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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Fiddle Music, Duck Tape and Silver Bugle Beads – They All Go Together!

This is what my violin case looked like … resting on a cupboard shelf for so many years when I finally moved it to my desk ..my fingers started the removal of the dust …

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And a microfiber cloth removed the rest .. now it is looking a bit more respectable.  I had purchased this violin from a friend, about 1996.  Started taking lessons from a variety of people .. always seeking instruction in French.  Finally found one teacher and we would speak French during the session while learning how to play some classical pieces.

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Finally .. I realized that I wasn’t understand the language of the violin so I gave up and put it on a shelf where I lived at the time.   When I moved I took it with me.    At various times I considered selling it ..  it had a few faults but was still playable.  Anyway, again, it rested on a shelf until DH suggested that I take up the fiddle again.   He knows how much time I was spending on my beads (let’s just say that I am a little obsessive about my beads!) and making garden jewellery and knew that if I spent as much time on the fiddle, I would be playing well!

He was right, of course.  And so I found the perfect teacher, who is a true teacher … one who knows how to translate the language of music  and make it understandable to all levels of students .. and my journey began last July.   It’s a rocky path but I’m not quitting.

Actually, my teacher is quite similar to my DH, who is uber-patient in explaining the theory of flight to make it more understandable.

Here’s a saying I found, many, many years ago – in my dad’s accounting book … the book was tucked away in a cupboard.  I needed to learn a poem for school, so was happy to find this jewel .. which I am applying to my learning how to play the fiddle:

“A diamond is only a piece of coal that stuck to its job, you see.  If it wasn’t for that piece of coal, where would the diamond be?”

So right now I’m a piece of coal, working my way to shine, in my best fashion, to be a diamond!  I’ll be the best piece of coal that there ever could be!

Anyway .. here is my fiddle case now!!  I used duck tape and look how beautiful it is!  Hey, my fiddle case is a diamond !!

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And here is the fabric that I wrap around my fiddle when I put it back into the case.  Notice the Paris theme?  sigh.

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And on the left, voila, my music dictation book from 1996!  I occasionally wrote lesson notes to myself on what I’d learned.  Then I saw this book in Michael’s .. it had a beige cover, however, I quickly changed that, with the help of coloured Sharpies, it is now transformed to a livelier status.  I even made a treble bookmark to keep with the musical theme.  Now I keep a daily diary of when and what I practice.   And the highs and lows so I will remember, later on, when I’ve improved little by little!

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And .. I can’t believe my luck sometimes, really!  I was shopping at Sears last week and found silver bugle bead sharp notes!!  Well, they are # signs from the Debbie Travis Christmas ornament collection, but to someone who is learning how to read music, they are sharps!   I bought a few, then raced back the next day, hoping the rest of them would still be there.  They were and so I bought them all up.  (not obsessive behaviour, right? )

G on the left (one sharp) and D on the right!  P1320092

A sharp!!!P1320093E Sharp!P1320094

And .. Yes … I have that many sharps .. plus a few more than that.   I’ll hang them outside in the sun, to sparkle and add brilliance to my garden.   Music and beads, they go together!  I also bought some “&” which I view as treble notes!

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Sun is shining, perfect day to work outside in the garden and plant some peas continue tidying up!

Oh, wait, first I will practice my fiddle and make another addition to my daily musical diary!

on y va!

🙂


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Blue skies from a few days ago and .. Crows in Trees!!

It is a rainy overcast morning here in Victoria .. but I have reminders of lovely blue skies from a few days ago.    This is like the underside of my favourite umbrella .. sombre exterior but underneath cheery blue skies .. that is why I like using that umbrella for long rainy walks!   It reminds me that the skies are not always gray .. although I like those too.  For long dreamy walks throughout the city.

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Ahhhh .. here is another one ..yummy!  Looks a bit like a mackerel sky developing on the right side.

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A few days I went for another walk with my exercise pals .. this time at Gyro Park.  But, instead of starting along the shoreline, we veered off to the left, to begin up and down hills on cement pathways.  Here are some lovely little Mallards settling in for the morning.  I must start to bring flattened oats with me to scatter for these little guys!

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One of the moss covered rocky little outcroppings that we climbed up.  This section was a bit slippery and I did a lovely graceful slide, the most important thing on my mind was to “not drop my camera!”.  Successful!  Yea.  And I continued onwards.

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A little pathway took us through this little wooded section.  Lovely to know these areas exist in our city.   Habitat for all kinds of little animals and birds.

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A few days ago I was outside, getting ready to go somewhere and noticed the incoming murder of Crows.  There are some great tall trees down the street, a favourite perch for the local Eagles, Hawks, Ravens and a myriad of other birds.   These trees overlook the valley down below, wherein lies the highway and Swan Lake Nature Sanctuary.  A vast array of bird life that provides us with the most interesting insights into their lives.  We are lucky.

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Quite often I’ve noticed that the crows have surrounded a Hawk or Raven in the trees.   The clever “hunted” stay hidden for long periods of time and sometimes make a dash for freedom.  It is quite challenging to be a robust raptor, one against many lesser birds in the food chain.   I couldn’t see if there was such a raptor tucked away in the branches and the placement of the crows reminded me of a decorated Christmas tree.

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Speaking of birds, here is one of my recently purchased feeders .. I like the open nature of this feeder, it allows a number of birds to feed at once.    And they can swiftly fly away without encumbrances.

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Well .. I was going to talk about violins and what I have learned in the past few days .. but there is so much I want to write about and time is flying by this morning .. I’ve decided to share that till tomorrow.

I am happily learning so much of what is going on and just want to share that.

🙂

On with this lovely day.

 


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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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The magic and joy of being in a garden never gets tired.

Fall is near and dear and the skies sometimes reflect this …

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The little birds are getting themselves ready to endure the coming cold weather so I help them out by putting small sections of suet and bird seed out for them

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I think this is a female Bush-tit .. sweet little bird ..

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It is still hit and miss to try and get a good photo of the Gold Crowned Sparrows .. love their songs ..

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There are a number of Nuthatches that visit the yard .. they like this feeder in particular.  I’ve spent a fair bit of $$ on good quality bird seed.  The birds aren’t impressed with the costlier hulled sunflower seeds and mostly just toss them out of the feeder.  So I won’t be buying that again!  They prefer to pick out the un-hulled seeds to take away with them.

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A geranium plant is preparing to unfurl a bouquet of lovely flowers …

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It almost seems like a New Year’s celebration with all the curling tendrils of the squash plants .. all we need are sparkling lights to add to the festive atmosphere.

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The rains began, sporadically, on Friday … yesterday the pattern continued, with interspersed spots of sun and visits by the wind.

I wandered outside … looking at the birds.  The word is out that there is extra food set out in the feeders so there are quite a variety.   A Flicker belts out his happy song from up above in the wild and crazy tree.  He is tucked away in the branches so I couldn’t get a glimpse of his beautiful plumage.   I’ll get a good look, though, in the upcoming season.  They can’t stay away from the suet!

The Gold Crowned Sparrows have returned during the past week ..their lovely songs warm my heart and I am so pleased they are back.

Despite the chilly weather, I just know that there will be warm and sunny days ahead.  Plenty of time for the hundreds of bean flowers to transform into juicy green beans.

This has been a most bountiful year for all gardeners and I’ve heard many excited stories of people trading their excess of fruit and veggies with others.  Happy stories.

Myself, I am quite content with my summer of growing beans, loving the beauty of the tall pole plants providing privacy, shade and food for our freezer (and juicer!).

Healthy plants, fed with seaweed, (unmedicated) llama manure and the powerful EM (effective microorganism) that I mix up.   Along with a sprinkle of rock powder, my garden soil has enabled all my plants to grow happily.

The cleaning up of the garden has begun and I have more to do .. potting up plants, moving them to one area of the yard so they will be easier to maintain.  Some pruning to be done, some clipping of errant branches and heavy cutting of larger limbs that seemed to have suddenly appeared.   That will be dh’s job as a chainsaw will be needed.  More sun to come in the yard.

Another year of gardening has flown by .. another year of magic.  Still amazed at the power of one little seed growing into massive plants that bear food for us to eat.  Timeless transformations.  It never gets tired.

There is much to be learned from a garden.

Tenacity.  Inspiration.  Patience.  Mysterious.    Joy.  Happiness.

Just to name a few.

 

🙂

 

 


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Out for a walk … and I saw some lovely dogs!

Sunday, November 4, 2012

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It’s been a busy and fun time in my life during the past few days.

Besides focusing on decluttering, I’ve gone for a lovely walk to the Swan Lake Nature Sanctuary.   Participated in our first field trip in the Ecological Landscaping course.  Enjoyed seeing (and talking with!) some sweet dogs.  And other daily things.

I had decided to go shopping and combine this with a walk a few days ago.  Made up a list and even remembered to bring it with me!  Enjoyed the calming beauty and tranquility of the Sanctuary.   Not many Mallards out .. nor seagulls .. guessed that might translate into the close proximity of the local eagles .. even if I couldn’t see them.

Continued on to the shops .. chose my purchases .. reached into my bag and .. oh, no wallet.  Great time to remember that I’d changed purses the day before and neglected to transfer my wallet into this bag!  Oh well .. I returned home, to fetch that and enjoyed the long walk anyway.

Noticed a flock of Canada Geese visiting our neighborhood .. this was a first.   They have been displaced from their usual field across the street.  That place that is becoming a mini-city block of ugly highrises that none of us wanted.   So now they have to find a new area to rest up before they begin their long flight south for the winter.

I know many people don’t want the geese in their golf courses and fields.   I admire their beautiful markings, their proud stance and their innocent lives.  They are nature.   I wish them well on their long flight and knowing that they mate for life, I also wish them good safe flights.

I’ve been lucky enough to meet with dogs as I go my way walking in the neighbourhood and along the beaches.  There was Hunter, the big gold lab that I saw yesterday .. I approached him gently, after asking his doggie mom if I could pet him .. and so I gently stroked his head and down his back and added that special little massage at his back, above the tail.  He really liked that.  And his owner sincerely expressed surprise that he allowed me to do that, as he really didn’t let people approach him.  She was serious about that .. so I felt honoured and mentioned that I really miss my dogs .. and she said that Hunter must have sensed that.

Then there was little Misha, sweet with her little pink collar and leash.  She looked up at me so trustingly and smiled …. what a darling.

And Rocky and Alex .. the handsome English Bulldogs that I met in our neighbourhood … very gentle and patient dogs!
Lucky me to have met these wonderful happy beings!