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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The Darling Little Bewick Wrens are setting up house again ….

The amazing Beaufort mountain range just outside of Port Alberni …We were up there recently and I took a lot of photos and decided this one was the fluffiest for posting!   So beautiful!

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Back at home, wandering around the yard with some sunflower seeds and suet for the birdfeeders (I only put out a little at each feeder) .. I noticed that there appeared to be a little nest being constructed in the old hang glider bag.  Some Bewick Wrens had built a nest there a few years ago, but abandoned it in favour of another location.   So here they go again.  I don’t know if these are the same pair or whether the young ones have found mates and are starting a little family.

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I’d noticed two of them perching in the dwarf weeping willow a few days ago  here is one and the other wasn’t far away.

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They are so very tiny and they were intently looking at something.  I found out today what had caught their attention!

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Our cat, JaneE, insisted on going outside ..when all I wanted to do was practice my fiddle for today’s lesson!   Guess who won out .. cause ya can’t argue with a cat.  In particular, a deaf, 22 year old princess who rules our household.   I noticed what looked like a straw bowl, resting bottom up on the lawn … curious .. I turned it over and see what I found!  A Bewick Wren nest .. and notice the yellow flowers from the dwarf weeping willow!!!

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All that very fine weaving in the construction of the nest!  I noticed a small piece of plastic film at the bottom of the nest … funny .. there was also a thin piece of plastic in the nest that I found a few years ago.  I wonder how long it took them to build this nest?  I carefully replaced it into the hangglider bag, tucking it in firmly, unsure as to whether they will return to this next or perhaps build another one?    This is so very precious, I feel honoured to hold something so fine, true nature.

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And this is from a few days ago, perhaps the little Bewick was continuing to search for fine items to build the nest!

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In another corner of the yard, the Downy Woodpecker is looking for food in the bark of the old apple tree.  Hard to believe that the tree can be termed old, when it just seems a few years ago that I planted it .. but it was over 30 years ago.

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Here is our little princess .. the ruler of our household!   Little JaneE Kat!! 🙂

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And little Squirrely came by.. searching for peanuts .. I threw a handfull of them around the yard.  And I chased them out of 2 of the bird feeders!!  The yin and the yang of it all.  Glad to see that this one is eating the peanut and not hiding them!

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A few days ago I went for a walk that lasted for at least two hours, it included a visit to Lifestyles Market where I filled two bags with healthy groceries .. they seemed to get a bit heavier as I walked along!   Anyway, I’d never paid attention to this street sign before and it would have been perfect for March 17!!

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It is now officially Spring!    And typical weather in Victoria is:  Sun, followed by rain, followed by sun … etc.,   Personally I adore the rainy days and find them to be comfy and relaxing.

There is a tremendous amount of tidying up to be done in the yard … I had the flue a few times and lost months of being able to do anything .. so now is the time to start at point A and work my way around the yard.  Accompanied with JaneE Kat, a few mugs of strong Yorkshire Tea and my music!   I love world music especially when in the yard .. and have lots of Nae Plans, with  Hamish Napier and Adam Sutherland to listen to .. over and over and over .. and also some new (to me) music by Kiran Ahluwalia …..

I look forward to spending a lot of time outside and have decided that I need to get up early so I can practice my fiddle for an hour at a time and then outside and then inside and then outside!  Whew, am getting tired already.

Well .. it’s Friday night and time to relax a little bit so that is what I will do!

🙂


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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?

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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 …

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Patience was rewarded.  Such a strikingly handsome bird.

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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!

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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!

🙂


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Wispy skies, Eagle in a tree, garlic is growing and happy is me!

Is there anything as wonderful as having a good friend to talk things over with?   Someone you’ve known for yonks and have shared information with and trust with your life?

Count yourself fortunate, lucky, wealthy beyond measure if you have a friend like this who will listen and not judge but just .. listen.

I was out walking with my long time pal a few weeks ago and enroute, we were totally discussing some very important life details when a lady  passing by us stopped us to point out the eagle in a tree beside the water.

Normally my eyes gravitate to these birds of prey but our conversation had taken precedence … so my friend and I stopped and looked out at the eagle.  I think this is the female and we saw her partner soaring the skies beyond.

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It was a wonderful day, an amazing walk and a very therapeutic talk and we then parted our ways … happy that we had solved any worries or concerns that each of us had.  Ready to start the day.  Me .. home to my garden to see what is happening and time to feed the little birdies.

Here is a photo of one of my (20?!!) containers of garlic.  A thick layer of oak leaves nestled around the green shoots.   Dreaming of the next batch of garlic scapes.  I’m a bit nervous as this is the first year that I’ve planted my garlic only in containers, not in the ground.  Fingers, toes and eyes crossed that there will be lots of garlic to share and to enjoy.

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Oh, little Squirrley!  I get so upset with you when you invade the new wooden bird feeder.   Then I scatter peanuts in the shell around the yard for you to discover.  All creatures have to eat especially in this cold weather.   And you do look cute, nestled in the wild and crazy tree!

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Yesterday I stood outside  in the cold, looking up at the blue skies … saw a few seagulls soaring a little thermal that wafted upwards.  Dreaming that soon I’d be up there too … flying amongst them.  With DH at the controls of the  PW-6 sailplane and me settled in all cosy in the back!

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With the New Year of 2017, I realized that I hadn’t made any “Resolutions” .. and then I remembered that I’d stopped all that years ago!   The pressure was off.  I long ago decided to just live my life as best as I can and then seize the opportunities when they arose.

Of course, we have control of our lives and make our own opportunities as best we can.  I promise to try to go through each day as effortlessly as these delicate wisps of clouds appear to be.   To enjoy every day and to fill each day with things that bring me joy!

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I have many interests so that is not a problem!!!

Seedy Saturday is fast approaching, just 6 more weeks!!!!!

My fiddle music is improving as I practise every day.  Feeling the enthusiasm and joy of capturing a tiny touch of the flow of the rhythm.    Happy that I am honouring my younger self by continuing to work hard and to enjoy this music.

Working on my study of the German language!  Until my lessons start, I am working with Duolingo which is an amazing way to study any language, I can guarantee you!

Playing around with my beads and creating bracelets, garden bling.

All sorts of creative endeavours in my lovely craft room.

Life is good.

I look up at the skies before returning to the warmth of the kitchen and see the faint outline of the moon up above …how ethereal and dreamy it looks …

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And as I am posting these pictures, I come across this photo I’d taken of some cider .. it was flavoured with honey – I loved the story behind the company  Ernest and it was appropriate to sip this in a glass decorated with bees.

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On with this day .. time to feed my little winged friends and that squirrel too!

🙂


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Sweet little visitors came to my yard …

Friday, February 13, 2015

As I typed today’s date .. I thought back to the last time that I blogged .. it has been months since I’ve done that.  And I just love blogging .. writing about things that happen in my yard, places I’ve visited around town and things like that.

And photos .. hundreds of photos of birds, nature, skies, ocean, beaches.  And visits to various places.

I do feel quite happy, creative and energized when I make the time to post some photos and express my thoughts, just letting them flow from my fingertips as they tap along the keyboard.  It is really a decadent pleasure, writing.  Having loved writing since I was a kid, I mostly wrote in my mind until I learned about blogging!

Having the discipline to write daily has opened up the dusty doors of my imagination and how exciting it is to let loose the treasure trove of thoughts that I’d kept hidden away.  My mind really feels like Aladdin’s Cave .. full of precious and sparkly thoughts.  What a delight it is, to read my thoughts at a later date.  I wonder sometimes, where the words come from.  And I do have to laugh sometimes at what I’ve written.

Anyway, I’ve decided to polish off that discipline and delve back into that treasure trove.  So today, I will show some photos of some lovely feathered friends that are in my yard.  Nesting in the tall trees that we planted over 30 years ago

Here is one of the Red-Breasted Nuthatches visiting a suet block.  They look like little bandits and they are often quite difficult to find because they are quick to fly away, preferring to stay hidden away.  So I’m quite happy when I see them and I don’t even breathe, while I click-click away with my camera.

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And there are quite a number of Chestnut-backed Chickadees.  They are clever little birds and chirp away when the feeders are empty, as a reminder that they need to be replenished

14There is a family of Downy Woodpeckers, this is the female, the male has a band of red at the back of his head.  They always announce their presence with their cheerful little chirps “here I am”.  The sound is similar to a Robin’s cheerful chirp, I think.

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Sweet little Bush-tits,  they are social little birds and always swirl their way into the yard.  A few months ago, I was outside, digging away in the garden and overhead flew the largest flock of them I had ever seen.  I was so enthralled by the sight that I didn’t even want to waste time getting my camera case open.  It seemed as if there were hundreds of these little Bush-tits flying over my head … straight through the yard and aiming for a tall tree in the front yard.

Yesterday, there were only a few and after they ate some suet, they took some time to groom themselves.

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I felt lucky to zoom in on some of them, they flit about so quickly it’s challenging to focus on them and take some photos!

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A healthy looking Robin was tucked away in the branches of an apple tree, seemingly content to just stay hidden away for a while.  He was there for quite a long time.

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He kept an eye on me while he sat there, surveying the yard.

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Just a few Bush-tits at a suet block.  The others were either perched nearby or in the midst of the tree, grooming themselves.  How very sweet they are.

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And I was so focused on getting a photo of the little Anna (upper middle area) that I completely did not see the Bewick Wren staring right at me!   What a surprise that was, when I looked at this photo!   Can you see it, almost in the middle of the photo .. tail feathers spread out in a fan shape.  There is a family nesting somewhere in our yard and I feel honoured to have them here.

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Some lovely skies a few days ago .. graceful sweeps of frothy clouds .. eye candy for the soul.
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Here is one of the Bewick’s .. lovely singer

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I was extremely fortunate to take more photos .. I think this one might be the baby, nearly grown now.  Their nest must be hidden away quite well .. these birds are very challenging to find.

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Little Anna, sipping away.  I must start making the nectar 4:1 soon, as the weather is quite balmy and they don’t need the 3:1 sugar right now.  Must do that tomorrow and clean and refill their feeders.

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A few weeks ago this hawk was settled into the wild and crazy tree.  Eventually he flew off.  Quite a beauty, isn’t he.

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Darling little Black-Crowned Sparrow.  Very distinctive.  I’ve heard a few Gold-Crowned Sparrows, but not many, yet.

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I don’t see this squirrel around much . .I think she is Squirrely’s daughter.  Love the white markings on her chest.

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Well… blogging is continuing.  I’ll share my Mason Bees adventures when they are put outside to hatch.  Right now they are snug in their container in the fridge’s crisper drawer.  Their house is all cleaned up.  And at the end of February or beginning of March (I am told) I can put the cocoons into the top drawer of their house and put them outside!

🙂


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More happy pics from a lovely frosty morning ..

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Yesterday was another beautiful sunny day!  And a busy one!   Went for my lovely long walk, taking various routes, walking as briskly as possible.  Breathing in the crisp fresh air .. sturdy walking shoes gripping the pathways along the way.   Started earlier in the day … fewer people out and about.  Lots of birds chirping.

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Frosty covered boardwalk … not slippery at all!  While on my walk, spoke with several other walkers who kindly warned me about slippery patches!  I was feeling so confident that I wouldn’t be affected.   And both times I thought this very thought .. well … I happened to be on icy patches and found myself gliding along and flailing my arms for balance.  Coincidence?  I think, perhaps, maybe.  So I stopped thinking about slipping and guess what!  It didn’t happen again.  The power of the mind!05

Saw the lovely Cormorant .. the one who escaped being the eagle’s lunch yesterday.  Noted that the Cormorant kept looking upwards at the sky.  Survival.  And he didn’t perch on the rail for grooming and he didn’t go for a flight .. at least while I was there.06

Love this stand of trees .. birches, I think.  Their silvery silhouettes were very striking and cool looking.07

Still waters .. watery reflections of the earthbound formations gazing down .. 09

And this Arbutus makes a willowy shapely form .. with the side branches outstretched, it appears that the tree is dancing very gracefully.

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Little birds quickly taking advantage of quiet to take a little drink of water .. so I stopped to let them enjoy a few minutes without interruption.

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This stately willow never gets tired .. always beautiful in rain, sun, all seasons .. magnificent.

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Here is the shadow me .. taking a photo of the shadowy bench .. talk about another dimension!12

Way up in the tree sits a little grey squirrel.   Softly nestled on a bed of moss, the branch is high enough to avoid close encounters of the human kind.13

Ok, he’s seen me and really wants me to continue on my way .. so he crouches down to wait till I do.14

Saw a flock of tiny birds feeding away at the little pine cones.  Their cheerful chatter was quite delightful as they frolicked about the branches .. eating delicacies.   Don’t know what kind of birds they area .. but very sweet.   Felt very fortunate to see them.15

Back home .. Mrs. Downy Woodpecker is nibbling away.  Don’t know what was in the air yesterday .. maybe the birds thought it was spring or something.  Noticed some huge Robins having flying altercations and tumbles in the trees.  Then I saw the Downy Woodpeckers going through a troublesome patch also.  Think there were 4 of them ….they seemed to choose a feeder then change their minds.  In the end, though, peace and quiet.16

Sigh …17

The bulbs are emerging … the weather has them fooled into thinking that spring has arrived.  No such luck.18

And here they are .. delightful little Bush-tits …. there are quite a few this year.  And I think that they are slowly getting used to me.  19

Love them …20

Wonder who is in the plane .. where is it going …

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The consensus is good for the new feeder.  03

And my garlic .. growing greens up through a very thick layer of ground oak leaves and seaweed….02

And on this note … that’s it for the day .. 01