September – Fresh Start

Hey there,

I know I’m not alone in thinking that really, September is the start of the new year.  Everything is new and beginning again.  I don’t like to rush the seasons…OK, now I’m fibbing…we all know how I feel about Winter – it’s OK for a little while, but then, enough already.

It’s not officially Fall yet, but it’s in the air.  Especially this year, after the “Summer that wasn’t” here in Southern Ontario.  I love the Fall and it’s normally such a short season, but September and October – FAB!

There are many activities art related in my area in September and October…all the things I love: shows, tours, classes.  The food is amazing with the fresh harvest.  I get the urge to make things with my hands. There’s a coziness to it all and yet, I still have my gardens…it’s still too early for “Jack” to take them from me.  Ahhhh  Mums and pumpkins and all the rich colour.  The sky is a deeper hue.  The fields are dotted with gold, purple, white, rust and warm shades of brown.  Darker at night a little bit earlier, but not too early yet.  Cooler for sleeping, blue jeans, maybe a light sweater or jacket, but most days, you can still wear sandals and Pearl still wears her pretty summer wheels. YAY!  What’s not to like?

Mercury has been in retrograde and I have not been at all inspired to write.  Mercury being the planet of communication – you see where that came from.  Mercury plays a big role in my birth chart.  Not an excuse, just a statement.  Besides, I’ve been spending every spare moment outside and not in front of my computer. There will be lots of time for that later.  I’m going with the flow.

Round two of seeds have been planted in the veggie gardens.  Peas, radish, spinach and lettuce, hoping for a second crop in the cooler weather.  Swiss Chard is still going strong.  I’m harvesting tomatoes daily, made some dill pickles from my cucumbers (where I often find Niles peeking out from beneath the vines…)

← Meet His Royal Cheekiness, Niles!  Looks like he’s wet (again) from being out in the rain (or in the garden).

There are squash on the vine, green beans are yummy as are the yellow zucchini. Carrots and beets processed and round two planted.  I’ve really enjoyed my veggie gardens this year and so glad that my plan from last Fall – the apple harvest bins – have worked out really well.  They seem to be just the right size for the amount I need.  Easy on my back and easy to plant and harvest – not large enough for me to go too crazy with amounts planted – but you’d be surprised at how much I can sneak in. 🙂 A saunter out to the barn in the morning with my scissors and my basket is the routine…what will I bring in today?  Happiness.  Soon, I’ll be harvesting and drying the culinary herbs. Oregano is already in the jar.  Hello homemade pizza!  Can you smell it?

 

 

Some of my harvest!

Oy, the drying frenzy hasn’t really started yet, but it’s coming.  As is the bringing in of the plants. Very soon. My big pot of Rosemary has not had a happy Summer.  Even sitting out on the deck on the South side, where it sits every Summer, it’s been too wet.  It was actually happier inside the dry house in the Winter. I’m hoping it perks up and am thinking about bringing it in now.  I’d hate to lose it, it’s a good sized plant and one that I use often in Winter for flavouring.  On my bucket list is visiting those countries where it actually grows as a shrub…one day.

Not a wild greenie here in Canada, but Rosemary is an awesome plant.  It tastes and smells divine and is the herb of remembrance.  Even Shakespeare said so!  One of those culinary, curative and cosmetic herbs that may be used year round.  Not only tucked into bridal bouquets and wreaths for centuries, but once used as a religious herb as well.  It has been burned as incense in ceremonies as protection against evil and at funerals. Sometimes mixed with Juniper to cleanse and purify the air.  I like to use it for adding flavour to roasting meat and potatoes.  I will also make an oil with it for use in cooking and/or the bath.  A very clean scent when mixed with Lavender.

The oil from the plant leaves is antibacterial and anti-fungal.  A good “breathing” herb to relieve headaches. Used in a tea, it makes a good mouthwash.  All good reasons to bring my potted plant in sooner, rather than later!

What else am I harvesting?  The Moon’s energy.  Tonight she is full in Pisces and the Sun is firmly planted in Virgo.  So an excellent time to dream big, as Pisces is ruled by Neptune and is the sign of dreams, whereas Virgo, a very grounded, Earth sign is the one to get things done and make those dreams a reality. A powerful combo.  Win-win!  The September Full Moon is the Harvest Moon, a little earlier this year.  Watch for the orange colouring.  I will be straining some bath oils this evening and using the preserved energy in the cold months ahead.

Today’s colour is white.  Appropriate in speaking about the Rosemary in bridal bouquets and wreaths above.

What will you dream of under this Harvest Moon?  Make it big and then make it happen.

Until next time,

-Debra

Portia the Protector

Hey there,

Greetings from Portia.  That’s her above.  Portia sits in the Cedars amongst the Vinca and the pine needles beside the front walk.  Portia is Mrs. Beasley’s backup for tree rats.  Sometimes Mrs. Beasley gets tired – there are a lot of tree rats.  They’ve all over-wintered very well, dining on the bird seed and are plump and happy (like Portia).

I’m here!  Did you miss me? 🙂  Doing the tree planting thing – remember way back, last post?  (That sounds rather solemn, doesn’t it?)  Well, still working on it, but my “forest” has begun.  Haha The good news?  I’ve transplanted about 60 trees (very small ones) and my muscles are in “summer mode” again!  Not done yet, but it’s a start.  The bad news? You can’t really see it yet – the forest or the trees (get that one?).  The grass and the meadow greenies are all growing up fast and my “forest” has gone incognito.  But I know it’s there. 🙂  I also know that with a little patience, it really won’t take many seasons for me to start to see it.  Patience can be a toughy.

What else has grown?  Take a look!  My veggies.  For all you nay-sayers out there snickering to yourselves about my apple bin gardens – I know you’re there…

Back row is the peas, then lettuces, then radish, then spinach and finally some swiss chard.  So far, (fingers crossed) the critters are ignoring them.  I might have to move Portia to stand guard if that changes. 🙂

I know the left half has been left empty – thanks for noticing.  That’s so I can continually sow as I reap! Won’t be long now before I start to plant the summer stuff in the other two bins. More on that later.

Many of the birds are back.  Just saw the first little female hummer – they usually arrive somewhere around the long weekend in May, which is this coming weekend.  We’ve had a couple of extremely warm days (it’s been a weird Spring).  Went immediately to the barn to dig out my feeder.  (Please don’t put food colouring in your humming bird feeders.  It’s not necessary and does more harm than good!)  All set up and ready to go.  Right now she’s enjoying the bleeding hearts in the north garden.

I’m always startled the first time one zooms by in May.  Even though I’m expecting them, it’s like a giant bee whizzing by.  Right to the spot where I hang my feeder.  They remember!  The females come back first and find me to let me know – get out to the barn, I’m hungry.  Okey doke and I get right on it.

Speaking of the barn, there are nests popping up all around it.

An Eastern King Bird has built her nest on top of the light outside the barn, which is situated beside the door.  First photo above, top left of the photo (you have to squint).  Sorry for the shadow – I was out in full Sun, but it’s there.  I hate to keep disturbing her, but every time I go out there to get something or to go to my veggies, she’s not very happy.  I might need to put up a sign so everyone (and that’s the Royal everyone) remembers that she’s there.

DO NOT DISTURB MRS. KING BIRD
or the Dandelions 🙂 

Robins are nesting in the outside beams too (middle and right photos above).  Lots of flapping and squawking every time I’m there…maybe they’re just happy to see me.  Or maybe not.

I can relate some days – Ew. People.

Lots of Robins this year.

 

Very excited to report (as I’m sure you are) that I have an Indigo Bunting dropping by the nyger seed feeder.  Absolutely gorgeous!

←  Just look at this guy!

 

 

 

 

I’ve also got the Orchard Orioles back. More snickering here because I put apples on sticks for them (below).

But you can see, they like apples (and oranges).

Lots of Goldfinches as well – such vibrant colour. 🙂

So, besides the tree planting, gardening, general clean-up and “getting stuff out and cleaned up”, I’ve also been attending some seminars.  Now you know why you haven’t heard from me in a bit…

(Don’t ask me about the dust bunnies lurking under the blue roof.  Just don’t ask – I’m not going there.  It’s too nice outside and there’s too much to do out there.  The boat is about to go in the water too, and that will need some attention and set-up.  Oy, so busy at this time of year.)

The Oak Ridges Moraine Land Trust, here in Southern Ontario is hosting their Bio Blitzes and holding seminars to educate the public on climate change and the wildlife and fauna they can find in their back yard.  This is right up my alley and I’ve been to two talks so far.  One on wild forest plants and one on mushrooms.  They were very interesting and informative and I’ve now got a new channel to go to for information and involvement in the community.  Yay!

How are your Maple Leaf Tulips doing?  Open yet?  Mine still aren’t open.  They are very late.  They’re up and ready to open, but still tightly closed.

Here’s one clump of them →

Anticipation!  All of my other tulips have been open for a while and are starting to fade with this warm weather.  These will be nice after the others have almost finished.  That’s not a bad thing.

A friend of mine (are you there?) went to the Ottawa Tulip Festival last weekend and they weren’t open there yet either.

Can’t wait to see all the gardens sporting these when they finally bloom!

 

Oh yeah, I went to my local Garden Club’s plant auction.  Remember that from last year?  Still planting stuff as a result of this year’s visit…

UGH It looks like it’s snowing in here because the wind is blowing stuff through my window screens as I write. Or maybe that’s the dust bunnies dancing.  Never mind.

Do you want me to write, or do you want me to dust? Thought so – me too.  Sigh

Where are we tonight…I know the Full Moon has come and gone…ah, we’re ending the third quarter in Aquarius.  There’s the no restricting my freedom above and the who gives a hoot about the dust bunnies (except maybe my Mother…). The Moon enters Pisces just before midnight – a state of dreaminess on it’s way.  Breathe deeply.

Thursday is ruled by Jupiter.  Have you been looking at Jupiter in our night sky?  Hard to miss, he’s very bright and out all night.  The planet of luck and good fortune.  I’m feeling very fortunate that I have months of delightful growing season ahead of me.  The air smells like fresh cut grass and all things growing.  Not to mention the farm fields – you’ll have to ask Portia about that.

Today’s colour is red.

I’ll leave you now, grooving with Portia – and the dust bunnies – here under the blue roof.

Until next time,

-Debra