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

Sunday, April 21, 2024

Birds, plants, hiking and digging...

 April 21, 2024

 It has been a week of cool temperatures, a few sunny days, and a lot of wind. There has also been rain, and a few gusting snow flurries coming suddenly out of nowhere, between sunny breaks in the clouds. A few of the flurries came down as bouncing pellets, not quite hail, but hard enough to be heard pattering on the roof. All of it melted on contact.

The new herb bed framing is in, levelled, soil chinked in around the perimeter, and white clover seed pressed into the edges.

The new planks are thicker and wider, and made of hemlock, so here's hoping they last longer. Because the planks were wider, I had to dig out the edges more to set them in because I want to keep my 4 X 16 inside measurements. I am always amazed at what I dig out from the 'undisturbed' soil. I wonder at the habits of those who came before, because there is always stuff. I've found square nails, bits of glass and crockery, and even once, the leather upper of a boot!
Did they just throw stuff wherever?? 

This brown Javex jug was found intact, behind a stone fence, the sun glinted off a bit of it sticking out of the forest litter and drew our attention.

The pond is up, beautifully full, and yesterday a Belted Kingfisher flew a chattering pass over it.

Early in the week, the Tree Swallows returned. There was suddenly a lot of chittering around me, and looking up, there were 5 swallows zipping around the clearing, and arguing over the nest box. A pair appeared to win the rights, and they have been perching on the clothesline poles and above the nest box daily. Nest building has not started yet.

Last weekend we took a hike just inside the Algonquin Park boundary to a place where Trailing Arbutus grows. It is an early spring bloomer with an amazing fragrance. The leaves are evergreen, and the waxen flowers are white, and pale pink.

Closer to home, in some disturbed soil, wee Drabna is blooming. A tiny, tiny plant that one could very easily overlook.
Crinkly, dark green rhubarb leaves are unfurling, and soon there may be enough stalks for a small harvest. The earliest tree to leaf out is the crab apple tree, and this year is it's bi-yearly bloom year. The buds are open just enough to make out the tiny, tight bud clusters.



  1. I think people used to bury their broken and discarded items. I know I've found all sorts of interesting artifacts when I dig. No trash service and probably no landfills. On the other hand, they didn't have gobs of useless plastic packaging to get rid of! The brown jug is a pretty neat find.

    1. Yes, we have found concentrated dump sites, but there also seems to be bits everywhere!
      You betcha, I am so grateful that the horrible plastic was not invented back then!! I pick up enough of that crap along our road! I could rant and rant about litterers...and often do!

  2. I loved everything about this post! Last year I saved all the bits and pieces that emerged when I rototilled my vegetable garden - many nails (square ones as well, bits of ceramics, bits of glass...). That is amazing to have found that brown jug! And how exciting about a new raised bed (honestly, that is exciting for me!). We have had similar weather, including actual hail about a week ago. Come on, real Spring! -Jenn

    1. Thanks, Jenn! My beds are native soil, a sandy loam, but are getting better yearly with the addition of manure and compost. Bits of glass, ceramic, etc. keep showing up in the spring, and I can pick them off the soil surface. Imagine that Javex used to come in glass bottles! Heavy frost last night, but...the sun is shining!

  3. I have a patch of trailing arbutus just in front of my compost pit. No sign of flowers yet. That area doesn't ever get any sunshine.

  4. Yes, there was a big difference, as far as blooming goes, to the plants on open, sun facing spots vs. ones in shadier areas.