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Saturday, July 31, 2010

Summer Sunshine

The summer weather continues to be perfect here,  and therefore I have been spending a lot of time outdoors ~ not going too far (only as far as the back garden and deck some days). Very relaxing! ... I've taken trips to the beach, to the woodland gardens, to a village fair, and more trips to the library ~ I even read two novels in one day!

The cherries and Bandido have disappeared. Bandido won the cherry picking award this year ...
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I compensated by buying a bag of fresh cherries from the market ~
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...and watermelon

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...and food for barbecues

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Here are some lilies from the woodland garden ~

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and a white hydrangea bush

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Long stretches of sand ~
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and boats anchored nearby ~
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~ rental kayaks from the beach hut ...
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A bicyclist happily balancing her wares from the market!

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To join in the feeling of just how relaxing it is around here, dip your toes ~ as we welcome August!

Monday, July 19, 2010

Picture Perfect!

We have been experiencing perfect summer weather, around 25 C with a sea breeze. Just lovely and very relaxing. Here are a few photo collages and a video to catch up!  
Photos are clickable to enlarge.

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...and of course, we can't forget Bandido as he strikes again...

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Monday, July 12, 2010

Gnasher!

Check out the teeth!


After Gnasher had been in the tree long enough, I sent him on his way with a jet spray from the garden hose. He stopped at the end of the garden, and looked at me...I think I heard him say..."I'll be back..."


Edited to add: For a slightly modified version check out my youtube video/audio
 




Later in the evening, I went out the front door and a grey bundle dropped at my feet and took off like a streak...My heart jumped into my throat! However, it was just Mr. Sneaky, the neighbour's cat, who had been up in the dogwood tree. A cat in a dogwood tree...I know.

I have had other visitors recently, (the human kind) so lots of BBQ's and time in the sun. Fortunately it has cooled down and is much more pleasant. 


Thursday, July 8, 2010

Bandido

The temperatures have soared this week ~ but who can complain after we've waiting so long for summer. Luckily a sea breeze is making temperatures bearable.

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My eldest son had a few days off so a couple of days ago we headed down to Merridale Cidery after reading about it on a friend's blog. What a wonderful spot! We had a delicious lunch, including an apple pie with ice cream!

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Back at home, I picked a rose bouquet which I dedicate to Nikki ~ happy belated birthday Nikki! Included are Iceberg, Folklore, Hot Cocoa, Heritage, Fragrant Cloud, Fairy ...

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So last evening, I was reading on the lounge on the deck. It was still very warm, but pleasant. I heard a rustling overhead and assumed the birds were in the cherry tree again. However, as I looked up I came eye to eye with Bandido...



A cute little young raccoon, about the size of a cat...

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Will there be any cherries left for me once they ripen?
I think not ;)

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Stretching out the weekend

July 1 was Canada Day but the weather here was rather dismal, which detracted me from doing too much of anything. However, yesterday was a different story. I have always enjoyed epistolary novels and learned of a book that sounded rather intriguing ~ Ella Minnow Pea. Rather than request this book to be sent to my local library, I decided to drive to another branch to take it out. It was a lovely day for a drive. I also browsed some used book stores, stopped for an ice cream cone, and then headed to a beach that I had never been to before.

Here's where the stretching part comes in. I took 10 photos in a series and using Windows Live Photo Gallery made this panoramic view:

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I then turned around 180 degrees and took another series which turned into this:

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The windbreak built of driftwood stretched along the beach and offered some unusual photographic opportunities:

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Today soon turned into a warm breezy one. The sundeck beckoned, so "Ella Minnow Pea" and I sat together on the lounge chair. This seemingly relaxing experience was interrupted intermittently by enthusiastic robins inundating me with 'cherry bombs'. The cherries, which are usually ripe enough to start picking by July 1 are not ready, although this fact has done nothing to discourage the robins.

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The apple tree and surrounds were visited by the Flicker family:

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As well as being bombed by robins, I was also concerned about Flicker activity above my head...bottoms up!  Lovely plumage ;) 

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This Flicker was having a drink from the rain gutters so the splashing I felt was water dripping (I hope!)

Later on when I came inside, I noticed through the sliding glass door, a hummingbird having some refreshment from the feeder...which was needing to be refilled by the looks of things.







The Western Tiger Swallowtail is a common visitor now (7-10 cm):

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The hanging basket on the sundeck is quite beautiful ~ and focusing on the flowers occasionally took my mind off the crazy antics of birds and the unusual book I was reading.

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