|The Adventures of
Hero of the North
Come up and see us sometime.
|My two snake charmers
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 snakeslots 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 dockwell, likely a bit of both. see->
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->
wreak havoc on Narrows cottagers
raymond T. bridge
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
The wind whips it up - again
High winds damage more trees
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.
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
Evidence could provide proof
of the woodsman's existence
Raymond T. bridge
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
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
Canada Day tempest topples
storm alters Narrows landscape
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->