Pollination Party

April 17, 2012


hi there,

this is the the kind of natural happening that i look forward to in spring; what a thrill to witness nature in action. there is so much happening all around us in the natural world, we just have to be open to it.

i have been reading the earth moved;on the remarkable achievements of earthworms by amy stewart. i’m sure it’s only going to add to my admiration of the earthworm ( yes, it’s true, i generally kiss all earthworms i come in contact with). ms. stewart  is one of my favorite authors having also written another one of my favorite books concerning the natural world; wicked plants; the weed that killed lincoln’s mother & other botanical atrocities. the follow up to that is her latest book and is also next on my reading list;  wicked bugs; the louse that conquered napoleon’s army & other diabolical insects.

it’s a beautiful day today and i should be getting my nose out of books and to work outside now that the strong winds have subsided.

i hope that the weather is beautiful wherever you are in the world.

peace,

julayne

Spring Garden

March 20, 2012


spring greens garden 2012

happy first day of spring!

richard and i have been hard at work in the spring greens garden. even though the photo might not look like it, there is a lot going on: i have planted a variety of heirloom lettuces, arugala, and spinach. we also have planted radishes, beets, carrots, and oh, i mustn’t forget peas! we have planted sweet peas, which are grown for their flowers. sweet peas are one of my favorite flowers, and i grow them in honor of helen and scott nearing. the other pea is the sugar snap pea which is a favorite of richard’s. along with the pea plants we have built a trellis for them to climb on to. richard did a really nice job on the fence post/ tree limb supports, but i’m not so sure of my twine grid job. after the peas are done we hope to put summer squash and cucumbers that we will trellis too, so i hope my twine job will also hold the weight of the squash and cucumber. keep your fingers crossed for me.

in other garden news:

the garlic is very happy and loving the fertilizer  that we applied a month ago.

the newly established  compost is heap is coming a long very well. we are turning it to keep it aerated and letting the  rain keep it moist. it’s starting to cook ; when we turn it we can feel some heat and also see steam ! this is a good indication that we are on the right track.

i have successfully started lettuce and spinach early  in our homemade cold frame (see straw bales and windows at south of garden).

we have started the arduous task of eradicating invasive brush and richard has cleared out a ditch full of it, with the earliest  work started in december. this is a very big, long term project and one we will work on as time allows. you have to start somewhere, right?

the turkey vultures have returned and i’m afraid that the eagles have gone. we have 3 species of woodpecker that we enjoy at the feeders. we bought a vinyl record album of bird calls from cornell university, and it’s very enjoyable to listen to.

please note: we are about 1 to 2 weeks earlier on planting this year. this is due to a very mild winter and an extremely warm spring.  this past week we have experienced high temps in the upper 70’s lows in the 50’s and 60’s, and have record highs predicted for the next couple of days. we have a weather radio that we keep in the kitchen and listen to in the morning, it’s a great way to know how to plan your workday. we have lots of windows open airing out the stuffy wintriness. also, i fall into fits of sporadic spring cleaning jobs.

never a dull moment.

peace,

julayne


la salle county, illinois

hello and happy march 1st!

richard grew these birdhouse gourds  a couple of seasons ago and we made them into homes for our feathered friends last winter. i really appreciate how utilitarian growing and using this particular gourd can be. we didn’t get too fancy by painting them, although,  i think a coat of  some sort of weatherproofing  might be a good idea. however, i don’t think i would be able to put them in the compost heap if they were treated with some sort of paint or  varnish. the birds moved in last spring and seem to like them very much and that gives me a good feeling.

we are starting to work on a 3 bin composting system made from standard wooden skids which we have on hand. large amounts of compost are essential for a healthy, fertile, soil and plants. along with the compost bins we have also set up a simple cold frame made from bales of straw and old single pane windows that were laying idle in the attic. i have planted various lettuces and some spinach as well. of course, i’ve got the elusive (for me anyway) corn salad in there as part of my desire to learn how to best make that delicious herb grow.

peace,

julayne

The Best Day Ever Part 2

February 19, 2012


la salle county, illinois

i just couldn’t help but post one more eagle photo. i’m so thrilled over my good fortune.

peace,

julayne

St. Louis Canyon

January 18, 2012


st. louis canyon, starved rock state park ~ near utica, illinois

happy wednesday!

what a great winter it’s been for being outdoors.

i took this photo just a couple of weeks ago. it was hard to believe it was janurary; the weather was so warm that day. today, we woke up to a temperature of 10 degrees. brrrrrrr

i can tell that the days are getting longer little by little, which is very encouraging to me this time of year.

peace,

julayne

 

Less is More

January 11, 2012


winter light, christmas day 2011

happy wednesday!

so far we have received no snow this winter in north central illinois. in fact the last couple of days have been spring-like!  spending time outdoors yesterday, i remember thinking ‘this is how i feel in the spring’ you know what i mean? spring fever? the last 2 nights, richard and i have taken moonlight hikes. last night, we ventured a little ways into the nature reserve; it was easy to see the path under the moon’s silvery light. thanks mr.moon!

i wonder what it would be like to be able to see at night like a nocturnal creature?

 

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here is a list of items i’ve been living without for a while now:

tv

cell phone

my blog!

i really don’t miss tv, but i tend to get too isolated without some sort of news source. right now my main source of news is public radio and our local newspaper.

i do not miss my cell phone at all. it was too intrusive. not just intrusive for me, i’m sure i’ve been intrusive to others too.

what i have missed is my blog.  also, i lost touch with photography. it’s a new and unusual change for me to me not to want to get out with the camera. i’m hoping to take more photos of people. as for nature, there is a huge opportunity here for some very scenic photos. it will be a big moment for me is when i get my first eagle photo.

 

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living with less plastic:

ok, i know that sometimes a plastic bag comes in handy. instead of buying those horrible zip lock bags packaged in a paper box (recyclable), try reusing plastic bags that other food items have come in. there are produce bags in a variety of different sizes; all the way from 5 or 10 lb. potato bag down to a radish bag. bread bags are great! i’ve managed to collect a nice assortment of bags that can be used multiple times. just wash them out in some soapy water and dry or hang to dry.

look around your kitchen and see what items can be reused or repurposed.

better yet, leave a comment about how you recycle or repurpose or  (best of all) do without.

good luck!

peace,

julayne

 

Summer Vibrations

August 24, 2010


lake michigan, st. joseph, michigan

greetings!

the summer evening is starting to feel slightly cooler to me. this subtle change reminds me that the weather will soon begin to cool and that the earth is gradually moving into another season. before that happens, i’d like to share a few photos i took a couple of weeks ago while visiting the charming town of st. joseph, michigan.

being right on lake michigan was so pleasant. it was so easy to enjoy the morning walk along the beach, afternoons swimming, and watching the sun set. i also met and had very interesting conversations with people i just happened to meet by chance. but in reality, was it by chance? i happen to believe that people of similar vibration levels attract one to another.  

 after returning home from a trip, it’s important to me to realize what it is that i bring back with me. not necessarily souvenirs, but the intangible; the positive emotions and memories that you come home with. capturing some of it in photographs helps to preserve or revive those memories.

what fond memory or feeling can you recall from a  place you have visited?

peace,

julayne