Friday, January 30, 2015

Turkey Visitors

 I had a surprise visit from about 25 turkeys this morning.  They were attracted to the bird feeder and picked up the seeds that had fallen on the ground.  What strikes you when you're near a flock of turkeys is just how big they are.  Wouldn't want to be up close to an agry one.

Although the one to the right here actually has a friendly face.
 On the other hand, this one looks pretty no-nonsense

About five of them struck out on their own .
This one stopped for a rest.  It was pretty windy and  the feathers on her back are getting ruffled.

 Surveying the lay of the land.

 A turkey thinking.

The turkeys stayed for quite a while, but eventually I let our dog out and he chased them off.

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Bird Guide

Jacques Bouvier, an avid local birder, is compiling a gallery of birds of Eastern Ontario.
His site is His photographs are really excellent showing the birds from many different angles, resting and in flight.  He has photos of the common birds, but also some very rare ones to our area.  Take a look and send him a word of encouragement .

Monday, January 26, 2015

Turkey Dance and Other Moves

 In the winter, you get to see who has passed by more easily than in the summer.
A smattering of turkey prints.

 Possibly a mouse ran along the edge of the snowbank.

A deer trail into the woods crossed by a rabbit.

 More deer on a  multi-lane path.

This seems to be a  very popular route with different tracks criss-crossing along the way. Reminds me of an aerial view of a river delta.

Friday, January 23, 2015

Round the Corner

 Once we get to the end of January, I always feel like we have turned the corner on winter.  The days are longer, the sun a little warmer, and often the weather is more settled than earlier in the season.

 Earlier snow has bent some of the small trees and captured snow piles.

 Blue and white with a touch of green.

 Shapes and shadows.

 Lichen-like snow on water.

Why I would miss winter if I lived in a mild climate.

Monday, January 19, 2015

Blue Monday?

Somebody came up with the idea that the Monday of the last full week of January was the most depressing day of the year.  Not when you get a new Veseys  catalogue in the mail!The cover features a lovely pink veronica. I don't have a suitable place for that, but it is very pretty.
Let's look at some other plants inside-

A striking Siberian iris "Shaker's Prayer" is on my maybe list.  I do have a good spot for that.

 I know there are SO many hostas around, but I did like the way the lighter part of these leaves pops forward making each leaf look like a smaller leaf was lying on a larger, darker one.

 Another eye-catching hosta ("Humpback Whale")that not only is very blue, but grows to be very large.  Both hostas are tempting, but do I really need to buy another hosta or two when I can keep dividing the ones I have?
Some questions are never resolved.

Another pretty Siberian iris which is on the maybe list.

In the bargain section, I found "Pardon Me" daylily which I have been wanting for a while so I will likely buy it.  I already have two "David" phlox but they really are a superior plant so maybe I will get one more.  At $5, it's pretty cheap.
Veseys has a very good on-line catalogue ( if you don't get a hard-copy one.  Also at the end of the season, they have an on-line sale of the left-over items usually for 50% off. That's always worth checking out.
Happy dreaming!

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Winter Sky

 It was dull and damp today, but there was some nice light in the afternoon sky.


 Plane trails on the diagonal.

Settling clouds.

Sunday, January 11, 2015

It'll BeGrand

It'll be grand
To see and to know
The beautiful mystery.

It'll be grand
To have no more goodbyes,
To hold those I love

It'll be grand
To be home.

Monday, January 5, 2015

African Violet and Ice

 In the dead of winter, my African violet is blooming. What great little plants!

 This plant has been happy living on a south-facing windowsill for the last several weeks. As the sun gets stronger, I will move it back from the window so the leaves don't get burned.  In the spring and summer, an east window is ideal for violets.  Or alternatively, they really like being under a fluorescent growlight.

 I like the way the light is making the petals glitter like snow.
I fertilize African violets when they have begun to set bud with a good all-purpose liquid plant food.  I prefer Plantprod which has a lot of micronutrients in it. One is advised to water violets by placing the pot in a saucer of water for 20 minutes.  That is certainly the ideal way, but I am too impatient for that so I just carefully pour the water on the soil surface making sure I don't get the crown wet.  Watering about once a week in the dry winter months is the schedule I follow.  It's better to err a little on the dry side rather than wet with violets as they are prone to rotting.
African violets are easily propagated.  Break a leaf off at the base and stick it in some sterile potting soil.  If you use rooting hormone, the rate of success will be higher, but even without it most leaves will root  in moist soil.
As usually happens at this time of year, we have been having crazy temperature swings. It made for some interesting ice shapes coming off our metal roof.

On the porch railing, the snow melted down leaving behind a skeleton of ice.
Now we are in for a stretch of clear cold weather.

Friday, January 2, 2015

A New Year Begins

 After spending a few days with us, the grandkids and their parents went off on a holiday, and we were left in charge of their two dogs and this special egg that belongs to our grandson. I promised him I would take pictures of it while they were away as he would miss the "hatching".

And what is this breaking out of the egg?

 A bright yellow dinosaur.
One of the joys of having little kids around is that you get to enjoy their toys.

Our sons gave me a tablet for Christmas.  It wasn't on my wish list as I wasn't sure what I would use one for; however, I am finding that it does have some unique uses.  At the moment, one of the handiest features is that it is easy to read a book on it as I knit.  With a real book, I have to find something to weight the pages open, but the tablet can easily be propped up and a quick swipe of a finger turns the page.  One of the free books on the tablet is "The Backwoods of Canada" by Catharine Parr-Strickland which I read years ago.  I'm enjoying it again and am struck by how quickly the pioneers in the early 1800's managed to establish villages with saw-mills and grist-mills and grocery stores and other necessities for a comfortable life. It seems that we have lost some of that ability to get things done without a lot of unnecessary waffling about. The book, which comprises of letters she sent back to England, is well written and has lots of natural history information as well as personal anecdotes.
Another useful attribute of the tablet at this time is the bright screen for viewing photos.  My mother's eyesight isn't that good anymore, and viewing the photos on the tablet was much easier for her.
I knit a cover for the tablet out of some left-over stretchy sock wool.  It will keep the dust off it and protect it when I put it in my purse.
I hope you all have a new year full of pleasant surprises and that 2015 will be a year to be fondly remembered.