Fall preparation for a better garden

The fall is now in full force and the garden is a thing of the past. The only vegetable that produced any amount were the tomatoes. However, the yield was considerably smaller than previous years. The backyard mammals enjoyed the carrots and I actually only got one bunch, barely enough for a meal. The raised garden boxes remained free of unwanted weeds, but my other garden patch produced more weeds than produce. I am going to try to solve this problem by preparing the soil this fall. I will remove all the weeds before putting down some newspapers and cardboard to kill all the roots of the weeds over the long, cold winter. Hopefully, in the spring when it is time to start the garden it will be weed free and I won’t have to deal with as many annoying weeds. I am also preparing a new raised garden for tomatoes by covering the ground with newspaper, cardboard and garden fabric.

My kitten is suddenly consuming all of my time. He is very cute, but also very needy. He is growing and becoming naughtier every day and this has forced me to establish some house rules. He is not allowed on the living room furniture, but he is allowed to sit and relax on an antique chair that I got at a few years ago at a yard sale.

For now he has a section of our office for his house and toys. When he is not driving me insane, he likes to relax behind my laptop on the table (used as a desk).

As soon as he gets a bit bigger, he will move to the basement. He did not catch the unwanted guest, but I caught the two mice. Eventually, I am sure he will take care of any mice attempting to sneak into the basement.

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Visit to Kouchibouquac National Park

Over the past few years I have passed by Kouchibouquac National Park on my way to Moncton every couple of months and each time I think about dropping in and having a look around. Although I have visited lots of parks in other countries during my years working abroad, I have not ventured out for hiking in my home province. Yesterday, on our way back from Moncton, I convinced Florian who is not really interested in hiking, to stop by the park for a quick visit.

The park offers several short walking trails, longer hiking treks and biking routes. Our time was limited, so after visiting the information center we opted for three short trails that the receptionist recommended for a day trip.

From the entrance we drove to the Kelly’s Beach, one of the most visited places in the park, according to the receptionist.  The large parking lot was empty which indicated that not many people would be enjoying the beach and we would have it to ourselves. The well-maintained wooden walkway to the beach protects the piping plover, an endangered species,  that return each spring to nest near the dunes and lagoon system. The boardwalk also has some informative plaques explaining the local flora and fauna.

We strolled 1.2 km along the walkway above the salt-marsh grass toward the lagoons and eventually to the South Kouchibouquac Dune and a view of the Northumberland Straight. There were lots of seabirds enjoying the cooler temperatures, but a few minutes at the beach was enough for me because the wind off the water was too cold, so we headed back to the starting point.

Next, we made our way to the Salt Marsh trail, an easy, short (0.9 Km), flat walk, that offers some pretty scenery. We could hear the sounds of birds chirping in the long grass and greenery, but we didn’t see them.

Lastly, we hiked the Beaver Trail (1.4 Km) through the forest. This trail included some parts that were on a path, but most of it is on a wooden walkway. We didn’t encounter anyone or any wildlife on this route. In the past, this was the spot to see beavers, but it looks like they abandoned their dam and it is now completely overgrown with vegetation. It was a quiet walk, similar to the walking paths near my house, so I didn’t take any photos.

We only saw a small section of the park, so I would definitely like to visit again to do the 10 Km trail along the Kouchibouquac River as well as some of the biking routes. However, Florian the non-hiker and non-biker will have to stay home or hang out at the interpretation center while I enjoy the trails.