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Posts Tagged ‘vacation’


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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Saturday, March 17, 2012

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And a Happy Saint Patrick’s Day!  Oh, the joys of Facebook & Skype.  Via Facebook, I was able to watch one of my great-nephews play his fiddle, along with his instructor, playing some Irish tunes.  He plays much better than me, despite the lessons I’ve taken. However, I’m not giving up.  I might never play at Massey Hall (ha ha ha ha ) but I can scare the heck out of any marauding crows that visit the yard.

Hmmmm .. maybe I should just dust off my fiddle case and practise in the backyard, when the European Starlings visit . .should be interesting to see if this would act as a deterrent!  I remember our dogs cringing when I opened the case.

Anyway, I’m travelling on the lovely gardening path into my ever-expanding world of gardening .. it’s a wonderful journey.  I’m continuously meeting the most interesting people and learning more and more about plants.

A few days ago I had the opportunity to volunteer in pulling invasive species out of a natural forest area.   I’d heard about the magical results of Fawn Lilies growing in areas which were once heavily infested with ivy and Himalayan blackberries.  Once the heavy top-growth was removed .. the Lillies appeared. Isn’t that amazing!  The powerful energy of nature.  Humbling, I would say.

So I was excited to be part of this activity.  We uncovered a very heavy growth of ivy from a number of tree stumps.  And once that was done .. the space seemed to be calmer, cleaner .. sort of feng shui of the area.    Huckleberries are going to be planted in the trunks so I really look forward to seeing that.  I posted some pics and will follow-up when the berries are growing.

Learned about other vegetation, such as Alaska onion grass .. the leaves look exactly like grass and one must look to the base of the blades to see the little bulbets!  And, I also learned that the tiny weeds that I’ve been busy pulling out of the ground at home, are actually a type of cress, edible and most likely high in minerals and vitamins.

Oh, Nature, you are so subtle.   Leaving lots of plants around for us to nibble on, we just have to learn them, pay attention.

We chatted with a young man, who is a finishing carpenter .. now that is a trade to be proud of … my dad was such a person.   Such a joy to meet talented people who, it follows, most certainly must have a love for natural materials.

Back home, I refilled the hummingbird feeder and while I was standing there .. I saw several zipping around, so camera out.  I think that there is a Mr & Mrs, there were 2 at the feeder at the same time, sipping companionably.  Then one, without the red neck feathers, omg, this must be the female!  Her head looked to be shades of brown .. I’m standing there trying to focus and she just hovered there in the air.

I wasn’t able to click a photo of her .. hovering .. but I will always remember the joy of the moment!  Hummingbirds are little sprites in the air. They are tough little birds.  And so very beautiful.

Friday .. and Saturday .. well, lots of sun, followed by bursts of rain. Perfect gardening weather.

I’m just so looking forward to working in our yard .. to chop up the kelp & seaweed & spread around the garlic bed.  Then, my first major gardening feat will be to empty the 3 composters, one by one and start layering them in properly with the carbon/green layers.   Once that is done, I will feel so much better about the composting process.  Instead of just throwing vegetable waste in (which is what I’ve been doing) I’ll be consciously layering, creating a good atmosphere for the specific bacteria to grow.  Some like it hot, some like it warm, some like it cool.   Just like Goldilocks & the 3 Bears!

I’m going to build the compost just right!

Anyway, on with this day.  More ivy to pull.  Some plants are moving in for a vacation while their plant mom is away travelling.  Here is my chance to give them some EM and keep them in a healthy condition till she needs them back.

So .. away I go .. on this lovely Saturday morning.

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