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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Oh I Wonder Where the Bewick Wrens Will Build Their New Nest? And .. Loving the Spring Flowers in the Garden!! Also, Speaking With a Friend is Very Helpful At Times, Don’t You Think???

The darling little Bewick Wrens .. their beautiful nest has been blown out of the hangglider bag twice already … so now they are building another nest somewhere in the yard.

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Last week I walked down to the Compost Center for a workshop .. loved the long walk and enjoyed the blossoms along the way .. here they are on Blanshard Street.  Spring is definitely here.

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And I’d just finished crossing at the lights, passed this and had to walk back and take a photo ..love these graphics!

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Back at home .. wandering around the yard, re-discovering some beautiful plants that I’d purchased last fall .. I’d always wanted a Hellebore and had forgotten this one!   Darling little plant .. I will put this one in a colourful pottery container!

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Muscari flowers .. tiny little bulbs that I’d placed in some pots last year .. flowering away like mad.  Diminutive but powerful in their graceful beauty.

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And the Salmonberry plants are bursting forth in bud and flower!

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Another of the many things that I love in this life .. is imagining that tiny little beings, faeries, dwell in the garden.  If this were so, then these Salmonberry flowers would be perfect for them to use as tiny hats, don’t you think?  Imagination is a fun thing.

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Lovely blue skies with dreamy white clouds gently painted over.  We’ve had some massive skies recently .. gigantic cloud streets of enormous white cumulus entities soaring overhead.  This photo isn’t from one of those days.   I could only look at those skies .. my camera lens isn’t big enough to do justice to those skies.    These I can handle!  🙂P1320071

Tenacity of growing things!  These little plants rested all winter and now are growing up through the burlap-lined pathways in the veggie patch!  The burlap will disintegrate and I have more to place on top of them for this year.

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The rose bush at the side of the house is sporting new growth .. this is a tenacious and lovely rose!

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I’ve been a bit reluctant to get back into my gardening – spending time on practicing my fiddle – it has become my new focus, temporarily replacing my love of gardening, beading, sewing, drumming!   After all .. there are only so many hours in the day.

Time passes so quickly .. I looked at my little music notebook recently .. I’d begun taking lessons in 1996!    Then my violin stayed hidden in its case for many years until I dusted it off last July and began again with a new teacher!

And I’ve been changing a few things about my violin accoutrements.. but more on that tomorrow.

Today I am happy because:

  • procrastination overcome and I’ve blogged again!
  • I’ve just spent a huge chunk of time talking with a friend about priorities so have set some for myself.  It’s a good exercise and I feel energized already.   Have you ever noticed that, sometimes, when things are weighing a bit on your mind and you could really use a friend to talk it over .. that friend appears in your life?
  • Because of this I’ve decided to “step back” a bit and spend more time on what really fills me with joy.  And tomorrow I will blog about that!
  • It is still Saturday morning and I’ve realized that Camosun College is hosting a plant sale at Royal Rhodes so why am I still in my jammies and not in my jeans, in the car, racing to the plant sale?  Just give me 5 minutes and I’m on my happy little way!
  • and finally .. I am happy .. just because  (cause ya don’t really need a reason!)

🙂


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A glimpse into the world of Violins and music ..and I didn’t know that the Zaghareet is a sound of joy (must be why I love it!)

Music is everywhere around us and always has been.  When life is busy as it normally is, then it is challenging to take some decadent time to just stop and listen.  For forever I have loved instrumental music and for forever those magical sounds have transported me away to beautiful places of colour and sound that just didn’t exist in my real surroundings.

I’m trying to remember when I first heard music and how it affected me .. maybe it was just always.  Growing up “way back then” music wasn’t around us as it is nowadays and so I am grateful to be living in these times when it is everywhere.

Mystical Persian type music with the sparkling and tapestry bejewelled notes seems to be the type of music that seemed full of promise and magic.  At least that is how I now remember it.

During the age of the Beatles, we were introduced to the seductive sitar- what a treat! Thanks to George Harrison, who was my most favourite Beatle.  What an age that was.  And Ravi Shankar!!!!!!!!  Just checking my IPod and I have 3 of his cd’s in my library.  I plan to treat myself to a few more in the New Year ..

I’ve been having fiddle lessons now for nearly 5 months, off and on and sometimes I have a little chuckle, checking my notes from the beginning.   Seriously writing where to place my left hand on the strings, how to hold the violin, hours spent trying to bow properly.  I’ve gone through the aches and pains and now, am still learning, but my focus has  moved on and some of those beginning efforts are now ingrained and I don’t even think about them.  That is just progress.  Focus changes.

Anyway, I was trying to tune my fiddle a few nights ago and broke my first string.   It was my D string.   Something I’ve dreaded and did my best to avoid. My heart broke when I looked at my fiddle, only 3 operative strings.  The store was closed so I couldn’t just hop in my car and drive there to buy one.  And .. I was having a great old time practicing, over and over, the tunes that I am learning.  So, picture me sad. 😦

The next day, I’m at Larsen’s Music on Cook Street, buying a new set of strings, having the most wonderful and interesting chat with the young lady, M.   The conversation started with my comments on the beautiful fiddles that were displayed in the glass case in front of me and also the fiddles on the walls.

Which reminds me of Itzak Perlmann’s comment on (I think, The Fiddlers House) that you could tell how many people lived in a house by the number of fiddles on the walls.  I couldn’t fathom at the time how wonderful this would be.   Hmm .. I think that I will treat myself to some more of his cd’s, plus Yo You Mah!!

http://www.itzhakperlman.com/   Such joyous music.

Anyway, I learned that there are Makers/Luthiers who actually make violins locally.  This information is something that I am sure all musicians were fully aware of and so it is nothing new.  But to me, a novice, I found it extremely interesting as I learned of some of these wonderful people.  Oh, wouldn’t it be fun to spend a few hours talking to them!

The violin on the left was made by Laura Wallace (who used to work at Larsen’s)  Laura Wallace

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This violin, below, on the right, was created by Galen Hartley, who used to work at Larsen’s and who now lives in France!!  Galen Hartley

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For the serious violinist:

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More lovingly crafted violins …dec2315

I also learned that there are locally handcrafted violins, bows and guitars by Robert Anderson, of Victoria:    Robert Anderson

Finally, there is a local artist who creates guitars and ukulele’s!!  Steve Doreen

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More interesting worlds to delve into!

Formerly, I just thought that these instruments were cellos.  Not so.  Cellos are smaller, the musician is seated .. these Base are much bigger .. the artist stands.  That is it (for the moment) for my knowledge on this subject.  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Violin_family – from this brief glimpse on wikipedia (there are many more sites on the subject) I’ve learned that “The violin family of musical instruments was developed in Italy in the 16th century.[1] At the time the name of this family of instruments was violas da braccio which was used to distinguish them from the viol family (violas da gamba).[2]The standard modern violin family consists of the violin, viola, cello, and double bass

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Sigh ..so much music … so beautiful.

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My fiddle is tuned up, I had another lesson yesterday, and am making progress.

A few days ago I was at a house party full of musicians .. it was an annual event and I was happy to go to my first ever Winter Solstice.  Thinking that there would be lights and bells involved, I brought along a few strings of tiny sparkling lights, intending to coil these around my head as I normally do (only at Christmas, mind!).  However, since there weren’t any people (besides the hosts) that I knew, finally decided to keep these in my purse .. it doesn’t do to make one’s personality shine to a house of strangers . .with friends, it’s ok .. but .. sometimes it’s better to just dial down a bit.

I did bring out my zills, though, and my jingly horse sleigh bells and couldn’t resist some zaghareets and folk dance yips.   That part of me was impossible to squelch.  So I was a little bit outragous among strangers, but I figure, they don’t know me and who cares.   My friends know and accept my natural idiosyncrasies .. however .. strangers would just, umm .. perhaps, not understand my silliness.  🙂

And something I just learned about zaghareet is that it is used to express joy and happiness.  I just find it energizing and full of positivity.   Here are some videos that I’ve just found that show a variety of Zaghareets .. I would easily fit in at these gettogethers and feel totally at home!!

 

Well, now I’ve shared a tiny bit of new information and the day is progressing .. perhaps I will go and practice my fiddle.

🙂

 


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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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Happy photos taken during the sunny spring …..great memories and more to come! Yippee …

I was going through some photos that I’d taken during the year and the sweet memories started popping up .. my visual diary of happy days and things seen during my daily life!

Saw this sign posted at a garden shop and it pretty well sums up my gardening life when I’m out in the world, away from my garden!    I’m a magnet for perennial plant sales.

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From last spring .. beauty in all things ..frid-05

Cannors Nursery at the Sears Mall .. loving the decadence of their whimsical decorations.  Course I would never ever do that to my violin!!  🙂  This one looks like it has had a lot of adventures, wonder where it was played, by whom and what lovely music has been made when it was being used for its true purpose?  Did it go travelling or just stay in town?  Did the owners love it to death and practice every day?  So many questions.  Still, I like that it is a focus of the garden area.

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Last spring, Gold Crown Sparrow resting near a blue Camus flower – at Fort Rodd Hill.

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Miners Lettuce at Fort Rodd … lush and beautiful.  Great for snacking on .. .or make a salad .. lots of natural nutrition ..frid-03

Darling JaneE Kat .. sitting on the back stairs, her favourite catnip plant right beside her, ready for nibbling on ..frid-06

Salmonberry blooming away .. these plants are easy to propagate, grow quite tall and are very resilient.  The orange berries are tasteless and I think the birds love them as I rarely find any to munch on when I go searching.  That’s all right by me!   More food for them.   I do love the flowers though.frid-07

Sweet little baby Bewick Wren .. elusive little bird and happy to be able to get a quick photo.  They are nesting somewhere in the yard.frid-08

A few seconds later, he was perching on a branch of the apple tree .. listening to his parents calling and soon flew away.  Love these precious moments in the garden.frid-09

Delicate Rock Rose flowers …frid-10

Diminutive little flower growing along the ground ..frid-12

.. and a tiny little winged creature is dining out on an early Saturday morning in the sun ..frid-13

Magnificent Beaufort Mountain Range  and the stately clouds adorn it like a crown, how very fitting!frid-11

And so DH sweeps us away up to the clouds in the dear blue skies above … flying in the PW6-U …frid-23

Woo Hoo .. this is living …. miss this and looking forward to the spring when we can go flying up there again .. and again .. and again …frid-20

Travelling in the air is so magical .. it is truly another world and I am so very happy that DH takes me away to this special place .. Let’s see .. garden .. sky .. garden .. sky .. oh I have the best of both mystical and magical worlds I am so lucky!frid-20-2

Here is a great explanatory interview of the  PW6-U   The Pawnee is the tow plane, they were used for crop dusting years ago.

And this is truly .. truly .. so beautiful … enjoy this beautiful flying video, it captures the essence of ..sailplane flight up in Port Alberni … my most favourite video ever ..so perhaps you can see how magical this flying is and why I love it so much.

Anyone can go on a Scenic flight and have a taste of what it is like to glide high in the skies at the Beaufort Mountains ..

Sigh …

The fall winds have started and the leaves have started to rain down to the ground.  A change in scenery, wild and free.

I’m looking forward to going outside to see how the bean forest is doing .. and today will start leaving out a little bit more seed and suet for the birds who visit.  Yesterday I saw my first Junco so I’ll start leaving out the flax seed that they love.

The baby birds hatched this past spring will soon be experiencing their first winter.  I know that they are wild birds and will survive.  However, I can’t resist a little picture in my mind, of knitting them the tiniest of little scarves and sweaters from silky spider webs to keep them warm!

They will survive.  And I will support them by ensuring that I keep their feeders clean, give them good seed mixes and make sure there is a steady supply of water, even when the temperature goes down.

Well … time to go and start this day!!!

🙂


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Musical Spanish Musica Beans, tasty tomatoes and inspiration from the garden (yet again!)

So here is a photo of one section of the area beside the house that I recently renovated – neat and tidy when I first did this area and over the years overgrown with bluebells, morning glory and fallen leaves & rose petals.   Refreshing, really, to see it tidy once again.   A lot more to go before it is finished, but inspirational to have tidied it up thus far!  And again, motivational and meditational.  05

And you know that good ole saying “stop and smell the roses” .. well I did!  This rose bush is old, I planted it about 30 years ago.  Don’t remember the type, but it does have a faint scent.     Bonus, it grows like crazy and doesn’t need much water at all …. I suppose because the roots are so deep.

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Love surprises in the garden .. yesterday it was this delicious little tomato!

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Kale growing all over the yard and letting the seeds go to ground for more plants for the winter!01

Spanish Musica seeds growing like crazy.  Kinda funny that this one resembles a musical note and I’m learning how to read music!

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I thought these were dry beans until I read what type they are.  Turns out that they will be delicious when harvested young like this.   And, as it is never too late to learn and undo a cooking habit .. yesterday I discovered (online) that beans are best  when placed in a large pot of boiling, slightly salted water and cooked for only 3 minutes, then tossed with butter.

And there are many other ways to finish off the beans but this suits us fine.  Nice and simple.  Although I may toss them with tiny tomatoes & slices of garlic from the garden.  Quite a change from the insipid way I had been preparing them – placing beans in a small pot with cold water which I then brought to a boil .. resulting in all the goodness being cooked out of them.  Never again!

DH loves them the new way which is great as I do not plan on freezing my crops of beans ..just plan to enjoy them every day!

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Tenacity of the squash .. quite pretty and very strong.   I look forward to seeing the squash when they start to appear on the plants!

Absolutely stunning are these plants in the light of the sun .. all from a little seed .. fascinating and humbling …nature has it all ..

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This year has been a bumper crop of fruit.  Here, one of the plum tree’s branches was so heavily laden that it cracked and broke .. I cut away most of the wood but this branch remains and will be removed later.  See the new growth from the branch?   Resilience, strength, renewal.

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Another surprise squash .. seems to be many of them in the garden .. nice one!12

And of course .. the tendrils are reaching out for support, beginning with the surprise sunflower.

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Some flowers on “my favourite bean” .. these grow in a group of four, and each one takes their turn to commence on the next step to create a bean.  A bean a day!

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And finally, the Spanish Musica bean .. online, the length of the vine is purported to be 6 to 7 feet.  These are at least 15 feet and still growing .. reaching out for support.  I’ll climb the ladder this morning to try and train them to grow on a neighbouring tree.  Inspirational?  You betcha!

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Time to finish household stuff, practise my violin, and then will literally run outside to enjoy the day.  It is a bit overcast today so it will be fun to get things done!