Fay's Garden Blog 4/1/2020

Our Garden -

Growing up our families’ (mine and my husband’s) always had a garden with the usual standard vegetables: tomatoes, cucumbers, green beans, yellow beans (wax beans), summer squash, zucchini, winter squash, rhubarb, and on occasion, some herbs. I didn’t think about the vegetables we ate growing up and how fresh they were, coming from our own backyard.  We think differently today as we try very hard to grow our garden as organic as possible.

My husband and I started our first garden with our first house - it was small with a few tomatoes, cucumber, and squash plants.  At that point it was obvious we were hooked, each year we waited for spring to come so we could go and buy our plants or seeds to get outside to start our new garden. Now we start our own seedlings in late winter and early spring, some seedlings are hardier than others.

Today at thehouse we are currently in, we have a larger garden that has evolved to “raised beds” with a variety of vegetables and fruit such as cantaloupe, blueberry bushes, raspberry canes, and fall items like pumpkins and gourds. We have a compost bin that helps with the feeding and mulching of the plants -we mulch to help with the weeds and to keep moisture in.

Currently the rhubarb is sprouting and the asparagus is trying to come thru the cold dirt.  As soon as the sun warms the dirt, these will sprout to beautiful plants.

I’ve canned butter and sugar pickles with our extra cucumbers, blueberry jam with our blueberries and I freeze them for winter to make muffins and breads.  With the tomatoes, I freeze them to use in sauce during the winter.

With all these garden vegetables we obviously have a large bounty and we share with many, a few of you reading this can relate! :)

We have a few garden books that we have used over the years, “Readers Digest: Illustrated Guide to Gardening” (even my mother used this book; shows how old this book is), and “Square Foot Gardening” by Mel Bartholomew (my husband’s dad enjoyed this one).   Also a book by Barbara Kingsolver“Animal, Vegetable, Miracle” that we have enjoyed because it gets you back to the roots of having a small garden, not these huge genetically modified farms.  Enough said…..
Fay Ferland

Here are a few pictures of seedlings we started a few weeks back- the larger plants are peppers and the others are lettuce.


Trish's Morning Blog 4/1/2020

Ever feel like you tumbled into a horror movie just by walking out your door.  Probably not, but it happened to me. I looked up into the tall grove of pine trees along the roadside and peering down at me were 7 roosting turkey vultures.  One can try not to read any superstition into the scene, but honestly, it spooked me out.  I attempted to capture the scene with my camera but my barking companion scared them off. What’s good to know is that turkey vultures, while creepy, are harmless. They feed from carcasses in fields and on roadsides.  I guess we should be thanking them for the clean up! They are not the most attractive birds up close, but their large wingspan makes them interesting to observe as they soar up high in circles. They rely on their acute sense of smell to find their next meal.   Have they always been there watching me on other mornings or was today an unusual event.  I’ll be sure to be on the lookout on my next early morning walk down the road.  In the meantime, I’ll leave you with a couple of pictures of these winged creatures from last year, in my back yard!


Trish's Morning Blog 3/31/2020

Gray days seem endless, especially when spring is trying its hardest to reveal itself in all its blooming splendor.  I keep looking for signs and yet my few daffodils and crocus are all I have so far.  I have yet to see the skunk cabbage or ferns unfolding, but it’s coming… at least I keep telling myself that. What I have observed is the arrival of many ducks on my little beaver pond – that surely is a sign of spring.  Unusual but true, I saw the ducks this morning perched in trees. I never knew much about wood ducks until now.  They will perch in trees for sleep and they will nest in hollows of trees on the edge of swamps and beaver ponds.  Go figure – how in all this time have I just now become aware of this.  I am on a quest to find their nesting site, because I know the ducklings will soon follow.   At this point I feel obligated to acknowledge one of my favorite children’s books “Make Way for Ducklings” by Robert McCloskey.  I am a Boston girl after all.


Trish's Morning Blog 3/30/2020

Motivation in this current climate can be challenging.  You question all you do. Should you hunker down or head out the door.  Social distancing is at best awkward.  If you must venture to the store, do you say hello to a familiar face or duck behind the cracker display?  Will social distancing linger longer than COVID-19?  
In answer to this comes the wisdom of age (or senility). I am fortunate to have my 92 year young father living with us.  As most of us are anxious for him, I can truly say he is the least concerned. He still heads out and there is little you can do to stop him. Yes he does say hello to those that may cross his path, with a smile that bridges the 6 foot gap.
While I sit debating if I really want to go for a run, he is heading out the door on his 1-2 mile walk in lieu of his gym workout.  That’s when it hits me – the old “move it or lose it” slogan.  Following my living inspiration, I get my butt in gear and head out after him.  We walked along a rugged trail with my Dad telling me I was going to do him in, not the Corona virus! By the end, even our walking companion, Koda, was exhausted.  Trust me, the next day they’ll both be anxious for another adventure. So let’s all continue to enjoy the outdoors and see the beauty along the way. Most importantly – smile at those you pass, we all need a bright spot in our day.


Trish's Morning Blog 3/27/2020

As I ventured out today, I looked about for inspiration.   Where was that red tailed hawk, or the pileated woodpecker, the squirrels chasing each other – were they all sleeping.  Then I opened my eyes to what was all around me.  I walk along it, climb over and sit down on it … the stone wall.  They are an intrinsically beautiful form of art.  Everywhere in the countryside they exist. Many have lasted over a hundred years.  They change with the weather.  Trees topple over and water ravages them and yet they survive.  Stone walls are fences, property borders, and shelters for small animals.  The secrets and history the old walls hold.  We walk past all this beauty and take for granted the hard work that went into life long ago.  So today I suggest you get out for a walk or drive along a back road.  Take note of the stone walls, you’ll be amazed.


Trish's Morning Blog 3/26/2020

From a young girl, I was always a tree talker, secretly believing that the trees and I communicated in our own language.  I’d sing to them, clean off the heavy snow in winter and repair broken limbs.  Then I happened upon a fascinating book for those of us who wondered if the trees could talk or if it was all my youthful imagination.  The book is titled “The Hidden Life of  Trees” by Peter Wohlleben,  along with a children’s version, “Can you Hear the Trees Talking” (quite useful for adults with attention deficit when it comes to reading nonfiction).  Reality is that trees do talk …to each other… not to us as I had hoped!  They communicate through their limbs, roots and the various fungi in the ground.  They help each other during times of drought, infestation and nurture their young saplings.  It’s quite amazing and if you are still a nonbeliever, Read The Book.  On that note, I leave you with one last memory, an old poem (1914) that became a favorite of mine:  Trees by Joyce Kilmer, “I think that I shall never see a poem as lovely as a tree…”


Trish's Morning Blog 3/25/2020

Has our social distancing caused a of case cabin fever?!  One animal that‘s not practicing social distancing is our friend (or foe, depending on where you live) the beaver. It’s spring and in my neck of the woods, the beaver has been very busy.  Recently there has been a great deal of activity along the shore of the pond. I’ve observed the destruction of numerous small trees and how each day is a process.  The beavers work the base, topple it, strip all the small branches and then take the main part of the tree (often in halves).  All these parts end up in the water on their way to their destination. The process takes a few days and has been interesting to observe since my trail was obstructed by the fallen trees and is once again clear for travel  I captured a few shots of the process as well as the established beaver lodge on the other side of the pond.   The beaver could be giving us some good advice on decluttering and rebuilding within our homes… a little food for thought!!


Trish's Morning Blog 3/24/2020

So, just when you think spring is here you get……SNOW.  That four letter word that invades us when we least expect or want it.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m a New Englander at heart, but snow belongs somewhere between December and February.
However, quickly changing my attitude, I ventured out to embrace the winter wonderland before it’s gone.  The air is fresher and just maybe it will clear up some of these airborne viruses – we can only hope.  In my walk I came upon a peculiar tree – it reminded me of a book I read about Native American Trail Marker Trees– recommended to me by a patron and fellow hiker.   Before GPS was ever heard of, woods were navigated 
using trail markers – unusual natural or manmade markers.  Native Americans would bend young trees or cut them in places to mark the trails.  The trees would then grow in unusual ways so future travelers could find their way. Very interesting subject I suggest all fellow nature walkers research. 
 I leave you with images of my trail marker tree, winter wonderland and finally the optimism of SPRING!


Trish's Morning Blog 3/23/2020

Good Morning to all my library visitors; With the temporary closing of libraries throughout the country I thought of various ways we can stay connected.  We could send letters via our great US Postal Service – how many of you have actually written a letter recently and/or know how to address an envelope properly!!  We can Skype, FaceTime, Instagram …. now I’m showing my age as I am truly old school with a flip phone (yes, they still exist!)  During the COVID 19 social distancing times, I can no longer connect with our library patrons at the circulation desk, sharing life stories, wise thoughts, critiques on books and the world. Thinking out of the box, this is my attempt to reach out to the library world in a totally different fashion.  I feel fortunate to live in an area which provides ample exposure to the outdoors.  Each morning I will be taking a nature walk and will pass on my observations for those of you interested in reconnecting with nature.  Stay tuned! Today I leave you with this photo of my walking companion…


Library Alert 3-13-2020