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Posts Tagged ‘Bird’


Saturday, March 31, 2012

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Friday … the end of the work week .. and another day of activity.  A real mix of weather, ranging from brilliant sunshine to pouring rain.

What to do .. what to do … what to do…

Shopping of course .. made a list, actually brought it with me and then left it in the car!  Groceries first .. went to a few supermarkets to take advantage of sales.  Found some good deals and soon the back of my car was loaded up.   Also purchased the most beautiful umbrella at the bank, proceeds go to Children’s Hospital.  It’s just the loveliest umbrella I’ve ever had. There are two coverings.  The outer (top) is black and the inner cover is a cheerful blue sky dotted with white puffy clouds.  How appropriate for one who loves the sky so much!   And I actually had the opportunity to use this in the afternoon when I went for a little walk!   I had my blue skies with me, even though it was pouring rain!

Decided to just make a “little” visit to Swan Lake Nature Sanctuary.  When I got there, the little parking lot was jammed full .. so decided to leave unless a spot happened to open up.  Just as I made this decision, I noticed someone preparing to get into their car and leave.  Hmmm.. what can I say?  So I waited a few minutes and then parked in the now vacant spot.

Pulled on my gumboots and started walking.   Sauntered along  the pathway to Tuesday Pond … went to the side area  .. which is now nicely covered in mulch .  This mulch looks just like the pine chippings that I scooped up a few days ago, from “free” in Used Victoria ads.     I’m getting to know my mulch.  And glad that I still have 6 large Rubbermaid containers full at home .. plan to use this on my back pathway.   Pine mulch is not good for gardens, but perfect for pathways.

Anyway .. onwards I went .. and saw no ducks at the side area .. so I retraced my steps, planning to take the shortcut to the little bridge which spans the Tuesday Pond area.  Oops .. there is a large Canada Goose along the shores .. so I decided to go the long way around.  The Geese  can be a bit territorial and I didn’t want any confrontations.

I walked along the pathway for a while, tempted to walk the full circuit around the Sanctuary, but decided on a shorter version, it’s too easy to spend hours and hours here and I have things to do at home.

Eventually I turned back and made my way to the main observatory.  Noticed many cleared areas, invasive plant growth removed, lots of sunshine now entering the cleared areas.  Lovely ..lots of volunteers have helped to open up these side wooded areas.

I could hear the calls of many birds, some of which I recognized.  The songs of the Red Wing Blackbirds, the males and the females.  The Marsh Wrens.  And many others.

Spoke with other people looking out for birds and feeding the ducks.  Saw the Cormorants were still settled on the wooden platform which is tethered to the shore.  Separate from the main walkway and inaccessible to the public, a safe haven for the birds.

Noticed a Great Blue Heron stalking prey for lunch, very stealthy.  Then, ta da, he swiftly gathered up a rodent, and just as swiftly, in one gulp, it was gone.   Nature at work.

Stopped and watched some Red Winged Blackbirds as they sang away.  These are quite beautiful birds and the females have the most beautiful songs to sing.

Finally I tear myself away and go to the Nature House to see if my place on the Native Plant workshop has changed .. I’m currently Number 3 on the wait list. Nope, unchanged.  And no phone calls as of this morning, so I didn’t make the cut.  Boo hoo .. that will teach me to procrastinate!  If I’d contacted them when I first saw the ad, I’d be there right now.  Oh, well, there will be other workshops, I know.

Homeward bound …noticed that the sunny morning skies have changed and now were overcast.  Groceries brought in and put away.  Time for tea!

Played around in my garden room.   Sorting seeds.  Found some packages that were either purchased by me or given to me as gifts.  Boxed herb seeds.  A package of Korean pine tree seeds, complete with compostable plant pot and saucer.   I followed the instructions given on the enclosed sheet and now the seeds are sitting in the moistened potting mix and awaiting germination.  If they sprout, then I’ll keep them in pots.    Perhaps I’ll plant them on our future property, but time will tell if they will indeed sprout.

Then, the herb package, sweet little clay pots, 4 labelled aluminum plant stakes and 4 envelopes of seeds.  I’ll put them in plant pots and see if they will germinate.  If they do, then I’ll have lots of basil, parsley, thyme and cilantro for the summer.  You just never know.

Finding (and using) these hidden treasures  gives me incentive to continue on with my clearing away the clutter in my garden room.

I also found time to look through some watercolour instruction books.  Looking for ideas that I can use to paint some white rectangular tiles.   I’ll take the painting ideas and use them on a variety of things for the garden.  It would be fun to paint some leftover boards and try to make signage for the garden.  Another fun project for a sunny day.

Went outside for a few minutes, in between the rainy showers and checked out the garlic, growing quite strongly now.   Looked up in the sky .. no eagles flying around.  Heard the rapid taps at the bird feeder as a little chickadee pecked away at the acrylic sides of the feeder – to remind me to add more sunflower seeds to the feeder!   Ha ha ha .. went inside to fetch the sunflower seed container and then added a cup full to the various feeders.    The birds only tap at this feeder when it’s empty, smart little guys, aren’t they?

Rains began, so inside I went.  And on with my day.

🙂

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Friday, March 22, 2012

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Busy, busy, busy .. the last few days have been busy ones for me.

Wednesday morning I was up way early, baking pies.  Sorry, no pics, they were so good, they are nearly gone.  I used the Tenderflake recipe which makes a light flaky crust.  Actually mixed up the pastry a few weeks ago, and froze some portions for future use.    Which turned out to be Wednesday.

I used the single crust method, rolling the pastry into a circle, prepared the filling and then folded the edges up, forming a plate sized open pie!   And the fillings!  I’d frozen apple slices and cherries from last summers’ crops and finally used them.

Still have some more of the above, plus plums, minced green tomato and tomatillos.  Oh, and lots of little jars of jam, applesauce, chutney also.

Then I spent many hours at the little Toshiba laptop at the kitchen table.  Began the arduous task of typing out my hastily scribbled notes taken during the intensive Organic Master Gardening Course, recently completed.   Originally I had the best intentions of doing this in an ongoing manner while the course was taking place .. however, um, I didn’t do that.  Was spending my time studying the course materials, online and from our study book.

As I was typing these pages,  I am time travelling back in time to the classes.   Every detail is clear and I am so glad that I took these notes.  The instructors gave us so much valuable information, sources to research, names to look up .. I’ve reached 9 pages of single line notes so far and scads to go before I’m done … I plan to just spend a few hours a day in this endeavour.    I take little breaks from the tapping of the keys to look up some of the information .. whole new worlds of beneficial natural gardening.

I’ve never ever taken this amount of time  and devoted it to studying and I find this quite satisfying.

Then, time to go outside and play.   I’ve been using DH’s camera a lot lately and discovered that it has the best motor drive for multiple pictures .. so I’ve been utilizing this drive when taking bird pictures.  And the result is so very many clear pictures, when I click from one to the next, it looks like a slow motion picture!

I see that Mr. Downy Woodpecker has taken a wife!  Very striking couple they are.  I’ve seen him in the yard for a few years, very distinguishable with his brilliant red colouring at the back of his head.  At first the female was shy and would fly away, but she is getting used to my presence in the yard, so I’m able to take photos of her.  She is equally striking with her plumage, and lacks the brilliant red, and she is also, I think, a little smaller than her mate.  Welcome additions to the yard!

I’ve been applying that wonderful seaweed/grasses/kelp carefully on the garlic bed .. making sure that the mixture doesn’t cover the garlic and just goes around them.  Mmmmmm .. interesting to see what a difference this mineral laden material will make to the size of the bulbs.   And I’ll be applying EM to them also, either early in the morning or late afternoon, when the weather is a bit cooler.

Finished emptying and then properly layering in the other 2 compost containers, so now all 3 are in better condition.   Layers of green (seaweed/kitchen scraps) and brown (hay/leaves/manure) & cardboard.  Lots of oxygen for the microbes.  Yesterday, remembered that I’d forgotten the glacial rock dust & EM .. so I sprinkled on a handful of the dust and watered each container with about 2 cups of EM liquid.

I’ve mixed up 2 Litres of the EM and they have both reached the final litmus stage of 3.5, so ready to use.  Today I’ll mix up a 2 L batch .. I’m going to spray all plant leaf surfaces in the yard, plus the soil and the lawn, so I’ll need lots of this precious liquid.

Here’s a link which explains what EM is and there is a video showing how to prepare it:

http://www.gardenerspantry.ca/microorganisms/effective-microorganisms.html

This might be kind of weird, but now that the compost containers are properly layered, there seems to be a different “feel” about them .. before,  these containers were just places where I threw the kitchen and garden wastes.   things “composted” but they were just dark containers that held materials that would simply break down.

But now, they feel like bright happy places, populated with busy worlds of microbes of all kinds, working away to break down the structure of the materials .. transforming it all to healthy compost.  Which I will use throughout the garden.  Sort of like that fairy story, where a princess (me??) wove straw into gold.  🙂

Gardeners are fanciful, aren’t we?

Yesterday, walking around the garlic bed, smelling the lovely tantalizing perfume of the seaweed mixture, I remembered the trek out to Sooke with my walking pal D .. the fun we had .. on that sunny trip.  She would explain the varieties of grasses and seaweed … it was a fun, learning trip.  And I plan to make another one .. cause, I only have 2 containers of this material left!!  It’s going fast.

I then spent some time digging out raspberry and red & black currant canes from around the fence .. I’m creating a berry bed in part of the yard and want them out in the sun more.  Besides, we’ll be replacing some fence panels soon and I don’t want them damaged!

I’ve been learning that ivy is not the best plant to have in the yard and horrors .. what it does in the wilds, suppresses the growth of native lilies.  But, I do think that ivy has its place.  It’s good for privacy.  I’ve seen a nifty inexpensive privacy screen at an outdoor  restaurant.  It was simply a framed lattice  section, anchored in a rectangular planter, with ivy growing rampantly up the lattice.  The unit was free-standing, not connected to a fence or wall, so the ivy was kept neatly trimmed.

So, then, yesterday, I was preparing to fill a few of the bird feeders.  The sun was shining .. and the yard was quite, the birds had disappeared.  Hmm .. wondered if the hawks and eagles were out there somewhere.  Suddenly I saw a seagull soaring lazily up in the sky, crying out in that loud seagull fashion .. so figure there weren’t any of the raptors out there . .otherwise the gull wouldn’t have been so brazen.

Focus brought back to the bird feeders, when I heard the raucous cries of some crows .. looked up and omg, there was the eagle!  Seagull clutched firmly with strong talons, flying low over our yard, just a few hundred feet above the wild and crazy tree.  I simply dropped everything and ran to the middle of the yard, just as the eagle flew overhead.  Wanted to take pics, but no time .. truly amazing.  I seem to remember that the crows were cheering on the eagle, at the time . .there was a little gaggle of bird activity in the sky, but I was focused solely on the eagle.

Had to stop for a few minutes and regain my gardening energy . . it was a bit tough for a few minutes though, having witnessed that surge of raw animal power.

This is Nature’s way .. the birds have to eat.  They don’t go to the supermarket.

So .. back to the garden.   Continuously looking sky-ward.  Saw some eagles chasing a regal raven … they soon tired of the play and the raven elegantly sailed away.

Wow .. so now here it is Friday and lots to do outside .. so that’s where I’m heading soon!

🙂

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Tuesday, March 13, 2012

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  The winds were powerful here yesterday.  Blew some fence boards out of the panels, broke some of the branches on the wild and crazy tree ..luckily that was all the damage we received.

Got out my cordless drill and mended the fence.  We’ll be getting newer panels sometime in the near future.

Saw seagulls flying sideways and the crows were sailing, enjoying the winds.  The backyard hummingbird feeder was again knocked to the ground and oh, no. out of sugar.  So I braved the winds and off to the supermarket to get some of the sweet stuff.   Home, mixed up a batch, put in the freezer to cool down and soon had the cleaned, refilled feeder back in its usual place.

Put more sunflower/birdseed mix in some of the feeders.  Especially love the translucent feeder on our kitchen window.  Sometimes there are lineups as the birds wait their turn to fetch some sunflower seeds.

Recently I’ve been volunteering in various plant related things.  One is happening this week, with removing invasive ground cover at a little neighbourhood street.  Another is to have our yard checked during the coming months, to see which pollinators are visiting … I’m just waiting to see if our yard fits the criteria.

In the meantime, I sent some bee photos to the person in charge of this study.  I had photographed two bees a few weeks ago.  It had been a warm and sunny afternoon and I happened to see several bees hanging on to the side fence, catching the full warmth of the sun’s rays.

Thought that these were queens that had just emerged and were acclimatizing to their new life stage.   Well, it turns out that I was half right!

The larger insect was indeed a Queen!   A Bombus mixtus (no common name).  Only Queens are out this early (it was Feb 22) in the spring, when it is warm and start looking for pollen and nectar and build a nest.  The smaller one was a hoverfly .. it is an excellent honeybee mimic.

I also learned that: ” flies have just two wings, and bees four;  and flies have big “bug eyes” whereas bees tend to have smaller eyes (and cuter faces).  In the hoverfly photo you can see the big bulgy eyes!  Bees also tend to have longer antennae than flies, (again easier to see when you have one in front of you :)”

New worlds of knowledge .. the exciting journey continues!!

I can only marvel at the wonderful timing in life that allowed me to happen to pass  by the fence on that sunny day, seeing the new Queen, having my camera with me to take a photo.  And later, getting more involved with native plant information, being able to send these photos to an expert for identification.  The serendipity of gardening.  Or the magic of it, really.

Yesterday, while starting on my decluttering, I found things I had bought to play around with one day.  One of these was a “learn to play the recorder” kit.  So, I opened the packaging, assembled the recorder and studiously went through the instructions.  Went from “what the heck” stage, trying to understand the finger placement … to the stage of practising the notes.  Fun.

Then, putting my knitting supplies together, I finally started weaving the t-shirt knitting material (found on Stumblupon, ways to re-use t-shirts, fun!) and wove two rows, then, couldn’t find the hook to remove the first row over the second.  I know for a fact that this hook is on my table in the gardening room.  However, I also knew that if I went to look for it, I would get involved in laundry, and all sorts of distractions, so I just put this loom away in the box for now.

Then I placed a large stack of books recently read .. into a bag for giveaways.  Sorted my Spanish and French grammar books onto shelves higher up so that I would open them more often.  Couldn’t resist opening up one of each, though, to practise my comprehension and pronunciation.

Also leafed through my “Vein of Gold” book, by Julia Cameron, which fell open at page 177, discussing music and the Native American flute music … would that in any way be coincidental with my practising the recorder?  nah.

Next, I repaired a broken wing on one of my graceful faerie ladies .. I had knocked it over months ago, and she just didn’t look right with the one wing .. so now that is all better.  I looked through my “the ultimate Fairies handbook) Susannah Marriott.  I love the drawings, so fanciful .. and read a few pages.    And of course “The Country Diary of an Edwardian Lady” .. imagine having the time to just draw and write.  Hey .. I have that time.

Well, I made a lot of progress yesterday.

And it’s time to get going on more right now!

🙂

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Thursday, March 1, 2012

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Wednesday started off in a cloudy fashion.  I felt cloudy also.  As in, not energized.    You know the kind of feeling .. life is rolling along, full of positivity and energy.    Open to new possibilities and learning.   Then there is a blip.  So I was in a blip.  Hmmm. .. that could very well be a new adjective, couldn’t it?   As in “it was a blip situation” …:)

So I went outside to experience some positive energy from our yard .. to take a few moments to watch the birds.  Check out the ground, look for spring flowers .. that sort of thing.  Pondered walking over to Swan Lake, to see the ducks and watch for the local eagles .. I’d really like to see them.

Decided it really was time to stay home, study, spend some time in reading through the materials on organic gardening.  Not many classes left.

Brr .. chilly in the early morning.  Rain starting to fall.  I was determined to finally install the Lee Valley hanging saucer beneath one of the bird feeders.  A green circle of about 1 1/2 feet in circumference, which would be attached to the bottom of the feeder.   There was a cover for this saucer, which was full of holes for the bird seed to tumble into (instead of tumbling onto the ground!).

By the time I’d assembled (found!!!) my pliers, saucer, bird seed and was outside, a light rain was falling.  My hands were numb with cold, but I was determined that I was finally going to assemble this saucer thing which I’d bought before Christmas!

Deciphered the instructions, arranged the chain and attached to one of the bird feeders – I’d lost all track of time so really don’t know how long it took me to do that.  Anyway, as all gardeners know, time doesn’t exist in a garden   🙂

Finally, the bird feeder with the new saucer was placed carefully, hanging from a branch of the apple tree, freshly filled and awaiting the discovery of the birds.  A sense of accomplishment was strongly felt.  yeah.

Next, time to fill up the hummingbird feeder and the rest of the bird seed feeders.

And …. ta da .. there is a new addition to the village of bird feeders!  I finally broke down and bought the Mark Cullen covered suet holder, it’s cute, made of cedar, with a sloped roof, underneath is the suet holder.  It’s made specifically for the tiny members of  birds .. the darling little Bush-tits, the Red-Breasted Nuthatches and the Chestnut-Backed Chickadees.   Bigger birds (Junco’s, sparrows, European Starlings) kind of take over the other suet block.  So this is special for them.

Wandered around the back, inspecting the branches of the dwarf apple tree that we’d planted a long time ago.

Looked up to the sky and wow .. there is one of the eagles flying around.  I found it really amazing to be looking through the tight web of branches and actually see this magnificent eagle flying and .. I actually had my camera with me!  So I quickly drew the camera from the case, clicked it on and took a few pictures.  This camera doesn’t have an eyepiece, it has one of those little screens which doesn’t show clearly what you are looking at .. so it was really sheer luck that I was able to zero in and take some photos.

As the eagle flew in ever larger circles, I ran to the center of the yard and found it again .. and clicked away.  So very grateful that I was outside at that moment in time, and looked upwards.   An inspirational bit of time which filled me with joy at the sheer magnificent beauty of nature.

The eagle then changed direction, soaring effortlessly in another direction, lost to my sight.

Well, then.  I was able to see the eagle and saved myself a few hours from walking to Swan Lake.

Time to go inside and get some studying done.

And you know what?  Once I started going through my notes and the online lessons, I was transported away to the world of composting and the many lifeforms therein.

Quite the learning day for me . .one that I thoroughly enjoyed.

🙂

 

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Wednesday, February 29, 2012

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So the week started out full of promise.  Some frost in the early morning .. noticed some flakes of snow on the mulch in the back yard.  Brrr.

Monday was a day totally spent in the yard.  Sheer bliss.   I’d been spending a fair bit of time at the kitchen table, little old Toshiba connected, going through the study materials of the gardening course I’m taking.  I’ve stayed there through some sunny days and thought to myself, well, it’s good to spend the time now so I’ll have the knowledge later.

But, my goodness, how much can a gardener take .. staying indoors all this time, anyway!  So, Monday was my decadent day .. to spend completely outside.   Except for some quick trips inside to make more Yorkshire Tea and a quick-lunch, Monday was devoted to outside things.

I had a mission .. to tidy up the yard so that my gardening class could freely move around the yard.  Thus I moved hundreds of cuttings & potted plants to one area, so nice and tidy, I impressed myself.  Then, time to address the mountain of leaf mulch.  I filled tarp after tarp load with the leafy stuff and dragged them over to the perimeter of the yard, nicely topping up the side gardens, being careful not to cover the emerging bulbs.

This time of the year is such a delight .. so many surprise flowers popping up, awakening from their winter sleep.  Perfuming the air with their scent and delighting the senses with their delicate beauty.

I accomplished quite a lot on Monday .. so on Tuesday, I decided to continue.  Morning was chilly and then the sun fought to come out.  Clouds 1.  Sun 0.   But, a lovely warm mug or two of Yorkshire Tea kept me warmed up.

Our backyard is actually quite large.  Now that I’ve moved the potted cuttings, reduced the size of the leaf mulch pile, removed part of the homemade bamboo/twig fence that encircled it,  bundled the support twigs that comprised the fencing .. the yard is looking quite spacious.

Normally I’m the only person playing out here, so I’ve allowed myself to have some lazy habits.  And now that I’ve been organizing the space, I’ve quite impressed myself with my activity.

Next I moved the loose rocks and boulders to encase some island beds.  Dug in some broken bricks in the back pathway, adding to the rustic charm of a relaxed garden.  Mended some loose boards in the fence.

Stood back, admiring my work from the past few days.  I can feel the lovely fresh energy that now emanates from my garden .. my real living space.

And although the work was for naught, as the location has now been changed for the pruning demonstration and will not take place at our yard .. I feel that all was not done in vain.  For, if not for the push of the upcoming Saturday’s pruning event, I would have dillied and dallied and wouldn’t have been so active.   Much like preparing for an upcoming visit of someone and plans changed at the last-minute.  The result is a tidy space.   And the feeling of pride and joy of discovering that my organizational skills are smoking hot!    Chalk one up for me .. I’ve proved to myself how hard I can work.  Had forgotten that skill .. so this was a good reminder.

Funny .. during the last few days, when I’ve been busy doing something or the other in the yard, suddenly I’d heard some sharp rap-tap-tap noises .. looked up and some (variably) a little Chickadee or Nuthatch.  Nicely settled on an acrylic sided bird feeder.  Noisily tapping away at the clear sides … the bird version of a slot machine.  Expecting the seeds to fall into the trough?  Or, trying to catch my attention?  Either way, I complied to their needs and put some sunflower seeds into the feeder.

The idea that wild birds can communicate to us mere humans was reinforced this winter.   The front Hummingbird feeder had frozen solid, so I took it inside, thawed it out, refilled it .. and placed it by the front door.  Then DH & I would look out the front window and observe the little Anna fly around, checking it out and then settle in for a feed.  After, of course, flying up to the window, flying horizontally and vertically, thoroughly checking us out.  She knew we were there and that I had “fixed” her food source.

One morning, looking out .. I saw that the feeder was again frozen.  This time, little Anna tried to get some nectar.  No joy.  she turned her little head in my direction, looked back at the feeder, then back at me, then back to the feeder.  She acknowledged that I was the “fixer” .. the nectar was frozen .. so  .. “fix it”!  Body language was clear.

So I did fix it … and soon she was happily feeding away.

Yesterday the winds were so wild that the backyard hummingbird feeder went crashing to the ground.  Finally, I picked it up, took it inside, cleaned & added some nectar and then hung it from a little branch at a side cedar tree.  I knew the backyard Anna would find it.   She’s smart.

Well, nature and all of the beauty have been inspiring me with a wonderful gardening energy and today I will return again to the garden.

A brand new lovely day ….

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Saturday, February 25, 2012

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Well … yesterday, Friday .. was a really rainy day!  I’d promised myself the gift of spending the whole day outdoors .. a reward for recent studying .. but the rain put a kibosh on that.

Ok, I’m not a wimp, I love the outdoors .. witness the many hours spent outside during the recent snowy period in January (but, we don’t want to go there, right?)

But, the type of work that I want to do involves shovelling mulch, moving it from A to B and then relocation the flats of cuttings from last fall.

So the heavy rain and the mucky yard spelled out “stay indoors” so I did that.  And was so thankful that I’d already had my long long walks earlier in the week,

Friday was spent at the kitchen table.   Reading chapters from our textbook for the Organic Master Gardening course … researching terminology … writing explanations on lined index cards.,

A few pots of Yorkshire Tea.

In between .. household chores .. dishes ..cleaning kitty litter boxes .. laundry .. sweeping .. all that exciting stuff that takes up time during the day.

And playing with kitties.  Our three cats are not kittens any longer .. but they are playful so I refer to them as kitties.

I watched out the kitchen window .. seeing the big fat globules of raindrops exploding on the top of the sundeck railing.  Bam .. smash .. quite pretty, actually.

And the variety of birds that came to the acrylic feeder that is attached to the window.  Because we have horizontal blinds at the window, they cannot see us .. so they just behave normally.  Sometimes we see some little beak skirmishes as they scramble for the sunflower seeds.   To be in the interior of the transparent container is a prized piece of real estate for these birds!

And DH has fastened a board beneath, to serve as a ledge so often we’ll look at the antics of the birds as they peck away at the seed.

The rain was quite relaxing.  I think that this is my most favourite place to be right now .. .my old Toshiba laptop plugged in, tuned to Firefox and Gaia College.

Books tumbling over the surface of the table.  Lined index cards in various piles as I look up new meanings.

I’m soon drawn into the world of gardening and all the beauty that this entails .. and I feel quite happy and relaxed.

A good place to be!

And so that was my Friday.   Followed later by … ta da .. spaghetti for supper!   With a glass (or 2??) of dry white!

Today was quite a different kind of day and I’ll share that tomorrow!

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Friday, February 24, 2012

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Thursday was a mixed bag of weather .. .sunshine .. clouds.

After morning chores completed, decided to go for a brief walk … which lasted about two hours!  Started out towards Swan Lake Nature Sanctuary .. .it’s been awhile since my feet walked along those trails.

Pure bliss to be there …. seeing the new spring growth of leaves on trees and bushes as all plant life prepares for a new season.  Listening to the breeze rustling the dry marsh grasses .. music to my ears.  Stopped to look at the slim thread of water trickling through the mix of dried and emerging stems of grasses.

Not many birds out when I was there.  Thought back to my lucky encounters a few weeks ago .. when I saw my first Cedar Waxwings and then the Northern Shovellers … such beautiful winged beings.

Saw .. and heard .. some Marsh wrens calling out.  And some Red Winged Blackbirds singing away.  At the smaller observatory I chanced upon some Mallards .. they were very cautious though .. and I understood why later on.

I pulled out a bag of flatted oats and scattered them onto the surface of the lake … one little Mallard swam over.   Followed by a female .. then more and more and finally there were about 10.   Scattered more oats on the surface boards and them some on the side marsh ..

Continued on my walk.  Noticed new signage showing the latest improvements to the Sanctuary .. growing specific plants/trees to attract a wider variety of birds and animals.

Looked way up and sure enough .. at the top of the flat-topped tree . .there was one of the resident eagles.  They’ve been favouring this tree since for years now .. I used to spend so much time watching them over the years . .even lucky enough to see part of their mating ritual.  I was in the backyard and just happened to look up to see them, talons intertwined as they tumbled through the sky .. remember to look up .. .there is so much going on.

Well, this year they have attained the mark of maturity, with their white heads and tail feathers .. wonder if they will nest in that tree?

Anyway, their presence explains the absence of bird activity.

Time to visit Orr’s Butchers for more of Farmer Ben’s eggs … and then some grocery shopping.   And then .. the long walk homewards with a heavy Thrifty’s shopping bag.  I decided to ignore the hefty weight .. I’d soon be home!

Returned via the Sanctuary .. one more opportunity to walk in nature … all birds, ducks are well hidden away.

As I made my way home .. enjoying the beauty of the day .. kept looking up to the sky .. but no aerial activity.  And .. soon I was home .. groceries put away.  Kitties fed.  Ole Toshiba turned on … spent a few hours lost in the worlds of gardening and re-trying the online quizzes of Gaia.

Then I allowed myself to enjoy the wonderful world of gardening outside .. sheer bliss.  And a bit sad, also.  My gardening world has turned all topsy-turvy with the new learning.  As I stood and looked at my leaf mulch pile .. I thought of how my focus has changed.

Where once I truly believed that oak leaves were the be-all and end-all of gardening .. now I realize that, although they do serve well as mulch to retain water for landscaping purposes .. they are not the cure-all that I thought they were.  That because the centre of a pile gets to be “smoking hot” .. that feature isn’t conducive to supporting healthy microbes in the soil.

I quickly fill containers with the mulch and sidedress the trees and plants along the fence .. this does dress up the areas.  Just a few months ago I was saddened at the thought of not having enough .. now I just want to disperse it all around the yard.

It’s not that it’s a bad thing .. just not quite the thing for my veggie garden.

Worked away, not conscious of time .. till DH arrives home .. and surprises me with a mug of Yorkshire Tea!  Yea, time for a Sudoku break and a quick look through some stone landscaping books (treasures from the “Friends of the Library” book sale.

Enjoy the brief break and then .. ta da .. back to the garden.  More shovelling, moving, planning, dreaming.

Another lovely day ….

🙂

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