Monday, June 19, 2006

June 12 before I headed out to Lumby Days I picked these out of my Strawberry Patch. These are the first of my own berries... mmmmm. Unfortunately the birds are beating me to the biggest and the best berries, and since I only planted these plants this spring there is not much of a crop on them this year and what's there is fairly small. Next year should be much better.
Yet another Iris from Helen. She also gave me some other colors but the pics of them didn't turn out, too blurry. For some reason I couldn't get the camera to auto focus on them right so you will have to wait until next year when they bloom again to see the colors. One is purple/yellow the other is dark red/yellow.
Another plant from Helen is this Iris... a color I didn't have yet.
Here are 2 Columbines Helen gave me. Both are pretty much the
same color except one is paler than the other one.
This pretty purple Iris has striped leaves as you can see. Thanks Sam.
This is the wild rose bushes taking over the orchard. They are pretty, but very invasive.
Close up of wild roses.
Wild rose bush.
Pretty Purple Pansy Plants... say that 5 times fast, lol.
Someone at church said these are called Sweet Smelling Stock. I looked that up on Google and found nothing at all about them so am not sure of the name, but will call them that unless I hear different.
Lily of the Valley. These have been growing in my overgrown, unwatered, neglected flower bed for years now. It's amazing they survived. They must be happy now that they are getting better care.
Sunflowers growing amongst other flowers given to me by Sam.
This is the purple Columbine that Lynda gave to me.
Here are some of my flowers (taken June 2). Of course, this first one is an Iris.
Still standing in that same place, with my camera zoomed in all the way, here is my home. That cute grey barn belongs to the neighbor... sure wish it was mine :o)
Zoomed in a bit more and now you can actually see my house... green and white with the big metal roof. What? You need a closer look? Well, okay...
I zoomed in a bit and took this one...
June 2 (I think it was) on my way home from the store I decided to take some pictures. I was actually trying to get some pics of a pair of Ospray that are nesting on top of a pole, but he flew away and she ducked back into the nest before I could get into a good position to take the pics. So I took some other ones instead. This one is looking at my home from far away... it's somewhere on that hillside in the distance.

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Two shots of where the gate will be going in. I doubt I'll have to go in very often, but want access just in case. You can see with these pictures how the bank creates a fencing challenge. When I'm finished I will show you how I dealt with it. At this point I have a couple ideas but don't yet know how well they'll work in the end.
Here's a close up of one part of the chicken run challenge. You can't really tell here, but because of the lay of the land there is as much as 20 inches (50.80 cm) between the ground and the wire. This is due to one post on the bank and the next one not. Much like the other end that you will see in the next pics.

Saturday, June 10, 2006

The bottom part shows the dog run, the top shows the new chicken run. Admittedly it isn't great looking, using "scrounged" fence posts and used wire doesn't make for the best end result, but it sure is better than nothing and the main thing is that it keeps my chickens safely inside while giving them a nice area in which to roam, eating green grass and bugs, etc.

The top of the chook run is the top of my property, as is the right hand fence the end of my property to the north-east.

June 7th

Another load to the dump! This one was all branches with a bit of wood scraps and some wild rose branches (major thorns). At the dump I "scavenged" 2 wooden boxes, and I met a man that was about to throw out some fence posts. I asked if I could have them and he said yes, so I suggested he meet me outside the fence to move them from his truck to my trailer. This way he didn't have to pay for dumping them (I think there's 6 there) and I wouldn't go thru the scale weighing more than I did when I went in, haha. It was bad enough I "messed with the scale" by taking those boxes, but I couldn't just see them crushed. There was another one there too, but I couldn't get to it without moving a bunch of stuff, so it stayed there.

Later in the day, after taking care of several other things, I picked up a freeby (through Freecycle) barbeque. It was a propane barbeque but no longer is safe to use that way, so the guy was using charcoal briquettes and so will I. Not the top of the line barbeque I want, but hey... it's better than the nothing I had.

I also picked up Ron and brought him home for a few hours so we could get some work done before I had to head off to a Board Meeting. We got the rest of the wire mesh up on the chicken run!! There is still work to be done there... must put some wood at the bottom of the fence to stop the chooks from digging out, some of the wire is right on the ground, but some is up anywhere from 1" to over a foot, depending on the "lay of the land". There are a couple spots where I'm not sure what I've going to do to fill in the gaps, but I'm sure I'll come up with something. I also need to put in another post in so I can have a gate/doorway into that area, just in case.

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

All these iris plants are along the highway, running south-west from my driveway.

The rain drops add a certain something.

A close up of some buds with rain drops still clinging to them.

I love this color of iris.

These iris plants are not some of my favorite colors, but still they are pretty.

May 24th, after some heavy raining, I ran out to take some pictures of the flowers incase the rain bruised them I wanted pictures before the bruising showed up. Normally rain does flowers good, but it really was a down pour. As it turned out, no flowers were harmed and more bloomed after these, but it was good I got these pics anyway. Some of them are more beautiful for having the rain on them.

More little bits

June 5th: I loaded the trailer again... this time with wood scraps, branches from walnut and plum trees, and thorny wild rose branches. Now it just has to be tied down and hauled off to the dump. Too bad the Regional District would fine me if I burned these things here. You have to have 1 hectare of land (2.47 acres) to be aloud to burn yard waste like this and I only have .38 acre.

Being late evening and the chooks "in bed" so wouldn't be an escape issue, I took the wheelbarrow into the chook house and filled it with "matter" from the floor. This consists of dirt mixed with old rabbit manure from when this was my rabbitry and chicken manure. This is sitting in the yard waiting to be used in the yard or put into the compost.

June 6th: Where the branches and such had been there was bare ground... no grass or weeds could grow here I guess... and bare ground here is uncommon, so I take advantage where I can. I planted some "previously sprouted" ornamental corn here. I took the kernals off a couple ornamental cobs I'd bought one year and put them into dishes of wet paper towels... 2 different types of corn so keeping them separate. I still have more to plant, but it was getting too hot to work in the sun. We've had a lot of cool, rainy days lately... today wasn't one of them.

I laid down with a book and fell asleep this afternoon. While I was asleep I missed another visit from Helen and Bob... bummer, I like visiting with them. I can tell they were here as there are a bunch of plants outside waiting for me to plant, and some egg shells for me to feed to the chickens. Helen had said they'd bring them by.

Also today I got 1 of 2 Lovage plants into the ground. I planted this in the herb garden but don't want to plant the other Lovage or the Horseradish here as they get really big and this area is not condusive to that. I'll plant those in a different area.

June 3rd

This morning I went to town and picked up my friend and faithful helper, Ron. He says he doesn't mind helping me as it gives him something to do. I am very grateful for any and all help I get.

The project we took on today was the chicken run. About 2 years ago Wilson dug a bunch of post holes for me, then Bob came by and planted posts in those holes for me, also dug a few new ones as the ones already there were too far out of line. As it is the posts really aren't in straight lines at all... pretty bad, but oh well, chickens won't mind this and nor do I so long as they work. Once the posts were up the next step was the wire... not a one person job, so I never got it done... until now. Ron and I had to remove a lot of thistles and other weeds and grass before we could install wire, then we got all the wire mesh on the bottom up and about half of it on the top before we got too tired to do more. The wire mesh is about 4 feet high, so need two levels of it. All the wire I have on the bottom I got for free through Freecycle, and what I put on the top I got given to me by a now former friend about 2 years ago. I put the better quality wire on the bottom as I figure it will get the most wear. We left a gap where we will be putting a gate for me to access this area. We still have to finish the top round of mesh and fill in some spots where the lay of the hill caused big gaps between the bottom of the wire mesh and the ground. Not yet sure just how we'll do this, but I know we will. This fence is not real pretty, or professional looking, but it will do and hopefully will keep the chooks in. I know it will be better for the chooks than what they have now and much larger.

Future plans: to clean out the little shed under the lean-to where the chickens now live, then move the chooks (chickens) into the shed. Cut a hole in the one wall of this shed for the chooks to be able to go out to the new run. Then I will dismantle the lean-to and current chicken run, making more room on this level for parking, turning the truck around, etc. as well as looking better. I may even move my little tin shed from the far end of the house out to here so it is more easily accessible for use rather than just taking up space. Getting the chooks into their new home is priority at this point, though.

Finishing off the month of May

May 28th: I planted some Royal Burgundy Bush Beans I also had started from seed in the house, and 1 of the Hydrangea plants I bought awhile ago. I went shopping for groceries at the local nursery and also brought home a Cilantro plant.

May 30th: I cleaned up some of the rabbit cages that needed it (still more to do)... planted the Cilantro plant into the herb garden... put away dried chicken bread (into that old freezer I kept) and ... put fresh hay in the chicken nest boxes. I made this hay by picking grass from my yard and drying it on the hood of my truck and metal trays from rabbit cages.

The ropes and straps for keeping the load on have already been taken off, but this is my truck and trailer before the load is removed, and there are 2 bath tubs inside the canopy.

Here's a shot from the other side of my trailer after the tie downs have been removed but before the load is taken off.

These (all but the saw horse you see in the picture) have already come off Wilson's truck. Now to sell all these cages and not just let them sit there cluttering up my yard.

May 27th

Another big day here. My friend Wilson came up (he lives about a 45 minute drive south of here) to help me, he arrived here at 7:45am. First we loaded my trailer with garbage, mostly wood from the old sundeck, also other wood, some household garbage and an big old scale I had once bought at the auction for weighing the rabbits I was raising - it didn't work... more money wasted. But I digress...

Wilson followed me in his truck as I drove to the town just north of here (about 15 minutes) and dropped all that stuff at the dump there (270 Kg. - $5.50). Then off we went to the town north of that (another 10 minute or so drive). There we stopped at a gas station and met with Chuck (I had given him a love seat and promised him the matching couch - Freecycle) and Vic (another Freecycle contact, I was giving him a china cabinet) and off we went with the 3 of them following me up to the farm of a former friend (long, unhappy story) where I had several things stored. First we loaded the couch into Chuck's Chev Blazer and off he went. Then loaded the china cabinet, a TV stand that I also offered to Vic, and some boxes of my stuff into Vic's van (he dropped the boxes off at my place before I got back here). He stayed to help Wilson load some of the heavy stuff into my trailer (table saw, china cabinet, rack, metal frame for holding shelves, etc.) then he left. Wilson and I loaded more onto the trailer, then 2 bath tubs into my truck. We then drove to another part of the yard and loaded his truck with rabbit cages, and put some cages on the top of the load on the trailer, and 2 onto the top of my truck. We were just about to put another cage on top of the 2 on my truck when Chuck came back so we put that cage and some other odds and ends into his Blazer. We now had all my stuff loaded and off we went. (I had already brought my truck full one other day).

I led the way through back roads so we only had to take the highway a short distance at the end. With the loads we had on I didn't think we wanted to draw attention or to have to go the full highway speeds. Not that the loads were dangerous, I wouldn't do that and make sure all my loads are well tied on, but still... we looked like the Beverly Hillbillies moving... lol.

When we got home we unloaded Chuck so he could head off, then Wilson's truck, then my trailer and truck. I had planned to take pictures off everything but did forget to do so until the end. I did click off a couple of my rig but missed the load on Wilson's truck. Oh well... just know rabbit cages are hard to move when like mine as they are all different sizes and shapes.

May 23rd

Today I picked Ron up when he got off work and we headed out to the local land fill. For $5.50 dumping fee (I was really surprised it was so little) we dumped all that metal Ron and Dan had loaded into the trailer for me on the 21st.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Dan and Ron picking up the deepfreeze to put it into the trailer. I sure am grateful to have help with this and many other things.

This is Ron and Dan with the deepfreeze they just moved through the carport. They took off the lid then "end over ended" the freezer to get it from spot A to spot B.

Ron is the one with the hat... hahahaha. Okay... Dan is in grey and Ron in black with the vest.

Here Dan and Ron are carrying the old portable dish washer. I bought it at a garage sale years ago, got it home and all by myself wrestled it up the steps into the house. When hooked up to the sink and the water turned on, water sprayed all over my kitchen. What a mess! I moved it outside and there it stayed until now. Paid to bring it home, now pay to take it away, all for nothing... grrrrr.

May 21st

Lots of work done this day. After church I picked up Ron and brought him out here with me. We got lots of work done. We did some cleaning up in the carport, to start. Lots more to do of course, but this was needed to make a wide area to get through with a deep freeze. I had 2 old deepfreezes that no longer work. I used to use one for storing bags of rabbit and chicken feed, the other one still was working at that time so I used it for my food as well as for freezing milk jugs and 2 lt. pop bottles of water, making ice for in the rabbit cages to keep the rabbits cooler on hot summer days. These were both sitting around in the way, one in the carport and one behind it. I decided to keep one of them for storing bread I bring home and dry for the chickens (I am given huge bags of bread for this purpose and want to keep the mice out of it). Sooooo, the deepfreeze that was in the carport was moved out behind it, and the one that was out behind got moved through the carport and loaded into the trailer for the dump. Also, an old dish washer that has been sitting out back for some time got loaded, as did an old air conditioner and a few other metal items. The landfills in this area all have you put things in different spots based on what they are, so I like to take an all metal load or an all wood load, etc. Any mixed loads have to be loaded in such a way that things aren't mixed together in the trailer.

No, I didn't have to move these heavy items, Dan came over to help Ron with that part of it, as you will see in the pictures.

After the trailer was loaded and ready to go Dan left, though he did come by later on his way into town and picked up Ron to give him a ride home and saved me the trip in. After Dan left, Ron helped me to rip apart an old sundeck. This had been a covered sundeck where my carport now is. In the fall of 1997 I had many renovations done to my home (built on a 10'x32' addition - 2 rooms, new ceiling and a wall in old 8'x20' addition, new windows through out the mobile home, new metal roof over entire home - both additions and mobile home, carport, took out sliding glass door and put in a proper half glass front door). At that time, the rotted part of the deck was removed and the rest was put on the ground for me to continue using (without the roof it once had). In the ensuing years this deck rotted and needed to be removed, so Ron and I did so. Where that deck had been was bare ground, so I planted 2 tomato plants and 6 pepper plants in part of that ground.