Sunday, 20 November 2016


Well, yesterday Judy and I created our labyrinth together.   Well actually, Judy did most of the work. She has been longing to do this for 20-30 years, but yesterday her dream came true.
Thankfully our fencing contractor was able to move 2500 lbs of Mexican White Beach Stones down from the road at the front of the house, by using a skid steer... and also moved 45 bags of Red Canadian Cedar Mulch too! It saved us hours of work.

So here are a few sequential photos of work in progress until its completion.
We began with a template membrane which we stapled to the ground in strategic places and then placed the rocks on the lines.... lifting 50lb bags of stones at a time!
Then placed the Red Cedar mulch between the lines... gorgeous scent and soft under foot.

And now today, of course, we have 5 inches of snow covering everything!
Misty's orange tennis ball was carefully placed by her last thing...

Tuesday, 15 November 2016


On Sunday night I spotted the supermoon coming up slowly in the East as I was driving back with Misty from the Pet Playhouse near Caroline.. It was bright enough to shine through the skeletal shapes of the trees on the hills.
Later I photographed it high in the sky above us...

A few days earlier we had a gorgeous sunrise which lit up the last of the fall colors like a beacon.

Judy has planted about 40 garlic bulbs which, all things being equal will provide us with a splendid resource next year.
Tomorrow our additional garden fencing is to be set which will allow us to build our labyrinth in the annex. 45 bags of white Mexican beach stones are on their way across the country from Washington state and will arrive next week.

Tuesday, 18 October 2016

Fall Colors

The fall colors this year have been amazing: deep reds and golds in the hills...
We had thought that the drought would have meant a very lean fall, but we've been delightfully surprised. 
Here is a panorama of Hammond Hill taken from our patio.

And here is a shot of a dramatic sky and a beautiful tree to our West...

Meanwhile, we hope to install our labrynth in the garden soon and also to extend the fencing on the gallery side of the house to give a larger play area for Misty and for Judy to be able to have some potager style raised beds...

Tuesday, 27 September 2016

Autumnal Sparkle...

The field behind our house is slowly fading into its autumnal colors, but this morning there were some spectacular spider webs glistening with dew.

And, some elegant Queen Anne's lace heads...

There is a definite chill to the morning air these days just past equinox and soon, even, we might anticipate a frost.
Hundreds of butterflies flutter over the wild flowers. There are so many more this year and are a wonderful sight.

Friday, 23 September 2016

Wild Clouds...

The other evening we we're treated to the sight of some wild, beautiful clouds which were backlit by a setting sun. Changing shapes slowly they were a stunning sight.

Now, just after the fall equinox, we are still in a blast of warm air, but, there's cool on the way this weekend.

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...

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!


Thursday, 4 August 2016


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!

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.


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...


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...

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!

Wednesday, 6 January 2016

The Sounds of Winter

This morning, Misty and I walked by Dryden Lake which was iced over and splendid in the sunshine.
From time to time, strange moaning sounds emerged from the space around the lake... it was the cracking of ice sheets echoing the entire length and breadth of the place. 

And there were winter photographs everywhere... frozen twigs, a farm above the lake, ice crystals below a water pipe...

Gorgeous winter...