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!


Leave a comment

A Saunter through Swan Lake Nature Sanctuary and temporary bling on my fiddle .. oh, it was beautiful for awhile ..

Such lovely skies above .. more sky art which I love …

July 26 03

I love the “wear two different colour shoe day” theme .. so a few days ago I did that theme again, only this time I wore the lavender on the left and the green on the right!July 26 10

I walked over to a restaurant to meet with long-standing friends of the Coronation Street variety.  And I succumbed to the sweet pleasure of going through the beautiful Swan Lake Nature Sanctuary.  Haven’t visited there for awhile and when I first retired, I practically lived there!  A most beautiful and tranquil place to be.July 26 14

Turns out this was a good time to be there … the walkers, groups, birders had come and gone, leaving only blissful solitude for awhile …July 26 13

Little birdies everywhere …..July 26 15

Oh I would love to have a yard like this .. no buildings to mar the view, no vehicles to crowd the roads …July 26 16

.This is where my little Hummingbird nest was recovered, after terrific storms had whipped the branches, causing it to tumble to the ground.  I used to love seeing the little mama zip into her nest, to settle on the tiniest of little eggs.July 26 12

The path meanders and I follow it .. so very happy to be there once again … so calming, so peaceful.July 26 11

Love the shadows on the boardwalk .. painting a temporary design on the wooden walkway, ever changing – ever beautiful.July 26 09

Seems that not so long ago, spring had just arrived, bringing with it the start of life on the trees and bushes ….which is rampant now, so lush and green.July 26 04

Having reached this boardwalk section .. I know that the exit is just ahead and I’ll continue on my merry way on the asphalt covered section of the Goose.July 26 08

Love this rock, unexpected and adds such a strong dignity and calmness, I feel.July 26 07

Feels marvellous to be here …July 26 06

Tranquility ..July 26 05

A few weeks ago .. I just had to embellish my lovely new violin with sparklies ..July 26 19

I just had to have bling on my fiddle so I covered the surface and the sides.  Even my bow didn’t escape this madness .. knowing it was best, I removed the bling and thought I would take a quick pic as a reminder.  There must be another way to add sparkle without damaging the finish and I will figure that one out at a later date.   It did feel great for awhile though.July 26 18

My special place .. where I practise my singing sessions, with the help of my tablet …July 26 02

Tiny little red dragonflies zipping about .. haven’t seen these lovelies before ..July 26 01

Ta da .. the skies seem to say …July 20, 03

Love the Beauforts from the ground and even more spectacular from up above .. when my DH takes me flying and we soar above the earth below.July 20, 02

Such marvellous decadently beautiful sky art …July 20, 01

Another beautiful day has arrived and I’m excited to go outside to see if I configured my  water timers correctly and the yard has been watered in four areas!  Fingers, eyes and toes crossed that it worked.

On with this most awesome and spectacular day!!

🙂

 


Leave a comment

Little Squirrely visits again .. bulbs are appearing and spring isn’t far away it seems!

Little Squirrely … I leave unshelled peanuts in various locations around the yard.  This one doesn’t bother anyone.  Although one day I happened to look out the window and saw 2 squirrels in the tree, they moved so quickly it seemed as if they were flying .. territorial clash or something?

p1310566

Signs of spring.  Bulbs planted, forgotten .. thrive emerging from beneath the rock.  When I see this type of growth I am always reminded of the words of Kashtin (when I saw them perform in Victoria, many years ago) that sometimes a plant has to go through a rock before it can flower.  This resonates with me.  Emergence is a stronger and thriving life in the sunshine.

p1310567Yippeeeeeeeeeeeee ..  here I am again!  Planted years ago, and popping up already .. preparing to display lovely blue flowers in the spring. p1310570The magnificent rose bush that resides nearby ..proudly showing new growth and also a graceful remainder of a rosebud from last season.p1310572Once again at the most beautiful jewel of serenity close by .. the walkway at Swan Lake .. I plan to visit there again today.   Love this place so much.p1310598

Such beauty …p1310596

At Swan . beautiful moss and lichen adorn a tree branch .. lots of material for the birds to use in their nests ..p1310587

Lovely …up above …

p1310585

It was a quiet time of the day when I went for my little walk .. a gentle breeze created the smallest of little wavelets on the surface of the water.  Such a peaceful place to be.

p1310595

Stately Geese in a side marsh .. looking over .. ever so subtlely .. perhaps I had some flatted oats with me?  Not today guys .. I need to visit the Nature House to buy a little packet of the oats for them, on another visit…p1310591

Some Mallards were busily seeking out delicious treats from the water …p1310592

Stopped for awhile to gaze at this hawk, tucked away in the branches.  Looking for a midday meal.

p1310600

Suddenly, the hawk flew away and I stood there awhile, watching this raptor soar up above and then away.   p1310627

Back at home, I was wandering around the yard and saw this beautiful Spotted Towhee perched in some branches, near one of the bird feeders. These birds are very shy and I knew it would fly away so I stood quietly … hoping to get some pictures.   I zoomed in as much as possible, from 30 feet away.

p1310666

Patience was rewarded.  Such a strikingly handsome bird.

p1310670

I fought the urge to take a photo of this camper, which was filling up at a local gas station.  But I could only stand this for awhile and in the end, grabbed my camera and took a pic just as it was leaving the station.  And I fought the urge to go and speak to the driver .. to ask questions about this lovely camper.  If I see it again, though, and it is possible to speak with them .. well .. I will do that!

p1310674

It is so lovely to feel the approach of spring .. with the emergence of bulbs .. although it is still February and I know that there will be frosts again in the coming months.  The ground will thaw and freeze and repeat.

Still, it is wonderful to be outside and dream about changing the garden.  I should be outside, cleaning up the various areas, and keep putting that work off for a little bit more.  So I can practise my fiddle and play with my beads and wire.   When the days are warm and sunny it will be impossible to stay inside when the outdoors beckons so tantalizingly.

And it looks like the day ahead is going to be one of these lovely sunny days so I’d best get going and see what adventures await me and my camera!

🙂


Leave a comment

Watching a Hawk, going for a walk and making bead chain link necklaces!

I hadn’t been to Swan Lake Nature Sanctuary for a very long time, so yesterday I decided it was time to do that.  It was mid-afternoon, the shade was kicking in and there were still patches of slippery ice.  As I entered one of the many paths that enter the Sanctuary, the cheerful colour of some rose-hips caught my eye .. so of course, I just had to take a picture!

01

Along the way, I met up with a lovely young man who, like me, had decided to take some time and explore this most beautiful area.  We had an easy conversation, talking about how his newly retired dad was investing mega dollars into camera lenses (to take magnificent photos of birds and flowers).  He was currently not working and was seeking employment.  We had a relaxing conversation about many things, life, birds, nature and that sort of thing.   I rarely meet up with people in this manner so it was a special treat on a sunny day.

We parted ways and I continued on my path homewards.

Love the contrast of light and shadow and this tree was a good example of that.  Now .. if I were to try and draw this tree, where would I start?  Hmmm .. time to get out my drawing materials and try that.  There were many other such examples of contrast, showing bumpy bark, interesting branches, rocks and things but I’ll leave that for another day for my photo session.

02

This section of the Galloping Goose was once a railway corridor and I am so happy that this asphalt bike/walk roadway exists!   I’m sure that there are books about this subject as there are quite a number of people who love researching and sharing this information, lucky for us!  Here is a link to such information:  Galloping Goose

04

And this is a majestic entry .. it’s fun to whistle or sing (not me, but others do!) while passing under this massive tunnel.  Lots of traffic on Blanshard above, drivers oblivious to the world below.

05

Another section of highway above, hundreds of vehicles overhead and below all is tranquil.

03

Up above now, walking the sidewalk towards home, I noticed some seagulls soaring overhead and one bird … seemed to be a little different!  It was a hawk!  Hawks of Swan Lake area

So I just stayed there, quiet on the sidewalk as traffic swirled up and down the very busy Carey Road.  Just happy to have the opportunity to be there as the hawk was soaring overhead, looking for supper.   His wings would gently ripple as he (she?) maintained that particular air space.  I could have taken some photos, the hawk was so close, but I chose to just enjoy the sight.  By the time I did remove my camera from the case, it had moved on and soon disappeared from sight and I was left with blue sky.  Sigh.

06

I’ve been a busy little bee lately.   Filling my time with the challenge of my fiddle, the tranquility of my Sonic Drum and also playing around with making chain loops.  Here is my first effort:

07

My second necklace:  (so my lighting isn’t so balanced here, hope these photos are clear!)

09

Another effort:

08

And here is my latest (and then I’ve started on another one!)

10

It’s challenging to make the tiny loops, using 26 g wire and my needle nose, flat nose pliers and magnifier.  Practice makes perfect and I’ve now found my ideal “take along” hobby.   To play with in a calm area, not while driving or flying, 🙂

Now .. I wonder what fun things I’ll be doing today?

Time to make another mug of Yorkshire Tea and discover what this lovely day brings.

🙂


Leave a comment

Why I take the photos that I do … Well .. here are some of the reasons!

Saturday, February 9, 2013

There is so very much beauty in this world …. everywhere …up above in the sky.  Scenery.  Trees. Birds.  And photos of these all make the most loveliest of memories for later on.

Such as this tiny bird, perched, ever so briefly, on a branch (I think this is a Golden-crowned Kinglet).  I was out walking and surprised to see a few of these darlings twittering about the tree.  They didn’t stay still for very long, so I was lucky to get this pic.

01

And a surprise entry pathway that I’d not noticed before.  It was only due to the fact that I chose another route to my destination and discovered this one.

09

The joy of walking along an undiscovered route heightens the enjoyment of my lovely daily walks.12

And the overhead canopy of branches seem to delicately and gently welcome me along the way.  Soon these will be wearing their summer finery and provide shade from the summer’s heat.10Imagine, this pathway was here all along and I’m happily making my way …the highway and sidewalk are way to the left and while people are busily starting their busy trips to work and shopping, I’m quietly discovering more of Swan Lake Nature Sanctuary!!

08

After a few minutes I found myself actually at the allotment gardens, a good opportunity to see these plots up close, so I opened the gate and went in.

13

So this is, I believe, part of Swan Creek .. lots of water and the reason for the bridge (above) 🙂

14

This area is vast .. so beautiful to see unique gardening plots .. lots of work.

05

Each gardener has their own unique way of gardening.  Variety, as you know …04

Along the way, I’d gone shopping at Thrifty Foods .. and my visit was made much better by the lovely daffodil that I was given!  It was a surprise and I felt great just walking along with this bright and cheerful flower nodding along in my shopping bag.  So, I just had to stop and take a photo.

16

I liked the look of the mossy covered tree trunks.  But just looking at this picture with Saturday morning eyes .. I think they also resemble great big giant legs with mossy green slippers!  Just squint your eyes a little and you’ll see what I mean.

02

I wonder if the Downy woodpecker is thinking about gathering some moss for a spring nest.  Or perhaps something else has caught her attention?

07For now, though, time to dine!

06Now .. this chubby little Robin .. is quite the robust little bird, isn’t he?  Dining al fresco on an apple nested snugly in the branches.

22

Then he (she) is gone .. leaving the apple for other birds to dine on.  They aren’t greedy.

18

Walking downtown, here is this great, gnarly tree, outside of St. Andrew’s Cathedral.  Talk about character .. gadzooks!

20

And the remainder of a delicate little frost.  Not heavy enough to freeze the water so the birds can still sip.  Grateful for the lack of snow which is causing misery throughout the rest of Canada.

 

 

19

And sometimes I take pictures like it’s my lifelong ambition to capture every single moment of activity around me.   Sometimes, if I’m visiting someplace new to me .. I want to capture the feel of the place.  What it looks like, sounds like, feels like.

Wanting to remember the crunching sounds made by my shoes as I walk on a gravel topped pathway, mixed in with those sounds are the lovely pine scent of the nearby conifers, the cheerful chirping of birds hidden from sight.

When I see the lovely dogs, stop and have a chat with their owners … seeing the happy faces of well-loved pets … brings joy to my spirit.

These are some of the reasons why I take the photos that I do.

But .. Saturday rushes in and I have lots to do today .. .no time for a walk .. that decadent treat will have to wait for another day.

🙂

 

 


Leave a comment

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

08

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

09

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.

19

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

21

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.

18

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.

17

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.

16

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.

14

Very beautiful …

15

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.

13

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

12

A diminutive little Chestnut-backed Chickadee ….

11

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.

06

Are words needed here?  I thought not.

05

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

04

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.

02

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

01

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

 

 

 

 

10

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!

🙂

 

 


Leave a comment >

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Daily, the spirit is there to just blog away … but I resist and instead, go for walks.   Play outside.  Take photos of birds.  Things like that.  I think it is the time of the year .. the space between the festivities of Christmas and the waiting for the motivational energy of Spring to strike.  Or at least that is what I think.

I’ve come to discover that my daily walks are ever so energizing.   Such a part of my daily life that when I miss one .. I feel a little uninspired.   Noticed this yesterday .. when I became “too busy” to embark on a 3 mile walk and it was reinforced today .. when I walked well over 3 miles .. that I just love getting outside.   Travelling all over the neighbourhood.   Meeting birders at Swan Lake Nature Sanctuary.  Learning names of birds.   Like today, I found out that the very darling little olive-green and yellow bird (much smaller than the Bush-tits) was actually a Ruby-crowned Kinglet!!

I was having great difficulty taking a clear photo and have learned this common, as these little birds are constantly flitting about.  Just found this lively YouTube video .. great music accompanies this little darling at a window bird feeder:   http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AYce1XbRlHk   This “SmellLikeDirt” site is very interesting and I’ll mark it as a favourite, for sure:  http://www.youtube.com/user/SmellLikeDirt?feature=watch  She shares great information and has many great videos!!

Here is darling little Goose dog!  DH & I met this little guy when we were out for a long walk a few days ago … how very sweet .. and in a loving family ..

01

The Cormorants are still hanging around as a group, over by the long walkway at Swan Lake .. they are very elegant ..

02

Now this very handsome bird is, I think, a sparrow .. I’ve been looking through books and websites for half an hour and just can’t determine.   Very shy, dainty songs …

03

If you know the name of this lovely bird .. pls share with me …04

Very darling bird … 05

Oh, thank goodness for digital cameras, I can’t bear to think how much money all these photos would have cost in the “olden” days!

06

And Mushrooms and mycorrhizal species will really save the world .. how wonderful to see this set up along one of the path ways!!!08

Townsend’s  Warbler .. yea .. still in the yard10

Such a treat to see ..11

Do you ever wonder if the “forces that be” are encouraging us along in our path?  Last night I was in my little (very  overcrowded) craft room.   Tossing away (in a container to donate for a reading program) books .. being as heartless as I could be.   Ended up with 3 containers full, not bad.

This .. to me .. is like trying to walk through molasses .. sorting out things.  I have been a sewing collector, crafts collector for many years.  If it sparkles .. I gravitate towards it and add to my collection.

Well. …. time to stop that and get rid of some things.  After my books (and I can still well get through many more, but, a step at a time. .. then I started on my sewing items.  Oh .. my … the things I found.  Many varieties of sewing needles, both for the serger(s), sewing machine and hand stitching.   What to do.  I started off by throwing them all in a glass container.  Step one.

I’m feeling as if I’m not making any progress at all .. .but I think back to several sessions of decluttering that I went through last year and know that, even though this is slow progress .. it won’t take long to get through.   What works best for me is going through one box or container, dealing with it .. leaving the room and then return.  Each time I go through this, I can really see the progress.

And I know that clutter holds us back.  What is more freeing that being in a neatly organized, tidy, spare .. room!  More space for creativity.  I can envision that.

Anyway, after I went through a second container, I found a small bag of money .. folding and coins!   I’d “momentarily” tucked the bag away in a box.   I think that this might be the universe’s way of rewarding me .. encouraging me .. to continue what I’m doing.

Who knows what other treasures I’ll find as I make my way through my collections?

🙂

 


2 Comments

I found a lost Staffordshire and then we had to go looking for his owner

Friday, January 25, 2013

A few days ago, on my daily walk … I was standing at the edge of the path, watching one of the resident eagles who was perched in a nearby Oak tree.    A guy came walking fast up towards me and asked if I’d seen a white dog.  A Staffordshire dog …named ..well, his name doesn’t matter.   I hadn’t seen him and promised that I would look for him.

I continued with my walk and met a group of birders .. asked if they had seen this dog. Sure enough, he had been following them and then he exited the Sanctuary (yes, at the Swan Lake Nature Sanctuary again!)    So I took the same path and began asking all that I met .. if they had seen the dog.  No … but .. looking ahead . .I could see this dog .. he’d just crossed a busy road and was walking along the wooden bridge.  So I started to run .. .yelling “stop that dog”.

And you know what!  A lovely young man did just exactly that!  I gave him my scarf and asked him to loop it under the dog’s collar .. which he did!  Scarves come in handy!

So now .. I’m feeling so happy that I’ve found the lost dog .. and start walking where I think the owner might be.

01

After a few minutes of walking around .. I see the owner and yell out to him that I’d found his dog!    Whew … turns out the dog is a Houdini and is able to open windows and escapes to explore the neighbourhood.  The owner has paid high fines and says that I’ve just saved him hundreds of dollars.   Well .. I’m just glad that the two are together again.

So I said goodbye .. and continued on my way.  Certain to have burned off a few calories in this little adventure …bye little dog .. glad that all is right in your world now …

02Lovely blue skies from that day …

08

So very alluring …. so very beautiful07

Walking towards Tuesday Pond, I encountered a small flock of Canada Geese … these birds get very defensive some times .. so I proceeded slowly…

 

 

 

 

09

They moved .. just as slowly .. into a side marsh ..

11

And soon these stately birds had exited .. whew … I was glad.10

Farther along .. I saw the reason for the Mallards to make their quick and noisy departure from the pond … there was a hawk high up in the tree ..

12

These gray squirrels are not native to Vancouver Island .. they’ve usurped the black squirrels, however, I caught a glimpse of one last week ..

14More beautiful aerial scenery ..

05

So relaxing to look at .. and cheerful ..04These wonderful walks are invigorating.  I just cannot imagine how my days would be without them.  I wouldn’t meet some very lovely dogs.   Have little adventures like finding a lost dog.  How wonderful is that.

And the places my lovely muddy walking shoes take me!  Along very long and winding streets.   Up and down hill.   Through lovely local parks.  To the Swan Lake Nature Sanctuary .. where there are lots of knowledgeable birders I can talk with and learn.

Such lovely quiet periods of time .. to stop, reflect on nature.  Have the opportunity to watch birds living in the wild.    As in this grouping of Double-Crested Cormorants .. relaxing on a float near the main walkway that spans Swan Lake.IMGP9442

So every day is different and every day the walks are long!  I think that I need to get up real early in order to have these wonderful walks and then have enough time left over to spend lots of time in the garden!

I’m still carefully removing the heavy mulched layer from the garlic beds.  Every day, more and more of the leafy growth is emerging.   Oh, I can hardly wait to dig up the large elephant garlic .. this is going to be the best crop yet.

And my lovely chopped oak leaf mulch is waiting to be used.  Along with the lovely batch of seaweed that D and I collected last week.  Marvelous magic for the garden.

Well .. end of the day .. time to close off .. it’s been a great week – all told!

🙂