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Posts Tagged ‘Royal Roads University’


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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Thursday, March 29, 2012

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Wednesday .. was .. at times … sunny .. then cloudy .. some rain .. followed by sun.  A potpourri kind of day, weatherwise.

Spent some time outside, relocating some of the taller plants in the back of the yard.   I’m making a kind of little secret garden, of sorts.   Starting with tall perennials along the fence, with a little pathway in front of that.   Then I’ve moved the garden bed back a foot, and began the process of moving the taller bamboo plants closer to the edge of that.

Then I’m moving a line of raspberries in front of them.   There will then be a staggered height of plants, tall to medium and then shorter (garlic, herbs).   The tall plants will give protection to the lower plants.

My garden is in constant change and it’s easy to move them.  Except I had to tug away at the Buddleia, thought.  The roots are mainly fibrous, with one long tap root that extended farther than I wanted to dig, so I just cut the end of the root . . still have a two foot length left and these plants are tough as nails, anyway.

Why am I doing this?  Well, in a burst of creative thought a few days ago, I thought that if I could rearrange the veggie garden (part of it, anyway) then I could install my propagating area here.  In a nice and tidy fashion, that is.  And I find that these projects sort of take on a life of its own … I simply start the process and my inner artist takes over.   The results are always creative and I’m always surprised and impressed with the results.

And I’ve decided to install rustic fencing along parts of the garden, to visually break up some of the areas.  I’ll be re-using the branches and bamboo canes that I’d used to make a  holding area for my mountain of mulch leaves from last fall.  I have my eye on several very tall bamboo canes currently growing in one area of the yard, so luckily, I’m not lacking in fencing materials.

I like the look of the rustic fencing that was installed at the front of Swan Lake Nature Sanctuary, and when I’d last visited there on Tuesday, I looked at this fencing again and thought, perfect for the back yard!  So, thanks for the inspiration, Swan Lake!!

I was quite involved in digging away yesterday when the rains came .. I simply covered up my camera, binoculars, iPod and simply went on digging.   After all, what’s a little rain?  Then the sun came out and it felt like a warm summer day.

After what I’ve been learning in my gardening course, I’m not really happy about digging up and disturbing the soil .. saw the thin white strands of the mycorrhizal fungi in place, doing their part to help the roots of the plants.  And promised that I’d add some of the powdered M. fungi that I’d purchased from the Gardener’s Pantry.  I’ll soon have this soil healthy and vibrant  again.  Plus, liberal doses of EM!!

Took a break and read through some books on composting .. one mentions Bokashi, pallet & worm composting.  However, the “helpful” information listed is nowhere near as detailed as the information that I learned in the Organic Master Gardening Course (Gaia College, at Royal Roads University).  My gardening world has forever changed and I cannot go back to the way of thinking that I had before.

Funny, found a bag of plant fertilizer that I’d bought a few years back.   The cardboard box holding the plastic bag had long since disintegrated and all that is left is the bag and the contents of several cups of white and pale green “fertilizer”granules.  I shudder to think that I had used some of this on some plants.  Now I’ll have to dispose of this in “hazardous” materials.  Never, no more.

From now on, it’s EM, Compost Tea (Dr. Elaine R Ingham ), worm bins, mulch, grass cuttings, manure (organic preferably).    What a difference that course has made in my life.  And, luckily, I have access to the online videos and course material for a year.  It will take at least that for me to go through all of these invaluable resources.

Anyway .. on with this most wonderful day.  I think the rains have stopped .. can hear the birds singing away .. so out to my garden I go!   And if it is still raining, well, there’s no shortage of things to do inside.  Or maybe go for a walk.  Choices .. it’s a good thing!

🙂

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