Sunday, March 25, 2012

All about the Island

 This is an older photo.  I processed this in Camera Raw and a few other things.  I like the way it has turned out.  I shall load it to my Megashot account for the Butterflies are Free community.
 Last week end, on Sunday, we were up to Nanoose Bay for a meeting of the Antique Chapter of the VCCC.  We picked up Vancouverites at the ferry so I had the opportunity to get this photo of this Long Tall Sally hydrant for my series of hydrants on my old web page.  I am getting quite a large collection of them.  I have not managed to get anything done on the page in 2011, but am slowly working on the Gardening page. 
 This is a panorama from my little Sony, of Nanoose Bay from the back garden of the people who hosted our Antique group for a garage tour after the meeting.  What a marvelous location for their new home. 
 This is a shot of the murial on the side of a building that backs on to  the Capital Iron parking lot.  JB will be using this photo, no doubt.  hey!  is that copy right infringement?  ;-}}
This photo is from the stormy day we had in February when the birds were going crazy on the feeder.  There was every kind of bird trying to feed at the same time.  I have not seen so many, since then.  Our hummingbirds seem to have vanished.  Perhaps they are nesting. 

We have had some very "March-like" weather.  Despite light frosts over night some days have been so warm and just about perfect.  More and more of the spring bulbs and perennials are in bloom.  The garden is looking good.  The grass might need a bit of a trim.  The rhubarb is up and the swiss chard that was out as a winter vegetable should be ready for eating in a couple or three weeks.

My new orchids seem to have survived the transplant and are doing fine.  The masd. dark star was in bud when bought has opened .. nothing spectacular... it seems to be a muddy wine color, but an interesting shaped flower... photos later, maybe.  The potted on orange trees might survive, after the loss of a few leaves.  One of them in particular has lost quite a few leaves and is sprouting new little leaves.  So, maybe they will all survive.  Hopefully, I will have some producing fruit in a few years. 

My site meter reader has informed me that I have had an average of 76 hits per day over last week, on this blog.  That's a bit of an ego booster.  At the time of typing this post, I had 90 hits today!  Well, I do have to blow my own horn. 

I am reading a very old book about Elizabeth I that was written by a Scottish history professor (if I remember correctly) and was written 40 years ago.  'Tis the year for it.  Elizabeth II is having a diamond jubilee this year - 60 years.  While shopping at Zellers last week I picked up 3 books on sale at less than half price.  This should keep in reading material for awhile.  One is a Phillipa Gregory book, but not her newest.. about Jacquetta Rivers, the mother of another Elizabeth who was queen when she married Edward IV.  Now this is a character to rival Eleanor of Aquitaine.

I am packed and ready for our trip to China!  I was dreading this trip, but now that I have read over the information about the weather, what to pack, what to see etc... I am getting quite excited about the trip.  We have a house sitter, have almost all of the renovation to the suite finished and are ready to go! Let's hope the Vancouver Air Canada workers don't have to go out on wildcat strike again.  They were legislated back to work and are breaking the law by these 'long coffee breaks'.  Air Canada is supported by tax payers money, so I really do not see how these guys can complain about no raise in 10 years when the company, if not support3ed by the government would be in receivership and they would all be out of work.  ...   Not to mention the pensions that are totally unsustainable and will have no way of being paid by the next generation of workers.  well... rant for the day... glad I got that out of my system.

Friday, March 16, 2012

 this is one of my $12 Phalenopsis that I buy at the grocery store, after the plant has gone out of bloom.  It is easy to bring them into bloom again on my light garden.
 This is an airplant that Ihave had for several years.  It is coming into bloom, at last!  These plants are very easy, and interesting.  I have only 2 of them, both have had spectacular blooms.  Otherwise, they need very little care.  I mist them every day as I am misting the orchids and African violets.
 This is Ludisia discolor.  It gets planted into ordinary planting mix.  I added a bit of cactus mix for better drainage.  I bought it at the orchid show for its lovely foliage.  It was featured with some of the dark lady slippers in a display at the orchid show.  Looked really good.
 This is one of the winning plants at the orchid show.  There were too many people for me to get any good photos, so I gave up trying to get any worthwhile photos.  The show did not seem to be as big as it has been in the past.  The vendors in the sales room seemed to me to be showing less variety, also.
 These are my new purchases from the orchid show and sale.  Five plants for total cost of apx $85.  I will list them below; and hopefully in my garden journal... if ever I get time to do it.
My new Plants:
1. Ludisia discolor - lovely floiage, It spreads easily in ordinary planting soil.
2. S/C Jewellers Art x S/C circie of life.  This one is interesting.  It is about 4 years old from seed.  When it blooms the breeder will apply to have it registered and named.   It is tiny and may come into bloom in a couple more years.  I think it is a miniature cattleya.
3. Masd. 'Dark Star' - macrura x cucallata - this one has a tiny bud.  A new kind of orchid for me.  I believe it will have several flowers on the the spray of blooms. (Chow)
4.  My notes say:  Pot. Lisa Taylor Gallis "Nora" (BLC. California Girl x SC. Beautort)  A small cattleya, in pink/purple tones, I believe.  We will see when it comes into bloom in a couple of years. (H & R Nurseries, Hawaii)
5.  Paph. Wossner's Vietnam Love (Forest View Gardens 
I attended the orchid show and sale on March 3, out at the Students Union Building at UVic.  The show did not seem to be as big as I have seen it in the past.  There were some fine displays but the opportunities for photos on the day I attended were limited by the number of people, as well as more photographers.
I have repotted my orchids and they all seem to be doing ok.  The Masd's little bud is progressing.  I hope to have a flower from the little Paph. in a year or two.  The miniature cattyleyas may take awhile.  I do have a lovely 'Pixie" cat. that blooms and is very forgiving of my neglect.   I have no success with dendrobiums.    I have 3 of them languishing at the back of the light garden.  I might liberate their pots and space for something that I can get to bloom.
I am quite excited about the air plant.  It is going to be spectacular.  These plants seem to take ages to bloom, but are worth the wait.
I transplanted my orange trees a couple of weeks ago.  I might have lost one or two of them.  I transplanted them because I had some with 2 plants per pot.  I mist them every morning.  Yesterday, I watered and fed all the indoor plants.  All are doing well, but will watch the Orange trees.
Otherwise, I have been cleaning cupboards, closets, etc in the suite.  The renovation is coming along quite nicely. Painting is finished.  Flooring is done.  Counter top needs some adjustment.  I have one side of the cabinets to clean and do shelf lining.  The drapery is to be done on the 20th.  It smells of paint, but that is far better than the cat stink.  
 We have had some high wind storms recently.  There have been a lot of people with their power out.  Lots of wind damage.  Fortunately, we had no problems.  Our power was on all the time. 
Since taking the photos of my crocuses, the crocus field has suffered a bit of damage from the high winds and rain.  The daffodils will soon be open.  The hellebores, cyclamens and a few of the primulas are in bloom.

Sunday, March 04, 2012

the Flower Count in Victoria

the crocuses are looking very good in the front garden strip along the street.  This is the area I call my crocus field.  These photos are from merely a week ago.  Since then there has been many more added to the crocus field.  It was glorious today when the sun was shining.  As soon as the sun is gone they all close up.  More photos soon, before they disappear.  I have an outside boarder of grape hyacinths that I planted last Fall.  They are up but not blooming yet.  The crocuses are multiplying throughout the front garden area in front of the cedar hedge.  The dark purple ones are along the top of the front garden, by the grass path.  I fed them bone meal last Fall and the flowers are spectacular, this year.
This is a photo of the cyclamen on the back garden by the old garage.  The flowers and leaves just glow in the Spring light.  These leaves are popping up all over the garden.  I will watch them to see if they are cyclamen.  I wonder if ants carry the seeds around.  This plant is a bulb, so I do not know how it might otherwise spread to different areas, except by insect transport.  I sure hope all the leaves I see growing produce equally lovely bunches of cyclamen as this original one.
the camillia trees are in flower.  This is a shot of the one by the back stairs up to the deck.    All of the above photos are from a week ago.  In just one short week, there are many more blooms out.  I did not count them for our Victoria Flower Count, that is happening over this past week end.  It has been a very warm winter.  I am sure we will have record breaking counts of blooms. 

On Saturday I was to the Orchid show and sale.   I have brought home 5 new little treasures, and lightened my bank account by $85.   I will have to wait a few years for most of them to bloom, too.  I got a couple of little cattalayas, another lady slipper,   I shall need to list them in my garden journal... or at least in the plant lists.  I do not seem to have time to start and keep up a garden journal... unless I change a few of my priorities of the use of my time.   

Today, I was out for a few minutes looking at the garden.  I think the bulbs are going to be fantastic this year.  Many of them are up and in buds so it won't be long until the Daffodils and early tulips are in bloom.  Some of the hellebores are blooming, the winter jasmine, and a few primulas are open. 

Inside, I repotted the orange trees.on the 22nd of Feb... almost 2 weeks ago.  I am watching them closely, to see if they survive.  They get misted heavily in the morning.   I have 4 big pots and  3 small ones.  One of the small ones contains a double tree... which should be a good candidate for producing fruit.   I should get it into a larger pot.  In the light garden the 2 ladyslippers... Andean Fire and the yellow Concolor  are in bloom, as well as a couple of the phalenopsis, and the African violets.  I have an air plant that will be blooming... a rarity.  I will need to repot the orchids soon. 

We are making good progress on the renovation of the suite.  Pictures later, perhaps.  The place smells so much better with the old stinking carpet gone and the walls with fresh paint.  Finished my income tax return, too.  So, I feel like the pressing matters have been  lightened to ease  my too busy schedule.  I should like to get some stuff done on my old web page, too. 

Thursday, March 01, 2012

Copyright Infringement

This is Cyrus Khamak's photo that is being used on another website without notification to him or request for permission to use his photo.  The full story is on our 'Image Theft" page on Facebook
Few days ago, I learned that 4 of my images have been stolen by a rather large Electronics company. They have used them without my permission to sell Photography related products, as high as $2,000.00 each. These products have been sold GLOBALLY and in places such as Ebay and BIG electronics distributors we all know about.
What makes this so shocking, is the fact that this company is actually a US based company located right here in the good old US of A, in California ! This goes to prove that some folks out there, don't give a damn for our intellectual properties and for our copyrighted material. most of the photographers I know, work awfully hard at their profession to be able to feed their kids and their family. Their hard labor only to be stolen by big corporations, or those of us out there who use them ILLEGALLY to promote themselves or their fan pages.
This matter is in the hands of the lawyers and I cannot reveal the name of the company or the products just yet.
Come join us to try to help 'educate' people in regard to copyright infringement, on's Facebook page: Stop Image Theft
There is a firefox addon to assist you in finding any of your photos that are on line and being used by someone else; in fact, stolen.  The addon is available HERE 
I have found many people using my Peace Rose, my David Austin Rose, my minature Yellow Water lily, and that was just a few minutes search.  More on this later. 
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