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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Some rambles from the spring – willows, sheep, birds and all that sort of thing ..

Some days I just like to get in my little car and wander around … visiting farms, discovering new “eye candy” in nature and things along that vein.   Just me and my car.  Or just me and walking .. whatever.  Just me.P1230926So in the spring I went to visit the Fickle Fig farm .. an organic farm full to bursting with lots of crops, and farm animals.  Here are some of the goats.   As I walked across the muddy fields, a small group of them started to follow me .. not being a really incredibly brave person, I called to my friend “help .. they are all following me” .. how impressive is that.  To be unnerved by these little goats.  Nonetheless,  he swiftly sent them off in another direction.  whew!!  Still they do look very handsome (from a distance and on the other side of the fence, lol)6661aSome Canada Geese taking a rest in a nearby field.6673Then I made my way to the Wood Willow farm .. where I am the #1 customer!  Here are some of the cuttings that I brought home with me and planted.6670Here is  a handwoven willow basket .. how beautiful ..6667Some local landscapers were creating a habitat for the French Lop-ear rabbits (rescue rabbits).

6664I forget the type of willow used in this project, it is supposed to be a type that the rabbits do not like to nibble on.  However, this little guy chose to try it anyway.  He chewed away a bit and then left .. guess it works!6666A round opening is made so that the rabbits can enter at will.6665The project progressed ..6683Carefully allowing space for the trees to flourish ..6684Proper coppicing of the willow ..6680The cuttings are carefully tied  together.6681Inside Rosemary’s kitchen .. she kindly gives me a bouquet of the heritage daffodils, they are beautifully scented.    And I choose which cuttings I would like as she displays a variety for me.6686And I came away with some gigantic goose eggs .. have never had these before .. they were delicious and quite rich!6678And also some Swedish Blue duck eggs!6676

6677Back home and time to admire my feathered visitors .. here are the darling little Bush-tits.  I know they must be nesting somewhere in the yard and the location of their nest is a mystery.  That’s ok with me.  they need their privacy .. don’t we all.6669The Juncos are frequent visitors in the fall/winter/spring and fly elsewhere for the summer.   They love flax seed so I bought a huge bag of it for them!6672And where there are birds, there are hawks .. this is in one of the fruit trees in the back yard.6674Dear little Nuthatches .. nesting somewhere nearby .. I’ve been lucky to see some of the babies in the spring ..this is an adult.6660Female Downy Woodpecker .. this is my favourite suet holder ..and the birds sure like it.6668And the arc-en-ciel was a beautiful scene to see  ..6671

As I haven’t been blogging for such a long time – and I have not stopped taking photos .. I will start to upload them here!  Creating good memories for me to look at during the winter months!


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Blue skies! And I am so very lucky .. there is a beautiful female Townsend’s Warbler visiting our yard!!!!

Monday, January 21, 2013

Everyday I think .. that perhaps I’ll just sit down at the computer and type away.  And every day I don’t.  There seems to be a timeline that works best for me .. early morning ..and once that early time has passed .. the day just gets to be busy and so I procrastinate till later.

Weather has been fantastic.  Lots of sun which results in lots of birds flying around the yard.

Some photos of the lovely sky paintings recently:

 

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This series of formations were just awesome ..02

As you can see .. a lot of time spent, again, gazing upwards ..03

Little Bushtits .. many more this year.   The families are growing.  Note to self:  research these darling little birds and find out their territory and more details.  Very clever and cheerful little sprites, they are!04

They just seem to swirl into the yard.  I have 5 suet holders so there is lots for everyone.05

Little Chickadees visit the feeders and the suet blocks …alternating between both, for a more balanced diet.  And all of these little birds peck away at insects on the trees, on the house .. everywhere. They certainly earn their keep.  Plus they bring so much joy into my world.06

But .. look here .. this very striking bird started visiting our yard a few days ago.  Thus far I’ve only had the most tantalizing little glimpses.   Yesterday I stood motionless for at least half an hour, trying to take a picture!  A few days ago, I happened to be standing by a suet holder and this little bird flew to a branch just inches away.  I didn’t dare breathe .. just stood quietly so I could watch.08

Yesterday .. I was busy trimming branches and omg .. there she is!!!!!  Quickly whipped out the camera and so lucky to snap some photos!  I’ve learned that she is a female Townsend Warbler!   How exciting is this!  And they are only in a specific area …living in forests .. and here she is .. in our little mini-forest!!!09

Time to go outside and work with some of the seaweed that my pal D and I gathered a few days ago.   Another great day and I’ll share that tomorrow.

For now, though … .here is lovely Val … we met her at Sooke and she posed for a photo.  What a darling kind dog she is!!Val DogSo, time to make a mug of tea, change into my gardening costume and head outdoors!

🙂

 


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Walking in the rain .. under a sky blue lined umbrella .. enjoying the peace and quiet .. how very lovely yesterday was!

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Yesterday, the rains poured down from the heavens .. and this was a perfect day for a walk .. so I set out.  However .. firstly .. here is a little photo of the little Fox Sparrow, who had a serious problem with his left eye.  Today I noticed that the problem is much worse and, sadly, I saw another with the same problem with his right eye.

I’ve read, from some birding blogs, that these issues are more readily viewed when there are bird feeders closer to the house.  Otherwise, they wouldn’t be noticed.  Nevertheless, I brought most of the birdfeeders & suet holders inside for a good scrub, a light bleach rinse and lots of clear water rinsing.  Amazing the amount of seeds were tucked away tightly.  Washed, rinsed, dried and fresh seed & suet.  The world was a little happier place.

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Next, at the front of the house, I’m just about ready to leave when I notice a neighbour’s cat .. very friendly … came up the front stairs … apparently quite ready to come inside for a visit.  However, a branch from our Christmas tree appeared to capture his attention.

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Sorry, sweetie .. another time … love that face!  02

I began my trek … along local pathways … no one else out at this particular time .. so only me and the rain and my umbrella .. quite  tranquil time .. loving this.

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I love walking in the rain  … especially with this very cheerful umbrella … the top side is solid black and the inside is blue… with fluffy cumulous clouds .. very happy indeed.  So in contrast, the sleet ridden roads all of a sudden don’t seem to be so gloomy.

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This pathway is new … it allows runners/bikers/walkers to enter Rainbow Park more easily and it opens right off of McKenzie Avenue.  This is the first time I’ve walked this way .. kind of curious to see how it works out .. previously, this was all a grassy hillside.

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Just before this , though, along McKenzie Avenue .. is a lovely little green area with magnificent trees …

09 And further along .. a massive amount of ferns growing along  .. very lush and beautiful …  07

And more berried bushes .. food for the deer?  Lovely to look at ..06

What a cheerful sight .. lots of flowers …

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And  .. just a few minutes from starting my walk I arrive at Rainbow Park .. a lovely place, well named.

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And what do we have here … another route to my favourite place!  There are quite a variety of routes to Swan Lake Sanctuary and it’s fun to try a different one for each visit.

13At the little observatory (once I reached it!) I could see a little Mallard out in the middle of Swan Lake .. and I think he saw me ..but, alas, I hadn’t brought any flatted oats with me .. so I left before I could draw him over in false hope for food ..

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Farther along .. you can see the fence posts, still here, from the dairy farm that once flourished here.  My pal D remembers this quite clearly .. she and her family used to purchase their milk from the store that once existed.   Kind of nice to see these posts, though, a salute to previous times.  19

I love everything about Swan Lake .. and there are some areas that are just so much more awesome than others.  This is one .. and see the nest up in the tree to the right?  Cool.

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Rain .. rain .. rain .. everywhere.  But I’m not worried .. my waterproof walking shoes are about the only dry apparel that I have .. it’s taken me awhile to walk these shoes into a comfortable state of being .. and I can quite enjoy them now.17

Some Mallards enjoy the peace and quiet.16

Moi mes souliers ont beaucoup voyagé (grace a les mots de Felix Leclerc) 15

And this signage just never gets tired!!  See the last line .. so true.14

Sigh …


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Wednesday was a sunny day .. perfect for playing in the yard. Watching birds, helicopter, the skies …

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Wednesday (like today!) … lots of sun and blue skies overhead, yea!!

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Spent some time playing with my newest garden treasure .. my yard cart .. it is so very useful, how did I manage without it!  It holds so much material and also handy for easily moving tools around the yard.  I really feel like a spoiled gardener!

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This looks like a low flying helicopter, but no worries, I’d just zoomed in.  Looks kind of cool, seen through the branches of the wild and crazy tree (aka, pear rootstock)

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During some quiet times I simply stood motionless and watched the Anna’s fly to the hummingbird feeder23 - Copy

And watched the Bushtit hop over to the feeder … to check out this interesting feeder … the perch is just the right size for his little claws to cling to.22 - Copy

He seems a bit puzzled now … where is the food ..21 - Copy

Ahem .. the little Anna seems to say … pardon me ..but this is not for you …20 - Copy

See .. it’s built just right for me ..19 - Copy

The Bushtit wasn’t convinced .. so he just had to study the feeder more closely 18 - Copy

Perhaps you are right .. this one is perfect for me!17 - Copy

Sigh ….16 - Copy

Soon, all was right with the world as the Anna returned to the feeder .. no other birds visited here again .. they’ll stick with the suet15 - Copy

I saw 3 Downy woodpeckers in the yard .. wondered, are some of them the babies from last year?   They visited all of the suet blocks in the yard.  I’ve placed 5 of them throughout … and this one is the special, made in BC item that D noticed on the side of the road, a few weeks ago.  It’s once again fulfilling its purpose .. to hold food to feed the birds!14 - Copy

And .. I did not see this rainbow till I downloaded the photos …. how perfect is this …is this positive energy from the feeder  … happy again, feeding the birds ???13 - Copy

And those roses .. are still blooming .. how very pretty they are12 - Copy

2 years ago … I couldn’t see many robins in the yard at all.  Yet this year there are quite a few.  And they are all robust.  This one is pecking away at a fallen apple.

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The little Fox sparrow .. patiently waiting, again!08 - Copy

Hi Mr. Robin …..07 - Copy

Jet overhead … someone going somewhere exotic?   I like to think so.06 - Copy

Sweet-pea seed pod ….I’ve left some on the plants .. maybe they will sprout and grow more beautiful flowers.05 - Copy

Still can’t bear to pull the sweet-peas up .. I’ll let them go on their own time.

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Sweet little Bushtits …. chirping away .. happy sounds in the yard03 - Copy

Beauty ..02 - Copy

Like a visual poem in the skies above…

01 - CopySurprise treasures in the yard!  I’d just finished planting some garlic cloves (found a good head of garlic from Salt Spring Island and wanted to grow some of that type).  When, surprise, I found these bulbs had rooted in a pot.  No soil.  Well, bulbs are hardy, that is for sure.  So I carefully separated them and covered them with some mulch, ready for planting today.  There are also some other bulbs with them, I think they might be tulips.  Will plant them in a pot and wait for Spring to see if I am right!

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So .. time to put on my lovely gardening outfit .. my trusty Carhart bibs .. how very elegant!  🙂 and outside to plant these lovely garlic cloves .. there is still time for them to grow.  In the spring (not far away) I will commence with the application of EM .. on everything!!!  Magic.

Twas a great day and I expect more of the same today!

🙂


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These are a few of my favourite things ….

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Haven’t spent much time out in the yard and today was just a totally luxuriantly lazy day .. so I thought I would share some of my favourite things!

First on the list is this most wonderful yard cart that DH gave to me on Christmas Day.   Not sure what I love more .. the fact that he gave me something that is such a labour-saving device in the garden .. or the fact that he spent so much time on Christmas Day assembling it for me.  I think the two facts are part and parcel … really, a gift of love, priceless!

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Next on my list is the amazingly beautiful vista overhead .. the ever-changing sky landscape.  I must admit that I really don’t get a lot of gardening done on beautiful days like this!   Spend a lot of time looking up at the sky!  Really, can you blame me, though?13

 

This was a soft … gentle sky … wispy clouds11

 

And these were all taken on the same day, can you believe it!  10

 

Moody .. in a happy way …09

 

Lovely cumulus clouds .. they resembled a stack of fluffy pancakes .. 08

Ok .. these really struck a chord in me .. so beautiful ..06

 

and my other favourite things ( on a very long list ) are .. birds.    Here is a little Chestnut-Backed Chickadee at one of the suet holders.05

Mustn’t forget my latest plant purchase .. for our next home … there is one more at the store .. and .. I … must … resist … purchasing … that one!04

 

Sweet little Bushtits … they are so very darling ..03

 

They are also very polite .. waiting patiently for their turn at the suet block02

 

Ok .. I like them a lot …01

and .. look how easy this is . .no more shovelling the contents of the cart .. just pull on the tipping handle and all the contents are on the garden bed .. saves me so much shovelling. (this is after)

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and this is during … such ease .. I am feeling quite pampered now!

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At first I thought that the cart wouldn’t hold much material .. but as I continued shoveling the fine mulch into the cart .. I was really amazed .. it holds a lot!19

 

Well .. there you have it .. a pictorial display of (some) favourite things .. there are many others, of which I am quite grateful.

Sigh.

And for the New Year .. .I’m not one for making resolutions, “but” I will continue on my decluttering activities.  Since I’ve already started that this year … guess I’ll just continue on.

About procrastination .. I’ve been working on that this year and actually making some headway .. yea to me.  However, I’ve recently found that the phrase “I’ll start that in the New Year” quite appropriate and have been using that mantra during the past few days. As I look at areas that I fully intend to organize/recycle/finish!!!  Just as I start to feel that I “should” get started, but really don’t feel like doing …right now!

As soon as I say the magic words “next year” I feel as if a tremendous weight has been lifted from my shoulders.

It’s a fait accompli, or something like that.

So .. if I am not inspired to blog tomorrow .. although I think that I will ..  for right now – I’ll hoist a glass of dry white and wish everyone a very very Happy New Year .. 2013 .. wow!  All the best and all that! (sip … sip ..)  ha ha

🙂

 


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Thursday … time spent looking at the birds in the backyard .. and.. yea .. my new garden cart!!!

Friday, December 27, 2012

Yesterday, Thursday, slightly overcast with lots of sun shining through.  The kind of day that teased with promises of sun till the rains came down, sun still shining through.

Lots of visitors to the yard, though.   Heard the steady chirping between Mr & Mrs Downy Woodpecker.   They were chatting away, flitting among the branches and then each settled down on separate suet feeders .. quietly nibbling away.

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Skies overhead …. mostly like this:

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I’d filled up the hummingbird feeder .. it was quite empty .. lots of little Anna’s flitting about.  Funny, last week I’d noticed two of the young ones flying around.  It was obviously schooling time for them.  The parents, much slimmer .. sat on branches nearby, issuing orders.   The two youngsters perched nearby.  Heads constantly on alert status, looking quickly to the left, right, left, right – never still.  Then they would zoom overhead, tiny wings touching as they did so … resulting in little thwap-thwap sounds.  I couldn’t help but laugh at these antics, which they repeated over and over.

Really, this is deadly serious life training for them … however, this is the first time I was privy to such schooling and I was totally unprepared for the their activities.  I felt honoured to be there, quite frankly.

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Then I happened to look over at the Downy on the suet .. he seemed to be king of the suet, the way he stood so proudly on the top!  Quite a noble pose.11

Wandered over to the garlic beds and happy to see the sweet-peas have continued growing.  I’m not one to pluck everything out of the ground once summer is over.10

The birds are still daintily nibbling away at the fallen apples .. they are very thorough in their pecking away .. leaving a graceful outline of the apple base.  Garden art at its best!

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and the darling little Bushtits .. yesterday they were everywhere, it seemed.  Groups of them visited 3 of the suet blocks.   Many of them awaited their turn … sitting patiently above the blocks.

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And of course squirrels have to eat.   This one is a resident, I believe .. having seen him (or is it a her?) throughout the yard at the front, sides and back.05

Oh .. a beautiful Spotted Towhee.   Not sure if this one is nesting nearby.  There have been a few tall trees cut down in the neighbourhood.  Not in our yard, though.  Lots of perching room for everyone.  I’ve seen the Towhees at the bird feeder, nice surprise.  This one is resting in the old plum-tree by the kitchen window.  Nearby (but not in the photo) were some Junco‘s, a golden-crowned sparrow and a house sparrow.04

The roses are still blooming at the side of the house …03

Some ducks enjoying the quiet tidal waters by Spinnakers Pub …

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The log created a breakwater for them .. a place to calmly settle in for the morning.01

I must share this with you .. DH surprised me with this most wonderful, tilting wagon!  And he spent hours on Christmas morning, putting it together for me!  I could hardly wait to take it outside to use in the garden.  Here is my first trip yesterday .. time to take the geranium filled pots to the back yard, to rest in a frost-free zone for the balance of the winter!

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Next it was time to test a load of the Miracle Mulch .. so I loaded up the wagon .. it holds quite a bit.  And see those tires?  No more do I have to worry about being careful going from point A to B in the yard .. these sturdy tires just roll everywhere.  And they turn on a tight radius also!  yea!!!

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Another bonus to this lovely cart!  I can easily dump the contents by simply pulling on the handle at the back of the base and .. voila .. no more shovelling!  I love this!  Then I just pop back the box and it locks in place!

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That just took a few minutes and now the mulch covers this area of the yard.  Well done and with little effort.  Now I’ll have time to do more things in the yard!

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And as I wandered around the yard .. .looking up .. .seeing these glorious rays of the light at the end of the day …

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So beautiful

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Peaceful15

 

Restful14

And thus ended another lovely little visit to the backyard .. more today!

🙂

 


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Enjoying the sights and sounds of flowers, birds in our lovely backyard as Autumn takes over..

Thursday, November 8, 2012

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  Well .. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again .. where does the time go?  Time doth fly on winged feet …

Monday loomed bright and sunny .. so I spent a lot of time outside.  How could I not.

Drinking in the lovely autumn perfume of the fallen leaves .. mixed in with the scent of the apples decorating the lawn .. still lots hanging from the branches.

Happy birds chirping throughout the yard.   So happy that DH & I planted so many trees in our yard .. all those years ago.

Such a variety of birds hide amongst their branches.  I’m sure there must be a variety of tiny little nests tucked away for little families to grow in the spring.

Ours is quite a happy yard.  Activity all day long.

The birds know that there is a source of food for them here.

Not just the bird seed and the suet blocks.  They feast on flower seeds, the lichen on the branches.  Tiny bugs that travel the highways of the branches and leaves.

They sip from the raindrops that cling to the leaves after the rains.

And they provide us with an ongoing visual feast of delight in seeing them perch throughout the yard.   On the garden hoops that encircle the garlic beds, on the handles of my gardening tools.   They perch on the edge of the little water dishes that I’ve put out for them …

Their happy chirping sounds and songs enrich the air with their joy.

What a lovely little world this is .. our back yard!

So much to enjoy.

So today, I’m just tapping away a few words .. sharing some photos taken a few days ago.

And now I must go and work away on my landscaping course.  Numbers to crunch. Drawings to make.  Shapes to practice on blank paper, transforming marks into squares and circles.  Using mostly a Sharpie .. and sometimes pencils.

Lots to learn .. lots to do .. an intensive number of weeks remain before the course is done.

I’m quite enjoying this challenge to unleash my inner artist as I travel along this new pathway.

🙂