Thursday, April 29, 2010

Spring == Yard work + baby animals

I showed you the time lapse photos of redoing the main part of the 'flower' bed in front of the garage, where we removed the stones, removed and discarded the old lansdcape fabric and replaced it with new fabric (two layers with big overlaps between them), and then replaced the stones after screening them to eliminate the dirt and plant material that contaminated the stones and gave lots of places for weeds to grow in.

The following photos show the completion of the project.

This is the 'before' photo. You can see the fabric is sticking up in a few places. Except for the weeds, the few plants are not too lively (okay I admit it, they are dead!). In general, it doesn't look very good.

This photo was taken after removing the stones. I pulled off the top layer of stones onto the pathway. However, the stones were too contaminated with dirt and plant material so I ended up screening all the stones and then dumping them into the garbage can. Some of the stones were so dirty (since they were embedded in the dirt) that I had to hose them off.

This is after the landscape fabric was put down and the stones were replaced. I got two large rocks to make the garden appear more interesting. We are planning on putting a large pot on top of the stones between the two rocks. Nothing really grows well in this spot, since it is in shade all the time and it gets a lot of wind. That's a shame since the soil in this garden bed is nice and rich!

Okay, springtime is time for baby animals. Here is a photo of some tiny calves and their mommas, I presume.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

A nice day and a nice dinner!

Pano - April 28, 2010

Chicken Cordon Bleu

Chocolate mousse with a dab of strawberry ice cream

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

They're baaaaaaack!!!

No, it's not a horror movie.

We have a pair of robins that are trying to nest in our porch area. Here they are gathering some dried grass (I cut the lawn on the weekend) to make their next. The male bird is quite a big fellow!

They're baaaaaaaaack!!!!!

Yes, the American Goldfinches are back!!! I filled up the feeders and set them out about the middle of last week, but we hadn't seen the goldfinches return. We thought that perhaps it was a bit too early, and that seems to have been the case because this is the first pair that we have seen. The larger, brightly coloured bird (at the bottom of the photo) is the male, and the female is the smaller duller yellow colour (at the top of the photo, looking down).

Monday, April 26, 2010

The saga of the wild turkey leg

Gentle Reader, you may recall an entry from February 16th titled Strange Things that showed the following photo of a wild turkey leg.

February 15, 2010

The leg was mostly buried in the snow. We were surprised by the length of the nails on the turkey's foot. I am guessing that the nails helps the turkey get good traction on ice, and also perhaps as a defensive weapon.

March 21, 2010

Sometime after all the snow had gone, we discovered that something had eaten most of the skin off the turkey leg. As you can see, there really isn't much there except for skin, bone, and sinew (tendons). And the nails that I commented on above (of course).

April 23, 2010

A few weeks ago, the neighbours' girls and friends came running out to see the dogs. They had been having a birthday party, which is why there were so many friends over. We showed them the wild turkey leg and they were morbidly fascinated by it. A few days later, we discovered that they had buried the leg and made a sort of grave marker for it. Very sweet!

Sunday, April 25, 2010

More hard work - and a pretty sunset

This weekend we tackled a big job. We had some landscaping done when we moved in and the landscapers didn't do a very good job with putting down the landscape fabric before putting down the stones. So we had a LOT of weeds growing in the flower bed. In some places, there was a 4- or 6-inch gap between the edges of the lanscape fabric. On top of all that, we had some mint growing in there, and mint is the weediest plant that ever lived!

First we pulled all the rocks off the old lanscape fabric and then we pulled up the old landscape fabric (and as many weeds as we could) and put it in a garbage bag.

Then Freda transplanted some plants to fill in a few 'holes' in the flower bed.

Then we started putting down the landscape fabric and weighting it down with stones and a few garden tools. This represents about 13 hours of work, between Freda and me. We stopped at this point and went and got a burger at Wendy's.

We completed putting the landscape fabric down and put back the rocks, being careful not to put all the dirt that was on top of the old landscape fabric as well. This last part took approximately another 5 1/2 hours. I took this photo after I swept all the dirt off the path, but before hosing it off.

All in all, about 18 1/2 hours work. Besides the very much improved flower bed, our backs and legs and hands are sore as well -- bonus!

But the ultimate reward...

Freda and I went out after supper to admire the result of our hard work, and also to enjoy the wonderful sunset!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Spring = New Growth!

One of the nice things about spring is enjoying the nice weather, after a long winter, and seeing the pretty flowers and the new growth. The deer don't seem to have discovered the tulips yet this year, which is nice, so we are able to enjoy them for a few more days.

Freda has started her sweet peas inside. They are sprouting nicely.

And the peonies are coming up outside. Hmmm, love those peonies!

Monday, April 19, 2010

A Wet, Dirty Lab == A Happy Dog

We took the dogs out for a walk this afternoon. Tawny found a puddle. Well, more like a ditch with some water in it. She ran/splashed gleefully up and down the ditch (only about 5 feet long) and then lay down in it and used her nose to stir up the dirt and sediment. Why? Well, because she wasn't dirty enough before, obviously.

You can't see it in this photo, but the right side of her face is impressively filthy!

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Not as good as my sisters

My sisters, being excellent house keepers, tell me they iron their pillowcases. Well, we had never done that before, but I thought I should do that so that maybe they will not be so unimpressed.

This is the pile of pillowcases, with a before and after photo. The colour rendition in the After photo is clearly wrong, but I couldn't correct it. However, I think that you still can see the difference.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Hydro tree trimming

We received a letter in the mail from Hydro One that they would be in our area trimming trees that might interfere with the power lines. This is the result. They really made a mess of the trees that they cut, with lots of splintering, etc.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Ahhh, coffee!!!

There's nothing better on a Saturday morning than sitting out on the sun deck, enjoying a nice coffee!

Monday, April 05, 2010

28C and loving it!

Ottawa set a new record high this weekend. It was something like 13C above the previous high. Wow!

Of course, the dogs loved it. We threw the Kong into the water a bit for Tawny. We threw the Kong on the hill about half the time because the water is still quite cold, and we don't want Tawny to get cold tail again.

I plunked a few pebbles into the water, and so Taz thought it was time to go hunting for tadpoles!! Very funny boy, Taz!

Meanwhile, the Canada Geese are swimming lazily along, obviously unconcerned by the canine antics... :)

Of course, after a nice swim and run, there's nothing better than chewing on a fresh rawhide roll. Here Tawny is enjoying a fresh new rawhide.

Taz, being a big dog, of course wants to chew a little piece of a rawhide roll. Very amusing!

Sunday, April 04, 2010

Dethatching and aerating...

It was another gorgeous day - it was forecast to get to 28C and it may have. I don't know for sure as I wasn't watching the weather. I got the lawn tractor running today, and first hooked up the dethatcher and ran over the front and back lawn. Then I hooked up the core aerator and went over the lawns again. You can see the brown plugs of dirt on the lawn.

And then we had friends over for Easter Sunday supper - a wonderful way to end the day.

Saturday, April 03, 2010

Cleaning the deck

Our large deck is made of cedar, but cedar turns gray as it ages which isn't all that beautiful. It was so nice this weekend that we were going to get the patio furniture out. But before we did that, I decided to clean the deck before we put the furniture out. Here you can see the sprayer, the stiff broom, and the hose are ready to go.

This photo was taken after I had finished the cleaning, but before it had completely dried. The gray has gone, and is now a nicer, paler colour. Of course, when it is wet it will look lovely.

Here is a photo after the deck has dried and ready for us to put the patio furniture out tomorrow.

Of course, after working hard, it is a good idea to relax and enjoy the view!! Taz is demonstrating how to do just that!

Friday, April 02, 2010

ICE FREE 2010!!

The first 2010 photo of the lake with absolutely no ice on it!

Still a bit chilly for swimming though! :)

And then, it's gone!

Photo taken April 1, 2010 @ 11:25am

The ice is disappearing... This shows that there is a large gap opening up between two pieces of ice. It won't be long now!

I have quite a number of photos that I have taken over the past two weeks that I will post in a few days. I haven't been able to do it so far because I have been very busy with some things.

April 1, 2010 - 6:25pm

Except for some ice at the north end (far right of the photo), the ice is gone!

Don't look too closely at this panoramic photo - the shore line did not match up very well.