Manitoba Sky Monday - Oct. 31/16

Monday evening we were driving to Carberry, and there was a beautiful sunset.
 I had to try to get a picture through the rearview mirror.
sunset in rear view mirror

Another one from Monday evening, taken from the car,
 ....and one more.

Jeremy took this one of Tuesday's blue skies and fluffy clouds.
blue sky, fluffy clouds

Wednesday was a frosty morning...
but the sunrise was pretty through the fog.

A very frosty morning!
sunrise on a foggy, frosty morning

Brian went for a drive on Saturday afternoon, and took these.
I'll be posting more of his October scenery pictures soon.
prairie sky

prairie sky

low clouds over prairie field

Brian took this one from our deck, late afternoon
low clouds over farm

And this one of Saturday's sunset.

See you next week!

for more sky photos from around the world, visit Skywatch.

Manitoba Birds

Yellow-headed Blackbird

  I love bird watching, but when it comes to getting photos of them, I just don't have the required photography skills. One of the best things about Facebook, is seeing the photos that my friends post....and then asking them to share them! 
  This post is Part 1 of a three part series of photos by Brent Sharp. You'll find his bio at the bottom of the page.
Yellow Headed Blackbird
Yellow-headed Blackbird

Ruby Throated Hummingbird
 Ruby Throated Hummingbird.

Ruby Throated Hummingbird
I think this is a female Ruby Throated Hummingbird.

Ruby Throated Hummingbird

Common Loon
Common Loon - Learn more

Purple Finch
This one was hard, but I think it's a Purple Finch...
I know, it's red, but so are Purple finches!

Duck...hard to tell what kind!

Cedar waxwing
Cedar Waxwing - love the color of these.

Bald Eagle
Bald Eagles - Learn more

American White Pelican
American White Pelican

Blue Heron
Blue Heron- Learn more.

Blue Heron
Blue Heron

Great Horned Owl
Great Horned Owl,  Grand Rapids, MB
Learn more about owls.

Blue Winged Teal
Blue Winged Teal

  I had a hard time naming some of these birds! I have one book that belonged to my dad, The Audubon Society Field Guide To North American Birds: Eastern Region by John Bull (1977-07-26), and another smaller guide-Saskatchewan and Manitoba Nature Guide.  I checked these, as well as online images, and found most of the birds, but some I couldn't be sure. If anyone notices a mistake, or can name the ones I missed, please let me know!

Brent Sharp lives in Winnipeg, with his wife, Gwen, and their son, Jacob. He's a carpenter by trade, but says he felt the need for a hobby that was not related to woodworking.  

In 1988, he got is first camera, an old 35 mm, from a pawn shop, by trading his time. He learned photography through reading and a lot of practice. Thirteen years ago, he got his first DSLR. By this time, he had come to realize that he could use photography to express himself. He took literally, the expression, "A picture paints a thousand words."

 Brent says he's always looking for an adventure, and something new to challenge himself with. He can never get enough of the we can see from his photography! His travels have taken him to Europe, Mexico, the US, and from coast to coast to coast. 

  Brent now works as a teacher, training other carpenters. He's kept his passion for woodworking, but photography is slowly taking over. He's always trying to create more behind the camera than behind the computer. His own studio is now on the horizon, and his goal is to share something new with people every week. You can follow him on Instagram- bgassociates

All photos in this post are the property of Brent Sharp, and cannot be used without his permission.

DIY Patio Planters

diy planters

  After all the work of building our house, there wasn't much left in the budget for completing the outdoor living areas. For the first two years that we lived here, the area at our front entrance was just gravel and weeds. No matter how many times I went and dug up the weeds, and raked the area, it was still a pretty sad entrance to our home! Paving stones and stacked block planters weren't something we could afford, so we had to find less costly materials to complete our patios. 
  Concrete patio blocks aren't the fanciest material, but they served our purpose. Finally, the gravel was covered, and I didn't have to worry about it being tracked into the house!
Patio off deck
Patio blocks laid

   By the time the patio blocks were laid, I had come up with an idea of how we could cover the retaining wall by the driveway. I love how I can present an idea, and Brian comes up with the plan!

  The planter is constructed from treated lumber, but lined with pieces of styrofoam insulation we already had.(scavenged treasures!) The purpose for the styrofoam was mainly filler, to save on soil, and also to keep moisture away from the wood. Landscape fabric lines the inside. 

Patio, building DIY planter

  The outside of the frame is covered with fence boards, and the cap is 2x6 treated lumber. We filled the bottom of the planter with sand, then a mix of peat moss, and soil. We bought a few bags of soil, to avoid planting weed seeds in our new planter. So far, it's worked; we have very few weeds!

Patio, planter, furniture
Finished planter with fence boards along the front and 2x6 cap
  We still have to finish off the top of the concrete wall, but that's a project for another time. 

  Brian built this next planter one day while I was away visiting my mom....I love coming home to surprises like this! It's built the same way as the one along the retaining wall, but because it's quite tall, we put some big logs in the bottom that will eventually break down. (our attempt at hugelkultur)  As the soil settles, we just top it up each year.

Steps from patio to deck, planter beside steps

planter beside deck stairs
Planter beside the deck completed!

Deck and stair rail
And a handrail to make the building inspector happy!

Petunias in planter
We filled the planter with petunias from a hanging basket. 
They fit perfectly and spread beautifully!
DIY deck planter, petunias

Patio, planters filled with petunias, patio furniture
Planters finished, filled  and planted....another project done.
Well, except the staining...that's a whole other project!

  Finally, a nice welcoming entrance to our home...just don't trip on the garden hose on your way in!

Manitoba Sky Monday - Oct. 24/16

For more sky photos, vist Skywatch
I wasn't paying close enough attention to the sky this week,
and missed some beautiful sunrises and sunsets, 
but I got a few nice shots.

This misty morning brought pink and turquoise skies in the west.

Bright blue mid day sky.

I love when the clouds are so low that they look like mountains in the distance.

Another October sunset

Sunrise in the east

Pink skies in the west.

Most of our sky pictures are taken from our own yard, near Shilo.
This one was sent to me by my niece, Savanna. It was taken outside Brandon, 
as she and my sister, Victoria, were travelling to Carberry. Thanks, Savanna! 

Displaying 20161023_124956.jpg
Brian took this one on Sunday after church, as we were heading east, leaving Brandon.

Thanks for stopping by!