…Shirley was a long time cottager up on Big Sand Bay
Shirley O’Donnell passed away a week ago today. I saw her one last time back in August when we were both at our cottages. She looked well but clearly her health was not good. Her log cabin cottage was the envy of the beach. Over 40 years ago she had the logs of the cabin floated over to Big Sand Bay and rebuilt on top of the dune. Every summer she and her two children resided in this rustic cabin. She only had electricity installed in the last decade and like us used an outhouse for most of her cottage life. Several years ago she had a beautiful little building put up next to the cabin with a composting toilet and an outdoor shower.
On the weekend I got up early Sunday morning and took a walk to Shirley’s place and started to take photos of the view and the special little touches that made her place so special. The mist coming up over the lake was very mystical and I almost felt like Shirley was looking down on us and sharing the morning with me.
…after arriving at the cottage we had a quick snack and then decided to explore the beach
Now that the days are getting shorter my daughter and I knew that we didn’t have a lot of time to walk on the beach before darkness set in. After sitting in the car for over three hours we needed to stretch our legs. We fuelled up on some tea and homemade apple cake and then headed down to the beach. We were pleasantly surprised to find the the water level had gone down somewhat since our last visit so walking on the beach was considerably easier than it was two weeks ago.
As many of you know I am always close to water. I live next to Lake Ontario and my cottage is on Georgian Bay. This past weekend I closed the cottage for the summer. I took one final walk on the beach Sunday morning and was greeted by the beautiful mist that was coming off the lake. Clearly the water was warmer than the air.
I love how the water changes on our bay. It can be calm and clear as glass one day and then the next day or three days we experience huge powerful waves. Sometimes this change is referred to as a ‘three day blow’.
….how quickly the weather changes on Christian Island
Being on an island in a large body of water, like Georgian Bay, the weather can change very quickly. A couple of weekends ago the water was dead calm and it was great for swimming. I swam for a solid half an hour. The water had warmed up nicely over the summer but the evenings were getting cooler. The breezes coming off the lake, however, were a welcome change from the stifling heat we had experienced in August.
As the afternoon wore on we could hear the rumblings of thunder in the distance and the big fluffy cumulous clouds were starting to darken.
We managed to get back to the cottage before the skies opened up.
I don’t advocate peeling back the bark of any tree for it can do serious damage to the tree. The birch tree as it ages and with the effects of wind and rain experiences changes to its outer bark. If you look closely it reveals all kinds of mysteries that lie within the tree.