Thursday, 28 May 2020

Jeweled Horsetail

    Yesterday morning I walked over to an old spruce stump to see if the ferns I had planted there had survived the winter.  They had, and were fiddleheading up through the other growth.  While I was there, I noticed this young Horsetail covered with dew.  It was exquisite, decked out with all of the small droplets of dew.  The world is so full of beauty that is so rarely seen.

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Wednesday, 27 May 2020


    I knew there was a possibility of frost last night, but being lazy, I just took faith in the weather report that said it would stay above freezing with a 1C (34F) temperature.  I gambled and lost.  
    Our thermometer showed  -1C (30F) this morning, and when I went out to check, sure enough frost had hit our garden.  (Photo of frosted strawberry leaves)   It’s too early yet to see if anything was killed in the garden, things like peas, cabbage, strawberries, and lettuce are pretty tough and can usually handle some frost, other things are safe because they are still underground (potatoes, and some bean seeds), but I worry about whether my zucchini, and pumpkin plants survived.  Luckily my unheated greenhouse with my tomatoes and peppers stayed above freezing.
    Our long winter had delayed my planting the garden for a couple of weeks, so I figured I was safe from a frost.
    Gardens are always a lot of work and it is often frustrating when something like a frost comes around and destroys much of it.  Keep your fingers crossed that there wasn’t too much damage.  

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Tuesday, 26 May 2020

Rain Deer

    Yesterday I got up to a miserable looking day; dark, cloudy, and pouring rain.  After dressing, I was about to head downstairs when I happened to glance out of the balcony window.  I noticed an unexpected brown spot in the grass near the trees.  My half-asleep brain finally started firing on all cylinders, and I realized it was a deer sitting there in the rain.  Actually, there were two deer, but the one you see made the best photo.  
    I thought that the deer would have found a better place to shelter so that it would be out of the rain, but I guess it would have moved on to a new location if this rainy one was objectionable.

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Sunday, 24 May 2020

Aspen Tree

    Here is a scene from the end of Horseshoe Lake Road.  I have looked at these trees hundreds of time, but yesterday the scared bark and color of  the Aspen leaves were so beautiful, I just had to take a photo.

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Saturday, 23 May 2020

WiInter Kill

    I am just now starting to see the results of our hard winter.  It looks like a handful of my fruit trees were killed.  Above  is what used to be a prolific plum tree and below is one of our cherry trees, both laid low after our winter that got down to a sudden -40C (-40F) in January without much snow on the ground.  
    I lost two plum trees.  I think they were suffering after our unusually rainy summer and fall, and I guess the long winter was just two much for them.  The cherry trees were a surprise, because they were old enough to have gone through -40 temperatures back in the late 1970’s and early 80’s.
    I also have two tall Aspens in the yard that are dead, but like the plums, they didn’t seem all that healthy last summer.
    I had to wait this long, until I saw the other trees leaf out, before I felt safe in declaring these trees dead.   Fortunately my four apple trees appear to have survived.

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Friday, 22 May 2020

Comfort Food

    I have been hearing a lot on the news about how so many of the people living in isolation are starting to discover the joy of baking their own bread and other goodies.  So much so, that some groceries have run out of yeast and flour.  Sourdough is suddenly a “thing”.  
    There is nothing quite so comforting as the smell of something delicious baking in the oven.  Yesterday I woke up to the tantalizing aroma of cinnamon rolls.  What a way to greet the day.
    I should weigh 400 pounds because I have shared most of my life together with an amazing cook and baker.  It didn’t take a pandemic for me to enjoy freshly baked bread or exquisite home cooked meals, because fortunately that has been my fare all along.
    Although it is not a new experience for me, in these bleak times, comfort food (no matter how sinful and unhealthy) is something that fills a void that has been created by all of the stress of these times.
    The cinnamon rolls didn’t last long; by the end of the day just the one in the middle was left.

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Thursday, 21 May 2020

Free to Grow

    When I worked for the BC Forest Service one of my jobs was to keep the Forest Cover Maps up to date.  Those maps showed the species of trees, their age, and other information that grew everywhere in our district.  I updated the maps whenever an area was logged or burned, and when it was replanted.              
    Silviculture crews would go out every so many years to check on the progress of the new trees.  After many years, if the trees were still growing well, without problems, and needing no further work, the designation “Free to Grow” was given to it.
    I thought about that term yesterday was I was putting down the mulch around my tomato plants in my greenhouse.  They were in the ground and needed nothing but watering.

    Actually, that isn’t exactly true for my tomato plants, I still have to string them up for support and “sucker”  them (pinch off the small auxiliary branches that sprout in the crotch of the large branches) but other than that they are on their own and Free to Grow.

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