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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Thursday, blue skies, Mallards, Eagles, Cormorants … not a bad day, really!

Friday, January 11, 2013

Ah .. 2013 .. after only a few weeks .. it just rolls off the tongue.  As if time had always been 2013.  No thinking about the trepidation of a new year.  This is the new year .. a time for new things .. new starts .. new hobbies .. interests .. everything!

And this would include .. new skies .. of course!  How wonderful Thursdays skies were .. I couldn’t keep my eyes off of them!

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So cheerful and bright … they really look like summer skies!02

Quite a lovely early morning walk .. and I was surprised (and happy) to see this little garden gnome guy … looks like he’d just stepped outside to enjoy the sun … he didn’t appear to notice me .. quite a happy kind of gnome he seems to be .. a good neighbour, wouldn’t you say?

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Noticed some colourful looking mushrooms growing merrily on a tree branch.  Wonder if the gnome has relatives living in similar places?

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And nature’s most beautiful art …. 05

Farther along .. I reached the main walkway over Swan Lake .. and stopped for a while.   Very quiet this time of day.  No one rushing along.  Noticed this Cormorant and Mallard Drake companionably resting on the railing.   Quite a relaxed little scene.  The Drake is settling down for a snooze.  The Cormorant is drying off his wings … he’d been for a swim and took some time to shake the excess water out of his feathers.

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I moved a little bit closer as my camera has limited range and I really wanted to take some photos closer.   The Cormorant noticed me and kept a wary eye out!

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Well .. umm … his body language seemed to convey that I was a little too close .. or perhaps it was time to somewhere .. for he swiftly dove into the air and flew over me .. a wide circle …. way up high (I didn’t try to get a photo .. it would only be a dot in the sky).  And then he just settled in the water, maybe 100 yards or so away … calmly paddling away.  Totally oblivious to what was happening in the skies above him.

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And he was being watched.   The two resident eagles were keeping a close watch on him.  Then … omg .. one of them swooped down from their viewing tree and in mere seconds, he’d (she’d?) zoomed over to the lake and was flying towards the Cormorant!!!

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Closer .. and closer .. oh (expletive) I said, involuntarily … no … don’t go after the Cormorant.  I’d just spent ages watching him (her?) meticulously grooming all the feathers and relaxing in the quiet of the morning … Please .. please .. don’t … the eagle has very strong wings and can fly so fast and cover so much territory quickly …did the Cormorant have a chance?

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I know this is nature and that eagles don’t have shopping stores and must fetch their meals to live .. however .. I just don’t like this part of the food chain.  I watched as the Cormorant made his way to the thick marshes on the other side of the lake.  The eagle swooped and dove and finally .. oh, thank goodness!  Flew away empty. The Cormorant lives for another day.  For as beautiful as these nature sanctuaries are and as lovely and magical the birds are, that we see .. theirs is a savage world.  Survival is the key word.

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I hoisted my binoculars to my eyes and saw that the two eagles were once again perched in their viewing tree.  Ready to zoom down and collect their 11 am lunch.  They do look very regal, wild and strong sitting way up there.

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So I continued on my merry way … relishing the sheer beauty up above …

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The recent rains had been very heavy .. lots of signage warning everyone not to take certain trails.

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And I soon found that one of the warning signs was particularly true!  This is the far end of the long walkway over the Lake (away from the Nature House) and this explains why there was no one there when I visited this area.

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Just loved the look of the trees forming a sort of framed area of the pathway … lovely contrast of tree bark, leafless branches forming a lovely arch for all of us to walk beneath.

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Someone cared enough for the birds, wanted them to have food during the heavy rain .. sweet.

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Nelthorpe .. this is the area where we are directed when the rains are too heavy.  Lots of lovely plans for butterflies .. etc.

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See the roped off areas .. this is for the wildlife, butterflies etc.  Lovely.

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Wonderful .. felt so happy to be outside, walking beneath such beautiful skies ..

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Little birdies .. I stopped for a few minutes so that they could continue their little puddle baths ..24

oh .. happy days … 23

Blue skies ….

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Thursday .. a lovely day … sigh .


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On this first new day of the year ..I made many new friends today, revisited others.. and have photos to prove it!

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

The first day of a new year … and it was a mixed bag of weather … lovely when the grey clouds parted and we could see blue skies above!

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Visited friends for tea on Salt Spring island … and lovely Gemma rested her head on my knee … what a dear little girl she is …

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Hardly looks loved, does she?   She is a treasure to the family and loving to everyone …. I love you little Gemma!

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Next there was Chico!  He loves jumping into the old-fashioned porcelain claw-foot tub and meowing for someone to turn on the cold water so he can have a drink!  Afterwards, a little rolling around on the gravel walkway!

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Unbeknownst to me .. when I walked on to see the chickens .. Chico followed me ..like a little dog!

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He stayed with me for quite a while … and had quite a vocal conversation going on .. so .. well .. I just chatted back with him.  Must have said something that he agreed with .. cause then he just stopped and sat back ..looking up at me!  He’d lost his little pal, Ziggy cat .. a raccoon altercation .. so I chatted with him about that .. missing Ziggy .. and we seemed to communicate about that for a time  ..

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Ok .. I said .. let’s go and see the chicky-chick-chick-chicks!  So we did.

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The chickens were quite excited to see us .. thinking that we were bringing them some food to eat .. sorry girls .. we just came for a little visit.

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Well ..maybe someone else is bringing us some food to eat .. they seemed to say .. looking this way and that ….

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I walked around .. enjoying the feeling of being in open spaces .. trees growing .. gardens set for the summer … would love to have some property like this.  Dream of planting fields of garlic .. gotta have a dream, right?

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Lovely02

A New Day in a New Year ..01

Our friends gave us lovely homemade blackberry jelly, a dozen very fresh eggs and … most generously .. this magnificent homemade bottle of blackberry wine!  DH & I made a pact to share this bottle with them this summer!  Something to look forward to!!!

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As we started the car and prepared to leave .. I happened to look over and saw little Chico looking at us …. asked DH to stop the car for a sec so I could take this photo … we’ll be back little guy .. no worries …

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Then .. time to go .. so we drive to Fulford Harbour and join the lineup of cars to board the ferry.   While waiting, I took some time to look at a nearby crow .. busy calling out to his friends …

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Onboard the ferry, sailing homewards .. when DH surprised me .. with a lovely dog .. Nico!   His doggy dad was right there though .. and let me hold little Nico for a while.  I fell in love with her.

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Oh, just look at those eyes .. I’d just handed her back to her doggy daddy .. when really I just wanted to hold her some more .. but the ferry was getting ready to dock and everyone had to be back in their cars or their bikes or whatever.  What a darling little dog …

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On the way home .. we stopped to visit friends .. who had a traditional New Years Day bonfire going  .. we caught the tail end of it … nice and cozy in the chilly weather!

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Lichen covered trees nearby ..19

And a rustic bench tucked away .18

Not too long after .. we were at home, unpacking and putting our travel things back to their regular place.   I looked out the kitchen window and saw this sweet little Fox Sparrow … he was eying the bird feeder that was attached to the window …

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He busied himself with a grooming session while waiting for his turn in the feeder.

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So we had a lovely day, DH and I …the first day of the New Year .. and what adventures await us!

For now though .. time to relax a bit ..

🙂


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More abour our wanderings at Saxe Point, such a magnificent place to be.

Friday, September 21, 2012

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I look at the date on today’s paper and think . .yegads .. my birthday is next week!  And for that I am glad.  Remembering when I was little and thinking “I am 8 and the year ends in 8” (I won’t say which decade though, ha ha ha) .. followed by subsequent years of “I’m 12 and the year ends in 2” … guess I’ve fallen out of the rhythm, cause my next number ends in 4 and the year ends in 2!

Guess its high time to start a new birthday saying, heh?

Besides the sometimes complimentary birthday drink I receive (depending on the restaurant) .. I find that each birthday feels to me like New Years Day .. a fresh slate, as it were.  A fresh new year starting.

Now, I will create new habits, new routines, finish what I’ve started, and start new things.  Oh, it is so nice to have these dreams!

Today I’m posting the balance of pictures taken a few days ago, when my pal D and I went out for a day of adventure and discovery.

We’d started the day at Swan Lake Nature Sanctuary.  Planned to meet in the Nature House, arriving within a few minutes of each other .. and then, each waiting for the other, we made little forays outside and thus kept missing each other.

I had a few conversations with someone who worked there and then made a few visits to my car.  She, in turn, would exit the building and go looking for me.  So, in hindsight, we must have looked kind of cute, like one of those little cartoons, where 2 people don’t exist in the same space at the same time.  However, eventually the time continuum stopped playing around with us and we met up at the entrance!
And, good friend that she is, D fully understood how I was sad at the loss of our little Youbou and gave me this very lovely card, a Beth Logan work of art .. that caught the essence of little Y.  He did have that quizzical air about him as he went through his daily life with us.  And how appropriate, as it turns out, that he was on a boat, nearing or approaching a harbour … to the next stage of his lovely little soul’s journey.

And again, how appropriate, as it turns out .. that the card had a nautical air .. as D and I later on were exploring around the ocean’s edge at Saxe Point!

So I had a little sniffle session, reminiscing about little Y –  and carefully placed this beautiful, thoughtful acknowledgement of little Y’s presence on this earth in my car for safekeeping.

And we began our day’s outing.

Such fun, scrambling along the rocks, discovering paths and rockeries.  Beautiful gardens.  A lovely abandoned house that had belonged to the caretaker, now empty, how sad.  Imagined how wonderful it would be to live in a house like that and to live in such beautiful surroundings, with such amazing views of the ocean.  Heaven, indeed.

It was a weekday, summer was over and so not many people at the park on that lovely sunny day.   Felt carefree and worry-free .. with no appointments, work timelines.  Such a good feeling.

We found some crystalized salt areas and many uniformly shaped string like sections … D did some detective work and concluded that these were actually sections of sea-lettuce, the green colour removed by the salt and then dried by the sun.

So we spent a few hours wandering around, exploring, discovering … and enjoying the priceless beauty of the surrounding waters.

Another lovely day .. and all within the confines of our lovely city.

There are many many more such treasures and we will find them when we strike out on our discovery walks, now that the gardening season is slowing down.  And look forward to another pal from the past who will be retiring in another month and she will join our wanderings .. then we can really make trips of discovery!  Such fun ….and .. Gadzooks .. we will even try to travel to the Mainland (Vancouver) for a time or too.

And perhaps a gulf island day trip … now won’t that be fun!

But there is so very much here to discover on the island and in the city of Victoria .. we are so very lucky, don’t you think?

So .. on with this lovely day.