• Last spring my garden is alive after along winter sleep. Plenty of work to be done. Planted many vegetable seedlings grown in the greenhouse. Lettuce, carrot (sowed direct into the ground), collard, kale, Swiss chard, corn, pumpkin, potato, beet, summer squash, tomato and leek. The garden is doing great. Just yesterday I harvested several zuccinni. Right away I made zuccinni chocolate cake. It is always a joy to be able to harvest from your own garden and cook with the vegetable that you grow yourself. Gardening is an excellent exercise for body and mind. Regardless how big or small your garden is.
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Winter Wonders

The Orchard looking west.

Strolling through the snow-covered garden with camera in hand ready to capture the beauty mother nature has created. 

 Looking around the garden,  discarded snow-covered logs stacked like a sentinel under a bare maple tree.  Frozen branches beckoning to be admired.  Tree moss swaying precariously on a tree branch.  Ice particles frozen on a birch dainty limbs.  The orchard desolate waiting for spring to arrive.  Snow is everywhere, even the pond behind the house is frozen.   Serenity is in the air,  waiting for a miracle to happen.   Indeed, an  enchanting winter wonders .

Copyright Images”

Frozen hazelnut catkins and spider web.

 

Frosted English ivy

 

Snow covered old logs

 
 

Frosted maple leave on a piece of wood

 

Frozen tree moss

 

Snow covered frozen pond

 

Frosted Indian plum blossoms

 

Japanese dwarf pine

 

Frozen birch trees

 

Into the snow......

 
 
 
 
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Cherry Plum Tree

Because of a long wet spring,  the cherry-plum trees did not produce as many fruit this year.  a disappointment for me, no jam and chutney to make.   

In the early part of spring the trees were covered with beautiful white blossoms.  So I assumed there will be plenty of fruit.  Well, not at all because lack of bees to pollinate the blossoms.  I discovered, the bees only come by when is warm and sunny.  Sometime, though,  cloudy days the bees will pollinate.  But is seldom happen.

The above image is a cherry-plum fruit.  Fruit size similar to cherry, appearance of a plum including the interior, pit similar to cherry.  The fruit has a plum taste.  Botanical name is Prunus Cerasifera also known as Myrobalan plum.  Latin name Rosaceae.

Cherry – Plum tree in full bloom, the flowers attract bees and when standing near the tree the sound of bees buzzing is awesome. Cerasifera in Latin name means “bearing cherry like fruits”

Happy Gardening…….

Remembering My Garden Companion

Spencer was his name,  a Labrador Retriever trained to retrieve motionless ducks in the water.  But we never used him to retrieved ducks, instead Spencer became my constant companion everywhere, including the garden.

He loved to roam around the large garden, especially under a huge old maple tree.  Once awhile a squirrel would challenge Spencer for a hide and seek, which of course made him excited.  Barking furiously at the squirrel, running around the tree chasing the elusive creature until he tired of it.  Feeling exhausted and thirsty, he trotted straight to the pond for a drink.   Then Spencer find a peaceful spot to rest until the next adventure .    He also enjoyed chasing butterflies and small birds too, of course he never was able to catched any of them.  They were to quick for Spencer.

When the fruit season arrived, Spencer was over the moon.  Lots of food to eat.  He would sniff each fruit for ripeness.  One apple or pear was not enough, he ate many of them until he could not eat any more.

Spencer was a gentle, sweet, loving dog,  he enjoyed car rides and meeting people.  He was a people dog.  Gradually old age stole all his exuberance.  No more chasing  anything his energy was not there anymore.  On January 2000, my beloved garden companion heart gave out.  I felt heartbroken lost a friend who gave me joy everyday of my life.  My husband and I decided under the old maple tree would be a suitable final resting place for Spencer.  He would loved that as this area was his favorite playground.

Until we meet again……….

Here is a lovely poem to remember my garden companion.

RAINBOW BRIDGE  (author unknown)

Just this side of heaven is a place called Rainbow Bridge.

When an animal dies that has been especially close to someone here, that pet goes to Rainbow Bridge.  There are meadows and hills for all of our special friends so the can run and play together.  There is plenty of food, water and sunshine, and our friends are warm and comfortable.

All the animals who had been ill and old are restored to health and vigor; those who were hurt or maimed are made whole and strong again, just as we remember them in our dreams of days and times gone by.  The animals are happy and content, except for one small thing;  they each miss someone very special to them, who had to be left behind.

They all run and play together, but the day comes when one suddenly stops and looks into the distance.  His bright eyes are intent;  His eager body quivers.  Suddenly he begins to run from the group, flying over the green grass, his legs carrying him faster and faster.

You have been spotted, and when you and your special friend finally meet, you cling together in joyous reunion, never to be parted again.  The happy kisses rain upon your face;  your hands again caress the beloved head, and you look once more into the trusting eyes of your pet, so long gone from your life but never absent rom your heart.

Then you cross Rainbow Bridge together………

Source:

http://www.petloss.com

Dexter, our beloved Labrador age 11 passed away on September 27, 2010.   He spent one year in the Labrador foster home because no one want to adopt him.  We came along to adopt Dexter who was 8 month old, full of energy, playful, with a enormous appetite. 

We gave Dexter lots of love and a wonderful life, in spite of his health condition toward later in life.   The orchard was his favorite place to roam.   When the fruit trees heavy with apples, pears, plums and cherries,  Dexter would trot from tree to another looking for ripe fruit by sniffing.  Then, he pulled the fruit with such force the branch shook violently.  Naturally several would fall to the ground and he would gobbled them up too.  Harvest season was his favorite time of the year.  Not only eating was his passion, chasing squirrels, birds, occasional deer who came close to his territory.    He was an adventurous dog, enjoy roaming around the property.   We burried Dexter  near our other Labrador,  Spencer who passed away 11 years ago.

We gave you a wonderful stable home,   in return you gave us joy.  Have a good journey Dexter,  we will meet again……….

CANADA GEESE NOT ON OUR LAWN

     

Canada geese are not welcome on our lawn.  They are a menace, heavy feeder, especially on dark green healthy grass.  They leave droppings everywhere on the lawn that created a burn like circle.  I believe this come from nitrogen in their droppings.  The lawn slope to the water edge.  So my husband decided to install a yard guard (portable fence) that comes in 50 feet rolls, 4 feet in hight.  That did the trick, no more geese foraging on our lawn.  They are lazy bird, rather ambling to the lawn than fly over it.  Watching them on the water is quite a sight .  When they sense danger, bobbing up and down their head making a clucking noise.  Signalling they are ready to fly out.  The clucking noise went into a crescendo, their web feet start to run on the water, wings spread wide,  flapping furiously and slowly they lift off.  Flying along the McKenzie river to find another grass field for foraging.    

Did you know that the gander wingspread is as much as 5 feet and his weight approaches 14 pounds, wow that is heavy.  The gander is also a fierce defender of his mate and offsprings. Their habitats are ponds, lakes rivers, freshwater, salt marshes, and grain fields.  The nest is a hollow lined with plant matter and down.  Eggs 2-12, white, incubation 25-30 days, by female only.  Gosling leave nest soon after hatching, they will stay with their parents until next spring.  Their foods are aquatic plants, grass, and grain.      

From spring to fall often I look up in the sky geese flying in their V formation males and females honking greeting each other.  A beautiful sight to be hold in spite their annoying habit of ruining our lawn with their droppings.     

Happy Gardening……    

Canada geese resting on the edge of the lawn.

 

Wild Birds Frolicking In The Snow

 

 

These wild birds (Juncos and Towhees) were lucky enough to find food in a snow storm.  Oregon covered in snow for several days .  A winter wonderland seldom seen in the Pacific Northwest, except, of course in higher altitude.  Rain is common here.  I captured this photo from the kitchen window with a telephoto lens.  It was a joy to watched these birds enjoying their winter feast.