Lilacs

There is something about lilacs that fills me with happiness. Perhaps it is because the scent of them brings me back to my childhood where I had a lilac bush outside my window.  I recall bedtime in the spring when the sweet scent would fill my room and make sleep a pleasure – a rare thing at a young age when bedtime is never a favourite time of one’s day.

It has been a beautiful year here for lilacs and unfortunately, they have come to an end until next spring. Here are some pics from the last couple of weeks.June7_2013_1 June7_2013_2 June7_2013_4
Lilac bush out laundry room window (makes doing laundry a little more enjoyable)June7_2013_5 June7_2013_6
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Elusive and Silly Otters

For only a day or two every spring and sometimes in the fall, we have the rare opportunity to see otters. It is usually when the ice is half covering the lake and they are so much fun to watch slide and play. Unfortunately they are at a distance so it is difficult to get a good photo of them.

One year I saw a Bald Eagle after one! I am not sure if they were competing for a fish but the otter wouldn’t go under the ice, (maybe for fear of getting trapped?) instead it insisted on going over it which was much to thin and kept breaking under it’s weight. The eagle kept diving at it and finally the otter got to open water and dove under to get away. I wish I had a good telephoto lens for that scene!

These are the best photos I could snap so my apologies for my amateurish photography. They are so fun to watch when they run and slide on their bellies. They look like they are always having fun!

Dreaming Of Vegetable Gardens And Loving Spring

A couple of weeks ago we planted some starter seeds indoors for veggies to be transplanted into our garden when it is warm enough outside to do so. It is exciting to think that we have survived another winter and soon the earth will be awakening again. Already, the skies are beginning to fill with birds on their return flight after spending a winter in some warmer, less hostile climate than Canada in the winter.

I have to admit I love pretty much everything about living in Canada, but there are always a few moments in the winter when I wonder what in the world I am doing living in such a frigid and desolate place. Once the majority of the birds fly south and the animals go to sleep, the silence can be both lovely and lonely at once. Hearing the honking Canada Geese or the excited call of the Red-Winged Blackbirds makes my heart glad and I long for the lullaby of the Spring Peepers which I know will soon follow.

Here are some pics from planting the seeds with my daughters.Image

So far, this year we have pre-planted seeds for the following:
•Green Beans
•Dark Green Zucchini
•Dwarf Green Curled Kale (only Kale seeds I could find – should be interesting)
•Long Green Cucumber
•Chioggia Beets
•Sugar Snap Peas
•Lettuce

And a few flowers:
•Morning Glory
•Nasturtium (I love these in hanging baskets and also for adding colour to the garden, and their flowers are edible and nice in salads with a slight nutty/spicy taste)
•Candy Stripe Cosmos (remind me of my grandmother’s garden)

Here are some photos from a few years ago of my daughters planting and caring for the seeds.Image

And a few photos from the harvest.Image

If you have any gardening stories or just general spring gratitude, I would love to hear.

Have a great weekend!

Easter Decorating on the Cheep….er, Cheap!

Since our house is on the small side, I find that although I love to decorate for holidays like Easter, I don’t want to have a tonne of decorations I have to store for the other 360+ days of the year. I also don’t want to have to buy new decorations every year since that can be expensive so we try to come up with creative things that are cheap, or even better, free! Here are a bunch of pics of this year’s collection of decorations.pics of decorations1

The kids dyed some eggs using a wax crayon to draw on them first.

We put the eggs in a glass vase and added a couple of stuffed bunnies the kids had as toys.

The pussy willows were out just in time this year so we went for a hike to pick some.

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I had these dogwood branches still hanging up from Christmas (I am embarrassed to say) and just as I was about to take them down, realized I could hang some eggs on them so there they stay.

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The egg garland we made here and the tablecloth I bought for my daughter’s birthday from the fabric section at Ikea for $6/m.
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The nest/branches in the vase I actually bought at the dollar store and the eggs in the bowl we collected from the cousin’s hens.
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Total cost for this year’s decorations:
All branches = free
Kid’s paper egg garland = free
Nest/branch = $1.50
Eggs/dye = $3
Hanging eggs from passed year.
Total: $4.50

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The final pic shows more eggs my daughter made and put in her window to decorate her room and a deer came to visit in the morning. 🙂

I wish everyone a wonderful weekend and a Happy Easter!!

Ok Winter, You Win.

Technically, it is officially spring. However, after another dumping of snow and a massive winter storm on the first day of spring, it definitely feels like winter is hanging on a while longer. When I came across these photos from a couple of years ago,  I figured why not embrace the final remnants of winter while it is here. The day these pics were taken was one of the best days we have had since we moved to the lake 8 years ago. We had a visit from the girls’ cousins that weekend and they spent almost the entire time on the ice. Fun!A perfect day of skating

Osprey Hunting

Of all the birds and wildlife I see every day, I am always breathless when I watch the Osprey hunting for fish. They are truly spectacular birds. With their expansive wings, they hover when they see a fish, then tuck them in and dive right underwater from great heights. Somehow they effortlessly go from complete submersion to high flight in a matter of moments, shaking the water off their wings mid-flight upon ascent. I have tried to capture the spectacle but feel my photos do not do justice to what is witnessed by the eye.

Hunting
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Hovering
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Keeping an eye on the fish
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Beginning the descent
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The plunge
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A closer look
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Hunting again
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