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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Tuesday, September 17, 2013

We certainly have a mix of weather here in Victoria!  Yesterday started out overcast as I busily filled my car with just an amazing amount of recycling items and headed off to the local Bottle Depot!.

Despite all items having been carefully rinsed beforehand .. once I’d loaded them onto the wheeled cart at the Depot… I noticed several hornets buzzing around to investigate  my bottles and tins.   I tell you that I’ve never pushed a fully loaded cart up the cement ramp so fast!  Just racing to get inside and once there, the hornets had decided to leave.  Sheesh, anyway!

Back home, I decided to just go for a little walk to pick some blackberries … just enough to make a pie for my DH when he comes home from work.   The big fat berries were way out of my reach and I had to avoid some busy hornets/wasps that were hungrily gorging on the fat juicy berries .. so I contented myself with gathering about 2 cups worth of berries … that’s enough .. I’ll mix them with apples for a one-crust pie.

Enjoying the antics of a little Red-Chested Nuthatch:

16So spritely and teeny-tiny … there are a number of them in the yard, very busy munching on insects so the birdseed is a treat for them to enjoy.

02The Hummingbird feeders have all been cleaned and refilled … and they pass inspection!  The Anna’s are very particular and require clean feeders so I do my part at taking care of them.

14I’ll definitely plant more of Renee’s seeds next year …. lovely beans

15One of my recent acquisitions from a consignment shop in Port Alberni .. a friend suggested a plant would look good in this .. a great idea and I’ll do this.  The top hinges open for easy access.

10Found this little gem at the SPCA thrift shop in Port Alberni … great for making applesauce!

12Coincidentally enough, on the same shopping day, in another thrift shop .. I found this treasure, brand new and the receipt inside!   I might try grinding up some dry seaweed in this one.  The proprietor of this shop was the most amazing lady.  She and hubby live on acreage in Port Alberni.   They have masses of dogs and cats and chickens.  Oh, the funny stories she told me .. .I was so happy that I went shopping there and look forward to returning!

11My crop of Kentucky Wonder Beans … I’m waiting for the beans to rattle in the pods so I can harvest them for drying.  Some for soup and some for next year’s crop!

07Gentle sunflowers at the end of the day .. getting ready for a night full of sunflower dreams … sleep well….

04My one little acorn squash is growing quite well …yum yum!!

03And seeing that I was going to be saving my dried Kentucky Wonder Beans for next year’s crop …. I started looking for blog sites on seed saving.  And there are quite a few .. thank goodness for all of them.  I quite liked this one, as I wasn’t sure if I should just pluck some pods, shell them and dry them (which I’ve been doing).  Then I thought, maybe the pods should be drier ..  I like the information that this blogger shares:  http://daughterofthesoil.blogspot.ca/2007/06/saving-peas-for-seed.html

I’m so glad that people share their garden lessons so we can all learn .. so very helpful.

Than I decided to go and search how to save strawberry seeds.  Well .. I certainly learned a lot about that!!   As my knowledge about growing healthy plants increases, so too does my awareness of the preciousness of heirloom fruits and veggies.

I discovered that the small, pretty, white strawberries (that I bought from the most amazing couple in Port Alberni!!) are actually heirloom strawberries.   http://gardentherapy.ca/save-alpine-strawberry-seeds/

Afterwards, I went looking for information on potatoes.  Oh, well .. that is quite another story for another day!

On y va!!!  A new day commences and I need to go for a little walk!

🙂


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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!

🙂