Feeding Time

Red-breasted sapsucker feeding babies in a hole in a cedar tree

Red-breasted sapsucker Sphyrapicus ruber

Frequent visitor in our woods. Subspecies of yellow bellied sapsucker on the Pacific Coast.  Food: Sap, fruit, arthropods. it drills neat rows of holes in bark of trees, later visiting the pits to lick up sap with its brush-like tongue. Squirrels and hummingbirds often gather at the sap wells also. The Rufous Hummingbird is closely associated with the Red-breasted Sapsucker. It nests near sap wells and may follow the woodpecker around during the day, feeding at the wells the sapsucker keeps flowing.

Nest: Nest in cavity in dead tree or dead branch. No nest material added to cavity.

ID: Males are beautiful with red heads, necks and breast. Females are generally brown with light throats.

Voice: Call a harsh mewing “waah.” Drumming a distinctive slow irregular tapping, easily imitated by tapping on a tree with a stick.

Egg: 4–7 white eggs

Historically shot as an orchard pest; protected now. Populations appear stable, but forestry practices that remove snags may decrease its abundance in particular areas.

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Practise Stillness

“It doesn’t hurt to engage in some kind of disciplined practice, such as meditation or prayer. Silent sitting becomes a magic carpet that rescues us from identifying with every neurotic thought that pops into our minds and every emotional distraction that threatens to abduct us. When we purposely build periods of reverence or stillness into our days, we practice gazing through the eyes of love, and we get better and better at seeing love everywhere we look. Your practice may take the shape of twenty minutes a day on a cushion or aimless solitary walks on the beach. It can look like kneeling in a church or a mosque or simply like following the flow of one breath to the next with your full attention.”
~Mirabai Starr

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Pantry Update

Before:  Old boards on the walls and ceiling, ugly dirty shelves, clutter and disorganized

After: New plywood painted white, clean new shelves, organized and decluttered, all ready for the new canning season.

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Garden Delight Rose

Garden Delight

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Bramble Berry Flowers

                                                      Creeping Blackberry Rubus ursinus

We call them bramble berries. They are wild and grow throughout our yard on stumps and on the ground.
Berries ripen earlier, are smaller and have more flavour than Himalayan. Nice in salads.
Means: Lowliness, envy, remorse

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Pinks (Fire witch) Dianthus Feuerhexe

Planted. Perennial. Evergreen.  Compact, mounding habit. Shear when blooms fade to keep shape. 8” tall, 12” wide. Full sun. Heat and humidity tolerant.
Flowers: Fragrant single magenta pink. Blooms most of the summer. Remove faded flowers for continuous blossoms.
Leaves: grassy blue green foliage.
Eldest daughter gave me a pot for Mother’s Day 2008.  They didn’t like the window box, it was too dry, and the wash tub on the stump was too shaded. Now they happily bloom in the round bed on the path to the front door.

Meaning: woman’s love

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Mock Orange Bush

Mock Orange  Philadelphus virginalis

Late spring-blooming deciduous bush. Not a true orange, its name supposedly derives from the fragrant white flowers which are thought to resemble that of orange blossoms.
An old-fashioned favourite.

Flowers: large white, fragrant flowers blooming in late spring.

Full sun to partial shade and moist, well-drained soil. Adding compost to the soil will help improve most issues. Somewhat drought tolerant, the bush prefers to be kept in moist conditions. Mulching the area around the shrub will help the soil retain moisture and minimize watering needs. Annual pruning will keep the plant looking good.
Since the shrub blooms on the previous year’s growth, pruning needs to be done soon after the blooming period in early summer. Simply prune off the growth just above the outer-facing buds on stems that have finished flowering. It is recommended that mock orange shrubs not be pruned or deadheaded after July to ensure blooms the next spring. Cut back the branches with spent bloom about 1/3 to 2/3 their length. Also, cut out any old or dead wood back to the ground.

Flowers: blooming is short (only about a week or two)

Foliage: dark green.

Height: range in height from 4-8 feet and have a natural vase shape.

Bought June 5, 2017 at the Farmer’s Market from a Mexican lady.

Planted in front yard near Bridal Wreath.

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Write It Off

Write off debt and write off loss
what no longer works just toss,
recycle schemes, renew, amend
Write off stuff but not good friends.

©2019 Sharron R. McMillan

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My thoughts flit about
like brown creeper
on cedar tree.

none sit still enough
to be seen
or to complete the epiphany.

Maybe catching a glimpse
is enough
to reassure me again

and words
still exist
in the lofty places
of my woods
and my brain.

©2019 Sharron R. McMillan

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Don’t Even Go There

Where dark memories
paralyze and drain,
where what if
replaces why not
and can’t
becomes the chant
in tired brain.

Don’t go there.
Close the negative
turn off
the loudest

Find one thought
of positive vibration
and go there,
go there,
go there.

©2019 Sharron R. McMillan

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Look at the size of this rose!

It’s so beautiful I just had to share.  There are three roses on this bush and they are all spectacular.  It’s a David Austin ‘Scepter’d Isle’ Correction: It’s a Tea Rose “Bewitched”

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The Neighbourhood Watering Hole

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English Daisies

English Daisies

Daisy (English) Bellis perennis

Small Perennial.  Leafless stems to 1 to 6” tall. Flowers in the spring, to 1” across, pinkish or white.  A friend from England gave us a few roots in 2000.  We planted them in one spot in the back yard. They have reseeded everywhere.  We must spread them with our feet somehow, they seem to be growing where our paths to the garden and car take us.  They are cheery faces all over the yard.

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Iris Bed


Iris (Siberian Fleur-de-lis) Iris Siberica

Planted Perennial bulb. Oldest known flower. Symbol of eloquence, power and majesty. Greek for rainbow – iris. Three parts of the blossom typifying faith, wisdom and valour.
Planted 1978
Dried root is orris root used in potpourris
Nice for flower arrangements.
Juice of the fresh root, bruised with wine as a strong purge of dropsy
Deer resistant
Meaning: message

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First Roses in the Rose Garden – Four Pictures

Happy Birthday Dear Sister, Happy Birthday To You.

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