Tuesday, October 27, 2020

I'm a Blogging Failure

Soooo....I was actually going to do another post, but then saw that I had started one three months ago, so I'll try to finish it it off....

July 16/20
Well so much for me trying to keep up blogging this year.  I guess I got off to a slightly decent start, and then fell off the cliff, never to be seen again.  Almost, until now, and now I've dragged myself up and will attempt a post.  A post I was actually going to do a week ago, oh well.

So with the Covid Crisis we've not done the usual amount of Oliver trips.  It would have been safe for us to do so, but we were told to stay close to home, and we did.   Larry did make a one night trip in late April or early May, to check up on things, and then we all went in June.  By all I mean the two of us and the two dogs.  And then we went again at the beginning of July.  The photos are from the last trip.  They are all taken with the phone, and I don't have an expensive phone, so quality is not the best on some.

Usually we stop at least once during the 4 hour trip, for our own comfort and that of the dogs.  This trip we stopped at 'Rhododendron Flats', which is in Manning Park.  There are wild rhododendrons growing there, and if you pick the right time of the year, you can see them in bloom.  Not really spectacular, but interesting, and there is a nice trail around.  The rhodos were mostly done when we stopped, but we did find a few blooms.

Such healthy looking foliage

Mossy rainforest

These are Saskatoon berries, picked in the Oliver area.  I picked more in August.  And now they are languishing in the freezer, waiting to be made into jam at some point.

Along the hike and bike path next to the Okanagan River we see a lot of milkweed.  The plants provide food for the larvae of the Monarch Butterfly.  The are interesting plants, and not something we see at home

We have a few plants in the little garden at the house at Oliver, but it's hard to keep it nice because it gets so hot there and we aren't there often enough to keep it watered.  The blue is Sea Holly I believe, and the plant below is a little succulent type that I took up there and does well.

 Saskatoons picked and on the dehydrator tray to be shaken around to get all the little bits of debris to drop through the holes.  It works really well for blueberries too!

Nice and cleaned up now!

We had a visitor! We see signs that there have been deer in the yard over the winter, but this is the first time we had seen one in the summer.  Jumping out of the neighbours backyard here.

And later peering over our back gate from the laneway.  

The view from the backyard has improved.  The new neighbours let all the hedging cedars die off and then installed this lattice addition to the concrete and block wall that surrounds their sunken backyard.  I'm not sure about that fence.....I showed the picture to David and he mentioned a Lacrosse Box, lol!

One morning when we got there I set off on my bike about 7am and went along the river to where these golden currants were growing.  I picked quite a bit, but I didn't get much juice from them, so ended up adding other bits of wild fruits to it and came up with a small batch of jam I called Wild Medley.  

The baby's breath has gone wild there, is considered invasive, but looks like fluffy clumps when it is in bloom.

I think on this trip I picked those Saskatoons shown above, notice my handy saddle bags.  They were actually a pain the butt because my heels hit the front edge of them with every pedal, most annoying! I fiddled around with them a few times and eventually  managed to move the bags back enough to miss my heels.

I had kept my eye on this massive thistle, the photo does not do it justice.

The stems and leaves so silvery, I had seen nothing like it before

When I got around to googling it, I was shocked that it was a Scotch Thistle.  Well who hasn't heard of that, but obviously I had never seen one before. Another invasive plant.

And so there you go, I sort of finished this post.  I had actually come to write another one, but didn't want to waste the first few paragraphs and all the pictures I had loaded for this unfinished one.

Saturday, April 11, 2020

Moss and Other Woodsy Tales

Months ago now, I played around with a little camera, taking some moss pictures.  It is a fascinating little world

It was raining that day, or had rained, so of course there are the rain drop pictures

A rustic wreath

Ferns growing 8 feet up the tree.

And then some more recent photos, that are quickly becoming dated.  
My annual 'deer skull killed by a cougar/trillium' photo

Indian Plum or Osoberry.  The fruit look like tiny little plums.  They are edible, but not particularly tasty.  I tried to make jelly one year, but wasn't successful.

Bleeding Hearts.  We are large areas covered in them, so pretty this time of the year.

Skunk Cabbage in our little seasonal creek

I've read that bears love them.


As well the False Lily of the Valley covers large swaths

Old dogs, old logs

Two old dogs😉

Later we went back out to cut that log up for firewood.  It had fallen down in to the swamp.  I do a lot of things, but chain sawing is not one of them.  I carry and split.  I got my boots stuck in that muck and more than once I had to drop my load to save myself!

We were dodging rain showers that day, and were successful.  But could see a good one to the north as we were heading back to the house.

A tree on the ground always looks more than logs on the trailer, which look more than the split wood stacked.  Every bit helps though!


These logs are a reflective of the times, don't you think?  Holes in our hearts.....

Monday, March 23, 2020

The Patio Project

This is what it looked like on our front lawn this morning.  Like a garage sale.  Other than the wheelbarrow and the tools in it, ALL of this stuff had been on the front patio.  Actually there had been more than this.  Lots of pots of dead plants.  Probably my greatest success at gardening is buying plants, not getting them planted, and them dying of neglect.   The patio collection also included a couple of wheelchairs.......don't ask. Thankfully probably the only people to have seen it were Meredith and David.  Tidy people we are not.  

Last week I had weeded the flower bed and rockery at the front of the house.  I'm trying to keep it decent after I went to a lot of work last year to resuscitate it after years of neglect.   So to keep up with the tidy garden, I started cleaning up the dead pots on the patio. Here's a few that were not dead.  The blue pottery planter is a cheery little dose of Spring and Easter.  The succulent planter is slated to be divided up.

You know how you start what seems to be a simple job, and then one thing leads to another and you end up doing waaaay more work than you had planned on.
The little wall between the garden and the patio had originally been a landscape tie with a row of those scallop edged paving stones tucked in behind the tie, to hold the dirt back.  The landscape tie had totally disappeared in one section, and the other piece was half rotted away, and the whole thing needed fixing because the dirt was flowing underneath and onto the patio.  
So I built this little retaining wall.  At one time I would have tackled this wall project with gusto, but I don't have the same enthusiasm these days, so it took a bit to get me going on it.  In case you are wondering, Larry had his own project going, trying to fix part of the loader on the tractor.  Anyway, thankfully we did have the landscape ties on hand, as well as rebar and spikes, so I got it done.  Larry showed up near the end to help to hold the last tie in place, and did some of the pounding in of the spikes.  Those ties were well dried and were hard as all get out, so pre drilling holes was a necessity.

Eventually that end piece will have to be replaced as well, but seemed okay for now.  The tie at the bottom and the scalloped paver was how the other wall used to look, except those pavers are still standing up fairly straight, where as the ones along the rotted section were leaning over at a very jaunty angle.

Here's a picture from last year, you can see the pavers leaning over

Sunday morning we moved all the pots and stuff onto the lawn.
 I swept up the dirt and then did the pressure washing.  There was still dirt there, so that blasted itself all over the side of the house, which I washed as well, about 6 times it seemed.  I've just stepped out of my yellow rain pants and boots here.

So then comes the decisions as to where to put all the 'stuff'.  I moved the $4 garage sale chiminea to the back corner.  In the summer I plant something in the top (the hellebore is just there until I get it into the ground lol.  Hopefully it won't become another victim), and something else in the fire hole.

I switched the bench around, although it will get some rain on it here.  It used to be under the window to the right. More plants on it that need a home.

One day I WILL get some trim done around that front door.  The little lemon cypress trees are going to have some succulents planted around them for now.

Hoping to paint this an eye popping colour one day.  Another garage sale find.

I was happy to get the little fountain back up and running.  It has been silent for too long.  The rocks are ones I picked up when my sister and I spread my mum's ashes, as well as the ones I collected on our kayaking trip out of Crescent Beach last summer.

 This is how things look now.  A bit more minimalist, and one heck of a lot tidier.  I have a feeling more will be added, but my aim is to keep it clean and tidy, at least for a while, LOL!


Two sweet dogs.  Jake at 15 3/4 and Luna at 12 1/4.  Jake had a Vestibular episode  two and a half weeks ago.  He's still a bit wobbly and has a bit of a head tilt to the right.  Other wise he is pretty happy and perky and eating like a horse.  That's okay with me as he had lost some weight and I'm working on getting it back on.  So far he's up 1.5 lbs.

Unfortunately there's still all this stuff left on the lawn, LOL!
Sorting that out and getting it moved is the next job.