Author Topic: Land of Fire and Ice  (Read 399 times)

Offline Diane CBPFC

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Land of Fire and Ice
« on: June 13, 2024, 06:25:49 PM »
The last two years I about this time I was moaning to you guys about the smoke, forest fires and evacuation of our closest town and farms up to 300M from us. It was a couple of weeks with photos bunged in suitcases and ready to leave at any time, but at the same time a super early head start on the garden - even lilacs bloomed 3-4 weeks early.

This season started off with drought warnings but we have had some nice damp days and cool temps - we can breathe this year but the garden is suffering - frost damage to tomatoes, marigolds and dahlias for example. We have three upcoming cold nights forecast so I am going through my bags of recycling and grabbing the 4L milk jugs, cutting off the bottoms and making mini-greenhouses for my (very small) tomatoes.

I would much rather freeze than not be able to breathe with smoke, so no complaints this year. 

That's what I've been up to this month - my perennial beds are very limited with what plants can handle -50C but are starting to look really good. I was never able to have nice beds when we had chickens so am really enjoying watching things change almost daily. New for me this year is a plan afoot to feed hummingbirds, I was always put off doing it because of how clean you have to keep the feeders but I figure I can do that now. 

What spring activities are you all doing?
People will come from strange lands to hear me speak my words of wisdom. They will ask me the secret of life and I will tell them. Then maybe I'll finish off with a song. The Nomad

Offline Roger Kettle

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Re: Land of Fire and Ice
« Reply #1 on: June 14, 2024, 09:36:52 AM »
Well, my summer activity is trying to keep warm. With the longest day only a week away, the temperature has been hovering around the 12 degree mark. As for the rain, it's safe to say that drought warnings are not on the horizon. At least, my walking, talking two year old granddaughter is loving her new wellies and the lure of puddles.

Offline Tarquin Thunderthighs lll

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Re: Land of Fire and Ice
« Reply #2 on: June 14, 2024, 12:01:08 PM »
I've spent the past four weeks coping with my withdrawal symptoms brought on by the trauma of the football season ending, by binge-watching 'Welcome To Wrexham' on Disney+. Tonight Scotland kick-starts the Euro Finals in the opening match against the hosts, Germany (I can't lose - I'm half German... but MON SCO'LAND!).

I'll see you on the other side... of Wimbledon. :D
I apologise, in advance.

Offline Diane CBPFC

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Re: Land of Fire and Ice
« Reply #3 on: June 14, 2024, 05:40:06 PM »
We have a big sports event going here too The Edmonton Oilers made the Stanly Cup - all sorts of Oilers fan outfits in my FB feed - I really don't care about that sort of thing at all. The only sports I like watching were when my own kids were playing and even then I was often talking to people and missing goals.

I do love new wellies though :-) And puddles.
People will come from strange lands to hear me speak my words of wisdom. They will ask me the secret of life and I will tell them. Then maybe I'll finish off with a song. The Nomad

Offline Tarquin Thunderthighs lll

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Re: Land of Fire and Ice
« Reply #4 on: June 15, 2024, 11:49:55 AM »
Good luck to the Oilers!

I started skating when I was seven years old, and the best present I ever received was a brand new pair of maroon and yellow hockey skates on (I think) my 9th birthday. We were pretty poor back then, but somehow my mother managed to scrape together the money to buy them. Last thing I expected when I opened that box - still brings a tear to my eye more than half a century on. I always wanted to play ice hockey, but although Perth used to have a very good team (Perth Panthers), they folded a couple of years before I was born, and the local ice rink turned its focus to curling and figure skating, so no viable opportunities for me to play hockey back then, alas. I still went to skating sessions every opportunity I got throughout my early year though, until fatherhood and self-employment eventually put a complete stop to having selfish fun. :D

Unexpectedly, decades later, I was literally gifted the opportunity to fulfill a boyhood dream whilst on holiday in Sweden just before Covid forced everyone to suspend life. My holiday apartment overlooked a huge frozen lake, with people walking (and some even cycling) across it every day. There were even a few cars parked on it at the edges. I'm sure you are very familiar with the kind of temperatures that allowed such things, Diane, and no doubt far lower, but this was new to me. I can recall the River Tay in my home town icing over once in my life, but not thick enough to risk walking on, never mind driving. I had always wanted to skate outdoors on a river or a loch, but never got the chance.

Then, on the last full day of the holiday, we took a walk further along the lakeside than we'd been so far, and discovered a skate hire shop... and that 'now or never' thing took hold. To my astonishment and delight, the very cheerful staff informed me it was all free, and even found beautiful leather hockey skates for me to wear rather than those nasty plastic figure skates they hire out in Scottish ice rinks. We had a lovely wee chat about my Bucket List dream before they wished me luck as I set off for the ice with my skates on with thoughts of gliding at graceful speed around the miles of frozen ice all around me.

Sadly, it didn't go as well as I'd dreamt. My first fall occurred about a minute later, before I could attain any speed at all worth mentioning. And my second, about 30 seconds after the first, once I'd picked myself up, this time with the back of my thankfully-thick skull thudding against the ice, threatening everyone on it. And this time, I was helped to my feet by a fellow kindly skater - a tiny Swedish lady who didn't look a day over 80. I immediately conceded defeat. Some things were just never meant to be, and all I remember of the very slow and tentative journey of shame back to the hire shop to collect my shoes was the phrase "No fool like an old fool" skating repeatedly through my head. The guys in the shop were brilliant, and showed genuine sympathy with not a hint of suppressed laughter. I consoled myself with the thought I was almost certainly only one of many old fools who had taken to the ice over the years. It was worth a try.

As for last night's football - it was an excellent night for my German half. :(
I apologise, in advance.

Offline Diane CBPFC

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Re: Land of Fire and Ice
« Reply #5 on: June 15, 2024, 04:55:42 PM »
That was a lovely story Tarqs, sorry that you didn't glide like a swan at the end of it.

People will come from strange lands to hear me speak my words of wisdom. They will ask me the secret of life and I will tell them. Then maybe I'll finish off with a song. The Nomad

Offline Roger Kettle

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Re: Land of Fire and Ice
« Reply #6 on: June 16, 2024, 09:48:50 AM »
Yes, great stuff, Tarqs. Sadly, I don't have a German side to turn to for consolation.

Offline Diane CBPFC

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Re: Land of Fire and Ice
« Reply #7 on: June 18, 2024, 03:49:02 PM »
The frost did get my potatoes, zucchinis, pumpkins and summer squash.  The potatoes will recover not sure about the other things with still two more nights of cold to go.

Glad that I have other hobbies and that we can actually buy veggies cheaper at the store than growing them ourselves. Thinking of the early pioneers who had to fill up jars of produce to survive the next winter and glad I am not one of those. 


People will come from strange lands to hear me speak my words of wisdom. They will ask me the secret of life and I will tell them. Then maybe I'll finish off with a song. The Nomad

Offline Tarquin Thunderthighs lll

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Re: Land of Fire and Ice
« Reply #8 on: June 19, 2024, 02:46:14 PM »
And yet, I often imagine you as a pioneer, Diane… whether hearing tales of the dangers of extreme temperatures, or mooses and bears invading your homeland, I think that pioneer spirit sounds essential.

And a Davy Crockett hat. Please tell me you wear a Davy Crockett hat.
I apologise, in advance.

Offline Diane CBPFC

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Re: Land of Fire and Ice
« Reply #9 on: June 21, 2024, 03:55:35 PM »
I do have a special hat for the garden, maybe a little wider in the brim than hers, but I call it my "Vera" hat. Perfect hat, keeps out the UV, has a string for when its windy, and can be thrown in the washing machine which is needed quite often even though it is dark green.

Last night I didn't need to cover things up. I am really happy with how things are coming along, my visiting son said it is the best it has ever looked.  There is some damage so I am waiting to see what survives.

I have some tiny poppy seedling started that I am hoping to have grow and make pods by the end of the season - fancy types I bought online such as blue and pepperbox. It is much better to buy big plants at the greenhouse the first year but the choice of colours is limited.   

Anyway I am back in the garden.  Haven't attracted a hummingbird yet.
People will come from strange lands to hear me speak my words of wisdom. They will ask me the secret of life and I will tell them. Then maybe I'll finish off with a song. The Nomad

Offline Diane CBPFC

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Re: Land of Fire and Ice
« Reply #10 on: July 09, 2024, 02:45:41 AM »
test to see if I can post
People will come from strange lands to hear me speak my words of wisdom. They will ask me the secret of life and I will tell them. Then maybe I'll finish off with a song. The Nomad

Offline Diane CBPFC

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Re: Land of Fire and Ice
« Reply #11 on: July 09, 2024, 02:47:55 AM »
I tried to start a new post with a story and photo of a beaver in my garden, is that perhaps on the banned words list as I can't post as a new topic.
People will come from strange lands to hear me speak my words of wisdom. They will ask me the secret of life and I will tell them. Then maybe I'll finish off with a song. The Nomad

Offline Roger Kettle

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Re: Land of Fire and Ice
« Reply #12 on: July 09, 2024, 09:55:33 AM »
Amazing little creatures. I read somewhere that they can build lodges that are up to 700 yards in length. Incredible.

Offline Tarquin Thunderthighs lll

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Re: Land of Fire and Ice
« Reply #13 on: July 09, 2024, 12:09:54 PM »
Glad to see that "lodges" isn't on any banned list, Roger.

Love be*vers, but since they've returned to the banks of the Tay in Perth, many of the trees along the riverside are far from happy.
I apologise, in advance.

Offline Diane CBPFC

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Re: Land of Fire and Ice
« Reply #14 on: July 09, 2024, 04:38:42 PM »
Well this one was grumpy - splashed its tail at me twice. The trouble was it was in the exact spot near the bridge that I throw in my water pump to water the garden. Can't leave the pump in the pond as the electric wire has be chewed by the beavers several times now.

I didn't fancy those sharp teeth taking a bite of my leg so left my poppy transplants to do their best. We had both a heat and smoke warning here yesterday 32C

My garden is looking ever so lovely this year. The interesting things so far this year are peas that I grew in tomato cages and a fluffy ginger plant that grew from sprouted ginger from in my son's fridge lol   

And the Icelandic poppies that I grew from seed last year. 
People will come from strange lands to hear me speak my words of wisdom. They will ask me the secret of life and I will tell them. Then maybe I'll finish off with a song. The Nomad