28 September 2012

Struggle to Capture What the Eye Sees

This, above, is one of a few photos I took at 6am today while walking to the transit.  It looked ever so lovely with the naked eye but capturing it with the camera, not so good.

 In the same vicinity as above, I took these photos this afternoon on my way home from work.  I just had to crunch my way through these leaves.  Admit it, you would too!

Shadows in September are longer and deeper.  They look great photographed!

It won't be long now and the calendar will read October.  Have you had a chance to get out to enjoy this unusually nice weather this autumn?  If not, why not take the opportunity to go out, take a few photos and ....just....breathe.....

27 September 2012

National Tree Appreciation Day Today

Today is National Tree Appreciation Day in Canada so I thought I'd share some of the beauty of the local maples which are now turning various shades of orange, yellows and reds.  I hope you enjoy this tribute to an all-time favourite.

25 September 2012

Problems With Apple Maggot?

Apple maggots are the apple tree growers enemy.  They can easily destroy an entire crop.  Obvious damage is seen as brown spots or trails within an apple.  You may also come across the maggot itself.  If you suspect you may have this infestation but aren't sure, pick an apple, slice in half and put in a glass jar for a day or so.  The lack of oxygen will force the maggot out if it is still present.

Kudos to my friend Kim who recently posted one of the best articles on apple maggot identification I have read to date.  Check out her site here:  http://meadowoftheunicorn.blogspot.ca/2012/09/the-apple-umbrella-tree.html.  It is complete with photos and instructions on what not to do and what to do if you have this pest.

There are apple maggot traps available as well.  Those that I am familiar with resemble apples in colour (red) and are spherical.  To this ball you apply a sticky substance (included with the kit) and then hang this on the affected tree.  The red attracts the fly which will then become stuck in the substance.  You may want to hang several in your tree/s.  Remember to clean up any debris including fallen apples, to prevent the maggot from overwintering in the litter and continuing the cycle the following season.

Get your neighbours involved as well to increase your chances of eliminating this pest and preventing it from reaching the orchards of British Columbia.  Spread the word.

22 September 2012

Plants in Holding

As you may recall from previous posts, we recently moved households and realized that several changes needed to be made in the new landscape.  Beginning with the staining of the front and back decks, we found we needed to move some plants earlier than planned and a couple cedars needed to be removed.  Not wanting the plants to die on me, I decided to make use of the now empty raised garden bed. (sorry, the cedars were beyond saving, sob)

Included in the holding bed are two potentillas and chives, which pre-existed us in the garden, and one astilbe, two hostas, a Karl Foerster grass and a couple of the annuals from a pot.  When I planted pots this spring, I did so with perennials and annuals mixed so I might add the perennials to my new garden. 

Now, without a landscape plan yet ready, I have improvised a holding bed.  Autumn arrived today so further changes to the landscape are not likely this year.  Next year however, I hope to add a three-flowered maple, a mock orange, perhaps a topiary or two, and numerous bulbs, perennials and shrubs.  Pathways and a water feature are in the future plans too.  All in good time though.  In the meantime, I am hoping the additions to the holding bed are hardy enough to make it through a winter in their temporary abode.

I invite you to return regularly to see more landscaping in progress.  I'm thinking an Asian inspired garden would be nice.  I envision paths from the deck to a fire pit, some kind of water feature (a pond again?  perhaps a waterfall with a stream and bridge?), some solar lighting around the perimeter and near the deck and pathways, perhaps some statuary.  Oh and, no gnomes, hon!  Promise?!!!

See you soon!  I'm off to prune out some poplar suckers that are encroaching upon the undersides of the deck. Somehow I have to squeeze beneath a two foot crawl space to do so.  Hope I don't get stuck!

Did You Know? Operation Fruit Rescue Edmonton

My friend Kim has been out picking fruit.  Not her own, but from the community.  She is a member of Operation Fruit Rescue Edmonton.  This non-profit organization works with homeowners, offering the service of picking fruit from their trees and bushes that would otherwise go to waste.  Homeowners can contact their office to take advantage of this service.  1/4 of the pickings goes to the homeowner, 1/4 to the food bank, 1/4 to the pickers, and 1/4 to Operation Fruit Rescue Edmonton for processing.
Amazed that I haven't heard of them before, I found their site and did a bit of research.  The whole concept of picking to use fruit that would otherwise be wasted is smart; to do so on a larger organized scale is ingenious!  
Here's what I learned about their philosophy:
Vision: The Edmonton capital region is a place where all of the locally grown fruit is used productively to support the health and well-being of the community.

Mission: OFRE will mobilize volunteers to harvest, process, and preserve local fruit. OFRE will get the fruit in the hands, mouths, and minds of people in the Edmonton capital region by fostering community involvement and knowledge sharing.
Values: (SCALE)
Sharing – Distributing of excess fruit to maximize use and minimize waste.
Connecting – Connecting people together to build a strong diverse community.
Access – Allowing anyone, no matter of their income, access to fresh local fruit.
Local - Think local, act local, for sustainable independent solutions.
Education – Empowering people through teaching, learning, and understanding the benefits of locally grown food. (taken from Operation Fruit Rescue Edmonton site:  http://operationfruitrescue.org/about.) 
If you have fruit trees but no time or for whatever reason are unable to harvest, please contact them via email:   info@operationfruitrescue.org.  For general information call:  780-433-2235 

Autumn Arrives

The last two evenings we have participated in a family project of staining the front and back decks.  Thursday evening rewarded us with a stunning sunset!  

 Sun sets now about 7:45 pm MST.  Do you remember when it was still light and balmy at 10 pm?

 Along one of the major thoroughfares in Edmonton, several maples have begun to turn colour.  
Hues of gold, orange and red dot the roadside.

Look at this azure sky!  Such a brilliant blue!  Is it ever this blue in the middle of summer? 
 It always seems so much more so in the autumn.

Happy first day of autumn everyone!  

21 September 2012

Autumn is Reflection

Waterton National Park
If winter is slumber and spring is birth, and summer is life, then autumn rounds out to be reflection. It's a time of year when the leaves are down and the harvest is in and the perennials are gone. Mother Earth just closed up the drapes on another year and it's time to reflect on what's come before.
Mitchell BurgessNorthern Exposure, Thanksgiving, 1992

15 September 2012

Take a Look Out My Window

 Above and below, sunrise shortly after 7 am.  Above, looking south-east with a zoom lens and below out the back looking through the trees to the east.

Above, looking out the patio doors facing north, a portion of the deck with Virginia Creeper growing through and the three poplars of undecided future.

 Above and below, the setting sun.  Above is out the front upper window looking south-east.  Below is out the back window looking west.

And here it is.  The first official frost warning of the season:

Edmontonions, I hope you are aware and are covering your tender plants and vegetables tonight.  We really are fortunate it is coming mid September before we get a frost warning.  Let's hope for a prolonged and mild fall.  Some moisture in the form of rain would be nice though.

How are things in your neck of the woods?  I read Lethbridge was 30 Celsius yesterday!!!  We got to 26 Celsius but today was cooler.  I hope the Lethbridge area is getting the moisture they desperately need to put out and stave off the wild fires they have experienced this last week.

Take care everyone!


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