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Archive for April, 2012


April 30, 2012

Apparently, leaving wildlife alone is not on the agenda for some rich people. 

An elephant is killed.  http://www.wildlifeextra.com/go/news/trump-elephant-hunt.html#cr

Sand dunes are flattened to make way for a golf course in Scotland.  Habitat for endangered birds are destroyed.  http://www.usatoday.com/sports/golf/2007-10-10-2052550731_x.htm

See those dunes now flattened down:  http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2012/02/10/422677/digging-up-golf-course-donald-trump-wind-farms-are-destroying-scotland/?mobile=nc

On the other hand, there are many people worldwide who are the opposite of this type of user.  There are people who truly care for the delicate beings who try to exist and live their little lives as best they can.

See the man who planted 16,000 trees on his island:  http://ca.news.yahoo.com/blogs/good-news/british-man-buys-island-whim-40-years-ago-191547211.html

I’ve been told that in order to overpower a negative, one must recount 10 positives.  I truly believe that for every horrendous act against nature, where someone wantonly destroys an innocent life or a habitat, there are 10 acts of good that are also taking place.

How else could there be a balance on this earth?

And I also believe that our young people are the impetus for the good that is happening.   I see more and more young men and women working hard to improve the soil for growing healthy (no pesticides) vegetables.   There are so many blogs where people are generously sharing how to repurpose things … to not just throw things away.

They say you can’t teach an old dog new tricks!  Humbug!  I’m an “old dog” and I’m learning new things every single day.  Every day is an adventure.  Still studying all the “new” information on improving the soil .. and learning about what is happening in the ground beneath my feet.  Wish this information had been taught in school .. and happy that I’m able to learn now.

Reading my “Living Earth” by Peter Farb (printed in 1950!) about the “fascinating world of life within the soil beneath us”.

I’m also slowly entering the world of native plants and will attend a workshop on salvaging native plants.   Meeting people who are active in restoring natural habitat.  And I’ve been learning about the varieties of mosses and will be attending a workshop on seaweed soon.

oh, hmmm .. I’d planned to discontinue blogging during the summer, as I wanted to devote my time to the garden, but here I am, drawn back to tap on the keyboard.

Just for a few minutes.   Then, time to go check on my latest batch of EM (effective microorganisms) … the latest batch is nearly ready to use in the garden.

I’d started off making 1 litre batches and now have moved up to a 4 Litre (milk jug) and a 2 Litre (juice bottle).   I’ve prepared a diluted mixture for a friend to use on her house plants, looking forward to hearing the results.

The dilution of the mix varies depending on the usage and I’ve been using quite a bit on my garden, the trees, garlic plantings, on berry bushes that I’ve moved around the yard.   And the blueberries, salmon berries and raspberries are in full bloom.  I’ve heard that it isn’t good to disturb blueberries, but the plants that I’ve dug up and replanted are very healthy.  Could this be due to the wonderful qualities of the EM?  I think so!

Healthy soil = healthy plants = less insect damage (insects aren’t drawn to “sick” plants).

Here is the most wonderful website to visit, to learn lots more about EM and organic fertilizers, and so very much more:  http://www.gardenerspantry.ca/  Christina is so very knowledgeable and very sharing of information … a joy to talk with. 

Well .. .away with this day .. lots to do.

🙂

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Saturday, April 28, 2012

How very sad is this .. a magnificent mountain goat shot and killed.  For sport. For someone’s boasting.  An animal that survived the wilderness of the mountains.   Skilled at living in the wild .. now, sadly, only a momento for someone with a gun.  I cry.

http://www.theprovince.com/news/Kentucky+hunter+kills+world+record+Rocky+Mountain+goat+Stikine+River+area/6519020/story.html

I couldn’t believe my eyes when I opened the newspaper yesterday. There was a photo of a most magnificent wild animal, dead, lifeless.  And beside this animal, a smiling young man, obviously proud of his kill.  With a gun.  How brave is he.   Not.

I asked my dh .. why, why?  He said . .you are asking the wrong person.

We both decry this wanton killing and destruction.  Poor mountain goat.  He lived his life the best he knew how.  Braving the freezing winters, scant food in spring .. he survived .. only for this?

The world weeps for this base kind of sensationalism.

Sorry, I’m not talking about gardening .. but this event, and photo in the paper has reminded me of how crass the world is towards the animals that try to survive.

I have the utmost respect for the animals that live in the wild and the utmost sadness for the humans who hunt them for reasons other than food.

😦

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Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Hi .. still taking a break from blogging.   But, watching the busy insect activity in the yard and the beautiful blossoms & leaves unfurling from the once bare trees .. I just want to share these magnificent videos with you.

If you haven’t already seen them .. then you are in for a treat.

Number one is:  Queen of the Sun: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ekoeQodrVoM

Number two is: The D.I.R.T. on Farmer John:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uhMWz1QWQ0g

It just takes the power of one .. of us .. at a time .. to do our part to stop the pesticides, nurture the earth and all the living insects and animals (including us).

Grow the healthy, natural way.  Throw away the artificial fertilizers .. use the effective microorganisms, the compost teas .. research the information.

Here is a good site to start, to find out about good ways to improve your garden soil:  http://www.gardenerspantry.ca/

And there are a lot of compost tea maker sites.   Each one has some excellent information (although I think that the Bruce Deuley site is the best .. down below)

Compost tea (using only one aquarium aerator): http://www.treehugger.com/lawn-garden/how-to-make-compost-tea-why-you-should.html

Here’s another site:  http://www.dep.state.pa.us/dep/deputate/airwaste/wm/recycle/tea/tea3.htm

Compost tea (using two aerators): (and this is the best one, I’ll be making one of these):  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R8_PuUon5_Q

Yours in gardening ……

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Taking a break


I’m taking a break from blogging .. using the time now for gardening .. enjoying the summer.

See you later .. enjoy your summer!

 

🙂

A.M.

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Monday, April 2, 2012

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Oh, I am a lucky gal, I am, I am I am!  And I’ll tell you why, in a moment!

But first, yesterday, Sunday, April 1 .. was a brilliantly sunny day, albeit a wee bit chilly!  DH, friends and I met at Dakota Café for a lovely early breakfast.  I saw the most amazing cloud formations and just wanted to run outside to take pics of them, but decided, in my maturity (?) to wait till the meal was finished and then . . I went outside!

Brrrr .. by then the really amazing cloud formations had morphed into other shapes.  Well, really, they had moved on in the sky, but I like the idea of the morphing better.

Rejoined the breakfast table and the conversation!

Later, on the way home, we noticed the new eagle nest .. the old one had succumbed to weathering a few years ago.  Luckily the eagles had built the new nest (it’s actually a few years old) in the same area.  Just for the heck of it, I brought out the camera and clicked away as we drove by .. and luckily, the photos turned out well.

And yesterday was the final day of the Friends of the Library book sale.  I wondered, would I be choosy and perhaps a bit more mature in my book selection this time?  Not sure, but I made sure that I took a good supply of shopping bags with me.  And decided to leave my somewhat bulky backpack/purse at home this time.  Easier to slip between the crowds.

This time I was not at the front of the line but I was at a respected position of number 5, so that was good.  We waited, the line getting longer and longer.  Suddenly, the sound of broken glass broke through the silence of the afternoon, and as one, all of us in the lineup turned to face the direction of the sound.

A gentleman stood at the back of his truck, a look of puzzlement on his face …. While his hand continued to uphold the swing out glass door of his truck’s canopy.  I’d caught the action of the broken glass tumbling to the ground as he’d swung open the door.  And as he started to lower it, more glass continued to crumble and fall to the ground.  No one spoke for a few minutes until suddenly a voice rang out “are you ok?”

It seems he was fine, just in shock over what happened, though.  At this point, the door to the library book sale was opened and everyone trooped in .. so I don’t know the ending to that story.

Well .. I just wandered around .. not sure at which table I should start looking for books.  Couldn’t see any aviation or weather books this time.  That’s ok .. I was able to amass quite a few good ones at the last sale.

It was a fun time, chatting with fellow shoppers, discussing the merits of various authors.   I made my way over to the garden and craft section . .and it was here that I struck gold!

There was a very thin book “Living Earth” by Peter Farb, “The Worlds of Science” .. printed in 1959.  Now, before I took my life changing Organic Master Gardening course (Gaia College, through Royal Roads University) .. I would not have given this book a second glance.  But, my life has changed for the better, so I quickly grabbed this treasure.  And I’ve been reading it carefully, page by page.    In the preface, he notes that, despite mankind’s curiosity about the soil, there “has never been a book for the untutored in science on this subject.”  And he continues that there was no technical study on soil until 1957.

The title of the first chapter is “the Placenta of Life” .. and here he introduces the active life found within the soil.   My new best friends “mycorrhizal fungi” are discussed in this book.  Plus so very much more.

For interest, here are the titles of the chapters, how revealing they are:

Part 1 – The Living Soil: 1) The Placenta of Life; 2) The Story of Soil

Part II – The Forests: 3) The Forest Hive;  4) The World of the Root; 5) Soil Societies

Part III – The Grasslands: 6) Dwellers in Darkness; 7) Triumph of the Seed

Part IV – The Deserts: 8) Adapting to Adversity

Part V – Mutual Survival: 9) Living Together and Living Apart; 10) This Enduring Earth

Needless to say, this science report, Peter Farb had a passion for nature .. sadly he has passed on, but he has left us such gifts, namely this treasure of a book.

And, among the other interesting landscaping and gardening books is this other treasure of a book and how very fitting, since I’m beginning to learn more about native plants and ecosystems!   Again, this book is small, but full of important information about ecosystems “Field Guide to Old-Growth Forests” of the Pacific NorthWest.  Thank you to the forces which guided me to these books, I am so very grateful.

Later, after 3 trips to the car to put book filled shopping bags in the car and deciding that really, I had enough, I made myself leave. Anyway, the sale was over.  And once again I proved that I have no will power when it comes to gathering up books.

What were some other treasures .. oh, yes, a book on the Masterpieces of Tutankhamun, glorious coloured plates therein.   “Prehistoric Art” by T.G.E. Powell .. this interests me and today I’ll be going to a free lecture at U Vic on Shamanism in historic cave art & I’ll share that tomorrow.

“Treasures of Early Irish Art” 1500 BC to 1500 AD .. the artwork on the cover was intriguing.  The book contains photos and history of art “from the collections of the National Museum of Ireland Royal Irish Academy Trinity College, in Dublin.   As I opened the cover of this most fascinating book, leafed through the pages and saw the photos of ancient tools, jewellery, chalice, artifacts, I decided that luck had placed this gift in my path, so I tucked it away in yet another shopping bag.  I’m looking through the pages right now, very happy that I decided to take it with me .. so much history, so much beauty ..

Among the Graphic Art books that I selected, there is one on the art of Renate Ulmer “Mucha”.  Now, I have always loved his art, so inventive, playful .. so now I can peruse at my leisure.  And, no respect to this esteemed book . .but I might be so bold as to clip some of the drawings and try to decoupage them onto some tiles .. or something.

Minoan and Mycenaean Art” by Reynold Higgins .. .ok, I was standing way too long at the art table and after this book, I made myself move away!

But wait, what’s this .. a book on poetry.  And not just any poetry, but poems from the 17th Century.  Come on  now, who, having read some of the lines contained within these pages, could resist??? Not me.   Well, I was just looking through this book, hoping to find a short and cheerful little ditty to share ..but am finding that the dismal tone of these writings have made me decide to put this little book in the “free” pile at our next garage sale.

Oh, well, c’est la vie, as it were!

On and on with this bright new day!

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Sunday, April 1, 2012

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I love the look of raindrops on flowers, trees, branches .. a delicate transformation of yet another layer of beauty.  Translucent beads of moisture gracefully tumbling on delicate flower petals

And I love the smell of fresh earth when the rains start  .. and imagine a giant sprinkling can wafting back and forth over the earth.  Wouldn’t that be funny?

Last year I was working in the front yard when the rains started pouring down.  Wanting to stay outside, I simply opened up the car trunk, lowered the back seats down and sat inside the dry cocoon of my car.   Breathing in the fresh rainy perfume, listening to the steady pounding of the raindrops as they pelted the roof of my car.  It was a lovely interlude and very relaxing.  All that I needed was a mug of tea, but I wasn’t going to disrupt the mood by going inside and preparing a pot of tea.  So I simply remained where I was. Calm and tranquil.

Yesterday I spent some time on shopping .. we were having a neighbourhood potluck at, where else, a neighbour’s house!  I spent time looking through my cookbooks, searching for something I could prepare.  Nothing struck my fancy, so I went to M & M’s to buy one of those hors d’oeuvre packages.  Yuck.  Never again.  I prepared them properly and put them in some lovely plain white dishes (oops, didn’t think of taking a photo . .as I’d burned my finger on one of the cookie tins, ouch!)

Wrapped them carefully in foil and DH transported them while I carried our little case of beer.

These little things aren’t too bad when they are warm, but, later, I tried to taste one  and omg, they just didn’t taste as good as they looked.  So I binned them later.

Our gardening class has a potluck tomorrow and shortly I’ll be preparing spanakopitas for that event.   Went shopping for the organic spinach, green onions and parsley.  I’ll be using goat feta and thinly sliced almonds.   And the Phylo has thawed out so I’m all set.

Yesterday the weather was chilly and overcast.  When the sun did come out, which it did sporadically .. the air was still a bit too brisk to do any sort of gardening.

So instead I walked around, looking at the birds.  The Juncos were singing away to each other.  Flying around and perching on branches, looking so darn cute.

The Annas were out in full force.   And the front yard Annas, these little beings are siphoning the nectar, I swear, cause I’m filling that feeder every few days.  No leakage, so they are just very heavy feeders. Quite unlike the backyard Annas .. just fill up that feeder once a week or so.

While I was refilling the feeder for the front yard Annas, they kept zipping around my head, buzzing like little helicopters.   Of course this made me laugh and duck as they whirled around my head .. I wonder if they recognize me out there?

I’m so very happy with all the gardening in the yard and full of joy at being able to play around there all day!   I have so many plans and am so excited about spending the whole day, up early and just plain playing around.

Having worked for the majority of my life .. now, finally, I have the opportunity to do what I most love to do in all the world … dig and plant and propagate plants and study and learn.  Endless opportunities to express my most genuine love for all living plants.  And gettting down and dirty, as I kneel on the ground and dig away.   No worries about getting my clothes dirty, or mussing up my hair or “so what, I have mud on my face”?

And remembering to constantly look up to the skies .. to see beautiful clouds, magnificent eagles, hawks, turkey vultures .. soaring by.   Spend happy moments watching the birds play around me.

Ah, what a wonderful life this is!

🙂

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