Thursday, May 19, 2016

Glorious May

 Is any month more wonderful than May? Spring is galloping into summer, the blossoms are out, the garden is growing, and we are lucky to get some hot days (worthy of a dip in the lake!). This May, we have been so lucky to have my in-laws here for a week while my husband had holidays, and it was a much needed time to get some projects done and some relaxation!

(The following five photos were taken by my in-laws.)
My little boy got a pedal bike and is learning how to ride it!

 The Farmer's Market has started up again and my kids were reunited with their favourite market animals!
 Spicy Greens (the makers of the best butter chicken in the world!) are back at the market and Cedar enjoyed her samosa to the extreme!
 It was so hot one day, we headed to the beach for a picnic and my first swim in the lake (wearing my new bathing suit that I sewed. I was very proud of this one!).
 For our anniversary, we got to go for a 5-hour paddle down the lake. It was a wonderful adventure, and I got to see some amazing views of this area that I have never had the chance to see before.
 There were so many beautiful, quiet beaches and caves tucked into rock cliffs.
 Our route took us by the famous pictographs, painted by the First Nations of this area, a few hundred years ago.
 An eagle's nest is perched over the cliff on an island. It has grown huge over the years, as the eagles build on top of the existing nest each spring.
 When we could see the church, our trip was nearly complete.
 Back at home, our animals are doing well. Boos has an obsession with wooden buttons and reacts to them like catnip. I made her a little toy with one attached and it has been a big hit.
 One of my hens went broody, so I got her some fertilized eggs to sit on. Shortly after, a second hen went broody, and just two days ago, a third hen joined in. I now have 3 (out of 4 hens) sharing 5 fertilized eggs between them. When one gets off to go eat and drink, one of the others will use her beak to roll the eggs under herself. This game is on a continual loop. We've only got a few days left until hatch day and I am interested to see how these three broodies will raise their chicks together.
The mason bees have been laying eggs and have mudded over four of the holes in the mason bee house.
 The garden is planted and growing!

 It was my little girl's birthday last week and she requested a "doot" cake. "Doot" is her word for bunny.
 I love the look on her face when we brought the cake out!
 She highly enjoyed all of her presents. What a fabulous two-year old!

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Spring Rush

My, how much has changed in just a few short weeks! We have gone from bits of snow and brown grass, to green leaves and even blossoms. And it is only April! It is unheard of around here!

 The ice was completely off the lake by April 6, and the migrating ducks are now harder to spot.

 I've been busy sewing all my own clothes (including a chic retro bathing suit and high-waisted bikini bottoms!) and I wanted to try dyeing this dress with the woad from my garden (which stayed alive and green all winter under a blanket of snow).
 I dyed it ombre style.
 I also have been experimenting with shibori techniques using my lichen dyes on silk.
 We were recently given a playhouse and my dad and I have plans to make it bigger and better! Stay tuned for that!
 We are spending the majority of our time outside, eating most of our meals out there and playing in the yard. Our yard has absolutely no shade, so we are making a little shady area under our deck, if we need to retreat from the glare of the sun. We hung up curtains and I am in the process of building a little couch/chair from pallets that will soon have some comfy cushions.
 I've added 4 new raised beds to our garden, plus the new green house against the house. My long-suffering husband has been helping me shovel all the dirt.
 The hummingbirds are also back, nearly a week early. This little male Rufous has claimed our feeder for his own and perches on our deck to keep a constant eye on his territory.

 This morning, it was -3c, and he had his feathers all puffed out to keep warm.

 Our deck space is becoming a nice retreat for us, and many of our meals are eaten here. This summer, I am very focused on creating outdoor living spaces.
 I am in the process of hardening off some of our plants, to make room for new ones under the lights.
 Our mason bee house is standing in our chicken coop garden and 3 male mason bees have already emerged from their cocoons! How exciting!
 Can you spot the three empty cocoons? The females are in the larger cocoons and they emerge later than the males. I am hoping that my cherry tree will be in full bloom when they emerge, as it needs lots of help with pollination.
I can't get enough of spring!

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Easter Weekend

We headed down to Kelowna for Easter weekend. It is a grueling drive to make with toddlers, but so nice to see family.
 Before we left, there was still quite a bit of snow in the yard.

 The snow eventually gave way to spring, the farther south we drove. Sage brush and desert were a strange sight to see after a white landscape.

 Cousins and Easter egg hunts made for a wild and noisy time. Sleep deprivation and the odd grumpy moment (ahem) did not ruin the fun the of the weekend.
 The high mountain passes still had lots of snow on our way home.
 My plants had grown heaps while I was away and I spent today re-potting everything.
 The backyard is nearly free of snow and the temperature is hitting 16c or higher!
I have a beautiful selection of lichen dyes now. Almost time to start knitting my sweater?
 Letharia vulpina on the left and Umbilicaria on the right.
 The chickens must be enjoying the nice weather, as all four of them are now contributing to their room and board.
 I think I'll go back outside and enjoy these blissful temperatures!

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