Tag: Garden 2015

Garden Nest, Urban Wildlife
sat 25 apr 2015

Entry #1 on this page (tagged: garden, )

Killdeer nest

We went to our community garden plot today, loaded with baby plants from Saturday Market. But I was immediately distracted by a bird who I couldn't identify. I was excited and took a few photos, and intended to get out my bird field guide the moment we got home.

We listened to the bird calling, as we tooled around the garden. Weeds to kill, you know, and lemon cucumbers to plant. We were on the downhill side of working and I decided to replant the cauliflower and beet seeds, since nothing was showing up from my first planting.

I was kneeling down, making a line in the dirt, and the bird, who was still hanging around, started coming at me! I recognized her antics... she was pretending that she was hurt, to lead me away from her nest. But she was getting so incredibly close, I could almost touch her she was so close. She was obviously upset...

But I didn't understand. Our garden plot is towards the middle of the community garden, there aren't any trees nearby at all. I looked all around at the other plots, thinking someone had hung a bird house, but I didn't see a thing. And the bird was very focused on me, even tho my partner was standing and digging nearby, and there were some other gardeners a couple plots over.

Killdeer with broken wing act

And then I finally looked down. And saw the eggs. I was literally right above them. I apologized profusely to the bird! She was yelling at me for a reason, and I felt like such a stupid human.

And I felt bad for the bird as well. She's obviously a first time mother. I mean, who puts their eggs right in the middle of a community garden plot? There's going to be people there all the time. Poor girl.

When I got home, I got my bird book out. She's a Killdeer, a bird common across North America. They nest on the ground (yeah, obvious now, huh?!) and are suppose to have four to six eggs.

oh boy: the incubation period for the eggs is 22 to 28 days!

We shall see what happens. Will she abandon her eggs and go try again someplace else? Or will she stay?

We will definitely work around her if she decides to stay.

Urban Wildlife part 2
sun 3 may 2015

Entry #2 on this page (tagged: garden, )

As I was leaving the house yesterday, I noticed this:

cat up a tree

The cat is someone I didn't recognize; not one of our usual "strays". He was well above my second story window and acting rather consternated about being so far off the ground.

The locals were very upset... There were two starlings and one squirrel yelling at him. In just a few minutes, two crows joined the very vocal protest.

The cat walked back and forth along the limbs, studying and judging the 12feet / 3.5meter jump to the car port next to the tree. Despite his obvious nervousness, I believed he was capable, and I left home with confidence that he would get down on his own!

My trust was not misplaced. He was not in the tree when I came back. :)

And our Killdeer couple have not abandoned their nest in the middle of our community garden plot... The nest in the beet patch now contains 4 eggs.

The mom was still very annoyed with our gardening presence. But I stayed farther from her nest than I did last weekend (when I was accidently practically stepping on it). And she mostly traded her broken wing act for yelling at us instead... Her shy partner on the other hand was doing his act 50 feet away. I didn't even notice him half the time!

We've got 3 weeks before the babies are hatched. And we'll work around the nest as best we can and hope for the best!

Killdeer standing over her four eggs

sat 4 july 2015

Entry #3 on this page (tagged: garden, , )

Well, it's been so long since I've posted here, and the posts have been few and far between for a long time. Years actually. But I do want to keep this space alive... maybe more of a living space, rather than just a bare minimum, survival space!

So, I'd like to do a few re-introduction posts! And the "currently" posts that I used to do appeal to me right now. So that's what I'm going to start with.

Current Weather Unfortunately, I am sad to have to start off with this one, but it's what I've been most concerned about.

It's summer in this part of the world, and climate change has reared it's ugly head. The normal temperature for this time of year is 78° (25°C), but it's been in the upper 90s (35°) for the past week and a half. This is a major deal because I don't have air conditioning at work or at home.

I've always said my cut-off point at the warehouse was 90°. But it was 91 inside, when I left work early on Thursday. ugh. At home, it was still a "pleasant" 80° downstairs where the guinea pigs live. They have their own personal fan and I occasionally change out their water for cold water which they seem to appreciate.

The upstairs is 5 or 6 degrees hotter, and this is where I spend my time. It is miserable, and I wish the weather would get back to normal, but it looks like the 90s will continue and that makes me sad.

Currently Reading Yay! I've just discovered my new favorite author: Octavia Butler! I finished her 3 book series, Xenogenesis, this week and it was amazing! I can't wait to read different books by her.

The next book I picked up is called The Soul of an Octopus. Octopuses are amazing and this is such a fascinating book!

Currently Gardening Yeah, okay, this is a whole blog post series of it's own! But since I've been slacking I will give you the highlights here: eating a few strawberries, a few sweet snap pea pods and picked a few garlics from the old garlic patch. ate the first 2 zucchini last weekend, and we picked the next 2 today. We ate a couple sun gold cherry tomatoes this weekend and the guinea pigs have eaten their first lemon cucumber!

I ate my first ever Patty Pan for breakfast this morning... it's a lot like zucchini, but just a tiny "twinge" of a different flavor. This is our first try at Cauliflower, as well, and two of the three plants are looking ready to eat but I'm not sure when I'm supposed to um, pick? them, or cut them out, or what! ha!

I re-planted some beet seeds for a autumn harvest, but only a couple are growing. The sweet potatoes get dug up in the autumn as well.

Currently Sending Postcards! Yay Mail! Last year I averaged 98 mailings a month. This year I am sending about 130 bits of mail every month! The last couple of months I have been working on sending mail more consistently. It really cheers me up when I can send an *extra* postcard. And so there were 11 days in may when I only sent out one postcard, but there were only 5 days in june! I want to continue this trend.

Currently Vegan Yay Vegan! My spring time obsession was Butler Soy Curls. They require 10 minutes of soaking, so I threw them in while I was cooking pasta, and they went great with all the soups I ate as well.

But now it's summer and it's prematurely hot. I have been preferring sandwiches... but this requires bread, and I keep forgetting to make an extra loaf over the weekends.

Currently Drawing um, yeah, I actually drew something the other day. It wasn't that great... I need some practice. Or, I need to return to a practice of drawing. I wish I had time for this, but I have so many other hobbies! ha.

Here's a photo from a neighbor's plot at the community garden. I was so thrilled to see some bumble bees, instead of the usual honey bees, which are an "invasive" species brought from Europe.

bumble bee on comfrey

The flower is called Comfrey, which is a relative of Borage. We don't have any Comfrey in our garden plot, and I may steal a few seeds to see if I can start my own patch!

sat 22 aug 2015

Entry #4 on this page (tagged: garden, , )

Each time I start typing a post here, it takes too long and it's disjointed and unsatisfying and then I eventually delete everything that I've typed. But this morning, I came across this quote:

You should write because you love the shape of stories and sentences and the creation of different words on a page. Writing comes from reading, and reading is the finest teacher of how to write.
~ Annie Proulx

Yes! Exactly! Different Words on a Page!

Here's the colouring project that I've been working on a little bit, about every other day for the past month or so. The owl from Johanna Basford's Secret Garden...

Owl Colouring

I am just finishing up the green leaves and I'm in the process of figuring out the colours I want for the blue leaves. Once I'm done with the rainbow leaves, the owl will be coloured in light browns with some blue-greens and some light blue-violets.

That's the current plan, at least. Thinking about the colours I want to use, I realize I want to buy some more markers. Even though I've got about 100 of the 358 copics, there's always one more that I "need". ha.

Unfortunately there's a major supply problem with Copic markers at the moment... too much demand, they can't make the markers fast enough. So it's difficult to get some colours. Making do with what I have!

community garden sunflower

The community garden is beautiful with sunflowers galore! I've been busy experiencing the wealth of photo opportunities, and lazy about the weeding. So I need to start cleaning up our garden plot before they think about kicking us out of the community again!

One of the rules of the community garden is to keep the weeds under control. We get notice every year because I let the wildflowers grow, along with the weeds, so being on the verge of getting kicked out is normal.

sun 30 Aug 2015

Entry #5 on this page (tagged: garden, , , )

sunflowers at the community garden

I adore the profusion of sunflowers at our community garden!

I have a little extra time on my hands this weekend, since I don't have any homework. I am happy to work on some older projects that have been piling up. And I'm reading some old blog posts that I've set aside in my blog reader because they were just too long to read at the time. And I wanted to be able to really think about them.

  World Peace Diet: A Golden Key to Effective Animal Advocacy This is a spiritual vegan blog that I keep up with, and this (very long!) post has given me some encouragement.

I've been vegan for 12 years now, but I have yet to convince the people closest to me -- my significant other, my parents, my brother -- to join me in veganism. When I think about it, this makes me incredibly sad... because I love being vegan, it is the best thing in the world, and I want to share the awesomeness that is veganism with my loved ones!

As a vegan, I am an expression of love in this world... [and] I am here to plant seeds. And by far the most successful, joy-producing, and fulfilling way to plant the seeds of kindness, mercy, and freedom that are the core of veganism, is to live and embody these qualities authentically in my relationships and interactions with others. We communicate with our presence and gestures far more than with concepts and theories. Perhaps it can come through our writing as well.
artichoke blossoms

I also love the other interesting things at the community garden. These are some abandoned artichoke blossoms... You are supposed to cut them and eat them before they bloom. But they are rather pretty and many people let them bloom!

And I am almost done with the background with the owl colouring I'm working on. The line art is from Secret Garden

Owl colouring

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