Monday, May 26, 2008

Nearly summer

The first poppy of spring/summer today. I love Oriental Poppies. They look like shiny transparent tissue paper flowers. The irises are beginning to bloom too.
I went up on our little hill and the lovely delicate blue Large Flowered Tritelia or Douglas's brodiaea are blooming - more every year. Somewhere I thought I saw them called "Wild Hyacinth".
They are the clusters of 3 - 6 or so upward facing vase shaped flowers and were "rare" when we were kids. The little hill we live on is healing still from the fires of 1934 and from having cattle pastured on it.
As to plant books, I use mainly "Plants of Southern Interior British Columbia by Parish, Coupe, and Lloyd. It also gives what the aboriginal peoples did with the plants so I now know that some of the peoples of the Okanagan ate the bulbs of these and of the little yellow bell shaped Fritillaria.Please don't start doing this as they are still far too rare and lovely. Onions will have to be a substitute.
We have fritillaria on the larger hill on the back of our property, as do we have penstemon, Indian paintbrush, shooting stars, lupin. wild sunflowers, arum, that either don't grow on this hill or are more rare.
I do believe the fires burned more fiercely here. I have dug up burned black roots in our yard with clay turned the red of brick around them.
Things are a bit late this year.
Usually our Paint Out is the weekend after Blossom Festival and they are nearly done - the wildflowers - and the poppies and irises are going full tilt. This year things are a little late but it's been cold so long I look out and see the poppy and think "Poppies already!" I am so easily pleased.
This year our Paint Out will be June 7. You're all invited. Bring a sack lunch and your painting supplies. We'll serve the coffee.
James and I were to Calgary May 15 & 16 for our son and his girlfriend's Grad Show and graduation from the Alberta College of Art and Design. They both now have their Bachelor of Fine Arts and Lisa was the valedictorian. It was a whirlwind trip but quite enjoyable though we don't like the rush, rush, rush of Calgary.
We are going back this weekend as James has a show of his paintings in a friends home and we hope it does well. Something new for us.
James has been nailing rough boards on the house for what will be board and bat siding. We were laughing as the boards are cut from a bull pine we took down last summer so the neighbour could get reception for the wireless internet from our house - line of sight. James said "The tree wasn't any more than 150 feet from the house. It didn't fall on the house but now it's on the house."
This afternoon Frank and I finished stuffing envelopes for the last of the ArtWalk participants announcing who is in what venue and they are in the mail or to be hand delivered tomorrow. Now all that remains is to proof brochures and posters, distribute posters, order cakes for the ArtWalk/ArtDrive openings.
Creston's opening is June 13 from 7:00 - 9:00 pm at the Coffee Creek Cafe (formerly Annette's) and the Eastshore opening is in Riondel at Bob's Bar & Grill form 2:00 - 4:00 pm on June 14, live music and refreshments at both.

Saturday, May 03, 2008

Wonderous things are happening in the yard.

Many years ago we had a pond made of silage plastic and eventually it failed and has sat desolate for 10 or so years. My timing is thinking of which cats we had as these have never known the wonder of a pond and they will love it.
So despiration has set in and prices of the "eternal" type of pond liner will only get worse so we are trying a silver hay tarp, doubled and with the black side out. It's worth the try and the price is right. We think this will at least not tear if the deer step in the pond which they probably will. I used to have Papyrus plants that I set around it and they were forever knocking them into the deep water.
The first time we built the pond we had a front end loader on the tractor to move the large rocks. The second time we were younger than we are now but we are persisting as the pond is such a peaceful lure for wildlife and such a joy.
The waxy leaves are popping and this evening is greener than this morning. The forsythia is a disappointment. It blooms sparsly and way too late and only now do I see one lonely little blossom.