Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Dusty Bees

I was awakened last night by our first thunderstorm.  There was plenty of fast paced lightening and thunder, one crack that had me nearly jump out of bed.  The sound of the rain relaxed me, as I knew how much work that would save me the following day. 

With less work to do today on the yard, I headed out with my camera.  I had been worried about the low number of bees I was seeing, but yesterday I noticed that the numbers have increased dramatically.  They are everywhere and are of every shape and size.  Some are so big, they could be mistaken for hummingbirds. I love the bees, and am so glad to see them back in such numbers. 

The threat of their extinction makes me feel incredibly sad, as I cannot imagine a garden without them. Nor, apparently, would us humans be able to survive without them as they are responsible for pollinating so many of the crops we depend on.  Science is working hard at solving this problem and I hope they can find a solution, In the meantime, I will continue to do my part in saving the population by planting plenty of flowers and allowing ( a reasonable) amount of weeds to bloom.

I love the amber color of the wings on this hard-working little guy.

I love this row of trees even more now that my husband is at home full time to help me maintain them.  My arms are numb by the time I'm done trimming around all their bases.

The beautiful irises are all in full bloom.

Here is a view of the south part of my yard.  You can see the corner of one of my two vegetable gardens on the right hand side.  My dog, Bear lies in the shade here for hours while I piddle away in the dirt.

I was certain this shot would be nice in black and white, and I love it!

Monday, June 6, 2016

Something Different

All of these photos were taken 2 weeks ago, which doesn't seem all that long ago when put that way. But, when I take a look around my yard, it seems like ages ago.  Seasons are miraculous in how quickly they can transform the scenery.  
The lilacs pictured here are done and there is a haze of brown where there were hundreds of vibrant lavender colored blooms that stood out from across the yard.  

The sea of yellow has diminished into just a few blooms here and there.  In numbers like that, dandelions are beautiful.  
I thought I would toss in another photo of a napping kitty, just because they are so charming when asleep.
And the last photo (the "Something Different), is an attempt at blurred motion photography. I really don't know what I think of this one yet, but it was definitely my favourite of the dozen I took.  I'll have to come back to it in a month or two, comparing it to nothing else.  I do like the colors though.

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Sweater Treasures

As so many of us are in the Spring, I have been keeping very busy around my yard.  Clean-up, planting and building new gardens have been central to my life as of late.  It has been a lot of fun getting outside again.  The only thing putting a little damper on my spirits this year is the army worms.  They are wreaking havoc all over the country side and have recently invaded my yard.  They are everywhere!!!  There is nothing to do but allow nature to run its course, so my frustration with the repulsive little critters is getting me nowhere.

Today was rainy, and windy and cold.  I took a much needed break and did a little project I've been looking forward to for awhile.  Our very dear Uncle passed away this past January and I asked if I could have one of his old worn out sweaters.  My goal was to create a critter for each of my children, but there was so much fabric, I made 2 pumpkins as well.  These four things only used up the sleeves (Uncle wasn't a small man), and so I still have a lot of fabric to do something with.  I'm thinking a throw pillow could be in order.

Please forgive the quality of these photos. as I snapped them quickly with my phone.  I'll also throw in a few other photos just to catch up a little with the soon to be over Spring.

Here are the two goofy and adorable kitties I made as keepsakes for my children.  They loved them!
The big pumpkin is for my husband and the wee one is for me.  The color of the sweater lends itself beautifully
to fall decor.

A couple of ducks making themselves at home in our front yard.  I do hope they will have babies.

As a child, I called these maple seeds "keys" or "helicopters".  I never noticed how pretty they are
when they are young.

These are Saskatoon berry blooms, but I'm afraid we won't be harvesting very many
this year, as the army worms destroyed most of them.

And my napping kitty.  Oh, to be that laid back...

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Chewy Lemon Cookies

A huge thank-you to Stephanie at The Enchanting Rose for this recipe.  We loved them, and will definitely be making them again.  Soon.  I might just try using a lemon cake mix next time to see how that tastes.

I think I'll head back over to Stephanie's and browse more of her recipes.  The rhubarb turnovers  look fantastic and my rhubarb patch is looking so fresh right now.

I hope you are all having a great week!

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Out of the Box

While browsing a few of my favourite blogs yesterday, I found a recipe that I was eager to try at The Enchanting Rose.  These chewy lemon cookies looked divine and I suddenly had a craving.  I headed to the pantry sure to find a white cake mix, but only came up with chocolate.  I'm sure I could have made a very similar cookie from scratch, but I have never tried using a cake mix before, so I whipped up the chocolate one in exactly the same way, (sans la extroit de lemon) and I was so very not disappointed.  Fresh out of the oven - incroyable! Cooled down - formidable. And frozen on the next day - delicieux.
Why all the french you ask?  Doesn't a foreign language make it sound better?  That, and I really should try to use a little of a language that I studied for no less than 8 years.
I encourage you to give these a try, except maybe if you are a French cook or a purist, and anything out of a box offends you. 
I picked up the ingredients for the chewy lemon cookies today, (recipe in the link above) and will give them a try very soon.  I'll let you know what I think.

Monday, May 9, 2016

The First of the Flowers

I had a lovely weekend spent with family.  We had a BBQ on Friday to celebrate my Mother-in-law's 72nd birthday.  I put together a cute, little cake that fit the season so well.  Although she figured out that our get together was in honor of her special day, we managed to surprise her with the company of her two daughters.  Mom was so surprised, she had quite the giggle and we enjoyed a long evening of chit-chat. 


Then we were invited to her home on Sunday for a turkey dinner.  Now, this is all very unusual and a very big deal in this farming family.  Not once, since I've lived here in the past 5 years have we been able to get together on these 2 days.  The men have always been in the field putting in the crops. All of us are happy when the seeding begins, and even happier when it's done, so celebrations are put on hold, and then forgotten.

While there, I sneaked out to her garden for awhile to take a few photos. I haven't started any early bulbs in my gardens yet. But my Mother-in-law's well established beds are bursting with blooms.

Who doesn't love a cute little daffodil?  Mom gave me a generous bouquet for Mother's Day in a pretty blue canning jar.
I've planted these in my bed, and have yet to see them bloom, but they are all over the place in Mom's garden.

I just love how much variety the tulip family has to offer.  There were only a couple blooming on Sunday, but I'll
have to revisit soon to  enjoy all of the others that were just budding on Sunday.
This is my favourite. It is so delicate in it's coloring.  Isn't she lovely?

Saturday, May 7, 2016

A Long Overdue Visit

The visit was overdue as is this post, but with the weather being as gorgeous as it is, who has time to be indoors?  I truly wish I could get my Wifi to work outside.  Last Friday, I headed about 6 hours west to spend time with a special friend.  The weather was wonderful, and so I headed out to the backyard with my camera, and as promised came home with plenty of photos.  In all my years of visiting her home, I have never gone around and taken photos of the place,  a place I've come to consider a home away from home.  I am so glad I took the time to do this, as it is a source of comfort for me.  An escape from my everyday where I can go to recharge and get a change of perspective when I need it.

Rarely have I visited and left without enjoying a glass of Merlot beside a campfire.  The best conversations happen here, and for a time, the world and it's problems seem to be manageable. 

I love my friend's style in the garden and have modeled my own yard after hers. Subtle, natural, creative, and thrifty is how this place is done, and I feel right at home here.

Meet Louise, a 16 year old, green-eyed beauty.  She is a talker and whenever she has something to say, she'll have you sympathizing with her in a heartbeat.  She has an incredibly beautiful sister, Thelma, who I've avoided including photos of because she is looking very frail these days, and I just couldn't do that to her.  You see, Thelma is a Princess and is very particular about appearances. I'm sure she would never forgive me. Besides, this was the first visit in 15 years that she allowed me to pet her, and that was a special moment.

It would not be a complete visit without a stop by the neighbor's place.  There is a wonderful assortment of pets to enjoy, and with exception of one of the geese, they are all so very friendly. The horse's name is Floyd and he is a joy to be around, although he wasn't very cooperative with the camera.

There are 2 goats, both the friendliest of beasts. There are also geese, cats, dogs, pigeons, fish, hamsters, budgies, a parakeet, a chinchilla, and I may be forgetting someone.  Yep, very close to being enough critters for a petting zoo!

The only reason I was able to get close to this little guy is that he is a baby. I just love their cooing and find it very soothing.