It was lovely to have my parents visit me for a few days earlier this month. My work schedule allowed me to spend most of the time with them rather than worrying about work commitments, and we had some great weather during their visit which allowed for outdoor pursuits.
We visited our favourite local walking spot - the Sackville Waterfowl Park. The park is lovely at all times of the year. This time of year, the water levels are a bit low, and the water is often heavy with duckweed and algae. The ducks don't mind! We saw some wee mallard ducklings - a late brood of 8 with their mom. So cute!
My mother took some time to commune with a beautiful mature birch tree. I am so thankful to her that I learned to love trees, and all of nature, at an early age. She and my father are most definitely the reason that I, too, hug trees.
I managed to snap a shot of a cedar waxwing while we were at the park. They can be a bit difficult to photograph, being a bit flighty and elusive, but this one obliged me.
As always, my parents lent a hand to any task I had that needed doing. My mother spent time weeding and helping me harvest from the vegetable beds. She also did her usual (more than) fair share of the cooking. She was so enthusiastic with weeding that she accidentally "weeded" one of my Rudbeckia "cherry brandy" plants. Fortunately we were able to locate it in the compost pile and get it re-planted. It has not suffered from its temporary uprooting!
My father, meanwhile, did a marathon job of sharpening a variety of my garden and kitchen tools. He was able to do the work out in my screened porch, giving him lots of light and fresh air, but keeping the mosquitoes at bay. He did an amazing job de-rusting, sharpening and oiling my pruners and snips.
Some of these had been almost untouched since my move from Iowa 8 years ago, and the rust was dreadful. I sprayed them with vinegar before their visit, to get the cleaning process started. My father used sharpening stones to really sharpen the blades and get them into good working order.
He also took care of the sharpening of my loppers.
I have two large pairs of loppers and around here, with all our trees, they are well used. I am so glad to have them sharpened and in good order.
I am so grateful that my parents are still able to visit me and that they are so willing to help with tasks that I can't always find the time to focus on.
I've read about storing garden tools through the winter in a bucket of oiled sand. This prevents rust and keeps the blades sharp. I might give that a try this winter.