My Life is really in the Garden

Enjoying and sharing the daily discoveries of the beautiful nature that surrounds me in my lovely garden and everywhere else!


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Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Ha .. again the weather report was wrong and today was a sunny day and no rain!

Enjoying the tranquility of my garden and the lovely plants that are happily growing therein!  Here is a lovely basket of lettuce & some carrots that I harvested a few days ago:

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I felt quite pleased with myself for harvesting a variety of lettuce, some I’d quite forgotten that I’d planted!  Cause they were in pots around the yard.  Good idea to have them in the same area!

One of the many beautiful skies overhead .. I love the muted blues in this one

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This geranium is slowing opening scarlet flowers .. such a lovely surprise .. it hasn’t flowered all year, imagine that!  So I am quite happy to see this ..

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So happy, also, to see that the birds have been feeding on the sunflower seeds

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While I’ve been doing other things in the house and yard, my feathered friends have been enjoying these seeds …

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Next year I will search for very large sunflower seeds to plant so I can grow lots more for the birds to feed on.  These plants have grown from the seeds fallen from the bird feeders .. a good trade, I think.

02This time of the year is so rewarding … time to enjoy the garden.   Watch the birds.  Look way up at the skies.

It’s been a good summer and I’ve already started ordering Heirloom seeds for next year’s beans and peas.   More later.

It’s been a busy day and time to relax.

🙂


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The eagles were hunting for lunch ….. on an overcast Sunday

Friday, May 31, 2013

A few weeks ago, when we were working away on our rental ….I heard the sounds of the local eagles who were out hunting for lunch.

Their cries were quite loud which meant that they were very close by.

Dropping my gardening tools, I ran into the street, joined by my neighbour.  We could see the eagles swooping low, flying in tandem .. seeking their prey.

So we simply ran down the street towards the action, surprised that others in the neighbourhood simply ignored the activity.

 

Eagle 1

The look says it all ….

Eagle 2

Hmmmmmmm…..

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Yep …. quarry is not visible any more ..

 

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One more look ..
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Undaunted, their luncheon fare gone for now .. off they flew to search for more ..

 

 

 

 

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So very graceful

 

 

 

 

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Bye for now ….

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Such magnificent creatures these eagles are … we returned to our respective homes … still feeling a little of the wild energy emanating from this very brief closeness to the raw nature.  Existing in the same area as humans, but, oh, so very much apart.

So very humbling.

 


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Why I take the photos that I do … Well .. here are some of the reasons!

Saturday, February 9, 2013

There is so very much beauty in this world …. everywhere …up above in the sky.  Scenery.  Trees. Birds.  And photos of these all make the most loveliest of memories for later on.

Such as this tiny bird, perched, ever so briefly, on a branch (I think this is a Golden-crowned Kinglet).  I was out walking and surprised to see a few of these darlings twittering about the tree.  They didn’t stay still for very long, so I was lucky to get this pic.

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And a surprise entry pathway that I’d not noticed before.  It was only due to the fact that I chose another route to my destination and discovered this one.

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The joy of walking along an undiscovered route heightens the enjoyment of my lovely daily walks.12

And the overhead canopy of branches seem to delicately and gently welcome me along the way.  Soon these will be wearing their summer finery and provide shade from the summer’s heat.10Imagine, this pathway was here all along and I’m happily making my way …the highway and sidewalk are way to the left and while people are busily starting their busy trips to work and shopping, I’m quietly discovering more of Swan Lake Nature Sanctuary!!

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After a few minutes I found myself actually at the allotment gardens, a good opportunity to see these plots up close, so I opened the gate and went in.

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So this is, I believe, part of Swan Creek .. lots of water and the reason for the bridge (above) 🙂

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This area is vast .. so beautiful to see unique gardening plots .. lots of work.

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Each gardener has their own unique way of gardening.  Variety, as you know …04

Along the way, I’d gone shopping at Thrifty Foods .. and my visit was made much better by the lovely daffodil that I was given!  It was a surprise and I felt great just walking along with this bright and cheerful flower nodding along in my shopping bag.  So, I just had to stop and take a photo.

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I liked the look of the mossy covered tree trunks.  But just looking at this picture with Saturday morning eyes .. I think they also resemble great big giant legs with mossy green slippers!  Just squint your eyes a little and you’ll see what I mean.

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I wonder if the Downy woodpecker is thinking about gathering some moss for a spring nest.  Or perhaps something else has caught her attention?

07For now, though, time to dine!

06Now .. this chubby little Robin .. is quite the robust little bird, isn’t he?  Dining al fresco on an apple nested snugly in the branches.

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Then he (she) is gone .. leaving the apple for other birds to dine on.  They aren’t greedy.

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Walking downtown, here is this great, gnarly tree, outside of St. Andrew’s Cathedral.  Talk about character .. gadzooks!

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And the remainder of a delicate little frost.  Not heavy enough to freeze the water so the birds can still sip.  Grateful for the lack of snow which is causing misery throughout the rest of Canada.

 

 

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And sometimes I take pictures like it’s my lifelong ambition to capture every single moment of activity around me.   Sometimes, if I’m visiting someplace new to me .. I want to capture the feel of the place.  What it looks like, sounds like, feels like.

Wanting to remember the crunching sounds made by my shoes as I walk on a gravel topped pathway, mixed in with those sounds are the lovely pine scent of the nearby conifers, the cheerful chirping of birds hidden from sight.

When I see the lovely dogs, stop and have a chat with their owners … seeing the happy faces of well-loved pets … brings joy to my spirit.

These are some of the reasons why I take the photos that I do.

But .. Saturday rushes in and I have lots to do today .. .no time for a walk .. that decadent treat will have to wait for another day.

🙂

 

 


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Some blue skies. Another series of lovely walks. And just plain admiring the beauty of nature.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

This year is just marching along like a little trooper.  One day follows the next and soon it will be summer.  Ok, I’m really an optimist.  And I’m one that is very slowly getting back into shape.  What with my long brisk walks and exercises.  Just enough to get me going and ready to work outside for 10 hours or so a day.

Just a few days ago .. the skies were like this all day

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And this … I really like the soft colours .. very dreamy

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And one slightly overcast day .. it appeared as if there were two sun’s trying to burst through the clouds .. at least that was what my imagination conjured up.

03I’ve been out walking nearly every day except for the odd weekend.  Lovely fast walks as I used to do.  So very invigorating.  One day, I’d barely set out when I noticed the flapping wings of an eagle low overhead.  It was flying from area of Royal Oak and was headed for Swan Lake.  I brought out my binoculars and focused on this magnificent bird way up high.

How lucky was I, to be outside at that very spot at that very moment .. to be able to witness this free flight.  It certainly started my journey off in a good positive way.

Everyday I go in a different, random direction.  And every day I’m finding more paths that lead to more paths (and nearly always … to Swan Lake Nature Sanctuary!).  Perhaps that is how my life is heading right now.  Many paths, previously undiscovered by me .. but, there nonetheless.  If I hadn’t gotten out the door and out walking, well, I would never have discovered them.  I feel quite adventurous and curious.

I came upon an Anna .. quietly perched on a branch.

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Before she left .. she hovered .. seemed to look at me and then .. like a blur .. quickly flew away.

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Couldn’t help but notice the lush materials draping tree branches .. perfect for the birds to use for nesting material.   Everything is there for them.

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Perched quietly in the marsh grasses, well hidden, was a tiny bird.  Was it a female Nuthatch or a Wren?  I couldn’t quite tell, and didn’t want to disturb this lovely being.

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Along the way, some Robins were taking advantage of the quiet to have little baths to freshen up for the day.  I watched for awhile.

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Over at Tuesday pond, the marsh grasses that were planted by the hard-working volunteers have grown very well and provide some privacy for the ducks.  Love this.

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Very beautiful …

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Loving the soothing rustling sound of the dried grasses as a light breeze wends through their growth.  Not too much longer and the fresh new growth of spring will supplant these.

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Beauty of nature continues … the mosses and lichens covering the branches …

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A diminutive little Chestnut-backed Chickadee ….

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Well before I was born (and that was a “few” years ago) this marvellous tree was but a tiny little sapling.  Imagine what this tree has seen over the years.

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Are words needed here?  I thought not.

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Now .. this is a tree with character.  A survivor.  Strong and individual.

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Another example of nature taking over .. these branches will (hopefully) be left to break down over time, providing food and sanctuary for birds and the earth.

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The raindrops fell lightly upon the surface of Swan Lake .. one morning.

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And .. one evening .. the skies were kissed with rose .. quite a lovely look.

 

 

 

 

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This is the time of the year when energies flag.   Inspiration seems to have taken a holiday.  Energies are not at their peak.  It’s called .. “take a break and relax” .. really!  Some call it the doldrums.   Whatever.  I really want to be outside, tearing up the yard, making changes. Yet, what do I find myself doing instead?  Looking up at the sky.  And at the birds . .there is such a variety.  And glad to see both the male and the female Townsend warblers.

I’ve delegated a place in the yard for holding plants for our next place.   Seems I have quite a few.  And really, way too many plants for our current  yard.  I have a curse .. and that is .. I have a plant magnet in my personality .. that draws me to plant sales.  And try as  might to ignore this magnetic pull .. I fail miserably.

So last week, armed with a Groupon and a wonderful gift card from my DH .. I made my way to Cannor’s Nursery.   Oh.  No.   Plant sale.   Front and back.  So I chose a few.  Then decided that its high time to buy something that will look good, structure-wise for the yard.

And I chose 2 lovely items.   Made of metal and built for plants to grow on.  And easy to move around.  So I will take some photos tomorrow and share.

Well … time to go and watch Coronation Street.  There are 3 or 4 storylines that I wish would quickly end.   But, don’t get me started on that!

🙂

 

 


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Thursday, January 31, 2013

Daily, the spirit is there to just blog away … but I resist and instead, go for walks.   Play outside.  Take photos of birds.  Things like that.  I think it is the time of the year .. the space between the festivities of Christmas and the waiting for the motivational energy of Spring to strike.  Or at least that is what I think.

I’ve come to discover that my daily walks are ever so energizing.   Such a part of my daily life that when I miss one .. I feel a little uninspired.   Noticed this yesterday .. when I became “too busy” to embark on a 3 mile walk and it was reinforced today .. when I walked well over 3 miles .. that I just love getting outside.   Travelling all over the neighbourhood.   Meeting birders at Swan Lake Nature Sanctuary.  Learning names of birds.   Like today, I found out that the very darling little olive-green and yellow bird (much smaller than the Bush-tits) was actually a Ruby-crowned Kinglet!!

I was having great difficulty taking a clear photo and have learned this common, as these little birds are constantly flitting about.  Just found this lively YouTube video .. great music accompanies this little darling at a window bird feeder:   http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AYce1XbRlHk   This “SmellLikeDirt” site is very interesting and I’ll mark it as a favourite, for sure:  http://www.youtube.com/user/SmellLikeDirt?feature=watch  She shares great information and has many great videos!!

Here is darling little Goose dog!  DH & I met this little guy when we were out for a long walk a few days ago … how very sweet .. and in a loving family ..

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The Cormorants are still hanging around as a group, over by the long walkway at Swan Lake .. they are very elegant ..

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Now this very handsome bird is, I think, a sparrow .. I’ve been looking through books and websites for half an hour and just can’t determine.   Very shy, dainty songs …

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If you know the name of this lovely bird .. pls share with me …04

Very darling bird … 05

Oh, thank goodness for digital cameras, I can’t bear to think how much money all these photos would have cost in the “olden” days!

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And Mushrooms and mycorrhizal species will really save the world .. how wonderful to see this set up along one of the path ways!!!08

Townsend’s  Warbler .. yea .. still in the yard10

Such a treat to see ..11

Do you ever wonder if the “forces that be” are encouraging us along in our path?  Last night I was in my little (very  overcrowded) craft room.   Tossing away (in a container to donate for a reading program) books .. being as heartless as I could be.   Ended up with 3 containers full, not bad.

This .. to me .. is like trying to walk through molasses .. sorting out things.  I have been a sewing collector, crafts collector for many years.  If it sparkles .. I gravitate towards it and add to my collection.

Well. …. time to stop that and get rid of some things.  After my books (and I can still well get through many more, but, a step at a time. .. then I started on my sewing items.  Oh .. my … the things I found.  Many varieties of sewing needles, both for the serger(s), sewing machine and hand stitching.   What to do.  I started off by throwing them all in a glass container.  Step one.

I’m feeling as if I’m not making any progress at all .. .but I think back to several sessions of decluttering that I went through last year and know that, even though this is slow progress .. it won’t take long to get through.   What works best for me is going through one box or container, dealing with it .. leaving the room and then return.  Each time I go through this, I can really see the progress.

And I know that clutter holds us back.  What is more freeing that being in a neatly organized, tidy, spare .. room!  More space for creativity.  I can envision that.

Anyway, after I went through a second container, I found a small bag of money .. folding and coins!   I’d “momentarily” tucked the bag away in a box.   I think that this might be the universe’s way of rewarding me .. encouraging me .. to continue what I’m doing.

Who knows what other treasures I’ll find as I make my way through my collections?

🙂

 


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Blue skies! And I am so very lucky .. there is a beautiful female Townsend’s Warbler visiting our yard!!!!

Monday, January 21, 2013

Everyday I think .. that perhaps I’ll just sit down at the computer and type away.  And every day I don’t.  There seems to be a timeline that works best for me .. early morning ..and once that early time has passed .. the day just gets to be busy and so I procrastinate till later.

Weather has been fantastic.  Lots of sun which results in lots of birds flying around the yard.

Some photos of the lovely sky paintings recently:

 

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This series of formations were just awesome ..02

As you can see .. a lot of time spent, again, gazing upwards ..03

Little Bushtits .. many more this year.   The families are growing.  Note to self:  research these darling little birds and find out their territory and more details.  Very clever and cheerful little sprites, they are!04

They just seem to swirl into the yard.  I have 5 suet holders so there is lots for everyone.05

Little Chickadees visit the feeders and the suet blocks …alternating between both, for a more balanced diet.  And all of these little birds peck away at insects on the trees, on the house .. everywhere. They certainly earn their keep.  Plus they bring so much joy into my world.06

But .. look here .. this very striking bird started visiting our yard a few days ago.  Thus far I’ve only had the most tantalizing little glimpses.   Yesterday I stood motionless for at least half an hour, trying to take a picture!  A few days ago, I happened to be standing by a suet holder and this little bird flew to a branch just inches away.  I didn’t dare breathe .. just stood quietly so I could watch.08

Yesterday .. I was busy trimming branches and omg .. there she is!!!!!  Quickly whipped out the camera and so lucky to snap some photos!  I’ve learned that she is a female Townsend Warbler!   How exciting is this!  And they are only in a specific area …living in forests .. and here she is .. in our little mini-forest!!!09

Time to go outside and work with some of the seaweed that my pal D and I gathered a few days ago.   Another great day and I’ll share that tomorrow.

For now, though … .here is lovely Val … we met her at Sooke and she posed for a photo.  What a darling kind dog she is!!Val DogSo, time to make a mug of tea, change into my gardening costume and head outdoors!

🙂

 


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Walking in the rain .. under a sky blue lined umbrella .. enjoying the peace and quiet .. how very lovely yesterday was!

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Yesterday, the rains poured down from the heavens .. and this was a perfect day for a walk .. so I set out.  However .. firstly .. here is a little photo of the little Fox Sparrow, who had a serious problem with his left eye.  Today I noticed that the problem is much worse and, sadly, I saw another with the same problem with his right eye.

I’ve read, from some birding blogs, that these issues are more readily viewed when there are bird feeders closer to the house.  Otherwise, they wouldn’t be noticed.  Nevertheless, I brought most of the birdfeeders & suet holders inside for a good scrub, a light bleach rinse and lots of clear water rinsing.  Amazing the amount of seeds were tucked away tightly.  Washed, rinsed, dried and fresh seed & suet.  The world was a little happier place.

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Next, at the front of the house, I’m just about ready to leave when I notice a neighbour’s cat .. very friendly … came up the front stairs … apparently quite ready to come inside for a visit.  However, a branch from our Christmas tree appeared to capture his attention.

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Sorry, sweetie .. another time … love that face!  02

I began my trek … along local pathways … no one else out at this particular time .. so only me and the rain and my umbrella .. quite  tranquil time .. loving this.

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I love walking in the rain  … especially with this very cheerful umbrella … the top side is solid black and the inside is blue… with fluffy cumulous clouds .. very happy indeed.  So in contrast, the sleet ridden roads all of a sudden don’t seem to be so gloomy.

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This pathway is new … it allows runners/bikers/walkers to enter Rainbow Park more easily and it opens right off of McKenzie Avenue.  This is the first time I’ve walked this way .. kind of curious to see how it works out .. previously, this was all a grassy hillside.

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Just before this , though, along McKenzie Avenue .. is a lovely little green area with magnificent trees …

09 And further along .. a massive amount of ferns growing along  .. very lush and beautiful …  07

And more berried bushes .. food for the deer?  Lovely to look at ..06

What a cheerful sight .. lots of flowers …

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And  .. just a few minutes from starting my walk I arrive at Rainbow Park .. a lovely place, well named.

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And what do we have here … another route to my favourite place!  There are quite a variety of routes to Swan Lake Sanctuary and it’s fun to try a different one for each visit.

13At the little observatory (once I reached it!) I could see a little Mallard out in the middle of Swan Lake .. and I think he saw me ..but, alas, I hadn’t brought any flatted oats with me .. so I left before I could draw him over in false hope for food ..

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Farther along .. you can see the fence posts, still here, from the dairy farm that once flourished here.  My pal D remembers this quite clearly .. she and her family used to purchase their milk from the store that once existed.   Kind of nice to see these posts, though, a salute to previous times.  19

I love everything about Swan Lake .. and there are some areas that are just so much more awesome than others.  This is one .. and see the nest up in the tree to the right?  Cool.

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Rain .. rain .. rain .. everywhere.  But I’m not worried .. my waterproof walking shoes are about the only dry apparel that I have .. it’s taken me awhile to walk these shoes into a comfortable state of being .. and I can quite enjoy them now.17

Some Mallards enjoy the peace and quiet.16

Moi mes souliers ont beaucoup voyagé (grace a les mots de Felix Leclerc) 15

And this signage just never gets tired!!  See the last line .. so true.14

Sigh …