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Archive for the ‘Cameron Veale’ Category

Winter 2016-2017

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Looking forward to warm weather now.  Seems like its been a long winter.

Deer

More deer

As god as my witness I did not know deer could snicker. Icy winter and one early morning I went out early to go into the village for the morning papers. Took one step off the deck, hit the ice and when ass over tea kettle landing on my backside cursing. At which point 8-10 deer sleeping 30 feet or so away in the brush stuck their heads up and starting snickering at me. A cross between a heehaw and a snort. They didn’t even move as a limped back inside shaking my fist at the buggers.

Late Feb with the thaw I again was up early to go and get the saturday papers, stepped off the patio and slipped in the mud and water, flying face forward into a bigger patch of mud cursing away. Again the same damn deer stuck their head up and started snickering at me. Buggers have seen me run and know they can walk away slowly and stay ahead of me. Covered in mud I had to slink back inside to clean up. Planning my revenge though. Going to make a sling shot, get some marbles and will see who has the last laugh.

Hairy Woodpecker

Hairy checking things out

Decided to make my own suet mix for the woodpeckers this year.  Lard or more usually bacon fat, oat meal, chunky peanut butter, corn meal, raisin and sunflower seeds.   Never seen so many woodpeckers coming around as this year.   Sometimes two on each feeder and they would often eat their fill, then stay on the feeder for half and hour digesting.   Think they liked it more with the bacon fat and bits of bacon, but then who wouldn’t.   Likely a whole bunch of woodpeckers around now with high cholesterol and pending heart attacks like me.

picking peanuts

getting the peanut out

blue jays around all winter. fighting over the peanuts. They pick up one peanut shell, put it down, pick up another, put it down and pick up a third all the time. Don’t know what their criteria is but its pretty funny.

Hard to miss a cardinal

Cardinals around a lot this winter. Careful coming to the feeders near the house. Stuck up two at the shed and they are often out there on the ground getting seeds. Chickadees swarm those two feeders. probably 20 or so during the day back and forth waiting their turn of a seed. Lots and lots of juncos

Root cellar

Cob Pizza oven

Robins, red wing black birds and lots of finches about now so spring is coming. will be glad to see the end of winter this year.

Looking at getting my two wheeled tractor this year i think. Kind of need something to work the land a bit more easily then my shovel. Nut trees, fruit trees, berry bushes all looking like they survived the winter. Norway spruce should put on a foot this year of rain comes.

Planning on the getting the root cellar and pizza oven done this summer if all goes well. Unless i get distracted by something like a fly going by and end up chasing it. The locals often come from miles to watch me running around the fields with a fly swatter for the day trying to get that damn fly

Written by dcveale13

April 2, 2017 at 9:06 pm

Winter Birds

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A lot of fall / early winter chores in 2015.  Moving compost here and there to the fruiting trees and nut trees and organizing the winter wood for the stove.   A warm December and some trees were heading towards blooming, will see in the spring if that affects them.  Kept looking to see if the garlic would start to shoot up but fortunately it did not.  Planted a lot of bulbs so hoping to get a good return this year.

 

Now that the temperatures have started to drop and snow on the ground the bird feeders are in heavy use.  I’ve seen tracks of grouse, deer and what I think is a coyote.  One night I stayed out late with the camera to hopefully get a shot of the deer or coyote, but ran out of whisky in my hip flask so had to run back inside and have a drink.  (There was a wandering trio of skunks who waddled by to see what I was up to but I decided not to get close!).  No sign of rabbits this winter so I think there must be a coyote hanging about.

Need to click on the picks to see them best. Especially the Jay grasping the peanut

Hairy at the Suet

Sitting in the sun

Sitting in the sun

Hairy at the pine feeder

Hairy at the pine feeder

Hairy and suet

Hairy and suet

Downy

Downy

Don't touch my peanut

Don’t touch my peanut

Getting to the peanut

Getting to the peanut

Ground feeding Junco

Ground feeding Junco

Junco on the deck looking for spilt suet

Junco on the deck looking for spilt suet

 

Written by dcveale13

January 18, 2016 at 11:35 pm

Wildlife

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Deer are around but in the middle of the night.  Beet tops seem the favourite item.   Next year will have to figure out a way to keep them out of the vegetables.   No pics of them as I am not up in the middle of the nights these days.  Up with the sun and down shortly after it sets !

Skunk kit wandering

Skunk kit wandering

Second kit

Second kit

These skunk kits spend a week or so wandering about.  Quite happy at the paths I had made.  A few times they confronted me with their tail overhead and did the front paw stomping and gnashing their teeth.  Prelude to spraying if I came closer.  Declining the invitation I backed away slowly and they left me alone.   Dumping some javex and blood meal around the deck a few days later and I never saw them again.

 

Harrier sitting on a post.

Harrier sitting on a post.

Harrier in Flight

Harrier in Flight

Harrier watching me

Harrier watching me

 

Harrier is a type of hawk that flies low to medium height over the pasture and can hover in mid flight when it spots prey.  (like the fighter jet in the UK)   Two juveniles and the adults out back and lots of fun to watch dive for stuff.  Wingspan about 2-3 feet.  Head is like an owl and they have hearing apparently like an owl.   Need to double click on the pics and see them to get an impression of the bird.  enlarge if one can !  They seem to sort of tolerate me but have had a visitor leave the back pasture – nervous as three or four fly overhead an circle

 

Frogs

Frogs

Lots of frogs in the pastures.  Suppose to be a sign of good eco health.   See the frogs and garter snakes almost everyday when out there doing chores.

 

Cat Bird

Cat Bird

Now that i figured out what bird this is I hear them all around.   They sound – at times – like a cat squawking for food first thing in the morning.  Apparently have a bunch of different songs but ……  eats a lot of insects

 

Ruby breasted hummingbird

Ruby breasted hummingbird

Three or 5 of these buzzing around all day.   Lots of wild flowers this year and some other stuff plus the feeder.    They never stop long enough to get a good picture though.  At least for me.    Very socialable though and happy to be around feeding if someone is there. One flew up to me about 2 feet away while I was standing on the pile of logs with the chainsaw going wondering what the hell I was doing

 

Sparrow

Sparrow

Usually about 10-15 sparrows around.  Short tail, long tail, song sparrows etc.   Eat a ton of insects and quite happy of the cut grass in the middle of a field of bugs to eat.   Hear them singing or chirping away all day.

 

Warbler

Warbler

They don’t come around the house but there are a ton of them out in the pasture.  Seem to nest in the field.  Another insect control .  All seem to have different kind of yellow splashes on them.  Some full body others partial.  Without a camera to snap a shot or I guess binoculars, hard to get close to

 

Work

Work

Wood to split for the winter.   Did some a day ago.  Doing a bit here and there to whittle it down.  Then likely cut up the rest of the logs for the following year.

Written by dcveale13

August 10, 2015 at 12:13 am

Rioja

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First weekend in a while without rain.   Lots of weeding around the vegetables.   Thinned out the carrots.   I was going to thin out the beets but one of my deer friends did it for me last night.   Bugger.   Selective eating though so they are thinned out now.   Sprinkled some blood meal on them and the bush beans hoping to deter any more midnight munching.

 

I’ve been enjoying the whites and reds of Rioja this spring and early summer.   Generally all are a blend and the moderate priced ones seem quite good.  Just finished one called the Invisible Man which was quite good for an afternoon.   Another De Padre or DP on the label was enjoyable.

 

Living in rubber boots outside so far

Living in rubber boots outside so far

 

Up at 5 am last week to head up to Ottawa. Bright as the moon sets in the west

Up at 5 am last week to head up to Ottawa. Bright as the moon sets in the west

 

Jerusalem artichoke in back with lovage, save, sorrel in front.  Will come forward 10 feet with other herbs

Jerusalem artichoke in back with lovage, save, sorrel in front. Will come forward 10 feet with other herbs

Will add a some medicinal plants etc once i figure out what those are

Taken me 1.5 yrs to figure out this bird.  King Bird - fly catcher. Pugnacious

Taken me 1.5 yrs to figure out this bird. King Bird – fly catcher. Pugnacious

 

Resting after a day of weeding, watering and grass cutting

Resting after a day of weeding, watering and grass cutting

 

 

 

Written by dcveale13

July 5, 2015 at 9:56 pm

Edible stuff

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Putting lots in the ground the past few weeks.  Weekends have been busy as heck.  Lots of rain so what has been planted is growing and the effing weeds are growing faster.  Spend 3 hrs weeding Saturday after 3 hrs of cutting grass.   Cutting more grass today and weeding a bit.

 

Planed two big planters with flower stuff , two big tubs with more flower stuff and two tubs with borage which is my favourite plant to add to salads – leafs and flowers.   Usually a race between the rabbits and I to get to them.  I think this year I have outwitted the bastards by putting them in a tub but will see.   Finally learning that one has to work with mother nature not confront her.

 

Bought flower bulbs from a real store not Walmart this year and they are starting to come up. Not quite sure what they are or what they will look like though.   Have a plot of those and 5 plots of wild flowers.  Figure by July it will all be doing something.

Soon to bloom

Soon to bloom. Can’t live without buckets in the country

 

This stuff made it to the UK when the Romans hung out there for a bit.   For centuries a part of all gardens until the past 30 yrs. Now making a comeback in the UK with foodies and in North America.   Spring shoots are like asparagus and leaves and flowers are edible.

Good King Henry

Good King Henry

 

 

Starting to shoot up.  Will get to six feet in another few weeks.  Smallish sunflower atop.  Sunchoke by another name.   Another perennial making a comeback.   Will store the tubers and use them for soups and frying up in the winter

Jerusalem Artichoke

Jerusalem Artichoke

 

 

At least some are eating well

Downy Woodpecker

Downy Woodpecker

 

 

Will dig up this area this fall and some behind me.  Will quadraple the area for annual vegetables and likely test grow some grain for the dual purpose cattle i am leaning towards now

Will turn over this soil

Will turn over this soil

 

Spent the morning laying down these rubber tiles in the pantry (paint in the winter) so I could move the freezer inside.   Will now build some shelving units and start making booze, and once the fruit start producing – raspberry and strawberry jam

Rubber flooring

Rubber flooring

Written by dcveale13

June 14, 2015 at 11:17 pm

May 2015

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Written by dcveale13

May 12, 2015 at 10:19 pm

Posted in Cameron Veale, Planting

Watch a Tree grow

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I gave awa my tv’s  and was planning on only having Internet at the house but haven’t gotten around to that.   And to be honest its been like shedding an addiction.   I don’t check every 30 minutes for the latest news, email or research something and usually turn off the cell phone.  Instead I read, stop and think or go and look at how much a new tree has grown in a few weeks.  (Surprisingly so sometimes!)  Most of us don’t seem to be able to relax or when you stop to think about it, realize how odd it is to sit down for a drink with friends and everyone is checking their cell phones.   We seem only connected to the immediacy of the moment – not the scale of a week, month , year or decade.  Maybe that’s one of the reasons we discount things like possible climate change or our changing economic status.

Easy dinner

Easy dinner

Flying off with the peanut

Flying off with the peanut

We also seem to have disconnected ourselves from what we are certainly part of.  Nature.   Most of what we have is created from the resources of the earth and energy we extract – which is just stored sunlight encompassed in ancient biomass.   We define ourselves by what we make or build then strive to separate ourselves from nature and keep it in a public park or in the country.  The very thing that keeps us alive as a species we watch  from our car or house windows as if its somehow separate.

Eating the suet

Eating the suet

Lately we seem to value more what Honey BooBoo is doing than turning off the tv, computer, gaming box, cell phone and seeing what is out there.  Go somewhere and listen to the silence.  Hear the birds or owls or coyotes singing.  See the stars.  That’s the reality of what we evolved in and exist in, not the artificial reality most of us live in today.  Go watch a tree grow.

Screw you ! Its mine

Screw you ! Its mine

Written by dcveale13

October 28, 2014 at 12:57 am