Thursday 13 June 2024

Strawberries are ready in Ontario!

But first: Muskrat has been busy down at the frog pond. 


Muskrat from Jennifer Jilks on Vimeo.

These from the other side of the pond. 

It is filled with non-invasive phragmites, as well as invasive Frog bit. 

The strawberries are early this year. Miller's Bay is not only selling them at the road side stand, but Pick Your Own! Here is a teeny wild strawberry in the grass.

I sent Joseph Brian to them to bring home some rhubarb and strawberries. Rhubarb Crisp!

I quite enjoy the caterpillar tree. There is a battle for the top spot. If one is up there, the other launches itself up and faced with the sibling, jumps down. Until this month. Cinnamon was quite firm and insisted on snuggling with Nutmeg. She was not pleased. But he won.

Somebody has to cover up during walks. We do have Lyme Disease here, too, Barb. The doctors are pretty good at treating it these days. It is common. The trick is to get them off ASAP.  My lawn tractor is not working properly and is out for repairs. What can I do but wait?! The bugs hide in the grass.

We have lots of critters!

hare June 4 from Jennifer Jilks on Vimeo.

turkeys may 28 from Jennifer Jilks on Vimeo.

porcupine may31 from Jennifer Jilks on Vimeo.

Wednesday 12 June 2024

Who goes there?

The garden confounds me. The lawns are a mess. I keep picking up tick nymphs on myself. The lawn tractor has gone for repairs. I cannot start it. This is where they hide, in the grass. It is perfect for the ticks. 

 You can see the ticks on the doe's legs, back and front. 

doe ticks June 4 from Jennifer Jilks on Vimeo.

Yucca plant is throwing up a flower stalk. 

The Weigela is dropping blossoms. The Hops vine carries on up!

Can you see the White Admiral butterfly? I usually take a photo when I spot it, then try to move closer. Such cooperation this time!

I am having a fun time with a certain spider! It is quite clever, as the moths turn on the light as they flit by. It is a perfect place for a web.

 If you watch it, you'll see a little moth land in the web in the upper right. Spidey is quick to finish it off! 

Spider tails from Jennifer Jilks on Vimeo.

I don't know if the videos show bats or moths. We have both. Consensus from other camera owners is difficult, Bat or Imperial Moth. Someone suggested a flying squirrel, but they truly glide, and don't fly upwards. The photo is from June, 2012. I suspect this is what we see in the dark. They are huge!

UFOs in the night

moths from Jennifer Jilks on Vimeo.

This is our big bear, May 31. Out in the daytime. We didn't see him anywhere the house, thankfully. At least not this day!

Bear comes and goes from Jennifer Jilks on Vimeo.

Tuesday 11 June 2024

Rideau Lakes Cycling Tour

They had a big bike tour on the weekend. The Rideau Lakes Cycling Tour. The routes go from Ottawa, through the nearby town of Perth, on to Kingston. You can go on a 100km or 200km tour. What bothers me are the fanatics who roar through town. 

I wrote an email to mention how badly some people behaved. They improved it: Rideau Lakes Cycle Tour 2022, but in 2016: Ottawa Bicycle Club 45th Annual Rideau Lake Cycle, they were crazy. It's a small, old town and cyclists tend to get lost. We just stayed out of town this year. They are in a rush and I fail to see how this would help tourism, for drivers to wrestle with people hell bent on improving their times. 


Happily, we weren't on the tour this year. They came from Ottawa (on the far right in the screen grab) dipsy doodle through town and head west-ish to Westport and Kingston.

What is really funny is that I was out front watering, or something, and heard people talking. That is weird, as we are 100m from the highway. It's a bit scary for me. 

I toodled on out to the road, and found some cyclists. They weren't exactly lost, they were on their way into Perth, but they weren't supposed to be taking this route. They have rest stops and support personnel on the actual route! I did laugh.

Our driveway is 100m long. So we have a big FRONT yard. I transplanted this lilac sapling, as it was growing in a bad place. 

Monday 10 June 2024

Backyard tails

I featured the front yard yesterday. Today, the back deck and backyard. 

 I wrote about this strange bug last August and, thanks to iNaturalist, someone figured it out. I watched it lay eggs over many hours. Of course I took a video📹.

Arthropods Phylum Arthropoda

The egg sack was there all winter in rain, sleet, freezing rain, snow and hail! Now little larvae are coming out. Mystery solved. The spider is on to them. Uh oh!

I have to juggle my plants out back. The pine trees have lost so many branches in ice and snow storms. I rely on the hops vine to shade my plants here. That pine tree used to be thick with branches and the morning sun couldn't get through.

The Hops Vine continues to climb.  
Dawn does what dawn does!

Somebody worked itself to death working out! That was my second thought. My first thought was, 'well done cats!'

After the storm (nearly 2"), that made the goldfish happier, as well as the resident Green Frog.

She sure looks pregnant! We shall see. If you choose to watch the video you can see the last of the phoebe parent flitting about for bugs. They have flown!

Fred June 3 from Jennifer Jilks on Vimeo.

I checked on the phoebe babies and they flew off. That is a relief. The storm cleared the bird poop off the lower deck, and they are done.

I had to be careful putting out laundry. They managed to avoid it, though! The parents grab the poop and take it out of the nest. The nest itself is pristine. 

A bee that wasn't bumbling.

Our provincial premier had complained about the previous government having 29 cabinet members. For someone who campaigned on smaller government, it is ridiculous. Quote of the week from TVO: 

"At the same time, nearly half of Ford’s caucus will now find themselves doing double duty as ministers, too, as the cabinet swells to 36 members; there’s a minister for red-tape reduction, but apparently no one in charge of irony."

Sunday 9 June 2024

The garden grows...

 Friday was a hoot. We lost power for a half hour. I did some vacuuming later – after the power came back! Then the storms rolled in after I squeezed in some weeding. A massive storm with much thunder and lightning. 

🎾We sat down to TV, after JB brought home groceries, and the TV satellite went down. So much for tennis! 

The rain gauge over flowed as the tube holds 1". We had 1.75" and the goldfish pond overflowed. 

We have veggies! Not ripe yet, but you can see them growing. Cheery cherry tomatoes. With all our critters, this is the safest way to grow them. I water them daily, which is handy, as well.

The horse chestnut tree has finished blooming. Little chestnuts are forming. 
The Clematis looks amazing behind the deer fence.

This was a find, this plant. An Itoh Peony (Paeonia 'Bartzella' ). It was too hot beside the dark brown walls of the house. I transplanted it and it is thriving. I think I counted 9 buds!

They are tricky to photograph! They keel over with the weight of the large blooms. The plant has doubled in size since I moved it.

The pink peony blossoms after the more fragrant white:

The milkweed are more than knee-high, waiting for Monarchs. I either saw one, or spotted a Viceroy. Too far way to tell. Either way, we are ready. 

Heading down to the trailcam, it scurried up the tree in fright.

A sweet little sapling in the sun.

Fred continues to build a nest in the burrow.