Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Pardon My Garden

This time of year there is so much happening in the garden, and a lot of it without much effort on my part. I snapped a few pictures this morning of some of the more recent developments.

giant allium (yes they are from the onion family)

Another view of my photogenic little garden shed

yes, still tulips - I've never had so long a season

humble little chives

not pretty - lily beetles - don't worry they expired within seconds of this shot.

still more tulips - this is one of my favourite new ones

And that is all I have to say for today.

Musings and meanderings from the Musical Gardener.

Monday, May 30, 2011

A Good Hike

Yesterday afternoon, we actually had our Sunday afternoon nap, early (and uninterrupted -- imagine that!), so we decided it was a good afternoon for a hike.

We started out on our usual jaunt, but instead of turning around at the end of the balloon, we kept going north.  Ostensibly (aren't you proud of me), it was for the sake of getting a few shots of a herd of cattle just up the road.  As Hyacinth Bucket (Keeping Up Appearances) likes to mention "we passed a very photogenic herd of cattle grazing on the Earl of Something-Or-Other's pasture."  Well it isn't exactly the Earl's property, but it does have a magnificent old stone house and wall that must belong to someone important (another of Hyacinth's favourite sayings).

Unfortunately the cows were way off in the distance, so my shots are not remarkable.  By this time, we were feeling quite spry.  "Let's try doing the Spicer Road loop- that would be about 10 K I think."  In for a penny, in for a pound.  We have friends who live about half way down the Spicer road.  They were out on their lawn, so of course we stopped in for a wee visit, and to get a shot of their pet killdeer and her nest.  Then it was on our way again.

It did threaten to rain, but that never materialized.  The next two legs of the journey were getting a bit longer, and certainly longer than I had remembered by car.  However the scenery was lovely, and my company charming, so we kept plodding along - besides it was just as far to go back as to continue on.

Three hours later we trudged back up our driveway, really none the worse for the wear, except for a bit of general fatigue.  We decided to take the van on the route after supper, just to determine the actual distance, and to show the girls what a couple of old fogies can do, if they put their mind and feet to it -- 16.2 kilometers - not too bad for a couple of has-beens.

And that is about all I have to say for today.

Musings and meanderings from the Musical Gardener.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Let's Expand Our Minds

I've decided it is time to expand my mind a little.  There are several words I keep running into in my reading and they are all words that sound good, words I would probably like to be able to toss into conversation at an opportune moment.  However ............ I am unsure of what any of them truly mean.  I intend to remedy that fact ....... today even!


So I think there are seven adjectives, one noun and two adverbs, just judging by the suffix endings.

Next I am going to hazard a guess at the possible meanings - yes a couple of the words I do have an idea, but I need it verified and clarified.

obsequious - boldly or arrogantly?
loquacious - noisily with a lot of words?
supercilious - above and beyond?
lugubrious - long faced?
salubrious - slobbery?
capricious - vicious?
protagonist - the hero of the story?
pragmatic - without concern?
ostensibly - by reason of a double meaning?
surreptitiously - secretly?
Okay there are my guesses - I will not go back and change them - I promise.  Now to go to the real meanings.

obsequious   – adjective

1. characterized by or showing servile complaisance or deference; fawning: an obsequious bow.
2. servilely compliant or deferential: obsequious servants.
3. obedient; dutiful.

loquacious – adjective

1. talking or tending to talk much or freely; talkative; chattering; babbling; garrulous: a loquacious dinner guest.
2. characterized by excessive talk; wordy: easily the most loquacious play of the season.

supercilious - adjective
1. haughtily disdainful or contemptuous, as a person or a facial expression.
lugubrious - adjective
1. mournful, dismal, or gloomy, esp. in an affected, exaggerated, or unrelieved manner:

salubrious - adjective
1. favorable to or promoting health; healthful

capricious – adjective

1. subject to, led by, or indicative of caprice or whim; erratic: He's such a capricious boss I never know how he'll react.
2. Obsolete . fanciful or witty.

protagonist - noun
1. the leading character, hero, or heroine of a drama or other literary work.
2. a proponent for or advocate of a political cause, social program, etc.
3. the leader or principal person in a movement, cause, etc.
4. the first actor in ancient Greek drama, who played not only the main role, but also other roles when the main character was offstage.
pragmatic - adjective
1. of or pertaining to a practical point of view or practical considerations.
2. treating historical phenomena with special reference to their causes, antecedent conditions, and results.

3. of or pertaining to the affairs of state or community.

ostensibly - adverb
1. outwardly appearing as such; professed; pretended: an ostensible cheerfulness concealing sadness.

2. apparent, evident, or conspicuous.

surreptitiously – adverb

1. obtained, done, made, etc., by stealth; secret or unauthorized; clandestine: a surreptitious glance.
2. acting in a stealthy way.
3. obtained by subreption; subreptitious.

So looking back, I actually was fairly close on my guesses on a few of these: loquacious, lugubrious, protagonist and surreptitiously.  The others, well...... I probably need to use them a few times in my blog to get them fixed in my mind. Hope you had as much fun learning, as I did looking them up.

And that is about all I have to say for today.

Musings and meanderings from the Musical Gardener.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

The Hosta Parade

On the farm, we never had a good location for hostas - too sunny and hot, and too many slugs.

Our new place has a bit more shade, and some good east and north profiles to the house.  The missus went to an auction at a garden center two years ago, on a day when I was at work.  She came home with a whole skid of hostas - and not just all one variety - I think there were better than twenty different ones.  I've also picked up a few special new ones just because.....

Well they are at about their peak right now - yes some improve with age, but other get ratty and raggedy, so I took my trusty little digital out and captured the nicest of them for my blog readers to enjoy.

This is Sum and Substance and is absolutely huge - leaves are 6 inches across

My personal favourite and the colours are true.

Another huge blue one.

I'm just waiting for the hosta breeders to introduce pink or purple into the leaves.  It can only be a matter of time.

And that is all I have to say for today.

Musings and meanderings from the Musical Gardener.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Some Garden Updates

Well the veggie garden is all in (well not the tomatoes and peppers and most of the potatoes -- still a danger of frost in May, where we live).

I had yesterday off, but I want you to see the day was not entirely lost.  I did get some odd jobs done around the yard that have been needing just those few spare minutes.  And the lawn is cut, and half of my client's lawn, so I guess there was some productivity.

Planter boxes ready to be transported to a client's home.

When we bought this place, there were two half barrels located at the entrance to the lane.  They seemed pretty out of place there, so we moved them down onto the lawn, and for two years that has been their home.  But of course, the King of Procrastination is also the King of Change.  Yes, the two barrels are back at the entrance to the lane, but they look a little more in place, with the rail fence and steel wheels that we put in last year.  Here they are, bookends.

The first Tall Bearded Iris is in full bloom.  I was hoping the irises would be a show this year, but there seems to be a very limited number of buds showing.  Hardly surprising when you consider they were all moved last summer from their homes.  When we moved in 2008, I moved nearly 200 clumps to the new place.  Unfortunately, their new home was too wet for their liking and they sat and sulked and attempted to die.  Knowing I had to do something, I made new beds on the slope of the septic and moved them all in.  The plants look great now, and hopefully will put on a show in 2012. That seems to be the way of gardening -- always dreaming about how great next year will be, and forgetting to enjoy what this year really is.

Hot to Trot, TB Iris

Oh yes, and the cat did come back.  Well actually apparently she was never gone.  I guess she must have planned a staycation in the house, and forgot to tell us about it.  Gone all night and day, and then materializes at 4:00 pm -- "Here I am, now feed me!"

And that is about all I have to say for today.

Musings and meanderings from the Musical Gardener.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

More On The Birds

I think this is my 150th blog post, and something seems determined to not let me post.  Hopefully I've got the issues ironed out at last.

All in all, it has been a bit of a strange day thus far, though.  First of all I did not get a call to teach - the second day in a row, and only the third day I've had off since November 11th - not sure on that one.

Our one cat, Savannah, has vanished into thin air - just gone!  She is an indoor cat who is never allowed outside and of late has slept on our bed every night, but not last night.  We've searched the house high and low, and outside, in case she might have slipped out unawares.  Gone!  Hopefully I'll be humming the song "..and the cat came back" tomorrow.

My Mastercard has also disappeared.  I know where I used it last, and they don't have it. I called and cancelled the card, but there was no suspicious activity on it.  So now comes the fun part of redirecting all the bills etc to the new card - missus is not too happy with me right now.  I suspect it will appear, now that it is no longer valid.

I was out for the morning, and when I came home, the phone in the bedroom was ringing ..............non stop and no one was there.  Finally got it to shut its gob.

And then Blogger would not let me sign in but after I deleted the Blogger cookie from the system, it grudgingly let me in, so I am posting fast before the window of opportunity closes again.

Remember a few weeks back, I posted a photo of the robin's nest, complete with eggs, that is located just to the right of our entranceway, atop a lamp.  Well the eggs have become little birds and their parents have been running themselves ragged, garnering worms for the little mouths that pop open every time they hear a noise.

And then there were the two ittle mallards that we spotted on our walk the other night.  They were just pleasant to watch, toddling about.

So unless the cat is out shopping somewhere with my card, it has been a strange day, with some very unexplained happenings.  Maybe it was her trying to get me on the phone.
And that is about all I have to say for today.

Musings and meanderings from the Musical Gardener.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Bloomin' Trees

Before my computer contacted its ailment, I had taken some nice photos of the trees in our yard.  Unfortunately, my daughter's computer did not have a photo handling system, so I've had to wait until our computer returned from the shop, in its new re-energized and revitalized condition,  to actually post this.

This tree isn't a bloomer, but it is so unique I have to put it in.  We call it the heart tree, and it is located at the end of our sideroad.  Isn't it a beaut!

Flowering crab and lilac season is too short.  Unfortunately, even four days later, the crabs are faded and starting to drop petals.

 This is the first year for my little white lilac to show any blossom.

Now if I could just find some way to capture the wonderful aroma of the lilacs to share on the blog.

And for my final photo of the blog - this is one of the nicest shots I have of my garden shed.  The flowering crab just makes a wonderful frame for it.

And that is about all I have to say for today.

Musings and meanderings from the Musical Gardener.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Ontario Land Grant Deed

I am fortunate enough to be the recipient of one of the original Land Grand deeds, granted to my great grandmother in 1877 for a parcel of land, 192 acres in Hagerman Township, Parry Sound District.

This would have been at a point in time that the government was trying to open up settlement in the more northerly reaches of the new province of Ontario.  I'm not sure I understand the thinking behind it, but many of my forefathers left the fertile, established farms of southern Ontario and headed off into the wild wilderness territory of the Muskokas and Georgian Bay.  Albeit the government was offering free land to the hardy souls with enough pioneering gumption to accept.  Perhaps they left behind farms, productive in crops, but encumbered by insurmountable debt.  Whatever the reason, north they came, to the rocky forestlands of Hagerman and Croft township.  Between logging, brickmaking and farming they were able to eek out an existance and etch their characters into the harsh environment they slowly conquered.

I tried to scan the most import features of the deed, although it is marked with leachings from other documents that lay with it over the decades.  I'm not sure why it was made out to my great grandmother and not my great grandfather, although, perhaps they each had 192 acres, and his deed was misplaced over time.

Outside of deed is dated 1883 with her married name

This is the seal, I'm not sure about the blue paper over it, but I have always just left it intact.

Inside, note date 1877, and maiden name
 I believe these are the building that were erected on said piece of property. If this correct, this would have been the house, my father was born in and spent the formative years of his life in.

And that is all I have to say for today.

Musings and meanderings from the Musical Gardener.