The 2020 Garden, Landscape, and Other Stuff Thread...

Discussion in 'Community Center' started by annr, Jan 19, 2020.

  1. 22-rimfire

    22-rimfire Gold Member Gold Member

    Nov 20, 2005
    Thanks for the thoughts. The Photo forum is pretty much a list of threads with a bunch of pictures in them and little else. Many don't even bother to say what the subject is or where it was taken..... like we're supposed to know, right? They seldom give advice or even respond to a thread asking advice as I have learned.

    My normal approach is to use semi-auto aperture priority versus fully automatic (like Nikon SLR's were during the film days. Canon stuff was shutter priority.). But with a longer lens, I think my brother's suggestion using Shutter Priority (with a minimum setting) and then change the ISO to increase the shutter speed as needed. So, I'm not really seeking advice here, just stating the weakness of my shots even though that female cardinal is nicely focused. I like that shot actually.

    We're having drizzly rain all day today. I keep wanting to run over to the one TVA dam and take a picture or two of the water gushing out of the gates. The shear power is daunting.

    I had thoughts of heading to some waterfalls to take pictures, but unless I am familiar with "normal", a bunch of brown water pouring over a falls doesn't do much for me. I do take those kinds of pictures, but they really aren't pretty.
    taldesta likes this.
  2. 22-rimfire

    22-rimfire Gold Member Gold Member

    Nov 20, 2005
    As far as I know the DSLR camera body that got wet is working again. I still have to check it out more carefully as I simply have not been taking pictures. After it got wet (from rain), it would not even turn on. I got a wire letter tray (office supply) at WM (~$6-7) and placed it over a floor vent (to have the house heat HVAC hit it day and night) and camera sat on top of that covered mostly to minimize kitties from paying much attention to the camera (ie not peeing on it or knocking it down). It sat on the vent for about a month and a half and it finally turned on when I placed batteries in it. I was happy.

    One of our cats has decided to lay on top of the wire letter tray to sleep right on top of the floor vent. I have a couple vents treated this way as two vents in the kitchen got pee'd in by cats and I was trying to discourage direct peeing. So, far I think I have been mostly successful in that regard. The camera placed there was an after thought and a pretty good idea for a slow drying out effort.

    Daffodils have been blooming around the area for the last week or so. It still gets cold at night, but not every night and generally warms to the upper 40's and 50's (*F) during the day. Snow predicted just north of my city and more in the Blue Ridge Mountains (technically the Unaka Range in N GA to SW VA) today. I have some dwarf crested iris blooming in my one bed. They are delicate little flowers and traditionally an early bloomer. Generally I won't really see flowers in my yard except for the dc iris and pansies until March.
    Last edited: Feb 20, 2020
  3. taldesta

    taldesta Retired :-) Time is the Gold Platinum Member

    Jan 24, 2013
    Good to hear that the camera has dried out, may possibly be working for you - even better. My dad used to repair cameras and there was always one or two in his shop that went over the side of a canoe or fishing boat accidentally. Eventually he handed them back to the owners in good shape.

    I was snowblowing the laneway again yesterday, then tripped to town ... am just catching up on screen time now. The weather was a great help - finally a nice, crisp cold (even breathtaking with the wind chill) so the blower worked well not dragged down by wet snow. The landscape is white and deep here in Ontario - marshmellow - molded by the increasingly stronger uv. The plants indoors are responding to the sun strength well - so it's time to get more seeds started in the S facing windows.

    I am leaning to more heirloom tomatoes from seed this year. Honestly, I can't pass by those racks of seeds on display everywhere now ... and have some interesting ones already ... but will make a seed order shortly (pics from catalogue to follow) from a supplier in PEI.

    The last of the wood stashes are several feet under snow and I've enrolled my son in the 'recovery' effort. Ha. Staying plenty warm. His effort is certainly appreciated. I left a 'thin to no' margin when I gauged the need for logs two years ago - only time will tell. But with luck I won't freeze solid :D.

    Chickadees, goldfinches and nuthatches are my most regular birds at the feeders. Day to night compared to last winter when I fed the flocks and critters on the platforms to entertain the hummingbird, Busby. It's a comfort that this year I am luring fewer in one place for any predators ... and, although the entertainment level is down, the worry, work and hit to the pocket book are also way down. Win win ... but I do miss the bustle of little feet and claws.

    Daffodils, iris and pansies ... what a difference a few lines of latitude make! And bon chance with your cats :thumbsup:
    annr likes this.
  4. 22-rimfire

    22-rimfire Gold Member Gold Member

    Nov 20, 2005
    Hopefully you will have enough wood for this winter. If not, you know the drill. Good to have sons.

    I enjoy the flowers. If I lived in South FL, the flowers would be a constant. Only in the last two years have I planted any pansies in the ground and was only planting them in containers. Years ago, I had a big seasonal spread of bulbs (mostly tulips) and pansies before the warm season stuff can be planted. I do have some tulips popping out of the ground but they are from years past. The success rate on tulips is variable in terms of them lasting until the next year. Basically the red ones seem to be hardier.

    I have been watching the winter storms move west to east through your area and think about your situation often. I have nothing against snow and in fact like it. I just prefer not to have it on the ground for months on end. But I could certainly adapt as each season brings different wonders outdoors and you develop an appreciation.

    I look at those seed racks too in stores and I keep telling myself that unless it's something like green beans, lettuce, red beets, squash and so forth I am not likely to use the seed or may not even open the packet (hence $ spent for nothing other than impulse). I debated trying to grow onions from seed this year as you get more choices on variety and then punted. It is just too easy to buy the sets in a month or so.... and the success rate is higher. Choices are okay. Mid March is about right for planting onions here or starting to plant them unless the weather is colder than normal (still can have the occasional snow until April 1st). I often start putting out tomato plants around April 1st although there may be an occasional frosty night until the 15th. Officially the last frost date is about May 1st.

    On the revived camera... I know that the shutter opens and closes and it takes pictures at automatic settings and the images exposed correctly. I don't know much more at this point. I am fairly sure that it lives which means that I have three DSLR bodies to use since I replaced the wet one with a used camera body. My least expensive one was purchased for work use. So, as long as I am working out of my vehicle, I can have three cameras with lenses ready to use now. What a luxury! Hiking.... generally I choose one camera and one lens (possibly a second lens in my hiking bag). I make sure I have a way to protect the cameras from rain since I had the wet camera experience. That was a first for me last October. March is generally when my outdoor activity level picks up although I am really hankering to visit some waterfalls since the stream flows are good now. We've had a pretty good amount of rain in January and February just like last year and I think the flooding levels are past.... just healthy stream flows in the mountains.

    I opened a bag of mixed bird seed and it has this dusty aspect to it. Do you think it has gotten moldy and I should trash it? Nothing visible and nothing wet, but there is this dusty aspect to it that troubles me. My sister gives me a bag of bird seed mix from time to time and I have trouble using it all up before the next season as I buy the stuff too. The premium mix that Sams Club sells is quite excellent and requires no sunflower seed additions as I typically do with the mix I buy normally. I am not going to buy any bird seed at this point until I actually need it.
  5. taldesta

    taldesta Retired :-) Time is the Gold Platinum Member

    Jan 24, 2013
    I'm unsure as well about the bird seed. Does it have a musty smell at all? A lot of the mixed that I had out on the platforms last winter became snow-covered then wet ... but I found it was gobbled up before I could find any sign of mold. And, wherever it fell and was not eaten, the ground sprung to life with a fine grass. Sorry, not much help.
  6. 22-rimfire

    22-rimfire Gold Member Gold Member

    Nov 20, 2005
    @taldesta No smell that I can detect. If I scoop it out of the bag and place in a coffee can (the method I use to carry the seed to a feeder), a lot of dust comes out of it when I place it in the can. After I noticed it, I sort of shake it to get more of the dust out, but I am more interested if it might harm the birds. The bird activity level decreased at that feeder, but there is an ebb and flow to such things, so not particularly an indicator.

    I store the seed inside metal garbage cans on my deck. (Squirrels eat through plastic ones in search of food.) I spray the handle area with Flexseal as there can be a little water leakage where the handles attach. Then I keep a layer of plastic sheeting between the lid and the open part of the container as a secondary seal.

    I'm really looking forward to getting outdoors soon. Just not getting enough exercise with normal life for the last few months. We have been getting big rains that last a couple days over the last two months. Wish some of this rain could be spread to July or August when it typically is dryer. But these rains contribute significantly to regional groundwater recharge, so I'm not complaining.
    Last edited: Feb 21, 2020
    taldesta likes this.
  7. 22-rimfire

    22-rimfire Gold Member Gold Member

    Nov 20, 2005
    @taldesta Not looking good for you with this next storm. Stay Warm! I noticed today that some of the early trees here are starting to bud out for spring. It isn't spring yet, but the signs are there.
  8. LEGION 12

    LEGION 12 Gold Member Gold Member

    Jan 8, 2009
    Soon . [​IMG]
  9. eisman

    eisman Gold Member Gold Member

    Sep 9, 2009
    Crocus are up, plum trees turning pink, perris are blooming, daffodils all yellow, everything's got new buds, and it's way early.

    taldesta likes this.
  10. taldesta

    taldesta Retired :-) Time is the Gold Platinum Member

    Jan 24, 2013
    Ha. Yesterday's work included the 'staying warm' effort here - moving up the last cord of wood to the house for easy access before the storm front hit. No motivation quite like the thought of more digging through even more inbound snow :eek:

    Supply is secure now and will last until not needed. The overnight temps have been so mild that I have been setting only one morning fire, letting the sunshine in and enjoying the easy warmth.

    First sightings this spring - in the 23rd both a mourning dove and a chipmunk appeared. Hope is in the air.
    annr likes this.
  11. taldesta

    taldesta Retired :-) Time is the Gold Platinum Member

    Jan 24, 2013
    Another vote for "soon". Here's the maple tree before the storm hitting us overnight and continuing as I write. Snow is sprinkled with sunflower seed husks dropped by the chickadees. Now school buses cancelled. I'll post an 'after' pic if it ever stops :D. Snowshoes at the ready!

    Before current snowstorm ... deep enough ... enough already.

    DSCF8464 MAPLE SNOW 650 MED.jpg
    annr likes this.
  12. taldesta

    taldesta Retired :-) Time is the Gold Platinum Member

    Jan 24, 2013
    My seed wish list is now pared down to 22 items. Now I am applying budget sense of two kinds - one $ and one capacity (to break new ground). As soon as I make my compromises, I'll post what I imagine will be my 2020 gardens. So looking forward to summer flowers and tomatoes.

    Lots for the hummingbirds of course.
    annr likes this.
  13. 22-rimfire

    22-rimfire Gold Member Gold Member

    Nov 20, 2005
    Crocus are really pretty and usually announce the beginning of Spring. I don't have any.

    I suspect there will be significant movement toward Spring in a week here. Once it starts, it happens quickly. Mowed my grass (mostly front yard) on Tuesday as it was a warm day and no rain. The first mowing is mostly to even things out. Noticed a few others with the same kind of lawn grass in the neighborhood have mowed. I'm not the only idiot with growing green grass.

    Some snow north of us this morning from last night. White roofs and sprinkles in yards this morning here. No, it is not Spring yet. I did pick up some sweet onion sets to plant. But it is still a little early.
  14. taldesta

    taldesta Retired :-) Time is the Gold Platinum Member

    Jan 24, 2013
    Sunny at the moment with occasional snow flurries but cold with wind chill at -12F. I will wait until the wind chill eases up a bit before heading out to clear the lane and upper yard this afternoon. Snow is dry and should be easy to move.

    Although the radio weather forecasters are using the (B)lizard word. I remain optimistic for today :D

    Marshmellow moonscape with chipmunk tracks - that is ... no tail trailing - one giveaway ... and they walk/run/scamper, don't hop. Open to correction as usual on track id though

    Two 24" planters stacked, one on top of the other, on front lawn - before yesterday's storm

    After recent storm ... this morning - snow on front lawn 4 ft and rising

    I love what the critters track on fresh snow plain and simple. Those that lead to my van do give me pause because it is very costly to have mice removed from the heater/AC after death by fanblade :eek: not to mention the 'yikes' factor (or the smell!)


    No need to have wrapped the maple against sun scald apparently - the depth of snow protects it nicely from exposure on the South.


    PS: No guilt implied so enjoy those daffodils, crocuses and pansies folks .. hahaha!
    annr, LEGION 12 and 22-rimfire like this.
  15. 22-rimfire

    22-rimfire Gold Member Gold Member

    Nov 20, 2005
    What's your estimate of this storm's snow dump? Total snow on the ground?

    I don't envy you at all. But it does happen from time to time here with a big accumulation.

    Blizzard? Probably blowing snow.
    By the way, thanks for the pictures.
  16. taldesta

    taldesta Retired :-) Time is the Gold Platinum Member

    Jan 24, 2013
    Looking at the 6" boards on the planters, I am thinking around 10 - 12 inches (actual) but wind drift up to 2 ft. in the flats on the laneway.
    When you heat with wood and work to clear the snow, gauging the storms becomes second nature. Not always right of course, but I have gained a confidence that I will make my path clear and stay warm on my own. I enjoy the independence - even the challenge.
    Also, I do love the quieting beauty of winter and the erupting promise of spring and summer all in their own time. The challenges mostly are full speed ahead or prep ... with precious moments of inhaling leisure and life in any season.
    So looking forward to the inhaling leisure aspect :D- typical Canadian sense in the last days of February.
    Leap Year - so February has the edge :eek:
    Yeah - the pics ... I watch the light, don the coat, hat and boots, tuck the camera inside the coat for warmth and head out. Then again the light changes and I know there are better pics - so I head out again, and again and again ... you know this drill! Thanks.
    LEGION 12 likes this.
  17. 22-rimfire

    22-rimfire Gold Member Gold Member

    Nov 20, 2005
    Love this picture!
    taldesta likes this.
  18. taldesta

    taldesta Retired :-) Time is the Gold Platinum Member

    Jan 24, 2013
    Well at 4 am my cold alert went off. I set it for a low of -4F (-20C) outside temp (not inside :D) so that I can catch coals in the woodstove before the water pipes on the North wall are in danger of freezing up - which they will at my recorded temp of -7.6F (-22C). I have to pay attention or pay the price.

    Over most winters I might have to get up once overnight to stog the woodburner perhaps only on three or four especially cold nights ... so that's not so bad.

    Typical retired but early morning routine here includes attention to the pup, the fire/morning coffee ... email, a visit to BF and the 7 day weather forecast - all the while absorbing the news on the radio.

    Then the low sunrise begins to coast over the snowdrifts and I'm out there with my camera. Thankful for digital these days.

    Some very intricate patterns will appear as the snow recedes. The tunnels and haunts of the critters who move around all winter in safety underground will show like fine lace on the surface. I've never captured these well with the camera to date. Also the camera fails to catch the crystal sparkle across the snow the way I see it (the clear, red and green 'diamonds') - I'll have to learn why that is with the digital.

    I am phoning in my full seed order as it stands. To heck with the budgets, going for it!
  19. 22-rimfire

    22-rimfire Gold Member Gold Member

    Nov 20, 2005
    I don't recommend Burgess Seeds. They are the people that refused to cancel my order even after only a single day after placing the order. They sent me the pack of seeds about a month later which I ultimately ended up paying over $20 for a single pack of seeds.

    @taldesta I think you have the gardening itch. -4*F is cold!
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2020
  20. taldesta

    taldesta Retired :-) Time is the Gold Platinum Member

    Jan 24, 2013
    I order from Veseys on PEI, occasionally live corms from Botanus in BC - they keep me in colourful catalogues filled with blooms, bulbs and produce over winter. There's always a signed 'thank you' note in the box and so far no disappointments.

    I've already picked up some seeds locally and yesterday I brought home gladiola and more crocosmia bulbs as well. BTW daytime temps are forecast to be above 0C (32F) for the next 7 days! Sunshine today, above freezing ... glorious snowshoeing :cool:. As far as I am concerned, spring has sprung - March 1 already. OK, there will be snow and cold blips ahead, but temporary.

    My restraint in planting seeds is extraordinary this year. Often I start in December and lose house space for months and of course wind up with poor, long-legged plants. Older smarter ... somewhat :rolleyes:


    On a sad note, I am sorry to share that Daisy died on February 22nd. Missing my dear girl.

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