Posts tagged outdoor

The Mountain has a Summit

The Gemini Mama Hawk

 

I know that a lot of you out there are covered in snow. If I were in a place covered in snow I would grab my boots and snowboard and find a hill. I would also pack up my kids and go sledding, at least once. Obviously I am not there, and here we don’t see snow. Actually while we are on the subject, we are suffering from a sever drought because our mountains haven’t seen enough snow, so send some west.

 

When you live in an area that has beautiful temperature, you should take advantage of it. Yesterday we did. The whole family. As in every one including Scarlet, our dog. This was a big deal for her, because she doesn’t get to do much now that running is too much for her.

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If you have been a long time reader here you may remember my post last September about our hike. I just want to say it is amazing what 25-30 degrees difference will do for you. We have only been on a few hikes since then, and they were focused on K1 being able to “hike” the whole time. Meaning that they were not challenging for the adults. When I suggested re-doing this hike S actually asked me if I could even do it. He reminded me that I had to stop a few times last time and we didn’t make it to the top. Duh, it was 100 degrees. Silly daddy.

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Up we climbed as a unit. K1 walked about 1/4-1/3 of the way up herself. She is getting stronger and stronger every day.

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The wind was nice, and kept us cool.

 

We got to see a few things on our way. Lizards, caterpillars, which were a nice surprise, para gliders, one hang glider, and two hawks! I am glad that we did not see the mountain lion that was spotted recently, and I am still fortunate enough to have never seen a wild rattle snake.

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I wish my phone accurately captured how close to us the hawks were, but this was the best I could do. I have never seen a hawk in the wild so close. I could actually see the color of their feathers.

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They were a pair hunting together. When they were done scouring this peak they flew off together to the next. It was beautiful.

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Off in the distance of this photo you can see one of the para gliders.

 

I enjoy hiking, but view it mostly as exercise. Yesterday was a great reminder of all the beauty there is too see on my way to the top. Take that however you want, literal, or figurative. I also find that having kids with me on the hike I want to find beautiful things to show them, so that they will remain interested. I feel that they truly balance the experience for me.

 

What fun have you had in the great outdoors lately? 

Simple Sunday

 I was excited a few weeks ago when one of the lemon seeds I planted finally sprouted. Quickly after there were two, as you can see in the photo.

Now there are many!

I find it strange that those first two sprouts are not the happiest or largest seedlings, but whatever.

Last time I counted there are about nine seedlings. I am excited because when I put them in the soil one seed already had some green coming out of it. I anticipated sprouts really quickly, but time kept passing by, and nothing. I thought I had bad seeds and just kept adding more seeds to the same cup of dirt. At one point I decided none of them were going to sprout, then all at once, they started popping up. Even now more green seedlings emerge every day. (Like two more yesterday).

First let me say I am not an expert.

Now that is out of the way, apparently lemon trees can grow in containers, and make great indoor plants. You can start them in a cup and they should not need transplanting for a year even if there are two seedlings.

How I did it

Use lemon; on fish, your hair, in food, lemonaide, however.
Keep seeds.
Wash them. Lemony pulp is no good for growing seeds.
Fill a glass halfway with water. Put all seeds in the water.
Throw away the ones that float. (they will not germinate) Place other seeds in soil.
Water soil. Until sprouts emerge soils needs to remain moist, but not swimming.
Place on a sunny window sil, and wait.

Note, if you live in a colder climate you may want to put cling wrap over the top to maintain moisture and warmth. I did not do that to test this, but allegidly it works.

Thats it your done!

Now go make some lemonaide and plant your free seeds with your children. They will love you for letting them play with dirt.

I feel I should add that these seeds do not sprout quickly and while this activity can be virtually free, it is not necessarily the best “plant” for impatient toddlers. In that case green beans are better. Either way this can be fun.

Gwen

Just a little birdie

For my birthday one of the items that I decided I wanted was a hummingbird feeder. We already get a few hummingbirds around. I do not know the name of the flower that I saw nearby which let me know that hummingbirds were frequent visitors, but it’s here. There are also huge birds of paradise which they drink out of as well.

You can see one of the huge birds of paradise behind the feeder in these photos.

One day two of the feeder being in place we had a little visitor. The little guy came every few hours and he/she/it was the only visitor until Sunday, which was five days after putting it up.

Sunday a big fatty came by and visited. I actually thought that the bird was pregnant, but birds lay eggs, just well fed.

 I know that hummingbirds are territorial. Because of this I am not sure if the two birds are dating or fighting.

 The past two days they have been yelling at each other, darting, and taking turns eating from the feeder. Listening to them argue sing, is actually kind of pretty. When they are chatting at least we know to look up. Then we get the treat of seeing two birds instead of one.

Yesterday morning one of them decided to check out DD. It was cute. The humming bird was looking at her as if she was in a zoo. DD got to get a great look at it too. 
I think they are starting to get used to us being here too. Today I was able to walk into the house with it still there eating. Maybe I will be able to get some better photos. For now this is the best one that I have. As they get more comfortable with us I will be able to stand at the door and snap pictures.

Oh and there are officially three now! Too bad they don’t eat inchworms … ugh. That however is a tale for another day.

Gwen

Recycled garden


Aloe vera, some button flower, cherry tree and cilantro
Welcome to what I like to call my recycled garden! 

I have now had the Aloe Vera so long that I can’t remember what it looked like when I got it. It did start as a small potted plant as did the Cilantro, and Christmas Cactus.

There remaining plants have been grown from seeds. I went through this phase of planting the seeds from the food I ate. So I saved seeds and tried my best to grow them. I do have an Avocado seed planted, however it’s not much to look at right now so no photo.

Lettuce

So you can’t see it in this photo but this is now the third round with lettuce from seed. After this I quit and will move on to something else. The photo to the right is about as large as the lettuce gets and then it just gives up. After talking to a lady at my knitting group she said that she and her husband have a hard time with lettuce. Something about tying it up and forcing it to head.         Ideas?

All my plants are in organic soil, and I use organic fertilizer. No I do not go to a store and buy fertilizer. I use trash! Ha ha, no I don’t compost. Not that I don’t want to but it’s not ideal for apartment life. I use coffee that is not consumed, used coffee ground, used tea leaves, and the water left after steaming vegetables. I have only had one plant complain, Basil. Basil was not a fan of coffee and it went and killed itself … I mean I killed it.

So I will be making two of these in the next week or two and I could use some help. I want to plant edibles or herbs in the top row of both of these, the rest can be whatever.

What do I plant?

One will be in indirect sunlight all the time, but it gets fairly warm. The second one will get more sun and super hot. I would love to hear your suggestions.

Do you have an indoor/outdoor garden? Do you use your wasted items in it?

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