In flower today

Some images of the flowers that have been at their best today …

(Sony A7m2 camera with Canon 100mm macro lens)

Enough of the politics for now …

It’s been an exciting few days what with following closely the outcome of the UK elections (bad) and the Alberta elections (good) to say nothing of being appointed Chair, pro tem, of our town’s environment committee (who knew that retirement followed by stepping down from the board of BPQ would lead me into a close study of the politics of garbage disposal and especially of management of household organic, compostable, waste? Funny old life.)  Anyway – time to step back and take a deep breath so here is the calm, quiet, totally non-political state of the garden just before breakfast today:

(as usual – click a thumbnail to see them full size)

 

Garden findings

While half the garden is being destroyed and the mechanically surfaced clay is hardening into concrete we need to remind ourselves that good stuff is out there waiting to be found … here are some pictures of today’s “findings” in suddenly arrived mid-twenties temperatures.

 

 

A Grand Day Out

The sun shone today and we decided to have a cultural day downtown and visit the Montreal Musée des Beaux Arts (https://www.mbam.qc.ca/en/)to see the wonderful exhibition currently showing there under the title of “Marvels and Mirages of Orientalism: From Spain to Morocco, Benjamin-Constant in His Time” … and well worth the effort it was too. Click here to read about in more detail than I am prepared to type just now.

Followed, of course, by a splendid luncheon in the museum restaurant.

Now – a small rant. Inside the exhibition I took a couple of surreptitious photographs – not of the artwork but to try to capture the atmosphere of the exhibition. One of them I thought had worked rather well and so I posted it on my “other” Facebook page (here) that I keep solely for showing favourite images. That worked so over to my general FB page I went and tried to share the image with my friends there … and blow me down, it was rejected for “Inappropriate content”. It’s the second picture below here and, as you can see, almost coincidentally includes a picture of a dead lady with her clothes off. Actually a pretty famous and valuable lady in déshabillé and nothing to scare the servants and horses with. Eventually I managed to circumvent the computer that was concerned and it is out there for all to see but I was royally ticked off by the FB presumption that my fiends would be corrupted or whatever by seeing this picture of a large room with paintings on the wall.

Whatever – if you live in Montreal go and see the exhibition, it is excellent. If you are just visiting some time we will take you along and buy you lunch. A jewel of the city and apparently the most visited art gallery in Canada bar none.

 

The Chihuly glass "sun" outside the museum

The Chihuly glass “sun” outside the museum

A bit of inter-gallery atmosphere

A bit of inter-gallery atmosphere

The main entrance to the museum

The main entrance to the museum

Garden working

Cool with warm sunshine and an opportunity to start work on the margins of the garden where the builders have not played. yesterday the pump was installed in the pond (albeit a more permanent power supply will have to be installed in a few week’s time). Today J started work on lifting potting up the overwintered lily bulbs and a toad (Bufo americanus) was found lurking in the stones around “Tony’s Bed”.

The "productive corner" comes to llife

The “productive corner” comes to llife

Lifting the lilies

Lifting the lilies

Warbler waterfall

Warbler waterfall

Toad

Toad

Toad

Toad

Spring gardening begins with the first flowers

There is still snow in the garden where the shade lingers and there is that huge spoil heap, builders rubble and assorted parked excavators on the lawn … but beyond that we still have a garden.

There are also some early returning birds – the Red-winged Blackbirds and Grackles, of course, but they were accompanied in the garden today with late lingering Common Redpolls and even a small group of Pine Siskins who should be well on their way north by now. Spring is late.

Click on a thumbnail to see the pictures in all their glory:

Normal service will be resumed …

Since its inception, most of the posts hereabouts have been about the garden and plants and stuff like that. As we head into spring you, dear reader, are doubtless impatient for more but this year we have planted builders in the lawn and you will have to be patient. Normal service in the garden corner will be resumed, but not for a couple of months … at which point it will be a lot of angst and redesigning and renovation about which we speak.

More about the building at http://sparroworks.ca/journal/renovations-2015/ 

Behind the new squirrel skiing hill

Behind the new squirrel skiing hill

Infiltrators …

We have lodgers … or maybe, I should say, squatters.

As you know, for years we have been aware of the presence of red squirrels in our loft and have tried to block off their entry holes when we have found them … always with care as we do not want to lock anyone in, especially if they have young.

So – the past few days things have started to warm up a little around here and a tentative thaw has set in, spoiled overnight by a minor snow dump, but dripping again nicely. Of course, when I say ‘thaw’ I mean +1C, not anything actually constituting warmth. nevertheless, the squirrels have been out and about for a week or two … and in the last few days joined by what are clearly a pair of rather new and junior squirrels, all skinny and shiny and chasing each other round and round at high speed. We have also been aware of critters in the roof wearing heavy clogs and it has become evident from tracks in the roof snow that the loft has made a very handy squirrel nursery since the new year.

But for a conviction, we need proof … and now we have it. The huge wodge of steel wool rammed into the gap in the roof last summer has been dislodged by busy little paws.

We do like squirrels, especially the cute red ones, the Sparroworks does not join itself with the Squirrelworks for nothing. Nevertheless – something will have to be done once spring arrives.

Red squirrel in his normal environment - they are very welcome like this

Red squirrel in his normal environment – they are very welcome like this

 

Incriminating tracks in the snow

Incriminating tracks in the snow

 

The doorway to Squirrel Mansion ... steel wool pulled out of place

The doorway to Squirrel Mansion … steel wool pulled out of place

 

"Who? Me? No ... just sitting here looking cute"

“Who? Me? No … just sitting here looking cute”

 

GOTCHA !! That should stand up in court.

GOTCHA !! That should stand up in court.