Surprise autumn colours enjoyed in Lac des Roches neighbourhood

Community news happening around the Lac des Roches area

Over the past few years, the beetle-infested pine trees in the area have filled the forest with the red hue of dead needles.

Following that, the fallen needles leave bare branches, which have changed the look of our forest and left dead scraggly trees where dark lush conifers once stood.

It was a pleasant surprise this autumn, to see a driveway on Boultbee Road, lined with non-native Larch trees (also known as Tamarack), planted by the owner, to have its needles turn brilliant orange and then yellow before falling off the branches.

Unlike the dead pine, this is a natural process for this species and new soft green needles will reappear in the spring and summer to be enjoyed for another year.

 

Waiting for winter

Most of the permanent residents on the lake live here because they like the winter season and all that it offers.

Whether enjoying winter sports outdoors or the guilt-free days of hours spent indoors during the cold and dark hours of winter, it seems the wait is over and winter has arrived.

Lake ice, early sunsets and the silence that comes with the season are the first indicators that winter is here.

Snow and all the equipment we use to control snow is the second indicator. Residents are pulling out snow shovels and snow blowers, as well as mounting blades on ATVs in preparation of snow removal.

The state of the frozen ground, under the first snow falls is always a popular topic of conversation this time of year as the unwittingly removal of driveway gravel is not usually the intention with the first snow removal passes early in the season.

So far, relentless high winds have blown most of the snow away, although one must wonder if “away” isn’t just the next door neighbour’s driveway.

 

Terrific tomatoes

In addition to this fall’s wonderful zucchini crop, the late summer growing spurt had local gardeners enjoying an abundant harvest of tomatoes.

Plants grown outside, as well as those grown in backyard greenhouses, did very well and prompted a lot of discussion on what to do with boxes and boxes of green and red tomatoes.

Neighbours shared ideas and techniques for ripening green tomatoes and swapped recipes for green tomato chutney, relish, salsa and, of course, the very popular fried green tomato. Vast quantities of red tomatoes were shared throughout the neighbourhood to be eaten fresh and preserved by canning, freezing and dehydrating.

Despite the slow start to the growing season this year and fending off the over abundance of deer, most residents are still talking about their wonderful gardening success this year and planning how they will improve soil performance of next year’s beds.

 

Wonderful wildlife

Several delighted resident enjoyed the playful antics of otters for about 20 minutes last week in a quiet bay on the big lake.

The trouble was, even though the otters were out of the water on a floating dock several times, their constant movement made an accurate head count very challenging. Possibly five, and maybe six, otters make up this family.

The group has been spotted several times in the past month and it turns out, no one is quite sure how many otters there are, but all agree they are tremendously entertaining.

 

Book club

The next Bridge Lake book club meeting is scheduled for Dec. 3 at a home on Lac des Roches.

The discussion will be focused on Terry Fallis’ novel, The Best Laid Plans, which is a light read and humourous tale incorporating Canadian federal politics.

For more information, call Wendy Dubbin at 593-4538.