Archive for January, 2011

The dog whisperer

     Not only am I  one who talks to bees, I am also the dog whisperer.  (Although this is apparently a popular moniker, as it was already taken as an official name.)  Since they were young, I have brought my dogs to work with me.  Being the owner I was spoiled and we constructed a kennel for them to stay in during the day.  I would plan to walk them at lunch, but often I was too busy.  My friend, Janet, who worked with me at the time enjoyed walking them (and my sister’s dogs) during her lunch hour.  When she moved on to bigger and better things, becoming a nurse (way to go Janet), I was much more diligent about walking them.  In the last two years, since beginning yoga, I have made this my time to be in the moment and appreciate nature the way I did when I was younger.  I soak up the sun, check out what’s blooming, harvest from my garden, and just enjoy the sensation of walking.  During those two years I have started to take my sister’s dogs on this lunch time walk as well.  I have two and she has two.  One day, I was dog-sitting my parents’ dog as well.  We’re up to 5 dogs if you’re keeping track.  We were doing a lap in the field and out runs my brother’s puppy and his wife, Linda, with her camera.  I tried to get the dogs to cooperate for a photo.  Of course, Linda captured me, looking like a choir director, with a choir of dogs at rapt attention.  The photo got shared online with the caption “the dog whisperer” and a legend was born.  Or so I would like to think!

     So today the dog whisperer and 5 dogs enjoyed a lovely, sunny walk.  I enjoyed watching the little birds at the feeder in my dad’s yard.  They would fly up to it and perch, then pick out one seed and fly off again.  To eat in private?  In fear of attack?  I’m not sure of the reason but their dance was very cute.  We enjoyed the sun.  Corlie rolled in the grass.  I couldn’t find anything dead or stinky she was rolling in.  Then we all trotted back for lunch.

     On Sunday, I did manage to pull to pull the remainder of the greens out of the planters by my garage.  I planted the primroses I had intened to plant 10 days ago.  Also, I put into pots the end of season bulbs that I purchased.  I wish that I had been ready to plant them in the ground, but I am planning on doing a little bit of redesigning in the front yard so I am not ready.  I have crammed my tiny yard with as many plants as possible.  I am still able to add some bulbs for a layering effect.  However, the temptation is always greater than the space I have.  Next week it is time to think about starting peas to plant out in February.  Or perhaps I will direct sow.  For now, I am waiting for the call letting me know I am a grandmother again.  Babies definitely trump plants!

Read Full Post »

Yesterday on my business blog I admitted to something I probably shouldn’t have, that I talk to bees. Actually, I talk to bees, dogs, moles, plants, birds and often to myself. Not wanting to further embarrass myself on a professional level, I feel compelled to express myself on a personal one.
I believe that we are stewards of the earth and champions for those that cannot speak. Perhaps there are some that would not even give man that much control. Certainly if the human race were wiped off the face of the earth the rest of life would go on. I think that the earth might not even miss us. In being stewards, we are to take care of the environment, not destroy it. We are to wisely use the resources we have been charged with and remember that there are generations to follow. Before you put me in a box, you should know that I am a meat eater. I think that hunting for food is okay. I had a very difficult time with the concept of catch and release. I recycle and have since I was 16, although sometimes I get lazy or tired and toss instead. Does it count that I feel extreme guilt? I use chemicals in my yard on occasion, particularly when it involves snails and perennial grassy weeds. I have failed at composting but I am doing well at lackadaisical vermiposting.
So now that I have outlined my beliefs, let me explain the bees. I have never been afraid of bees. I have only been stung once and that was by a yellow jacket, and only because I was disturbing his grazing. My dad is a champion of bees, as well, and I think he probably shared his philosophy although I do not actually recall a particular conversation. What I do recall is my sister’s experience. My dad, hoping to create a girl unafraid of bees, took my sister on his shoulders into the middle of a swarm. Not surprisingly, she is afraid of not only bees but most other insects. Me? I love them all. I have no fear of any of them. Tarantulas, not technically an insect, I have not faced. I loved Entomology and excelled in it. I still remember dissecting a cockroach. It was utterly fascinating! And the fact that everything was grouped into families, etc was music to my well-ordered ears. (Of course, plants also are grouped that way scientifically and I had already taken Botany, so I was well-trained.) I do not kill spiders for they eat mosquitoes and other harmful insects. I was not an enemy to yellow jackets and wasps, only allowing for their trapping near out outdoor dining area. My husband, once he was stung several times, sprayed the yellow jackets. What was I going to say after the fact?
Back to the bees. I absolutely love to have bees in my garden. The hum as the flit around the flowers is intoxicating to my ears. The sight of them harvesting nectar from the throat of the flower is captivating. They are useful for pollination. The part that they play in the master plan is inspiring. And the variety of bees is astounding! Large, small, fluffy, or sleek, they are entrancing. Needless to say, I have included many plants in my garden that attract bees. Of course, most of the plants offer fragrance that I can appreciate as well.
So where did the talking begin? I have always talked to myself. I guess that is not so uncommon. Somewhere along the line I began to believe that animals can sense calmness or fear in humans, so the best approach when dealing with them was to convince them that I was friendly and calm. The fact that I truly am friendly and calm didn’t seem particularly important. Also, I began to believe that humans could have sovereignty over animals. In other words, I truly believed that I could command the bee (or animal). After reading a portion of the book about the Findhorn Garden, I refined this belief into asking for the bee’s (animal’s) cooperation. It especially seemed to work with the mole(?) problem I had in my back yard.
If I were to state that there are unseen forces at work in our world, would I be labeled a freak? The funny thing is, those that believe this encompass the whole spectrum from new age believer to Christian. All that I know is that I love nature, I love animals and I love God. Would I put my theory of calm entreaty of cooperation up against a shark or grizzly bear? Most decidedly not! I am not foolhardy enough to believe that those that come in peace can stand up against those that don’t without falling victim to them. (If you wish to argue whether the shark or the grizzly actually do come in peace, well that is for a later discussion.) Therefore, I certainly understand that those that are allergic to bees would not want them to hover around their yard. I have a life-threatening allergy, so I understand that risk. What I would say is directed to those that do not have a life-threatening allergy but only act out of fear. The bees are an integral part of our planet. Through a number of forces, they are in decline. Please do not be a part of their demise by trying to eradicate them from your garden.

Read Full Post »

Pineapple Express

So it’s going to go from ice pellets to 55 degrees overnight? I’m ready. I might have just enough time on my day off to plant some primroses in the pots by my front door. The yellow ones are my favorites because they are fragrant. I like the pink ones, too. This year I think I will put all yellow in one pot and all pink in one that has other plants in it. I can’t wait to pick them out and plant

Read Full Post »

Saturday clean-up

It’s January in Oregon. It’s mild and today wasn’t even very wet. However, I still only got into the garden long enough to remove any signs of Christmas. I have a lot to do in my garden. So I’m hoping to take the next few weeks to get organized, plot and plan, and dream. There’s nothing better than dreaming about the glorious blooms and dramatic garden I’ll have in May. Because when May rolls around, the reality will not live up to the dream! Thank goodness for January, when all dreams are still sacred.

Read Full Post »

A Second Chance

After seeing Julie and Julia, I yearned to blog. So my technically savvy husband set me up and I started writing. After 2 posts I gave up because no one was reading. Boy,  was I unprepared for reality. So, January is the month of new beginnings and this is my second chance. Let’s hope for better endurance.
This is primarily a gardening blog, although I may throw in references to Jane once in a while. So let’s get started.

Read Full Post »

Hello world!

Welcome to WordPress.com. This is your first post. Edit or delete it and start blogging!

Read Full Post »