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

A memory of frost, a walk along the beach and a most delightful dog that I met along the way …

Frost is lovely to look at and I happened to have my camera with me one morning while outside .. replenishing the bird feeders.  These marbles looked so pretty with their light covering of frost.  In the summer I had added water to this dish, hoping to attract some butterflies to rest and have a sip of water …the cold has caused the dish to fracture so guess I’ll have to find another container for the summer.

01And each day, I trundled out to the yard to knock out the frozen ice in the bird baths and added some clear water for the birdies.   The ground is frozen hard and all the life therein is resting, waiting for the spring to arrive.

02

Yesterday I had some extra time in between appointments so I took advantage of this and visited Willows Beach .. a lovely place especially for dogs and their families to run and play.  Overhead, there were lovely blue skies and fluffy clouds.

03

And some interesting skies over the water .. a bit darker …but not much, really.

04

Lots of parking for vehicles at the side and it was mid afternoon so not very busy either.

06

Refreshing sounds of gentle waves … such a pretty sight to see.

05

Of all the dogs that were playing and running .. this darling little Olive caught my attention.  She was 100% positive energy, excitedly running for the ball that her doggy mommy would throw for her.  She is a prime example of how to enjoy life!  She ran with such joy and speed!   I visited for a few minutes then continued my walk, so incredibly happy to have met this darling little girl so full of life.

07

The ocean shares what is hidden to our eyes … a visual treat.

08

Grass will grow where it wants, don’t you think?  I liked the mini garden that grew in this log, a lovely contrast of weathered wood and the tenacity of the grass.  With the velvet addition of the moss to pretty it up and provide a place for insects to hide.

14

There were a couple of people enjoying their kayaks and they looked quite colourful on the water .. here is one of them ..11

Such strength and beauty in this weathered chunk of wood .. in so many ways ..

15

I sat on a comfy log and just relaxed, enjoying the tranquil atmosphere, the silvery grayness of the water and then began noticing the flow of the water on an apparently flat section of the beach.  Watched as the water followed a design of its own, meandering in style to the ocean where it joined that body of water.   And thought of how life is like that, if we just allow ourselves to be, to follow the flow that is meant for us and not worry or be sad, just be. All will be fine and that was comforting.    I guess that is where the “go with the flow” phrase comes from!

10

I scrambled over some rocks, carefully, as some of the rocks were a bit slippery and I didn’t want to take a tumble, by myself, how awkward would that be, 🙂  Sometimes life seems like that pile of logs, all topsy-turvy .. yet wild and free!  My life feels like that and I’m happy, it suits me.

13

So .. normally I do not spend money on myself.  My $$ seems to go on trips to visit family,  I would rather go to France, Ireland, Germany, but duty prevails. And on groceries and of course, on plants!    However, yesterday, I succumbed to the lure of this lovely Sonic Drum and decided that I deserve some joy so now this lovely drum is mine.

I love the silvery magic sounds of the Hang Drum and dreamt that someday I would have one.  However, the $$$ of that drum, plus the large size (awkward to carry around) helped me decide to get this drum.  It is hand-made in Indonesia, tuned to A Major.  I love the sounds and am having so much fun playing around with the sounds, the middle section can be treated as a drum and I gently tap the smaller cuttings and then play some drums and the result is so lovely.  I’ll be playing this quite a lot, I’m thinking.  Plus .. it is yellow …. my favourite sunshine colour!

Here is a site with a similar type of drum, so you can hear some of the magic:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TGk4y1Y3MS4  and there are many others, here is one:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2HHLmwORr3Y

16

There are quite a variety of steel drums out in the world, ornate and simple, tuned to various keys.  I’m happy with mine.  Some use little batons, but mostly one just lightly taps, with an upward motion for the sounds.

And the types of instruments that can be played along with this drum seem to be endless.  Here is a video of a Hang Drum with trumpet (starts at about 1:57) : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RZdGUrqTbjA

Sigh.  A busy week this has been .. a mixed bag with some happiness thrown in for good measure.

On with this day.

 


Leave a comment

The beauty of nature and the magic of the garden …

One of the zillion positive items from Cannor Nursery!   Does your mind boggle at the thought of all the happy activities that can constitute a day?  And with joy and abandon?  🙂

mon-24

Jane E Kat knows!  She’s perched on her little bench, awaiting yet more treats and .. at the same time .. being, oh, so cool!  She does that very well.

mon-28

Last Saturday we went to the Beachhouse (a most wonderful, fantastic and amazing restaurant that you will ever find! )   The food is divine.  Service is sublime.  And the view .. well .. breathtaking.  Here is the website:  web site

We were so very lucky to get a window seat!  A great storm was predicted and we were looking forward to seeing the waves!  We weren’t disappointed.  The trees on the beach were waving wildly  …

mon-19

And the waves were steadily getting wilder!   Note .. this isn’t a shark fin .. it’s a branch or something.   🙂   🙂  🙂

mon-16The waves were a constant .. and slowly building to a crescendo … (what is a crescendo, anyway, 🙂   )  sounds veddy dramatic, dahling …

mon-17

So ..  back home .. today (Monday) was rainy, rainy, rainy.  And that was so fine with me .. finally .. a day where I can focus on indoor stuff.   But, again, the sun came out .. so JaneE Kat and myself went outside.  I added more food to the bird feeders, gave JaneE some treats and then ventured around the yard to see how things were going.  The leaves of a blueberry plant caught my eye.  They looked to be so strong, so textured, so beautiful.mon-20

And this hot pink geranium flower bore the droplets of the recent rain and they were just so pretty …mon-10

The skies overhead were so joyous and free .. mon-13

It was a joy to see these clouds after the grayness of the day …

mon-12

I looked around at my potted plants and saw this self seeded Tomatillo …I grew them a few years ago and the seeds are in the compost, scattered about the yard.  They started rather late this year and I didn’t expect to see any fruits.  The flowers are dainty and good for the bees.  And the pods are just so pretty and graceful.

So I was quite surprised to find this tomatillo fruit on the ground .. positivity .. I will dry the seeds and plant them early next late spring/early summer!

mon-08

Perfect place to put my mug of Yorkshire Tea whilst I am looking for pretty things in the garden .. right???  🙂mon-15

Ah .. love in the garden .. these two Kentucky Wonder beans are intertwined and look so happy .. such is the wonder of the magic of the garden!mon-14-2

Most darling Bewick Wren in the wild and crazy (Pear stock) tree!  I think this is the baby!!  So happy to see this one!mon-06

The male Downy Woodpecker .. I ran out of suet, so sorry!  But he still likes the sunflower seeds!  (and thank goodness, these are still non gmo!!!)

mon-14

One more sunflower for the road!  I have noticed that the birds prefer the unshelled sunflower seeds and avoid the more expensive shelled sunflower seeds!  So I won’t be buying any more of the more expensive shelled types!

mon-07

And the lovely Gold Crowned Sparrow .. I love their songs and welcome them to the yard for the winter!!!

mon-04

And yet more beans from the bean forest!  I’ve been dehydrating them for winter soups and stews .. what fun!!!

mon-01

The weather here in Victoria has been a delicious mix of sun and rain.  I love both so either one gives my joy.

With the rainy weather, my choices of activity are diminished  .. from “playing outside” to “playing inside” my options are clear and easy.  ( for a Libra this is great)

So, seeing the rainy exterior, I had settled in for a lazy interior day.  Then the sun came out and I would have been a crazy fool not to have gone outside.   So that is where I went.

And filled up the bird feeders.     Picked beans from the bean forest.  Gazed at the birds.  Watched Jane E.   Looked up high at the overhead sky.

Soaked up the beauty from the skies ( oh, my) and just enjoyed the heck out of being outside.

🙂

 


Leave a comment

Happy photos taken during the sunny spring …..great memories and more to come! Yippee …

I was going through some photos that I’d taken during the year and the sweet memories started popping up .. my visual diary of happy days and things seen during my daily life!

Saw this sign posted at a garden shop and it pretty well sums up my gardening life when I’m out in the world, away from my garden!    I’m a magnet for perennial plant sales.

frid-01

From last spring .. beauty in all things ..frid-05

Cannors Nursery at the Sears Mall .. loving the decadence of their whimsical decorations.  Course I would never ever do that to my violin!!  🙂  This one looks like it has had a lot of adventures, wonder where it was played, by whom and what lovely music has been made when it was being used for its true purpose?  Did it go travelling or just stay in town?  Did the owners love it to death and practice every day?  So many questions.  Still, I like that it is a focus of the garden area.

frid-04

Last spring, Gold Crown Sparrow resting near a blue Camus flower – at Fort Rodd Hill.

frid-02

Miners Lettuce at Fort Rodd … lush and beautiful.  Great for snacking on .. .or make a salad .. lots of natural nutrition ..frid-03

Darling JaneE Kat .. sitting on the back stairs, her favourite catnip plant right beside her, ready for nibbling on ..frid-06

Salmonberry blooming away .. these plants are easy to propagate, grow quite tall and are very resilient.  The orange berries are tasteless and I think the birds love them as I rarely find any to munch on when I go searching.  That’s all right by me!   More food for them.   I do love the flowers though.frid-07

Sweet little baby Bewick Wren .. elusive little bird and happy to be able to get a quick photo.  They are nesting somewhere in the yard.frid-08

A few seconds later, he was perching on a branch of the apple tree .. listening to his parents calling and soon flew away.  Love these precious moments in the garden.frid-09

Delicate Rock Rose flowers …frid-10

Diminutive little flower growing along the ground ..frid-12

.. and a tiny little winged creature is dining out on an early Saturday morning in the sun ..frid-13

Magnificent Beaufort Mountain Range  and the stately clouds adorn it like a crown, how very fitting!frid-11

And so DH sweeps us away up to the clouds in the dear blue skies above … flying in the PW6-U …frid-23

Woo Hoo .. this is living …. miss this and looking forward to the spring when we can go flying up there again .. and again .. and again …frid-20

Travelling in the air is so magical .. it is truly another world and I am so very happy that DH takes me away to this special place .. Let’s see .. garden .. sky .. garden .. sky .. oh I have the best of both mystical and magical worlds I am so lucky!frid-20-2

Here is a great explanatory interview of the  PW6-U   The Pawnee is the tow plane, they were used for crop dusting years ago.

And this is truly .. truly .. so beautiful … enjoy this beautiful flying video, it captures the essence of ..sailplane flight up in Port Alberni … my most favourite video ever ..so perhaps you can see how magical this flying is and why I love it so much.

Anyone can go on a Scenic flight and have a taste of what it is like to glide high in the skies at the Beaufort Mountains ..

Sigh …

The fall winds have started and the leaves have started to rain down to the ground.  A change in scenery, wild and free.

I’m looking forward to going outside to see how the bean forest is doing .. and today will start leaving out a little bit more seed and suet for the birds who visit.  Yesterday I saw my first Junco so I’ll start leaving out the flax seed that they love.

The baby birds hatched this past spring will soon be experiencing their first winter.  I know that they are wild birds and will survive.  However, I can’t resist a little picture in my mind, of knitting them the tiniest of little scarves and sweaters from silky spider webs to keep them warm!

They will survive.  And I will support them by ensuring that I keep their feeders clean, give them good seed mixes and make sure there is a steady supply of water, even when the temperature goes down.

Well … time to go and start this day!!!

🙂


Leave a comment

Looking upwards .. what do I see ? Just the most amazing sky art there can be!

Saturday .. a few days ago .. was a magnificently beautiful day and the skies were just plain awesome.  I’d accompanied DH to the lumber store and while he selected the supplies that he needed for a project, I wandered outside .. and devoted some time in admiring the show high above me.

We all have fun seeing shapes in the clouds and sometimes they are clearly seen.  In this one, I can see someone riding a horse .. galloping away to a place in the sky ..m-01

Same sky .. another area .. wispy waves that look like a sand washed beach ..

m07

Dreamy wispy clouds that look like the softest of cotton candy floss ..

m12

Happy dancing clouds …

m11

I caught some tree branches in this photo but it shows that fall is near, leaves have begun to fall .. are the branches waving to the sky?  Perhaps.

m10

Are these two clouds lusting after each other?  They seem to be kissing.    Lovely, against a panoramic background of incredibly beautiful sky art.

m09

And the kissing clouds are softly covered with a gauzy curtain of fluffy white clouds.  Censorship ??  “ok you’ve seen enough .. run along now”   🙂

m08

Love seeing such a variety of shapes and textures up above .. and I love even better being up there, flying amongst them.

m06

Now I can see something above the upper half of this photo .. is it a spreading tree, branches flung far and wide?  Is it a mythical shape from Aesop’s fables?

m05

The cumulus clouds were so solidly dense it seemed as if I could just reach up and break off a piece .. like a marshmallow or something like that.  And, ahem .. are these more amorous clouds that I see???

m04

The clouds are getting a bit darker in some areas .. an indication that rain will be happening later on .. and there was a little bit of rain but not that much really.

m02

Art Nouveau, anyone?   Time to return home, vehicle loaded with supplies.  Camera loaded up with more beautiful photos of the uplifting skies above.

m03

The beauty of the skies has a special energy which I find quite compelling.  Such random beauty that is ever changing and brightens up our daylight hours.

I am compelled to look upwards and sometimes must remind myself to focus on where I am as it is easy to trip over something!

At this stage of my life I am no longer embarrassed to be looking upwards and quite often I just simply stand still in awe of the beauty up there.   And there is lots of action up there also .. soon it will be time for the Turkey Vultures to migrate and luckily we are on their pathway so I must keep looking up to see this feat of nature.

The magic of seeing these birds, many hundreds of them, is humbling.  They are part of the nature that created this earth and we mere humans must always respect this.

Despite all the inventions by humans, the raw power of nature answers to no one.

Thank goodness for that, eh???

I have to say this … we Canadians are well known for saying “eh” … and that is not a bad thing.   And there are a few thoughts on how this came about.

My vote is for the French “hein” meaning “what”?  Some words in French, carried over to English, are pronounced without the “h” sound.  thus “hein” becomes “eh”.   And there are other words carried over also, which need the “h” sound, but that is for another day, another blog.

🙂

 


Leave a comment

Either in the sky or on the ground – there is a lot of beauty to be found!

Graceful dancing skies .. swirling .. twirling .. dance of joy above us ..thursday-16

Mystical – ephemeral – can you see the two faces and the arms entwined  ….dancing .. flying …

thursday-15

On a more practical day – these clouds are ready to fly you away … however, we took the plane instead.

thursday-08

And soon we were up in the air .. .along with all those lovely clouds!

thursday-09

This plane is so happy it is smiling .. see the big cheerful grin!     Liking this plane a lot.

thursday-01

 

4 Nanchang’s flying formation .. a beautiful sight to see .. but even better would be to be sitting in the back seat!  DH & I were able to do that a number of years ago … simply Stupendous!!!!thursday-02

 

Back home .. in the garden ..here are all the Pyracantha berries that I clipped from the gigantic leaning Pyracantha shrub that I pruned a few days ago.   That is a lot of berries!

thursday-12

And I’ve spread the berries over two large drying surfaces .. here is one:  Luckily we have had sun for a number of days so the berries have started the drying process but there is a long way to go yet.   Looking at the weather forecast, rain is predicted starting tomorrow sometime so I’ll have to move these inside the house to help them in the drying process.  Once dried .. I’ll save them for the winter months so the birds will have a treat!thursday-13

A  sweet Sword Fern .. oops .. I see ivy that needs to be pulled up.  It started off as a tiny little plant many years ago .. I remember planting it!  Now it is a monster that needs to be eradicated.  We have struggled with pulling this invasive plant out but obviously need to continue.

thursday-14

Nature is delicate .. I love how this fine strand of a squash plant is seeking support in the most gentle way ….

thursday-11

I wish that I could wire-wrap my jewellry crafts as uniformly and tidy as these strands!!

thursday-10

Some Red Delicious apples .. so pretty to look at and so tasty to eat!   And drink when juiced!  And most likely scrumptious in pies!!

thursday-07

Little baby girl, JaneE Kat … sleeping in the sun .. my garden cat!

thursday-06

Some of these beans are just quirky.  this bean was growing in lots of space, unimpeded by other beans, yet it decided to twist things up, as it were.

thursday-05

A number of weeks ago, I’d inadvertently knocked off the flower of this tiny little sunflower.  As magical as nature is .. the plant continued go grow and is sporting a tiny little flower again!!

thursday-03

One of the joys of bountiful pole beans and sunny weather!

thursday-04

Summer is still officially here (I think) and I can see the signs of the approaching Autumn … which is sending us little signals that it is heading our way.

The wild and crazy pear stock tree is starting to show colours in the leaves .. no longer a solid deep green, the oranges and burgundy colours are starting to appear and the leaves are beginning to drop.   The pear trellis disease is not showing up much now .. lots of good soil, EM (effective microorganisms) and llama manure have given strength to this tree.   So much so that it is dropping tiny little round pears!   Some are tasty and some are tart.    After  about 30 years, it is nice to see that this tree is getting healthy again.

A few of the Blue Lake bush beans and Spanish Musica beans are starting to show yellow.  Some of the squash leaves are showing the spots of mildew (I clipped and discarded these).  And I trimmed back the superfluous leaves of the self-planted tomato plants so that the energy could go to the tiny fruits.  Next year, I vow, I will actually start some tomato plants early!   ( I promise .. I will do that!)

Today, while the sun shone warmly and I gathered an enormous amount of beans (for juicing) and the occasional orange tomato (to ripen inside, in a basket) .. .I realized that the days are limited for summer enjoyment of the garden.  Soon the rains will start.  There will be the warm sunny days again ..but these special hot days .. will be, for the most part, just a memory.

Autumn will take over and along with that come the chores to tidy up the garden.  Finally sort the pots.   And to decide which plants need to be placed in slightly larger pots for the winter.   Time to remove the plant saucers so that the rains will just flow through the plants and not stockpile in the saucers.

Cooler days to trim  branches.  A time to sort garden items out .. some things to give away and some to keep.

Time for more mugs of Yorkshire Tea.

 

 


Leave a comment

Sky Art! We flew to Comox Airport – and we met some very interesting people!

Another sunny Sunday .. and so we took the day for play and went flying up in the sky.  Such amazing clouds everywhere.   While DH navigated our flight, I just relaxed and enjoyed the scenery, madly clicking away to capture some of this beauty.  Love being a co-pilot 🙂0009

Honestly, the clouds were so dense in areas that they seemed to be just like cotton candy that one could just nibble on.  A firm surface that could be ventured on for exploring the mysterious caverns and pathways that seemed to exist there.

00013

Towering cumulus clouds everywhere .. this was a close-up of a much bigger area.0004

 

 

0009

 

Sometimes I did look down and noticed this fish hatchery.  At first glance I thought it was an irrigation method for watering crops, but DH did a bit of research and found out what it really is.

0004 (2)

 

0005

Continuing along .. lost in the mystery of the clouds again …

0003

We went to the Courtenay Airpark .. such a place of beauty and friendly people.   Plus I had a lovely kindred spirit conversation about creativity and art with a young lady who works at the Cafe there.  I love those energizing types of idea sharing along the artistic wave length.

0007

Such beautiful surroundings … many people walk, run or bike by themselves, with friends, family, dogs (love them!) along the pathway that surrounds the marsh … so very relaxing.

00016 (2)

00015

And we were fortunate enough to meet some highly interesting people!   http://www.daleerhart.com/     A fellow pilot was just telling us about Dale Erhart when himself arrived a few minutes later (in this plane that he built).  No sooner had he jumped out of the plane (the opening is not that large, so one has to be fit to enter and exit!)  .. then he was on his phone, calling his wife … That is sweet!!!

00011

I noticed his enthusiasm and energizing, positive manner, so when I went searching online for more information (from his business card) .. I really wasn’t surprised that he is a motivational speaker.      Here he is .. living the dream, with a highly diverse background of flying and now  still flying, building aircraft, travelling and sharing his passion of flight.  Inspiring people.  http://www.challenger.ca/gallery_crankin’n’bankin.html

He, along with 3 other pilots – one of whom lives nearby and was an instructor at Cold Lake, Alberta, where one of his students was Chris Hadfield (yes, that Chris Hadfield!). .. will be taking their planes to France next spring,  “that will fly a formation of 6 replica WWI fighters over Vimy Ridge in tribute to two anniversaries of nationhood: the Centennial Battle of Vimy Ridge and the Commemoration of 150 years since Confederation” (from their FB page).  For more information you can visit their FB page:  vimyflight.ca

00012

And shortly after this, he departed, to join up with the other members of the group of 4.

0006

DH & I then left the airpark to return back home …

0008

And soon were in the “land of clouds”once again .. flying amongst the sky art that I normally see from the ground ..

0001

Back home .. loving the sweet Robin and Sparrow who rest atop our first Christmas tree .. over 30 years ago DH planted this tree in front of our house.   It provides privacy and a haven for many birds to live in.   Provides me with joy and happiness because of that.

00010

Beside this tree is a cedar that I also planted .. perhaps a bit too close, but what did I now way back then?  All the trees live well together.

011

A lovely ending to a wonderful day.

Now on with this day .. lots to do!!

🙂

 


Leave a comment

What does a turtle on the runway, spider webs, tree frogs and sky art have in Common? They are just some of the many things I love!

Today is a rainy, overcast day.  The sun came out for a nano-second and the skies are grayed over.  Perfect time to look through some photos from September, 2013!

This is a morning picture of a web that a spider had worked industriously on during the night.  Such delicate strands, pattern by Nature, instinctive in the spider.  How could a human being create such beauty and delicacy?  Only with much study and hard work and certainly not in the time that it took the spider to create this.  Humbling? You bet.  Impressive.
200

As I went to move our lounge chairs into the sun .. I noticed a tiny little tree frog had taken up residence.  So sweet and so confident, not afraid of my presence. Calmly resting on “his” chair.  I left him there to relax.

201

We noticed this turtle wandering all over the runway and I tried to guide him on a straight path so he would reach the other side. Really, why was I worried, as he must have made this trip many times.  Travelling from a trickling stream nearby to the forest on the other side of the runway.  Let me mention (and this is important) .. the runway was not active at this time.

202

However, I did breathe a sigh of relief when he was at the other side.

203

And then the excitement was over, he’d reached the field and made his way to a destination that only he knew. Back to the wife and kids?  Out for lunch?

204

Later on I spent some time watching some industrious bees foraging for nectar.  These plants are growing in very hot countryside and they are very tiny.  Nevertheless, there is sufficient nectar to attract the bees.

215

Morning skies are filled with low clouds at Mt. Arrowsmith.   Later that summer, I flew up there as a passenger  in the front seat of the PW-U6 and we flew so close, I clicked away like mad and have lots of photos from up there.  I’ll post them at a later date.  I was filled with awe at the proximity of this most magnificent mountain.  And I felt truly grateful at having the opportunity to be up there.

210

Later in the morning, the clouds begin to lift and the Beaufort Mountain Range is becoming more visible.  What a view.

216

See what a difference a few hours make.  I’m enamoured of skies and clouds and have many hundreds of photos to look at.  This one is another spectacular sight.

213

These photos don’t need words.  These priceless works of sky art are beyond words.  Their beauty is infinite.

218

2006

2006

209

208

207

While stopped in traffic, I noticed this licence plate .. a reminder of my lovely Muscovy Drake, Huggers, Hugs for short.  He was a great little duck.   I used to keep a silver tray at the kitchen window.  On it I had a little bowl of water, some grapes or strawberries.  He liked to sit at the window outside.  When I opened the window, he would eat and drink as if he was at a fast-food restaurant.  He was a character.  He grew up with our 2 dogs and he really thought he was one.   Anyway, this reminded me of him.

211

Beauty is everywhere .. we are surrounded by it .. if we only look.  Here I like the shadow of nearby cedar boughs, outlined by the sun onto the dash of my car.

212

And, while looking through my photos .. I found some terrific views of my squash plants growing away.  Awesome .. from a small seed we obtain this delicious food.  Miracles happening all the time.  In particular, non-GMO, no pesticides …. ever!

221

I was outside, every single day, looking at my treasures, so proud!

220

And this is a lovely sight!  A little pricey, but you get what you pay for and non-GMO is worth it.219I am so glad that I am able to take so many photos of things that I love .. for days like this, I can look through them and relive the joy of every day.  And they are also incentive for the next year of growing, watching sky art and finding beauty in everything I see!