Monday, 15 August 2016

Farmers Market

It is always a delight to go to Ithaca Farmers Market in the summer. With produce sourced from local farms within a twenty mile radius, the range of vegetables and fruits is astonishing.







While we were supping apple cider by the lake, we spotted a cormorant sunning itself on a log...
Nicholas

Thursday, 11 August 2016

Evening Primrose

We've been blessed with a profuse display of Evening Primrose (Oenothera) plants this year at the end of the garden...and one of the benefits of these lovely plants is that they enrich the soil with Gamma Linoleum Acid, an oil which promotes health.
Oenothera flowers are pollinated by insects, such as moths and bees. Like many other members of the Onagraceae, however, the pollen grains are loosely held together by viscin threads, so only insects that are morphologically specialized to gather this pollen can effectively pollinate the flowers. Bees with typical scopa cannot hold it. Also, the flowers open at a time when most bee species are inactive, so the bees which visit Oenothera are generally vespertine temporal specialists: bees that forage in the evening. The seeds ripen from late summer to fall.




Today, the humidity is incredible and being outside for a few moments brings sweat to the brow!

Nicholas

Thursday, 4 August 2016

Drought

This summer we have had such little rain! The creek is dried up and grasses are browned...
but wildflowers thrive....
Here is some Joe Pyeweed growing in the creek bed.


And a profusion of yellow and purple flowers have sprung up in our garden annex.


Meanwhile, our garden beds look magnificent! Attracting butterflies, a hummingbird and lots of bees.


Lets hope we get some rain soon!
Nicholas

Wednesday, 8 June 2016

Summer is here!

It has been an absolute delight to see the ruby throated hummingbird back again this year. It is astonishing to see this little creature flit about at such speed and, the other day, I was able to photograph it resting on a branch.



Soon afterwards, a golden warbler ( I think) came by and sat for a while...


But today, the temperatures have plummeted by about ten degrees so there is a distinct chill in the air after so much warmth.

Nicholas

Sunday, 8 May 2016

Garden visitors

Today on this blustery cool spring day we have had a kettle of 5 red-tailed hawks flying overhead, and, closer to home, we spotted a rose-breasted Grossbeak feeding on the bird bench.



Soon after a Downy Woodpecker came to peck at the trunk of an old apple tree.

It is a late spring this year... some of the early budding trees have had frost damage, but we hope they will recover.
What a joy to see  those hawks soaring overhead: I watch as they twist and turn in the wind. Apparently they cover hundreds of miles a day...

Nicholas

Sunday, 24 April 2016

Early Spring...

Its that time of year again. We have about eight goldfinches buzzing about the garden right now, four or more tree swallows and several blue birds. Its been a long brown season, but at last there are signs of greening as new buds break free.



Today we try out our new Kobalt lawn mower... 
In a few weeks time we will install our Labyrinth: a classic Avalon design about 18 feet across. It will sit in the additional plot of land we purchased last year and will feature river washed boulders and cedar mulch.
New beginnings...
Nicholas

Friday, 12 February 2016

Polar Vortex

This weekend, temperatures are plunging here due to a Polar Vortex spreading south from Canada. Anticipating windchill of -30 degrees tomorrow morning, we need to be prepared.
Walking along the Shug trail in Dryden today I spotted some beautiful ice crystals and floes on a patch of beaver damned water by the trail, which in the spring is the nesting ground for snapping turtles!


And, at the 1 mile mark I spotted this beautiful patch of red against the gray.
We could not linger long because my ears were becoming numb, but it was a fabulous sight to behold!
Nicholas