Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Growing Aphids

It's that time of year where we recoil at the cold temperatures, knowing full well the worst is yet to come. I'm hoping I can grow a nice furry undercoat, like our outdoors-dwelling dog. That, or I'll be drinking more tea.
Shabby Chic is the "in style" for cedar trees this year, featuring burlap coats with nylon rope trim:

Every few days, I go down and check on the herb seedlings and other basements plants kept under fluorescent lights. I like to have some fresh herbs on hand for cooking over the winter time, but that has not been very successful so far.
Herbs under the lights:

I was not too surprised to see some aphids a few weeks ago, as I've been through this many times before. These little green imports came inside with the plants and cuttings brought in this fall. No matter how careful you are, preventing aphids on plants coming indoors is like preventing influenza from coming in through Canadian airports. These little infectious bugs are just too sneaky. I first saw them hanging out on the tips of the orchids and on the parsley and cilantro. They particularly love the herbs, but they leave the strong-smelling perlargonium cuttings alone. I've been squishing them and used up the last my insecticidal soap sprays. Now, I'm using some Sunlight dish soap diluted in water, which I hope will get the tiny ones that I can't see.
My attempt at a winter display at our front door (cedar boughs from BC, red dogwood twigs, and crabapples):

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

La Ronge and Wildlife

Sorry. No plant pictures today, but I'm hoping to get the orchids to do something photographically interesting soon. It's the time of year that I purpose to neglect the orchids until they panic, pushing up stems of blossoms in order to perpetuate themselves in the case of imminent death. That's my approach to forcing orchids to bloom, in a nutshell.

We had snow last week and it's still hanging around. The slight warming over the weekend led to mud on all my pant-legs. I had to stop and take photos of this creature I saw on top the road on the way to work this morning. Apparently, the bald eagles (this one must be young, as most of the head feathers are brown) have not all traveled to warm southern locations yet.
Eagle in downtown La Ronge:

I saw him/her on the light across the street from Kosta's restaurant. The floatplane pilot said that it has been hanging around the area for a few days. (You can click on the picture to see it enlarged.)

Some houses in the Morin's Hill area of Lac La Ronge Indian reserve, here in La Ronge:

The edges of the lake and the bays are starting to freeze up. The trip in the floatplane today started with crunching as we broke through a layer of ice with the floats.

The bridge between Air Ronge (left) and La Ronge (right), with the Montreal River passing under the bridge and into Lac La Ronge:

Sun over Lac La Ronge this morning: