Saturday, July 27, 2013

Dewy Morning

The heat of the last few weeks has left, and we have had perfect days and cool nights.  We have had nice mornings here in the valley, full of fog and dewy lawns.

I watered the vegetable garden, and then looked around the other gardens.  The Painted Garden was most interesting.

I came across this oddly shaped leaf of Sweet Sorrel . . .

How did it get this way?  I don't think it was a snail, though they are in the Painted Garden . . .

I walked around to see what was around.  The Jewel Weed is about.  They are abundant (almost invasive), but I really like them.

We had quite a bit of rain this week.  The creek was very low during the recent heat wave, but it has recovered.

We haven't seen a lot of rabbits earlier in the summer, but we seem to have one hanging around the barn.  We see it every morning and in the evening.  We have seen him/her in the vegetable garden, but it hasn't found it's way into the raised beds.

I have consolidated the compost bins down to a single bin.  The bins were nice and damp, and full of worms.  It is doing well.

We are only halfway though Summer, but I feel Autumn is not far way!

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Hidden Jungle

Yesterday was moist and muggy.  Though it did not rain, the high humidity seemed to sap the energy if you worked outside.

It was time to knock down the knotweed.  I took a file to my trusty scythe, and started on the knotweed.

Though the knotweed is a nuisance to me, it is a world unto itself.  As the knotweed is damp (both being by the creek and due to the recent rains), it was full of slugs.  There were loads of yellow field slugs (these are the ones you typically find in your garden).

I saw a veritable army of ants swarming up and about a broken stalk of knotweed.  I wonder what they were so involved with?

The knotweed was also home to snails.  They were all very small (about the size of a fingernail).  I need to figure out what they are . . .

I also walked along the stream bank with my machete to knock back the low-hanging knotweed shoots.  The damp and sweat was pouring of me.  I felt like I was in a rainforest!

The damp conditions have brought out the mushrooms.

I also did a lot of work in the garden.  We harvested the kale, replaced the sugar snap peas with some new green bean seed, harvested the last of the spring spinach, pulled a few green beans, and harvested 4 dozen carrots.  The garden is really in overdrive!

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Quiet Mornings

I guess I am more of a morning person than not.  I don't waken before dawn, but I am up just as the sun rises.  There is nothing I like better than the quiet of the morning.

These days I get up and go outside after I wake.  I like to look around and see what has transpired overnight.  It really helps to ground me after a week of work or travel.

I mowed the grass yesterday.  Today, there were loads of little mushrooms all about.  I was hoping to see some fairy rings (groups of mushrooms in a circle).  I was telling my oldest grand-daughter about fairy rings and wanted to show her a picture of one.  Oh well . . .

I could here a very loud 'chirp' somewhere behind the old chicken coop.  What was it?

A chipmunk!  Who would think such small animals would be so loud.  We see one in the spot all the time (they are territorial)!

I water the gardens and think about all the things I want to get dome.  Maybe paint the benches.  Maybe I should put up a door hood up on one of the doors to the barn (it used to be on the house, but a snow slide off the roof took it down!).

Back to work tomorrow.  I am already looking forward to next weekend!

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Typical Summer Saturday

Wake up. Roll out of bed.  Make a cup of coffee.  Read some news.

It rained last night.  All is wet.  The weather forecast is for a slight chance or rain in the afternoon.  Time to get going.

I open the barn and let it air out.  We have had a lot of rain this week and the lower level gets damp.

There is always a bed to weed somewhere.  I quickly filled a wheel barrow of weeds.

I fertilized the garden and staked the tomatoes.  You have to check them every week as they are really growing now.  I water the gardens.

I picked more snap peas.  I should pick the last of the late-spring spinach.  It hates the warm weather and just shuts down.   I should collect the rest of the kale.  We harvested the garlic and hung it to dry in the garage. Wow - what and aroma!

I work my compost as hard as I work my garden.  I started with 3 cubic yards of leaves.  With plenty of water and turning, I an down to 1.5 cubic yards of leaves.  They are composting nicely.

I mowed my grass, trimmed a few branches, and dead-headed the peonies. I also took a few minutes to enjoy the summer flowers.

The tiger lilies . . .

. . . shasta daisies . . .

. . . and the new clematis flowers.

It goes from sunny to cloudy.  Maybe it will rain.

There are always more chores.  I need to cut the knotweed.  There is always some trim paint to touch-up.  I want to put a door hood up onto one of the doors to the barn.  I hope to repaint the windows on the garage.  I need to sweep the barn, weed the shade garden, nail a few loose boards.  The gardens will be peaking soon, and we will be very busy with the picking, canning and freezing.

Enjoy your summer!