This blog is about my garden and the outdoors. I am new to photography but I am trying to show some of the pretty things that grow here in Michigan. I love the wild things who visit me and I dont mind if they eat a bit here and there. I like it more if they let me take their picture. As time goes on I think I will try to show you around the beautiful area that I live in as well as my garden. I try to use my own pictures as much as possible but will also use pictures from the web. If I inadvertently use your photo or work without permission please email me and I will remove it or give credit if you prefer. I will give credit when I know who the owner is. I would ask that anyone using my pictures do the same.
... I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.......Psalm23:6
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Monday, December 19, 2016

Frosty winds may blow....................

1. In the bleak midwinter, frosty wind made moan,
earth stood hard as iron, water like a stone;
snow had fallen, snow on snow, snow on snow,
in the bleak midwinter, long ago.
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Yes it is pretty bleak out there right now. This was one of my favourite hymns as a kid. We sang hymns every day in school. I was raised and lived in England until I came to the States in 1971. So Winter carols and Christmas carols were a part of our existence. I love the old hymns. Our schools did not ban religion as they do here in the States. So it was that we began each day with assembly and we sang a couple of hymns. It was lovely around Christmas time. Kids really get into singing the favourite carols.
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We used to also enjoy the Salvation Army who would do the rounds at this time of year. They would gather by the lamp post at the top of our road on Bidwell Hill. They would have a small band and several singers. People would stand at their doors with coats on and listen and the braver ones would walk up the road and listen to them. We also enjoyed Carole singers come and sing at the front door. I think our parents would give them a few coins if we had any. Sometimes a treat if not.
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I really don't think people are the same anymore. They do not seem to enjoy these things. It's all School plays and the hustle and bustle of shopping. They are missing so many blessings. I suppose what you have never known!!!. A lot of people no longer celebrate Christmas, they now celebrate any number of alternate holidays and somehow the joy of the season has been "Hallmarked" and spoiled. Sure, as a Christian I celebrate Christmas but do not at all resent others having their own holiday to celebrate but it has all lost it's intent and meaning as far as I can see. I know from my perspective, I know Christ was not even born at this time of year, there was no snow as he was born in Bethlehem. We have incorporated so many pagan rituals and it probably took the "wise men" years to travel to find Him. He was "a young child" when they arrived on the scene. For most Christian holidays I cant get past the fake stuff that has been brought in to commercialize it. Christmas for me has always been different though. It still has the awe for me. I think of it as family time. These past years we have through necessity cut back on gift giving. So Thanksgiving is our bigger family time. After that I do decorate for Christmas and begin my baking and treat making. That will become my gift giving from now on. Things I make myself.
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It is still for the kids, but like most things now, it seems to promote greed. We have always given too much, so too much became expected. I am guilty. I really don't care about getting but I love giving. This year no one will be here. So no Christmas dinner. It's not worth it for just us two and I did it all at Thanksgiving so will enjoy the rest. Maybe I should start on next years gifts haha. I have ideas already.
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Saturday, December 10, 2016

Decorating outside.............

We have finally got snow. It makes things look so much better. I was not really ready for it but now it's here, well, it is pretty.
When we brought all the Christmas stuff from storage, I had Gerry bring up everything he could find. In doing so I found all my Fall stuff, a bit late as was the Spring stuff and the summer flowers. Yes I found all that was lost. Hmmmmm.
So, down came my summery decorations, not having decorated for Fall. Gerry could not find the stuff. So now we have it. (smile)
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I did get him to put up the lights on the front porch. I also had him drag up some old outside ornaments. He would never do it before and we are the only one in our ally that does not decorate. I love the outside lights.
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Apart from the lights, that I would have liked to do more, I put this out for the birds.
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I sold my small sled but still have the big one. Next year I must paint it or something to preserve the wood.
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Wreaths are one of the things I love most.
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The birds are cold, I had to shoo this little one away because it was sitting there. I put out more food and it came back and ate
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The little ones come in a small flock and stick together. I am thinking of taking down the grapevines next year, but the thing with that is the little birds like it for shelter in the winter. So what to do about that.
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I feel bad for the little ones and my Crows have not showed up yet this year. I do hear them around so maybe when they are hungry enough they will remember.

Thursday, November 24, 2016

The Birds are back...................

The small birds are back, unfortunately so are the squirrels. We have had snow. Two days of snow and then it got mushy. It has began to melt and so I sure hope it goes away for awhile. I would like to put up some outside decorations to get us through December and look a little cheery.
Tristen is here for the weekend, he came for Thanksgiving. Maybe I can get them to drag up the Christmas stuff.
We did manage (well Gerry did) to get a lot of the leaves dragged to the road to be picked up. The rest will rest under the snow unless it melts, then maybe one more go over will help the Spring tidy up.
So...........The little birds are here. They are so chipper and noisy. So sweet. The Blue Jays never miss a meal.
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Look at this lot.
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The yellow finches, they come in a flock.
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I still like the Titmice though.
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I didn't get really good pictures but have been otherwise occupied with Thanksgiving.
Now, after this weekend it will be on to getting ready for Christmas. How to have a nice Christmas with no money. Yes, that will be a challenge.
Meanwhile, the Nuthatches came for a visit and I am really happy to see two males that have been regulars.
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The Titmice are so sweet
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The Mourning Doves come too.
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I hope we will see some new ones this year. Different kinds of birds, well not that I am fussy. I really do wish though that we have a little variety. We used to get Cedar Waxwings but I have not seen any around here for years. I have seen Flickers down the road but they have not stopped by. I have put out some suet with mealworms in the hope of luring some new faces.

Friday, November 11, 2016

My messy garden......................

Had to go out and take some pictures. The grass has gone, it is covered in a carpet of yellow.
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The Poodles have been having fun out there.
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They run through the leaves and try to find the Poodle paths that are now all covered in leaves
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What a mess it all is, on the other hand it is quite beautiful. Just look at the above picture of her naughtiness yelling at me. She wants me to play with her.
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Just a few flowers remain and the chairs all packed up for next year.
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The orange compliments the leaves. I must remember next year to plant more of the things that last into Fall.
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The bottle trees are going to stay out I think. Everything else has been put away for Spring. I like the glass and I am thinking it will look pretty in the snow when it gets here.
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I have given up on doing any clean up work out there, it can all wait. I am sure Gerry will rake leaves at the weekend. If he doesn't then they will block up the snow blower. The Blue bottle tree out front will also stay.
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I hope no one breaks them this winter because they will certainly show up.
More Poodle pictures, look at this little defiant face.This is Brea and she is doing her little howl at me.
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Bodi just sat and enjoyed the sun as the others played.
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Bijou is doing well and almost time to take out her stitches.
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Look at the beautiful light on the leaves.
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So much beauty surrounds us even in the unexpected. I say the garden is a mess, but even so, there is beauty all around if I look. That is one reason I enjoy photography, I don't need to be good, it opens my eyes to the details and the wonderful world around me.

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

November rain.................

Today it's raining. It's voting day, I am glad I don't have to go out and vote. I am not a citizen so I can skip that one. Honestly what would I do. Not Donald for sure, Hillary? Probably.
So I stayed home and watched the birds. A whole gang of little ones came in. Noisy they were. I love that.It was only just light. The time change made it light earlier, I suppose that's the point of the time change. So the kids get on school buses do so in daylight. I like the Native American comment "only a white man would believe that cutting from the top of a blanket and stitching it on the bottom will make the blanket longer" words to that effect.
Anyway, the birds were happy and knew nothing of the time change.I love their cheerful nattering. The Tufted Titmouse is one of my favourites.
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Look at those beady little eyes. Such a pretty little bird.
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Mr and Mrs Nuthatch came too although Mr was rather elusive. He would not stay still. Better pictures next time.
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Everyone was flittering and fluttering and would not sit still so no Chickadee pictures.
I missed the Blue Jays too.The Yellow Finches were busy on some seeds in the garden.
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The bright yellow ones were missing. So that's it for birds today. The garden is a huge mess and will stay that way until all the leaves are down. Gerry hates to rake and waits until he no longer has a choice. I don't mind. Bud probably does though(next door) he cleans his spotless. Gerry doesn't see the point and I don't really care.
The Burning Bush does not often get a lot of colour. Not enough sun, still its looking pretty at the moment
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I like how its leaves are laying on the wreath. I have not found my Autumn garden stuff. I thought I had put it where I could find it. Ah well...........maybe next year.