Friday, July 31, 2015
Saturday, July 25, 2015
Tuesday, July 21, 2015
Sunday, July 19, 2015
I was thinking today about the flow of life, and how one year builds on the other until we get to be old and then, looking back, we see more of the pattern of our life.
When I was born, my dad had just finished reconstructing a log house. That was unusual.
When I started school, I went to a French Catholic school. I was the only English Protestant kid in my class. That was unusual.
When I was 4, I decided to play the violin. No other kids in my school played the violin, let alone classical violin. That was unusual.
I grew up in ski country, but I decided that any money available for sports would go for horseback riding. That was unusual.
When my husband and I decided we needed a house, we built it, as in cut the boards and nailed them together. No mortgage. That was unusual.
I stayed at home while my kids were growing up and helped care for my elderly widowed mother-in-law . That was unusual.
In my twenties, I became a Christian. That was unusual.
So how did this unusual stuff influence my life?
To begin with, my dad introduced me to some interesting people, and he showed me to think outside the box.
Spending time in French school, made me feel at home with another culture, and I think has helped me to have an open mind about people in general.
Studying classical music gave me an appreciation for all kinds of music as it trained my ear.
Working with horses, helped me tame my fears, and being closely involved with horses has given me a greater appreciation for all of nature. Horsey people tend to be a pragmatic bunch, and they taught me to not make mountains out of molehills.
Building a house was an adventure, and being debt-free was truly a blessing through all the years.
I've made lots of space in my life for family. I have been able to get to know my special people more deeply than I would have if I had been more preoccupied with other endeavours.
Becoming a Christian taught me truths I never would have learned otherwise. And I have gotten to share this adventure with some amazing people.
My life has been unusual , although not in any dramatic ways. But I am thankful that I learned that it's OK to do things differently from the cultural norm, because sometimes those quirky paths lead to some really special people and experiences.
Saturday, July 18, 2015
Saturday, July 11, 2015
Thursday, July 9, 2015
With that in mind, here are some suggested plants to make a happy home for the bees. Of course, never use pesticides. If you have a balanced garden (a variety of insects,birds, toads,and plants), you will have minimal insect damage anyway.
Early in the season : crocuses, and pulmonaria (absolute favourites), dandelions , forget-me-nots ,
Going into summer: cranesbill(perennial geranium), ajuga (a good groundcover),
beebalm, snapdragon, sage, butterfly weed, yarrow, nasturtium, petunias.
Don't forget that the bees will happily visit fruit trees ,peas, beans and tomatoes. If you let a bit of broccoli go to flower, they like that, too.
Later in summer: rudbeckia hirta, echinacea, sedum, heliopsis, heirloom sunflowers.
Early fall: goldenrod, asters.
There are lots of other shrubs and flowers that bees like, especially ones with clusters of small flowers.
You will notice that the list is a combination of native and domesticated plants. It is so easy to have both in a garden, and this provides great variety and a steady nectar supply for the bees.
Also provide your bees with places to shelter - a little brush pile, a few stacked logs, a bit of gravelly ground. Insects like an environment that's not too manicured.
Monday, July 6, 2015
The caterpillars like oak, hickory and walnut, especially butternut. Alas, I think all our butternuts have died. We do have hickory trees, so maybe that's what the caterpillars have been eating.
Friday, July 3, 2015
Bees, butterflies and other pollinators like to visit the blue flowers.
For some really great up-close photos of it, Google "Viper's Bugloss" and open the article titled "A Close-up View of the Strange Flower - Viper's Bugloss".