Flowery Friday.

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If you’ve been following Flowery Prose for a while, you’ll know that I post a new photo of these beauties every single year around this time. It’s a tradition I’m sticking to…I hope you don’t mind.  🙂

 

 

Flowery Friday, April blog fun – and a Book review: Mother Earth News Almanac.

April is here!  That means we might just get a bit of rain in Calgary…and maybe some cherry blossoms (if they don’t freeze off).  And tulips (if the rabbits and deer don’t eat them first).  Clearly, a month of “if’s”….

Typical spring.  😉

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My favourite furry flower, Pulsatilla patens – Nose Hill, Calgary, 28 March 2016

I spent the month of March doing more researching and querying than actual writing, and while I was busy with that, my e-mails collectively undertook a massive construction project that is now approaching monument status…we’re talking the Egyptian pyramids or something of that ilk. So I maybe need to do something about that this upcoming week. Ahem.

And I’ve been spring cleaning and organizing!  I mean, moving files and piles around.  No, seriously, I’m actually making a tiny dent, even though it might be NEXT spring when I see truly decent results.  But just the small amount I’ve done so far is refreshing.

Speaking of files, here are a few interesting things I came across this past month:

  • A snowy owl speculates on landing a coveted modelling gig – yep, you read that right.  Go here.  You’ll love the rest of Lyle Krahn’s blog, too – nothing better than fantastic wildlife photos combined with a wonderful sense of humour!
  • A profile of the life and work of Felicitas Svejda, the geneticist responsible for the breeding of the hardy Explorer roses.  Canadians who grow roses owe much to her dedication and passion for plants that could survive our crazy winters and short growing season.
  • Photographer Beth Moon’s portraits of the world’s most ancient trees are absolutely incredible.  Head over to the gallery and enjoy.
  • Take a look at  some samples from Saxon Holt’s fledgling Photo Florilegium project.

I’ve been posting some items elsewhere:

Finally, this was a really fun book to read for review – I started out randomly flipping through the pages but then had to chow down on it cover-to-cover.  Now, ask me something….

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Mother Earth News Almanac:  A Guide Through the Seasons (2016, Voyageur Press, Minneapolis) 

Whether you’re a modern homesteader or an urban DIY-er, you’ll find a useful tip or hundreds in the Mother Earth News Almanac (2016).  Want to know something about natural pest control?  How to build a stove out of an aluminium can?  Need recipes for popcorn balls or cherry preserves or tips on how to sour cream or sprout seeds for eating?  What about sinking fence posts or cobbling together a working substitute for a broken cotter pin?  Whether it’s raising livestock (or cats), making crafts, foraging for wild foods, or constructing, you name the topic – you’ll probably find something new and interesting about it in this book.  The entries are concise and informative, divided into categories based upon the seasons of the year, and the book is illustrated throughout with black ink line drawings, diagrams, and tables.  Fascinating and practical lifestyle hacks for everyone!

(* Many thanks to Voyageur Press for providing a copy of this title for review. I did not receive any compensation for my opinion, which is my own).

 

What are you most looking forward to this month?

Flowery Friday.

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Hope you’re not tired of my crocus photos yet!  There are 1,406,718 of them (give or take a couple) blooming up on Nose Hill right now.  Don’t worry, I’ll only post one picture of this particular beauty.

I hope you have a wonderful weekend!  Will you be spending part of it in the garden or going for a nice long walk?

It’s about time.

I know snow and rain is in the forecast for the weekend, but today, it’s spring here in Calgary!  The sun is dazzling and warm and the earth is finally thawing out.  There’s even some green grass in places….

I’ve been on crocus watch for awhile now – while the horticultural crocuses in my garden have been up and blooming for a couple of weeks now, I haven’t spotted hide nor hair of a wild one.  I went up to Nose Hill this morning, thinking that today was the day for sure.  I went to my favourite trails, the places I knew they were growing…and I found one where there used to be hundreds.  It may be too early yet, and perhaps they’ll be covering the hillsides next week or the week after, but I was overjoyed to see this one!

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It froze hard this morning, and I loved the way the mounds of grass looked on the lower slopes where the sun hadn’t warmed them.

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That’s part of the downtown skyline in the morning haze.  And here I was telling my parents last weekend that we don’t have smog – my brother is right, we actually do….

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As you can see, there’s a sizeable snowpack still up in the mountains…and it’s got everyone just a bit worried about the potential for another massive flood like we had last year. On the right hand side of the photo, you can see the ski jumps of Canada Olympic Park, constructed for use during the 1988 Winter Olympics and now used as a public ski hill as well as a place to train athletes.  In the summer, COP is a haven for mountain bikers and zipline enthusiasts, and there’s even a luge track you can try out.  (Not me – I’m too chicken!).  The mini golf course there is much more my speed, LOL.

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I came across several browses for deer and some others I suspect were from porcupines.  It was really a lean winter for wildlife – we didn’t get the Chinooks we usually do and so the heavy snow cover lingered all season.  Apparently that’s part of the reason so many homeowners are complaining about the vole damage to their lawns – the rodents were able to hunker down and feed and nest there all winter, when normally they would be exposed.  (Click here for some tips to repair vole damaged turf).

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On my way out of the park, I was happy to see these two ducks swimming on the catchwater basin.  I was starting to think that little pond would never thaw out.

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And then when I got home…there was a bee on my one of my muscari flowers, which just began opening this morning.  I definitely need to put in more early spring flowers for the pollinators.

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What a wonderful start to the day!  I hope the sun is shining wherever you are! 

Alberta Snapshot: Rochfort Railway Bridge.

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From the archives (if you follow my blog There is a Light, you might recognize this one.  I’m hoping to get all of the images from TIAL moved over within the next few weeks, which means some of the upcoming content on Flowery Prose will not be entirely new to everyone).  This photograph was taken on 24 April of last year.

 

105 kilometres (65 miles) northwest of Edmonton, Alberta lies the hamlet of Rochfort Bridge. This railway bridge nearby is cited as the longest wooden trestle in North America. It measures 736 metres (2, 414 feet) long and 33.5 metres (110 feet) tall, and was built in 1914.  The Paddle River and Highway 43 pass beneath it.

 

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Finally got out last night and cleaned up all the garbage that had blown into the flowerbeds over the winter and earlier this spring.  Found about a million cigarette butts (I’ve since written a letter to the property manager so she can hopefully put up a notice – with all the dry grass, dead leaves and wood chips, it’s just irresponsible and obnoxious) and part of a broken window.  I’ll be picking glass out of that one area forever….

I haven’t lifted the leaf litter yet because I want the ladybugs hiding in it to feel safe and warm for a few more days yet – there is more snow in the forecast for the end of this week. (Grrrrr…).  It’s a bit early to do a full on clean up just yet, although if I have time tonight I may cut back the dried stalks from some of the perennials (I don’t do that task in the fall so things are looking a bit weird right now).  Lots of little bits of green in the garden now, popping up everywhere, and there are scilla and anemones blooming alongside the crocuses and chionodoxa.  I’m so happy to see them!

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Crocus and sunshine.

To celebrate the passing of winter and the blissful appearance of bright sunshine and blooming crocus, I’m going to permit myself to undertake an elaborate happy dance and some ebullient shouting.  But I’ll spare you that particular photograph….  😉

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Weekly Photo Challenge – May 2 -8 – Spring!