Tag Archives: spring

Internetsplorations in a Wet, Cold World

So it’s raining and cold and something like five days until June. There’s half a bottle of last night’s wine left over and I’ve spent the morning finishing that while cruising around the internet.

Favorite links?

On Pinterest, I spent some time grooming my collections of bunnies and ideas for the kitchen,  and built a new group of inspirational snaps for my other life on the practical wine drinker’s favorite site, Vinderful (which is also a great place to hang out day while drinking) took over a good bit of the morning.

I also found a bunch of new Instagramers to love including one from Sweden, a girl on an amazing trip, one person using a real camera, and a surf photographer who I’d gladly trade places with today.

On Brain Pickings I found a review of this book which I almost assuredly need to read and a great article on masculine charm over at The Atlantic. On the re-read list this morning was also a wonderful set of articles from S.J. Chambers about retracing Mary Shelly’s travels.

I’m also planning time for some time with Anna Karenina and a few cups of tea. One of these days the sun will come out. Till then I’ll be thankful for a grey, inside-time Sunday.

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Inside with wine and reading to ring in June-uary.

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Balcony Gardening

Seed packets bundles of opportunity. They have almost the same likelihood to "dud" as to grow making the ones that do thrive all the sweeter.

Seed packets bundles of opportunity. They have almost the same likelihood to “dud” as to grow making the ones that do thrive all the sweeter.

It’s been about a month since I planted my balcony garden and the seeds are sprouting! We’ve had a few sunshiny weeks in a row starting what will, I hope, become a phenomenal growing season. I mainly planted veggies but this time I’m trying nasturtiums, delphiniums, and the lovely complementary wildflower packet we were given at West Coast Seeds in Delta, BC.  These will live alongside the lettuces, watercress, artichokes and garlic that’s taking up most of the real estate out there.

Our balcony faces north so it’s a bit tricky to grow sun-loving plants. Last year, my tomato adventure yielded poor results (except for the fact that I got to make fried green tomatoes). Two years ago at the old, east-facing  apartment, I grew a heap of delicious and ripe tomatoes from seed. This year I think I’ll  try for a head-start and buy an already-blooming plant.

Phase 1 - Planted

Phase 1 – Planted

That’s the crow’s nest in the pine tree on the right of this photo, by the way.

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Phase 2 – The first to arrive!

More to come once the seeds get going. For now, I’ll just be battling squirrels who, apparently, love getting their paws into newly turned dirt. The weather and the soil here make for easy growing so as long as I can keep them safe now delicious salads and beautiful flowers should be on the way. Till then, hooray for balcony gardens and BC’s incredible potential for planting even in small spaces.

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Things to Love

slow your roll

When it’s time to slow your roll.

It might be because I kinda lost interest in fashion magazines last year, or maybe it’s that I’m perpetually trying to cut extraneous expenses, but somehow I missed the beginning of this roll on perfume thing.

I think it’s always been around, but I only caught on this last birthday when I was gifted a tube of Live in Love by a dear friend. It’s amazing but has gotten even more lovely lately as spring rolls in. The scent is like green trapped in a bottle – three quarters  fresh new leaves and the rest thick syrupy floral – and it’s become an absolute favorite.

I also recently acquired French Lilac from Pacifica in a tube. As a Florida girl, I knew lilac only as a color. It turns out that it’s the most wonderful and fleeting flower of spring. There are no less than five lilac trees that bloom in our neighborhood and you had better believe that I plan my walks around them when they bloom. It’s feminine and exotic (to me) and the blossoms only last a few weeks. It doesn’t quite capture the beauty of a fresh bloom, but since it’s available the other 50ish weeks of the year, I’ll take this version happily.

Portable, changeable and, perhaps best of all, small enough to work as a sample for something you might not want a whole bottle of all make roll on fragrance my new thing to love.

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Crow Neighbors

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It’s almost ready on Day 3 of nest building. 

We have new neighbors.

The pine tree outside our house (which, coincidently, looks the most like a Florida tree of all the trees on our block so I love it already) has some new tenants. Actually, I think it’s the same crows that nested near here last year, but this spring they are building their nest higher up. It’s actually just about the same height as our apartment. This means I can spy on them a little as they build the nest and then as bird-parenthood plays out through summer.

Crows aren’t many people’s favorite birds, but their intelligence and otherworldliness intrigues me. Jet black like a witch’s cat, a crow reminds us of dark things. There are all sorts of mysticisms linked to crows. Here locally, the crow frequents stories of people who have lived on this coast for centuries. A trickster, a thief, a harbinger of bad news.

Here in the city the population of crows works against those ideas; there just can’t be that many bad omens in a place with a crime rate as low as Vancouver’s. I think they are demonized because they remind us of ourselves. A crow will eat almost anything. It will outsmart the other, dumber birds. They take what they need. Crows aren’t timid and will confront bigger and smaller animals. They are known for driving out other species. Sounds like I’m describing people, right?

And people don’t usually like someone hanging around that reminds us of our worst qualities.

Since they are my new neighbors, I’m going to spend a little time getting to know these ones better. So far they’ve finished the nest (which took five or six days) and then they left it sit for a while. I assume that was to check to see what might come to investigate the site. Maybe this was some kind of basic security surveillance. They began hanging around in the nest again three days ago. As of yesterday, one of them is sitting on the nest while the other goes to get food. The nested bird makes a low, dull call almost constantly when its partner is away. When the two are together there is what looks to me like cuddling. They talk to each other with lower voices.

I recently checked out a book on crows and ravens from the library so I’m hoping to answer a few questions. I don’t which bird is sitting on what I presume to be eggs. I don’t know how long eggs take to hatch. I do know that crows often spend quite a bit of time with their hatchlings before the family separates. It’s this behavior that allows for some of their intelligence. They teach their offspring and then stay with them so skills can be mastered.

Sounds, again, like people to me.

Day 2

A sunny Day 2.

Day 1

The proud future-parents on Day 1 of nest building.

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YOU GUYS It looks like SPRING in here

Well, at least in a pot inside the house that I, um, put near the floorboard heater. The road outside our apartment is being dug up to make way for an improved sidewalk and more room for a bike path and some of the little garden area has gotten tampered with in all the construction. The other day I picked up some casualty bulbs I found lying on the road and planted them in the house. It’s only been like four days and look what happened…

Spring! Look it's coming!

Spring! Look it’s coming!

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