Spring 2018

Spring 2018
Spring Green

Thursday, April 28, 2016

the pond on a cool April's eve

The pond at sunset in black and white.

Last evening I decided I'd take a walk to the neighbour's pond to see what was going on.  It has been quite cool in the single digits  (Celsius) this week and very windy although the sun has been shining.  I bundled up in my old ski jacket, a toque, gloves and my rubber boots and brought my camera along.

The pond at sunset in colour.  Not much difference!

I was hoping to see some ducks or even hear spring peepers but all was quiet.

Reflections in the pond.

It had been sunny all day but some clouds came in at sunset and they were kind of interesting.

These cirrus clouds were interesting and if you look closely at the top of the photo above you will see an upside down rainbow.  What is that you say?

Well, my friend Googled it for me and this what it is:  
It is a Circumzenithal Arc or Bravais' Arc.  
It appears when wispy cirrus clouds, which are formed by ice crystals, are at a particular angle in relation to the sun.  You will find one almost straight up from the sun so you have to look waaay up.  They are sometimes called a smile in the sky because they are upside down and above the sun, unlike sundogs which 'bracket' the sun.  :)

I will be sure to take a walk over to the pond again really soon when things are a bit greener.


A couple more photos from this week.

The moon and a crow at sunrise on Monday morning.

A male Downy Woodpecker on the left and a female Hairy Woodpecker were dining together the other day.

This week I've been painting some small outdoor tables that I use on the deck.  I'll show them when they are completed and the deck is 'decorated'....once the weather warms up.  I also bought a new tete-a-tete seat which will need to be stained.  Here is the one I bought last year.

The new one will have Adirondack style backs to the seats.  It is a lot of work staining both sides of the slats!

That's it for today.  I hope you are enjoying this week and some nice spring weather.  It doesn't look like the temperatures will warm up here until the second week of May.  

Have a wonderful weekend.


Saturday, April 23, 2016

mellow yellow

When you take a photo that is a bit out of focus you play with it in Picasa editing.  :)

Hi!  I'm back with just a few pics today.  
We had 2 gorgeous days Thursday and Friday with sunshine and very warm temperatures for here in April.  It got to 23C yesterday which was so lovely.  

On Friday Morning I was going to cut some daffodils to bloom in the house as they are starting to bud and show yellow now.  However, when I went out to the garden I noted a bee trying to get pollen from the only 2 golden throats that were open so I took my scissors inside and got my camera instead.  It was Earth Day after all, and I will do all I can to protect the bees and give them the food they need to keep going.  

This one also had a spider on it which I hadn't noticed when taking the photos.

Murray had been away all week and got home at noon yesterday.  And, since it was so nice out we did some yard work, and sorting and organizing in the shed.  He was exhausted by suppertime so we had a quiet evening watching a movie on Netflix.  (Non-Stop with Liam Neeson - a good action thriller)  

Today it is cloudy and only 13C which is more normal for us in April but it's Saturday and don't we always want it to be nice and sunny and warm on Saturday?  Oh well.  I guess we need the rest.

Our neighbour's Daphne shrubs are blooming now too.  

The tree buds are swelling and the grass is starting to green up.  
It is such a beautiful time of the year when the earth re-awakens and things start to grow and bloom.

By the way.....I watched season 5 of 'Downtown Abbey' this past week.  It was SO good and I am now waiting for the final season 6 to air.  We also watch 'Murder in Paradise' which is a light series that takes place on a 'British Caribbean Island'.  It has some humour and I like the way the detective solves the crimes at the end of each episode.  There sure are a lot of murders on that small island though!  Haha.  Sadly, the main character was murdered off the show and a new detective has arrived to solve his death.  I hope I don't spoil this for anyone.  It's a good series though and I enjoy the tropical scenes and light humour of the bumbling detective.

Well, I started off sharing flowers and ended up talking tv shows when I didn't even think I'd be back here for another week!  :)  

Have a great weekend my friends.  Hopefully I'll find something to share with you next week.


Wednesday, April 20, 2016

I'm starting to feely springy

Or, at least it's trying to be.  

I loaned my chalkboard out for a wedding recently and got it back with this sweet flag banner attached - which is perfect for summer.

Hi there!
Just a post of 'this and that' today and this may be it for the week.  We'll see.  How many of you remember your parents saying that phrase or maybe you said it to your own kids.  :)  It usually meant 'no'.  But....we'll see.....what the rest of the week brings.

I am starting to feel springy though as the weather has improved a bit and we've had some sunshine and a couple of warmer days.

Blue skies and lots of jets flying overhead.

We had a beautiful weekend, especially on Sunday when the winds died down and shifted to the southwest from the northeast for the day and the temperature got up to 20C.  

The Tree Swallows came back on the weekend and started checking out the Bluebird house in the backyard.  We've had swallows nesting in it the past 2 summers and I guess they are planning on moving in again soon.  No action today though.

We had our barbecue on Sunday and the weather was perfect.  Shirt sleeves, sunglasses and a cap.  Our son, Mark, did the honours.

Our daughter-in-law, Jenn, reflecting on the beauty of the day.

The kitchen window.  I love the colours in that olive tin.

I changed the hutch today.  :)  Do you see the 'artwork' on the middle shelf in behind the dishes?  They are by our grandsons.  The colours match the dishes so I thought I'd display them there.

Do you see the green??  It's starting.  We do need some rain though.  It's been windy and dry for a week or more and now there is a ban on open fires for the whole province.  We have a huge pile of brush and wood to burn out back but can't until we get some rain then a nice calm day.  

The next 2 days will be warm at 20C (70F) but the weekend will see a cool down and next week it will be below seasonal in temperature which is disappointing.

I got a bit artsy today and painted this for the dining room wall.  It looks darker than it really is but it's my favourite colours of aqua and limey green.  I had fun but I don't expect I'll be famous.  Cheap canvas and craft paint.  It isn't framed....I just added this one in Picasa.

I'll end with this artwork by the Master artist this morning.

Yes, I was up at 6:30 to catch this sunrise.  Note how it has moved across the sky since January when it used to rise to the far right.  By June 21 it will rise even more to the left and I'll probably sleep right through it as it will be a lot earlier!

Well, that's my post for today and maybe the week.  I'm glad you stopped by and hope you are having a great week.  Enjoy the lovely weather my friends.


Friday, April 15, 2016

lovely April weather

We are in a great sunny stretch here this week and weekend and it sure makes one feel great!  I took a little walk to see how far spring was coming along and was pleased to see no snow at all.

This was mid-April 2015.  We had a lot of snow around still and the ponds were still frozen but then we had tons of snow that year too.

Pretty soon these fields will be greening up.

There will be cows grazing here in a month or so.  I'm looking forward to hearing the spring peepers in the ponds too.

When I got home I was energized to do some raking of the grass along the driveway.  That area gets a lot of broken twigs and branches from the maple trees plus needles from the pine trees.  I raked up 3 large garbage bags full!

Last evening on the way home from choir practice I got Murray to stop so I could snap a few pictures of the sunset reflections in the flooded fields.  It was so calm and pretty.

You can see these trees have buds forming on them.  They are usually the first ones to leaf out in our area.  That is ice in the foreground as we've had some really cold nights the past week.

Today is lovely and sunny but the east wind is strong and feels raw so one needs a jacket (and gloves and tuque for me).  It is quite pleasant at the back deck though away from the wind. I got the barbecue all cleaned up and ready to go as we are having family for a barbecue on Sunday afternoon.  Tonight it will be hotdogs. :) Don't you love that first taste of barbecue in spring?  Or maybe you barbecue all winter long and there is nothing exciting about it.  I'm looking forward to it!  It's been 6 months!  Well, except for the great barbecue hamburgers we had at a friends house a couple weekends ago.  So yummy!

I wish you a wonderful weekend and hope you enjoy getting out and doing some yard work or maybe even some gardening.  And, maybe have a barbecue.  


Tuesday, April 12, 2016

rising waters and Scottish country dancing

Hi Everyone!  I'm sorry I haven't been around for the past week but it has been busy and I really haven't been out taking photos at all.

It is flooding season here in our area as you can see by the photos.  I took these on Saturday afternoon on our way to a wedding.  This is normally fields with the river running just past the thick line of trees but we've had snow melt, rain, and some mild temperatures (in-between the freezing ones!) that have brought the brooks, streams and rivers up to flood stage.

The migrating Canada Geese are finding a nice resting spot here and there were hundreds of them there on Sunday evening.

From one angle it almost looks like a lake.


We went to a beautiful wedding on Saturday of our friends daughter and her Scottish husband.  It was such a special time of celebrating this sweet couple.  Following the dinner there was a Ceilidh ~ Scottish country dancing.

Murray's last name....Gordon....is Scottish and my grandmother was from Scotland and emigrated to Canada as a young woman in 1910.  However, we have never had the opportunity to partake in Scottish Country Dancing until we attended this Ceilidh.  Ceilidh's are popular in parts of Nova Scotia (and I'm sure elsewhere in Canada) and in particular, Cape Breton Island, but this was a first for us.  I must say we had a blast!  Although I only danced one time and so did Murray, each with different partners....and mine was wearing a kilt.  :-)  I tell you this kind of dancing is a good workout.  Of course I'm not used to dancing, although I certainly did my fair share during high school, but Murray and I haven't danced in decades so it was quite interesting.  We did start out in the last dance together where the partners swung in a circle to the count of 16.  Well.....guess what happened to me.   I got so dizzy I couldn't stand up or even see where I was.  It was awful so we got off the dance floor immediately and I sat down.  Thankfully, the dizziness only lasted for half a minute but I was disappointed not to participate in this final dance.

This is the young Scotsman that asked me to dance but that is not me with him.  Scottish country dancing is similar to 'round' dancing here in North America.  The first number they did was to a Scottish song but the rest were mostly to country music.  There are many types of dances all with names that I already forgot ~ along with the dance steps!  A young lady 'called' the dance steps which definitely helped but they were confusing and it was hilarious to watch people going the wrong way or mis-stepping.  I'm sure there were some sore feet afterwards.  What was really nice at the end of the evening was when everyone gathered in a large circle around the bride and groom, joined hands, and stepped toward the couple raising our hands with a 'whoop' several times.  We also sang 'Auld Lang Sine' and that brought a tear to my eye.  


It is raining today and mild (for here in April).  We have sunshine for the rest of the week and the temperatures will come up by the weekend.  Finally!!  I can see some green in the lawns and some trees have buds forming.  A lot of the birds have returned and it is wonderful to hear them chirping and singing.  The ponds are almost ice free and soon we'll hear the spring peepers, which I love.  I am anxious to get out and do some yard work as there is a lot of branches etc. that need picking up but the ground has to dry out a bit first.

I hope you are all enjoying some nice spring days.  
Thank you for visiting!  Have a great day!


Tuesday, April 5, 2016

impatiently waiting for spring

I couldn't wait any longer.  I had to hang my new Forsythia wreath that I had bought at Home Sense in late February on the front door last week even though there was snow all around.  

After all it is spring and it is April.  Even if it doesn't feel like it outside when the temperature at this moment is -6.

Last Wednesday I went to my friend Lois's house for lunch then we went for a nice long walk around her sub-division - 4.8 kilometres! It was a cool day but we dressed for it and I even had a hat on along with my winter jacket.  We went for a little drive after and found a large flock of robins in some Sumac trees eating the berries on the blossoms.  What a delightful sound they made chirping and singing their little hearts out!

This is the view from the hill there looking down on the Saint John  River.

Grand Pass

On the weekend I gathered some hair from our son's dogs and put it in the suet basket hoping the little birdies will collect some to cozy up their nests when they start building.  I also dropped some on the ground around the trees.  I haven't seen any taking this lovely soft hair yet but I think they aren't quite ready to start nest building.  Our poor cedar tree was devoured by the deer again this winter.  It looks pathetic.  

This is not a great photo as it was taken through the car window on Sunday morning and there were rain drops on the glass.  The river has started to rise and is flooding over the flats.  These fields are hayed every summer - that is not part of the river.  So far the spring flood season is not a bad one at this point.  This cold snap, aka Polar Vortex, will slow down the snow and ice melt up in the northern regions of our province.  

Look at that!!  No snow!  

I took this photo at noon time yesterday.  Sure put a smile on my face!
I also saw some in the front yard and a big flock up in the field looking for food.  

I am anxious to get out and do the yard clean up but that will have to wait another week or more as the forecast is for cold and rain in the days ahead.  Where is the warmer than usual spring weather that was predicted?!  lol

Some pretty, faux spring blooms bring some cheer this week.

Thank you for visiting and I hope you have a super week!


Friday, April 1, 2016

a visit to a pancake house and sugar bush at Dumfries Maples

A week ago this past Wednesday we 'fabulous four' girlfriends went to Dumfries Maples in Dumfries, NB.  This is on Route 102 west of Fredericton along the St. John River.  We had a dusting of snow on the ground the night before and it was a cloudy morning with a few squalls at first but the sun came out around noon and it was a gorgeous spring day.

The drive along the St. John River is very scenic and, if you have the time, you should get off the Trans Canada Highway and slip on over to the 'old road' along either side of the river. (Route 105 is on the northerly side of the river)  We often take these routes when we go for a day trip and I have shared views from the 105 many times on here.  

Outside the building is a kettle used for boiling down the sap the old fashioned way.  Sometimes they make 'candy on the snow' on weekends.

Nathan Scott, a forester, moved back to New Brunswick in the late 90's and started the maple syrup business and sugar shack in the sugar woods that have been a part of the family farm for 4 generations.  Much of the farm was expropriated for the building of the Mactaquac Dam in the 60's (the river valley floor was flooded behind the dam) and the family left the community.  When Nathan returned the business went from hobby to commercial, with his sister Jane's help, with over 2000 trees tapped for the sap to syrup operation.

 Inside there was a fire going in the wood stove to heat the large room.  I should have taken a photo of the room itself as it is very casual with picnic tables and benches.  

The old woodbox filled at the ready.

Our meals were delicious!  They cooked our food to our specifications even.  Pancakes (they also serve gluten free ones) are their specialty along with ham, bacon, eggs and biscuits.  And.... real maple syrup and maple butter made in their sugar shack up the hill.

I ordered the scrambled eggs, and biscuits with maple butter.  Yum!
I must say that our hostess, Jane, was so sweet and kind and patient.  She even offered to take a photo of us.

Jane Scott, our lovely hostess/server.

After our brunch we went out into the beautiful spring sunshine and walked up the hill to the 'sugar shack'.  They weren't boiling sap that day but we went in and chatted with the owner a bit. 

Inside the sugar shack with the large vat where the sap is boiled down into syrup.  

The sap is tapped the old fashioned way with spigot and pail, and also the new way with plastic tubing.

There was quite a lot of snow in this north facing woods that day.  I'd like to go up again and take a walk in the sugar woods but our next 2 weekends are busy.  

The view across the road to the other side of the river.

We had a wonderful visit and enjoyed catching up on each others news.  One of my friends, Jill, had broken her foot just a few days before and was using crutches.  She was able to drive herself though as it's her left foot that is in a 'boot' and her car is an automatic.  We helped her in and out of the building which is on the level with no stairs.  I parked her car for her and fetched it afterward.

The drive home - with beautiful blue skies and sunshine.  That is the still frozen St. John River on the left.

Heading home across the Mactaquac Dam.

This is me showing you the best way to eat maple syrup.....
straight out of the bottle onto a spoon!  :)

Click on DUMFRIES MAPLES (www.dumfriesmaples.ca) for more information or visit their Facebook page for more information and directions on how to get there.  They are open all year around for their pancake breakfasts.


We are getting rain here this afternoon and the temperature is 13C.  I just went to fetch the mail and newspaper from the mailbox and couldn't believe how warm it is out.  I heard that the dreaded Polar Vortex is dipping down over us from Monday to Wednesday next week to put us in to winter cold temperatures again and make it feel like early March rather than April for the whole week.  I will try not to get depressed over this but I am rather envious to see spring blooming on some of your blogs.  It will happen.  Just later than soon.  :)

Thanks so much for your visits and comments.  I hope you all have a great weekend.  Enjoy!


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