Posts Tagged ‘muscovy duck’

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

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Yesterday was such a brilliant day, from start to finish!  Looking out the window, all I could see was sun, sun, sun!  Reflected on the remaining leaves on the trees and painting everything with a golden patina of happiness.

I wanted to run right out there and continue on with my propagating work from the day before.. but first a little walk was in order.  Soon I was out the door, brr, the air was brisk, despite the sun.  Noticed the frozen water on the surface of the lid of the Rubbermaid container at the side of the house.  Container is full of Miracle Mulch, destined for a portion of a little perennial bed nearby.

Walking down the quiet roadway, I looked again at the inviting piles of oak and maple leaves,  neatly raked into lovely leafy mounds all along the sides of the road.  I steeled myself against running back home, gathering garden bags and scooping them up!  I really do have enough leaves.  The mulch pile in the back yard is quite heavily stomped down and is nearly 3 feet deep!  So I have a few good yards of leaf mulch.

Besides, any good daylight time at this point of the season will be better spent preparing my plants for a hard cold winter.

Traffic is light at this time of the morning and I couldn’t see many people out for a walk either.  I really do love this time of the year, everything seems so fresh.

Back home, I quickly change into my gardening gear and head outside.  Mug of Yorkshire Tea in hand.

Where to start???

I decided to create some temporary bedding areas for the plants that I’m propagating and plants that will remain potted up for the winter.   And soon I’ve positioned the landscape sections into an “L” shape and have spread a thick layer of leaves on the ground.   Next I position the potted plants into the vertical section of the “L” and cover up with another thick layer of leaves.  Nice and comfy against the cold.

I play around with one of the Styrofoam rooting units containing cuttings of Boxwood from last year.   I’d cut up portions of the long pine cones from our “First Christmas” tree in the front yard .. using them as plugs for the openings in the base of the unit.

When I started tugging on the first cutting, I was met with resistance .. so I poked and prodded gently and finally was able to remove the cutting.  OMG .. the root section was nearly 3″ and strong and healthy!   As I continued to removed the cuttings, my amazement grew.   There was such a variety of root formations.  Some of them were fibrous in nature, the shape varying as the roots grew and met obstacles.  Where this happened, they just went around the obstacles and continued growing!  Others were plain and straightforward, having met no impediment to their growth.

I was simply gobsmacked!   Only a few of the cuttings had not formed roots (or perhaps I had inadvertently tugged too hard and the roots became detached) the leaves were still glossy.  I’ll simply put them back in the cells for another round of growth.

These Styrofoam rooting cells are just amazing, I love them.

So, now it’s time to mix up some good planting soil .. so I gather up more of the cocoanut fibre, mixing it in well with the bags of soil & compost and soon have a nice barrow full ready to work with.  Next I gathered up a supply of little plant pots.   When I’d potted up about 6 of the boxwoods, I thought about the upcoming cold winter that has been predicted.

And I decide to put in a layer of leaves at the bottom of the pots, for protecting the delicate rooting systems.  So I empty these pots, quickly throw in a potpourri of leaves: Cherry, Oak, Plum .. so pretty!.   Then I carefully hold a cutting in place and gently toss in the soil mixture, tamping down the surface lightly.  Repeat, repeat, till finally I have 80 potted Boxwoods!  Oh boy, and there is still another tray to go, although it’s only 3/4 full I think!

Took a little time away from these duties to brew another pot of Yorkshire Tea ..lovely to sip on a mug of this most delicious brew and wander around the yard, stopping to watch the birds.  Notice that there is an increase in the sparrow population.  The word seems to have gotten out about the bird seed.  I see the little Red Breasted Nuthatch is flitting between the suet blocks and the bird seed .. I haven’t noticed him venturing near the thistle seed, though.  Maybe when I’m not looking?

The Downey Woodpecker visits .. nibbling from the suet and then goes to peck away at the wild and crazy tree.  Listen to the slightly nasal chirps of the Chestnut Backed Chickadees!  The White Crowned Sparrow seems to visit in the latter part of the afternoon.

Refilled the hummingbird feeders, one at the front of the house and another in the back.

Suddenly I heard the honking of Geese overhead … ah, there they are, way up high, flying in formation.  I quickly snap a few pics.  Knowing that they mate for life makes me admire these strong birds.  Although I would not want to be pecked by any one of them.   Ouch.  My Muscovy Duck, Huggers, had occasionally pecked at my arm, and that was painful enough!

Continuing with the potting up, I soon had all the cuttings happily nestled in pots with a thick insulation of leaves in the bottom.    And soon they were placed in trays snuggled into the horizontal part of the “L” winter resting beds, ensconced on a thick layer of leaves.  And of course, I arranged another thick layer of leaves over the tops of the pots!

Darkness is encroaching, it was time to clean up my work area.  And noticed, as I was raking up the leaves, that this area is starting to feel a little like a living room, with the pseudo walls formed by the landscaping ties.  Oh, my!  Is this good or bad?

I’m still not sure how I am going to shape this area for planting in the spring, but I know that I have a few good months to ponder and go through my landscaping books for ideas!

Looking around the yard, I see that there is much more to be done while the weather is nice.  Plants to be dug in.  Miracle Mulch to be spread around.  Raspberry canes to be divided.

And another bright idea .. I’ll put some garlic cloves into my rooting cells and I will have rooted garlic, ready to be planted in containers in the spring!  Perfect!

Well, it’s 8:30 am and time is a-wasting!  Time to go outside and work away.  Wind and rain is predicted for later this morning.  In my little world, rain means “inside” work .. and of that, there are quite a few things to choose from.

Must rush away now .. the skies look a bit cloudy . .oh no!  Maybe I’ll be sewing instead of planting!

On with my most wonderful new day now!


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Sunday, September 10, 2011

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Hot & sunny ..and on our way to the airport .. great way to start the weekend!   DH took friends flying and what did I do?  Well . .I weeded and weeded in the hot sun at the Dakota Cafe!

Enjoyed a lovely pot of tea and relaxed for a little, enjoying watching the activity around the Flying Club.  Students going for flights.   Planes being fuelled.  Lawns being watered.

Enjoyed some good conversations!  Learned that someone had a great new job at a local animal hospital.   She is so happy and certainly has the gentle, confident personality to deal with people and animals in a positive way.  So we talked about that.   And she’ll be able to take a variety of courses in order to move up in the business.    Her employer is very forward thinking . .she sounds like a great person to work for.  Very encouraging.

The kindness of veterinary personnel has a profound effect on pet owners .. I know that the young lady at our vet was incredibly kind to me when the time came for help with our most darling, beloved Oreo!

I’ll spend some time this winter to scan some photos of our Sadie & Muffy dogs!  And handsome Sam and wise little Oreo!  Oh .. and Huggers .. my male Muscovy duck.  What a personality he was!  I have some funny tales to tell about him.  But these are stories to list when I am in a real writing mood.

Speaking of writing .. when I do allow myself to enter this world and shut everything else out .. with naught but me and the keyboard…. I do enjoy this travel.   I have to figure out when I can let myself just relax and pass through the translucent doors into this other universe.

Seems like I’m always making up excuses to go on those journeys.   I have so much fun when I do go there.

It’s just a matter of setting up the time.  Maybe I can set up an appointment for myself.

Anyway .. on with this day.

So I became one with the weeds . .and soon had my collapsible gardening container filled with dandelions, grasses and an assortment of pesty weeds.  Enjoyed my tea.  Had conversations.

Finished the weeding … noticed that the plants are looking good, thanks to the Miracle Mulch!

Collected my tools, took everything to the car and back to the blue picnic tables with my Sudoku and awaited my DH & friends!

Soon they are back .. and we head to Mary’s Bleu Moon for lunch!  Nicola & hubby Tom have now taken over the restaurant from her parents.   Such lovely people .. and so the restaurant is going through a few cosmetic changes.  The menu has changed a bit also .. Tom is the Chef and is adding more and more delicious food.  We love this place!!!

We enjoyed great conversations through the meal.  Talking about flying and gardening … yea!!!  Lots of talking about both subjects!

Soon .. home …  time to change . … out to celebrate a birthday!

Learned an amazing trick to keep hornets away!!  Place a penny in a clear plastic bag … fill with water … tie the opening ..hang from a branch or whatever.  It somehow appears threatening (perhaps cause it resembles a hornet’s nest) and  the pesky insects stay away.  Perhaps the copper of the penny keeps the water clear?   And the cost?   A penny!   A far cry from those paper and fabric concoctions in the stores (of which I have quite a few and have seen the hornets flying around them, unafraid!)  This is from a good source.  So I’m going to try that tomorrow!!!!

Along the way .. we noticed the changes in the stores on upper Fort.   Great to see the new businesses and hope that they do very well!  Bikram’s Hot Yoga is now closer to the bakery, there are all sorts of new places there.  New paint, brightly coloured doors … refreshing!

It’s been a great day!

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