Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Guests at the Feeder

A few new and colourful visitors to our bird feeder: a purple finch, and a pair of evening grossbeaks.

Monday, May 28, 2007

The Missing Gene

One of the things I most admire about my parents is their tidiness and organization. They live in a tiny home, and there's a place for everything and everything is in its place, more or less. Ahem. Somehow, the combination of chromosomes that resulted in me did not pass on to me the ability to live in a small space in any sense of order.

I've tried. I've taken my best stab at being organized in 900 square feet. And I can't do it. And it's driving me nuts. Mike is much better than me at creating order, but is equally impaired at maintaining it. Our closets overflow, our kitchen cupboards are bursting. After a major tidying spree, it takes about 48 hours for things to degenerate into chaos. Having company over strikes fear into my heart.

"Establish good habits," you say. "Put things away when you're finished with them". Right. There's just nowhere to put anything. I've given living in a wee home my best shot. We've parted with a ton of our possessions to try to downsize to the point of order. And it just isn't going to happen...
And so we're going to build a house next spring. A real house with a full basement. And we'll have room for everything, with no tripping over each other, the dogs, or our stuff.

And here's the house we're going to build:

Sunday, May 27, 2007


We got some rain yesterday afternoon and overnight, and a little more this morning. I hope it was enough to do some good; everything has dried again, although perhaps we're a little less dusty than usual today.

Other than poop-scooping in the pasture, we've had a pretty lazy day. We had breaky at the Roadhouse, and then took a drive. We found Higgins Lake, and then puttered over to check out the sights at Deka Lake. On our journey we encountered five deer, and a big cow moose across the road from the end of our "pasture" as we came home.

Saturday, May 26, 2007


I put some spinach seed in this morning, and nasturtiums. Dori gave me tons of flower seeds, which I've hummed and hawed about where to plant. This morning, tired of trying to decide where I should put what, I mixed them all together and scattered them on the "miscellaneous flower/veggie bed. Mother Nature can decide what happens with them!

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Well, I got two pics uploaded.

Still no pics...

The photos still won't upload.

I planted potatoes today. Jasper unplanted them shortly after. Jasper is a very, very, very, very bad dog. He left the leeks alone, though, which I should probably be grateful for.

Some of our tractor attachments got delivered this evening, the subsoiler should be here next week.

This afternoon after work, I puttered. I filled the bird feeders, did the aforementioned planting, and also put in some strawberries. I got out Alice, my trusty easy-start chainsaw, and cut up a spruce tree that blew down a couple of weeks ago. And then I grudgingly went inside and did mundane domestic chores.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Got Rocks...

Excuse my absence...the PC has been in computer hospital for the last few days.

One thing we have in plentiful supply in Lone Butte is rocks. Big rocks, small rocks, rough rocks, smooth rocks, volcanic rocks, we have them all. They're everywhere. Over the last few days we (mostly Mike) took a bunch of rocks, and made them into something quite beautiful. Unfortunately, Blogger doesn't want to upload photos of our new perrenial garden right now. Will try again tomorrow.

The veggie gardening is coming along...a few more things to get into the ground still, but we're well on the way.

Birds of note over the last few days...a merlin, and a great grey owl. Of all the hummingbirds who are frequenting the feeder, the most fearless are the male caliopes. There was one feeding out of the feeder when I was hanging it up the other day. That happened last year too.

Things are very dry here. We've had a couple of brief showers in the past few weeks, but nothing substantial. I kind of wish it would rain.

Friday, May 18, 2007

It's minus one degree here this morning, but in the greenhouse, it's six degrees, and all my plants are safe from frost. I have several tomato and pepper varieties, a zucchini plant, a watermelon plant, flat italian parsley, and a few other herbs in there.

In a raised outdoor bed, the peas are poking up through the soil, so it looks like planting them a little early was a good idea.

The birds are all busy here. Yesterday afternoon, Rupert had a cowbird perched on his rump. The hummingbirds are at the feeder almost constantly, and this morning I saw one investigating the red handle of the garden hydrant. A pair of tree swallows are setting up house in one of our nestboxes!

It's all good here in Lone Butte.

Monday, May 14, 2007

The greenhouse is ready for plants, and tomorrow I'm going to the garden centre to buy tomatoes, peppers, and whatever else appeals to me!

We have ordered tractor attachments so we can begin to create pastures in the cleared areas. They're pretty much just bare soil at the moment, although down at the east end, there's some grass growing where I planted last year. To do it properly though, the ground needs to have the roots removed, be harrowed, and fertilized. Buck and Rupert are donating the fertilizer!

Mike is outside moving rocks and starting a new garden bed at the front of the house. It's going to be a mixed area, with flowers, rhubarb, a rock garden, and perhaps a few fruit bushes.

Saturday, May 12, 2007

The Saturday Report

The aspens are finally in leaf - a full six days later than last year. It's fun to be able to browse back through my blog to see where things were at this time last year. The days are warm and breezy now; the nights are still pretty chilly.

Here's the greenhouse - almost ready...just a few finishing touches and it'll be done. We covered it and did the front door today.

The garlic is doing great! Today I planted some "Egyptian onions" that were given to us. No idea what they'll be like.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

The hummingbirds are here!

I put the feeder out on the weekend, and yesterday saw our first hummingbird. By last evening, several were feeding regularly. I've only put one feeder out so far, but will get the other one outside pronto.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Wild Winds II

Another wildly windy afternoon, and another tree down. This one narrowly missed our powerlines, thank goodness. The power is on here, but out along Watch Lake Road. The winds have diminished a bit now, and the rain has started in earnest.

Wooden Roses

Last summer, my dad and I discovered a small willow tree with a leaf deformity forming perfect rosettes at the end of some of the branches. Dad's research showed it to be willow rose gall. Galls are deformities in plants caused by a reaction to insect invasion.

The other evening, I found another willow with the same galls...leftover from last year. The leaves have browned and hardened, and formed lovely "wooden roses"

Monday, May 07, 2007

A Wild, Windy Day

We've had a couple of trees come down today; this one, which kindly avoided breaking the fence, and another smaller spruce which landed on the perimeter fence, but didn't take it out. Mike made short work of the one on the fence with the chainsaw. I'll have to walk the fenceline at the back and east side tomorrow to check for more windfalls, but I'm not going into the forest until the wind dies down!

Sunday, May 06, 2007

From a Few Evenings Ago

Enroute to taking Buck and Rupert a few carrots, I planted a bed of peas. It may or may not be too early to have planted them. If they don't germinate, I'll plant a more after the Victoria Day weekend. I have plenty of leftover seed.

After planting and after equine treat distribution, the dogs and I wandered down to the back fence, near the meadow.

The remains of an old, old snake fence at the back of our place.

The partial skeleton of something big...I think it's from a free-range cow of yesteryear. This is the fourth year I've visited these remains. I find them rather fascinating, for some reason.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

A Slight Technical Difficulty

The dogs and I went walkabout this evening, but as Blogger is stubbornly refusing to upload my photos, I'll post them tomorrow afternoon.

We walked out to the back fence by the meadow, and interestingly, where at this time last year I was in danger of having water spill over the top of my (knee high) boots, this year it's only just ankle deep. The difference is that this winter the snow came before the ground froze, semi insulating it and leaving it porous, and the previous year the extreme cold came before the snow. We had much more snow this winter, and I was expecting to be wading in deep water.