Wednesday, August 17, 2022

Covid!

 I escaped it for a long time.  But 12 days ago I headed for emerg at out small local hospital, and it only took one swab for them to admit me with Covid.  I hope you noticed I've been missing in action for 12 days now.  I wouldn't wish this on anyone!  The first day wasn't bad, but days 2 and 3 were horrible!  I was in hospital, in isolation, for a week and have been home now for another 5 days, so I'm on day 12 and no longer infectious.

To make it even worse, Mrs. F.G. caught it at the same time, though her case seems to have been musch milder.  Still, once I was home guess who was my caregiver!

I came home to our continuing colourful garden; here are a few pictures.

Nasturtiums

Bright red Zinnia

Butterfly Weed

Yellow coneflowers

Liatris

Another volunteer sunflower

The view from the deck.

I'm so glad we have a small local hospital only 3 blocks away.  That makes a huge difference for us, as does our colourful garden where I can sit out every morning!


Wednesday, August 3, 2022

More Colour in the Garden!

The other day I posted some of the Daylilies in our garden, but today I'm sharing some of the other colourful flowers you can see just now.  It certainly feels like you're surrounded by colour when you are sitting on the patio!

    These brilliant red Crocosmia are straight out the window by my computer and I love the colour!

Another personal favourite is the Cleome.  We only have a few plants this year, but I'd like to see more.
Such a delicate bloom, with incredibly long stamens!

The hostas are always beautiful and we have dozens.  This is a bloom I can actually get close to.

There are a number of Zinnias in bloom now; I like the red ones best.  If it were me I'd only grow red ones!

We also have a single Monarda, a beautiful pink/purple colour.

These are petals of a Sunflower shining in the morning sun.

And dominating it all are the Echinacea, in shades of pink, yellow, red and purple.  Altogether a very colourful time in the garden, unfortunately for only 2 or 3 short weeks.




Monday, August 1, 2022

Emancipation Day!

Emancipation Day is a federally recognized day to celebrate the end of slavery in Canada and parts of the Caribbean.  It is held on Aug. 1st as that was the day the Slavery Abolition Act was passed in the UK, ending slavery in the British Empire.  The parallel day in the U.S. is Juneteenth, on June 19th, the anniversary of the announcement of freedom for slaves reaching Texas after the civil war.

The Emancipation Day Picnic here in Owen Sound is the oldest continuously running such event in Canada, but the Caribbean Festival in Toronto, formerly Caribana, is undoubtedly the largest.  All such events are a celebration of freedom.

The Slavery Abolition Act opened the doors to American slaves, where freedom only came after the Civil War in 1865.  The potential freedom here led to the Underground Railway, a network of safe houses that assisted black slaves as they sought their freedom in the north, so for 30 years blacks escaped to Canada and took up a new life here.  The black settlement in Priceville is one evidence of this.

Even though slavery ended in Canada before it did in the U.S., that doesn't mean there was no slavery here.  Before 1833 there were about 4000 slaves in Canada, of whom more than half were indigenous peoples.  In fact more black slaves arrived in Nova Scotia than in southern Ontario during these years.  But those years did leave a legacy of racial discrimination that is still with us today.

You can learn more about slavery and freedom for slaves in Canada by googling the Canadian Government's website on 'Emancipation Day - August 1st',






Saturday, July 30, 2022

The Garden is a Riot of Colour!

These days the blooming flowers in Mrs. F.G.'s garden are just at their summer peak.  It will go on for a few weeks yet, but two days later as I write this, the Daylilies are already passing their best, as the first few are finished blooming.  But it's a treat to go out there and just sit on the patio surrounded by the colour and all the buzzing insects.

One of the views from the living room, pink and yellows to orange.

The deep orange 'Saugeen Sunrise' has always been ne of my favourites, locally bred and beautiful!

The rest range from yellow to a paler orange.

And two or three that are truly red.

We do have one very pale Daylily, one I'm tempted to call white, but not quite.

And a couple that are dark purple.

Daylilies are collected, bred and named based particularly on colour and colour combinations ike this.

Some petals are longer and narrow in shape.

The 'Saugeen sunrise' is another two-toned Daylily, but if you look closely you'll see that the edges of the petals on this one are wrinkled or wavy, another feature breeders looke for.  A great deal of the breeding is done by passionate gardeners who get really interested in Daylilies as a group.  We certainly enjoy them!



Wednesday, July 27, 2022

Caterpillars and a Damselfly

It's the season for Monarch caterpillars to be munching away on the Milkweed, and we have several just outside the living room window.  Then a neighbour who's one of my loyal blog readers brought me in a quite dead insect they has taken from a spider web at the church.  It turned out to be a damselfly.

A Monarch or two have been dancing through the air over the backyard garden, but never stopping for long enough for me to get a picture.  But I guess they do stop long enough to lay eggs on the Milkweed, though they feed on various different flowers.  This is a picture I borrowed from a previous year.

This is the first photo Mrs. F.G. took of a Monarch caterpillar munching its way up a leaf.

This is all I got a shot of that morning, a little head emerging from beneath the leaf and munching away.

The next day I got a couple of much better shots.  These caterpillars are getting fairly large and will soon be hanging under the leaves as a chrysalis.

A final shot, those yellow, black and white stripes always marking Monarch caterpillars.  I am still very pleased with my new camera's zoom ability.

And this is the insect a neighbour brought over, quite dead, but interesting to look at up close.

Look at the blue colour on that long narrow abdomen.

So I looked up Damselflies, which I thought it was, and confirmed my suspicion.  Damselflies are light, narrower than Dragonflies, with smaller eyes.  It fit all the pictures.

However, when I tried to narrow it down to a species, I was stumped.  There are 23 species of Damselfly in Ontario, and a lot of them feature the colour blue!  I can rule out about half if them, but that leaves me with a dozen to choose from.  So you'll have to be happy with knowing it's a Damselfly.  And thanks Ron.


Sunday, July 24, 2022

Spirals in Flowers

At this time of year, with the Echinacea or Coneflowers coming into bloom, the presence of spiral patterns in flowers becomes really obvious.  Fibonacci, an Italian mathematician from Pisa first described these spirals to the western world as early as 1202.  I don't pretend to understand the mathematics, but the spiral patterns are fascinating.

How's this for a spiral at the centre of a pink coneflower?

A common garden daisy has spirals too.

Here's a yellow coneflower just emerging into full bloom.

This is a very pink coneflower with really obvious spirals.

And just to show you that it's not only flowers, this is the fiddlehead of a Christmas Fern.

And a slender Maidenhair Fern.

Now I really could impress you if I could express all those spirals in numbers and equations, but that's way beyond me, in fact it's in a different universe!  I just like the pretty patterns.  And thanks to Mrs. F.G. for suggesting this topic.

We've had quite a bit of rain the past few days, but it's really good for the garden, the lawn, the trees, and the crops!  I'm watching a thunderstorm pass to the south of us as I write this.

A quick trip to emerg yesterday, just another skin infection, a constant hazard if you're paralyzed.  But the remarkable part was that I got there, was brought in immediately, transferred myself to the examining bed, and welcomed the doctor all in 15 minutes!  I was out of there with prescriptions in hand in less than an hour and a half - oh the joys of having a small town hospital about 3 blocks away!





Friday, July 22, 2022

My Friends the Weeds Part III

Yes, one more post on my friends the weeds, very pretty as some of them are.

Chicory has to be one of my favourites, and it often lines roadside around here.  The boulevard between two parking lots downtown was absolutely blue with them - until yesterday when I was down for coffee and they had all been roughly mowed down.

Close by was this Yarrow, with 3 taller blades of grass growing up through it.

There seems to be a lot of variation in daisies.  These are what I know as Daisy Fleabane, with tiny narrow rays.

And these are normal looking daisy flowers, but very short, the kind that comes up in your lawn, known as English Daisies..

A tiny one you probably won't even notice under your feet, often at the edge of lawns, is this little yellow flower, only a quarter-inch across.  It's Black Medic.

This is the tall spike of Teasel, not quite out in flower yet.

And this is Mallow.

And just to give you an idea of my frustration, this is the delightful mixture of Buttercups and grasses just around the corner, when I was starting out to gather all these photos as well as some of grasses.

And this was the spot the next day!  We seem to suffer from a never-ending dedication to getting rid of whatever beauty we can find, replacing it with the flowers of our gardens.