O Sun, wherefore art thou?

Hey there,

O Sun, wherefore art thou?  That doesn’t sound so much like complaining, does it?  Fancy. 🙂

Took a wee break and now I’m back.  Did you miss me? 🙂

Two words:  New. Phone.

Two more words:  @#!&%!! Frustrating.

Enough said

Into August we go – my birth month.  Yep, another spin around the Sun for me…not yet, but soon; I’m on the cusp, first full day of Virgo.  Right now we bask in all things Leo – can you feel the Sun’s energy? (When we are blessed with it, this year!)  Leo is of course ruled by the Sun and the Sun represents the outer you, or your ego.  The colours? Gold, yellow, amber, orange – the colours of Sun-day. Warm, summery, fun.  Many of the greenies that flower in August are yellow.  Cool fact.

So how does your garden grow?  My veggies are kind of at the in between stage right now.  The early, cooler weather crops are not doing well in the heat, although I’m still harvesting lettuces and Swiss Chard, the radish and spinach have called it quits.  I’m going to re-seed end of August for another cool weather crop in the Fall.  Something went bums up with the peas.  The vines grew, developed the pods, but they never ripened, got soft and then the vines died…hmmm still looking into that one.  It couldn’t have been lack of rain!  They aren’t chewed, so I don’t think anything got into them.  Anyone have any ideas?  Maybe I should have harvested them when they were fully formed, but yellow?  They are called green peas for a reason. >: I’ve left them on the trellis to shade the lettuce, but it doesn’t look pretty…

The hot weather veggies:  cucumbers, beans, mellon, squashes and tomato are all coming along, but not nearly ready to harvest.  Lots of tomatoes on the vines, but very green.  I’m harvesting beans and will be harvesting beets and carrots soon.  We haven’t had a lot of hot Sun, although we did get some this week.  I did call this the year of experiment, garden-wise, so I’m waiting things out.  The early crops were good and I will be harvesting garlic when things dry up a bit, next week.

Endings are new beginnings.
Edit the story and continue the book.

I just got back from visiting in the City (Toronto) for a few days.  Down to see my daughter’s new abode and to visit Mr. G (my grandkitty) 🙂  Lots of walking and it was very hot.  Such a different world from the one here at Blue Roof Living.  I always love to visit – a few days is enough to experience the fast pace, the people, the food, do a little shopping, visit a gallery or two, get caught up.  I usually go for a spin through the financial district, my old stomping grounds from what seems like a lifetime ago, and then back I go to my kitties, the greenies, the birds, the fresh air, the dark night sky and the quiet:  home.  I usually take transit down – I’m not a big fan of driving in the City.  When I get back, there’s Pearl (my VW Bug rag top), patiently waiting for me and all is as it should be again.

Always fun to visit, but I’m not sure I could live there anymore.

Breeaaathe – and into a frenzy of spot watering my gardens as soon as I get my stuff in the door.  (Um, I might have bought a few new plants and tucked them in, here and there.)

It hasn’t been a great Summer to get out on the boat – our Civic Holiday long weekend is upon us; fingers crossed for some Sun and Wind.

Nothing too new critter-wise here (other than insects) – Niles is settling in.  Niles is the latest kitty to call the blue roof home. Ralph brought him home and he’s certainly paying for that…Niles is not far out of kittenhood and is in constant play mode.  (If he would stay still long enough, I’d take his picture and let you see him!)  Ralph is entering his golden years.  Playing is ok for a while, then, enough already, time to rest. Niles will push him one step too far…and then WHACK >ouch<…poor Niles – he’ll learn the hard way. Winnie, in her platinum years, just slugs him whenever she sees him, so he steers clear of Winnie – she doesn’t have the patience for a young whipper snipper like him.  Her mode is called “cranky”.

Winter should be interesting.  If Niles wants a bed by the fire, he’d better win over Winnie first…that’s her domain!

My stone wall?  Sigh  That’s not going nearly as quickly as I had anticipated.  It’s either raining or I can’t stand to be down by the trees for the mosquitoes – they are so fierce this year.  Even with my bug stuff on, I get badly bitten. So not happy about that.  There will be a push in the Fall to get some more work done on it.

One nice thing about the plentiful insects this year (I do try to find something good) is the butterflies!  Lots of them and they are so beautiful…I’ve been studying up on the different kinds and I’ve got most of the ones you find in Southern Ontario in my meadow. YAY!

Gee, that may call for a new book! 🙂 I’ve discovered Mourning Cloaks, Eastern Tiger Swallowtails and Red Admirals.  Of course, I always have lots of Monarchs, because I have lots of Milkweed in the meadow.

Look at these beauties on the Sea Holly.  Mourning Cloak on left above and Red Admiral on right.

And lots of Bees, which is always a good thing. The Meadowsweet, left above, is alive with Bees – all different kinds.  Look at that big Bumble Bee in the Hosta flower above right.

So, the flower gardens and the insects have most certainly benefited from all the rain we’ve had this year.

What have I been harvesting?  St. John’s Wort, for one.  This herb has also been called Touch and Heal, among other things. Hypericum Perforatum looks like the photo above on the left.  The photo to the right of that shows my jar of the flowers and leaves packed in oil, harvested about two weeks ago.  The jar in the middle, below them shows another harvest, flowers and leaves in oil that have been sitting for almost one month.  Can you see the colour of the oil?  Red!  Historically, the pigment from the crushed flowers was believed to signify the blood of St. John, who was beheaded.  Also the herb is usually flowering around June 24th, which is St. John’s Day.  You know me, I’m more about the woo woo, but interesting fact all the same!  I will leave the jars sitting in the Sun for two Moon cycles.  The Sun extracts the energy of the plant and harvesting by the Moon extracts her energy…it’s a twofer.

What would I use this red oil for?  I would use it topically for any kind of nerve pain.  Sciatica, Shingles, etc. It is also good for sun burn, but be careful with exposing your skin to the Sun while using it, as it can make you susceptible to burns. I’ll make a salve with the oil, incorporating it with beeswax – less messy to use that way.

Let’s turn to the night sky.  We get to experience some neat stuff this month in the sky.  The full Moon is this coming Monday, the 6th.  Mondays are ruled by the Moon.  We also experience a Lunar Eclipse on the afternoon of the Full Moon.  Two weeks later, on Monday the 21st, the New Moon, we experience a Solar Eclipse at almost the same time in the afternoon.  Very interesting.

Jupiter will be very close to the Moon in the week of the New Moon – especially mid week, in the West. Jupiter has been in the night sky since April and we’ll be losing sight of the King Planet before too much longer.  August is also an excellent time to see Saturn in the West to the left of Jupiter.  Because of the tilt of the planet right now, you can easily see Saturn’s rings with good binoculars or a telescope.  Venus still shines brightly in the East before dawn.  The Milky Way is still very easy to see overhead late evening.  A magic wash of light.

Hmmm, where are we tonight…the Moon is in Capricorn.  Very matter of fact, follow the rules kind of day.

Today’s colour is coral.

Well now, lots of goodies and photos this time around.  A little payback for being away. 🙂 For my Canadian readers, do enjoy your August long weekend, whatever you may be up to.  Our season is so fleeting, especially this year.  Enjoy safely.

Until next time,

-Debra

Rockin’ Round of Robins

robin-in-fall

Hey there,

First, news from the bird world here at Blue Roof Living…yesterday, the weather was beautiful and warm and the birds were everywhere.  I had a Round of Robins drop by.  That’s what you call a flock of Robins, a Round (had to look it up – I didn’t know either).  There were so many – I had never seen that many at once; they usually just hang out in couples.  Even when they arrive in the Spring, as I desperately await them.

Yesterday, however, I heard them from the house and when I went outside…binoculars in hand…the Robins were all over the lawn and in the trees – both male and female. Wow – it was pretty cool.  Having a heck of a time digging for worms in the lawn, as the lawn is so dry and the earth hard from the lack of rain this previous summer.  It doesn’t help that my soil is of the clay variety.

I also had a Flicker hopping about, competing with the Robins for the worms and insects in the grass.  Of course they’ve had a little help from the racoons, who like to dig up the lawn at night…that doesn’t make someone here very happy (not me – I don’t really care – as long as they stay out of the gardens).

I’ve had a Confusion of Warblers stop by all week enjoying the Golden Rod that is going to seed in the meadow.  That’s what you call a flock of Warblers. 🙂

Our little teenage Miss Cardinal is starting to look more like her mother – she was hanging out in the nyger seed feeder with her Dad.

The Woodpeckers are making themselves visible – waiting for me to put up the suet for them again, no doubt. They’ve been around all summer, but I could only hear them.  Not yet you guys!  Not until the snow comes…lovely to see you, but go back to your bug hunting!

On that note,  who else is back?

junco

Dun dun dun dunnnnn – the Juncos – oh nnnnooooo she says, hands covering ears – lalalalalalalalaaaa – those are the cold weather birds that actually spend their summer in the arctic and winter here.  They seem to be a wee bit early this year and I’m not sure what that means about the coming season (the one after Autumn).  They are cute little guys, but Geez, I’m so not ready!

 

Ugh – reality check.  Think happy thoughts – kittens and flowers, kittens and flowers.

img_0727 img_0728

We are enjoying our long Thanksgiving weekend here in Canada.  The rellies will be descending tomorrow for their turkey dinner…

Pick the weeds out of your own garden
before you start tending to mine

– just sayin’ 😉

I’m late with my blog this week, but I’m still squeaking in, as promised!  Still busy with my jars and drying, as you can see. 🙂  The temperature is dropping after our lovely warm week and this will definitely be the weekend where all of my plants in pots to be brought in doors will come in…the “f” word (FROST) is not far off, I’m afraid.  Sigh – my favourite season is so short.

So, October, shall we discuss?

The animal (or bird, seeing how we’re already discussing) for October is the Crow or Raven.  A flock of Crows is called a Murder.  Bwahahahahahaaaa.  Lots of Crows at this time of year, following the farmers as they bring in the harvest – they love the corn.  Such an intelligent bird.  They have a great mysticism and mythology about them.  They do seem to carry a certain magic.  Perhaps it’s their jet black colour?  We discussed the colour black here.  Crows are fascinating to watch – they like to watch you back.  They also have their own language and don’t actually sing, but caw and are great communicators.  Symbols of creation and spiritual strength, they give the message to look for opportunities and manifest the magic of life. Yup.

The flower for October is marigold – a fitting colour.  We’ve discussed Calendula, one of my favourite herbs, here.

What else do we think of when we think October?  Pumpkins!  Did you know that it was once thought that pumpkins could cure snake bites?  Weird.  October is also considered Canadian Library month.  Shhhh.  I would consider the early months of the calendar year library months – that’s when I like to sit by the fire and read (my winter sport).

The ruling planet for October is Venus, Goddess of Love, who also rules Libra, the zodiac Sun sign.  Libra is represented by the scales; restoring balance; prefers the comfort of company.  Not a loner; feminine and all about sharing life and experiences.  Social, cooperative, compromising, does not like conflict and happiest when everything is on an even keel.  Librans like elegance and beautiful surroundings.

Speaking of Venus, have you seen her in our night sky?  She is in the West early, after dark – that very bright star, not too high up off the horizon.  Dazzling.

Tonight’s Moon is in Capricorn, still in her first quarter but almost to the second (half moon) phase.  Today’s colour is black – like the Crow.

I’ll leave you there.  For my readers in Canada, do enjoy your Autumn long weekend – and don’t forget to bring in those pots!

Until next time,

-Debra