Thursday, June 27, 2013

More Raspberries

Since the raspberry season started about a week ago, it has been raining on and off, and I haven't been out much to pick more.  So today when it cleared and I went out, I was sad to see many berries have already gone mouldy.  But the ones which hadn't sure made it worth my while :
It's interesting that this year, the red berries seem to have overtaken the golden ones.  I'm pretty sure last year, the golden berries were a higher proportion than they are this year.  But then again, maybe I'm thinking of the fall crop, in which the golden berries are very large and sweet (see this post from Sept 2011).

I had a little adventure in the raspberry patch last week, a couple days after my first raspberry post.  I was going to pick some berries, and discovered a wasp nest in the branches.  It was already a couple inches across.  I am a "live and let live" person as much as possible, but that would not end well for everyone involved.  

At first, I tried just cutting the 3 branches which it was suspended from, in hope that it would fall to the ground, and the wasps would abandon it.  But when I clipped the branches (3 black wasps flew out as I was clipping it!), it fell a bit and got suspended in some other branches.  Then I decided to shower it with water, to discourage the wasps, but that didn't seem to work.  They seemed a bit agitated, but continued to fly in and out of the nest.  So finally I realized that I could blast it hard with the water, and break the nest apart.  Hopefully that is the end of that, and the wasps pick a much more suitable location for their next nest.  I will need to be vigilant, in case they try to rebuild there.

Friday, June 21, 2013

Start of Raspberry Season

I was reminded by Google, that it is the first day of summer.  This was their cute Google logo today to celebrate the occasion :

For my garden, it was also an important event : first day of raspberry season.  It has been a bit rainy, and I haven't gone out to check them the past couple of days, so I was pleased that there was quite a few ripe berries waiting for me when I went out today :

Happy gardening & harvesting, everyone!

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

My Little Hummingbird Companion

This year I have been blessed with a little hummingbird who sits (yes, sits!) in the tree between our yard and the neighbour's yard, and sings and sings.  He / she has quite noticeably staked out the territory around and including my yard since about February or so.  Occasionally he / she changes from that favourite perch location, to other trees in my yard, or just outside the fence.

I have been surprised at how much time this little guy / gal spends sitting, singing.  Occasionally buzzing from place to place, and less occasionally chasing another hummingbird.  But then it returns to sit and sing.  I wish I had a video.  But I did take some very poor photos, of its favourite location, as viewed from our patio (and nearby kitchen window) :
See that little dark dot in the top left part of that Albizia julibrissin (Mimosa or Silk tree)?  Here's a closeup :
I'm not sure if its a Rufous or a Ruby-throated hummingbird, but I don't see the bright red throat which would indicate a male, so it seems it may be a female.  But I haven't paid much attention, and haven't tried to get close enough to view it better. 

In previous years, I tried and got some reasonably good photos - see these posts back in 2008 and 2009 - but this year I haven't tried.  Mostly I enjoy listening to it more than looking at it, while I am out toiling in my garden. It is a great little companion for me.
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