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!


Leave a comment

It snowed last night! And the angst of memorizing music!!!

Happy New Year 2017!   Looked out the window today .. it snowed last night!!  Brrrr …

Then I look out at the back yard and see some birds are pecking away at the thistle seed and the bits of suet remaining in their containers.

The darned squirrel(s) have been feasting on the sunflower seeds that I place in the new wooden open feeder .. I plan to purchase a squirrel baffle this week to stop that practice!

Speaking of practice .. I’ve pondered which spelling to use, just searched and found this explanation:  “practice is the noun, and practise is the verb” .. ok, that makes sense.

I’ve been practising my fiddle music and have been hitting a few hurdles.   Searching online I find many theories as to why this happens.  And in my lesson yesterday, I played the beginning section of a song quite well (according to my teacher) and then I floundered for the second half.

The reason?  Well, he was right when he noticed that my 2nd and 3rd fingers were over the A, and my inner critic was saying .. 3rd, no, 2nd, no, 3rd and it all went downhill from there.

Frustation, yes.  Overcome this?  Yes.   And the satisfaction that I will feel when this happens?  Great joy and incentive to learn more.

So now is the time to practice, practice and practice some more .. and this I will do.  The more I practice, the more enjoyable the music is to me.  The songs begin to seem like friends to me, the kind I’d like to know better.

Here .. I’ll share a photo from many years ago .. my pen pal in France sent this to me yesterday.   What a gift.  I used to take my Muscovy Drake, Huggers, my dogs and cat .. to the SPCA Santa photos.  I was thinking about one of these photos and wasn’t sure where to start looking and decided to put this off for one of those thousands of “to do” things in the New Year.

Well .. the photo that he sent gave me such joy .. I’d forgotten how sweet my pets were.  JaneE Kat is still with us, although my Huggers and Muffy had since made their way to the Rainbow Bridge where they frolic with Sam, Sadie and Little Guy.

I loved dressing Huggers up with my red and silver Egyptian scarf, edged with silver bugle beads … he looked quite handsome.  Plus the generous bows that I made for Muffy and JaneE .. very festive.

hugs-muffyjanee-my-violin-and-me-with-santa

How many years ago?  Does it matter?  I was younger and thinner (weren’t we all) and I used to be a bit more stylish in my dress.  There is that inner critic!  Begone you!   Happy memories and I am grateful for these.   And my little violin is there .. happy now that I am really learning how to play it finally!!

If you are reading this, Thierry, thank you .. so much!

Anyway, yesterday at my lesson, I was learning the finer points of bow placement, music timing and feel that I’m making hard won progress, yea!

So we are just getting over really bad winter colds so we are into day 2 of Pyjama Day and binge watching Funny TV shows .. right now it is Fawlty Towers.  It is good to laugh.

Anyway, I must put on my winter outerclothes and go outside to fill up the birdfeeders and put fresh water into the bird baths.

Then .. I plan to brew another mug of Yorkshire Tea and practice for a bit .. the first in the New Year.

🙂


Leave a comment

Blue skies from a few days ago and .. Crows in Trees!!

It is a rainy overcast morning here in Victoria .. but I have reminders of lovely blue skies from a few days ago.    This is like the underside of my favourite umbrella .. sombre exterior but underneath cheery blue skies .. that is why I like using that umbrella for long rainy walks!   It reminds me that the skies are not always gray .. although I like those too.  For long dreamy walks throughout the city.

dec-2301

Ahhhh .. here is another one ..yummy!  Looks a bit like a mackerel sky developing on the right side.

dec2307

A few days I went for another walk with my exercise pals .. this time at Gyro Park.  But, instead of starting along the shoreline, we veered off to the left, to begin up and down hills on cement pathways.  Here are some lovely little Mallards settling in for the morning.  I must start to bring flattened oats with me to scatter for these little guys!

dec2304

One of the moss covered rocky little outcroppings that we climbed up.  This section was a bit slippery and I did a lovely graceful slide, the most important thing on my mind was to “not drop my camera!”.  Successful!  Yea.  And I continued onwards.

dec2305

A little pathway took us through this little wooded section.  Lovely to know these areas exist in our city.   Habitat for all kinds of little animals and birds.

dec2306

A few days ago I was outside, getting ready to go somewhere and noticed the incoming murder of Crows.  There are some great tall trees down the street, a favourite perch for the local Eagles, Hawks, Ravens and a myriad of other birds.   These trees overlook the valley down below, wherein lies the highway and Swan Lake Nature Sanctuary.  A vast array of bird life that provides us with the most interesting insights into their lives.  We are lucky.

dec2303

Quite often I’ve noticed that the crows have surrounded a Hawk or Raven in the trees.   The clever “hunted” stay hidden for long periods of time and sometimes make a dash for freedom.  It is quite challenging to be a robust raptor, one against many lesser birds in the food chain.   I couldn’t see if there was such a raptor tucked away in the branches and the placement of the crows reminded me of a decorated Christmas tree.

dec2302

Speaking of birds, here is one of my recently purchased feeders .. I like the open nature of this feeder, it allows a number of birds to feed at once.    And they can swiftly fly away without encumbrances.

dec2314

Well .. I was going to talk about violins and what I have learned in the past few days .. but there is so much I want to write about and time is flying by this morning .. I’ve decided to share that till tomorrow.

I am happily learning so much of what is going on and just want to share that.

🙂

On with this lovely day.

 


Leave a comment

What I have seen in the garden during the past few days!!

The birds are used to the new feeders!  Actually this was sold in a gardening center for placing air ferns inside.  I immediately saw “birdfeeder” and bought about 5 or 6!   One of my many dreams coming true .. seeing the little Chickadee perched there.  Dreams can be about absolutely anything .. I love dreaming and have joy in seeing them come true!

001a

001

And then I saw this darling little Anna … busily chatting away to another Anna in a nearby tree.

002

 Another opportunity to play with my new Camera .. learning as I go, what the best settings are.  I’ll study the “how to” manual on a rainy day. For now I will just take lots of photos …

003

These tiny birds are so lovely to watch .. but they are tough little birds.  My cat once caught one, many years ago.  I’d heard an unusual sound from the yard and on investigation, found a tiny Anna that she had somehow brought to the ground.  Carefully I picked up the stunned little bird, surprised at the solid little weight it made in my hand – They are so small I visualized them as being as light as a feather.  It was an adventure that ended well for her.  I carefully put her in a room, opened the window, shut the door and shortly after that I saw the little bird Anna quietly on the branch of a nearby tree.

I think this Anna is the baby, still learning from the parents …

004

ok .. just one more photo .. I love them!

005

Strawberries are still flowering, bearing fruit even though it is mid-October.  This is a wild strawberry, the tiny yellow type which will easily invade your yard if planted.  I discovered that this summer.  Thought it would be nice to have a few varieties of wild strawberries planted among the veggies.  I soon found out that they will send out runners “till the cows come home” and ended up putting some in pots and the rest in the compost.  Hmmmmm … I realize that I will be getting a few hundred of these plants next spring from the compost!    Well, I can always share them.

At last, what a treat .. I was able to see the baby Bewick Wren!!!!!  They must be nesting somewhere in the yard …We planted many trees over the years and they have become home to Bush-tits, Chickadees, Juncos, Downy Woodpeckers, Sparrows (House, Gold Crowned, White Crowned) Flickers, Nuthatches .. on and on ..

007

This was a rare treat to see this baby and I was ecstatic!   I had heard the parents “talking” to the baby over the summer and didn’t dare hope to ever see it.  Yet another one of the million delights in a backyard garden.   Right now, he is looking at the suet block below.  I must have made a little noise because after this photo, he abruptly flew away.

008

There are still a few tiny little squash growing along.  I haven’t the heart to dig them up and will just leave them for awhile longer.  They are cheerful looking and brighten up the garden.

009

Speaking of beauty it is all around us .. the ever changing skies overhead.

010

Another treat from the compost, a surprise squash.  It is only tiny and might just grow a little bit more.

20

I so love this plant, everything about it . .. even the name is cheerful “Peppermint Stick”.  I’d acquired it a few years ago and planted in the shade.  This year I moved it into the sun and like magic .. it showed me how happy it was in the new location by growing and growing and growing!   I was admiring the appearance of the raindrops and sunshine scattered along one of the broad leaves.  And here is a most interesting link that I found when looking for the proper name of this grass, I guarantee that you will find this blog most interesting  :http://www.louistheplantgeek.com/a-gardening-journal/491-arundo-donax-peppermint-stick

21

Although I’ve harvested and composted the majority of tomatoes in the yard .. this is one of the few remaining and you can see why I’ve left them in place.  They look like cascading jewels, adding yet more beauty to the yard.

22

The same reasoning works for these squash plants.  I’ll deal with them after the frost visits the yard .. there are still a number of weeks before that happens.

23

And another sky photo …

24

It’s been a busy few weeks .. having lots of fun in the yard, getting it ready for winter.   Harvesting the Scarlet Runner Beans, the Cherokee Trail of Tears, the tri-colour bush beans.   Surprises every day.

Gardening is so magical, ever changing and satisfying.

🙂