I WILL arise and go now, and go to Innisfree,
And a small cabin build there, of clay and wattles made:
Nine bean-rows will I have there, a hive for the honey-bee,
And live alone in the bee-loud glade. ~William Butler Yeats

Monday, July 21, 2014

Good Golly Gooseberries...

Ever since I was a kid I have loved berries.  I would ride the pastures to pick buffalo berries.  I remember the joy when I found wild grapes.  Things haven't changed with age. When we started dating my husband to be took me to pick my wild raspberries.   No wonder I married him.   There have been many other wild berry discoveries in the hills: wild strawberries, saskatoons, thimbleberries, and now GOOSEBERRIES.  For years I have seen these plants randomly in the hills.  I suspected gooseberries, but didn't think they grew wild around here.  Then a few weeks ago we took the students on a nature trail (one I've been on several times) and I saw a sign (I'd missed in the past) and it identified these as gooseberries.  Sure enough I found a plant today and it is loaded with berries.  I am so excited.  There isn't enough for the pie my husband would like, but where there is one there must be more.  Trust me I will be searching.

A berry picking I will go.

Monday, July 14, 2014

Birds, birds, birds...

I know "to everything there is a season," but could summer last forever?  Last night I just sat on the porch and enjoyed every second of the day.  The peonies were heavy with scent.  The rose and red garden in are in full bloom.  The sounds of the blue jays, crossbills, nuthatches, grossbeaks, and chickadees fill the air.  I glimpsed a hummingbird just once at the feeder.  I wish time would just stand still.  
 This hen kept her little ones close by.
 The Scarlet Tanager stops by once in a while for a few bites of suet.
 A picture of  a very wet black headed grossbeak.
 This crossbill is one of the group of 50 that have been homesteading at my feeders.
My husband got these photos of the hen and her chicks.  The little guys are adorable. 

I enjoy observing the birds.  It soothes me after a long week.   I especially like watching the baby chicks learn the ways of the world.  Life is grand.

Sunday, July 6, 2014


Finally, flowers.  Lots and lots of flowers.  Let's take a walk in the garden...
 Can you tell I love roses? 
 I am in awe when the sun shines through the flowers.

 The red iris stands out among the yellow roses.
 The pink roses are by the porch and in the morning the scent is like heaven.
 I so wish the yellow roses bloomed more than once a year.
 I call the iris below my blue flags.  They are so vibrant. 
 I'm happy to report everything is coming up roses here. 
I hope everyone enjoyed their 4th of July weekend.   I spent most of it wandering around the garden drinking in the scents, sounds, and sights.  I am rejuvenated.

Sunday, June 29, 2014

A new addition...

Ok, we finally finished the last addition to the vegetable garden.  I still need a few more wheels to finish the last section of the fence.  
 To set the wheels we drill through the metal and then anchor them with strong screws.  I really like that the wheels are all different.   I don't plan on going all the way around the garden.  Just to the end and then make it taller.
 There is no way the sweet corn will be knee high by the 4th of July.  The chipmunks also seem to have pilfered a few seeds.  My herbs at the top are doing great.  
The inside is also productive.  As soon as the lettuce and spinach outside gets a little bigger I will pull them from the inside and start another set.  The bok choy is huge and I can't eat it fast enough.  Note for next year:  four seeds would be fine!  The broccoli doesn't seem to be heading out any time soon.   
The vegetable bed is now perfect.  Ok, maybe I'll make a bean tower for next year.  It will be interesting to see how the harvest is this year.  The cold wet weather has slowed down the outer beds.  It may have been a mistake putting the broccoli in the greenhouse with the beans.  Less bok choy would also be helpful.  Some where in that mess is a huge carrot.  It is about the only one that germinated.   It amazes me how I went from no vegetables to a greenhouse and 3 outer beds.  Another gardening challenge accepted. 

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Did you ever notice...

Did you ever notice it only rains on weekends?  My third tier of the vegetable garden is just waiting to be put together.  One of these days this will be another vegetable bed.

These wheels will be incorporated into the garden fence.  The big one is from my Dad, the little one from a friend, and the double wheel is from an auction. Someday they will look like this.  Notice the big one is a gate that can be rolled open.

 My hives are back up and running.  The poor bees haven't been out much with all of the rain.
 A photo of the swing when it isn't covered in snow.  Below is the outdoor vegetable bed in full swing.  My garlic, chives, beets, onions, mint, spinach, and lettuce are all doing great.  The carrots didn't seem to germinate.
 The toolbox smells great! It was a wonderful addition to the porch.

 I'm trying to get succulents started in these, but the darn chipmunks think it is their personal sandbox.
 A wet male crossbill and a wet female black headed grosbeak.

Another day on the porch waiting for the sun to come out.

Monday, June 16, 2014

Sometimes you are just lucky...

My husband and I don't have children.  I've taught over 6,000 teenagers, that is enough stress. Sometimes I am lucky enough to enjoy my sister's 5 kids.  This weekend was one of those times.  I picked the oldest two up at the camp they attended this week.  That included the rodeo, hearing them sing, and seeing them in a skit.  From there we went home to drink lemonade, tour the gardens, roast s'mores, eat s'mores ice cream and take a hot bath in the giant tub.   (Hope my sister isn't reading this.  I probably didn't feed them the healthiest stuff.)

 There is a lot of fence sitting at a rodeo.

Waiting patiently for her turn.

 The game face is on, before she begins.

We had a great time roasting marshmallows and making s'mores.  Though a few marshmallows were sacrificed into the fire.


 The next day we met the whole clan at the 1880 Town.  The little ones got a chance to stretch their legs and run around they did.

Poor little brother had a hard time keeping up with all of those sisters.  He did his best.  

It was hard to leave them at the end of the day.  They are quite the little crew.  I hope they had as much fun as Crazy Aunt Bonnie:)  I sure felt lucky that we got to spend some time together.

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Enjoying the color green...

 I've been enjoying my gardens already.  The chamomile is if full bloom.  As you can see below, I have plenty of spinach, lettuce, and bok choy in the greenhouse.  Everything I've planted is doing great, except the carrots had poor germination.  The broccoli I started from seed is going great guns.  I have peppers on one side and tomatoes on the other.  I used a horse feed trough for the tomatoes on the bench.  If it works I'll get a second one.

 My husband is from Minnesota and thus has a soft spot for maple trees.  We fell in love with this Royal Red Maple and brought him home.  The hills has beautiful golds and oranges in the fall, but we lack in red.  Hopefully, this beauty will provide the additional punch we were looking for.

 I so regret leaving a huge patch of lily-of-the-valley at our old home in Lead.  For some reason I thought they were a dime a dozen.  Not so.  I finally got my hands on a few.  Still nothing will compare to how our yard smelled when the huge patch I used to have was in full bloom.

My poor little small cup daffodils and species tulips don't look so sharp, as all it has done lately is rain on them.  They are a bit like me, muddy.

 I am quite happy with my Ajuga Burgundy Glow looks great right now.  the camera doesn't do the colors justice.

 My CL Westerland Rose is beautiful as always.  The colors just glow.
One of my favorite flowers it the Primrose.  They look so happy.  They also seem to not only tolerate, but actually thrive in our heavy clay soil.
                                                                                                                                                             The beekeeper stopped by with a new hive.  Everything is so green.  It is so good to see after such a long winter.
 Most of the weekend was pent on the porch enjoying a hot cup of coffee, as it rained most of the weekend.  I am thankful that we didn't have the hail that was seen to the north of us.  I hope everyone else is enjoying the color green.