Always Time to be Grateful

Today, on Thanksgiving Day, Nov. 22, 2018, as on every other day there is so much to be thankful for. For waking up, for food, clean water and shelter, for friends and family, for the opportunities to volunteer and the ability to do so. this year at age 57 I returned to school, taking Horticulture classes at a local junior college to update my skills and knowledge. I overdid it with four classes, so my time management skills have been as severely tested as my ability to memorize and learn new concepts. Without my daughter’s help it would be less successful. 

Finch Frolic Garden continues on and as we close the garden to the public for the winter, it remains open and thriving for wildlife seeking clean water, shelter and food as well. For my birthday, Miranda bought me a game camera which has recorded some interesting life in the bog area of the pond. Now we know why the irises are always smashed. The two glowing orbs from under the boat are just reflections, not a monster, but the ones from the pond are invasive bullfrogs. The juvenile red shouldered hawk has been walking around in the bog several times.  Pond life is full of surprises!







We didn’t burn this go round with wildfires. We are maintaining, and therefore are so grateful for everything that we have, even the troubles that we have as they are not as severe as so many other’s. I am especially grateful to have a permaculture habitat so that these animals can survive.

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving everyday.

MVI 1384

Thanksgiving morning, September 22, 2018, at Finch Frolic Garden Permaculture pond. Pardon the squeaky camera lens and the leaf blower from somewhere.

7 thoughts on “Always Time to be Grateful

  1. Jane, are the fires near to you? Its horrible to see the fire map of Australia right now! Unbelievable. I am hoping that you are safe!

  2. Jane, I’m really glad to know that you are having some success. A month ago the fire department took a hydration test of wild plants. Anything below 60% hydration is considered a major fire risk. The results were 43% hydration. That, coupled with increased Santa Ana winds (they are high velocity winds off the desert, very hot in the day and cool at night, and extremely dry, when usually we have offshore winds from the ocean that are slightly humid) make for a very scary time. California is burning up. We do expect some rain Thursday, so hopefully it will be enough to quench any fire threat for the winter season, and hopefully plants will have a chance to take a lot of that in. Good luck in your summer! Artificial shade might have to be the answer for all of us, as they cover crops with fabric shelters in Africa. Take care! Diane

  3. Hi Diane,
    Yes most of the young trees I planted last year have survived, but I have lost a few, I guess that’s only to be expected, especially as I was on holiday interstate with my family for two week recently and so nothing was watered. Also as well as having had little rain over autumn, winter and spring, while I was away from home we had above average temperatures, still I was pleasantly surprised at how well everything looked and have been watering like mad since I got home. The peach trees I planted about eight years ago are quite big and happily I had planted them close together, so they now form a bit of a small canopy, but the trees I’ve planted in the last couple of years have been tube stock (tiny) so they have a way to go yet. Buying them small is cheaper so I can buy more. I am hoping to take cuttings of the ones that do well to increase my plantings. I still have grass, dry and brown looking, but still slightly green at ground level, also some green clover as well. Neighbouring properties are brown and bare, so I think the swales are helping me, and I think because of this grass the kangaroos have left my trees alone so far, but it really looks like the end of summer here, instead of they beginning. We do indeed live in interesting times!

  4. Thanks, Margaret! We’ve always had raccoons here; they like to poop on the roof. ‘First flush’ means something different for us when it begins to rain! The really amazing creature the camera captured is the young hawk. He likes standing around the bog. We also caught a Cooper’s hawk standing there, too. Maybe for a bath and a drink? Most of the photos are of ducks and raccoons. I love the camera! Thanks for commenting; great to hear from you!

  5. First of all, Happy Birthday Diane. That trail camera is great. The racoons surprised me. I’ve never seen any here. It is amazing to see what stops by the pond during the night. Will look forward to more photos of the night critters.

  6. Hi Jane! Its so good to hear from you. As we turn our season from a very long, hot and dry summer after a dry, warm winter, I’ve been wondering how you and your property have been doing. We had 1/4″ of rain yesterday, which was enough to wash off the leaves and probably germinate weed seeds, but the garden smelled fantastic afterwards. All the different chipped wood on the sheet mulch sent up their own spicy scents, and the plants were so happy to be cleaned and slightly hydrated. I hope there is more rain in store for us in the coming months. We have fire season almost year-round now, as last December a terrible fire swept through the neighboring area and took out many homes and a horse ranch. The climate has changed so much since I moved onto this property 19 years ago, and certainly since I was growing up in the area. We reached 118F here twice this summer; two years ago we thought 116F was outrageous, when ten years ago going over 100F was extreme. How are your plants growing? Any luck with establishing some young trees to start a windbreak and beginning canopy? You are really fighting a tough fight there; good for you for keeping at it. Thanks for keeping me in the loop. Take care, Diane

  7. Hi Diane,
    I am so very pleased you and your sanctuary are safe from the terrible fires. It’s lovely to see the videos looking so green and healthy. How interesting to see the wildlife that moves through at night and even the daytime when no one is around to disturb them. If only everyone who could, used permaculture principals we would not have these tragedies on such a catastrophic scale. My own little food forest is growing slowly, and as we’ve had two dry winters and springs in a row it would not be growing at all if I hadn’t dug the swales. One of my grandsons has taken the horses to a more fitting environment, and I am planning to extend the planting, into the paddock they used to be in here. Videos like yours keep me motivated.

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