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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Sunday, February 26, 2017

Herbs, wild and cultivated............

I was reading about Red Clover and the idea of making tea with it. I like that idea. I also read someone made Red Clover jelly. I am thinking this year I will keep my eyes open for that and also Dandelions. I used to have a dehydrater and I got rid of it because I never used it. I always liked this idea, just never followed through with it. Such a waste really. Laura and I are always out in the fields on the old farms so why not go gathering. Yes that's the ticket. New goal for this year.
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I used to collect clover back when I had bunnies and horses. Didn't think about eating it myself. My old horse loved clover. So as it is sweet tasting(yes I have tasted it) why not make good use of it and why didn't I think of it before?
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So I need to tell Laura we have a new mission this year.
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That brings me to Dandelions. I already know I love the Dandelion greens. I already know I have a load growing around my garden. So, why the waste. I never let Gerry mow (not that he often wants to) before the flowers have gone to seed. Trouble has always been that they grow mostly by the road and when the winter snow has gone there is a real mess under it. Well, also the salt from the road. So what we need to do is wash it down with the hose sooner and clean off the area before they grow.I let it grow too because it is one of the first foods for the awakening Bees. OK I need it to be Spring there is so much to do.
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I love Dandelions. They are as pretty as Mums, just look at that flower. The Dandelion clocks are pretty too so why the fuss. I let them grow. I do pull them out of my garden when they are done flowering if they grow where I don't want them just like anyone else I don't want.So I promise myself this year I will pick the leaves, I will use them in salads and in mashed potatoes and as greens somewhat like spinach.
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Apparently we can use the root as well, so why is this not cultivated, why do we let our hatred (many many hate Dandelions) of them blind us of their many uses. SO, this year why not. I hope I remember haha. So.......
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I intend to see what else is out there to gather while we are out. Last year we picked some pears and apples from the old farms. It's sort of funny how used to perfection we have become, where it seems distasteful to eat the fruit from unsprayed trees. I mean, you know, worms and all that. Still for things like apple sauce it would be perfect made from wild (its wild now) fruits. We would not pick too many because the deer need them and I don't know how lawful it is to pick on State lands. We will find out though.
I have read about a few other wild plants that I can identify, and that's the thing, be sure you know what you are picking. Also be sure it has not been sprayed. The Plantain is one
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This guy grows all over too. So my next thing is to find out how to use these two that I am not so familiar with.
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So there we go. What ya think, do you think Laura might go for this, become "gatherers" for the summer and Fall. Well Spring too but the weather is always iffy in the Spring. I also know I can eat Violets and I sure have enough of those growing right in my garden.
Sharing with Inspire me Monday Also with the Dedicated House, Make it pretty Monday

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Blue Skys..............................

The sky is so very blue today. I took a walk around the garden with no coat on and just a Tee shirt. It was nice, and very muddy. Not quite time to begin a clean up but this weather gives me hope. I think I have time to work on my quilts then maybe I can get outside unless we have snow at the weekend.The birds were singing today like they think its time for nesting. Not quite, I have a feeling we are not done yet. Snow for the weekend. Maybe it will miss us, I know downstate has not had snow in awhile.
Look at this beautiful blue sky.
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The Poodles wanted to go out and in and out and in and........well you get the picture. Brea sat outside for ages, yelled at every person who went by. If they had a dog with them well she yelled even more so that the others would go out to join them. What a mess it is out there.
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Bella is our quiet one, but she is naughty, she climbs the snow banks and looks for a way out.
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The snow is melting fast though and there is nowhere now that she can get over fences. Naughty girl.
They are exploring their Poodle paths. This year I am going to widen them Make some more open spots and just put a planter on it. For that sort of thing I have to wait to see what comes up first. They like to be able to get to the fence and see who goes by.
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Good news from the pond. I saw 3 of the 4 fish today, so they made it. The chicken wire will stay over it for awhile yet. Bessie saw the fish. Wont be taking the wire off any time soon.
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This year we really must do something with the deck, it is slimy after winters snow and all the bird seed and stuff. I bought Gerry a pressure washer years ago that he has never used. Somehow I have to get this done. Slipping on the deck has happened a few times and I do not enjoy it.
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The lady Cardinal was singing her heart out this morning.
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There were Finches hanging out as well. I got the pictures against the blue sky.
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Bodi went out for awhile but chose to sit in the doorway with a good view of everthing and everyone. Hair cuts coming March 4th. All 4 on one day to Brenda's Pet Parlour.
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The news and weather is on. Says snow on Saturday, lets just hope it misses us.

Thursday, February 16, 2017

A mouse in the house.......................

We have a mouse in the house. I have been saying that the animals have been eating way more than usual. I fill up the dogs dry food and it seems like its gone in two days, normally it lasts much longer. They have an evening meal and seldom indulge in the dry food that is always available. Well now I know, same goes for the cats. Eating way too much I thought. Now I have seen with my own eyes.A small gray mouse. She (knowing my luck) has a stash under the cupboard near my chair. I bet she has a stash of cat food under the stove.
Well yesterday, I was sitting here minding my own business when out comes the mouse. (I moved the bowls) Sits in the middle of the floor and looks around. Cute little bugger. Well I went to get a cloth in the hope of catching her before the cats do. Well I missed and she went under the stove. Not sure if I can get a picture.
Well, meanwhile a few birds came today.
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I believe a Purple House Finch. Roger Tory Peterson once described as a Sparrow dipped in Rasberry. Sounds about right.
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This guy liked the bacon. I had some turkey bacon that was in the fridge too long for my liking so I figured the birds etc would like it.It's turkey bacon so not much fat.
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I have been refilling the feeders so often because the dang squirrels come in a gang. Rather cute, but such a pest. Have to keep yelling at them to let the birds in for awhile.
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The Blue Jays just love the peanuts but if the squirrels get in too often then they are all gone. Everyone seems very healthy, it must have been a good winter for them, plenty of natural food because they have not been around the feeders as often.
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Mrs Cardinal has been coming around
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She is rather shy. I don't think this is my original pair because both birds are skitterish around me.
I bought a couple of garden magazines. It is supposed to go up to the 40s this weekend. I want to get out and get some pictures before the ice and snow is all gone but I am thinking Spring. It is getting lighter at both ends of the day. Yeahhhhh.

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Flea Market Gardening..........................

Oh I am really getting fidgety, I want to get out and work outside. I have been reading some garden magazines as the snow comes down outside. The plough just went by so it kind of burst my bubble, but then the sun came out and filled me again with hope.
I collected some of my ideas and decided that was what my blog was going to be about today.
First of all, you know who you are when I say this one made me think of you.
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We have a tree stump left from when a tree was cut down a few years ago. I wanted to do something with it as it is on the property line near the ally.I thought this idea was doable, maybe not quite so fussy as this one but along these lines.
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One thing to do this year since Mr T is not living here now, I want to improve the patio. He and Reina would pull up the stones looking for bugs. Well I want to put gravel in-between to stop weeds from growing. Something like this.
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I want to cut back on the actual gardens now, too much work and expense so I think I will expand the Poodle paths this year and move the plants so that I don't have to buy as many. Then this idea was something I thought I could manage, I have a round basin but it would be too heavy to fill with dirt so I am thinking of just some pots inside with things that will trail down and tidy up one area that is difficult to grow things. By cutting back the size of some of the gardens and putting in walk ways, it cuts back on work and is less expensive to fill. Lots of work this year.Maybe less next year as each year will be more difficult for me.
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I LOVE this idea. I made one once before and she is all falling apart now. She lasted quite some time. I do have some drift wood and I do have some old shutters so will see what one works best.
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Or this one or both.
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I have a couple or three maybe of these. My friend Nancy's husband made them many years ago. They can sit around the garden with maybe lettuce or something practical in them, painted bright colours.
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I have an old watering can like this, now if I can find what Tristen did with the spout I think I will do this. Stand it on a bench somewhere. I realize that my garden will not be quite so destroyed now he only visits now and then. One advantage I guess.
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I also have a couple of old Tea Kettles that I will hang for the birds. Spout down for drainage or maybe punch a hole somewhere.
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I like this idea
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The only thing with this sort of thing is no drainage. I had set some cups and saucers on posts but the water in the cups get slimy so wont do that again. I am going to fill the cup instead with suet and seeds and hang them from trees
I have some old rusty tool boxes and an old cooler rusty now as it is metal, and I love this idea. Again I will put things in pots although soil would be ok if it was under the glass table on the deck.
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Another thing, I have a couple, actually 4 of these old milk churns and one has no lid. This will work for that one. Last year I put a plate on it and used it as a bird bath. I may do that again but they do make good tables. Funny thing is we don't sit outside much once it gets hot. So a bird bath again would be more practical.
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My two fountains are not working now, last year I still had water in them for the birds and they were well used. This year I believe I will fill them with flowers instead and I hope buy a new bird bath/fountain. Tristen broke the last one. I do still have one bird bath though and will make the other with the Milk Churn. With the small ones I have around that the bees like, saucers and old ash trays, everyone will be happy.
I will be happy when I can get going. Has to be done before the heat arrives, small window of time to get everything done.
I am sharing this post with Inspire Me Monday

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

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

For today at least, the birds came back. We got a lot of snow the last couple of days. Not terribly cold but apparently they were very hungry. I had made a mix of coconut oil, peanut butter and bird seeds. That seems to go down well.
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The Chickadees are never far away, but today all the little ones came in. I filled up twice to be sure no one was left out. Nuthatch came, Mr and Mrs
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Only the lady Cardinal
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Woodpecker, well yellow bellied sap sucker anyway
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The finches.
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Then this guy showed up. Everyone hid
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Then the Bluejays came back
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It was time to let the poodles out while the Hawk hung around. Bodi cooled off in the snow bank
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One more month before its time for hair cuts.
Meanwhile time to review gardening books and catalogues, time for planning. I will also begin to buy daffodils and tulips for the house so they can go in the garden for next year. I think the Hyacinth is the one that makes the house smell so good.