn. (Well, not 'til dawn, but pretty late.)
    Lots of fun in the sun (and likely too much sun), with Ella's solo-swimming in a life jacket and Owen's dinghy-riding fun.
summer time->
2005
Beavers can chew
Pesky rodents wreak havoc on Narrows cottagers

raymond T. bridge
A beaver (or beavers) toppled six trees from the banks of the Narrows this spring including two from the DucKeyes property. "They took two of my trees and gnawed on five more!" fumed resident Woo Keyes. "The critters downed a small cedar and my big, beautiful white birch."
    Several other trees were taken down or damaged by the beavers around the Narrows. The wood was put to good use as the rodents constructed a dam under the Narrows Bridge and a lodge under the Hannan's boat house. The dam was dismantled by some local fisherman before the water level in Duck Lake could drop any lower. The lodge is still intact. If the beavers still occupy it, there could be further logging.
view photographic report->
2003
The wind whips it up - again
High winds damage more trees at DucKeyes

Dumis michael
Severe winds cause more damage on DucKeyes Cottageland. Back in the summer of 2001, a giant maple tree bent and broke in high winds on the shores of Denguy and Woo Keyes' cottage property.
    History repeats as another mature tree gives in to the superior might of a storm. This time a massive basswood came crashing down, demolishing everything in its path. Fortunately, the only objects in its path were a doomed hemlock and two brave but unfortunate young maples.
    The desperately smaller maples tried in vain to save the dying basswood by breaking its fall. It would prove an unwise move, as the substantially heavier basswood threw its weight upon the wispy maples with Herculean force. The two smaller trees twisted and bowed down under the stain, and could do nothing but await the approaching buzz of the chainsaw.
    Mr Keyes had to call the Hydro office as the damaged trees were dangerously close to power lines. After a quick assessment, they realized this was a job for professionals and the Forestry department was called into action.
    Six chainsaw-wielding workers were released upon the tangled mess. They hacked and roared through the four fallen trees with skill and precision. It was all over before supper, much to the delight of Mrs Keyes, "Now my husband can chop the rest of this up for firewood."
    The wood should keep the Keyes family warm for more than a couple of cold-weather cottage months.
check the damage->
2002
Mysterious "cottage-man" photographed
Evidence could provide proof of the woodsman's existence

Raymond T. bridge
Another sighting of the infamous "Cottage-Man"—only this time the witness had a camera! Amateur photographer Heaver Smiff captured the mythic hero as he began to dowse an out-of-control blaze.
    Approximately 6:30 am last Sunday, Denguy Keyes spotted smoke rising from the base of a pine tree on the west bank of the Narrows. Suddenly, Cottage-Man appeared and raced across the water to investigate. He found the roots of this enormous conifer slowly smoldering.
    Armed with only his boat's bailing can, the wondrous stranger attempted to drown the potential forest fire. Realizing the futility of this method, he sent his trusty side-kick, Gaza, to fetch bigger buckets.
    Meanwhile, Mr Keyes dashed to the nearby home of Peter and Joan Hannan to warn them of the impending danger. Mr Hannan joined the battle while Mrs Hannan notified the fire-brigade.
    After 45 minutes—bucket after bucket—the nearly raging forest fire was under control, and the gallant Cottage-Man had disappeared as quickly as he had materialized.
    The fire-brigade arrived with their pump to give the tree's once red-hot roots a more thorough soaking. Volunteer fire chief, Bud Itout, speculated on the fire's cause, "It likely started from a lightning strike. We've had a few this week."
    Chief Itout thanked the local residents for their keen eye and sense of community as they united to save the landmark pine and surrounding woods. Mrs Smiff insisted the thanks belonged to the Cottage-Man—a legendary sentinel who protects the residents of Duck Lake. Many sceptics insist the triumphs of the mysterious watch-man are nothing more than mere folklore. But photographic evidence may change that belief.
more cottage-man->
2001
Canada Day tempest topples tree
Sudden wind storm alters Narrows’ landscape

Henri Michaud
Loaded with irony, an old-growth maple tree came crashing down on Canada's 134th birthday. To the amazement of the many on-lookers, Denguy Keyes managed to cut the felled tree down to size and drag it out of the water in no time.
    "It was on my property, and partially blocking the water-way," said the area-newcomer. "It had to be moved."
    The tree seemed generally healthy, but peeling bark exposed evidence of rot. After strong winds snapped the tree approximately two metres up the trunk, it lay hazardously across the Narrows. Mangled branches and one-metre deep water made the extrication tricky.
    "Slow and steady wins the race, I always say!" exclaimed Mr Keyes of his triumphant battle. "I just took it one branch at a time."
    Armed only with a hand saw, Mr Keyes entered the flowing Narrows water to begin the arduous task. Cutting limbs to manageable carrying size, he was able to finish the job in two hours. His wife thought it would take days to completely remove the tree. "I couldn't believe he did it so quickly!" gasped Woo Keyes, a Peterborough native. "Now I'll get him to move all those big rocks, too!".
see it in pictures->
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