My Garden – Mon Jardin – Mi Jardin – Mein Garten – Daily Adventures & Thoughts

No matter the language, my garden is my paradise. To watch the lovely birds that nest in the trees and bushes. The bees, butterflies are such a joy to see.


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Some blue skies. Another series of lovely walks. And just plain admiring the beauty of nature.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

This year is just marching along like a little trooper.  One day follows the next and soon it will be summer.  Ok, I’m really an optimist.  And I’m one that is very slowly getting back into shape.  What with my long brisk walks and exercises.  Just enough to get me going and ready to work outside for 10 hours or so a day.

Just a few days ago .. the skies were like this all day

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And this … I really like the soft colours .. very dreamy

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And one slightly overcast day .. it appeared as if there were two sun’s trying to burst through the clouds .. at least that was what my imagination conjured up.

03I’ve been out walking nearly every day except for the odd weekend.  Lovely fast walks as I used to do.  So very invigorating.  One day, I’d barely set out when I noticed the flapping wings of an eagle low overhead.  It was flying from area of Royal Oak and was headed for Swan Lake.  I brought out my binoculars and focused on this magnificent bird way up high.

How lucky was I, to be outside at that very spot at that very moment .. to be able to witness this free flight.  It certainly started my journey off in a good positive way.

Everyday I go in a different, random direction.  And every day I’m finding more paths that lead to more paths (and nearly always … to Swan Lake Nature Sanctuary!).  Perhaps that is how my life is heading right now.  Many paths, previously undiscovered by me .. but, there nonetheless.  If I hadn’t gotten out the door and out walking, well, I would never have discovered them.  I feel quite adventurous and curious.

I came upon an Anna .. quietly perched on a branch.

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Before she left .. she hovered .. seemed to look at me and then .. like a blur .. quickly flew away.

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Couldn’t help but notice the lush materials draping tree branches .. perfect for the birds to use for nesting material.   Everything is there for them.

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Perched quietly in the marsh grasses, well hidden, was a tiny bird.  Was it a female Nuthatch or a Wren?  I couldn’t quite tell, and didn’t want to disturb this lovely being.

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Along the way, some Robins were taking advantage of the quiet to have little baths to freshen up for the day.  I watched for awhile.

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Over at Tuesday pond, the marsh grasses that were planted by the hard-working volunteers have grown very well and provide some privacy for the ducks.  Love this.

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Very beautiful …

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Loving the soothing rustling sound of the dried grasses as a light breeze wends through their growth.  Not too much longer and the fresh new growth of spring will supplant these.

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Beauty of nature continues … the mosses and lichens covering the branches …

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A diminutive little Chestnut-backed Chickadee ….

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Well before I was born (and that was a “few” years ago) this marvellous tree was but a tiny little sapling.  Imagine what this tree has seen over the years.

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Are words needed here?  I thought not.

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Now .. this is a tree with character.  A survivor.  Strong and individual.

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Another example of nature taking over .. these branches will (hopefully) be left to break down over time, providing food and sanctuary for birds and the earth.

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The raindrops fell lightly upon the surface of Swan Lake .. one morning.

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And .. one evening .. the skies were kissed with rose .. quite a lovely look.

 

 

 

 

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This is the time of the year when energies flag.   Inspiration seems to have taken a holiday.  Energies are not at their peak.  It’s called .. “take a break and relax” .. really!  Some call it the doldrums.   Whatever.  I really want to be outside, tearing up the yard, making changes. Yet, what do I find myself doing instead?  Looking up at the sky.  And at the birds . .there is such a variety.  And glad to see both the male and the female Townsend warblers.

I’ve delegated a place in the yard for holding plants for our next place.   Seems I have quite a few.  And really, way too many plants for our current  yard.  I have a curse .. and that is .. I have a plant magnet in my personality .. that draws me to plant sales.  And try as  might to ignore this magnetic pull .. I fail miserably.

So last week, armed with a Groupon and a wonderful gift card from my DH .. I made my way to Cannor’s Nursery.   Oh.  No.   Plant sale.   Front and back.  So I chose a few.  Then decided that its high time to buy something that will look good, structure-wise for the yard.

And I chose 2 lovely items.   Made of metal and built for plants to grow on.  And easy to move around.  So I will take some photos tomorrow and share.

Well … time to go and watch Coronation Street.  There are 3 or 4 storylines that I wish would quickly end.   But, don’t get me started on that!

🙂

 

 


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Revisited Swan Lake for a lovely walk. And planning creative activities for the New Year. Fun!!!

Monday, January 7, 2013

A few days ago I decided to renew my walks to Swan Lake .. so off I went .. it was an overcast day and just a very light mist of rain from time to time.

Felt so great to be walking the trails once again .. I was determined to keep walking around the Sanctuary and tried to minimize my stops   Challenging to do as I really wanted to stop and savour the peace and quiet.

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This is one of my favourite sections … where the path travels at the end of the of the side ponds.  Edged with luscious moss-covered boulders, islands of ferns and gentle silhouettes of Oak branches.  Slightly mystical feel to this area.02

Did stop for a few minutes to look up at one of the local eagles .. have been watching them in this tree for quite a number of years now.   At one time I thought they nested here, but think most likely this is one of their favourite perching areas.  They can see quite clearly for miles from this tree.03

The Marsh Wrens were communicating to each other … lovely sounds.

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Only saw this lone female Mallard over at the short observatory … she swam swiftly over when  I brought out the flatted oats.   She daintily pecked away at those I tossed into the water.  Before leaving this place, I scattered a generous handful onto the surface of the marsh grasses nearby.

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The Staff and Volunteers of Swan Lake have been quite busy, pulling invasive plants and planting trees for the future.  An impressive amount of work has been done and the changes are quite evident.06

I took a photo of the project’s sign …..07

The restoration work was started last year  One area of this side pond had been cleared of invasive plants, the ground had been heavily mulched and this year I notice that this pond is quite large .. or maybe it just appears that way, since more land is viewable.  More room for the birds to feed, nest.08

A natural fence made of branches, serves to act as a barrier to keep joggers, walkers out of the area, to allow the natural process of growth to take place.  I like it.09

Farther along, I viewed a Great Blue Heron in a tree .. grooming time ..10

Time to relax away from the crowds.11

At Tuesday Pond I stopped on the little bridge and fed the Mallards some of the flatted oats .. they cautiously came over to where I was standing, way above them.12

Soon there were a few of them gathered around ….13

Now I was at the long walkway and saw a little group of Mallards ahead of me.   It was early in the day and the crowds weren’t yet here .. quiet time ..

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Stood for a while to see if there was any great bird activity .. no Geese or Hawks or Eagles .. and no seagulls!  Hmmm .. no seagulls equals an Eagle nearby.  Oh, that’s right .. one of them was over at the huge Oak tree on Saanich Road ..

Saw a little feather floating on the surface of the water …a gentle gray blended with white …15

Noticed some nests tucked away .. waiting for spring …16

And another one17

Piles of clipped blackberry branches .. wonder if these will be used as mulch?  18

Another nest tucked away …19

More information on invasive plants and what will be planted instead ..20

It was a lovely walk and wonderful to re-visit the nature sanctuary.  Funny when I first retired I went there nearly every day .. now I find myself “too busy”  hm……. maybe I should just make the time as the rewards are so great.

Also, at one point the ducks seemed to recognize me (cause I was feeding them a lot) and this time  .. we seem like strangers.  It is a Sanctuary after all and the birds (all of them) can easily find their own food.  I only leave the flatted oats (much of which I purchase from the Swan Lake House) and feed them at the public observatory places … this is expected and allowed, which is a good thing.

I’ve found the last two years to have been a kind of whirlwind for me.  Having worked hard all my life and at times having to work two jobs just to pay the rent … it was very overwhelming to have my life schedule unmarked by “having” to go somewhere every day.

At first I just walked and walked and walked.  Then I started my little gardening business while at the same time I took ground-school over again (for aviation) … once the course has been paid for initially, one an retake it over again, which is great .. learning the newest regulations.  Then my DH arranged for me to have dual instruction.  So I’d go out to do my gardening work, race home and then out to the airport.  All was in a whirl.

Not wanting to pause in my whirlwind of learning, I enrolled in the Organic Master Gardening  Course (Gaia College) at Royal Roads.  Oh, wow.  My life changed.   All my time was spent in trying to get my head around this new way of understanding the living soil, new terminology, methods . .this was a very intensive course.  And I’m still studying my notes.

Started back at making soap .. I’d begun in 1986 and then took a break .. so happy to be going back to that.

Ok, I had a few minutes to spare so I enrolled for the Ecological Landscaping course …. oh … my.   Twice a week, intensive planning, measuring, studying .. really … I feel that I’ve learned so much and more incentive to get out my books and draw and plan some more.

However … I have decided not to continue on with the course.  Part of me feels so overwhelmed and really I need the $$ to pay down some debt .. so I feel  bit “underwhelmed” right now.

This decision allows me much more free time … no more 3 hour classes twice a week with the additional days of planning and study.

I can use these blocks of time quite well, thank you very much.  Decluttering continues .. bags of books to take to the blue boxes by Thrifty’s .. these are donations to reading programs.   Plus, I need to make more shelf space for the upcoming end of January “Friends of the Library” book sale!

Time to plan my soap making for the new year.

Work in the garden (or really “play” in the garden).

Spend some time sewing .. time to dust of my sergers .. I have two .. a 3-thread and a 5 threader.  Love making things. Maybe I’ll spend some time finally making a purse that I really love.  Have kept a particular pattern for years, vowing that some day … well, the day has arrived (this year).  It’s a funky little purse, round in shape.  Straps are part and parcel of the purse.  Wide straps, one is longer than the other and it just slips through the short one and voila, it’s closed.

I will post a pic when I make one.  Creative ideas have been bouncing around my head for years on this purse.  Time to make it a reality.

Oh, the sewing projects I have!  And this year for sure … I will take my sewing machine outside to work.   I actually did this one year .. made drapes outside.  And felt much more creative working in the sun.

A fun year and it’s started already!

🙂