Morning

My husband is a morning person. He says views like this are part of what makes it so great.

I admire the view, to be sure, but if I had to choose between doing my morning rounds really early and getting shots like this, and bed, I’d choose bed. LOL

The Re-Farmer

Iced

This past Sunday, the weather was mild enough that I was able to spend some time on the beach.

It was really fascinating.

The sand was frozen solid, but you could see the effects of water and ice. One dramatic visual was at the outflow for storm drains.

At the time I was there, the tide was still going out. There was ample evidence of how high it had gotten.

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Photo(s) of the Day: what’s going on here?

When topping up the bird bath with warm water, I could see where the cats had licked a hole though the ice on the surface to get at the water below. The hole got bigger when warm water was added to it. Potato Beetle was absolutely fascinated by it. He kept prowling around it. Water and bubbles must have been sloshing on one side as he did, because he kept going from the hole, so a spot beside it. Eventually, he started dipping his entire leg through the hole, causing something to to move on the side, which would catch is attention. Back and forth he kept going!

It was quite entertaining. ๐Ÿ˜€

Photo(s) of the Day: water cats

Before things started to stay below freezing, I was able to give the bird bath a thorough scrubbing and add a bit of water. Which froze overnight, so I added more in the morning.

The cats just can’t get enough of that. Here, the top layer has frozen, so there are bubbles moving underneath that entrance them, but even while the water is freshly added, they’ll jump into it, getting their paws all wet!

Silly kitties.

They’re going to have to stop doing that soon, or they’ll get frostbite!

Water

As the weather has gotten colder, seasonal changes are happening to our morning routine. With the outside taps now closed for the winter, and water starting to freeze, we are back to bringing out a pitcher of warm water to refill the cat bowls outside.

With the bird bath now moved next to the bird feeder (which I was able to give a good scrub down before winter – after knocking the ice out!), adding warm water to there is now part of the routine. Who knows. Even the deer might be able to use it over the winter. It doesn’t hold a lot of water, but we can refill it as needed.

This morning, the cats were wildly curious about what I was doing at the feeding station, and I had cats jumping up into the bird bath before I could finish emptying the pitcher!

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Bonus pictures: a pebble’s eye view

I was in town this morning, and had the chance to visit the beach. Since I was last there, the town has pushed all the rocks and pebbles that the storm had pushed across the entry onto the main dock back onto the beach.

The beach is still very changed in this area, from before the storm. Much of the organic debris has been washed away, but the big rocks next to the dock itself are completely covered with sand. There is no sign that they are there at all!

With every tide, a new sand ridge is created in the area, though.

Where I took this photo, the ridge was probably about 8 inches high.

New layers of pebbles are slowly being washed back onto the water’s edge. So many colours and textures! I just love it. ๐Ÿ™‚

The Re-Farmer

Pretty… and deadly?

Okay, so I’ve managed to upload enough pictures to complete a few posts – if not in the way I originally planned! There are power outages in the area due to the storm so I figured, if I’m going to do it, do it now!

A few days back, I was able to get some really interesting photos around the yard. Especially images of various mushrooms that have been growing.

I must say, it feels strange to be posting this on a day when the ground is now covered in heavy snow!

This patch caught my eye because of the way it frames the drip line of the spruce tree nearby.

This patch is an odd one. It’s the only area where there are SO MANY all in one area. At first, I thought maybe the wood chips we used as mulch may have contributed, but the other areas using the same mulch do not have this.

Unfortunately, the haskap bush (female) in the first photo, which had been doing so well all summer, suddenly seems to have died. You can barely even see it in the photo, among the stems of the flowers. I find myself wondering if the mushrooms might have contributed to its demise. The other haskap (male) seems to be okay, though it does not have as many mushrooms growing beside it.

Next spring, I’ll have to pick up at least one female haskap transplant. Or more. With this one dying, it means there’s no chance of having berries next year. ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

While going around the yard, I spotted the tiniest of splashes of colour on an old tree stump I uncovered while clearing the old wood pile. The next day was our one hot day, and that seems to have damaged them, so I’m glad to have gotten a few photos. I’ve never seen anything like them before!

I had company while I was walking around the yard, taking pictures. I had to laugh when, once again, as I tried to get photos of this particular mushroom, I had a cat jump up and interrupt. LOL

I’ve been going a bit of research, and it seems that these tree mushrooms that are growing on the maples may be oyster mushrooms. Which means they are edible!

We won’t be taking any chances, though, but it was interesting to read about.

These ones I found, pushing their way through the leaves, looked really interesting!

I found these interesting, too. With all the rain, there has been a notable increase of growth on the trees themselves.

The lichen, I’m used to seeing. Finding new moss establishing itself among the lichen was cool. Little baby mosses! ๐Ÿ™‚

Then I noticed one of the trees I was taking pictures of, has a big crack in it! Something to watch out for when we have high winds, such as today.

While doing my research on what sorts of fungi were growing on our trees, I made a discovery.

The photo on the left is on the stump of an apple tree my sister had pruned back before we moved out here. The tree had some growth that first summer, but it did not survive the winter. Recently, we spotted the fascinating fungal grown on it. The purple makes it really stand out.

It turns out to be something called Chondrostereum purpureum.

And it’s a disease. Silver leaf disease, so be exact.

How to get rid of it

Many plants will recover naturally from an attack of silver leaf, so itโ€™s best to wait some time after youโ€™ve noticed the silvering before you take action. If branches start to die back as a result of the disease they should be pruned back beyond the spread of the brown colouration, to the next adjoining stem.

Where the entire plant is infected, or silvering starts to appear on suckers growing from the roots/rootstock, then it is infected throughout and should be removed (roots and all) and destroyed (burned). This should be done before September to prevent the spores developing and spreading to other plants. Donโ€™t leave the wood lying around as this may become a source of infection for other plants.

Is it good for anything?!

No.

Wow. Okay.

Actually, I did find that there is a use for it. It’s used to deliberately infect problem trees to get rid of them.

So I went back and looked at the other trees, and found some growing on the remains of a crabapple tree that had already been cut to ground level.

We weren’t able to go anything about it before the storm hit. Hopefully, it won’t infect the other trees. At least we now know about it, and what to do – or not do – to deal with it.

Once this storm is passed, we’re supposed to actually warm up a bit; the snow on the ground will likely not last. Here’s hoping! We still have quite a lot to do outside before winter hits!

The Re-Farmer

Mystery critter: what are you?

It’s been another very wet day today (I’ve read that, last month, we got triple the average amount of rain for our region; it doesn’t seem to be letting up this month, yet). We did manage to get a dump run in. Because of when it closes on Saturdays, and when my younger daughter gets off work, we left it to near closing time, then just continued on to town. After running some errands, we had time enough to hit the beach and look for interesting things.

Along with fascinating bones and interesting rocks, we found a tiny surprise.

What follows are pictures of a dead creature, so for those who don’t like seeing that, I’ll post it after the jump.

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Newcomer

We just got visited by a new cat today, outside our living room window, so of course we went a little overboard with the pictures! ๐Ÿ˜€

My daughter spotted him and got the first few photos through the lilac bushes.

He was lurking where we leave food for Junk Pile kitten still, even though he now regularly goes to the house, and even into the sun room, for food. Because I usually have 3 or 4 cats following me as I put food out, I spread it out, including on this log I brought over for a seat. I don’t know how much food was left around there, but it looks like our visitor found at least a little to eat!

The number of cats lurking around the house has dropped quite a bit over the last while. Of the visiting toms, only Nicky the Nose has been showing up once in a while, and he quickly leaves. I haven’t seen Slick or Not-Slick in a month or two. Even of our own adult cats, most seem to have moved on; I haven’t seen Guildenstern, Jim, Bob or Rolando Moon in a long time. Rosencrantz comes by, but not often; Beep Beep and Butterscotch both tend to chase her off! Doom Guy is the only adult male still hanging around, and he hasn’t been well. We did get medication for him and he has gotten better, but he still prefers to spend most of his time in the sun room or near the house.

We shall see who starts showing up again in the winter, when food and shelter will be more reliable.

We will be keeping an eye out for our newcomer, too!

The Re-Farmer