Posts Tagged ‘Chamaecyparis’

Sunday, December 18, 2011

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 Saturday .. started out cloudy and morphed into a warm, sunny day!  Decided to stay away from the stores .. they would be way too busy!

Spent some time, where else, in the back yard!  Walked around, checking the healthy growth of the hardy perennials … all thriving and well settled in.  Looking forward to seeing their height improving over the summer.  More green …. I just love seeing the yard surrounded by vegetation, and gradually, seeing less and less of buildings!

Although our yard is nice and private, I love the feel of being in the great outdoors, surrounded by tall trees and luxuriant plant growth.   The soil is quite decadently luxurious, due to the leaf mulch, bales of hay and composted manure that I’ve been busy mixing into the soil over the years.  Plus the amazing Miracle Mulch.

I decided to make a makeshift top for one of the suet holders.  Saw this idea in a store, there was a sort of roof, with a flat board surface, underneath which was attached a suet holder. The object of this was for dissuading bigger birds from hogging all the food.  So I attached a small section of plastic board to the top of the feeder and hung it from a branch.  The sparrows are puzzled and are unable to feed from this feeder.  However, the Downy woodpecker and Red-breasted Nuthatch have not problem.

I’ve just looked at a bird site which recommends not hanging feeders from trees or branches .. oh oh .. I’ll have to rig up a feeder.  And I want to look into getting a large plant saucer attached to the feeders so that the seeds don’t fall onto the ground.  Fewer birds to scavage seeds on the ground, safe from cats.

Am hoping to rig up something with the excess of aluminum tubing that we have. I’ll post pics.

So finally, went inside and saw a large bird in the trees.  DH & I were trying to guess which type it was, as the sun was shining and all we could see was a silhouette.   It flew onto the tiny bird feeder and then I could see that it was a Flicker!  Too far to take a photo, darn, but I could see the dark band below the throat.

Looking through my bird books, I then realized that what I thought was a European Starling .. was actually a Flicker.  Of course!  Beautiful varied feathers, soft, cooing songs … very beautiful birds.

And, I continued to search and query on e-Bay for another HP iPAQ rz1700!  Not really wanting to purchase another one, I felt sad that the one that DH had given me years ago had ceased to work.  No joy in the stores .. I don’t think that it is being made any more.  It’s such a solid, simple electronic gizmo.  A workhorse.  One that doesn’t need monthly payments to keep it going.

So, what the heck, I thought, I’ll try to see if I can get it working again.  Did the cold and hard boots… nothing.  Finally, I decided to plug it into the tower.  Eureka!  The screen is flashing!  It’s responding to the touch of the stylus .. I run it through all the setup steps .. and once again I have my little iPAQ back!  Running perfectly well.  🙂  🙂  🙂  🙂  A little Christmas miracle in my world.

I feel such a sense of relief!  I just don’t like this age of disposable items.  Buy something for a relatively high price, just to see the devaluation in a year.  Recycle.  I fully appreciate purchasing items which will keep their value, and they needn’t be expensive for this.

The same thing happened with one of my little cameras.  Once day it ceased to work.  The dial that changed photo options ceased to move and I couldn’t make the “click” button actually “click.  I checked out the cost of repair, ahem, and quietly put the camera aside on a shelf.  A year later, just for the heck of it, I played with the camera, and .. oh and behold, the dial works, so I rotate it, seeing the menus show up for each type of photo shot.  The “click” button works again.

Hmmm… gremlins?  Makes you wonder.  Very glad that these items are again workable and very glad that I didn’t rush out to recycle them.  It came very close though!  sigh of relief.

Later on .. we went out, driving throughout Saanich and Oak Bay, enjoying the sights of Christmas lights.  Such a lovely warm feeling of gratitude for those who took the effort and the time to beautify their homes and yards .. to share with all who pass by.

From “Botany for Gardeners“:

“As we delve into the science of botany, we shall largely be concerned with the two groups of plants with which we, as gardeners, most often work.  One, known as the flowering plants, or Angiosperms, is the largest group in the Plant Kingdom and consists of about 250,000 species.  The name “Angiosperm” refers to the fact that seeds from these plants are formed inside containers that we call fruits (Greek: angeion, vessel; sperma, seed).  The flowering plants most often decorate our homes and landscapes, supply almost all of the vegetable matter in our diets, and are the source of the world’s hardwoods.  they are the most sophisticated of plant forms and are best adapted to survive in a wide range of climates and places.

Second are the Gymnosperms, plants that produce seeds in the open spaces of cones – between the flaplike parts that make up a pine cone, for example.  The Greek words gymnos, “naked” and sperma, “seed”  describes this form of development.  On the evolutionary scale, Gymnosperms are more primitive than Angiosperms bt are of considerable economic importance as well as interest to landscapers for their compact forms and richly coloured, needle-shaped or scale like leaves.  Softwoods such as pine and fir are not only used to make paper, lumber, plywood, etc., but are the source of a group of products called naval stones – pitch, turpentine and rosin.

The Gymnosperms include all the conifers: cedar, redwood, juniper, cypress, fir and pine, and the largest living things on earth, the giant Sequoia’s.  Many ornamental shrubs, including varieties of Chamaecyparis (False Cypress) and Thuja accidentalis (American Arborvitae) are members of this group and, least typical of Gymnosperms, Cycads and the beautiful Maidenhair tree, Ginkgo biloba, a broad-leaved species.

For comparative purposes, passing mention is made of ferns, mosses, mushrooms and other primitive plants, but it is to the flowering plants and Gymnosperms that we direct our attention since it is they that give us the most revealing picture of how marvellous plants are.”

How fascinating is this!  I love learning more about gardening.

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