Horse!

DSC_0013I have a horse! Technically this is not my horse, but I am now in the process of leasing him. He’s an American Quarter Horse, and used to be a working cow horse. His name is Kermodie. Isn’t he cute?

DSC_0015Today I learned how to ground work him on the lunge line, which was very interesting and empowering, since I’ve never lunged a horse before. He tested me a bit, but I soon had him transitioning from walk, to trot, to canter and back again very easily. He can be cold-backed, which means I’ll probably be lunging him before every ride. I don’t mind a bit.

DSC_0027I’m taking a few lessons first even though I’m an intermediate rider, just to brush up and demonstrate to the owner that I know what I’m doing out there. Then hopefully the goal is to get out on the trails. Modie doesn’t much care for only trotting around in circles and neither do I!

DSC_0001I’ll also be doing chores to help out with the lease, so I’ll be adding stall cleaning and paddock picking to my own farm chores at home. I can’t say I mind, I’ve always enjoyed horsey chores!

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Free Stuff!

DSC_0003I love free stuff! I finally went over to my neighborhood Starbucks and got a free bag of used coffee grounds. Apparently they have at least two big bags to get rid of per day so I’ll probably be heading there more often as it’s only a few minutes away.

I used to drink a lot of coffee but can’t touch it now as I’ve developed a super-sensitivity to caffeine. I sure do like the smell though and it’s great for the garden and the compost pile. For some reason I really enjoy being able to smell the aroma in the shop and stand in line, and then leaving with a big bag of garbage instead of a drink. The funny looks from other patrons are too good.

Another great find on the way home after I spent my fourth of July swimming at the dam, was a large Dogloo! It’s the older model, which I think is of much better quality. It was filthy, but looks almost as good as new after a vigorous scrub down. Just what we needed!

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E.T. in her new house

Fruiting Begins, Problems Start

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Japanese Black Trifele

The tomatoes and cucumbers are starting to produce! The very first tomato to set fruit was one of my Japanese Black Trifeles in a container, and it seems my other home-grown varieties are not far behind.

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Dead blossoms

The one plant that I bought at the farmer’s market, my German Striped tomato, has not been doing as well. First I noticed some yellowing lower leaves and then I noticed the blossoms were turning brown and falling off. Then healthy leaves started curling inwards. What the heck? I dosed it today with a handful of crushed eggshells and epsom salt water to see if that will help. I do hope I get some tomatoes from it this year, if only so I can save some seeds and try again.

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Crushed eggshell soil amendment, plus rabbit poop fertilizer

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Mouse Melon!

My super-cute little Mouse Melon plants have also started to fruit. I can’t wait to try this tiny little cucumber variety. The name really sells it for me.

DSC_0015My other Cornichon pickling cukes are growing fast. I was noticing today that some yellowing was appearing on the edges of the leaves, so they all got epsom salt water too. We’ll see what transpires. At least all the little baby cukes are looking good!

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Haze and Ash

DSC_0002I woke up today not to the hot white sun beating down as I’m accustomed to, but instead a hazy yellow-orange glow. One look outside confirmed that yes, indeed there is a massive drought and wildfire problem right now in BC. I knew we were very hot and dry, but the fire issue is now in everyone’s face, even if it just the fine layer of white ash that is now covering everything.

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Ash on mint

You’ll notice that all my photos today have a yellowish tinge. I’ve decided not to color correct anything so you can get an idea of the dramatic lighting we are experiencing. It’s ironic that my boyfriend recently showed me photos of the similarly apocalyptic-looking skies in Yellowknife, NT after their massive fires last year. I wonder how long until it blows over? I’ve read that most of it is coming in from the Mainland and the United States, but I do know that we have some fires raging here on the island too.

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Ash on okra

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Ash on garlic starts

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The haze from my kitchen window

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Ash on tomato leaves

Plumage Progress

DSC_0053I’ve been posting about Bert a lot, but I really am fascinated to see the progress of his adult feathers coming in.

He has now lost most of his “headdress” or neck feathers, and the replacement pinfeathers are visible. He also has new pinfeathers over his eyes.

DSC_0044DSC_0045The last of his old tail feathers have fallen and the fresh pointy tips of his new ones are poking out. He’ll be a lot less agile once his full tail grows out, it will be more than twice the length of his body!

DSC_0031He seems to realize that his main job is to be gorgeous, and happily poses for the camera in exchange for treats. One of the cats even reached up to touch noses with him the other day and he barely flinched. What a bird.

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