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On 21/09/2020 at 10:32, Allan Bell said:

Two things good.

 

The gardeners started work on tearing out all the greenery in my back garden today. They are back tomorrow to remove the grass and some soil.

 

I left my iMac computer running for some time while I did something else. When I came back the screen was showing a lovely hypnotic psychedelic light show with different merging patterns and colours so I sat and watched it for a while until I nearly went to sleep. Useful if you want to calm down after a stressful day.

 

Allan

 

So what is the work in the back garden for? Are you going to put stones down? Make a patio? No greenery or grass? Here I’ve been strewing grass seed lately and planted things in the spring. I’d kick somebody if they tore my grass and greenery out.

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I got three images into a gallery show that's opening in a couple of weeks. 

This one is my favorite of the three - Since it was taken during the pandemic and I feel it is quite a hopeful image, I called it Resilience (link to the photo is in the name)

 

I also had a sale here today - of a photo I really like.  

 

And my husband is buying me an easel for my birthday - one that I can use for pastels (it can tip slightly forward) and for watercolors (it can be used horizontally). I started a group of art classes where I could pick and choose different media shortly before the pandemic which was so much fun and now I'll be able to play around with the different media much more easily. Pastels are really a mess if you don't have an easel. 

 

I also purchased some interesting vinyl backgrounds with gorgeous textures to use for food and other still life photography. I realized that I really needed to invest in something to help me up my game. I worked as an assistant for an amazingly talented food photographer when I was starting out and so my food shots will never live up to expectations, but I figure these props could help. I'm excited to try new things until I can travel again and/or take on assignments. 

Edited by Marianne
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6 hours ago, Betty LaRue said:

So what is the work in the back garden for? Are you going to put stones down? Make a patio? No greenery or grass? Here I’ve been strewing grass seed lately and planted things in the spring. I’d kick somebody if they tore my grass and greenery out.

 

Stripping out ALL greenery, Laying new and sorting old slab paths the rest is to be medium gravel 3" deep. This for low maintenance garden. I am not a gardener anyway.

 

I might lay down a large scale model railway later.

 

Allan

 

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As a follow-up to my "bad thing" reported earlier this month, I have now successfully completed my National Speed Awareness course. It was very informative and well worth doing.

Additional benefits were no points to go on my licence and in the current Covid-19 situation it was a Digital course done on line which made me go another step up the technology ladder by purchasing and installing a Webcam which worked like a dream.

Jim :)

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A lodge meeting, and my first time into town since the last one in February! Really improved my mood. As a fellow Freemason said, "back to a bit of normal".

Compulsory face masks still a problem as my glasses steam up. But hey.

Then back for a party in the garden.

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On 24/09/2020 at 10:11, Allan Bell said:

 

Stripping out ALL greenery, Laying new and sorting old slab paths the rest is to be medium gravel 3" deep. This for low maintenance garden. I am not a gardener anyway.

 

I might lay down a large scale model railway later.

 

Allan

 

 

Seems a bit sad to be removing all of the plants. If I could have only one living thing in the garden it would be a small apple tree, you get glorious spring colour followed by a crop of attractive tasty fruit, while interesting small birds will visit to pick off the bugs. Bulbs are virtually maintenance free, and if you choose the right variety they will multiply and can be replanted elsewhere e.g Narcissus 'Tete-a-Tete'.

 

I would find someone else's garden railway interesting, particularly if it involved live steam engines, but hardly maintenance free!

 

 

 

 

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On 24/09/2020 at 04:11, Allan Bell said:

 

Stripping out ALL greenery, Laying new and sorting old slab paths the rest is to be medium gravel 3" deep. This for low maintenance garden. I am not a gardener anyway.

 

I might lay down a large scale model railway later.

 

Allan

 

Then you’ll have to spray the weeds as they come up through or among the gravel, or pull them. I have it down in my flower beds, even have the weed guard material under the gravel. Somehow something always sprouts. I pull the weeds.

I stopped to think what I’ve planted since moving here 2 1/2 years ago.

4 spiraea japonica shrubs

4 Rose of Sharon, Althea  One pink double bloom, a single pink, a pale lavender, and a white with a red throat.

one crabapple tree

created a pretty statement bell-shaped bed in front that hold one of the altheas, and I plant 3 flowering plants there each spring.

5 milkweed plants for the Monarch butterflies

2 Joe Pye weeds for the butterflies
5 tomato plants and I can’t eat the fruit fast enough even while giving some to the neighbors. (I don’t can or make salsa)
whew

Edited by Betty LaRue
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10 hours ago, Broad Norfolk said:

As a follow-up to my "bad thing" reported earlier this month, I have now successfully completed my National Speed Awareness course. It was very informative and well worth doing.

Additional benefits were no points to go on my licence and in the current Covid-19 situation it was a Digital course done on line which made me go another step up the technology ladder by purchasing and installing a Webcam which worked like a dream.

Jim :)

Good for you! All’s well, then.

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6 minutes ago, Bryan said:

 

Seems a bit sad to be removing all of the plants. If I could have only one living thing in the garden it would be a small apple tree, you get glorious spring colour followed by a crop of attractive tasty fruit, while interesting small birds will visit to pick off the bugs. Bulbs are virtually maintenance free, and if you choose the right variety they will multiply and can be replanted elsewhere e.g Narcissus 'Tete-a-Tete'.

 

I would find someone else's garden railway interesting, particularly if it involved live steam engines, but hardly maintenance free!

 

 

 

 

Well, Bryan, there are gardeners and there are conductors. :D You and I like the green things. Renewal. I would enjoy seeing the trains, but I’d want them to be hauling little flower pots as freight.

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I had two bird baths. I listed them on Facebook Marketplace yesterday and sold one this evening. I got tired of constantly pulling out the hose to clean and fill them. There is a beautiful water source, a large pond/small lake behind the houses across the street. So I don’t have to worry about thirsty birds.

Before I moved, they were a great source to take pictures of birds drinking or bathing. This house isn’t set up to conveniently do that. I no longer have bird feeders out because there are so many squirrels and cats here. I don’t want to fight the squirrels over the sunflower seeds I fed, and I don’t want to provide a food source for the cats. I do have a hummingbird feeder hanging from my porch ceiling, totally safe from cats.

Nice to have money in hand and less work from it.

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Dear friends,
I am happy to inform you that "Time" magazine in its latest issue "The 100 Most Influential People of 2020" published my picture on 82 years old “Bilkis Dadi” from Shaheen Bagh, New Delhi, in Indian writer Ms Rana Ayyub’s story on "Bilkis”.

 https://time.com/collection/100-most-influential-people-2020/5888255/bilkis/

time-100-Bilkis.jpg?w=800&quality=85

© Anil Sharma 🇮🇳
sharmaanilji@gmail.com
(India)

 
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4 hours ago, Betty LaRue said:

Good for you! All’s well, then.

Yes, not bad Betty. The course was at an appropriate time too. Yesterday there was quite an active and developing low pressure area just of the East coast in my part of the UK producing over 3.5 inches of rain (according to my rain gauge) and winds of 60 mph plus. Glad I was inside doing the course! It's still raining this morning and it seems we are getting more than a month's worth in a couple of days after weeks of near drought conditions. I suppose this is some sort of legacy of climate change! However, good for gardens, and it will be good for preparing my other half's wild patch in readiness for next year. When the weather calms down it should be good for searching out fungi so a nice change of subject.

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7 hours ago, Bryan said:

 

Seems a bit sad to be removing all of the plants. If I could have only one living thing in the garden it would be a small apple tree, you get glorious spring colour followed by a crop of attractive tasty fruit, while interesting small birds will visit to pick off the bugs. Bulbs are virtually maintenance free, and if you choose the right variety they will multiply and can be replanted elsewhere e.g Narcissus 'Tete-a-Tete'.

 

I would find someone else's garden railway interesting, particularly if it involved live steam engines, but hardly maintenance free!

 

 

 

 

 

Hi Bryan, I know it is a bit sad for you as a long established gardened but, as I said, I am not a gardener and consider maintaining a garden as a waste of time for myself. I do like to see nice gardens and they do fill me with joy. My hobbies are photography and building and sailing RC scale model boats. Used to build and fly RC model aircraft as well but circumstances stopped me from continuing with that brach of the hobby. Will probably be adding scale model railways in the not too distant future. Horses for courses as they say.

 

 

7 hours ago, Betty LaRue said:

Then you’ll have to spray the weeds as they come up through or among the gravel, or pull them. I have it down in my flower beds, even have the weed guard material under the gravel. Somehow something always sprouts. I pull the weeds.

I stopped to think what I’ve planted since moving here 2 1/2 years ago.

4 spiraea japonica shrubs

4 Rose of Sharon, Althea  One pink double bloom, a single pink, a pale lavender, and a white with a red throat.

one crabapple tree

created a pretty statement bell-shaped bed in front that hold one of the altheas, and I plant 3 flowering plants there each spring.

5 milkweed plants for the Monarch butterflies

2 Joe Pye weeds for the butterflies
5 tomato plants and I can’t eat the fruit fast enough even while giving some to the neighbors. (I don’t can or make salsa)
whew

 

Spraying weed will not be a problem as it does not take up too much time. The ground was sprayed with a strong weed killer before the membrane was laid. But there will always be the odd seeds the birds drop that take root later.

 

Heavens! Is it really 2 1/2 years since you moved?

Time flies.

 

Allan

 

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3 hours ago, Allan Bell said:

 

Hi Bryan, I know it is a bit sad for you as a long established gardened but, as I said, I am not a gardener and consider maintaining a garden as a waste of time for myself. I do like to see nice gardens and they do fill me with joy. My hobbies are photography and building and sailing RC scale model boats. Used to build and fly RC model aircraft as well but circumstances stopped me from continuing with that brach of the hobby. Will probably be adding scale model railways in the not too distant future. Horses for courses as they say.

 

 

 

Spraying weed will not be a problem as it does not take up too much time. The ground was sprayed with a strong weed killer before the membrane was laid. But there will always be the odd seeds the birds drop that take root later.

 

Heavens! Is it really 2 1/2 years since you moved?

Time flies.

 

Allan

 

It surely does, Allan. Moved end of February 2018. 
 

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5 hours ago, Broad Norfolk said:

Yes, not bad Betty. The course was at an appropriate time too. Yesterday there was quite an active and developing low pressure area just of the East coast in my part of the UK producing over 3.5 inches of rain (according to my rain gauge) and winds of 60 mph plus. Glad I was inside doing the course! It's still raining this morning and it seems we are getting more than a month's worth in a couple of days after weeks of near drought conditions. I suppose this is some sort of legacy of climate change! However, good for gardens, and it will be good for preparing my other half's wild patch in readiness for next year. When the weather calms down it should be good for searching out fungi so a nice change of subject.

The book “Grapes of Wrath” came from severe drought in Oklahoma.1930s maybe?  All the farmers could grow is dust. Why these things happen, who knows. Mother Nature seems to get moody now and then.

 

You must know your fungi well to take on searching it out. To me, they are all toadstools unless they’re edible, then they are mushrooms.
As newlyweds stationed near an Air Force base far from Oklahoma, somebody told us a place where mushrooms could be found. I had never eaten one. Since we were practically starving on Air Force pay, we looked for them, found them, picked them.  At home, I sautéed them in butter. Why we lived is a miracle. It was years later before I learned how deadly some are, and how important to know what one is picking.

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3 hours ago, Betty LaRue said:

The book “Grapes of Wrath” came from severe drought in Oklahoma.1930s maybe?  All the farmers could grow is dust. Why these things happen, who knows. Mother Nature seems to get moody now and then.

 

We had some really bad slightly less successful farmers in my family. The dust bowl was all man made. The good thing was that after a while government stepped in with some proper science, that's why it's not the US Sahara now. One more thing we should FDR be grateful for apparently. (The other thing being our liberation over here of course!)

My patch is tiny but I can add a vote for bulbs.

My bird feeders have become crow feeders. No squirrels in our street. Besides I had to take my beautiful Sumac tree down. So no place to hang them from at the moment.

 

Everybody knows about the great photography that came out of that dust bowl crisis of course. (1, 2, 3, 4)

But if you want to squander away some days listening to great music from that time for free, have a look here.

I must admit it's not Spotify. But it's real folk. Not like music from folk records, but music from real folk. 

(There may even be some flatfooting in there. 😁 Not the right region I know, but people came from everywhere.)

Worth it!

 

wim

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1 hour ago, wiskerke said:

 

We had some really bad slightly less successful farmers in my family. The dust bowl was all man made. The good thing was that after a while government stepped in with some proper science, that's why it's not the US Sahara now. One more thing we should FDR be grateful for apparently. (The other thing being our liberation over here of course!)

My patch is tiny but I can add a vote for bulbs.

My bird feeders have become crow feeders. No squirrels in our street. Besides I had to take my beautiful Sumac tree down. So no place to hang them from at the moment.

 

Everybody knows about the great photography that came out of that dust bowl crisis of course. (1, 2, 3, 4)

But if you want to squander away some days listening to great music from that time for free, have a look here.

I must admit it's not Spotify. But it's real folk. Not like music from folk records, but music from real folk. 

(There may even be some flatfooting in there. 😁 Not the right region I know, but people came from everywhere.)

Worth it!

 

wim

Oh, if only I could have hung bird feeders from my tree. I actually did, once. One of those feeders that if anything heavier than a birds weight on the bar shuts it off. Then the squirrels hung upside down off the branch and enjoyed their dinner. Not quite sure how the seed made its way to the stomach....
They are some of the smartest critters on earth when it comes to problem solving. And that is a sign of intelligence.


And yes, poor farming techniques contributed to the dust bowl and allowed the soil to blow away. But those mistakes didn’t cause the drought.

Edited by Betty LaRue
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2 hours ago, Betty LaRue said:

Oh, if only I could have hung bird feeders from my tree. I actually did, once. One of those feeders that if anything heavier than a birds weight on the bar shuts it off. Then the squirrels hung upside down off the branch and enjoyed their dinner. Not quite sure how the seed made its way to the stomach....
They are some of the smartest critters on earth when it comes to problem solving. And that is a sign of intelligence.


And yes, poor farming techniques contributed to the dust bowl and allowed the soil to blow away. But those mistakes didn’t cause the drought.

 

I'll have to look up those feeders of yours.

 

You're right about the drought.

That land had always been there long before there were farmers. Nature whether she's our mother or not, had always been there, with her droughts and rains and all. Now after a couple of good years there come these farmers who have been given this land and all goes well. Then masses of more people come and then there come these big new machines. Now had these people ever farmed? Not like a little patch in the village or even the city? Had they ever farmed with machines? Had they ever seen arid land let alone try to farm it. No no and no. And then someone comes along and says rain will follow the plow. Where did that magical thinking come from? It's like those guys that proclaimed the end of history a couple of years back. Well you know what, father time and uncle history will come back at you and bite you in the behind and mother nature will come and wack you some over the head.

I can hear my grandfather's voice: Mockery!  (The worst sin of all.) I think nowadays they call it hubris. Same thing.

 

wim

 

edit: some music with that.

edit 2: just in case: yes I do know the bible verse. (I have been keywording St Paul last couple of days)

Edited by wiskerke
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4 hours ago, wiskerke said:

 

I'll have to look up those feeders of yours.

 

You're right about the drought.

That land had always been there long before there were farmers. Nature whether she's our mother or not, had always been there, with her droughts and rains and all. Now after a couple of good years there come these farmers who have been given this land and all goes well. Then masses of more people come and then there come these big new machines. Now had these people ever farmed? Not like a little patch in the village or even the city? Had they ever farmed with machines? Had they ever seen arid land let alone try to farm it. No no and no. And then someone comes along and says rain will follow the plow. Where did that magical thinking come from? It's like those guys that proclaimed the end of history a couple of years back. Well you know what, father time and uncle history will come back at you and bite you in the behind and mother nature will come and wack you some over the head.

I can hear my grandfather's voice: Mockery!  (The worst sin of all.) I think nowadays they call it hubris. Same thing.

 

wim

 

edit: some music with that.

edit 2: just in case: yes I do know the bible verse. (I have been keywording St Paul last couple of days)

If you have time, watch this

https://nerdist.com/article/squirrel-obstacle-course/

Edited by Betty LaRue
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14 hours ago, Betty LaRue said:

 

Yes looove it.

 

Crows are clever too:

1; 2; 3; 4; and a TED talk.

My initial defense system, a cage around the feeder, only helped them emptying the feeders.

It's like this, but DIY and a whole lot cheaper. According to this guy it's the best system against bully birds. He hasn't met our crows.

 

wim

 

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8 hours ago, Allan Bell said:

Had a conversation with a cat today.

 

Allan

 

 

Yours or a neighbours cat paying a visit? My cat is very vocal first thing in the day. Our discussion is usually regarding what of the many cat food tins or sachets he fancies for breakfast. Our communication is very hit and miss, and he has no set favourite. If the choice is wrong it barely gets a sniff before he restarts our conversation. Today's choice was beef in jelly which he devoured. The neighbours cats usually gets the unwanted breakfast, they missed out today.

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6 hours ago, wiskerke said:

 

Yes looove it.

 

Crows are clever too:

1; 2; 3; 4; and a TED talk.

My initial defense system, a cage around the feeder, only helped them emptying the feeders.

It's like this, but DIY and a whole lot cheaper. According to this guy it's the best system against bully birds. He hasn't met our crows.

 

wim

 

Number 5, the hopper feeder is the one I had. Even though a squirrel’s weight would shut it, they learned to hang from above so as not to put weight on the bar.
Also had the domed one. And yes, the seed did get wet. Most of our rain and snow involves some wind, blowing the moisture sideways.

 

Then I had a very expensive one (around $100) mounted on a pole near my dining room window. It was supposed to be squirrel proof, but as soon as we mounted it, a raccoon tore it to pieces that night. I never found out if the squirrels could master it. Best I can remember, considering it’s short life, I think it was one with a cage around it. We did get a city-provided trap for the raccoon because it tore up 3 feeders. That was expensive. The city just took it to the countryside and released it.
 

Squirrels don’t like niger or safflower seed. Sunflower seeds? Squirrels will slit your throat for it, even though we put out corn. And sunflower seeds were what my cardinals, titmouses and chickadees loved.
Downy woodpeckers developed a love for sunflower seeds. They couldn’t just take them in their beaks and crack them, but learned to wedge one in a crack in the bark of my crabapple tree. Then they hung on the tree and pecked it open. Quite fascinating to watch.

The crow was amazing.

Edited by Betty LaRue
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On 26/09/2020 at 06:48, Anil Sharma said:

Dear friends,
I am happy to inform you that "Time" magazine in its latest issue "The 100 Most Influential People of 2020" published my picture on 82 years old “Bilkis Dadi” from Shaheen Bagh, New Delhi, in Indian writer Ms Rana Ayyub’s story on "Bilkis”.

https://time.com/collection/100-most-influential-people-2020/5888255/bilkis/

time-100-Bilkis.jpg?w=800&quality=85

© Anil Sharma 🇮🇳
sharmaanilji@gmail.com
(India)

 

Congratulations Anil, it’s a lovely portrait.

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