Tag Archives: flowers

Weekend Report

Above: close-up of a flowering tree on East Point Road, Saturna Island, BC. Roadside poetry…

What follows is a visual report of my weekend. It involved a little commute on the ferry, a little road trip on Vancouver Island, and a little excursion to Winter Cove park on Saturna Island.

From the back of the ferry, fog between Saturna and Pender Islands, BC. Photo by Andrée Fredette

On Friday morning, we left on the mid-morning ferry and I got to admire the fog that was caught between islands, hanging on before the sun could do its thing and burn it out…

Islet in the fog, Southern Gulf Islands, BC. Photo by Andrée Fredette

This is the cute islet that lies just off North Pender Island. I don’t know its name, but it stands out in a lovely silhouette, against a fog backdrop.

While on Vancouver Island, I got to admire the greenery in bloom, including this tall Oregon grape…

Tall Oregon grape, in bloom. Photo by Andrée Fredette

And while walking in a meadow, I caught a glance of a hawk overhead. I was a little slow on the photo op, and got him a little bit “fuzzy”.

 

Hawk overhead

Patrolling the fields for mice and other goodies, no doubt.

Back on Saturna after a pleasant road trip and a return ferry commute, we all headed to the pub for sundown.

Pub sundown, Saturna Island, BC. Photo by Andrée Fredette

The sky and water had a dramatic moment…

Sunset on April 2nd, from the Pub on Saturna. Photo by Andrée Fredette

You have to keep a watch on the sky and water, at sunset. It pays off handsomely.

 

And this morning, I headed to Winter Cove with a friend, and looked for spring wildflowers.

Fawn Lily season at the Cove. Photo by Andrée Fredette

We were rewarded. Lots of Fawn lilies (Erythronium oregonum) and what looks like soon-to-open chocolate lilies (maybe).

 

Fawn lily single. Photo by Andrée Fredette

There is always one that stands out. This was the pinky one:

 

Fawn lily with a pink shading. Photo by Andrée Fredette

There were masses of them, right up to the edge of the rocky shore.

Fawn lilies by the ocean. Photo by Andrée Fredette

And there were also daisies here and there.

Daisy at Winter Cove. Photo by Andrée Fredette

At the water’s edge, a solitary heron was watching the shallows.

Heron silhouette. Photo by Andrée Fredette

It is good to get out and breathe some fresh air.

Spring flowers on Saturna

Above: today’s header photo is a budding Fawn lily (Erythronium oregonum), a sweet sign of spring if there ever was one!

 

First day of spring, and here is a report of the flowers that are starting to appear on this shore.

Salmonberry blossom (Rubus spectabilis). Photo by Andrée Fredette

Took a walk at Winter Cove, an area that is part of the Gulf Islands National Park Reserve (there’s a mouthful) and pointed my camera at assorted blossoms. Above: salmonberry (Rubus spectabilis), looking a tad bedraggled after an iffy late winter.


Oregon grape in bloom (Mahonia aquifolium). Photo by Andrée Fredette
And this warm golden yellow is a gift of the Oregon grape (Mahonia oregonum), which was blooming on a bluff, out of the reach of our ravenous black-tailed deer…



Flowering currant (Ribes sanguineum), spring blossoms on Saturna Island, BC. Photo by Andrée Fredette

Above: the assertive pink flash of Flowering currant (Ribes sanguineum), another sure sign of spring on this island.

Fawn lily (Erythronium oregonum), a spring wildflower on Saturna Island, BC. Photo by Andrée Fredette

Above: another shot of a Fawn lily (Erythronium oregonum), starting to open up.



And if you wonder about the setting, here is a shot of the salt pond by Winter Cove.
Winter Cove, Saturna Island, BC. Photo by Andrée Fredette

On the right, above, you can spot a weed – Scotch broom (Cytisus scoparius) – that is incredibly invasive. It’s the tall thing bearing yellow blooms.

At my house, I keep pulling seedlings out of the yard, the neighbourhood paths and meadows… But it is a losing battle. The park is losing the broom battle, and the weed keeps marching forward, taking over. More info on this link.


Scotch broom (Cytisus scoparius), invasive plant in bloom, Saturna Island, BC. Photo by Andrée Fredette


Scotch broom blooms in the spring, and its blossoms redeem it somewhat…


Scotch broom (Cytisus scoparius) in bloom, March, Saturna Island, BC. Photo by Andrée Fredette
And finally, because my garden is also offering interesting yellows of a more tame variety…

Spruge (Euphorbia). Photo by Andrée Fredette

Spurge (Euphorbia), starting to get its alien-like flowers into position.
And the stars of my spring garden:

Daffodils. Photo by Andrée Fredette

 

 

Flowers, intimately – Photo Wednesday

Above photo: winter clematis in bloom. A real winter treat. Scented too!

Today’s garden visit is an intimate one. Up close and personal.

Meet crocus.

Crocus blossom. Photo by Andrée Fredette

Should you need to get closer, I am glad to oblige.

Crocus stigma. Photo by Andrée Fredette

That is the stigma. I had to look it up.

 

Crocus with visitor. Photo by Andrée Fredette

And the bees are out… in February. This is certainly a mild winter!

 

Bee on Winter Heather. Photo by Andrée Fredette

Time to get out in the garden and do some weeding. And enjoy the buzzing activity.

My garden in January – Photo Wednesday

Header photo above: rosemary plant in bloom, in January.

Right now, it is raining. It has been raining for two days, pretty steadily. But I don’t mind, because it is definitely better than shoveling snow, like back East.

Before the rain, three days ago, I checked out all the things that need to be done in my garden.  A lot of work awaits me. This post, however, is a visual report of what I found (not the jobs, just the beauty, life, and colours!)…

 

Pacific Calendula in bloom, January 2016 on Saturna Island, BC. Photo by Andrée Fredette

First, the orange flash is a self-seeded Calendula (Pot Marigold), one of the great-grand-children of the original Pacific Beauty seed packet I purchased years ago. Very hardy plant, that one. It keeps giving back all through the winter (I have even found blooms under a blanket of snow, one particular winter!).

 

Chestnut-backed Chickadee, Saturna Island, BC. Photo by Andrée Fredette

Among the jobs: replenishing the bird feeders (there are 8…). This Chestnut-backed chickadee (Poecile rufescens … had to look it up) and friends really enjoy sunflower seeds.

 

Snowdrop (Galanthus) abloom, January 1st, on Saturna Island, BC. Photo by Andrée Fredette

Naturally, it wouldn’t be winter in the Southern Gulf Islands without a batch of Snowdrops (Galanthus nivalis) blossoming in the lawn, between the rocks and even in the gravel driveway…

 

Red-breasted Nuthatch on Saturna Island, BC. Photo by Andrée Fredette

One of my feeders is known as the “party feeder”: it offers assorted nuts, including cashews (they must be the industrial rejects of packaging plants for human party mix, I tell myself). All manner of woodpeckers, chickadees and nuthatches are regular visitors of the party feeder. Above: a Red-breasted Nuthatch (Sitta canadensis), one of a gang of very lively and argumentative little birds.

 

Crocus popping up, January 2016, on Saturna Island, BC. Photo by Andrée Fredette

And elsewhere, the first few Crocus are starting to come out, a little timidly, but all the rain is going to encourage them to blossom. And the weather is still decidedly above 5 degrees Celsius… so…

 

Winter heather, January in a Saturna Garden, BC. Photo by Andrée Fredette

The winter flowering heathers are also coming into bloom. Above, a close-up, with a little filter play to  make it more “painterly”…

 

Rosemary in bloom, January 2016 on Saturna Island, BC. Photo by Andrée Fredette

This is a close-up of one of the larger rosemary plants in bloom – right now – on Saturna Island. The first winter after we moved here, ten years ago, I was amazed at this show of bright blue in the winter garden (it was a very large and old plant, about three feet wide and high, and covered in blossoms).

And finally, a reminder to all Gulf Islanders, and people on Vancouver Island as well: don’t forget the Anna’s Hummingbirds (Calypte anna), who are spending the winter in the area. One of them flew by my kitchen window, paused and looked me straight in the eye. Almost saying: “Hey, you forgot to refill the feeder!”…

 

Anna's Hummingbird male, January, Saturna Island, BC. Photo by Andrée Fredette

No worries, my friend. Fresh mix of sugar water replenished!

And below, I found a video from the Cornell Lab of Ornithology that illustrates how a seemingly all-green Anna’s Hummingbird male can just turn his head, and flash you an extraordinary brilliant red colour!

 

The marvels of iridescence…

Late Bloomers in the September Garden – Photo Wednesday

Here we are, mid-September, and the garden has cooled considerably. A few days of rain about a week ago interrupted a three-month drought in the Southern Gulf Islands. The soil is still not moist enough, but mosses are reviving.

Meantime, in my garden and on the deck, a few plants are joyfully blooming… a last hurrah.
Bougainvillea on the deck. Photo by Andrée Fredette

Above, the bougainvillea that “pouted” all summer long, after a serious clipping back, is now in full glory. That is a close-up of the blooms (the little white flowers) and bracts (the flashy fuchsia/purple “wings”). This plant livens up a corner of the deck… but should come back into the greenhouse in a couple of weeks or so.

 

Succulent Bloom in September. Photo by Andrée Fredette

This is one of my succulents’ bloom. It is an Echeveria, I am not sure which one, though. After a summer on the deck, it is finally blooming.  It also will have to return indoors in a couple of weeks, because it doesn’t like really wet soil.

 

Salvia Blue Angel. Photo by Andrée Fredette

True blue, that is my name for this Salvia “Blue Angel”.  That shade of blue is very noticeable as you walk to the front door. Took all summer, but is finally blooming its little heart out!

 

Hardy Cyclamen. Photo by Andrée Fredette

And above, a hardy Cyclamen. The previous owners of this house planted some bulbs 30+ years ago, and I never saw these little flowers until we installed a deer fence three years ago. Now, I spot these little angel wings all over the front yard! Very elegant little flowers.

Here is a close-up:

Hardy Cyclamen (Cyclamen hederifolium). Photo by Andrée Fredette