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Posts Tagged ‘nature’

A Special Order for Christmas

Someone must have put in an order for Christmas snow, because on December 23 we woke up to this:

 

 

We enjoyed this snow (and more!) right through Christmas until this morning, when I woke up to green grass and rain.

Oh how I love a white Christmas!  Everything just looks prettier when it is covered by a layer of fresh white snow!

Did anyone else enjoy a Christmas that was white?

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Last year I shared with you how my mother-in-law taught me how to make an evergreen wreath.  This year we gathered with the whole family (my brother-in-law and sister-in-law, too!) to make them again.  We started our outing at our land to gather the evergreen boughs, and after a long (and somewhat wet!) hike we finally found the perfect branches.  After lunch we had a wonderful time creating our wreaths, and then going through the bags of flowers and pinecones that my mother-in-law has kept for just this purpose in order to decorate them. 

Creating an evergreen wreath is super easy and fun!  Here’s how:

1.  Gather a bucket of fresh evergreen boughs.  We found fir trees to work best for this because their needles lie flat and aren’t prickly.  I think other branches would work, but you might want to wear gloves to keep from getting poked by the needles. 

 

2.  Find or make a wire wreath frame.  You could make one out of a wire coat hanger, and the bonus is you will already have a hook for hanging!  You will also need some florist wire.

3.  Cut your boughs into lengths about as long as your hand.

4.  Gather these “hands” into a group of three or four (depending on how full your boughs are).

5.  Secure your wire to the wreath frame.  Wire the greens onto the front of your wreath frame by wrapping the wire around the wreath and greenery several times.

6.  Gather another group of “hands” and wire them to the back of your wreath frame, a small distance away from the group you just wired to the front.

7.  Continue to wire groups of branches alternately to the front and back until your whole wreath is covered.

8.  Twist the end of the wire to secure, and cut it off.  If you need a hanger, twist the wire into a hanging loop before cutting.

9.  You now have a beautiful evergreen wreath!  If the shape is a little wild, trim the boughs until you are happy with it. 

10.  Decorate as you wish!  When I purchased wreaths in years past I only ever decorated them with a long velvet bow that I reused year after year.  I can’t resist my mother-in-law’s collection of decorations though, and love the way the flowers and pinecones look on the greenery.  These are attached with a glue gun, and they pull easily off the wreath at the end of the season to reuse next year.

Happy wreath making!

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Yesterday, I was outside enjoying the sunshine while I harvested more lettuce, herbs, celery and beans from the garden.

I even took some time to do a photo shoot with a  new sweater friend on such a beautiful sunny day:

This morning I woke up to this:

By lunchtime it looked like this:

Winter is here.  Perhaps this was why I had dreams I was sewing hats and mittens and scarves last night??

No complaints though.  We’ve had a beautiful fall.  And there is something special about the first snowfall – even when it sweeps in like a lion!

Has winter arrived where you live?

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Simple Beauty

Hubby and I have discovered a new place to walk.  It’s a bit unconventional for this girl, but it’s quiet (except for the odd woodpecker and rooster) and it has some beautiful scenery.

Sometimes it pays to walk off the beaten track.  This “trail” starts a 5 minute jaunt from our house and we’ve walked the bridge over it more times than I can count.  And then one day we decided to walk beside it.  It’s amazing the beauty you can find when you aren’t necessarily looking for it. 

Where is there beauty around you today?

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Absolutely nothing but snow! 

We haven’t seen snow like this in a while.  Usually it snows and melts snows and melts.   But this year it snows and snows and snows some more.

That’s the picnic table under there.  Anyone up for an alfresco dinner?

What’s that?  You’re up for a snow picnic?  Well…first we have to get out the door! 

It’s the perfect weather for building a snowman, snowshoeing and snowball fights.    We’ll be giggling and smiling in the cold air as our boots crunch in the snow, snowflakes tickle our faces and our cheeks turn rosy red.    And then we’ll put another log in the wood stove and cuddle under a blanket with a good book. 

Today I am relishing the joys of a winter wonderland.   How about you?

Winter came down to our home one night
Quietly pirouetting in on silvery-toed slippers of snow,
And we, we were children once again.
~Bill Morgan, Jr.

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Winter Has Come Early

These are pictures I took on Saturday morning. 

 On Saturday afternoon I looked out and saw this:

Winter has come early this year, not with a whisper but with a shout! 

Anyone want to come and build a snowman?

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On a busy day – watching the rain

On a very busy day, at the end of a very busy week, when my head was swimming and my to-do list seemed to be growing exponentially, and I am not sure I could have told you my own name if you had asked, I stopped to watch the rain form puddles on the deck.

 

Just for a minute.  While dinner lay half-created on the counter I slipped out the kitchen door and just stood there.

And reminded myself to breathe.

And paid attention to the feel of the little droplets falling on my face.

And allowed the rushing thoughts in my head to slow down enough to take in the sight of the garden and all the green leaves reaching up towards the rain.

 

I want to be like them.  Reaching up in thankfulness when the rain falls.

The busy fall season has started.  My students and I are getting reacquainted.  I am trying to wrap my head around new technologies, new curriculums and new teaching approaches.  I have garden produce to preserve, a lawn to mow, weeds taking up permanent residence, and a half-empty stall of sewn objects at a local store waiting to be filled. 

And I need to take time to breathe.

Do you make time to breathe in your busy days?  How do you carve out these small moments of peace?

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Hubby and I were away this past week-end visiting family.  It just so happens that the family we were visiting lives in one of the most beautiful provinces in the country (after my own, of course!) 

It was a true vacation, without any opportunities to work or be busy, and I loved being able to just enjoy my surroundings.  It is a beautiful world that we live in, isn’t it?

It was a gorgeous day to be at the beach.  It just isn’t summer to me if I haven’t had the chance to have sand under my feet!

You can’t travel very far on P.E.I. without finding water….

A true maritime picture!

I love that bright red sand.  I can never resist taking my sandals off and splashing around in the water whenever I am near water.  Walking barefoot on the beach (and in the water) is one of my most favourite things in the world!

This is what I call my “PEI Pedicure!”

On our final day we toured around to a number of places, but the highlight for me was definitely visiting the test gardens of a local seed supplier.  They had garden after garden of plants that they were testing for possible sale in next year’s seed catalogue.   I discovered many new things that I want to try in our garden next year (there goes more of our lawn…..) and others that were just fun to look at!

Black-eyed Susans – they always make me smile!

Echinacea is a definite must for my garden next year – so pretty!

I don’t remember what this is, but I think it might be an onion flower? 

I love the colour of this one.

And these look like giant puff-balls to me.  I have some in my garden but sadly the deer never let them grow.

It was so hard to walk through these gardens and not pick things (or pull weeds!  I actually did pull a weed in the veggie garden, I just bent down and picked it out without thinking….)

Don’t you want to just reach out and eat one?  Me too…it took a lot of restraint to leave these be!

The grapes were amazing!

Isn’t this a fun-looking sunflower?

This is a zucchini!  (and I thought mine were monsters!)

Beautiful squash!

Purple beans!  I am thinking these would match nicely with the purple carrots we currently grow.  After all, the world needs more purple food!

A sea of lettuces and cabbages. 

And one very interesting-coloured watermelon!  I think it was called Ruby Red – so tempting to want to pick one and see the inside!

It’s so fun to see such variety in a garden!  It really made me excited to get back to my own garden (and the beans and beets are definitely calling my name this week….)

Hope you are finding time this summer to relax and enjoy what is around you too!

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The Scenic Route

Yesterday we travelled with a group of friends to a beautiful camp a little less than an hour from here.  Almost every drive around here is “scenic” but as hubby never wants to travel the same route twice, and has an innate desire to explore every road that he comes across, we took an even more scenic route home again.  And it was worth it.  Reminding me again of what a beautiful province I have come to live in.

First we travelled this rustic road….

Looking back…and then looking ahead….

The sky was absolutely beautiful.

And then I put my camera away thinking we wouldn’t find anything else more beautiful than what we had just seen.  And then we came over a hill and found this.

And the sky was gorgeous here too.

And the hills in the distance…

Our eyes and hearts full of beauty we then travelled to our own corner of paradise.  Although not as breathtaking with wonderful vistas it is beautiful to us in that we own it and in that one parcel of land is wrapped many of our hopes and dreams for the future.

Nothing to hear out here but birds, and nothing to see but plants and trees, and the “view” that made us fall in love with this place…

The sky seems so much bigger when there is nothing blocking out its view, and it’s absolute magic at night when it is full of stars.

The perfect spot for bonfires.  And gardens.  And a pond.  And maybe a few chickens.  And our “forever home.”

It is one of those days when I am glad that change comes slowly in this corner of the country, and that these roads will hold their natural beauty for many more years, so that others may decide to take the scenic road home, and enjoy them too.

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Spring is Here!

Spring has certainly come early this year.  In this part of the country the first week of April usually means that we can count on one more good snow storm or episode of freezing rain, and that we are looking forward to the rest of the snow melting!  It is not unusual for us to have snow at the back of our backyard well into the end of April.  This year is different.

The snow has gone and the temperatures feel like summer.  Signs of spring are everywhere.

A few days ago these were buried in snow. 

One of my absolute favourite garden plants.  Sedum is endlessly hardy, seems to grow well everwhere, and for the most part, the deer leave it alone.  Don’t they look like little green roses poking their heads out of the ground?

Soon we will have some chives to add to our meals!

And inside…..

The leeks are up, the thyme is just beginning to poke up its first green leaves, melons are planted and pots are ready and waiting for tomato seeds.  I love this time of year!  There is nothing like the cold of winter to prepare our hearts to rejoice at the warmth and promise of spring!

What signs of spring are there at your house?

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