Thursday, July 11, 2013

  Here it is July11th already and I haven't been here since April? I could have sworn I wrote entries more recently than that.  I'm not doing so well with this blogging, am I.

I haven't much excuse. The rain and fog seems to make it hard to do anything, through to completion.

 Gardens are a total mess. What I planted early got so leggy and pale and although I took care when introducing them to the sun, they got damaged badly. I started some things again. I do have lots of sugar peas that need harvesting. The purple beans are pulled out by fresh Robins as fast as they can germinate, or skeletonized by the slugs which are even more prolific than a couple years ago when we had fog settle in until August. Oh well everything needs to eat! Thank heaven for the farm markets.
 Gardens aren't the only things having troubles. Birds various are not doing so well but we have Tree Swallows that are bringing their young out tomorrow, I expect. One may be mobile now. It seems this property is a good place to nest if all the successes are to go by. Robins, Blue Jays, so many Grackles, Starlings, Red-Winged Blackbirds, Hummingbirds, Mourning Doves, Sparrows various, Woodpeckers including, Hairy, Downy as well as several families of Northern Flickers. Juncos are bringing their young out the last couple days and I expect there are very soon to be visible White-breasted Nuthatches. (two families!) I have Goldfinches courting so there may be some of them as well.

 The gray made it hard to get into painting. I have completed several pieces. One in particular was quite intricate; a drum being constructed by Todd Labrador. It is quite the most intricate watercolour I have done to date.  I hope to make my own drum with Todd's help in the not too distant future, maybe over the winter.

After the mill closure there was a big push to form another arts council. That is now underway. I've attended a number of meetings and the paperwork for Registry of Joint Stocks in filled out. Now we need to have executive and committee heads...

Back to painting. Since I was having trouble getting motivated to paint, not because I didn't have ideas, I am awash with ideas, but getting started sometimes can just be difficult. some suggest doing a bit every day for a certain amount of time and it seems to have worked. I feel so much better when I am laying down the pigment. Sunday is another intake day for Lunenburg Art Gallery, in of all places, Lunenburg. I have a smaller watercolour of gulls to go. I need to get a photo of it tomorrow, shoot it is already framed and ready to go.
Coming close to 10. I need a piece of toast to set me up for sleep.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

April 7 2013, sunny!! and oh so cold in the wind!!

Finally it was a proper sunny day! There were a few clouds but that sun had real heat and it was so appreciated by me and the cat! Yesterday we took a run to Bridgewater to see about picking up a few swcond hand books, Shakespeare related for the Scans course I am attempting over the next few weeks.
I tried to look up SCANS to add a link here but can't at the moment. Oh Oh, computer is making a strange noise, what now

well how about that! I have been Skyping with people for the first time. Totally disconcerting. Sure doesn't make a body look pretty!  particularly ha!

April 9, 2013

 Thundering this evening.
It has been a drab day with a variety of weather events. It started off with sun, lovely and bright but it didn't last long. Very soon there were brief periods of rain, ice pellets, snow and hail. We were lucky here in White point. All we saw was rain, a few showers and a bit of snizzle. Hail could have been messy.
 The greenhouse plastic still holds. We need a day or two with no wind and warmish temperatures so we can get the new cover over the frame. I have plants ready to pot ahead and move outside. The tomatoes are up to second true leaf and need dividing then the artichokes are getting to their fourth leaf and really are coming along quickly. Unless the temperatures drop very low, the water barrels we have in it should moderate the temps there to keep things from actually freezing.  

 On my way to the mail box this morning, I could hear a sound in the trees. A bird's song. It took awhile, but I finally put it together with one of the White breasted Nuthatches that have been moving about the yard the past couple months. Today there were three. Two, seem to be a pair. The other goes in a different direction and is calling. they are such neat birds. They talk all the time and seem so intent on what they are about.
 Another call belonged to a Brown headed Cowbird. The real treat was the singing of a Northern Cardinal. That is such a lovely sound!
 Just after I came into the house I was filling the kettle when I saw something large and white hunting over the swamp down the road. It swung out of sight then back and it gave me a good view. It was a Northern Harrier, a lovely adult male. I am not sure, I have seen one so clean looking. Wasn't long before the crows started harassing it.

 I finished a painting for the "Spring Garden" Exhibition at Lunenburg Art Gallery in Lunenburg, Nova Scotia. This one is an acrylic, on canvas. It isn't a pretty painting. We have had so much late snow and gray weather; I paint what I see pretty much. I have been laying out my new sign, also to be done in acrylic and sealed. Once that is done I'll be going back to watercolour. I have a number of new Lighthouses to paint. There will be a Lighthouse Awareness show and sale in August again this year. As it did last year, the show will spread over two weekends, the first in Port Medway and the following weekend in Port Mouton.
 I have to set up a schedule for the events I am taking part in. It is hard to keep track of it all. Once I get in the studio, I so loose track of time. I just disappear into my work.

Friday, March 22, 2013

March 22, still 2013.

 That storm pretty much gave us a miss last evening and today although it wasn't very warm was quite pleasant. The sun came through from time to time and everyone seemed in good spirits from the bank through the grocery stores. Me, I was in a pretty good mood myself. 
 Still lots of snow to melt but we have a few croci poking through the snow and a few more in the tangled mess at the garden's edge. My beloved snowdrops are still totally buried. This is heavy wet snow, combined with ice pellets and it was driven by high wind so I am not at all sure they will have survived the blast. Fingers are crossed.

As I write this the sun is setting, a soft pink flush showing through the trees at the horizon. I expect along the shore in the open it will be another evening when the setting sun puts on an amazing display. On Facebook there were photos posted from Shelburne County, taken last evening,  that were stunning! As a painter I must work to reproduce them. I should be so lucky.

 Tomorrow I start to seriously clean up my 'Gallery' area off the studio and have it ready for Easter. My sign isn't ready yet but I will put the open shingle back up.

 I heard Alberta got hit with another winter blast. Major pileup on the highway from Calgary to Edmonton with over 30 cars. I remember being on it when the winds came up and the world as I knew it just disappeared and I had no idea where I should be driving. There was no way to pull over and I knew big machines were storming up behind me. I just prayed they didn't mow me down.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Thursday, March 21, 2013 Version1

Well, here it is after all so I am going to post it

Spring has arrived.
  Snow drops arrived a couple weeks late compared to the past couple years. They were in bloom last year on Valentine's Day!  Now they are buried in the snow we got on the 19th. 
 Not the spring we have become used to but almost (but not quite) an old fashioned one. Brr and grumble!! As I write this, there is weather warning for the eastern portion of the province, depending on what is coming up the seaboard. Sounds like it "should" track some what south of us in the southwestern region. I so hope it is what happens.

 The past couple winters and springs have been amazing and personally I have come to really prefer them. Enough of that.

 With the arrival of March, thoughts turn to gardening. I have a few things under lights in the guest room, with more to start after the first of April. With the success of eggplants last year  I decided to try to grow artichokes, just the globes for now, to see can I actually get  one to produce. They take a long season and require a cold but not frosty stretch to bloom. hmm. wonder how I will manage that.
 The other is garlic. I had hard necked garlic scapes that I cut to dry that went to seed; tiny little bulbets. I just sprinkled some of the fine in starter mix and goodness they are growing. I think they may take another year to come to size but we will see. That is what it is all about.

The plastic on the greenhouse has finally given up the ghost or warned us it will let go completely it needs replacing. The new has arrived  (thank you Omni for such prompt service)and as soon as the weather settles down to a windless day, and we can round up a couple extra hands, we will recover it and set it up so we can try all season veggie gardening.

On the painting front:
 Things are ramping up for the new season. My new sign should go out in the next week or so and dates for events and possible shows are filling up my calendar. It is always a hard call. The car is not in great shape so that will affect what I do for sure.

For now I will try to keep a directory of where I will be showing/selling my work here and on my new website. I really didn't like the old one any longer so am redeveloping it with a new format.  Once I get the hang of it I should be able to update it with a lot more ease.

February 7, 2013

 I've been down with a bug for a week or so. Now I am back on the move again, I'll be getting organized here

Our winters have been exceptional the past few years but this past January has shaped up to a proper winter with cold temperatures and a light snow/ice cover. I think the gardens should benefit.
It looks like February is staying true to form.  There is a major storm in the forecast starting tomorrow. The total snow called for was about 2', now has dropped back to 14" - 16".  Hmm not quite cancelled, is it? but this storm has been likened to White Juan,  a storm that nailed parts of the province a few years ago. In our immediate area we had little snow. Maybe we'll have another break.

January 24, 2013

Another very cold day but by later this pm the temperatures seem to be moderating...seemed to be. I haven't had time to go look at the thermometer.
 I downloaded the photo of the catbird that visited the feeders Tuesday. A chilly looking bird and small, I thought , when I saw the chickadee land beside it.

Thursday, March, 21 2013 Spring?

I just spent an hour or more writing this and it suddenly disappears. I did save it as I went, I even previewed it. Where, oh where, did it go? Why?? This is why I dislike computing? for as much good I get from them I also get SO much frustration!!!!!!

I started with Spring...
Which isn't happening at the moment except inside under lights where I am bringing along a couple Globe Artichokes, and some tiny hardnecked garlic seed as an experiment. Last season we had good results with the Asian eggplants so decided to try these. We have had a string of storms for the past month. Snow is still hanging around although there for a few days we did have a taste of what we want.
 My beloved Snow drops showed up a couple weeks later than last year and even the year before but they were exceptional winters. For a few years they bloomed on Valentine's Day. Much as we enjoy them, we cannot count on them 'every' year. I was so disappointed this year not to see them that day. They were rescued from my grandmother's property, shunted about then when we moved here, I had three tiny bulbs to plant here near the door. Still not a bit patch after 20+ years, they are increasing in numbers ever so surely.

 My work this week has been on my website:   I was  quite unhappy with it over the past while so decided to use a new web builder and it seems to be working better for me. It will continue to evolve. I will update it and this with my new work and events as the season ramps up.  

 Lunenburg Art Gallery opens again Tuesday,  26 March, for the season. Looks like a busy season for sure. Stay tuned

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

winter 2013

Another sunny by times, but nippy, day! Lots of fine snow being blasted about. Looks like smoke most of the time.
The birds come to the feeders then hunker down in the trees again struggling to keep warm, I suppose.

We had to take a trip into town for some bug control and a few other items and mercy!! It was cold!!. The temperature at the garden centre doorway said -10 F. Then there was that wind. We don't see much weather around here like this in the past number of years. We've (well, I have, at any rate) gotten very spoiled. Reminds me of days when I lived in PEI and worked outside with a survey crew. I used to keep hot baked potatoes in my boots and in my pockets. One of the surveyors, Caper, could warm our lunches, somehow, on the truck engine, something he learned while working in James Bay. I still managed to loose my finger and toe nails to frost bite! When I moved to Edmonton, it was easier to deal with because it was "dry" cold! Ha!

Am still wandering around in cyberworld trying to fix up my website and get things organized so I don't have to start from scratch each time I want to put up some new piece of work. My problem now is to find how to deal with the existing pages from my last version. It seems to be quite confusing to me and support seems to be quite slow but apparently the hosts are under attack once again? Maybe I should just put up posters and try that way again.  To quote and old friend, now long gone, "... and everything is going to hell in a hand basket!" Wonder how things will ever sort out.

The sun is setting now, or at least dropping lower quite quickly. All the tree branches I can see from here are frosted with ruffles of snow and gilding has been applied to their outlines. The sky is a moody gray with a lovely soft pale blue showing through. Automatically as I look at things I struggle to apply my palate to build the images.

Back to work. Oye! Just found spellchecker...that could be a help or hindrance?

Tuesday, Jan. 22, 2013

We have the most amazing climate here on the south shore of Nova Scotia. Sunday, Steve and I walked the beach at Summerville, enjoying the warmth of the sun and trying to keep the wind from poking its nippy fingers inside our jackets. Monday was a beautiful sunny day but the tremperatures began to drop. There is a cold front pushing to the south of us and today we have cooler temperstures, a bit of wind and have about 4 inches of snow at the moment.

 It is getting dark as I write this. There are birds tucked in amongst the branches and brush on the property. I expected a bigger turn out on the feeders but we have a couple American Tree Sparrows, a number of White-Throats as well as Song Sparrows. A treat was a brief visit from a Catbird!. I don't usually see them at this time of the year although they do put in a presence during the other seasons.  I managed to get a photo so if it turns out resonably well, I will post it here.

This past week or so I have been rebuilding the website with a drag and drop site builder. Once you get the hang of it it isn't that difficult. When I started this it was so easy. I used Netscape Composer back then and it was fun. I have to say I would much rather be painting.... and as soon as I am reasonably far along, I will be.