Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Owl house

I take no credit in building or thinking to ever have this, but here is the owl house my dad built today.

I do love it though. I have battled gophers this spring and even though there is some strange excitement in checking the traps in the morning, I'd really rather leave nature to it. It's too late for owls to brood there this year, but next year we hope for owl babies!

The owl indigenous to this area is the screech owl. My dad found instructions for building an owl house that meets their requirements at Simon is helping to line the bottom with wood chips.
No owls yet (except Owly)

Thursday, March 9, 2017

The end of Winter

One thing I’ve learned in my very limited gardening experience is that it’s helpful to get an early start, and now as early spring appears, I’m feeling the push to begin again. Not that I have to stop gardening in winter. I wouldn’t say seasons are sharply defined here as they are in some places. There is no snow to melt nor many deciduous trees to change their foliage. The seasons are mellower and there are weeks of sunshine during the rainy season. However this year with its series of “atmospheric rivers” gave plenty of excuse to shelter indoors and stay cozy.  Now that I’ve had time to rest, I’m coming back to the garden refreshed and excited to begin work on the ideas I’ve been dreaming of this winter. 
I had no problem putting Daniel and Simon to work  as well.

 Airplane break!

 After the aphid attacks of last year I'm attempting a boarder of flowers to attract beneficial insects

 It’s been a ongoing process to learn how to do work with a small child in tow. Simon is two and three quarters years old now. I've been amazed by his emerging abilities to really take part in the work we do together. I can’t go in with a rigid mindset for what I’d like to complete that day but it's one of the best things having a child has forced me to do. Whenever I'm able to slow down and be present there is so much joy and beauty to be found in the process.  
 Simon collects seeds from last year's butternut squash

 Hard work shoveling damp compost!

Planting the peas

                                                              Storm leftovers

Speaking of winter storms and atmospheric rivers, the storms and creeks left behind gifts. Many of the beaches in town were covered with massive amounts of driftwood. I love driftwood. I love seeing all the structures people build with it at the beach and the art that can be created. If it were feasible I’d take it home by the truck load. There it would sit in a large pile, probably for a very long time. We actually did manage to take home a fair amount the day after the last big storm. Enough to line a stretch of garden path and a small pile of lovely ocean polished pieces. So far they have been used for building squirrel houses, gears on a truck, firewood in the play kitchen to name a few.

Washed and then rubbed with a bit of beeswax

 Simon had fun building a very little house at the beach with Grandpa “Pop”