Winter Wildlife and Birds

When we moved into our current home, I noticed a large increase in the number and variety of birds, along with a regular rotation of other urban wildlife including squirrels, raccoons and deer. While helping to keep some of these critters alive may be frowned upon by neighbours or local pest control, one can’t argue with keeping the birds fed. In the Victoria area many birds don’t migrate, but they do change their habits in Continue Reading →

Small garden, small bounty

This year’s garden was pared back from past years; only what I thought could grow was planted. For the most part, this was a sound plan; the garden has been easy to manage. The tomatoes are growing well and carrots and beans are, too. However, for the second year running, I’ve put in multiple squash plants and got nothing. Plenty of flowers, no fruits. I changed the location within the beds where I planted them, Continue Reading →

Smaller Garden Year

The last few years, I’ve struggled with the garden. Bad luck with weather (crazy wet followed by crazy dry spells) and poor soil meant lousy yields. This year, I am a month behind because of my back. I was dreading dealing with the sorry state the beds had become. Today, Shawn and Kiddo pitched in to help me weed two of the four beds and turn in some compost and fresh soil. Working together, that Continue Reading →

Compounded Guilt

I recently found myself in that endless cycle of feeling guilty about stuff I haven’t done — I haven’t prepared the garden, I haven’t published the SmoothieJune Book —and now it’s June!! — I haven’t kept up with other writing. Then I compounded my own guilt by feeling guilty aboutĀ “shoulding on myself” I should be outside, I should be writing, I should work around the issues I have and just get it done. My internal Continue Reading →

Last Night I Dreamt of Frogs

I dreamt of frogsĀ appearing by the dozen from under leaves and around a pond. I didn’t recall this dream until I was walking through the Finnerty Gardens this morning, after taking a slightly different bus route. I have missed walking through the gardens and over the past week or so had noticed that the rhodos were in full bloom. I took 10 extra minutes this morning, camera in hand to walk through, and I found Continue Reading →


We did not attend the Occupy Victoria/Public Assembly of Victoria rally today but by all accounts it was peaceful and reasonable. Mat Wright took some great photos; here’s some more photos from R. A. Paterson (user rpaterso on Flickr). Mid-day, the group marched from Centennial Square to the Legislature which actually took the group through what passes for Victoria’s “financial district” along Douglas St. It disrupted traffic enough that we encountered transit buses being re-routed Continue Reading →

Plums, apples and the first real harvest

Saturday, I harvested nearly 6 lbs of plums while I was watering the garden. Most of them went to friends because there are another 6 lbs or more still on the tree! I also picked a bunch of apples (enough to make a crumble for the potluck we attended Saturday evening — yay to Zero Mile Fruit!) Later in the evening I spent far too much time trying to determine the varieties of all the Continue Reading →

More Garden Progress

Got up early this morning — not intentionally but since I was up, I went outside to deal with some of the garden stuff. After the thankless and never-ending task of trying to keep tent caterpillars away from our apparently tasty apple trees, I watered the beds and got buzzed by a hummingbird. Serves me right for wearing a red shirt I guess. Then I settled in to weeding one of the back beds and Continue Reading →

Garden progress at last

Another sunny day so I decided it was high time to get some serious planting done. Unfortunately, I had to do battle with a whole lot of tent caterpillars on the apple trees. I cut off four big tents and can see several others high up in the tree. I will need a ladder and some help to get the rest. Sigh. After that, I got down to planting. So far, I’ve planted: 3 varieties Continue Reading →

Mike was right.

Renting a rototiller was totally the solution to my overwhelmed-by-the-garden blues. We booked it for the day but were done tilling four beds in well under an hour — really I would say 30 min of work (all done by Mike — with many thanks). When I posted this on Facebook, one friend responded, “Nothing beats a little horsepower. #guysolution” — I agree. It was truly impressive what a little gasoline and four rotating blades Continue Reading →