On Collecting Seeds

It's late July and I've started the ritual of seed collecting. This is something I learned from my mother a very long time ago. She was an avid gardener. She grew up on a farm and could grow vegetables with equal success as flowers...while I may have a long way to go as a food grower I do seem to have her knack for flowers.

The flowers I remember most strongly are poppies (Somniferum/Bread Seed; which is the poppy with the huge pods) and pansies (Viola species) and like most everyone else, I knew about sunflower seeds.

Fun flower to learn with- Somniferum poppy...showy flowers, large pods, noisy, lots of seeds.

Sunflower is great to learn with- seeds are easy to come by, grows big and fast, spectacular flower, birdfood.

I think most children learn about propagation of species from being told about how dandelions send their seeds off with little fringed parachutes –and of course by plucking them and helping the process along!- but I think it fortunate when they can learn from first hand experience with proper plants.

When my mother first showed me how to shake out the seeds rattling around in the dried up poppy pod I was delighted to see the hidden surprise and annoyed to find insects would sometimes fall out as well. I took her word for it that new poppies would come from these seeds if they were left on the ground. I never thought of it as particularly amazing and rather took it all for granted as that seemed to be how things in the world worked...I did think it was fortunate that my mother was such a good gardener and didn't have to buy poppy seed from the store to make Mohnkuchen (German poppy seed cake).

Later on she showed me pansy pods split to reveal little collections of tiny round golden balls- a far less prolific supplier of new flowers and I learned that different plants had different habits in not only how much seed they could produce but how they dispersed it. It occurred to me around that time that those dandelion seeds that floated on the breeze were very land-greedy and created a lot of work in the way of weeding and that some plants could become virtually permanently resident if they had long roots. Salsify/Goats Beard is an example of a plant you don’t want to encourage.

Pansy seeds at the perfect moment to collect.

Wait too long and you loose seeds to nature.

Ultimately the undesirable plants are cost free and care free while the desirable ones are usually bought and tend to require more care to cultivate. HOWEVER, I do believe in getting something for nothing or next to nothing so I collect seed. I talk to neighbors who are fellow gardeners or at least understand the economy of it all and get seed from them and when the time comes for me to harvest my own will return the favor with seeds (future plants) that they (currently) don’t have.

I've been collecting Columbine seed all month and have LOADS of it.

Spanish Bluebell as seen from nearly above- haven't been able to grow it here- YET.

This is what nasturtium seeds look like.

Sweet William seeds collected today from a neighbor.

Sweet Pea still green- the 'ripe' seeds for picking are nearly perfectly round and almost black.

So, if anyone is interested in trading seed let me know- I will have loads of columbine, poppy, sweet pea, calendula, and sunflower!


Quilchena Falls

Had a great time with my bro and sis on our hike to Quilchena Falls. A day of hiking, lunch and lounging around in the pool before coming back home exhausted but pleased and happy.
The trip in was a nice drive though forests and meadows full of wild flowers and butterflies and nothing our cars couldn't handle.
The falls were impressive- water thundered down a 60 meter drop from a fair sized creek that cut through volcanic rock. The trail down to the base of the falls was really steep and my brother was the only one who went down to take pictures of the falls and check out the pool at the bottom.

At the top was a shallow pool with a large smooth boulder on the bottom which was nice to walk on rather than the usual rocks and branches. Speaking of branches we actually cleared out a lot of the debris from the pool which provided a better access to getting in and out. We actually were able to establish a block across the water by shifting a log in case one of us slipped and was swept towards the falls. It would not be a pleasant drop (ie death by falling/drowning) so I don't recommend people going in the pool unless they can shift a log across the water. Our log actually broke loose from the current towards the end of our outing- it was small and just did the job to make us feel a bit more secure for the time it was there.

At one point of our day I found the antlers of a buck with most of the skull intact. My husband estimated it to be about 4 years old. I think it was shot from high up in the meadow and ran for cover in this ravine where it died and predators dragged the carcass around while eating it since the spine was quite removed from the head.
We actually cut through the bush to get to it and wound up upstream and had to hike down a ways. At the falls is a rough road leading in from further below which is where we exited. That road is part of the original road that we walked on and it took longer hiking out that coming in because it was all uphill.
Take lots of water with you because it's super hot there.

Property is owned or leased by the Douglas Lake Ranch. Your cel phone might not work out there so it might be wise to get permission before you head out. It's about a half hour hike to the falls from there in- you will eventually hear the sound of falling water.
I found out today from someone who has lived here a long time that you need permission to go to the falls as the owners are not friendly to folks who don't. I also removed directions to the site so as not to encourage others to just go there thinking a call from a cell phone would suffice.


Children's Portraiture.

I thought I would share some of my favorite photos from a recent event. Family Fishing Day is where parents get to take their kids fishing for free and we have an organized event at Kentucky Alleyne Provincial Park where all the entrants got really nice participation prizes.

Some 30 or 40 children got fishing rods for prizes and many of them had actually caught fish in the (stocked) 'kids' lake at the park.
I regret that I was not able to get my card out to many people and hope the word gets out because virtually every person was photographed. So you folks at the the NVFGC spread the word- and anyone else who knows people who may have attended the event.

I should mention that I am a local photographer who licenses images, sells prints or a combination of both for weddings, birthdays, reunions etc. based in Merritt, B.C.
Watermarks do not appear on purchased images.



I am opening this post with a picture of my kitten, Dukat a.ka. Duky and Katzy :)

Bigger view of Katzy at DA

Yesterday I received my copy of of a Photoshop resources book and cd compilation from a Japanese publisher who I was in contact with this year. I'm quite pleased to see my Photoshop patterns (seamless tiles) look pretty good in there- although I did make the effort to provide them with a better resolution to use than what I originally posted online.

Essentially the book is a collection of really nice samples of digital resources created by the artistic community (not all of whom use Photoshop as their main tool of choice- such as myself) that can be used primarily with Photoshop; name the patterns and brushes but there are also over 200 jpg images that can be used with any software.

I am a specialist in making patterns for Photoshop and the irony is that they are made with a competing product- Corel Draw and Photopaint. Both programs have their merits. Photoshop brushes and patterns are more user friendly and apply more smoothly but the program is awkward to learn and really expensive whereas Corel software is far easier to learn and cheaper but has way more rough edges that should have been fixed A DECADE AGO.

On another subject, my hubby got commissioned to write several articles for the upcoming season in the world of shooting sports publications and I am very happy for him and us.

bigger view at DA of Flower Triptych

Bigger view of Dogwood Nursery at DA

Our garden is doing well and hopefully before fall we can still get a fruit tree for the front yard but there is so much other stuff that needs to be done I am not counting on it anymore. But if we do it will either be an ornamental cherry, apricot (iffy, I know) or a (dessert) plum. My sis and I were in Kelowna last week checking out Bylands and Dogwood Nurserys and surprisingly Dogwood had better selection but then they are slightly off the beaten path. It will probably be next year the way I'm waffling!

We watched the fireworks display on July first at the park. The volunteer people were a bit silly:

Just here :)

And finally I will close with an image of the beautiful poppies that are finally blooming after all the regular ornamentals have started to fade. My ambition is actually to grow all kinds of poppies as my main decorative flowers along with cornflowers and large daisys...a bit American in colour scheme but so what- red, white and blue make a good colour mix.

Bigger View of Papaver Somniferum at DA