Posts Tagged ‘fence boards’

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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Monday, January 22, 2011

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 It was up at at ’em early this morning .. before the sun had risen.  I find it’s such a productive day when I’m up and about early in the day.  Lots of time to relax, pot of Yorkshire Tea .. tend to the kittie-kats and then spent some time entering the details of my latest batch of gardening books into my data base.

A few hours later, called Mother Computers to see about the state of the computer .. turns out that all I need to do is to plug in the external hard drive and the hub into the back of the tower, these items will then power from the actual motherboard .. instead of at the front.  The result is that my computer now runs well, very well, actually.  And I don’t have to deal with purchasing a new computer.   This store is where I will purchase (eventually, when the $$ has been saved) my future computer.  The service is always excellent at this store.  The guys know their computers and treat all of us non computer-savvy people with patience and, shall I say, respect?  Very comfortable atmosphere.

Then, I decided to take some time to visit Swan Lake Sanctuary.   I needed a connection to some re-energizing  intensive nature therapy and of all the lovely natural places that  feed my soul .. this is the closest one.

I was feeling a little, um, un-energized.  Just before I’d left to pick up the computer tower, I’d gone for a look around the back yard .. to check on the status of the bird feeders.   Most of which were empty as a result of the whirling winds of yesterday.   And I was saddened to see that a number of fence boards had become detached at one area of the fence.   They were lying on the ground and there were gaping spaces into another yard.

Most of the fence is standing strong, it’s just in some areas where the boards have become loose .. the majority of the fence is in good shape.

And I felt such a loss of privacy, it really struck hard.  My garden is my haven.  So I went about the activity of propping up the boards as best as I could, to try and restore the sense of intimate solitude that normally exists in this space.  We’ll be replacing a number of the panels this spring .. and for now, simple repairs will need to be done.    I’ll get going on these interim repairs as soon as the weather stays sunny for a few hours.

So a sense of energizing positivity was in order.   Soon, I was walking along a pathway at Swan Lake.   As I went along, I became aware of the six foot high stand of marsh grasses that bordered the section of path.   It felt like a fence and so I started thinking about the significance’s of fences.

Over the years I’ve read about, and spoken with people about .. the importance of fences on their property.   That, and screening are topics of great interest to many people.

As I walked along the path, aware of the physical presence of this fence-like growth of grassy barrier, I felt a quiet energy emanating from it .. it seemed to add a layer of privacy to the creatures that live in the Sanctuary .. a buffer between them and the thousands of people who visit their natural living spaces.   Allowing them to live their daily lives away from the prying eyes of the public.  Space for them to build their homes, raise their young, defend their territory.  A space of dignity and privacy.

And to me, this embodies the physical presence of a fenced in yard.    Most of us do not have the luxury of large properties.  In the cities, we only have a yard.   And in this yard, we live our outdoor lives.   To garden, to create and enjoy a limited square footage of freedom from strangers eyes.   A haven for relaxation and a space to be alone with our bit of freedom.   Our own little renditions of  Swan Lake.

I breathed deeply … walking slowly … enjoying the solitude.  It wasn’t quite lunchtime yet and the noon joggers weren’t yet outside.   Cheerful chirps filled the air.  The silky whisper of the dry grasses mingled with the sounds of the little streams that rippled down the sloping fields were all like music to my ears.

Until, that is, I caught a glimpse of the white tail feathers of one of the local eagles.  Flared out and flying low.  So I sped up my pace and quickly reached a higher elevation with a better view.  Except, the bird had flown on.  Darn.  Reached the little observatory and gently tread on the wooden boards … a pair of  Mallards swam out from the edges of the shore and approached the walkway.  I brought out the bag of flatted oats and tossed them out onto the surface of the water.   Luckily there were no other ducks nearby, so they were able to feast quietly.

Stood at the end of the observatory … noticed some beer cans and bottles left by some highly (not) sophisticated nocturnal visitors.   I’d noticed that someone had plucked some debris already, from the lake and there was a tidy little pile waiting at the beginning of the boards.

Out in the middle of the lake, a group of Geese and mallards were attending to their daily ablutions.   Much flapping of wings against the water, raising up on tiptoe …. they were contentedly social.  And all of them were very vocal, chattering back and forth.

Looked at the side grasses .. thinking that the Marsh Wrens will be nesting in a few months.

Not much happening here .. so I retraced my steps and went for a little walkway down the trail .. and then .. back again .. time to go home and get going.   Stopped at a little side pond.   Looking at a little Mallard who was quietly feeding in the waters.

Hey up!  Caught some aerial movement, looked through the binoculars and saw the eagle, flying low and slow over the water … was able to get a quick pic as it flew away.   Happy that I had stopped to catch sight of this magnificent creature.  By this time of the day, there were a fair number of people jogging and walking .. couldn’t see any one stop and look up to the sky, though.    What they missed.

Feeling much better for having seen, heard .. and experienced such a bevy of positivity.   Reached the end of the path .. decided to stop and have a final look at the Sanctuary before I left.   Glad that I did.

Noticed an Anna, hovering beside the top of a tall tree, then quickly, it flew swiftly skyward … higher and higher to a certain point, and then dive bombing the air space down below .. resulting in that high pitched whistle .. the supersonic sound of its flight!  I’ve often heard this in the backyard, but could never pinpoint where it was happening.  How lucky that I felt to be witness to this, today.  He repeated the procedure a number of times and then flew away.  Leaving me marvelling again at the wondrous beauty of nature and humbly grateful at my good fortune to witness this without intruding.

I returned home in a very positive state of mind.  Ready to tackle mountains.  But really, I just finished putting away my books.

Anyway, I actually did a lot more than that .. but that’s enough for today.  A lovely day.



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