Tuesday, May 03, 2016

Powell Lake Cabins in Cottage Life Magazine

Wayne and I enjoy sharing about off-the-grid float cabin living on Powell Lake, here in Coastal BC. This month, we were included in an article about float cabins that was published in the May western edition of Cottage Life magazine.

Jim Sutherland, the article's author, came to Powell Lake to meet our favourite real estate agent, Harry Zroback. Harry was instrumental in helping us purchase our float cabin in 2001.

Our cabin on the first page of the Cottage Life article.
We were away on a barge quad trip to the head of Powell Lake when the author was scheduled to arrive. Harry still brought them by our cabin for photographs and I did a telephone interview after the fact.

The article entitled "The Good-Time Drifters" included several cabins and their owners. There were two nice shots of our cabin and a short story about us.

On the left there's a full page picture of our cabin and garden from the cliff above.

 Article excerpts (Cottage Life May 2016 page 110):
Powell Lake would almost escape the prying eyes of Google but for the blogs of one cottaging couple, Wayne and Margy Lutz. They have a place on the lake's west side ... near a spot called Hole in the Wall.

The Lutzes are the exception to the rule that everyone here is a local. In 2000, they came upon Powell Lake after flying up in their plane from California.

Maybe because they are on the lake for months at a time, maybe because they see themselves as homesteading ex-city folk than as weekending locals, their approach to float cabin dwelling is a little different.
It was fun sharing our part of the overall story that makes up life "up the lake."

Thanks for visiting part of my world this week. For more great posts from Our World Tuesday, click here.

And also a meme called Through My Lens by Mersad. -- Margy

Saturday, April 30, 2016

Bee Hotel Update

You can see pollen on the back legs of this bee heading home.
About two weeks ago I finished my Bee Hotel and Wayne got it mounted for me just in time. The very next day we had one bee visitor and by the second the establishment was abuzzin'.

Look in the middle of the picture below. You will see a Mason Bee zooming in for a landing in one of the open holes.

In the middle, a backside view of a bee zooming in for a landing.

The bees fly right into the holes, and when they are done leave quickly. Getting a good photo was hard.

Two hole filled with pollen and eggs and sealed on the outside.
We missed seeing the bees fill in the holes because of rainy weather. Hopefully there will be a few holes left to fill after the weather returns to sun.

Watching this process has been so much fun, and the cost of making a bee hotel is nothing if you already have a drill and some scrap or gathered wood. I highly recommend it if you have bees in your area.

Camera Critters Thanks for visiting my post this week. I'm linking up with Camera Critters and Saturday's Critters. Check them out for more great animal pictures. -- Margy

Saturday, April 23, 2016

Modifying a Commercial Bird Feeder

Hurry up, I'm hungry!
I bought a seed bird feeder to use up at the cabin. The first bird to come to visit was an overwintering Song Sparrow. In fact, so far she's been the only visitor.

I found a plastic plate at the Dollar Store that was the perfect size to fit under the commercial bird feeder.

I got a little help from Wayne for this part of my project.

I turned the plate upside down so the edge turned upwards, giving birds a more substantial perch while eating their seeds.


Wayne used his battery powered drill (perfect for an off the grid cabin) to extend the drain holes from the metal ring through the plastic plate.

Three of these extended drain holes allowed us to insert screws to hold the two pieces together.

Drain holes were important to keep the seeds from getting waterlogged during rain storms.

He also drilled drain holes to make sure the outer plastic ring wouldn't fill up with water.

The completed modification to a commercial bird feeder.

Our Song Sparrow took a few moments to check out the new look.

Look closely on the bridge support, there our Sparrow taking a look.

When everything looked safe and secure ...


She returned to get lunch. But I noticed, she used the inner metal ring to stand on. Maybe the modification was more for my than her liking.


Camera Critters Thanks for visiting my post this week. I'm linking up with Camera Critters and Saturday's Critters. Check them out for more great animal pictures. -- Margy

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Spring Sailing

We've had a very mild, in fact warm, spring. The weather has been great for gardening and sunbathing, but pretty calm for sailing. When April showers move through, we get just enough wind to take our new Ste. Marie out for a sail on Powell Lake.

First we tack to starboard.

Then we tack to port where we see some clearing skies.

Finally we make it out to the open area we call the North Sea.


In winter, the winds and waves here can grow to epic proportions. But today it's just enough to let us to safely learn to sail.

It’s time for “Outdoor Wednesday.” Click HERE for more outdoor pictures.

Today is Sky Watch Friday. Go to the Sky Watch Friday website and you'll see sky photos from all over the world! -- Margy

Monday, April 18, 2016

Building a Bee Hotel

Last spring I noticed small flying insects going in and out of a little hole on the pedestal of our weather station’s solar panel. After taking several pictures, I identified the small insect as a bee, most likely an Orchard Mason Bee, a type of solitary bee that nest in holes or tubes.

Cutting the driftwood blocks to size.
This year I decided to make the bees a more permanent home, a Bee Hotel. I started out by using an old birdhouse that was no longer needed because John built us nice new ones. I took the front wall off and glued all of the joints. A new coat of green paint on the roof really spruced it up.

I cut four sections of driftwood and Wayne drilled the 5/16-inch holes for me. The holes only go part way through, creating tubes that the bees like to nest in. The larger stick got six holes, the rest four each.

Wayne helped me drill the holes part way through the blocks.

I’ve already seen Mason Bees flying around the cabin. Hopefully they’ll pick the nice new home this year. We placed it on the south facing porch post right under the solar panel they used last year. Maybe they’ll get the hint.

The Bee Hotel mounted facing south right under their old solar panel home.

There’s lots of information about building bee hotels online. The one I used was from The Pollinator Garden at www.foxleas.com. It’s a British site, but the eleven page guide was quite detailed with illustrations.

Making a bee hotel helps your garden and the native bee population at the same time. Do you have one? How is it working for you?

Thanks for visiting part of my world this week. For more great posts from Our World Tuesday, click here.

And also a meme called Through My Lens by Mersad. -- Margy

Saturday, April 16, 2016

Painted Rock Turtle

Kobe the Turtle before his new coat of paint.
On a warm summer day in 2012, our good friend John came by for a swim in our natural swimming pool behind the cabin.  He dove down and brought up a large, heavy chunk of granite and placed it on the stump in our pool. The rock spoke to me. I got out my acrylic paints and released its inner turtle.

Refreshed Kobe the Turtle on his cedar log pedestal.

Four years of rain, wind, snow and sun have taken their toll. Rather than retirement like his namesake, it was time to give Kobe the Turtle (read Release Your Inner Turtle to learn why) a fresh coat of colour.

After several coats of protective clear acrylic spray Kobe was ready to retake his place of honour on the cedar log pedestal at the corner of the transition float. From here he can monitor activity in Hole in the Wall and at our float cabin home.

Do you do rock painting. What are some of your projects?


Camera Critters Thanks for visiting my post this week. I'm linking up with Camera Critters and Saturday's Critters. Check them out for more great animal pictures. -- Margy

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Growing Blueberry Plants in Pots

Each year I like to try something new in my garden. I use the term loosely, because my garden only includes four raised beds on a cedar log float, a small plot on the upper cliff on shore, and pots around our float cabin deck.

One of my 2016 "experiments" is growing blueberries in pots. I went to the garden shop at Canadian Tire and the nursery person gave me a hand. She said to pick two varieties to plant close together for cross-pollination. Good thing I asked, I had planned to get only one.

Northsky Blueberry
Chandler Blueberry










She recommended a Northsky Blueberry that can get quite tall and a smaller Chandler Blueberry. The Northsky does will in cold areas and produces small midseason berries. The Chandler has large berries for a month or more in the late mid-season.

Back at the cabin, I prepared two large pots. I dug holes deep enough to accept the plants without burying their crowns, but twice as wide to allow for root expansion. Before I placed each plant in its hole, I added some water and plant food, and teased the roots gently apart before placing them in their new homes.


After a good watering to encourage deep root growth, the two pots were placed in a sunny spot on the side deck. I'll keep everyone posted on how things go. If they get too big, I'll repot them in future years. It's nice to have a bit of green on the deck next to my repurposed BBQ flower planter.

Thanks for visiting part of my world this week. For more great posts from Our World Tuesday, click here.

And also a meme called Through My Lens by Mersad. -- Margy