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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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.

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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.

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

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

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

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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.

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

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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.

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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 ..

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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!

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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.

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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

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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.

 


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Friday was a rainy day but the sun came out in the afternoon

Monday, March 31, 2014

Amazing to me how quickly the days are passing .. especially since January just didn’t seem to want to move ahead very quickly.  I think that it just seems that time is moving too fast .. when I think about the lovely longer days with more things to do especially outside.

Take Friday, for instance.  The day was a long one and it started out in a rainy fashion.  Our boot camp group met at the designated location for the Friday session.   Brrrrr .. it was grey skies, a light rain and off we went.   I am glad I went but really I was sorely tempted to stay home.  And if I had stayed home .. then I would have missed seeing this Great Blue Heron looking for breakfast!

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And as we went along the pathway, I turned and snapped another photo, so very glad I had decided to get out and get going.

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Another one of those lovely bridges/footpaths .. leading us into another area of the forest.

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I have recently been salvaging native plants (I belong to an official salvaging group) and had collected a good supply of Sanicula, which boasts the most beautiful yellow flowers.  Glad to see this plant growing naturally, to be left alone.

04Also lots of luxurious moss … with many tiny wildflowers waiting their turn to grow.05

A great grouping of Low Oregon Grape .. this is what I will plant at our next home .. mass plantings!

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Dainty little ferns growing at the base of a moss-covered tree trunk.

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After traipsing uphill through muddy sections and slightly steep (for a Friday morning!) walk .. we arrived at a viewpoint.  Lots of lichen on the trees .. a very tranquil spot.

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And on our return trip .. we noticed how high the water was at Elk Lake.   Usually there were Mallards at this area .. but they must have relocated till the waters recede a little.

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Oh, and here is another most wonderful reward for going outside!  What a very stately and handsome guy!

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D said hello to him and he patiently stayed in place for that.

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After a minute though, he had to race to catch up to his doggy-dad.  Enough time spent here … thank you very much.

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Pretty shades of green … the pale green of the Indian Plum intermixed with the deeper shade of the Horsetail … again, Nature’s Beauty is best.

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Can you see the laughing face in the tree?  and also the drooping mustache?    Quite a handsome tree.

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The contrast of the light/dark/shiny/dull image of the lake/trees/background struck a most appealing sight.

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That was the early part of my day … I then went to do some volunteering at Fort Rodd Hill .. and will share some of those photos tomorrow.

Although Friday wasn’t really a sunny day … I am pretending that the afternoon was like this .. what’s the harm, eh?  Smile

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A Lovely Walk Along the Galloping Goose Trail

Ah, Sunday is but a memory and it is a good one.  It was an overcast morning so DH & I went for a bit of a walk along the Galloping Goose Trail … we made our way towards the Burnside area.

We are so lucky to have this series of interlocking trails.   The names change according to the area but I am lazy and just call them all the Galloping Goose!  Here is a link to the official trail guide:  www.gallopinggoosetrail.com/pdf/lochside_trail_guide.pdf

There had been a few oil tank leaks during the last year and remediation was still taking place.   Crews and volunteers have been working very hard to keep the oil from entering the Creek:

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Hard working volunteers are restoring native plant habitat along the way:

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Now, this is a most amazing piece of work .. see how the woven sections of branches have been installed on the far bank …to stop the erosion of soil and to provide habitat for growing plants (and of course, insects for birds to eat!)

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I just adore pathways, curving bridges … mysterious and inviting.  Not to mention, a safe way to cross a waterway!  This is spacious enough for walkers, bikes – for everyone to traverse with lots of space.

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The oil spill is nearly cleaned up and these are for delineating the area (I believe)06

The presence of the Mallards is a good sign that the water has been saved from the oil.

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The tree is majestically growing and see how the presence of the rock has not stopped the roots from taking over.   Trees are such gifts.  We must do our best to protect them.

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I love these stepping stones.  There were quite a few along the trail.  I wondered if they were the result of a school group .. they were quite pretty and brightened up the trail quite a lot.

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Tempting to cross over on these stepping stones .. but the moss would make it a slippery adventure.

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More clever trees hugging the soil, growing despite the challenges.   A good example of tenacity. Nature continuously teaches us if we can only see the lessons hidden in plain view!

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Another interesting section along the Creek ..

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Lovely ferns and moss decorate the rockery .. Nature’s gardening.  Effortless and beautiful.

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Another portal tucked away … to a distant, mystical world?

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And what a treat it was to meet this lovely dog!  Her second name was Marie, so of course, I was doubly enchanted!  She gets to go to work with her doggy-daddy all the time!  What a lucky dog .. And this was at the end of our walk so it was a nice treat to meet her.

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Shortly after we came home .. the sun came out .. so I ran outside and played in the garden.  Another gift!

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Monday, February 10, 2014

A few days ago we had snow!!  Here is my little car looking nice and cheerful in the snow.  I was waiting for R & D to pick me up for our Friday exercise outing.  I thought we were going to have a big snowfall and don’t have winter tires, don’t like driving in snow so was going to stay home .. but .. D convinced me to go.

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I tried to capture the fluffy snowflakes on the bamboo leaves, they looked so pretty.
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And there are iris rhizomes, bulbs, climbing vines, flowers … just waiting for the warm weather so they can grow .. grow .. grow ..

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To think that I would have missed this beautiful vista if I had stayed home!!!

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I could easily see a tiny faery door in the interesting textured bark of this tree .

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Our little group of four were among a few others up early to walk along this marvellous pathway in the woods.  We were at Thetis Lake park .. quite a beautiful place to be.

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Majestic, handsome, rugged, ancient .. the roots of this tree run deep and .. you know that they communicate with all of the other trees in the forest.  Instantaneous messaging of any changes.  Magical. And I can clearly see a little faery door at the front base of this tree . …how fun.12

Salal growing out of a decaying tree stump .. which feeds the soil and provides a lovely home to this plant and many other creatures besides.

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Such incredible beauty … 08

The water in the lake was still .. like glass .. doesn’t it make you feel that there is really another dimension living in that space .. and we can only catch a glimpse of it when the water is quiet like this.

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Silent beauty speaks for itself …

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There were two Bouvier des Flandres or just “Bouviers” happily trotting along with their doggy daddy .. I was just able to snap one quick photo before they were gone.  This one had just been called away from the water’s edge … where he was testing the weight of the ice and we could all hear a distinct crunch as his paw made contact with the icy surface.  Good thing he obeys right quick!  It would have been a big struggle to get him out of the water, with all that heavy fur!05

The thundering noise of a fast-moving creek caught our attention and called all of us to a side path to see what was going on.

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Ok, we had a little discussion about whether the sign was warning everyone of a possible UFO sighting.  It was much more interesting to make that interpretation!

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We continued along our way .. footbridge looming ahead, our session is nearly done.  But perhaps we will see more interesting sights along the way.  We usually do.

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Blue skies are appearing overhead .. a lovely sight to see …

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And here is sweet little Lilly … a little doll!

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This dog was just priceless .. his doggy daddy was trying his best to have him pose with his stick in his mouth, he kept picking it up and dropping it and looked so cute.  But he just wanted to either play with his stick and jump around or just sit , stick on the ground and look up, adoringly at his dd!

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So I took several photos … while he was temporarily still! (edit:  I just looked closely at his bandana and this is what I found . … fantastic!  http://dogbeach.org/  oh, to think that I would have missed this if I’d stayed at home!!)

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Back at home, I’d been taking the hummingbird feeders in at night as the temperatures were low and the nectar was freezing. (I make 3:1 for the winter).  While I was holding 2 of the feeders, a little Anna came up and started feeding.  Don’t you just love those special moments in the garden ….
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And this little one visited the other feeder once I had hung it back in the tree.  I’ve read that hummingbirds don’t depend on these feeders, they eat insects and drink moisture from the leaves .. but when the weather is freezing, we all want to ensure that they have nectar.

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Looking out through the basement window I saw this little White Crowned Sparrow ..30My decluttering is coming along in bits and pieces.  I’ve been finding all sorts of positive posts about this issue.  Many have struggled .. as am I … and I love reading the stories of their progress.  So I thought that this subject would deserve a posting .. perhaps in a few days.

Anyway …here I go again .. to try to fill up some of the empty boxes that I picked up a few days ago.   I was going to have a garage sale with my “wonderful” stuff .. but have decided to donate to a charity shop.  So I’ll give everything a quick clean and a polish before filling up the boxes.

🙂