Wash bin Pond

I had always wanted some sort of water feature in my backyard.  I came upon this washbin and containers and decided that this was the time.  I wanted one where the little containers poured into the big container.  Just had to figure out how to do that.

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Eureka!  I figured it out!  I used some 90 degree brackets for this.  However I didn’t want them at 90 degrees.  Out came the blow torch. I heated them up and slowly bent them with pliers until they were at the angles I wanted.  Note the lack of level on the camera shot.  It’s hard to hold a camera, blow torch and pliers at the same time!IMG_5548

This is where they sat on the bottom oval container.  IMG_5549

Screwed in. I have a habit of using what I have a home. Also I’m broke and thus didn’t want to spend money so thus boom random bolts and nuts used! IMG_5551

Final placement for oval container number one. It is on an incline, I promise!  Also looks like I have mastered gravity.IMG_5552

 

Number two attached.  Still looks like I can control gravity.  In fact.  Lets say that.  I control gravity.IMG_5558

I covered the bolt heads with silicone to help seal it.  I did the top and bottom just to be sure.  Waited a good 24 hours for it all to dry.IMG_5559

Dry run before everything is added.  I found a simple nozzle from Home Depot for the fountain part at the top. I also picked up a very small pump from Canadian tire similar to this one at Amazon. However after researching a bit I wish I had gone for this solar fountain pump. Oh well. I ended up installing a electrical outlet back up behind that log in the top right for this project.  Luckily I figure I can use it for the lights on my tree as well.  So I guess it’s not all bad.IMG_5565

Here it is all done in all it’s glory. I put a piece of limestone in the bottom for extra weight just in case.  It also helps hold the pump down. A couple plants for oxygenation purposes and three goldfish that all look differently so that Damian can name them and tell which is which.  Apparently this is something the pet store hears often.
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Here is one of the yet to be named goldfish poking his head out from under the rock where he likes to hide.  I will update and let you know the names when they occur. I know you’re on the edge of your seat awaiting.IMG_5569

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Backpacking the Elk Trail at Prince Albert National Park

I had some time this last week to go on a solo backpacking trip. I’ve done a ton of solo hikes before but never anything over night so this would be a new experience.  Initially the plan was to do Grey Owls Trail in Prince Albert National Park in Saskatchewan, however once I got up there I discovered that the road to the trail head had been washed out and the nearest place to park was about 40 km away.  I was disappointed to say the least.  I moped around the townsite of Waskesiu for about an hour trying to decide what I wanted to do.  The park office had suggested another trail on the south end of the park so I decided that would be the route I took.  Originally I was expecting about 12 km hiking with my full pack to a site, then 15 to Grey Owl’s and back to campsite with a smaller one.  Easy peezy.  This new hike was described as 13 km to the campsite but I didn’t think that extra kilometre was that bad.  After notifying the proper people of my change in plans I set out to the trail head of the Elk Trail


This is the Elk Trail that I hiked.  I GPS’d it myself.  Strangely enough my GPS said it was a 15km hike into the site and the park said 13km.  Someone is lying.  I believe the GPS more.  I started in the southeast corner of this map and trudged north west passed Sandy Lake and onward to Fish Lake for the night.
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It was a trip of firsts.  My first overnight solo, my first backpacking trip in years and years, and my first night sleeping in a hammock out in the woods. I wasn’t sure about the hammock yet as I had never done it before so I actually brought a tent with me as well.  Once I got to the site I setup my hammock and took a nap.  When I woke up a very fit lady in her 60’s or so showed up at set this up.  I didn’t feel like being shown up so hammock it is!

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I didn’t take any pictures of my hammock setup for some reason.  However here is one I sent to make people at home feel jealous of my relaxing outdoors.  It’s my beautiful feet.  In the end I did have a tarp strung up over top of me in case of rain.  It was a good sleep.  The hammock is a double so I could cocoon myself into it to fend off scary mosquitoes.  IMG_20160607_142758

I learned a lesson about backpacking on this trip.  Since I am usually doing canoe trips I hadn’t backpacked in a long time. On a canoe trip I can take a lot more stuff.  Unfortunately I packed like I was doing a canoe trip, which meant I took way way too much.  I was pretty tired when I made it to the site.  The trip out was even worse.  It took me just over three hours to get in and five hours to hike out.  At the end I was taking a break every twenty minutes.  It was rough.

The trail was pretty good.  It wasn’t a lot of ups and downs.  They apparently don’t maintain it but it looked pretty maintained. It would be a good trip via snowshoe in the winter as well methinks.  Here is a couple pictures from the trail.

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Here is one from one of my frequent breaks on the way out.  I was tired.  And sore.IMG_5531

This is a panoramic view of the campsite.  Mind the mess on the tables.    IMG_20160607_154452_panorama

The park office told me the trail and campground weren’t maintained.  They had a brand new outhouse stocked with toilet paper.  Also if you look closely you can see the wood is also neatly stacked.  Pretty nice for “not maintained”

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These are some shots from my site the night.  The lake seemed to be rather high.  I’m not sure if it was due to high water levels in general or beaver activity.  It ruined all opportunity to fish though and I wasn’t happy with that.  Also the lake was filled with leaches which also isn’t fun.
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The next morning I took this one.

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Overall I’d probably do the trail again at a later time.  I still want to get back to do Grey Owl’s again.  Hopefully the road will be open again soon.

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Update on potato and strawberry planters

If you look back in time at my previous posts, I have created a stand up strawberry planter and a stand up potato planter. I thought I’d post an update after stuff grew on them!

 

Here is the strawberry planter with genuine strawberries in them!  Well actually there is no strawberries yet but they’re growing.

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Here is the stand up potato planter.  It’s got plants growing out of the top and the sides cause that’s the way potatoes roll.

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Ginger Rhubarb Jam

I have a mutant Rhubarb plant in my backyard.  It’s only the beginning of June and I have had to cut it back four times already!  I have been able to pawn off a lot on my retired mother who in turn supplies the family and neighbourhood with rhubarb crips and pies.  This time however I have taken it upon myself to make rhubarb jam.  I like a good jam.  Occasionally a jelly.  But I’m really a jam guy.IMG_20160612_125113

I cut my mutant rhubarb plant (I call him Stan) today.  This was the haul I got today.   Probably cut less than a quarter of it down.  I used an Odouls can for scale.  I did let my mother steal more from today’s haul.

The Recipe:

8 cups rhubarb all chopped up into bits and pieces

2 cups sugar

1/4 cup shredded ginger

Lemon zest

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Here is the Rhubarb all chopped up and measured out.IMG_5541

I zested the lemon with a cheese grater because I am resourceful and responsible.  I then cut the lemon and squeezed it to juice up the mix.

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A nice shot of all the mix together. Sugar, lemon, rhubarb, ginger all together on the stove ready to heat up on the stove in medium heat.

I have at this point also got the big pot boiling with the jars that are sterilizing.

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I also took a quick snack of rhubarb and sugar.  Well maybe a couple.  This may be a reason why losing weight isn’t happening…

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I also made a batch with added strawberries as a side project.  I hope it goes well.    I only used four cups of rhubarb and one cup of sugar for this batch.

I proceeded to fill jars, then set them gently in the boiling water pot and boiled for a whopping ten minutes.  Then removed, set on the racks and waiting for the lids to pop.  All jars successfully made the lovely popping sound.

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In total I got five jars of the Rhubarb Ginger Jam and two of the Strawberry Ginger Rhubarb.  Once I eat them  I will let you know how tasty they are and you can salivate at my descriptions and fume with jealousy.

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I even made the most hip jam labels imaginable.

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