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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I began my day today with a simple idea of dehydrating celery and this led to a whole day of cooking!!! Oh, and it actually snowed a bit today!

So, here in little Victoria, we had a little bit of snow, a little bit of freezing and a little bit of sun!

I swore I wasn’t going to take any snow photos this year, however, once i went outside and saw a few icicles dripping off one of the bird feeders, I just had to go back inside and fetch my camera!!

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I do clean out the bird feeders every few weeks, as I want to keep the feeders clean!  This is the only feeder that showed icicles on it, so of course, I had to take a pic!

Then I noticed the scarlet red runner beans, the seeds hadn’t fully formed, so I might just leave them here on the vine, or I might just take them inside to juice them along with apples and carrots.

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Strawberry plants growing in plant bags .. I really need to root these, in order to get fresh plants so new strawberries can grow.

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This year, I planted all my garlic in large containers.   I’ll be working on prepping the yard for a basic grassy area, so will grow all my crops (peas, beans) in containers like these.  They work well.

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Vigorous elephant garlic, greens growing away like crazy!  Very healthy soil.  And leaf mulch!

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Snowy covered grass.  I really should have cut the grass a few weeks ago, but, procrastination won out in the end.

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Blue skies from yesterday, sparrows were flying every which way!

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From yesterday also, I discovered this healthy raspberry cane growing away amidst some tall plants at the back of the yard.   Don’t expect any fruit, but am impressed with the vigour of this cane, so I’ll pot this one up!!

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Sweet Mock Orange, from yesterday, before the snows came.  The flowers are still there today.

dec-6-03Well, that is it for photos.

Now I’ll tell you what else happened today!

And I seem to remember that what happened today has occurred in previous years!

Today, for some strange reason, perhaps it is due to my genes and preparing for winter!  I just seemed to morph into a kind of little busy bee that was hell bent on preparing food for the winter.

For I found myself just mindlessly going into food preparation mode!  This has happened before!

Oh, wait!  I didn’t mention that really, my day of food preparation started off with a lowly bunch of celery!!!  Organic celery.   I just didn’t want to use a bit of this in soup today and wanted to dry it for use for the winter, so that it wouldn’t go bad.

Thus, I started to search online for celery powder, which led me to onion powder, this in turn lead me to garlic powder.    This is how I began my culinary day today!!

I found some sites which showed how delicious it could be to combine powdered veggies would make a good alternative to salt, so that is how I began my dehydrating section of the day!

Then I found myself searching online for the best ideas for making freezer hash-browns!   I had a bag of organic potatoes which had begun to sprout roots!   And so I became an industrious busy bee, peeling potatoes, shredding them, putting them in a large pot of boiling water and then after a few minutes, cooling them off in a bowl of iced water.  Followed by layering them in paper towels and clean tea towels, twisting them to squeeze off excess water and then layering them on a cookie sheet in the freezer.    And, once frozen, placing the finished product into zip-lock bags for future hash-brown breakfasts.

Then it was time to reduce the recently baked organic chickens that I had baked a few days ago – broth for soup and chicken shreds for the soup and then for quesadilla’s for the freezer (with lots of shredded cheese and capers!)

After this, it was time to remove the bags of frozen garlic cloves (from my recent harvest of July).   Prepare them for the foil squares & drizzle of olive oil & bake in the oven.  Following that, time for cooling off and a few hours of time spent squeezing the garlic paste out of the cloves, mashing them and putting dollops on waxed paper on a cookie sheet and in the freezer!

OMG.

After I removed the delicious chicken soup from the slow cooker, placing it in the fridge for tomorrows lunch time meal .. I began the tedious task of cleaning up my dishes and the counter.

It has truly been a day!

A day of hanging around the kitchen, preparing food for the winter.  Constantly cleaning up pots, dishes and the stove and kitchen counters.

Not a day that I would repeat too often, but,  a satisfying day.  One that didn’t require a lot of thinking, but one which was, nevertheless, highly satisfying.

A happy day!

🙂

 


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It seems to be that time of the year again .. revisiting uncluttering & getting rid of things.

A few years ago I gathered up a great supply of garden items no longer needed and in the process met an energized fellow gardener!  She was happy to collect the items for her gardening business and we spent a happy few hours talking about gardening in general.

At the end of our conversation I mentioned that it was a good time for me to get rid of things no longer needed at which point she said that she is in the space of accumulating things.

Of course, this led me to thinking of the various times that I’d become interested in various hobbies to such an extent that I searched out items pertinent to each interest and the accumulations began!

Sewing .. oh the fabrics I bought!  And although I created many fun items, including draperies, I stockpiled lovely things which I’ve since given away.

I love reading, particularly mysteries and stock up on these at the annual Friends of the Library book sale.  This is a safe hobby, as I donate books, once they are read, to the blue box reading program.  Whew.

Another hobby was making beautiful glass garden totems and so a few years ago I sought out lovely glass items and began making many of these which sold quite well the first year.  Now this hobby no longer interests me and I’ve donated most of my supply to thrift stores.

An ongoing hobby for many years has been gathering a wide variety of beads .. not rare and costly types, just beads which sparkle with many colours!  I’ve made a variety of items with these, garden bling, necklaces, bracelets, earrings, many things.  I used my earnings from sales to pay for my fiddle lessons!   Time to get productive again????

Now I’m wondering if I should continue with this hobby or just package everything up and get rid of it.  But .. the big but .. as I go through my supplies, looking at the vast assortment of tools, findings and beads .. I start to have second thoughts.

So I went searching online for some advice on giving up beading and did find a good blog:

https://unclutterer.com/2008/04/04/saying-farewell-to-a-hobby/

And then I look at some sites that I marked as favourites and thus I know I am hooked on beading and cannot give this up right now:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E-MHCsHUoSI

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JPifdgbVxAY

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0be3CH9xdp0

using peyote stitch;  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=chsbdSIB3T0

peyote and hematite:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pepp-zbklOQ

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nt8PQkRN6hI

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IS1l41t_W8I

good explanation  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e7bdJg172X4

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4gOEYQI0REM

good video:   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cQeaxnPR8Kg

viking knit:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cvQmDZ89rfg

viking knit:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TOcTXqBul-g

Beaducation, good, wire weave:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8cS_z_tem-I

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JiNOJGH7

MGs

So I guess I have answered my own question and will keep on beading – for now, anyway.

It is an overcast fall day here in Victoria (I don’t think that winter has officially started yet).

Right now I will take a break from uncluttering and go outside to fill up the bird feeders for my little feathered friends.

I am kind of proud of myself for what I’ve done this week!  3 huge bags of gardening books to donate to 2017 Seedy Saturday!  So now I am down to just one shelf of treasured gardening books and I hope other aspiring gardeners will love the books I’m donating.

Plus, I have gathered a lot of miscellaneous items no longer needed and these will fill my car next week as I take them to a thrift shop.  Slowly creating lots of lovely space in my craft rooms.

Feels good to just dance my fingers across the keyboard and see my thoughts fill the page.  Cathartic and just feels good to do so.   In my declutterings I have found a few short stories that I’d written over the years and they still kind of resonate with me so perhaps I will revive that little hobby.  It doesn’t take much space at all and is very creative and freeing!

🙂

 


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An object forgotten leads me to Dallas Road and a lovely visit to the beach!

It’s a lightly raining day here .. and I decided to post some photos from yesterday.

Happy on this raining morning.. sipping on a mug of Yorkshire Tea, listening to John Mayo … some things don’t change over the years.  Memories of my younger self – listening to my LP’s on the great little turntable that I had, mugs of whatever kind of tea I favoured way back then.    Cannot remember what records I had  beside the Beatles!!  Something bluesy, though.

Listening now to the sound of the harmonica, I wonder if I still have my harmonica purchased a few years ago to try out . ..must look for that.  Either I donated it to charity or placed it on a shelf somewhere.

Sweet little Gold Crowned Sparrow perched on a tiny twig , feasting on some seeds from the nearby bird feeder.

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Skies from a few days ago .. I was in the backyard (where else!) happened to look up and noticed that these clouds seemed interesting, they seemed to be pointing downwards  .. had to run inside to fetch my camera and the effect in the photo isn’t as clear as it really was . .. but isn’t that the way, though.saturday-02

Had to run an errand yesterday, I’d forgotten something somewhere and since I was close to the ocean side of town – thought I would wander down to Dallas road and watch the water for awhile.  Such a restful place .. one of my all time favourites and I just haven’t been down there for awhile so this was a rare treat.  Met a few dogs, one young bulldog named Edgar, sweet little thing!   He was soaking wet from dashing into the ocean and was just a happy .. happy little dog!saturday-12

How lucky are we to just have this wild beauty so close .. a place to wander, relax, breathe in the sweet salty air and just totally chill out.   There is an upper pathway, to the right, along the grassy edge.  It was created a number of years ago, a place to walk and admire the ocean when the tide comes in.saturday-13

The little Gold Crowned Sparrow is not shy and is quite used to people wandering about.saturday-10

Big bundles of kelp washed up on shore.   Great stuff for gardens, I collect my seaweeds elsewhere though!  For the patient and artistic types, beautiful baskets can be woven from the dried kelp.   Don’t leave it out in the rain though!  :)  Seaweeds have more than 60 minerals and add value to the soil.saturday-06

A big container ship sails slowly past .. objects in the distance have an allure that is missing closer up.  The mystery is delightful though.  Where is it going .. where did it set sail from .. what is it carrying in the hold .. saturday-07

A little island of kelp bobs about the water .. wonder if it will reach the shore or just stay floating out there?  So many questions!!!   saturday-09

A lovely section of sandstone … natural art ..saturday-15

Some interesting sea life creations live on a huge section of styro-foam topped cement that rests on the beach.saturday-14

I think these are Cormorants out on the water .. diving for food and enjoying a swim in their natural element.saturday-08

Cars park along the top at the left, there are marked spaces and lots of room for everyone.   Many people relax in their vehicles there and enjoy the sights of the water and the activity therein.  A little sports car has driven down the cement slope to get a closer view.  I love walking down and when the tide has been out .. you can wander out for quite a distance on the rocky outcropping that is currently covered with water.  Quite a lovely experience to do that .. but not today!saturday-03

I picked up a few stones and tried to skip them on the water .. that was fun.  Sometimes I collect special stones for memories and sometimes i just like to enjoy their beauty on the beach and leave them there for others to enjoy.  This photo is a good enough reminder of my relaxing time at the beach.saturday-11

One more look at this beautiful sight and then time to hop back in my car and get on with the day.  Glad that I had the opportunity to come down here for my little visit.saturday-05

Back home I glanced at my shadow and thought .. this is what it is like to be taller!  Well, my shadow was taller than me and it’s “me and my shadow” so that meant that I was tall.  (in my mind anyway)🙂  Pretending is fun for a little bit.saturday-04

Time to get on with this day!  Much to do and time is rolling along.

Another batch of dehydrated apple slices (yum) to empty from the dehydrator and fill the trays with lovely cinnamon and nutmeg scented applesauce for fruit leather!

Leaves to rake.  Beads to pack up.  Violin to be practiced ( a lot! )

I do love the violin so very much and pleased that I’ve begun to learn.  Learning is a rocky road, I struggle with a lot but it is so satisfying to make the strings sound a bit more like some kind of music and not a screaming cry for help!!!

🙂


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My garden is so good to me and I love a cup of Yorkshire Tea!!

Thanks to the recent mild weather, raspberries are still growing in the garden.  The first frost date is due the beginning of November and so I’m enjoying this beauty.

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Sweet little JaneE Kat is nibbling on some grass .. in the sunshine of the afternoon.

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Sweet Robin atop the wild and crazy tree .. which has let go of the leaves and they now scatter the ground below .. I’ll sweep them up with my homemade bamboo broom which works so very well.

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On Friday I gathered some more beans and little tomatoes (which I will dehydrate and powder .. ready to flavour winter soups and things) .. Some Kentucky Wonder and Spanish Musica beans also, for drying.  There are still quite a few pods on the vines which I will pick later.   For sharing and for the next garden.sat-07

Tiny little squash growing away ..there are a few scattered throughout the yard and I’ll harvest them soon.  Started late and really I’m surprised that these even grew!

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Loving this real garden art by Mother Nature!sat-08

And yesterday, I was so sure that there weren’t any more beans left .. but .. look at this!   My garden is so generous.  Plus a few kale leaves and another little tomato!!   I’m almost afraid to look again as I have a feeling there are yet more beans hiding away in the bean forest!sat-15

Friday skies .. fluffy cumulus clouds sedately dancing away .. how I look forward to being up there again …sat-11

Sometimes .. you just don’t need words …sat-10

You are so beautiful …. to me …sat-09

This will provide a lovely addition to a meal!  I’ll save some of the seeds for next year, if they are mature enough.sat-03

Sweet woodruff .. this lovely ground-cover spreads so easily.  I used to use them in one of my potpourri mixes.   Lovely vanilla scent when the leaves are dried.sat-02

Time for more treats!  She literally runs across the grass and settles on this little wooden bench when she sees me nearby … what a darling little girl is my garden kat!sat-17

I happened to look up at this part of the garden and realized that, perhaps I do have an eye for balance in the garden.  I had not intentionally placed the watering containers and bird baths in any particular order at all and so was pleasantly surprised by this symmetry. To the right is the wild and crazy tree.  The pear tree graft had long ago died and I had chosen one of the resulting branches of the root stock to grow and this is the result.  It is tall and helps to add privacy and a place for all the birds to perch in.  And all those leaves will be swept up today, to be used as mulch for the perennials.  At one time, the leaves bore the dreaded pear tree trellis rust, but good nutrition got rid of this.  (seaweed, EM, llama manure).sat-13

This is my lovely tea caddy, a gift from a good friend who went back to Jolly Old and brought me this tin!    I’ve seen on fb that this is no longer available and YT isn’t sure when more will be made so it is even more special (if that is at all possible).   I love this tea and here is the website for Yorkshire Tea  – it is beautiful, witty and you must visit it and have a good laugh at the videos!!

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I have to accept that summer is truly over and the frost is coming.  So today I will spend outside, dismantling what temporary structures I have made in the garden.

And today I will plant my garlic so it will have a chance to start roots in advance of the winter time.  This year I will plant them all in containers .. ready to move when the time comes.  Another garden to be created in another location.

Today is a beautiful and sunny day – a perfect day to spend outdoors with a few mugs of strong Yorkshire tea!

🙂


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The beauty of nature and the magic of the garden …

One of the zillion positive items from Cannor Nursery!   Does your mind boggle at the thought of all the happy activities that can constitute a day?  And with joy and abandon?  :)

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Jane E Kat knows!  She’s perched on her little bench, awaiting yet more treats and .. at the same time .. being, oh, so cool!  She does that very well.

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Last Saturday we went to the Beachhouse (a most wonderful, fantastic and amazing restaurant that you will ever find! )   The food is divine.  Service is sublime.  And the view .. well .. breathtaking.  Here is the website:  web site

We were so very lucky to get a window seat!  A great storm was predicted and we were looking forward to seeing the waves!  We weren’t disappointed.  The trees on the beach were waving wildly  …

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And the waves were steadily getting wilder!   Note .. this isn’t a shark fin .. it’s a branch or something.  🙂  🙂  :)

mon-16The waves were a constant .. and slowly building to a crescendo … (what is a crescendo, anyway,🙂   )  sounds veddy dramatic, dahling …

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So ..  back home .. today (Monday) was rainy, rainy, rainy.  And that was so fine with me .. finally .. a day where I can focus on indoor stuff.   But, again, the sun came out .. so JaneE Kat and myself went outside.  I added more food to the bird feeders, gave JaneE some treats and then ventured around the yard to see how things were going.  The leaves of a blueberry plant caught my eye.  They looked to be so strong, so textured, so beautiful.mon-20

And this hot pink geranium flower bore the droplets of the recent rain and they were just so pretty …mon-10

The skies overhead were so joyous and free .. mon-13

It was a joy to see these clouds after the grayness of the day …

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I looked around at my potted plants and saw this self seeded Tomatillo …I grew them a few years ago and the seeds are in the compost, scattered about the yard.  They started rather late this year and I didn’t expect to see any fruits.  The flowers are dainty and good for the bees.  And the pods are just so pretty and graceful.

So I was quite surprised to find this tomatillo fruit on the ground .. positivity .. I will dry the seeds and plant them early next late spring/early summer!

mon-08

Perfect place to put my mug of Yorkshire Tea whilst I am looking for pretty things in the garden .. right???  :)mon-15

Ah .. love in the garden .. these two Kentucky Wonder beans are intertwined and look so happy .. such is the wonder of the magic of the garden!mon-14-2

Most darling Bewick Wren in the wild and crazy (Pear stock) tree!  I think this is the baby!!  So happy to see this one!mon-06

The male Downy Woodpecker .. I ran out of suet, so sorry!  But he still likes the sunflower seeds!  (and thank goodness, these are still non gmo!!!)

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One more sunflower for the road!  I have noticed that the birds prefer the unshelled sunflower seeds and avoid the more expensive shelled sunflower seeds!  So I won’t be buying any more of the more expensive shelled types!

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And the lovely Gold Crowned Sparrow .. I love their songs and welcome them to the yard for the winter!!!

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And yet more beans from the bean forest!  I’ve been dehydrating them for winter soups and stews .. what fun!!!

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The weather here in Victoria has been a delicious mix of sun and rain.  I love both so either one gives my joy.

With the rainy weather, my choices of activity are diminished  .. from “playing outside” to “playing inside” my options are clear and easy.  ( for a Libra this is great)

So, seeing the rainy exterior, I had settled in for a lazy interior day.  Then the sun came out and I would have been a crazy fool not to have gone outside.   So that is where I went.

And filled up the bird feeders.     Picked beans from the bean forest.  Gazed at the birds.  Watched Jane E.   Looked up high at the overhead sky.

Soaked up the beauty from the skies ( oh, my) and just enjoyed the heck out of being outside.

🙂

 


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Miranda Esmond-White .. Amazing …

Ok .. I discovered the magic of Miranda Esmond-White last year.  I’d become quite a follower of her exercise regime.

All of her exercises make so much sense as you will see during this video.

The name of this exercise has changed from “Classical” to “Aging Backwards” to  “Essentrics” .. all the same, though.

Here is a link to a YouTube video, wherein Miranda explains her techniques:

It is not that I want to remain “young” .. no .. I love and am grateful for each year that I have.  What attracted me about her exercises is that I feel so much better!    And what is “young” anyway?  A newness?  Then I’m young forever!!  :)

Her programs are a joy to follow .. she is upbeat, the shows are recorded in tropical locations and we see beautiful oceans, birds, scenery.

The  music is constantly changing and energizing.

She is so very positive and cheerful.

I laugh and cry when the exercises are tough.  (just kidding, I don’t cry!)  :)

She employs a variety of regimes, Yoga, ballet, Tai Chi and it is never boring.

Best thing, the programs last only 23 minutes, but they are multi-movement stretches and exercises and it is equal to an hour.

Never boring.  Always positive.

I’m posting because my friends are tired of me going on about how wonderful these exercises are.

So I’m posting and I hope that someone out there gives this a try.

You will love all this positive energy .. I know that I do!!

🙂


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Cheerful photos from those hot summer days.. to enjoy on this rainy day!

Sometimes .. there is a period when time seems to stand still .. and then it speeds up and before you know it .. a season is over and another one has begun!

Spring and Summer are like that for me.  One moment I’m all excited, planting flower & veggie seeds.  Watching them all sprout and grow.  Enjoying the enchantment of each living thing becoming what is what meant to be.  This is magic.  The long hot sunny days blur into each other, becoming an endless series of wonder.

Then the seeds, having grown into their potential, give us a plentiful supply of food, nutritious and delicious.   I’m still excited but becoming more grateful and appreciative.

Here is a spring photo of a Swallowtail Butterflying sipping at the nectar of the Budleia.  This plant I hadn’t pruned for years so it was massive.  After the flowers had finished, I cut it back thoroughly.  I know that it will again grow tall with many flowers for the butterflies next Spring.  These plants are amazingly resilient!

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Darling little JaneE Kat .. enjoying a peaceful siesta in the sun ..thurs01

A very hardy Clematis flowers over a little arbour in the garden .. the butterfly is enjoying taking a little rest on a flower .. how  beautiful and delicate this all is.   This Nature.  thurs-20

The first batch of peas ready to pick .. they were delicious!thurs-07

Dainty pea flower growing away … I hadn’t noticed before the graceful designs in the flower and now I see how gentle and magnificent this is.thurs-06

About 4 or 5 years ago, I’d planted some bamboo .. and had encircled the root system with heavy grade garden plastic.  Happy to see that this barrier worked to keep the bamboo well within this wrap and didn’t spread along the fenceline.  It was very easy to just lift the plant from where it was and then I divided it into sections and replanted them in large pots – to be replanted another day.  And I believe that this is the “clumping” type of bamboo, not the runner type.thurs-03

During the summer I participated in a few craft markets and here are some wine charms that I made for a customer.   I have many interests, thus many types of crafts, too many, perhaps.   I need a store!!thurs-05

A Spotted Towhee perches atop the wild and crazy tree.  Later he sang a lovely song ….here is a link where you can find all details of this sweet  Towhee  thurs-11-2

Hot pink geraniums in the yard …thurs-11

Hey .. more treats for me??? (of course, sweetie, all you want!)  My darling Garden Kat.thurs-08

The robust  bees love the Budleia too!  thurs-12

Wildflowers in a field … thurs-13

Translucent rainbow spheres of mystical delicacy waft towards the mountains .. are these tiny transportation orbs for the fae that dwell nearby?

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Majestic mountains .. I look forward to flying up there next spring!  My DH will be at the controls of the PW-6U and I’ll be all comfy, settled in .. happy to be soaring skywards!!thurs-14

The B-17 Bomber that visited the Victoria Flying Club in June of this year!thurs-09

During the lovely warm days of spring and the hot times in the summer, I love taking the photos of things that I love and never have enough time to stop and enjoy thoroughly.

Now is the time when I can relax, spend some time going through the photos, rediscovering all the beauty that flourishes everywhere.

And planning for next year.

Enjoying today.

Feeling a tremendous sense of satisfaction in my life and surroundings.

A great deal of appreciation, gratitude and joy.

Now .. time to go and check out my latest supply of apples, carefully prepared early this morning and distributed in the 6 trays of the dehydrator!    Treats for snacking and for sharing!

I feel like the little ant who worked so hard preparing for the winter and enjoying the process!

🙂