I go to nature to be soothed and healed, and to have my senses put in order.
John Burroughs

Monday, May 24, 2021

Plants, planting....and another moose!

Over the past week, the green and growing things have jumped to life. Most of the trees' leaves are fully out, and the bush is filling in. There are blooming things everywhere, and buds appearing on plants, seemingly overnight.


Lady slipper orchids

We did have a mild frost last night, but I covered the tomatoes and peppers I'd planted earlier in the week. My plants, no longer seedlings, were ready to go in the ground, and I didn't want to waste that week of lovely warm weather we had! Today I mulched the two cherry tomato plants with cardboard and a good 6 inches of chopped leaves. In  previous years, I've only used leaves, but thought I'd try this experiment. We'll be adding cages in a week or so for support.

Their feet are buried deep in several shovelfuls of compost

The rocks and odd pieces of lumber hold the leaves in place until they settle and compact. We have quite sandy soil that looses moisture fairly rapidly, so hope the layers keep things moist, as I will give each plant a good weekly drink of water.

On Sunday morning, a yearling cow moose came wandering out of the bush, right by the house, nibbling here and there and seemed to wander aimlessly. We had some good photo ops, then she made her decision to leave and exited towards the SW.

Hubby taking her picture

Just outside our screened verandah

A little later, on going out to the kitchen to prepare breakfast, there she was, on the NE side, ripping all the leaves off of a pretty young white birch tree we had left when we cleared the brush out around the pond!
She was practically standing in a patch of iris I'd planted by a rock there, reaching out and stripping the leaves off of the branches! I got Hubby to put the run on her before she did any damage.

We were concerned about deer finding our gardens when we moved up here. Now moose are showing up! There is nothing delicate about those feet, and they go wherever they want!

Friday, May 14, 2021

Spring inspection.....

OK...lets have a look at this...a water tank you say?  mmmmm....

 And how is the compost coming along??

 Your water pump looks good....

 All OK. I'm leaving now.


I went out to the kitchen last night about 8PM to get a drink of water, and there, standing in the middle of the yard was a young bull moose. (Look at the growing antlers on his head.) Click on the pics to make them bigger.

He was in no hurry, but checked things out, then ambled off. On looking for his tracks this morning, he'd come from the same direction that he headed off to when the inspection was over! So perhaps he was curious.

I may be going dark toward the end of the month, as I've probably used up too much data...but couldn't resist this! Have a good week!

Wednesday, May 12, 2021

Spring chores....

The walkway is finished. I just have to put some good soil around the stones, and spread the creeping thyme seeds. It is too windy today to do that, although the sun is shining beautifully, and the temperature is up to 16C. (61F) 

I tapered the shape of the walkway, from broader at the base of the step, to narrower at the drive, and angled it to match the orientation of the lower step stone. It is a nice solid walking surface, with no places to trip and the stones are settled in good. I watered them and Mother Nature helped with a good downpour or two.

We took the ATV and trailer over to the sand pit, and shoveled  "sand" through a framed piece of quarter inch hardware cloth, to get a fine base to set the stones in.

I peeled the sod, dug the trench out and filled it with the sieved sand.

Whilst working on the walkway, I discovered that a pair of robins had built a nest in one of the little pyramidal cedars at the front of the verandah, and today, this is what is in it.

This afternoon, my garden helper towed the big water tank from its wintering spot and pumped it full from the pond in preparation! 

This morning, he did a little logging. A big hemlock uprooted down by the spring in one of the wind storms we had, and he just couldn't bear to have the log go to waste. 

The dandelions are  yellow swathes across the grass, and I found a big Bumbler in one! Things are looking up!

Friday, May 7, 2021

Life is bustin' out all over!

Most of this week has been cool and rainy, and I've spent some time walking the stone fences, looking for flat stones to make a flagstone walk to the front door. This idea has been in the back of my mind for some time. I want a rustic look to match the big stones already at the doorstep, with the stones set in flush with ground level, so the mower can go across them with no problem. The plan is to then plant creeping thyme in the gaps between the stones, so the aroma will drift up whenever we step on it. 

The verandah doorstep. (yes, verandah is due for paint this year!)

Most of the rock fences are composed of glacier rounded, granite stones, but here and there are some nice slabs, flat on both sides. I only took ones that were quite near the surface of the fences, because I don't want to dismantle what someone spent so much time and energy making. I feel a sort of responsibility to the folks that built the fences.

Hubby hitched up the trailer to the ATV and came around the trail to the closest point to where I found the biggest slabs. It took a bit of shimmying around to get the trailer into the bush so we wouldn't have to carry them far. Some were quite heavy, but we could roll them end over end on their edges.

I have quite a collection, and now comes the work of cutting the sod and laying them in place. 

Pin cherrys and wild plums are blooming here and there in the bush, a drift of white blossoms seemingly suspended in mid air. Red trilliums are blooming and the pale green, sturdy spears of lady slipper orchids down in the bush behind the barn are up about 3 inches. Its a slow, cool spring, but we are getting a good bit of rain, which makes me optimistic about the future of the blueberry crop.

The Ruby-throated hummers aren't here yet, but I expect them any time, and have the feeder filled and out. Yesterday, a pair of Bluebirds appeared in the yard, the sun gleaming on their unmistakable blueness, as they flew from pole to post, to apple tree. We have several bluebird nest boxes around the edges, but so far have had no takers. In past springs, I've watched them check out the boxes, sitting on them and going in and out. I live in hope that some spring they will stay and make our clearing their home. 

The Phoebes are busy renovating their nests up in the barn rafters, and late yesterday afternoon, a Rose-breasted grosbeak showed up at the feeder with his distinctive black head, white breast and bright red ascot. 

This was taken a few springs ago. At present, the leaves are not that far advanced.

The White-throated sparrows are here, singing their distinctive “Dear old Canada, Canada, Canada”, and yesterday for the first time, I heard the Oven birds calling “Teacher, teacher, teacher”. Some warblers and vireos are here. I managed to get the binoculars focused on a Yellow-rumped warbler a few days ago. Soon we'll be hearing the beautiful notes of the Wood Thrush, Veery and more warblers. The woodland orchestra is tuning up, and soon we will have a full performance.

Saturday, May 1, 2021

Last Kick at the Can??

This was forecast, coming across the Great Lakes, from the vicinity of northern Minnesota....I think! Yesterday started at a reasonable spring-time morning temperature, and then the mercury dropped. By mid-afternoon, big white flakes were flying by sideways in front of a bone-chilling north wind.

Photo bombing snowflakes


By late afternoon, snow was accumulating, and this morning, the world is white. At least the temperature did not drop as low as some forecasters predicted. It only reached -2.8C (27F) at 5AM. The wind has stopped howling, its banshee noise across the slightly open window screens last night, sounding like the hounds of hell.

It is very still out this morning, the sky is clear and sunlight is just hitting the tops of the trees off to the west. This will be melted off by noon. Just another layer of moisture to add to the nice two days of rain we have received.

My haskap plugs arrived in the mail on Thursday, and they are nestled in, cradled in compost enriched native soil, their tiny, pale green leaves just starting to emerge.

Baby Haskaps are under cover!


The onions, just poking up, and the garlic will weather this with no problem. The few asparagus spears that have started up, will probably be limp, but more will come up.

The garden beds this morning

The back step this morning