Welcome to my blog. Here I have tried to capture the adventures of our little family and the trials and tribulations of our never ending garden project(s). Take a look around and leave a comment if you wish. Thanks for stopping by. Jer.


Le but!

Part of the trip to Pittsburgh this past weekend included a trip to the Igloo to watch the Pens and Habs. It was a pretty entertaining game, with Carey Price stealing the show for me. Montreal pulled it out 3-2.

Fish boy

Not sure when Ben decided he liked water...this is the kid that used to wear goggles in the bath...but this weekend at the hotel he was totally fearless in the pool.


Trip to National Aviary in Pittsburgh

During our 4 days in Pittsburgh, we took the kids to the National Aviary for a visit. It was a little smaller than I imagined, but worth the trip. Here are a few of our favourites.

There were two Golden Eagles at the aviary, by far the most impressive (we thought), absolutely HUGE and magnificent.

This was an Ibis of some sort that I have forgotten, a little ugly but I kinda liked him.

This is an actual Cuckoo. I like this guy too.

This American Flamingo was hilarious. He was quite territorial and tried to intimidate us with his posturing and feather ruffling.


Winter joy with a touch of procrastination

Olivia launches off the deck into the deep snow...and yes that is my wheelbarrow in the background...and now I feel shame.

Oh, and another thing....

After re-examining this shot, I love the look on the male's face as the female gives him the business. I have no idea what he must be feeling...no honey, really,...oh man.


Rare visitors on a snowy day

We had these American Tree Sparrows visit our feeder today. Actually, it was a really good turn out, must be all the snow - we got about 8" today. There were Cardinals, Juncos, Sparrows, Chickadees and of course the loathed Starlings.



Gold Coin Scots Pine

Dragon's Eye Pine

Weeping Blue Atlas Cedar

Japanese Maple 'Inabe Shidare'

Japanese Maple 'Aconitifolium'

Already starting on my wishlist for next year. I just need to decide whether I want a Japanese influenced woodland garden, or a Woodland influenced Japanese garden. Unfortunately, I have not kept track of where I have compiled all of these photos, so thanks in posterity to those shown here.

The reward

Interesting fact about Chickadees is that they weigh the seeds before choosing which one to eat.


The Yardbirds

Starling swarm

Dark-eyed Junco with sunflower seed

Black Cap Chickadee at peanut feeder


Starling and peanut ball

I really detest these birds as they are such bullies at the feeder, but they are pretty much the only ones that are willing to strike a pose for me.

Me and my Isaac


If you can't beat 'em, feed 'em

Got tired of the squirrels eating all the bird seed so I decided to 'distract' them with the dried corn cobs...let's see how long that lasts.



I love this pic, this poor guy didn't even see it coming!

New hardwood floors

We are so happy with how this turned out. Also, no regrets about having somebody do it for us.


End of season bargains

Was out at my favourite haunt and found this great deal on bamboo. I have been wanting to take the bamboo plunge but the price was always the necessary deterrent. Well, now it is 75% off, so the 69.99 was a lot more tolerable at 17.50! It is phyllostachys bissetti (David Bissetti Bamboo). Has anybody tried this one yet? I have a place for it already but it will have to wait until spring, for now it will winter in the holding tank with all my other end of season bargains.


Putting the yard to bed

Well, spent today cutting down the perennials and the grasses that were flattened by the freak snow storm last week. Kind of disappointing, I like looking at the grasses in the winter. I have included just a few shots from around the yard today.
Burning bush turned really red this year.
Love the colour of the Amur Maple.
Shaina Japanese Maple survived the heavy snow.
Overview of what we did in the backyard this year.


Little lady finch and a rare chickadee sighting today.



10-15 cms tonight and tomorrow...so begins the winter.

Happy 10th Anniversary!

Happy 10th to the Pickens!


New sun

New metal sun on our back wall on the deck. We were looking for something for a while and this guy was the perfect fit.


Frosty night

I love sitting out by the fire on these cool autumn nights. Perfect balance of warmth and chill. The wheat beer and Dave Matthews are a good mix too!

Listening to: "Cortez the Killer" - Dave Matthews Band


Fall colours 08

Including Emperor 1, Skeeter's Broom, Waterfall and Katsura Japanese Maples, Burning bush, Virginia Creeper, Amur Maple, Sweetgum and Cutleaf Sumac.


First pics with new camera

Echinacea 'Double Delight'

New heron in the garden


We are experiencing technical difficulties...

Wow, gotta love technology, first our laptop went down and then the camera bit the dust all in the same week that I am taking my first wedding photos - seriously thinking about changing my last name to Murphy! Anywho, it gave me the push I needed to get a new camera. I picked out the Nikon D60 (see pic), and this time I spent the extra to get the extra warranty protection.


Bee 1 - Ben 0

Ben got quite a bee sting on this eyebrow on his second day of school. Today it looks even worse but seems to be getting a little better in the last few hours. OUCH!


New items to deck garden

Added a Japanese Maple 'Skeeter's Broom' and Dwarf Globe Spruce.

Street family reunion

Aunt Jenny and my mom hosted a Street family reunion this weekend. Unfortunately, Aunt Sheila couldn't make it, and Aunt Hilda is probably locking down the hatches in St. John's as Hannah is bearing down. But those who made it had a great time. It was nice seeing everyone again, it's been a while.


Deck Garden Phase 1

New Japanese Maple 'Katsura'

Shot of the new deck garden with Weeping White Pine in front


End of summer

Pics from Nina's family reunion in Waterloo. Perfect day for swimming and a BBQ.