Shannon Mckinnon

The man who forgot to plant

Columnists Shannon McKinnon recalls a tale about The Man Who Forgot to Plant.

Spring is in the air and a starling is in the stove

Ah, the familiar sounds of springtime down on the farm; the frogs croaking, bees buzzing and a starling fluttering inside the stove.

Mystery trees

I was doing a little spring pruning on my fruit trees a couple weeks back and things are looking hopeful for our mystery tree.

Happy returns

Spring is the season of happy returns — robins, crocuses and sunshine. And me!

Battle of the squirrels

I am presently embroiled in the battle of the squirrel. Don’t get me wrong, I like squirrels.

Orange alert

Long-time readers of this column have read ad nauseam about my inability to grow a pumpkin to maturity.

A smelly old bag

On the very worst nights the bag’s odour permeates even my dreams.

What do your dreams mean?

I have dreamed of plane crashes ever since I was a kid. No doubt, in part, because we lived in an area so void of civilization that pilots used the air space over our farm as a practice field.

In a jam and a pickle too

The weekend was going to be busy. Peas were hanging fat and ready on the vine; another few days and their sweet promise that kept me kneeling in the cold winds of May marching those wrinkled seeds down their row would be all for naught.


Everyone knows that when you check into a hotel the first thing you do is carefully examine the back of your door and note the closest fire exits.

Whatever happened to me?

“People used to have time to live and enjoy themselves, but there is not time anymore for anything but work, work, work. I was wishing I had lived altogether in those good old days when people had time for things they wanted to do.”

Apologies to Gus

In the movie My Big Fat Greek Wedding the father is convinced that Windex fixes everything from psoriasis to poison ivy to bruises to the common zit. Whenever an ailment arises he says with great conviction, “Put some Windex on it.”

Shannon gets her groove, her bees and her horse back

In the first days of August our farm finds its groove.

Lacking the garden tour disposition

Every summer I look forward to the garden tours in our area.

Close encounters of the wild kind

I’ve had a very animal-filled day. With horses, sheep, chickens, dogs and a cat you could say every day is animal filled around here, but this day was more about wildlife than the domestic type.

A river runs through it

This morning I got up, made a cup of tea, leaned against the kitchen counter and took in the view of the river-fed lake below our cabin.

The mother of all rain cheques

Up here in the Peace Country we have had three drought years in a row. The fire pit we bought in 2009 has never had a fire in it.

Baad man in the neighbourhood

There’s a baad man on the loose in our neighbourhood. He’s been stopping his truck at the end of our driveway to baa at our sheep.

See you next year

I’m a Canuck fan by marriage.

Happy Father’s Day Dad

With Father’s Day coming up it seems a fitting time to pay tribute to my dad.