Replanting Our Strawberry Bed This Year

round strawberryBack In 2008 when Jenny and I bought our home in Moncton I finally had the opportunity to start gardening with more than just potted plants. So I went out and bought my first strawberry plant. It was so tiny it was in a 4 inch pot.

That single strawberry plant filled half a 4×8 raised bed in the first year. I planted tomatoes in the other half. The second year the strawberries filled the bed and we had lots of gorgeous and tasty strawberries.

Fast Forward to Spring 2013

The old raised bed frame was rotting more each year and by 2013 it was time to replace it with a new frame. While I was building the new frame I decided to make it wider than the original raised bed so we could have even more strawberries.

strawberry patchLast fall I noticed there was a lot of grass growing up inside the bed so I dug up the entire bed and put all the dirt, grass and strawberry plants on a tarp and then cleaned up the bed. Even added some fresh compost in the bottom.

Jenny separated the strawberry plants and grass from the soil and I refilled the raised bed with the cleaned soil. Jenny then placed all the strawberry plants back on the bed and I planted them again.

Probably won’t get many strawberries this year although some of the plants are flowering but we have great hopes for next year’s harvest of strawberries.

Spring Has Sprung in New Brunswick

little blue flowersI don’t remember the last time we still had snow in our yard in May. For some it was a long hard winter in New Brunswick however it was the best winter I have had in many years and all because I now own a camera.

But… enough is enough so ‘Welcome Spring’ and winter I’ll see you just before Christmas.

crocus under pine treesI love how the snow melts away from a spot and within a few days something is sprouting like our Crocus. They don’t last long and even get buried in snow again but they scream that spring is pushing winter’s butt out the back door.

Every time I see something new I reach for my camera which is never far away and most of the time around my neck.

blue bells in springI stepped in the veggie garden trying to reach a stake from last year. Went right up over my ankles in an instance so I stepped back and will leave the garden for another week or two, I guess.

Continuing around the yard I noticed we have some lilac leaves that are almost completely open and will likely be open by the time I get this article completed and published.

fresh lilac leaves
Lilac Leaves Opening

autumn joy in spring

I almost missed Jenny’s Autumn Joys sprouting and walked right past them looking at something else I wanted to photograph but when I turned around to come back into the yard I saw these cute little green buds that will eventually turn a bright rusty red come Autumn.

Spring Has Sprung And My Coleus Is Looking Vibrant Again

bright coleusI love my coleus plant even when it’s kind of dull looking through those low light months of winter but when the sun hits us in the spring it only takes a few days to go from dull to vibrant again.

It is also the time of year that this coleus starts to grow. I can have one little coleus plant about 6 inches tall and it can produce enough growth that I will be able to plant dozens of coleus in our yard by the time the ground thaws and freezing nights stop.

coleus in raised bed
My Coleus Once I Put It Outdoors For The Summer

The coleus above is from the same little cutting you see in the top left image. They just get so dark once they have direct sunlight outdoors.

Last year I bought another coleus which is different from the ones above and I had a hard time getting any clippings to survive but I tried that last fall. Hopefully now that the spring sun is here I might be able to get some clippings to plant outdoors.

Winter In Our Backyard I’m Going For A Walk

phone line in the snowYes we did have a little snow already, our first snow of November 2014, but it disappeared really fast. Then on the 27th of November we had a real snow storm.

Things started out mild so there was a bit of slush before the snow started to accumulate which later made for some tricky ice under the snow. The streets were cleared before daybreak which made it easier to walk on the streets as the sidewalks weren’t cleared yet.

No school for the kids so they didn’t have to deal with the tough walking and bad drivers.

A lot of trees and branches like the ones in the image top left came down over night putting a many customers in New Brunswick out of power. We were blessed and no power problems.

I walked down to Crowley Farm road where I saw that wind flipped this baseball field dug out during the night. Fortunately it doesn’t look damaged and will likely be able to be flipped back over and secured a little better.

dug out

sleetBefore it was day light I went outside to get a few photos. Very windy and a lot of sleet in the snow which really stings the eyes.

Jenny looked and found me a pair of Steve’s snow goggles left behind when he moved out west for work and I was back outside again to get a few more photos. Big difference with the goggles on.

As soon as it started getting light the wind slowed down and shortly after sun up it was almost gone and turned into a great day for taking a walk through the neighbourhood to see what Thursday’s storm did to Moncton. I was dressed warm and able to stay out for more than 3 hours.

shadows on the marsh

It’s Beginning To Feel A Lot Like Christmas

snow covered rhododendronsThursday the 13th of November was just another autumn day with lots of leaves on the ground but Friday morning it was snowing just a little but before long we had a nice white layer of snow over pretty much everything.

At first glance out the bedroom window I thought it was fog as it was really light and the flakes just floated down giving the foggy feel in the dark. However when I got down stairs and put Honey the Pit Bull out I realized it was actually snow and not fog. How cool. I always like that first snow, especially if I don’t have to shovel it.

snowy chain link fence

It snowed most of the day but only got heavy a couple of times but most important it never got windy so the snow never became a hazard. The following morning there was some ice and the snow on the sidewalks was very crispy and crunchy. Plenty noisy walking before daybreak but so pretty.

sherrad street

It was still dark when I took this photo of Sherrard Ave near our house. I love this huge snow covered evergreen tree.

I used an editor to bring up the light in my photo so you could see it like I was seeing it. When ever we get a snow like this I walk down Sherrard to get a photo of this tree.

The nice thing about this time of the  morning is the fact there are pretty much no people or vehicles on the streets. I love the quiet serene feeling at 4 or 5 am.

rose leaves with snow

snow covered power linesWe have has such a nice autumn that we still have healthy green rose bushes and leaves for the snow to land on which always makes for good photos. Love the contrast between the bright green and white.

The snow did pile up on power and phone lines but wasn’t heavy enough to cause damage here in Moncton. It did look pretty cool with the street lights making the snow covered lines glow.

After the snow was finished a few maple trees decided to drop almost all their leaves making it look awesome.

maple tree yellow leaves

Remembrance Day – Lest We Forget

poppy rememberWith the way the world is going at the moment I have to say that I would not leave the safety of our borders here in Canada.

We are so blessed as a people to have the freedom we have which is because of the men and women who were and are ready, willing and able to defend our future.

I think I will finish experiencing life within our own borders as I am sure it will take the rest of my life just to see what we have here in Canada. So far I have only seen parts of Ontario, New Brunswick, PEI and Nova Scotia. Gotta head west to see our son in Saskatchewan.

Being raised in foster homes since I was 5 I have no knowledge of family who may have fought for our freedom other than my grandfather on the Mann side of the family. I got to meet him once but it was only for about an hour.

remembrance day

We Visited Shediac New Brunswick

breakfast at corasJenny and I put off the yard work for a couple of days and rented a car so we could drive around to check out the autumn colours. On our second day we paid a visit to the Shediac area.

I thought it would be nice to start our day with a breakfast at Cora’s restaurant as we don’t usually eat breakfast out.

We really enjoyed our Cora’s breakfast but we really could have just shared one breakfast as there was way too much to eat in just one sitting.

Then it was off to Shediac with stuffed bellies.

Lookout Shediac Here We Come

giant shediac lobsterIt turned out to be a rather rainy day but we didn’t le that stop us so our first stop was to say hello to the Shediac giant lobster and the captain.

Jenny has often wondered what the captain was looking at out there so she climbed up and looked for herself. Nothing but water so nobodies ship was coming in today.

Next to the giant lobster is a little tourist shop that had some nice buoys hanging from their walls which I thought looked really cool and I’m not even a tourist. I also liked the shingle siding on the shop.

tourist shoppe

Once we had a couple of photos and looked around we were back in the car and off to Pointe-Du-Chene wharf another spot I love to see every time we come to Shediac. Love the view and seeing people fish for mackerel.

While we were there we saw 6 people with fishing rods. We parked in the middle of the wharf and walked to the end of the wharf to our right then turned and walked to the opposite end just in time to see the only one with a fish all the way at the other end. He not only had a fish he landed 5 mackerel all on the same line. Holy Mackerel.

I have done a little mackerel fishing and have experienced the fun of catching multiple fish on the same line as well as everyone getting a line full at the exact same time. The wharf can get pretty load on days like that.

We walked down the road leading off the wharf so I could get a couple of photos even though everything was closed. Well there was a lady in a shop who was taking supplies out to the lobster fishing tour boat. When she saw me with my camera she opened up two big wooden doors in the front of her shop. She made my day.

local shoppe wharf

bouysFor as long as I have seen buoys I have wanted one or two so when the inside of those doors swung open I got the biggest smile on my face and then so did she. I looked around for a while and then bought a couple to bring home to my Mann Cave / office.

I got a few photos of the buoys on the doors as well and put my buoys around my neck on a rope and walked back to the car so we could head off to our next point of interest on a rainy autumn day.

It started to rain again so we drove around looking at the autumn colours for a while and when it stopped we were at Queen’s Wharf road which is the road we turn down to do some ice fishing in those chilly months. Sure looks different in the summer.

queen's wharf road

We drove further up the coast looking at all the autumn colours and then headed back to Moncton where we drove up Indian Mountain to see what Moncton looked like from that vantage point.

moncton from indian mountain

Unfortunately the clouds were only getting thicker, the wind stronger and harder rain so we didn’t stay up there long. Just long enough that I know I want to go back on a calm sunny day and again on a nice calm night.

Cleaning Up The Home Garden For 2014

red peppersWell everything in our vegetable garden has been picked. The last of my pepper plants have been picked clean and now on the windowsill turning bright red. I roasted some with the supper I made last night. So tasty.

Once I was done picking the last of the veggies I started pulling out plants for the compost bin and then I started turning over a section of garden that only had sunflowers in it and had not been tilled last spring.

I turned over two rows using the garden fork. It was fairly easy but then I hit a spot that was as solid as rock. When I hit that with my garden fork the shock wave went up my left leg and nearly brought me to tears. Now I can barely walk.

It is a little better today so I’m thinking I will be fine by the weekend but I won’t be doing any walking and taking photos for a few days.

last of the peppers

Beautiful October Sunrise in Moncton

I have been enjoying the 15 minute walk to a spot I can watch the sunrise. I spend about an hour from the time I leave home. Some days I turn around and walk back because the clouds beat the sun to the horizon.

Today was a day that looked like it was going to be one of those days. I started the day by getting a photo of the moon at just after 5am and the sky was clear. By the time I started for the sunrise at 7:28 it had started to cloud over from straight above me all the way to the west but the wind was really making them move.

By the time I reached the bridge I watch the sun come on from the clouds were almost to the east horizon. I could see the horizon turn red but the sun still had almost 10 minutes before it would make an appearance.

trees and red sky

I looked to the south where the Petitcodiac river is to see if it was foggy like it was yesterday when I was down there watching surfers on the tidal bore. I could see the bank of fog and it was lit up red like the sky. Very cool.

fog on the petit
Hard to see but there was a red glow all along the top of the fog which looked very cool.

By the time the sun peek over the trees the clouds were almost to the horizon as you can see in the photo below. It was beautiful even the sun was disappearing into the clouds after only a few minutes. Still so worth getting up for.sunrise over university

Veggie Gardening Is Over Let’s Go Shoot Something

antique wagon wheelOkay I don’t have a gun but I do have a few cameras and they love being taken out for a walk or maybe even get to go on a photography day trip to somewhere nice like the Kingston Photo Nature Park. So glad Brian Black of the Focus Camera Club Moncton invited me along.

I didn’t get much sleep Friday night as I was so excited as well as very nervous going somewhere with a bunch of strangers that are good photographers. So when Brian stopped by at 6:30 am I was a little tired but very wired.

Just the drive alone was breath taking with all the autumn colours everywhere I looked which of course made me very happy someone else was driving and I got to just admire all the scenery along the way to Kingston, New Brunswick.

My photo in the top left corner was the first photo I took once we arrived at our destination and was right at the driveway leading into Kingston Photo Nature Park and as much as I love wagon wheels it couldn’t have been a better thing to photograph. What a great start to the day.

Inside Kingston Photo Nature Park

ladybug kingston photo nature park

Brain parked the car in a nice grass open field which is so much better than a paved parking lot. We started walking to the house/office to sign up for any of the outings they were offering that day when I heard a lady’s voice say ‘ladybug’ and my attention automatically turned in that direction.

She was taking a photo or two of cute little orange ladybug on a dried flower head. I watched them for a minute and when they moved on I jumped right and to see if the ladybug was still there and she was so I got a couple of photos as well.

I then continued walking down from the parking field to the house. I saw the places that we could go outside the park but once I saw the map for the park I wasn’t about to go anywhere else. Maybe on a second visit but I felt there was so much for me to see here that I didn’t need to go elsewhere.

So Much To Photograph So Little Time

scarecrow and pumpkinI stood around and listened to what was going on and what was offered. My goodness they even offered a lunch but I had brought my own so I didn’t need that this time.

While I was listening for any info I might need to know I saw a bench next to the house with the not so scary scarecrow with a blanket and pumpkin. My attention now changed focus and I moved over to the scarecrow for a few photos while still listening a little bit.

I had been focused on the scarecrow with one ear listening to the group on the right of me next to the house so I completely missed the cute log cabin just to my left. I did come back down to the house a few times through the day and eventually saw it.

log cabin
Reminded Me of My Childhood

I lived in a log cabin in 1961 in the new foster home I was moved to. I only lived in the log cabin for just over a year as they were building a new home right next to it. The new home was nice but nothing like the adventure of living in a log cabin.

Once the group signups for off-site trips was done Brian and I headed up one of the trails. I was getting moss and tree shots while Brian headed for the bird watching station. I caught up with him later but next I headed to the antique cars sitting in a field near the bird feeding station and one of the ponds.

Old Aged Rusting Antique Cars

antique car

On the farm where I was placed at age 8 years old where some old cars that were just rusting away where no one would ever get to enjoy them like photographers do but I sure played around on the with my kid brother Johnny.

I think I spent more than an hour just taking photos of small sections of these cars and old farm equipment. So much fun and history in that field. So of the old farm equipment was the same stuff we used on our farm back in the 60s and it was already old back then.

birdfeederI see lot of birds at home but I did take the opportunity to sit for a while and enjoy a cookie and some water. I even took a few shots with one hand as I was stuffing my face.

Once I had quenched my thirst and enjoy a chocolate cookie or two I took a few photos of the old farm implements that were next to the antique cars and the small pond with the canoe and row boat.

At first there was no canoe in that pond but by the time I was done with the antique photos I noticed it was there just floating around in the breeze. Very cool sight.

canoe in pond
Drifting Canoe on Pond

Well that was not all I saw and photographed but that’s it for today. I will write another post a little later.

This was an opportunity I am so glad I didn’t turn down so I would like to say thanks to the owner and co-owner at Kingston Photo Nature park as well as all the kind, polite and happy volunteers that made our day so much fun. Again thanks to Brian Black and the Moncton Focus Camera Club for the invitation.