Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Garden Glimpses : Early August 2007

We took advantage of the great weather on the weekend, to visit Bunsen Lake. We were very impressed by our kids, 8 and 6, who very cheerfully walked the trails for 1 hr 15 min to get to the other side of the lake. Then, the 2 hr 15 min of the more gruelling (or perhaps it just felt more challenging since we were already tired on the return journey) longer trail on the other side of the lake. Afterwards, they even had enough energy to go wading in the cold lake!

The barn swallows had several nests on the outside of the building which contains the washrooms. It was fun to see the little heads and open beaks pop up each time a parent approached the nest. One nest contained 4 chicks which looked nearly ready to leave the nest (click any of the photos for a slightly closer view):
barn swallow nestlings
I waited for quite a while, trying to snap a shot of them with their mouths open, but the mom (or dad, I guess) darted in and out so quickly, I missed a number of times. Finally, I got the shot I wanted:
barn swallow chicks with mouths wide open
On a similar note, almost every time I look, there are 2 or 3, sometimes even 4, hummingbirds darting around our garden, and up into the maple and alder trees beside our property (in the ravine). I have been trying to catch them on camera, but this is the best I've done so far:
humming bird
Not National Geographic, but any means! I've done a bit better, with the video camera, because that at least picks up the motion, and I got a good close-up of one sitting on the top of my small cherry tree.

Here is a nice shot of the globe thistle with bees in it:
globe thistle with bees
I find it interesting, that each flower has its own following of bees. The globe thistle attracts the smaller honey bees. Many of the others are a magnet for the big fuzzy bumblebees. The lamb's ear was a favourite of what I believe was mason bees, as well as bumblebees.
stargazer lily
Can you smell the fragrance of this stargazer? They are so sweet-smelling. I am pleased to have a number of them blooming in the garden at the moment, and catch a whiff of them as I walk through the yard. I have a fond association with the stargazer, since it was my wedding flower. This is a good time of year to buy them in the grocery stores, enjoy the fragrance indoors, then when they are finished flowering, plant them out to enjoy next year. It is about the same price as buying the bulb at the garden center, so this seems a better way to go.
beautiful lilies
I don't remember if these lilies are fragrant, but I love the rich orange colour, and the freckles on them. My friend Lily gave them to me, the bulbs are apparently a Taiwanese delicacy. But I think they are much too beautiful to consider eating.

I learned something interesting the other day. A few weeks ago, I had deadheaded a number of my hardy geraniums, mainly since I already have enough seedlings to deal with, and the seedheads can look quite messy. On one geranium, I trimmed most of the plant, but was interrupted before I finished completely. Now, weeks later, the part I had trimmed (front), looks green and refreshed, and has even started to flower again, whereas the part I had left in seed (at back), appears yellow and faded (Yes, those are really two parts of the same plant!!):
dramatic effect of deadheading on a geranium
Finally, it is only the first week of August, which feels like only half way through the summer. But the Virginia Creeper is telling a different story, it has already started to turn red. (It turns a brilliant red in the Fall before losing its leaves for the Winter.)
Virginia creeper
Could we be so close to Fall? I guess it is only 4 weeks left before the start of school! Much too soon!

1 comment:

Kerri said...

Sounds like you had a great time at Bunsen Lake. It really is impressive that the kids held up for all that walking! It's fun to see the swallows, isn't it. You got a couple of good shots of them. Love the open mouths! :)
I see you have some very lovely lilies. I think the moles ate my stargazer because it disappeared after one season.
I loved seeing pictures of your family...especially the 4 generations. Yes, your nana does look like a queen, and your daughter a princess :) Sounds like a very fun day.
Thanks for visiting and saying hello.

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