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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Sunny & frosty days …some snow has arrived to transform the garden. And the birds are happy. I think the Faeries have been partying at night!

The weather here in Victoria has been pretty normal, what with the rainy days, the sunny days and the faintest touch of snow once in awhile.  This is why everyone is drawn to this beautiful city.

Yesterday I was in the back yard .. topping up the bird feeders, tipping out the ice from the bird-baths (ok, we have had a few frosty mornings, I can live with that) … and my eyes were drawn to this (still) potted Hellebore .. which I will plant when the weather warms up a bit.  It is a tough little plant and has been enjoying the balmy parts of the day when the sun warms up the yard here and there.P1350675

Yesterday, those darling little Bushtits were hungry and so they didn’t fly away when I approached them.  They love these little ceramic and coiled metal suet holders .. this design is perfect for them and so I’ve placed several in this corner of the yard.

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Here is another chunk of slag .. left over from a glass factory many years ago.  Love how the sun brings out the blue/green colour.

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I’d bought this at a garage sale, many, many, many .. years ago.   It’s nice and chunky, someone’s prized stained glass project.  Here I have placed it upside down … it’s nicely covered with some garden soil and it could serve as a night-time party surface for the wee faeries when they come out at night to party and enjoy the solitude of the garden.  It’s placed far enough from the house so that their music and singing isn’t heard inside.  Tempting to tip toe outside on a hot summer evening to see if I can see them frolic and play.  That would be fun.

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The frosty weather is nature’s opportunity to change things up in the yard .. a chance to show us her creativity.  Here is a lovely display of ice .. so pretty, sparkling in the sun.. but not easy for the birds to drink!   Maybe .. the faeries have donned their winter clothing and skates .. perfect surface for them to practise their skating techniques during the nights when we sleep.  Perhaps the crackles were cause by a few of them, having had one too many little hot toddies as they demonstrated their triple axels??  (or whatever they do when twirling about on the ice in their tiny jewel encrusted skates!)  Can’t you just picture this?  I can!

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So I tipped the ice out and added some water for the little birdies!  To drink and perhaps have a little bath.P1350681

When I’d finished tipping out the ice, I looked at those round circles and decided to play with them and create a little ice path!  For viewing only, for beauty only.  sigh.

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Today was brrrr in the yard … I know that birds who visit our yard are wild and can fend for themselves .. however .. I did invest in a rather fair bit of a variety of bird seed expressly for them .. so out I went .. and added a generous amount to each feeder and made sure there was a healthy chunk of suet in each holder.  Good thing.  As it turned out, this afternoon we had a surprise coating of snow. Pretty to look at.  The yard transformed and magical again.

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I took some photos through the kitchen window .. I knew that if I went outside to take photos, the activity would frighten the birds away and I just wanted them to enjoy some quiet time and a chance to fill up their little bellies for the cold night that approaches.  Here is a beautiful Spotted Towhee …P1350695

Some Junco’s, sparrows .. the yard was full of birds flitting about and doing their little shuffle-shuffle dance to find sunflower seeds hidden in the snow.P1350700

Here’s another photo of that beautiful Hellebore ..looking lovely against the grass of yesterday!

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So very excited .. am I!!!  Recently received my order from Salt Spring Island seeds!!!  This is going to be such a fun summer of growing peas and beans and a few other things.  It won’t be long before there will be tunnels of these in the garden.  A little room in the back where I can sit on my bench, glass of white or mug of Yorkshire Tea (depending on the time of day!!).   A place where I don’t see any buildings .. only the green of the lush vines growing all around!P1350692

And today my order from Annapolis Seeds arrived!   Lots and lots of beans for juicing, munching and freezing!  This year will be abundant.  And I’ll be freezing the beans whole (no blanching required as the beans won’t be touching the ground!)

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My final photos is from Seedy Saturday, last Saturday, at the Victoria Conference Centre.  This is the first year that I haven’t volunteered, since I retired and I really enjoyed my time .. happy to see  garden friends there .. an exciting time wandering the tables and a choice of very informative seminars!  So many knowledgeable speakers!

Normally I take photos every few feet but this year I found myself drawn more into conversations and so ended up taking only one photo and here it is!

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I’ve really missed my daily blogging .. instead have been utilizing my time in a dozen different ways.   Busy all the day long.

This past Friday, I decided to change that.  When the weather is more conducive to being inside, I appreciate this opportunity to do those things that I find challenging when the warm weather calls for me to be outside.

Recently I decided to focus all my energies into starting to learn the theory of music.  It’s something that I had decided was way to hard to me to comprehend.   My fiddle teacher has been very patient in trying to help me understand this.  But the doors in my mind refused to open.   Then, at my 2nd to last singing lesson, my teacher and I were talking about theory and I realized that I must learn this.  No more to use the excuse and stubborness to veer away from learning.

So, Friday, Saturday and Sunday, I spent many long hours, at my computer, a stack of index cards to write on.  A pile of beginner fiddle books.  Many online sites.   And the light is dawning.   The doors are opening.  The comprehension has begun.

Music is a language .. I love learning languages … and I love learning more about music!.

Well .. time for supper and I look forward to practising my fiddle and learning more!

🙂


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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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Wednesday was a sunny day .. perfect for playing in the yard. Watching birds, helicopter, the skies …

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Wednesday (like today!) … lots of sun and blue skies overhead, yea!!

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Spent some time playing with my newest garden treasure .. my yard cart .. it is so very useful, how did I manage without it!  It holds so much material and also handy for easily moving tools around the yard.  I really feel like a spoiled gardener!

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This looks like a low flying helicopter, but no worries, I’d just zoomed in.  Looks kind of cool, seen through the branches of the wild and crazy tree (aka, pear rootstock)

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During some quiet times I simply stood motionless and watched the Anna’s fly to the hummingbird feeder23 - Copy

And watched the Bushtit hop over to the feeder … to check out this interesting feeder … the perch is just the right size for his little claws to cling to.22 - Copy

He seems a bit puzzled now … where is the food ..21 - Copy

Ahem .. the little Anna seems to say … pardon me ..but this is not for you …20 - Copy

See .. it’s built just right for me ..19 - Copy

The Bushtit wasn’t convinced .. so he just had to study the feeder more closely 18 - Copy

Perhaps you are right .. this one is perfect for me!17 - Copy

Sigh ….16 - Copy

Soon, all was right with the world as the Anna returned to the feeder .. no other birds visited here again .. they’ll stick with the suet15 - Copy

I saw 3 Downy woodpeckers in the yard .. wondered, are some of them the babies from last year?   They visited all of the suet blocks in the yard.  I’ve placed 5 of them throughout … and this one is the special, made in BC item that D noticed on the side of the road, a few weeks ago.  It’s once again fulfilling its purpose .. to hold food to feed the birds!14 - Copy

And .. I did not see this rainbow till I downloaded the photos …. how perfect is this …is this positive energy from the feeder  … happy again, feeding the birds ???13 - Copy

And those roses .. are still blooming .. how very pretty they are12 - Copy

2 years ago … I couldn’t see many robins in the yard at all.  Yet this year there are quite a few.  And they are all robust.  This one is pecking away at a fallen apple.

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The little Fox sparrow .. patiently waiting, again!08 - Copy

Hi Mr. Robin …..07 - Copy

Jet overhead … someone going somewhere exotic?   I like to think so.06 - Copy

Sweet-pea seed pod ….I’ve left some on the plants .. maybe they will sprout and grow more beautiful flowers.05 - Copy

Still can’t bear to pull the sweet-peas up .. I’ll let them go on their own time.

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Sweet little Bushtits …. chirping away .. happy sounds in the yard03 - Copy

Beauty ..02 - Copy

Like a visual poem in the skies above…

01 - CopySurprise treasures in the yard!  I’d just finished planting some garlic cloves (found a good head of garlic from Salt Spring Island and wanted to grow some of that type).  When, surprise, I found these bulbs had rooted in a pot.  No soil.  Well, bulbs are hardy, that is for sure.  So I carefully separated them and covered them with some mulch, ready for planting today.  There are also some other bulbs with them, I think they might be tulips.  Will plant them in a pot and wait for Spring to see if I am right!

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So .. time to put on my lovely gardening outfit .. my trusty Carhart bibs .. how very elegant!  🙂 and outside to plant these lovely garlic cloves .. there is still time for them to grow.  In the spring (not far away) I will commence with the application of EM .. on everything!!!  Magic.

Twas a great day and I expect more of the same today!

🙂