Friday, June 26, 2009

The Day Unfolds....

This morning's sunrise--

A few minutes later, it looked like this.

The bell peppers will soon be ready for picking!

I picked three zucchini this morning! They are about five inches long. I read that to obtain the very best flavor, they should be picked at about 4 inches long, so it's time. Yum yum!

This is my first year growing cucumber, zucchini and watermelon. It has been fun, and I want to start a square-foot garden next year. The box is 6-8 inches high, about 4' x 4'. The smaller bed can be easily reached around the entire area. The box will be divided into grids--up to 16 1'x1' spaces. It's a great way to garden for small areas and saves on water. I will have it on the patio so it will have a wooden bottom . I can't wait for fall!!


After the tomato worm rescue and my placing the thing back on the tomato plant, when I got up this morning the whole top of the tomato plant was gone and by afternoon, so was he. I think he may have burrowed into the container soil, where he will stay for three months to three years before emerging as the Sphinx Moth. Looks like my simple rescue has turned into a possible three year project--once I committed to the worm, I have to see it through. I'll need to find a place for container where I won't have to look at nothing but dirt for a long time, and then, I may find out he wasn't in there to begin with. When I act with impetuousness, there are always unforeseen consequences. Next time I'll read up BEFORE committing!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Oddities in my Garden

This is the best photo I could get though my kitchen window of a completely different bird than usual. I don't have a clue what type of bird this is. It is a beautiful orange/yellow with black beak and neck. His wings and tail are black with a small white stripe. I went outside later to wait for the bird to come back and get a better photo when I spotted...

This cute little guy on my tomato plant. I picked him off, took a few pictures, then threw him over the fence. After a while I started feeling guilty about tossing him out. I imagined his little tail wagging--he was so happy here--sucking my tomato plant dry. So later in the evening, I found the flashlight, walked down to the lake and waited for the sprinklers to turn off. Then, I spotted him, all stretched out in the grass--ice cold! I brought him home and put him back on the tomato plant. I know that's a little wacky, but, maybe a bird will get him or he will leave after the plant is dried up. After seeing the picture of him I just couldn't do him in. Anyway, the tomato flowers won't set in this heat, so it's not as if I'm ruining a producing plant.

Two firsts in my garden were squirrels and rabbits, and now, the colorful bird and a tomato worm! I wonder what's next?

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

The Ups and Downs of Pudgeduck's World

This is the end of the road for the Road Kill cactus. He never grew much, sorta just limply hung in there. Not sure why he died. I am just not that good with cactus. Now, Road Kill looks just like his name--road kill. Reminds me of a squished frog in the road.

I think this is the beginning of the demise of the lithops. I have kept these two out of the original five alive for 15 months and I was feeling a little cocky about it. Isn't that the way life goes? Get on top, thinking your s--- doesn't stink and then someone flushes! Seems that's the pattern with my cactus and succulent gardening.

Then, one small bloom shows up on my Gymnocalycium multiforum this week and I soar back to the top! Looks like a couple more buds are forming. It's a good thing I keep my inventory small, otherwise, I would probably go into a three month funk over all my losses!

Friday, June 12, 2009

Squirrel Tales Continued...

I thought we were finished with the squirrel invasion, but we had to bring out the trap again. After we set the trap for the last visitor and left it up for a week, the squirrel got trap-smart--because he just left and never came back! Instead, another little guy about half his size showed up. I am hoping he is as smart as the other one and just leaves without resistance!


Every week I make a pot of vegetable soup to share with my family. For around two months earlier this year, my son, now in his 40s, was addicted to it. I would send over a pot or he would stop by on his way home from work. These past two months my 23-year-old granddaughter is the soup recipient. I started making the soup last winter and I'm not sure how long this kick will last. I use organic vegetable broth and as many organic vegetables I can find. So far the most I used at one time was 11 and never under 8. The ingredients always include cauliflower, broccoli, celery, carrots, kale, onions, one sweet potato, zucchini, and spinach. The last time I also added cabbage and a yellow bell pepper--that makes 11! Prep time time takes more time than the cooking, but start to finish, it's only about 35 minutes. Every day I eat 3 or 4 cups. I feel good after eating the soup--sorta like the feeling I get after a good workout.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Bees Aplenty

Check out all the pollen on the bee's legs!! I just finished my first data collection for this year's Great Sunflower Project. The bees are plentiful, so I had to count them for a specific time, and then record it. It didn't take long at all to finish the survey! I will continue this until the sunflowers stop blooming. This is the second season that I have particpated. Another reason to get away from the computer for a while!

Anyone can join and get free seeds!

Friday, June 5, 2009

I Came Home To...

I had a good time during my recent house sitting stint for a friend in Prescott, Arizona. It was about 20 degrees cooler there and I was very relaxed, listening to the music of the birds. It didn't rain but there were many afternoon clouds that swiftly passed by. Lots of wildflowers to cheer me along with Shelby the dog, who stayed by my side keeping me company. We had to check each night for Javelina before I could let her out--the back yard was full of them!!

I had lots of pictures before hubby accidentally deleted all of my photos during his attempt to snap a picture of a strange lizard. Drats! There were lots of bunnies, quails, and other birds, all feasting together on the fallen seeds from the bird feeder. I can't wait for another get-away!

I came home to find a
second squirrel and a little cottontail bunny living in Turr Tull's home. In the 18 years that I have lived here, I have never had either type of mammal in my back yard before. A new occupant in Turr Tull's home is troubling...he still hasn't appeared at all. He's been late before, but came out at least once before his regular summer feedings.

I also found...

Strange skies...Could it be a sign of something???

Wind blowing my plants askew--again...

Sail boats on the lake enjoying the wind...

And having to tie up my wind chimes
once again because of the wind!
Ahaaa, it's good to be home!