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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oh dear me ..I went to the Friends of the Library book sale!!! Plus I met another dog on my walk!

Monday, January 28, 2013

We were spoiled here and experienced a lovely sunny day … and since then it’s been overcast and rainy.   But …( applause here) .. I am continuing my walkies!  Meeting dogs .. here is Jenny:

22She is a very happy dog as you can see .. and was being lovingly brushed by her doggie dad.   He and his wife have had her in their family for 9 years!  She had all the unwanted traits for her breed:  long fur, a beard and too big!  They suspected that because of these “defects” (bah!) she wouldn’t have a long life with the breeder.  So they quickly adopted her from the breeder and they’ve been one happy family ever since.   After a little chat and a petting session, I left them behind and continued on my way.  Happier and feeling so glad that I’d taken that particular route at that particular time.

There are so very many “backyard” breeders who shouldn’t be breeding their dogs and cats … yet they continue.  And where do most of the ensuing generations of pets end up?  Not well.  The lucky ones are rescued by non-profit rescue groups and the SPCA.

Here is what the skies looked like when I met Jenny:

20And here is how my heart felt afterwards .. happy happy happy

12There was a mist nearly dissipated at Swan Lake ..but little remnants remained.   The Lake was calm and the skies were mirrored on the surface.

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On the way to Tuesday Pond … the mist had that dreamy, mysterious quality ..17

I felt almost as if I were entering a magical place .. and actually the Sanctuary is really like that.

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Homage to the old farm that was here .. I wonder what purpose was served by this fence?  To keep the dairy cattle in one area or perhaps there were other livestock as well.

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Little Mallards … here is the drake with the blue bill.  I did a bit of research and this is not uncommon, it seems, as they breed with other ducks.  However, this is the only one I have ever seen and he looks quite distinctive.

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So cute ….13

It was quite enjoyable to walk quietly along the path .. .so tranquil.  The birds were being quite quiet .. as the eagles were perched high above looking for lunch.

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The misty look had all but disappeared …

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Someone .. travelling .. somewhere …03

Back home, the Bush-tits were feasting away at the suet blocks.  This year there are many more of them.  I think the babies from last year are all grown up and staying here.  I’ve noticed that – instead of swirling in and out of the yard – they are actually perching high up in the wild and crazy tree and the other fruit trees,  and staying in the yard for long periods of time.    Our trees are quite tall and there must be nests tucked away.  Their nests are quite unique, they look like long grey stockings, with an entrance at the top and an exit at the bottom.   Such a lot of work for such tiny little birds.  02

Here is one little Bush-tit, perched high up in the plum-tree … the sun’s rays reflected on the tiny chest.

01I’ve been working a little bit in the yard.  Clipping up the long branches on the backyard trees .. lots to do in this respect.  Luckily I’ve invested in a professional extendable pruner w/saw that makes the job easier.

The garlic is growing very well.   And the blanched shoots that were growing beneath the top mulched layer (now removed) is growing nice and green.  Lots of work to do “tomorrow”!!!  Tomorrow is always wonderful .. I love the sound of that.

This is a funny time of the year.   It’s just the beginning of the year (although we’re nearly at the end of the month already) …and the lassitude of the winter is still hanging on.  So I feel that I “should” be outside getting things done.    But it’s not happening … however, I look around at what I’ve done and can clearly see that I’m not lazy so that’s encouraging.

I went to the Friends of the Library book sale … yesterday afternoon  was $10 for all you could carry.  And for once I wasn’t at the head of the line!  Nope.  This year I decided to just calm down and not worry if I didn’t get a parking spot.  They were all taken!  However, fingers crossed and I noted one car getting ready to leave .. so I was lucky there.

Carried some roomy shopping bags with me to carry any books I “might” choose.  “might” indeed.   I think that I made 3 trips to the car with full bags.   And gardening books, well I only chose a few that were quite different.  And several craft books.  Oh, you would have been proud of me .. I didn’t randomly throw books into my bags.  Au contraire!  I would open the books, leaf through them and then ..  if I so chose .. I would take them.

I thought that I’d shown restraint and was feeling rather smug about my book choices .. that I hadn’t collected as many as the last sale I’d attended.   That smugness changed into chagrin .. once I arrived home and started the process of transferring the bags of books from the car into the house.  Oh, dear me.  Lots of reading ahead.

Among my newest treasures was a small collection of books on aviation … which I handed over to DH.   These books were tucked away on the shelves and tables and I was really surprised that no one had taken them!

And, funnily enough . .I also found a book on Walking!  It included witty sayings and stories .. so I’ll have to flip open the cover and peruse this book tonight!

🙂


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I found a lost Staffordshire and then we had to go looking for his owner

Friday, January 25, 2013

A few days ago, on my daily walk … I was standing at the edge of the path, watching one of the resident eagles who was perched in a nearby Oak tree.    A guy came walking fast up towards me and asked if I’d seen a white dog.  A Staffordshire dog …named ..well, his name doesn’t matter.   I hadn’t seen him and promised that I would look for him.

I continued with my walk and met a group of birders .. asked if they had seen this dog. Sure enough, he had been following them and then he exited the Sanctuary (yes, at the Swan Lake Nature Sanctuary again!)    So I took the same path and began asking all that I met .. if they had seen the dog.  No … but .. looking ahead . .I could see this dog .. he’d just crossed a busy road and was walking along the wooden bridge.  So I started to run .. .yelling “stop that dog”.

And you know what!  A lovely young man did just exactly that!  I gave him my scarf and asked him to loop it under the dog’s collar .. which he did!  Scarves come in handy!

So now .. I’m feeling so happy that I’ve found the lost dog .. and start walking where I think the owner might be.

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After a few minutes of walking around .. I see the owner and yell out to him that I’d found his dog!    Whew … turns out the dog is a Houdini and is able to open windows and escapes to explore the neighbourhood.  The owner has paid high fines and says that I’ve just saved him hundreds of dollars.   Well .. I’m just glad that the two are together again.

So I said goodbye .. and continued on my way.  Certain to have burned off a few calories in this little adventure …bye little dog .. glad that all is right in your world now …

02Lovely blue skies from that day …

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So very alluring …. so very beautiful07

Walking towards Tuesday Pond, I encountered a small flock of Canada Geese … these birds get very defensive some times .. so I proceeded slowly…

 

 

 

 

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They moved .. just as slowly .. into a side marsh ..

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And soon these stately birds had exited .. whew … I was glad.10

Farther along .. I saw the reason for the Mallards to make their quick and noisy departure from the pond … there was a hawk high up in the tree ..

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These gray squirrels are not native to Vancouver Island .. they’ve usurped the black squirrels, however, I caught a glimpse of one last week ..

14More beautiful aerial scenery ..

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So relaxing to look at .. and cheerful ..04These wonderful walks are invigorating.  I just cannot imagine how my days would be without them.  I wouldn’t meet some very lovely dogs.   Have little adventures like finding a lost dog.  How wonderful is that.

And the places my lovely muddy walking shoes take me!  Along very long and winding streets.   Up and down hill.   Through lovely local parks.  To the Swan Lake Nature Sanctuary .. where there are lots of knowledgeable birders I can talk with and learn.

Such lovely quiet periods of time .. to stop, reflect on nature.  Have the opportunity to watch birds living in the wild.    As in this grouping of Double-Crested Cormorants .. relaxing on a float near the main walkway that spans Swan Lake.IMGP9442

So every day is different and every day the walks are long!  I think that I need to get up real early in order to have these wonderful walks and then have enough time left over to spend lots of time in the garden!

I’m still carefully removing the heavy mulched layer from the garlic beds.  Every day, more and more of the leafy growth is emerging.   Oh, I can hardly wait to dig up the large elephant garlic .. this is going to be the best crop yet.

And my lovely chopped oak leaf mulch is waiting to be used.  Along with the lovely batch of seaweed that D and I collected last week.  Marvelous magic for the garden.

Well .. end of the day .. time to close off .. it’s been a great week – all told!

🙂


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More treasures to share ..

Friday, December 21, 2012

Yesterday the sun came out to play and so I spent some time looking upwards, taking lots of photos of the lovely blue skies ….

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All of the clouds were so pretty …47

So very delicate looking .. and wispy … dreamy …46

And I want to share my lovely new shopping bags .. here is a great one, from the SPCA …Love … the warm nose of a dog … how much love they add to our lives … immeasurable.  I miss not having my four-legged furry friends .. of the dog persuasion .. . but perhaps in a year or so we can add some to our family … wonder how the cats will like that!  Although JaneE is well used to dogs .. Duncan is another kettle of fish!

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And here is my la la la bag .. turns out I could see a Perrier Convention at the top.  So I count myself lucky anyway at this new find, thanks to my Pal D who located it in the shop!  Perfect for transporting containers of soaps!41

And here is a supply of Turkish Towell and some facecloth, which D & I gathered up a few days ago .. nicely drying in a woven basket.40

And speaking of la la la, fancy things … here is a beautiful little beaded bag & lipstick holder.  Since I’m not a fancy-schmancy kind of person .. I will use this bag for soap labels, that sort of thing.  However, the lipstick holder … I fully intend to place a lipstick in there!

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And this lovely woven item .. is perfect for carrying just essentials when I’m going for a walk!

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And … another treasure!  Teletubby napkins .. how fun!31

I found this magnificent tiny woven basket with a lid in one of my “goodie” bags ….the handwork is very fine.

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And I’ve decided to use this basket all year round.  Right now it is storing the dried seeds from my organic squash.  The one squash that grew and made it to maturity.  Rainy weather equalled a very poor crop.  So this spring I will plant more!  Bright orange flesh, makes the most delicious soup!

30 Another colourful decoration for the tree . 28

As soon as I saw this dish .. I knew that I had to have this treasure .. so very lively ..27

 

And Santa .. Santa .. Santa .. what a happy set of figures

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Sparkly … each one is different .. and they are brand new .. and just the type of fancy decorations that I love …

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Oh, isn’t he a treasure!  D and I wondered what was wrong with his right eye … when we moved his little eyeglasses upwards .. we saw that he was winking!  He looks like he belongs it the claymation movie “The Light Before Christmas” .. what a love he is.

 

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This little snowman is the most dapper and happiest version I have ever seen … what a charmer .. how sweet.22

Sweet little mouse .. a tailor, I believe .

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Oh, how very darling .. I love miniatures …. 20

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And .. more and more … sky pictures44

 

Lovely .. aren’t they ….43

.. another .. lovely .. lovely … day ….

 

 


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What is lost is found again! More photos of “Shopping on Fisgard” and we saw a lovely dog, Mosha (sp?)

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So I am quite proud of my recent decluttering activities .. it feels wonderful and energizing to look around me at my recently organized little office area.   I know where everything is and have begun to find things lost a long time ago.

Which reminds me of a recently read book by Cecilia Ahern (her first name is my middle name and we spell it the same way!  ) Anyway, this book is “A Place Called Here” .. and it is very well written, she knows how to portray philosophical thoughts in a most delightful way.  I won’t spoil the story for you about the very wonderful ending.  But I will briefly list the storyline.

I love time travel stories.  The kinds that are simple and believable.  And this one has those elements.   The lead character is called Sandy Short and she has a mission in life to find lost people and articles.   And she is successful, not 100%, but has a good success rate.

We are led along in her daily life, flashing back and forth from the past to the present in a most interesting little journey.  One that I didn’t really want to end, as her writings flowed on and on again.   So I’ll have to find more of her books to read.

Anyway, I had finished the book when I’d started on my decluttering activities.

And guess what!

I found:

– my red velvet gloves that I love so much (still looking for the black velvet pair!)

– 4 nail clippers and DH found another so we now have .. maybe 7 or so in our collection?

– various musical cd’s that I’ve been looking for.

… and there were other items found, but these were the highlights.

So, having read the above book, and coincidentally found the above listed items, I’m sort of wondering about where, really, lost items are kept .. in the interim between losing and finding?   Sorta makes me wonder!

I’ve posted more pics of a few days ago, when D & I went shopping downtown and visited some nooks and crannies of the lovely Fisgard Street shopping district.

Such a fun day and one that will have to be repeated.

We’d also shopped at Capital Iron .. this is a fantastic shop located on Store Street,  which is located by the waterfront .. where you can see hugs ships/sailboats anchored and being repaired by a local ship repair company.  Smell the beautiful sea air.

This store has been around for ages and carries everything you would need for your home (except furniture).  They used to have a large area in the lower area where you would find a treasure trove of artifacts, old magazines from the 40’s, bits and pieces from old ships .. you name it.  Now that is gone and is replaced by gardening and seasonal items.

Still, it is a wonderful store .. and now carries hot tubs, magnificent BBQ items, furniture, truly decadent and I can only wonder what it would be like to have a home with any of the BBQ equipment!

Anyway, my inner plant magnet drew me to the 50% area!  D pointed out a magnificent leaf on a tree, turns out (she found out) it is a Eucryphia X intermedia ‘Rostrevor” .. an evergreen (my favourite) grows up to 40 ‘ (wow, yes, another favourite) and is quite the sturdy plant (another bonus) … plus ..drumroll .. easy to propagate (oh, yes!) and the best times seem to be July.  So, I’ll be sharpening my pruning shears and doing just that next summer!

These were on sale, so I only bought 2!  And a few other perennials, resulting in a fully laden garden cart.  Once these were paid for and we were outside, a very helpful sales person, D and myself .. laying out the tarp in my car to catch any spilled soil .. determining the best way to place my recent purchases in the interior .. when my attention was caught by the most lovely Beardie walking along the parking lot, looking adoringly up at his dog-daddie.

What could I do … I left the sales person and D to load the plants and I rushed over to say a big hi to this dog and asked his daddie if I could take a photo of him (the dog!)  🙂

My heart melted when I saw how the dog politely looked upwards, listening intently  as he was told to sit!  What an obedient dog he was.  And then he sat patiently while I clicked away.   His body language seemed to say “Alright now, I’ve been asked to sit politely for a moment and I will do so.   But really, you see, I would rather be walking with my daddie.  However, I will comply and so I will stay here for a little.  Then we will be on our way.  Thank you very much.”

Ok, I’ve made the dog’s dialogue up, but that is my interpretation!

I returned my attention to the task of loading the plants and was delighted to discover that this feat had been accomplished in my absence.  Timing is everything.

We drove away, car fully laden. leafy branches of the Eucryphia extending into the front of the car so that D was really hidden from view as she sat in the passenger seat.  It was as if we were driving in a forest!

And I still haven’t shown you all of the photos .. so will share more tomorrow!

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

 


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If I hadn’t gone for a walk, I would have missed seeing so many beautiful things, and met some lovely dogs along the way.

Monday, October 22, 2012

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The other day, I decided to go for a little walk, to catch some of the sun’s rays before evening set in.  And I am so glad that I did.
Otherwise, I would have missed seeing some beautiful cloud formations way up in the sky.

And I would have missed seeing more dogs … this is one of my favourite rewards on my walks.

Lovely happy dogs!  The first one, Mojo, was a rescue from the Mainland, Vanderhoof, I believe.  What a sweet gentle fellow he was!  I asked his doggy parents  if I could take a photo for my blog and they were happy to oblige.  He sat obediently when asked.  His trusting gaze looked up at me.  My heart melted.  I felt so happy that someone, somewhere, found him and others who were badly treated and enabled them to have this safe life.

And I thought again, for the zillionth time, how could people mistreat such loving animals.  Dogs, well treated, give their entire beings to people.  Actually, even if not treated well, they give their trust to those who care for them.  I’ve seen that, and wonder how this happens, but it does.

Dogs provide such true companionship.   I think back to the wonderful dogs that I have had the great fortune to have in my life and I’m extremely grateful for having them.  Such love.  Unconditional.   I miss them all.  Each one unique.  Each one wonderful beyond compare.

I truly believe that each dog comes into our life to teach us a specific lesson.  The main lesson, of course, is unconditional love.

And they give us a reason to go outside and discover the great outdoors and to have long interesting conversations with other doggy people.

Anyway, this all flashed through my mind as I left lovely Mojo and continued on my way.

I’d decided to walk along the path which led between the highway and the local allotment gardens.   I’ll have to go for another walk and take more photos.  This year I don’t expect them to flood, as there have been some repair done to the drainage systems  in this area.  Fingers crossed for the gardeners!

There were still gardeners happily working away.  Fetching loads of yummy oak leaf mulch to cover some areas.  Some were making sure that plastic coverings would be firmly attached to little greenhouses.   I felt that I should be at home, working away, but it was nice to just get out and walk.

Met another happy dog walker and stopped to chat about the pathway.  I normally don’t walk along this particular route and was surprised to discover such a winding walk just in our neighbourhood.  How lovely.

Anyway, now the path divided into two so I had to decide which one to take.  A decision to go left was made!  So I found myself in a lovely little cul-de-sac with a bit of a sidewalk that led up to the greenhouses on Glanford, near the corner of McKenzie !  In all the years I’d lived in this area, I realized now that I had never entered this particular neighbourhood.  Too busy driving to work or shopping.  Well, no more excuses.

So then I decided to go on this walk again yesterday.  And this time, I took the path that went to the right.  And I discovered another little neighbourhood tha led to the first one!  Gollee … see what happens when I venture out into our neighbourhood instead of walking across town.

I discovered one dead-end street that had quite a hill to walk down and then back up.  A good workout for my legs.  I marvelled at the tranquility of this neighbourhood.   And saw that little auto with the skeleton in it.  Now, this wasn’t real, ha ha . .it was for Halloween!  (At least I think it was!)
There was a lovely bit of marshland at the foot of this street, which added to the feeling of calm… and I hoped that there wouldn’t be townhouse developments built there to ruin their country atmosphere.

Anyway, I have begun my fall walks and, combined with renewed exercise sessions three times a week, I’ve begun to feel my old zest for life and energy returning.  Feels great.

Besides experiencing the beautiful outdoors, discovering new places in our neighbourhood, I’m also getting to meet the most lovely, happy dogs and this brings me great joy.

Mini-adventures available for free.  No tickets to buy.  No planning to make.

Lovely!