Thursday, May 26, 2016

And Off We Go!

 I checked on the robins this morning and was surprised to see how big they were already. Better get the camera before they're gone.
It was quite warm so they are panting a bit.  Later in the afternoon, I checked again and there were only two left.  I'm guessing tomorrow they will all have flown away.  I heard lots of robin chatter today so I guess the fledglings were getting the low down on life on the outside. It's always great to watch birds raise a family.

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Arm Twisting

For the past several months, Microsoft has been trying to get me to install Windows 10. I was happy with my Windows 7 so I declined.  This morning, however, Microsoft decided that the time had come and, without any consent from me (the choice was now or soon), installed Windows 10 as an "update". Ha! I am feeling resentful. I feel bullied. Never mind that now it's more complicated to upload my photos and label them, and I can't play the Hearts card game on the computer anymore.
 For a moment this morning, I thought I had also lost the Word Starter word processing, but that is still there. Every time I go to the Internet, I get a window asking if I want Firefox as my default.  Yes, I do. I'm sent to a default page where  the only search option is some Microsoft thing .  So now instead of one click to open the browser, I have to repeatedly go through this nonsense.  My husband just got an Apple computer.  He really likes it.  Maybe next time, that's what I'll get.
 On a happier note, the lilac is very beautiful and very fragrant this year.  We have had hot, still days which are perfect for smelling the flowers especially in the evening. The apple tree also bloomed well and was full of happy pollinators. If the squirrels don't chew them all, we may get some apples later.

 The bumblebees are going crazy over the pulmonaria.  Good thing they're friendly because there are lots of them buzzing around.

 A hummingbird whizzed by this morning and stopped at the pulmonaria and the magenta silver dollar.  Hopefully, she will be back.
The robins have hatched and I hear them chirping as the parents bring them food.  They are nice and safe in the horse shed.

Friday, May 20, 2016

Wellington Beach

 We stopped for a bit at Wellington Beach about half an hour south of Belleville.  It was so windy that the waves could pretend to be sea surf.
This is part of Lake Ontario which is so large that the water can get pretty rough in windy weather.
This beach is quite long, and it's just a couple of blocks down from the main street of Wellington. What an asset to the town.
The water was such a beautiful turquoise colour.  At the horizon, it is deeper blue.

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Along the 401

 We spent a few days visiting our kids who all happen to be living near the 401, albeit in different cities and towns. Little Jaws came with us and quite enjoyed the excitement of riding in the truck, and checking out different service areas. Of course, he also liked getting to see his favourite people.
Although we haven't had much rain, the grass was a lush green.
Most of the cars are sedate, dull colours so this cute little green car stood out.  It goes well with the scenery.
 I find it so interesting to see the rock formations where cuts were made through a hill. You pass quite a few around Kingston, but I kept missing the shot as we zipped along.
An old farm house is nestled among trees.

The clouds started to break up as we neared Oshawa, and made some striking formations.
 As the trees are just starting to leaf out, quite a bit of yellow and orange tints the landscape.

Coming home a few days later, the sky was clear.  Some of the views along the way are quite expansive.

Friday, May 13, 2016

A Few Spring Combos

Here are some plant combos from my garden.

Spring is such a great time of the year. I hope you all have time to get outside to enjoy it.

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

By The Marsh

 You would think that a wetland would have lots of Canada geese.  Apparently not, as I only saw this one lonely goose on the water, and two flew overhead.  We see many more in the farmers' fields.

Here's a pretty patch of wild violets in a damp part of the woods beside the marsh.

 This tamarack tree was riddled with woodpecker holes.

In a clearing in the woods, I saw a large patch (50' x100') of red trilliums. I was quite surprised as usually the red trilliums are just dotted around patches of white trilliums.

This picture is very blurry as I was quite far away, but it sure looks to me like a bald eagle is sitting in the tree on the right. Although they are becoming more common in our area, it is the first one that I have ever seen.  I believe the bird on the platform is an osprey. This picture is near Lancaster at Coopers Marsh.

Monday, May 9, 2016


The other day, we went to Coopers' Marsh about half an hour away from home on the shore of the St. Lawrence River.  In the distance are the Adirondack mountains in New York state.  They look near, but they are about a two hour drive away.
Not much was happening in the marsh except for lots of frogs croaking, but it was a pleasant day, and out on the boardwalk a fresh breeze was blowing.
We noticed that the boardwalk had some wiggles to it.
As we continued in our walk, the boardwalk became more curvy.
 And near the end, it was downright wacky.  What were the volunteers drinking when they built this?
However, the wiggles are definitely more interesting than a smooth curve.

The boardwalk was very firm to walk on thanks to a substantial underpinning of large cedar logs.
I did notice a few interesting things during our walk that I'll post next time.

Saturday, May 7, 2016

Happy Mother's Day

 The next best thing, after spending time with family on Mother's Day, is picking out a couple of beautiful baskets at the garden center.  Just a few days ago, our little granddaughter was born, and I thought this arrangement was appropriate for this year's Mother's Day. So pretty.
This basket has more dramatic colours.  It will hold up well because it has a couple of begonias and a couple of New Guinea impatiens in the mix.  I really like lobelia but it is always a bit iffy as the summer progresses.  The other plants, though, will be fine for the whole summer.

 It's hard to find a flower that is this lovely shade of blue.  Some delphiniums are this shade, but delphiniums are tricky to grow, and I have no success with overwintering them. So I will enjoy the annual lobelia.

 Trusty begonias that never get chewed by insect and that bloom even in the shade.

 Happy Mother's Day to all you moms.

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Small Area Ground Covers

 Ground covers help to keep the weeds down, and also serve as a living mulch shading the soil from the drying sun.  Windflower makes a very pretty short cover at this time of year.  It will gradually spread over the years.  The plants die back in the summer heat, but by then other perennials will be large enough to take up the space.
 The blue scillas are a loose ground cover that are best at giving a shot of bright blue in the springtime.  These ones are planted in among some variegated periwinkle which will bloom a little later.
 Primulas planted about 12" apart can form an almost impenetrable mat.  Great for keeping the weeds out.  The leaves will stay all summer and, often, they will rebloom in the fall.
 Pulmonaria is also very thick.  It will self-sow quite freely, but unwanted plants are easily pulled  out.
They need to be in shade as hot sun will burn the lovely spotted leaves.
Here's an all native ground cover of wild garlic.  I found some seed heads that still had some seeds, so I tossed them around in some bare spots hoping to start some new patches.