Archive for March, 2013

Mar 31 2013

The Great Peacock Roundup – Part I

Published by under Tidings from Gabriola Island

Outsmarted again! A family on our island agreed to take our peacocks and came over today to try to catch them. They spread a large net on the ground, on top of which they put a black tarp and seeds. The peacocks circled the netting warily for a bit and then left the property without venturing onto the tarp. It was clear they knew something was up. They may have small heads but they are very, very clever birds. We’ve left the netting wrapped up near a pile of seeds, hoping that they’ll get used to the netting and ignore it after a while. At some point, when they are feeding, we will try to pull the netting over them. If that doesn’t work, perhaps the attempt to catch them might be enough to dissuade them from coming back!

Speaking of clever birds, earlier today a hummingbird flew to Doug’s office window – in the basement! – to notify Doug that it was back and missing its feeder. Naturally, I was given the immediate task of finding and filling the hummingbird feeder, which Doug then hung up in a new location. Yet another bird smart enough to get us to do its bidding! Since it is so smart, I’m sure it will find its feeder the next time it flies by.

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Mar 25 2013

And Then There Were Five…Cisterns, That Is

Published by under Tidings from Gabriola Island

Roof-water cisterns, an effective water-management solution

Roof-water cisterns, an effective water-management solution

Since we moved to Gabriola Island seven years ago, I’ve come to understand that we really have only two seasons: the wet and the dry, of almost equal duration. Consequently, our island experiences a severe water shortage every summer when we inevitably experience a prolonged drought. We are a “rural” island so there is no municipal water. The solution is water conservation and management. We now have three  cisterns to collect and store water from our well over the rainy season, and two cisterns to collect and store roof water for gardening. So far, by being very, very careful how we use water during the dry season, we’ve managed not to run out of water for our needs.

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Mar 21 2013

Peacocks Enjoy the Spring Sun

Published by under Tidings from Gabriola Island

Peacocks are tropical birds after all. When sunny Spring days finally arrive, they like to soak up the warmth…preferably in our herb garden where they can peck and preen!

Sunbathing in the warm Spring sunshine

Sunbathing in the warm Spring sunshine

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Mar 14 2013

Officially Spring on Gabriola Island

Published by under Tidings from Gabriola Island

There’s always something new to see on my walking circuit. Today it was early cherry blossoms, narcissus and crocuses, but best of all I was able to pick my first bag of nettles — soon to be streamed like spinach. And of course, Mara’s goats are always bleating for attention.

 

 

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Mar 06 2013

An Original Use for a Derelict Camper Trailer

Published by under Tidings from Gabriola Island

Neighborhood free-range chickens

Here are a neighbor’s free-range chickens.
And there is their chicken coop.
Note the wooden ramp leading to the chicken door.
O
n Gabriola, there are many derelict trailers cluttering people’s yards. At least this one had been put to good use! 

Gabriola camping trailer cum chicken coop

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Mar 04 2013

Free-Range Peacocks & Other Friendly Fauna

Published by under Tidings from Gabriola Island

Feeding time for the peacocks

Doug feeding the “peaks”

This bucolic scene is deceptive. Because Doug has never encountered an animal he doesn’t want to feed, our property is overrun with pesky peacocks and pet deer.

Deer sunbathing

Friendly deer enjoying the sun outside our front door

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Mar 03 2013

Office Colleague

Published by under Tidings from Gabriola Island

Peacock at work!

Peacock at work!

I usually have one or more of these feathered creatures at my office windows, peering in and/or pecking at the window to get my attention (so I’ll go out and feed them!) Until we dissuade the  flock of feral peacocks from spending their days on our property, it appears that I’ll have company at work.

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Mar 02 2013

Harbinger of Spring #3

Published by under Tidings from Gabriola Island

primula

primula

early spring blossoms
early spring blossoms

In Nanaimo, the pink and white heather are already in bloom, as are the early rhododendrons. Last weekend, I spotted these spring blossoms in a friend’s garden in Tsawwassen, south of Vancouver, BC.

At this time time of year, I begin to crave spring greens. Ours have been eaten by our flock of pesky feral peacocks, but wild nettles will soon be ready for gathering, very very carefully, with rubber gloves!. See “Stinging What?”

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Mar 01 2013

Harbinger of Spring #2

Published by under Tidings from Gabriola Island

spring bulb shoots

The spring bulbs are pushing up.
Daffodils and hyacinth blooms should appear any day now.
One of the joys of West Coast living is an early spring.

 

 

 

daffodil shoots

 

 

 

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