Monday, May 15, 2017

The Busy Month of May

Spring has officially come here in all its glory, and you may have noticed a lack of posting on my part, but I can assure you it is not because I have a lack of things to share, but because we have been so busy with all the things going on here that I just haven't had the time.  After a long winter it feels great to get outside and just enjoy the beautiful weather we have been having.


The garden is freshly tilled and waiting to be planted.  Because of the very wet and cold spring we have been having, I will be waiting until June to plant my warm-weather plants, but I have already put in my peas, carrots, onions, kale, broccoli, spinach and Swiss chard.


We bought this little gazebo last fall, and my intention was to make it into a greenhouse, but we have changed our plans for it, and have decided to make it a potting/storage shed, and I am quite excited to have a place to store all my gardening tools. I have also created a little "garden within a garden" area to the left of the shed.  It is a lightly shaded area, and as it is a work in progress, I will show you more about it later once I have flowers blooming there, but I am very excited about having a place for my flowers, without worries of chickens or dogs mowing it down, lol!


A year or so ago, our trees were attacked with pine beetles, and we lost hundreds of trees.  The cleanup of these dead trees has been ongoing, and really consuming our time lately.  We are trying to get them cleared up before fire season arrives.


Depending on the size of the tree, it can take quite a bit of work to fell the dead tree, cut off the dead limbs, haul the limbs to the brush pile, cut the wood into firewood, load the firewood  into the tractor, to be dumped onto our ever growing woodpile.


We are so thankful for our tractor as it does a massive amount of work for us.  In the loader of the tractor, it can hold the entirety of a medium sized lodgepole pine tree full of firewood, to be taken and dumped on our woodpile.


This sweet little girl is our ever-present helper as we work on the seemingly endless tree project.


A pensive moment with Miss Riley, shared by myself... as exhaustion sets in, with all the work involved in the removal of all the dead trees.


I don't think you can know the meaning of exhaustion until you have worked with lodgepole pines, lol!  These lodgepole (or jack) pines are considered the "curse of the forest" for many, because they are fast growing trees, but because they grow so fast, their limbs die as they grow, creating massive amounts of dead limbs even on a tree that is living.  So the brush from these trees creates a lot of work to collect and burn.  This huge slash pile that you see was built by us within a few hours, after felling about 15 lodgepole trees.




Here you can see the work that we still have in front of us.  The power company came out this winter, and laid down about 100 dead trees that were too close to the power lines.  We have made only a small dent in cleaning up the brush from these dead trees.


Burning the slash piles is always an exciting event, as it brings us one step closer to our goal of cleaning up the dead trees and brush that are such a fire hazard.


The dogs kept us in close company as we worked.  We have often joked that we wished we could train them to haul brush, lol!


On a happier note... my tulips have bloomed!  I bought these tulips from Breck's last fall, and am thrilled about their beautiful blooms that we are now enjoying in the garden.


I love this gorgeous two-toned tulip.  It doesn't grow as tall as the others, but its beauty is stunning.


Many gorgeous shades of bright colors are now gracing the flower beds.


I surely can't pick a favorite, all of them have beautiful rich deep colors.


My strawberries are beginning to put on their blooms.  These are my June-Bearing strawberries, and we are looking forward to our first strawberry harvest of the year quite soon!


In the yard, wild phlox is growing everywhere.  Its soft purple hues brighten up the world around us.


Our comfy lounge chair has been taken over by our resident napper-in-chief.


A pair of Goldfinches visiting our bird feeders.  We love hearing their beautiful songs as they feed.


A herd of elk have taken up residence on our road, munching on the abundance of green grass that is growing this spring. They haven't visited our yard, as our dogs are not exactly the welcoming committee they hope to meet, lol!


~~~~~~~~

So that is a little update for the busy spring that we have been having here.  My husband and I did take one day off to go up into the mountains and just relax after all the work we have been doing.  I hope to come back in a day or two to share that day with you, it was a lovely one.  I have been quite absent in visiting blogs in the last couple of weeks, and I hope to find time soon to get back to visiting with all my wonderful readers.   :)  Until then, I hope that all of you have a blessed and lovely week ahead of you!


71 comments:

  1. This is quite a post!
    We have hemlocks here that have died out like that.
    I can not imagine all the work it takes to clear it all.
    We used to a lot of wood cutting years ago, I remember how hard the work was!

    Your dogs are so pretty!
    Such sweet companions!
    Your potting she'd will be wonderful!
    I hope you get a great harvest this year!
    Your tulips are lovely!
    Blessings!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I hate to hear trees of any kind dying from disease, so sad! And yes, so much work for the cleanup too! Any kind of work with wood is intense and hard! Thank you for your visit and very kind comments, have a blessed Memorial Day weekend :)

      Delete
  2. Nice to receive an update. I love your tulips, especially and it's always fun to see pics of your dogs. I admire you for the hard work it takes to get rid of these pines. Glad you had a day away to rest a little. Best wishes with your gardening and garden shed.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Spring is always so anticipated here, yet so much work, but we are glad to see the sun, and be able to do it :) Appreciate your visit Mildred, have a blessed Memorial Day weekend :)

      Delete
  3. You have been a very busy lady! Your tulips are lovely, your pup got so big and yes, that looks like a ton of work. There is always a lot of clean up in the spring, isn't there? I can't way to read about your day in the mountains, everyone needs a respite every now and then. I can't wait to get away a bit myself. Have a wonderful week!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, Riley sure grew in a hurry, we thought we watched her grow while she slept, lol! We do always have so much cleanup in the spring... such is life living in the pines :) Have a wonderful Memorial Day weekend :)

      Delete
  4. Wowza...busy!! But what a blessed life we have. I love your pictures.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Chrissy, appreciate your visit so much :)

      Delete
  5. Oh my, that's a lot of work for sure. Clearing that dead wood is wise and you know that and don't need me to say it. Your companions are a fun lot. We're headed to to northeastern Washington on Friday for a few days. Looks like there should be sunshine.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Clearing dead wood is not only wise, it is necessary in these parts, lol! Have a blessed Memorial Day weekend :)

      Delete
  6. Hi Marilyn! We have the pine beetle in Colorado, too. Sadness.
    Don't hate me but we have ONE pine tree in our yard. Yes, just the one! Bill trimmed it with a long saw today. At our Spokane house we had a yard full of pines.
    Don't exhaust yourself! No injuries!
    You're a great worker and your garden is looking so promising. Tulips are amazing! Well done!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It is so much sadness to see the trees killed by disease or insects. I won't hate you for only having one pine tree, lol, especially since you seem to know just how much work they are after having lived in Spokane! I am still enjoying my tulips, such joy indeed for me :) Have a blessed Memorial Day weekend :)

      Delete
  7. You've been busy! Take care!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes Marie, it has been a very busy spring here. We will be glad to get the dead trees taken care of. Still so much to do though... but we are enjoying the sweet blooms of spring which brings much joy :)

      Delete
  8. You've got a great garden going on! Can't wait to see it as the summer progresses. :) I used to have 3 big gardens, but now that I've moved, I can only have small garden boxes. It's definitely not enough, and we are praying for our own land; but until then, we will be doing some planting this week, since it has finally warmed up. I love gardening!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I love gardening too, and I've been doing lots of it this week, it feels great to be out playing in the dirt :) Have a blessed Memorial Day weekend!

      Delete
  9. That is so much work! I'm glad you have the tractor!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The tractor makes SUCH a difference in all the work we do, yes, we are thankful! Have a blessed Memorial Day weekend :)

      Delete
  10. Whew!! Hearing about all of that work makes me tired! I'm glad you have so much of it already done and behind you and trust the Lord to give you strength to complete this massive undertaking. That lavender tulip!! Oh, my! That is such a beautiful color...so was the deep pink one! God has so many beautiful colors in his world...He is so good to grace us with such beauty. May He ever bless you, sweet friend. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh that lavender tulip is truly gorgeous, I am loving all the colors, but the purple is indeed spectacular! The blessings of the Lord in many and varied ways never cease to amaze me! Thank you for your sweet visit and precious words, they are always a blessing to me! Hugs to you today :)

      Delete
  11. Such beautiful photos. And all that hard work that goes with them. Wow. For me May is also busy with work, but sadly in front of the computer and not outside. Sadly, because blogging must wait :-)
    Amalia
    xo

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, lots of hard work, but we are just glad to see the sunshine, and all the blooms too! Sorry that you are stuck inside working for the month of May, I'm glad you are able to get away for a vacation, and will look forward to your pictures when you return :)

      Delete
  12. Your photos alone tell a great story of hard work! Beautiful dog and I love the close ups of the colorful tulips. Wow, strawberries...bet you will make desserts or jam! Have a nice week.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, we wo zill be making lots of jam with those strawberries, and just plain enjoying them too! I am looking forward to the June bearing ones that are putting on strawberries now :) Have a blessed Memorial Day weekend!

      Delete
  13. How lovely your tulips are. Ours have finished here, and we are into Summer flowers now.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. My tulips are still blooming! This is late, even for here. But, I am enjoying them! Praying for you in this transition in your life!

      Delete
  14. OHHHHHHHHHH so very pretty where you live, Marilyn. smiling

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It is beautiful here, we love it so much :) Hugs to you Linda, hope you enjoyed your rainy day, and hope the sunshine comes out for the long weekend :)

      Delete
  15. You have a tremendous amount of work to do! Hope you're able to relax some and enjoy those beautiful flowers! Hugs!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Pine trees make so much work. We have enough trees to keep us busy for a lifetime, lol! We make it a priority to stop and enjoy the beauty around us though :) Have a blessed Memorial Day weekend!

      Delete
  16. Your tulips are stunning, Marilyn. I really like your garden potting shed and where it's located, nestled up against the trees. I look forward to seeing what you have planned for the flower garden. I know it will be beautiful. Miss Riley is getting so big! Wow, she is a beauty, just like the other two pups. I'm glad you had a day off just to relax in the mountains. Hugs, Nancy

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I am having fun with that potting shed Nancy! I am thinking about making the little area I've created into a terraced area. Riley is indeed growing way too fast, we think we could see her growing in her sleep, lol! Appreciate your visit Nancy, and hope your weekend is lovely and relaxing :)

      Delete
  17. What a lovely, big garden space you have. Taking those trees down and cleaning up is a huge task! I can see why you've been busy. Pine beetle went through our province - what a blight on the landscape. Things seem to be returning to normal now. A day off from all your hard work seems like a great idea - hope it was refreshing.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The pine beetles have been so terribly destructive, and so much work to clean up. We still have a lot to do, but progress has been made, and we focus on that! We definitely enjoyed our little break :) Have a great weekend!

      Delete
  18. I enjoyed seeing your garden and hearing all your news about what you are doing and planting. Spring is such a busy time once the weather cooperates so I understand your absence. What a job to cut those old pines up! Take care and enjoy all that spring/summer brings to you. Pam

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It has been a huge job working with those old pines, I am ready to cut down all of the jack pine on our property to be done with them, but that is such a big job, it will take us a long time to do it. I am glad that spring is showing up in your world, so exciting after this long winter! Hope you are enjoying lots of spring blooms :) Hugs!

      Delete
  19. I sure see a lot of work has been going on around your place. The garden veggies from your garden will be so yummy. Miss Riley looks all grown up, she is beautiful!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Miss Riley is such a sweetie, we love her more every day, she has really blessed our home with her sweet personality, and yes, she is growing way too fast! Appreciate your visits Mary, have a blessed weekend, hope you feel better!

      Delete
  20. I'm so impressed by the size of your garden plots and that you and your husband tackled all that tree take-down on your own! That is NOT a job for sissies, that's for sure.
    And needless to say, you have been missed here; so glad you're back, Marilyn!
    Blessings!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. No, this tree work is tough stuff for sure! We have more work planned this weekend. We took a getaway last weekend which I blogged about, and so this weekend has lots of work planned, as we have lovely weather to get it all done. 60s and 70s! Hope you and your husband are doing better Martha, continuing to keep you both in our prayers! Hugs to you today, and I pray you enjoy a lovely weekend :)

      Delete
  21. You have definitely been a busy girl! Everything looks so lush and green...and no more snow! I am noticing quite a lovely view of the mountains behind those pine trees you are working on....hmmm...what a nice trade off! You have such a lovely place to call home!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You have good eyes Debby! YES! I do have a lovely mountain view now, and that is a big pay off for all the work we've done! We are blessed to live where we do, so much thankfulness in our hearts :) Have a blessed weekend my friend!

      Delete
  22. I have missed your posts, but knew that this must be a busy time for you...and wow! It certainly is! I can't get over how much Riley has grown since we last saw her! Amazing! She is losing her puppy looks! You will be so blessed by your garden full of wonderful produce when it grows and matures. What a wonderful thing to pick your own vegetables from your own yard. We are too overcome by deer, rabbits and bears here and our soil is so sandy...plus we just have never learned to garden having moved too often in the past...so I always appreciate other's bounty and wish I could do the same. Maybe someday I'll get brave enough to try. Take care and enjoy your spring time...and yes, do show us the pictures from your day away when you can. I have a feeling they will be marvelous!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you for your sweet visit Pamela, I always appreciate your lovely comments! Indeed little Riley is sure growing up so fast, but she remains as sweet as she can be, we love her so! I am working on getting my garden in now, as the weather has been finally lovely and warm. Hope you are having a wonderful Memorial Day!

      Delete
  23. I can feel your exhaustion with all the work needing doing. So glad the little building will become your garden shed, mine has a sink with running water and electricity - compliments of my hubby. He probably felt bad having the garage as his man cave. lol
    Riley has the sweetest face, yes too bad the dogs can't be hitched up to haul branches. ;-)
    I loved seeing your spring blooms, we wait a long time for some colour, including returning birds.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh how I would love to have a sink and electricity... I have talked to my husband about it, and it is in the plans, just not any time soon, lol! Poor man, we have so many other things to do first! We sure do love our sweet Riley, she is just precious to us, and a wonderful companion. Appreciate your visit, have a blessed Sunday!

      Delete
  24. Marilyn, oh nooooooo! Miss Riley is growing up too quickly! Thank you for sharing your pictures with us. Such beautiful scenery.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh I know, I feel the same way a new mother feels to see her little baby grow so fast! You want them to grow and be healthy, but you sure hate to see it happen so fast! Appreciate your visit Gina, have a blessed Memorial Day :)

      Delete
  25. Hi Marilyn,

    I loved your photos and catching up.
    We are busy bees in May as well.
    Sadly, we had a tornado touch down in our community this evening. We are alright, we have hail damage, to our roof, a window and vehicle. Sadly, one person is confirmed dead and 25 injured.
    Carla

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That tornado was horrible, I saw the pictures, so thankful that you were okay! Appreciate you Carla, and continuing to pray for your father!

      Delete
  26. YOu have been busy my friend! I love your little shed...it is adorable. Riley has grown so much...I almost did not recognize her. Those tulips are simply gorgeous and just brighten everything up. I have been enjoying the ones in our yard too. Be blessed!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, we certainly have been busy! I know Miss Riley has grown so much, she is a big girl now! Hope you have a very blessed Memorial Day :)

      Delete
  27. A busy spring indeed! Clearing up all of the dead trees is certainly a huge job. Miss Riley is a cutie! Your garden area looks great and you are going to love your shed. I sure do love mine!
    hugs,
    Jann

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I am LOVING my little shed! It is a great spot to keep all my gardening tools, and to just "putter", I do love it, and certainly was inspired after seeing your "she" shed! Have a blessed Memorial Day!

      Delete
  28. Lovely to read your post and get an update.
    You have been very busy.

    Your tulips are gorgeous, such lovely colours.

    All the best Jan

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Jan for your visit! Sure do appreciate you stopping by, and hope you have a blessed Sunday :)

      Delete
  29. Miss Riley sure has grown, looks like she got tuckered out watching you and hubby working so hard!
    Nice pics (once again), thanks for sharing with us.
    God's Blessings sometimes require us to participate and get exercise, fresh air and a satisfaction seeing things cleaned up. Too bad about the tree lost to the beetles. You might find this article interesting, as it sees the beetles serving a purpose: Bark Beetles Are Decimating Our Forests. That Might Actually Be a Good Thing. http://www.motherjones.com/environment/2015/03/bark-pine-beetles-climate-change-diana-six
    God's Blessings! and sufficient Lord's Grace :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for sharing that article, it is true that they could be a good thing, but the cleanup part is just tough, lol! Always appreciate your comments and visit! Hope you are having a blessed Sunday :)

      Delete
  30. As always dear lady, I enjoy your pictures so much. You have been a busy lady for sure. I know the feeling. I hate hearing that about your trees. So sad but it happens. Speaking of sheds, I love yours! I have a little shed that is seriously is so crammed that when the weather gets a lot cooler---which will be a long time for us, I have got to clean it out and organize it. Another thing on my list to do's. Sounds like you are going to have a wonderful garden. Praying or bounty for you. I planted some squash which I believe I will have some in a week. I have some cukes planted which has started running along with some tomatoes. I've already been picking banana pepper and waiting on my jalapeno to get ready. I planted some carrots and onions but haven't seen a sign of like yet. HOPING. Hope that you have a wonderful rest of the week dear lady. Hugs and blessings, Cindy

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. How exciting to be already harvesting! I am still working on putting in my garden... my space to garden has grown this year, and I am having fun with it. I also love my "she" shed, a great place to store things and just "putter" :) Hope you are having a very blessed Sunday and Memorial Day weekend :)

      Delete
  31. Lovely, lovely. That's a great shed.
    Mine is falling apart lol.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I love my little shed, it has been such a blessing! Appreciate your visit, hope you are having a wonderful Memorial Day weekend :)

      Delete
  32. I love that you've changed plans and are now having a potting shed, Marilyn. Won't that be wonderful for you? I look forward to seeing your flower garden, too. You have been so busy with planting and then all the trees that needed to be cut down. I'm sure that you must sleep well at night with all the work that you have to do. Your pretty tulips are your reward for all your hard work. I hope that you have a wonderful rest of the week. God bless you!

    ReplyDelete
  33. You're surronded by such wonders, darling Marilyn, thank you for sharing them with us in your so beautiful images, what a blessing for you to live in a so Magical world with all your fur-babies !

    For us too May is such a busy month, but I do love to work outside and feel the Nature's rebirth !

    Wishing you a most lovely end of your week to come,
    I'm sending hugs and blessings to you,
    cherished friend of mine

    XOXO Dany

    ReplyDelete
  34. Wow, you sure have been busy, taking down those trees is quite the big job, oh my!!

    ReplyDelete
  35. That is surely a huge garden!! That's great! Is that a greenhouse by it? Those dogs looks happy and healthy!! What a nice feeling it must bring to have the area all cleaned out! I have never seen an elk right in front of me, well...I have only seen in photos. How interesting life must be in Idaho. Take care, and thanks for sharing.

    ReplyDelete
  36. Wow, what a nice place for a huge garden. Love your garden shed too. My yard is too small for one so I am envious :-) Your yard and surrounding area is so pretty and how cool to have Elk nearby. We are thrilled here when we see deer up close! We have had the same Spring weather here in NY so we are just getting ready to plant flowers and veggies. What a beautiful dog Miss Riley is!

    ReplyDelete
  37. I do enjoy your photos and the story along with each. I can certainly see you have worked very hard to clean up the brush and dead trees. My son-in-law recently visited me and burned up a bunch of dead wood, some of what I collect just by walking the yard and picking up branches. We (I) have Oak trees and they shed branches too. I must hire some one to cut my weeds and do some spraying. Thank you for your recent visit to my blog and your lovely comments.

    ReplyDelete
  38. Well, it has been a busy one. Most especially for you! As ever, your lens captures the dailyness of your tasks. And I, for one, am grateful.

    Weekend blessings to you, friend.

    ReplyDelete
  39. I wanted to respond to this post before too much time goes by! I LOVE the photos.. reminds me of our 5 acres we had up in Washougal, WA 4 years ago. I sure miss that place! We always had at least one "burn pile" going of branches and limbs that had blown down from our big fir trees. I'm so sorry about the Beatle kills. Darn it anyway. What alot of work too! So glad you have a tractor... we never had one.. it was all done by hand, dragging stuff to the closest burn pile! Fall was always the burn time or early Spring. Love your garden area and the garden shed... and am anxious to see your garden within a garden! How fun! You live in such a beautiful area..... I'm so envious. Always thought it would be wonderful to live in northern Idaho.. My son's GF's family lives up by Priest Lake and isn't that such the most beautiful area too! If they move there, then mom is coming for a visit up there! Take care.. don't work too hard! Marilyn

    ReplyDelete
  40. My goodness it is all happening at your place, isn't it. Cute, cute, cute potting shed. It seems you have a wonderful veggie garden soon sprouting delish produce. Gorgeous photos. My favourite is of your sweet napper-in-chief. Your Riley is the sweetest 'pup'. She is growing isn't she.

    ReplyDelete

Your comments are blessings to me, and I appreciate each and every one, they are precious to me! I appreciate you taking the time to comment on my blog... this is what makes blogging worthwhile! Have a blessed day!