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Thursday, April 15, 2010

Honey Cup

Have I mentioned once or twice how much I love the blossom on my cherry tree? Each year, as the tree grows, my senses are filled with wonder. I can't get enough of it!
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The day before yesterday, I spent nearly the whole day gardening. First I had to rake up a zillion cones that had been shaken from the evergreens during Mr. Bluster's reign. They filled a wheelbarrow to the top.

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As I looked up from whence they came, I saw that there were a myriad more just watching me, quite possibly ready to drop at the slightest chance!

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I mowed the front and back lawns, and then dug up the rest of the patch where I'm going to plant potatoes. It was a busy day, but it was a perfect day to be outside amidst all the spring blossoms. When I downloaded my photos, I realized that one of them showed quite a few fruit trees, so I've labelled them.

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But the best best best thing I saw was in the pear tree. The pear blossoms are just beginning to open and there are still many delicate pink buds...

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There was one, and only one, busy little bee (much like me) buzzing around the pear tree. It landed in a petal cup, folded back its wings, and seemed to nestle in. Now it was probably just pollinating because I noticed it had big pollen sacks on its legs...but it looked so sweet, that I've named this posting in its honour - Bee my Little Honey Cup. ;)

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Some other signs of Spring in my garden:



Er, um...guess where I went today?

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Snowbirds

Each April, the Canadian Snowbirds do their pre-season training in the Comox Valley on Vancouver Island. An excerpt from the Snowbird site:

The squadron will train from 19 Wing Comox for the next three weeks, until April 25.

Pre-season training is an annual event where the squadron deploys away from its home base in Moose Jaw, Sask to get used to flying over varied terrain and under different flying conditions.

With the luxury of having mountainous terrain as well as open water nearby, the Comox Valley is an ideal location to prepare for the season.

"The squadron is looking forward to the 2010 season as we celebrate our 40th season" said Maj Hope.

The Canadian Forces Snowbirds are Canada's air demonstration team, representing the skill professionalism and teamwork of the Canadian Forces.

On my previous post, I showed a few photos I managed to take just before the Snowbirds landed. Once I came home, I did some googling and found out exactly when these pre-training performances were taking place, and the best viewing spot. Arriving an hour beforehand to make sure I had a good location, I spent the next couple of hours thoroughly enjoying myself watching a spectacular display while overlooking some beautiful scenery.

Looking down at the beach:

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Everybody and their dogs turned up (well, especially the dogs!):

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Before long stereo speakers were set up by the Snowbird public relations team, and music started creating a party atmosphere. Spectators were welcomed to the "Snowbirds 2010" performance and it was amazing!

I have put a little video together combining slides and one piece of video so I could upload it to Photobucket.



I've also uploaded a few of my photos that are included in case you are unable to open the video.



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What a tremendous afternoon! I'll go back and watch it again (at least once more!) before they finish up here on April 25.

Here's a youtube video I found of the Snowbird Airshow Rehearsal from April 2009 which I found informative and fascinating!

Flighty, in his reply to my previous post, sent me this link which shows  the aircraft in flight - Air/Canadair-CT-114-Tutor.  Thanks Flighty. 

Sunday, April 11, 2010

More of April's Pleasures

Each spring I take photos as the buds unfold ~ but even though the photos may look like ones from previous years, they aren't the same flowers! They're new and must be celebrated! Today I renewed my annual membership at the woodland gardens and spent a pleasant interlude wandering through, checking out the early spring blooms. It was a perfect spring day with just a sunshiny breeze. I could hear frogs, but no sign of any.

Here's a sample of what I did see:

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Later I had a stroll around my garden and realized that the blossom on the pear trees are opening! I wasn't the only one interested in that fact:

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My tastebuds are remembering succulent cherries and divine pears! But no need to hurry Spring along ... I'm happy to enjoy the blossoms.

Yesterday, I drove north along the island highway and became aware of something else that reminded me of April ~ I'll be going back tomorrow to check again... in the meantime here's a glimpse ...

Friday, April 9, 2010

Spring is beautiful!

The winds have calmed, and, although the temperature is cooler than normal, it was bright and sunny today. It was a pleasure to soak up some warmth and check the garden to make sure plants were still rooted...and had not been blown onto the neighbour's property ;)

Other than a few evergreen branches hanging in deciduous trees, all seem to be well grounded.

The camelia bush is full of buds and bright flowers.
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One of the window boxes displays hyacinths and pansies.
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I just love the cherry blossoms, and the whole tree is nearly a mass of white.
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Ahhhh....

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Have Turkey, Will Travel and the Gong Show!

On Easter Sunday, the Turkey was strapped into its seatbelt and headed down the highway, along with the Cranberry Sauce, Hot Cross Buns, Loaf, Sweet Potato Casserole, Asparagus, Carrots, Potatoes, and Pumpkin Pie.

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Since I am no longer restricted by work schedules, I'm free to travel to those who had work responsibilities on Monday. It was great to get together once again with my sons and brother who all gobbled down the turkey and trimmings.


Louise mentioned that she liked the look of the hot cross buns. The history of hot cross buns and the recipe from The Vancouver Sun that was recommended to me -  link is here.


So, fortunately, for all concerned, the power did not go out here during our intense wind storms, although apparently 23,000 households had power outages on the island. Trees and branches landed on power lines, and did a fair bit of damage as well.


There has been another visitor on the roof this week! I heard the craziest sound, like a gong echoing down the chimney pipe. Talk about sitting up and taking notice! I definitely stopped what I was doing at the sound. I went outside and looked on the roof, and there was a Northern Flicker beating the living daylights out of the metal pipe with its beak! Mating call time! Lovely (not). Although I have heard of this happening, I've never actually experienced the sound inside the house before. I took a photo of the 'racketeer', but the result wasn't in focus. If Freddie Flicker returns to contact his mate, I'll be well warned and try to get a proper photo!   I took a photo of this one last week taking over where the nuthatches left off ~ but it might be a female.



When I heard the mating call, this song jumped into my head ~ I've edited  to add a youtube of Jeannette MacDonald singing to Nelson Eddie (a mountie :),. with Jimmy Stewart.   Log cabin and all!  (Movie, Rose-Marie ~ 1936) When I'm calling you.... 



Here is a little photo of an Easter basket I gave to a friend's 5 year old daughter on my way down island. (Actually she's the granddaughter of my cowpoke sidekick ;))  I thought she'd enjoy using the bunny bowl for cereal when the chocolate carrots are all gone.

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The new header on my blog is a photo I took in the park over the weekend. The fragrance of that bed of hyacinths was unbelievable. Nice tulips as well.

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Mixed weather when I was there ~ some gusty wind by the ocean where I spotted a huddle of pigeons hunkering down on the bank. I braved the weather, threw them some oatmeal, but Mr. Bluster (the notorious weatherman) flung it back at me. Aargh. Ptthptth. (That's me spluttering out boomerang oatmeal.)
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Today I played 'pick up sticks' that had accumulated on the lawn.  I could have used the help of this fellow ~ but he was otherwise occupied - at least he was quiet while hanging on to his twiggly bit.

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I noticed quite a few squirrels happily scampering about the park with mouths full of treasures blown in the wind. There were numerous offerings for feathered nesting purposes, so perhaps Nature, while causing concern for some, was also helping other creatures great and small.

The cherry blossom is opening slowly, probably a bit tentative about blossoming during this weather.  The weather forecast suggests it might be sunny by Saturday -- but that's not for awhile!

Keep smiling :) 

Friday, April 2, 2010

Mr. Bluster - the Weatherman

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Happy Easter, everyone!