My Garden Chronicle from Winter to Spring 2018

MY GARDEN CHRONICLE FROM WINTER TO SPRING 2018

Spring sprung late this year.   The winter was long, harsh and we were inundated by so much snow it reached my mid-thigh reminding me of the cold and snowy winters during the late 60’s.  I guess it is true, the weather is cyclical and we were certainly deep in the cold and wet cycle.   Channel pathways had to be dug so the feral cats wouldn’t have to dig their own tunnels through the snow drifts.

 

20180208_113321      20180208_113421 20180208_113554     SNOW DAY FEB 8 2018_0017     Snow on artwork Feb 8 2018 a     Snow tree Feb 8 2018 a

The garden usually shows signs of awakening early in March, however, as late as spring was, once the sun warmed the earth nature took the fast track to catch up. Since the beginning of April, there have been amazing spurts of growth and splashes of colour appearing daily.

Spring Runoff 2 a  tulips rising 2

sunflower_0001    Garden April 27 2018_0003

Throughout the year, I celebrate the progression of the garden with little festivals.  In the spring it is  Nanking Cherry and Lilac Blossom Festivals and in the fall it is Apple and Pumpkin Harvest Festivals.   Most years the blossom festivals begin in March with the Scillia and Crocus blossoms and finish early in May with the Apple blossoms, but this year the spring festivals happened all in the same week. Or so it seemed.

20180512_172304     Bee Back May 12 2018_0018 b (2)     bee in flight may 16 2018 b     flowers May 27 2018_0002     front tulips may 20 2018 (2) a     May 6 2018 0004 white crocus a

May 6 2018 0009 Silia a   Nanking Blossoms at sunset May 11 2018_000 a5

The Scillia, Crocus, Tulip, Nanking Cherry, Lilac, Apple Crab, Crab Apple, Pear and the Cherry trees broke out into delicate blossoms all at the same time.  It was a stupendous show of petals and a fragrant feast of fruity scents wafting on the breezes, a pageant showing off nature’s gifts of growth and fertility.

garden after cleanup may 8 2018_0035 (7)   Blossoms and buds May 18 2018_0004 a

Garden growth May 21 to 24 2018_0023    Bee Back May 12 2018_0018 b (1)

bleeding heart May 10 2018 (4) b Chives June 5 2018 a

blossom pagent june 5 2018 (14)       blossom pagent june 5 2018 (24)

Peony Bud 1 June 5 2018 a    Garden Grows June 3 2018_0012

Planting began early May and the garden was starting to show signs shortly after the May long weekend.   The Anemones are now in bloom; their pure white faces following the sun as it travels the sky daily.  Little Cherries and Apples are visible on the trees boding an abundant harvest.

Garden Grows June 3 2018_0009 b    Johnny Jump Up May 22 2018 2 b  June 7 2018_0013

From today until I put the garden to bed I look forward to Peonies, Pumpkin, Potatoes, Herbs, Carrots, Beans, Apples,  Pears, Roses, Poppies, Honeysuckle, Dill and Sunflowers.

Beans May 26 2018 (3)   Pumpkins under finger  Garden Grows June 3 2018_0003 a

As the garden treasures blossom from buds to flowers to fruit to harvest I will continue to be amazed at the magic of how the garden springs to life, grows and develops throughout the year from winter sleep to the cornucopia of the fall.

Stay tuned the garden chronicles will continue.

Cheryle June 11, 2018

 

 

 

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Spring Arrives……Finally!

Wow!  It has been a hard slog of a winter here in the north. Well, upper middle north anyway.  This week spring showed up and the snow is melting.  The runoff from the roof exceeds the capacity of the water barrels and cascades over the sides to water the garden below.

Spring Runoff 2 a

The tulips are so happy to be alive they are practically jumping out of the ground.

tulips rising 2

The bees are buzzing about. Satisfying their spring hunger by nibbling the decaying pears.

First Bee 3 a

The Cedar Waxwings couldn’t wait for the spring snows to end before they finished off the last of the mountain ash berries.

April 12 2018 Cedar Wax Wing_0017 a

Hares haven’t yet turned but some brown is creeping into their white fur.  A sure sign spring is near.  This picture was taken a month ago, I am positive this little hare is almost all brown by now.

Out n about in the day_0004a

The buds are beginning to swell.  The lilacs will soon blossom.  Their familiar fragrance will float on gentle breezes in through newly opened windows.

Lilac buds b

It won’t be long before the sunflower husks discarded by the birds and squirrels will be raked up to be put into the compost for next years soil.

sunflower seeds c

Today was our first official “yarden” walk.  The moss is growing green and the walkway will warm under the sun.

Moss Grows Green a

Plans are forming for tomatoes, herbs and squash.  Maybe this year I will try my hand at potatoes.  The earth is moist a blessing of the snow.

Cheryle  April 2018

 

PBC – July 2017 – Point of View

PHOTO BLOGGERS CHALLENGE – JULY 2017 – POINT OF VIEW

This month’s challenge is Point of View.  It took me a few days to figure out what that meant for me.  Inspired by    GeoKs June 2017 Photo Blogging Challenge submission of a columbine from behind, I had fun photographing my subjects from underneath, a very different perspective and I believe an interesting “Point of View”.  All but the last photo were taken with my Samsung Galaxy S5 phone.

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From underneath the rose bush, shooting to the sky, I can see the many shades of rose bush green as blue-sky peeks through the branches.

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Since the camera was in “Selfie” mode I had difficulty keeping myself out of the picture.  As is evident with the shot of the Monarda, common name – Bee Balm.

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The ripening raspberries happily hang hidden away beneath the prickly canes.

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This year I grew zucchini in what I call “the Mediterranean Garden” located on the south side of the house. With its’ ruffles and veins, the translucent yellow flower looks so much more delicate when seen from underneath.

garden july 12 to 14 2017_0046 a

This “underneath” photo was a bonus of pure luck when I stepped outside and just happened to glance up, I was greeted with the graceful flight of a dozen or more Pelicans enjoying the cloudless day.

I want to thank PJ for hosting these challenges.  I am grateful for the stretch outside my comfort zone and the enjoyment and ideas I get from  checking out the offerings from the other members, which you can check out here:    A ‘lil Hoohaa Photo Blogging Challenge – July 2017 – Point of View

Cheryle July 2017

 

PBC – June 2017 – Use a Different Lens

PHOTOBLOGGERS CHALLENGE – JUNE 2017 – USE A DIFFERENT LENS

Many years ago, I purchased my first SLR camera – A Chinon. I loved it!  I was in heaven snapping pictures in my living room, on the street, in the park, or off my balcony, where ever I was.  I barely learned how to use the ASA, F-stop and Aperture functions before developing the film became too expensive.  The undeveloped rolls languished in my fridge for 20 years or so.  A sad state of affairs.

One day, when I was feeling particularly unhappy, I swept into the camera store and walked out with a Nikon D60,  three lenses, a couple of filters, a charger, an extra battery, a cleaning kit, and a camera bag. I was in heaven.  The one and only time I treated myself to such an extravagant shopping spree.  I smile every time I think of it.

This month’s A lil Hoohaa – Photo Bloggers Challenge is to use a different lens. This technical challenge was the impetus I needed to finally start to figure out how to use my NIKON D60 in a mode other than “Auto” or what I call “Running Man”.  The Nikon AF Nikkor 50mm 1:1.8D lens I opted to use for this project has never been used previously.  It has lain in the camera bag sad and unwanted.  Not unwanted because it was considered inferior, unused because I was intimidated.  After all, it is a manual lens. In my mind, I could only use it if I knew what I was doing.  And I don’t.  So it sat inside its black bag, waiting for me to know what to do.

I enjoyed this challenge, more than any of the others I have participated in.  I learned a few things, I remembered a few things, and I;m anticipating future fun.  The photos look more 3 dimensional, the colours appear to be richer, the textures more touchable, and  f/11 is still my favourite f-stop.  I look forward to using this lens on a regular basis.

Anemone a

Anenome – 1/2000 sec f/14.50 mm ISO 3200

Columbine aColumbine – 1/60 sec. f/20.50 mm ISO 200

columbines spruce texture aTextures – Columbine blossoms, Spruce Tree & Peony leaves – 1/80 sec. f/11.50 mm ISO 1600

Rose bee aRose Bee – 1/400 sec f/5.50 mm ISO 200

 

Velvet Petals aVelvet Rose Petals – 1/30 sec. f/22.50 mm ISO 800

Cheryle – June 2017

Please stop by A ‘lil Hoohaa to see the rest of the entries for the

A ‘lil Hoohaa Photo Bloggers Challenge June 2017

 

 

 

 

SPRING IS HERE

Today, the last day of April finally heralds spring to our small garden.

As usual, we lived through every season this month.

The messengers of spring nudged their way above the ground in the hope the frost is gone and spring is here to stay.   The sun and the warm wind strengthened their roots and stems so they could push their way up out of their covered beds.  The rich rain and the snow blanket nourished and protected the tender leaves as they slowly stretched their tendrils from the soil to the sky.

April 30 2017_0022

The Peony pokes its nose above last fall’s leaves.  It grows straight and tall preparing for the heavy white blooms of July.

Peony a

The tiny fingers of the tender bleeding heart gather sunshine and air. Growing long and flexible for the pink and white hearts that will dangle there.

Bleeding Heart a

The first blooms of the Silia bring hope to those of us eager for our gardens to grow and blossom with the summer.

Silia d

The alien eyes of the Rhubarb unfurl its ruby red stem and iconic leaves. The perfect harbinger of spring.

Rhubarb a

I know tarts aren’t too far off.

spring baked fresh

In love and light

Cheryle

April 30, 2017

COME DRUM WITH ME

Drums on a Blue background   An unusual event took place in the Ogden House auditorium on May 5th, 2016.  For those members sitting in the lounge at the time, they heard and felt a rumbling never before experienced at the club.  What could it be?

a drum circle begins

A drum circle, of course.

As we arrived, each of us looked around the auditorium, skeptically, and wondered what had we gotten ourselves into?  The chairs were arranged in a large circle with a drum sitting in front of each spot.  Jamie Gore,  a Drum Circle Facilitator with Circles of Rhythms, greeted us and invited us to select a seat and a drum.  There were colourful Cuban Tubanos, shapely Djembes, and graceful Frame drums, all waiting to release their voices with just a touch from a drummer.

Each drum style, is unique in the way it looks, the sound it makes and in the way it is played.

A cuban drummer a   The Tubano, a tall floor standing drum, is played by used two beaters to hit the drum skin and by striking the hard straight side of the body with the beater handles.

A couple of djembe drummers   The Djembe, a goblet shaped drum from West Africa, is held between the legs, and is tilted slightly forward to allow the voice of the drum to escape through the bottom of its hollow body.  The drummer beats the drum skin with their open hands or the drum rim with their fingers.

a community drum with two frame drums  The community drum and the frame drums are used to keep the beat and set the pace for all the other drums.  Historically,  the frame drum is believed to have been styled after the original drum, which was developed from the grain sieves used by ancient agricultural communities.

a bunch of percussion

As the short hour flew by, everyone had an opportunity to try out each style of drum, and to play one of the percussion instruments which had been laid out on the floor in the centre of the circle.

a painted drum  We drummed for ourselves, we drummed for each other, and we drummed for those fleeing the fires in the north.  We energized our bodies, our minds, we played with our hearts and our spirits.  The room vibrated and bounced to the sounds we made.  Our faces broke out in smiles, our feet tapped in rhythm while our arms beat in time to each other.

a djembe quartet

 

A flute soars    Karin Foster, a musician and a Circle of Rhythms drum circle volunteer generously treated us to two haunting melodies played on her American Indian Flute.

A mother listens to her daughter play a  We sat quietly and meditated as her energy and love filled the room.

I had a drumming good time and look forward to the next drum circle, but from the looks on the faces of the members sitting in the lounge as we left, the next circle will need more chairs and more drums.

a gourd sound

Cheryle – May 2016

Originally published in the  Ogden House 50+ Seniors Activity Club – June Newsletter

 

 

PHOTO BLOGGERS CHALLENGE NOVEMBER 2015 – MORNING

The Photo Bloggers Challenge – November 2015

Morning

The challenge this month was just outside of my comfort zone.  I like to sleep in, the later the better.   I thought I was going to have to pass on posting something, but I did manage to crawl out from under the comfy covers and capture something of what the world is like in the morning.   In a couple of cases, I didn’t even crawl out but took the pictures where I lay as my eyes opened.  I hope you enjoy.

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The sunlight streaming in from the east as I shake the sleep out of my brain. I grabbed my cell phone and took this picture before I was fully awake.

MORNING 4

The sun shines on the northern wall igniting the mirror and mask with morning light.  The quote by the Dalai Lama reminds me that I do need to do what I need to do in order to complete the challenge.  I kept it in mind as the month progressed with few pictures taken.

Morning Moon Nov 29 2015_0005

Good Morning World.  The night lights are still lit as the sun rises in the east as I decide I must make the effort to rise to the theme of the challenge.

Morning Moon Nov 29 2015 A

The morning moon slow to set in the west.

WAKE UP 5

Coffee, the only reason I am still awake.

A ‘lil Hoohaa Photo Bloggers Challenge November 2015 – Morning

You can find more Photo Bloggers Challenge – Morning posts  here.

 

Cheryle – November 2015