You are currently browsing the monthly archive for July 2009.

fabric

July 30 – this morning I painted fabric.  The middle piece there is actually paper – the paper that was under the fabric as I painted.  It can now be used for other things.

As long as you’re here, maybe you can tell me what’s wrong with my zucchini?

zuke

Either they start off shriveling early, as the one above, or they begin growing normally then suddenly the end shrivels up and boom, no zucchini for me.  3 out of 4 are doing this.  The plant is not crowded – it’s alone in a half barrel (27 1/2 gallons of space) and gets fed and watered regularly.  I just don’t understand, and thus far the internets have not been helpful.  My google-fu is failing here.

zuke2

july 29 tomates

July 29 – This is what my Early Girl tomatoes are looking like right now.  No sign of redness, though at least they aren’t totally green any more.  The plant is rather prolific -there are from 8-10 tomatoes growing – but slow.  My other tomato plants are getting huge and just getting ready to set fruit.  I figure I have 6 weeks til the possibility of frost (how sad to even think it!!)  Hoping I get a harvest before then!

july 28 spider

July 28 – As I reached for a clothes pin, a speck of bright yellow caught my eye and I had to run in and get my camera.  It was this critter, perched on the end.  There is your size reference – the plank the spider is grasping is a clothes pin.  You can see its eyes!!!!  Taken with macro lens and DSLR (I have a Sony A100).  I’m loving that thing more and more.    And what an incredibly lovely little spider – so bright and yellow.  I’m guessing it probably normally lives on my wildflowers but found the clothesline to be better bug territory.  There are a number of wildflowers growing under the clothesline.

july 27 linaria sm

July 27 – This is linaria (also known as Toadflax), growing in front of the house (taken with macro lens).  I fell in love with these flowers back in 1995 or so when I found them at a nursery.  Those were bright orange and pink.  They are small flowers and resemble tiny snapdragons.  When I mentioned I couldn’t find them any more, a friend sent me some seeds she bought on ebay just for me (this year she sent me red bell peppers when I couldn’t find plants).  I kept those seeds for many years (silly me).  I found them recently and tossed them in the coal scuttle out front where some Johnny-Jump-Ups and alyssum had reseeded themselves and where I had put a couple extra marigolds from the tipsy pot project.  Much to my surprise and delight, a number of them grew and are blooming in various shades of pinks and yellow.  Some are rather pastel; others, like these, are brights.  I know what the seed pods look like on these, so I am keeping careful watch so I can harvest them to grow again next year.   They do grow as wildflowers in yellow with orange (called Butter and Eggs) and in blues (Blue Toadflax) but I’ve not seen any wild yet.  If I do, I will be trying to collect seeds from them as well.  The ones I planted are on tall stalks, about 18 inches or so, and the flowers are small, about 1/2 inch.

july 26 chickweed

July 26 – One of the things that fascinates me about the wildflowers is that once I decided to notice them, I began noticing them everywhere.  Even when they are only about 1/4 inch in size.  Then I have to look closely and figure them out.  This is chickweed, a “weed” to many.  I like that it’s out there.

july 25 puff

July 25 – Yellow Goatsbeard puff taken with DSLR and macro lens.  Rather dreamy.  I am pleased.

July 24 – We went kayaking again.  Sadly, we didn’t make it during June as David was gone much of the month driving.

july 24 david

Back to Olga Lake, peaceful home of the loons.  It was a beautiful day, though a storm came in.  David watched it and got us out of the water and home before it hit big.

july 24 loon

The loons actually came up to us and followed us awhile.  At one point both were within 15 feet of my kayak.  I would just stop to watch and the wind would push me around a little.   It was a little magical to have them come so close and be so unconcerned.  I didn’t see a chick yet.  Not sure when they hatch and all.  I’m sure with a bird of this size, the hatching time must be a few weeks (it’s 3 with chickens).  Something else I want to know!  (being at the library, I think it should be easy enough…)

july 24 water lily

Fragrant Water Lily – wildflowers are on the water, too!

july 23 milkweed

The milkweed is flowering.  I still haven’t seen any Monarch caterpillars munching on it, though.  I really do need to learn that lifecycle.  I would so love to see a Monarch chyrsallis and perhaps bring it in to watch it hatch.  I do see Monarch butterflies every day flitting about.  They remain one of my favorite creatures.

july 22 moth

July 22 – I realized I needed a picture of the moths the chickens had been eating.  Up close, they’re rather cute.  I didn’t feed this one to chickens since I had seen it up close and personal.  I mean, I could see its eyes…

July 21 -I bring you, Chickens Vs. Moths!  Guess who wins???

So yesterday morning as he’s leaving for work, David notices that there are many many moths on the garage door.  He comes back in and says I should let the chickens out to eat them.  I did and those chickens did quite a job removing the many many moths.  The next morning I went out with David and again, many many moths.  These are small brown moths that come from the tent caterpillars we had such a time with.  Strangely, the chickens will not touch the caterpillars.  Nor will they eat the cocoons.  But moths – oh, yeah!  I had brought them a branch with a tent full of caterpillars, thinking it rather resembled cotton candy and might be so for chickens.  No.

I went out to the chicken gate (under construction) and the chickens know the drill.  They are eagerly awaiting the moving of the pallet!

july 21 chix v moths 1

Yesterday they fanned out behind me in a running wedge (and let me tell you, the sound of many chicken feet running behind you is not something you will forget).  Today I hung back to get a picture of them.

july 21 chix v moths 2

You’ll note the single-minded rush for the garage door.

Here you can see some of the moths still left on the door and on the concrete – they are the dark spots on the white door.  They weren’t there long.

july 21 chix v moths 3

Yesterday there were about 10 times that many, especially on the concrete there in front.  It took the chickens about 2 minutes to finish them off.  Then I noticed that there are still moths up above chicken level and I took a stick and knocked them down.  The brown moths are still sluggish in the morning and they fall if you touch them.  Nom nom nom, say the chickens.