Tuesday, December 29, 2015

First Dump of the Season

 Today we are having our first snowstorm.  Already about 4-5" have fallen, and we are expecting another 4" this afternoon.  It feels good to get some snow.

 The old plants have snowtops on them.

The dogwood's colour is accentuated by the snow.

A few days before Christmas this was the scene at a small ski hill.  The snow-making machines were able to make enough snow on one run for people to ski.  The visibility is a bit low, but then you can't see the green grass at the bottom of the hill.

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Merry Christmas

Best wishes everyone this Christmas season.  May you all have excellent company, delicious food and hear wonderful music.
Our joyful chaos if about to begin with the first arrival this evening:)
Actually two dogs arrived last weekend so I guess it has already started.
Still hoping for a little snow for the grandkids to play in.

Sunday, December 20, 2015

I Heard the Bells



I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day
Their old familiar carols play,
And wild and sweet the words repeat
Of peace on earth, good will to men.

I thought how, as the day had come,
The belfries of all Christendom
Had rolled along the unbroken song
Of peace on earth, good will to men.

And in despair I bowed my head:
"There is no peace on earth," I said,
"For hate is strong and mocks the song
Of peace on earth, good will to men."

Then pealed the bells more loud and deep:
"God is not dead, nor doth he sleep;
The wrong shall fail, the right prevail,
With peace on earth, good will to men."

Till, ringing singing, on its way,
The world revolved from night to day,
A voice, a chime, a chant sublime,
Of peace on earth, good will to men!

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Friday, December 18, 2015

Tired of Brown

 I know there are many upsides to the mild weather we have been having -clear roads, less heat for our houses, fewer layers of clothes required, etc.  But I am getting really tired of brown.

 So here is a bit of colour for any of you who may also be feeling blue about the brown.


Chin up folks, spring will come again!

 Buy an amaryllis and bring some bright colour inside.


In three days, the days will be getting longer.  Yeah!


Would some sugar help?  No, best to just bury my nose in a seed catalogue :)

Friday, December 11, 2015

Lavender Tree

I really like lavender but our climate is not very suitable for growing it outside (I've tried a few times unsuccessfully).  Our local grocery store had some trimmed to look like a miniature Christmas tree. Just what I would like for Christmas!
So I suggested that I buy it as an early Christmas present for myself, and here it is, adorned with mini ornaments that I picked up at the Dollar Store. The tag says not to eat it so I assume it has been sprayed with some noxious chemical, but it still smells really nice.  Hopefully, I can keep it going as a houseplant.

Sunday, December 6, 2015

Snowflakes

We are having a very mild beginning to December, and the ice on the puddles and ditches has thawed as daytime temperatures are above zero.  It is an el nino year so we may have a mild winter all round.
I remember one year in the early eighties when we had hardly any snow and the rhubarb sprouted in February. Mind you, it did cool down again in March.
So will we have a green Christmas? It has happened before. Most people are enjoying the delay of the snow.  About 4-6" over the holidays would be just right.

I came across some wonderful photos of snowflakes by Don Komarechka. He has compiled 400 different snowflake images into one very beautiful print.  Check it out at www.petapixel.con/2015/12/04/this-snowflake-photo-took-2500-hours-to-create

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Starting with K

 Kale is not my favourite vegetable but I keep growing it because it's the only veg I can still pick in December.  What a stalwart!

I've been knitting.  Neck warmers in particular.  This one is knit with a yarn that has a bit of angora mixed with baby alpaca and fine merino wool -very soft, and stretchy.


The blue bottom of this one is a blend of acrylic yarn and mohair.  I thought the mohair might be a little scratchy on the neck, so the upper part is plain acrylic.  On a cold day, the upper part can be flipped up to cover your chin.

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Fireworks

video
The nearby town of Alexandria had some fireworks tonight to kick off its Festival of Lights.
Here is some of the show with occasional commentary and faint bagpipes in the background.

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Shells

 Some pictures of a few shells I bought in PEI.






















Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Angora Blend Hat and Mitts

When I was in Cape Breton, I stopped in at Baadeck Yarns, a lovely little shop in Baddeck.  I was on the look-out for some angora blend yarn, and they did have some, although in a limited colour range. I settled on this variegated yarn with mixed feelings about the colours, but as I knit with it, I started to like it more and more. I have a beige jacket so I think it will work fine with that.  The yarn is very light and soft - delightful to wear especially on the hands.

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Light Prevails

Psalm 23 (NIV)

The Lord is my shepherd
I shall not be in want.
He makes me lie down in green pastures,
He leads me beside quiet waters,
He restores my soul.
He guides me in the paths of righteousness
  for his name's sake.

Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow
       of death,
I will fear no evil,
For you are with me.


 Toujours dans nos coeurs.


Thursday, November 12, 2015

Dried Flowers


 Just picked a few bits and pieces outside.  I like the greyish green with the red.

 One of my hostas makes many black seeds that show up nicely against the beige outer covering.


This is from a ligularia. The fuzzy one in the middle is a cluster of seeds.  When they fall off, what remains looks like a brown daisy.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Strawflowers

 A little bit of summer to brighten up the day.







Strawflowers are easy to grow and their papery petals keep their colour for months.



Sunday, November 8, 2015

Chunky Afghan

I wanted a knitting project that would go quickly so I made this afghan out of very chunky yarn (acrylic/wool blend).  The needles were 15mm.  I've never knit with such big needles before, but it certainly made the process go quickly, and it only took about a week of casual knitting to get the afghan finished. I actually found it a bit awkward, though, using the extra large round needle so I probably won't use it too often.  Right now I am finishing up a pair of mitts in an angora blend. Angora is just the coziest for cold weather.

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Pointing the Way

 I know we are barely into fall, but I look at this "arrow" and say, "It's pointing to spring!"
 Winter is barely a hop, and then spring is back, right?

 Some nightshade berries looking tantalizing, but poisonous.

 Some high-bush cranberries that the birds will eat over the next while.

 The sun shining through some ninebark leaves.

 
 More nightshade making a lacy pattern over the rock.
The little chipmunks and squirrels are very busy these days carrying the hickory nuts to special places. The chipmunks are not as nervous as they should be for survival.  They are very cute and often stop to look at you as they gather dry leaves or seeds for their burrows.  We have some brush piles that they are cozy in. I'm hoping they won't be eating some new crocuses I planted.

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Sun In November

November - my least favourite month.
But today is sunny and mild, and this dandelion and hoverfly would like me to believe that it's spring.

Several woolybears were out and about soaking up the warmth before the winter hibernation.

The tamarack (larix laricina) trees are still a lovely yellow.

The needles are starting to drop, though, and, in a couple of weeks,  they will be bare.  The genus larix is the only one that has needles that drop off in the winter.

The cones look rather like cedar cones.

The branches come out every which-way.
The name Tamarack is Algonquin for "wood used for snowshoes" which gives a clue as to the usefulness of this tree.  The wood is durable , yet flexible.

Friday, October 30, 2015

House By The Ocean

Another photo of Inverness as I am still thinking about it.  Hopefully, we will get back there before too long. Click on the photo for full image.