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...a glimpse into life on Vancouver Island, needle felting, photography, food, gardening, etcetera...etcetera
"Happiness always looks small when you hold it in your hands, but let it go, and at once you learn how big and precious it is."
Maxim Gorky

Saturday, May 18, 2013

No wonder...

Down below the porch, past the 'snow in summer'...
 something lovely is happening...
...the water lilies have begun to bloom!
I started with 1 plant about 7 years ago and each year a few more blooms come on...
...this year I've already counted 9 more buds plus these 3 that are in bloom...
I got right down to water level to see if I could find any frogs but didn't see any today.
What I did see was the feathery fronds of parrot weed...
Loads of honey bees loving the floating roots of one of the pond plants...
...and then I spotted this...
Do you know what it is?
Here, have a closer look...
This is the casing of a dragon fly nymph.
They can take 1 - 3 tears to hatch out of the water, climb up onto a leaf stalk
and slowly emerge out of this strange looking case.
It's called 'incomplete metamorphasis'.
They skip the pupa stage and go from egg, to nymph to adult.
Then they dazzle us all summer with their air acrobats on the iridescent wings of a fairy.
Isn't nature simply amazing!?
I wish I had seen it emerging.
Anyway back to the beautiful lilies...
It's no wonder artists have been smitten to paint these lovelies for thousands of years!
Of course some of the most famous...
Claude Monet.
Chinese Painting
Limoges platter.
This is one of my favorite images of all time...a painting by Charles Courtney Curran 1888...
So get out the paints, pastels or in my case, the camera!
Consider, the lilies!

Friday, May 17, 2013

Song for Friday...greatly appreciated!

I love when someone introduces me to new music and this
week did not disappoint!
I was cruising my blog roll and read Mairead's post on
a festival she had just attended with this group
on the roster...
Lovin' their sound...they remind me of a local group we have
here called 'Headwater'...check them out Mairead, I think you'll like them!
And thanks for the tip...must have been great to see The Eskies live!
Have a great weekend all!!

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Something new...

This year I bought Tom a little greenhouse for his birthday.
It's just a pop-up one that can be put away in the winter so we thought
we'd try something new.
Our weather never gets super hot and it most always cools down at night
so hot weather lovers like tomatoes, cukes, peppers and basil never really
do much in terms of production.
A friend of mine told me about a type of permaculture called
straw bale gardening...
Basically you soak bales of straw for about 3 days,
keep them moist and fertilize for about 1 or 2 weeks until the inside
of the bale has cooled down.
Wetting them like this starts decomposition of the straw and it heats up pretty good.
I fact when I stuck my hand down into one it was very warm.
Once they cool down, you dig a bit of it out and put a bit of soil in the hole
and plant your seedlings...
The bales keep moisture in so you don't need to water as much and after 2
seasons, you just cut the baling twine and let them rot into the ground.
You can even put them straight on concrete.
No need for bending down much.
Great for people in wheelchairs and those with mobility issues.
Here's hoping the experiment works!
I'll update periodically on the project.
For more detailed info here's a link...
Meanwhile....out in the garden...
things are bursting in bloom...
In fact my dark purple lilac is loaded with flowers this year... smells heavenly and bees, hummingbirds and even a little spider are all in on the action...
What a place to wake up in the morning!! A bed of lilac flowers!
Busy, busy, busy, I don't know where to start.
At least the bumbles are focused!
I keep having to hose off these little hornet nest starts since they all seem to want to be
in my glass house and this is not really an option...too close for comfort when they get big
and the hornets get territorial...
Anyway, the sun is out and so are the weeds, so off I's your garden growing?

Sunday, May 12, 2013

The dog ate my homework etc...

Excuses for being late...
I was innocently on my way to work when I spotted them...
...there they were, passively enjoying a misty mid-morning rest in the Woodside Farm field.
I only stopped for a minute or two to snap some photos...
Such domestic beauty was impossible to pass up and I found myself dodging
ditches, brambles and noxious broom just to capture but a few of the Jersey moods...
Before you knew it I was a tad late for work...just 5 minutes but Oh! so worth it!
“You were given life; it is your duty (and also your entitlement as a human being) to find something beautiful within life, no matter how slight.”
Elizabeth Gilbert