Tuesday, May 24, 2011

The Elm named Mel

Today's word of the day is samara (SAM-uh-ruh noun : a dry indehiscent usually one-seeded winged fruit (as of an ash or elm tree)). We have an elm seedling growing in the flower bed. I'm not sure where the samara has come from as we have no elms around that I can see. However there must be one somewhere as there were a few small ones growing along the fence line when we built the house. Of course, since they are elms, they only lived about 12-14 years before they gave into to whatever it is that kills them. We are wondering what to do with the seedling in the flower bed (let's call him Mel) but one thing for sure, Mel goes somewhere we don't mind loosing a tree in a few years - just when he gets big enough to provide shade and nesting sites.

20110524_garden_001One of the dead elms along the fence is between the house and the pond. Since it provides a good spot for the kingfisher to hunt for fish, as well as a favourite perch for all the other birds in the area, we haven't cut it down. Hopefully it takes another few years to finish rotting... The place is thick with birds right now, I need to bring in my bird identification book so that I can figure out what some of them are. We have grackles, robins, barn swallows, tree swallows, gold finches, cowbirds, Baltimore orioles, tons of various sparrows and finches, mourning doves, cardinals, a brownish red bird with a long tail, a dark grey bird with a white slash at the end of its tail, woodpeckers, kingfishers, red-wing blackbirds (tons of theses)...

We went out with neighbours last night - it is always good to keep in touch (so much for the diet though - wildly broken with fries and a hamburger). The funny thing is we didn't meet them until years and years after we moved in (okay - 4 years), but when we were all out of power cause of the ice storm of 1998 (no electricity for 9 days in the dead of winter) we got together. Adversity does bring people together.

20110523_garden_005My pleasures today: lovely sunny morning ; having the house to myself for a few hours while Carm was at the golf course with his buddies ; lilacs ; making snacks for Carm’s golfing buddies – I had a loaf of Moroccan bread in the freezer, goat cheese that I mixed with lemon thyme and walnut oil, and smoked salmon from the freezer ; did I mention the lilacs? ; not the mosquitos though… they were out in droves.

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20110524_spike_002Spike asleep after the camping weekend. He had actually pulled that cushion up from the seat of the sofa! All the dogs were exhausted today.