Been a while since the last time I posted photos (and even that was mostly garden stuff)….
Cause I was once again without my camera, even though I know better. Though to be fair, I don’t think I’d have gotten a picture anyway….
Yesterday evening, about 7:40pm-ish, we were outside with the dogs in the new run. We don’t normally spend alot of time outside at dusk, the mosquitoes alone are enough to usually keep us inside. But yesterday the wind was high enough, and the air cool enough that it was quite nice outside. The dogs were enjoying it….
…..till Apollo suddenly roared and bolted for the back fence….I grabbed a double handfull of ruff, just in case he decided to try to go over the fence, and tried to get a look at what he was upset about. Biiiig coyote, trotting across our back line, and our neighbor’s back line. He stopped and froze when Apollo went off, but quickly realized that the dog wasn’t actually coming for him and just went on his way. Not sure if it was the same fellow we saw last year or not. I had a roaring pissed off Tibetan Mastiff demanding that the coyote keep moving and so I didn’t get the best of looks…….
Turns out I’m one of those rare people who have a delayed reaction to yellow jacket stings. It still wasn’t a severe reaction, but it was highly disconcerting when suddenly, a full SEVEN days after the original sting, my arm swelled up and started itching like mad……
I’ve now lost two cucumber plants. I’m blaming the cucumber beetles, as the deterioration looks like bacterial wilt, something that they’re known to spread. Neem oil/insecticidal soap/hand picking is just NOT CUTTING IT for controlling them and they’re all over the garden. I’m considering putting down beneficial nematodes in the entire garden to control the larva, and considering an actual pesticide for the adults. I don’t want to, but they are literally everywhere, and if this IS bacterial wilt I want to stop it NOW. I’ll probly be putting down the nematodes regardless.
We’ve got a steady dribble of tomatoes, and for all that neither of us is a big fan of raw tomatoes we’re both eating these, they’re good. Which is good, cause at this rate I’m not going to get enough at one time to actually make sauce with.
Cross your fingers, we’ve got at least two Sugar Baby watermelons ripening, and at least a couple more growing. At least two white Watermelons (Cream of Saskatuwans) growing. Three cantaloupes. The fancy cantaloupe finally has female flowers on it.
Onions and carrots look good.
Zucchini finally has babies growing.
I’m actually getting sweet peppers this year! I can’t wait for them to ripen!
The jalapeno’s look awesome, going to be a bumper crop there. Looks like most of the mystery peppers are Hungarian Hot Wax peppers, and they’re all producing madly. Two look like they may be habanero’s, now to see if they’re whites or chocolates.
I don’t think we’re going to get any pumpkins this year. The plants are still less than a foot long. I think the cold spring just did them in. I’m on the hunt for a variety thats more cold tolerant.
Potato plants look good, I’ve not tried digging through the straw to check for actual potatoes though.
One variety of lettuce has sprouted and is growing well, neither of the others appears to have even germinated.
Corn…..well, I’ll be happy if we even get a couple ears, that was a massive failure this year.
Blueberry plants didn’t produce any fruit this year, I didn’t even see a single blossom. I’m blaming the extreme winter and cold spring.
Golden raspberry plant is producing well. Boysenberry has produced a few berries, we’re waiting for them to ripen. There are a couple berries on one of the blackberries.
Fruit trees….well, the one apple that didn’t produce last year (at all) has a good crop of fruit on it. The rest of the apple trees have one or two apples, or nothing. And there’s no pears at all. Again, blaming the winter/spring for that one. They all bloomed, and I didn’t think we got cold enough after budding to cause problems, but maybe we did.
My cell phone has developed a problem. Its a Motorola Droid 2, so its not exactly new, but suddenly its developed a mind of its own and is randomly hitting options on the screen without any input from me. This DID start after I dropped it (again) so I suspect a physical problem rather than a virus, especially since I’d not installed any new apps in the previous couple months. It’ll be fine for a week or more, and then suddenly do things on its own. Lotsa fun.
We took Arty to his first Barn Hunt practice last night. I knew his prey drive was high, and he’s finally figured out how to use his nose, so I was hoping this would turn out to be something that I could take him too, and expose him to more things, that he’d enjoy. And yup, he did very well. There’s another practice in a few weeks, we’ll be taking both dogs to that one. Though I don’t expect Apollo do well at it. He’ll pass the instinct portion no problem, but for the actual runs the dog needs to go through a small tunnel, and I don’t expect to be able to convince Apollo that its worth his time to crawl through a tunnel.
I’ve ranted about my across the street neighbors a couple times….1, 2, ok, 3 times. Which doesn’t do that particular problem justice, but I figure you all don’t want to listen to me rant about them constantly…..
Yesterday afternoon, I looked up from my book to see a good sized tan and black hound-ish dog trotting across their yard towards their northern side neighbor who has huskies (including an intact bitch) and my first thought was that another neighborhood dog had gotten loose and was headed to sniff out their bitch (its happened a couple times, they catch the dogs and turn them into animal control).
Then I saw one of the kids from across the street hurrying along behind the dog…..please don’t tell me……yup, kid grabs collar and drags the dog back to their house. Sigh. They have a new dog. Wonder how long this one will last…..
Then, about 9pm yesterday, Apollo abruptly goes ballistic at the front windows. Hound was loose again, trotting across our yard, with two of the kids in hot pursuit again. They finally caught him and dragged him home.
This morning, about 9:15, I glance out the window about an instant before Apollo does and spot a tan and black dog trotting across my front yard with two kids trailing…..
After watching them chase him in circles for about 10 minutes (the dog was having an absolute blast), I grabbed a dog bowl, and dumped some kibble in it, stepped out the front door, and called “hey big guy, want some food?” as I shook the metal dog bowl with kibble…..dog pricked up his ears and came trotting over to grab a mouthful. I scratched his ears for a minute, told him he was a good boy, and walked him back to the kids who looked rather dumbfounded.
One of the kids kept saying “he listens so well inside the house!”……..
….when you have a temperature of 101….
Why is “patent filled technology” a selling point? Any specific technology isn’t patent “filled”, it might HAVE a patent, but you don’t fill technology with patents….
Reading John Ringo’s Under A Graveyard Sky, when your temperature is that high, right before bed, results in really really screwy dreams…..
(I’m actually feeling pretty good this morning, no fever! But I thought that yesterday morning too, only to have the fever back by mid-afternoon, so I’m not holding my breath yet. Yes, I’m on an antibiotic)
In other news: in the tiny bouts of energy I’ve had in between this cold and the dog show this past weekend (yes, I took Apollo to the show when I had a fever, yes I’m an idiot. I did try to avoid breathing on anyone though), I managed to get my sprouted peppers and tomatoes out into the greenhouse. It has been maintaining well above freezing with no problem since mid-day Thursday. If temps take another dip (which so wouldn’t surprise me) I might have to bring them all in again, but so far its doing well, I even had to open it up yesterday to keep it from spiking to over 100 in there!
The snow is finally melting. The space I want to put the garden expansion is is clear. If I can get over this cold I will absolutely be working on that this week. Cross fingers for me!
Not a whole lot going on right now. Or rather, what is going on I’m better off not talking about in public till its settled…..lets just say that attempting to screw with my career cause you have issues with women in power is a really bad idea.
Anyway, to top off my lovely New Year I’ve just found out that the one and only antiperspirant that I’ve found that I can wear reliably without breaking out into a rash has been discontinued. Their clear gel version is still availible, so I may have to give it a try. I’m not a fan of the gel antiperspirants, but its better than breaking out in a massive rash on a regular basis….
I have some very happy pepper seedlings:
And Shadow is definitely becoming more comfortable in our house:
though we’re still trying to convince him that Arty isn’t really devil spawn.
The birds have been clearing the feeders almost as fast as I fill them, hard to blame them, its been a hard winter:
Turns out they’ve had help with the feeders though:
we’ve not had much of a squirrel problem the last few years, but I’m pretty sure I recognize that particular one from last year…..Apollo was also very happy to “scare off” an opossum the other night. I think it was me flipping on the lights that really made it decide to leave the feeders, but Apollo’s sure that it was responding to him barking at it.
The deer have been back, though I don’t have time right now to upload those photos, I’ll do it later. They’re looking skinnier, not sure if they’re just shedding their winter coats, or if this winter is finally taking its toll.
Not much has been going on here, but I’ve gotten some photos to share.
This past Saturday I made a trip down to the local buffalo farm to pick up some meat for us and bones for the dogs. While I was there their youngest calf (she was born in Oct, WAY late) and her momma wandered up to the fence line and they were kinda enough to allow me to go down to the line myself to snatch some photos.
And I attempted to get some closeups of snowflakes. I don’t really have the right equipment for this, but they turned out ok anyway. If you click through to the big version, and then click to zoom in you can see all sorts of detail.
And a sunset from a couple weeks ago.
And the dogs enjoying the snow.
A full moon.
And this juvi Red-tailed hawk was kind enough to soar slowly over so I could get several pictures.
And more birds at the feeders.
I know, if there’s any Canadians reading this they’re laughing at me. I don’t care. -15 at 8am is fricking COLD by my book. But hey, the pipes aren’t frozen this time!
Arty thinks this cold was designed just to torture him.
Apollo wants to go roll around in the snow some more and what do you mean you won’t let me spend all day out here??
I know, what a pairing right?
I wasn’t sure we were going to have a white Christmas here, we often don’t, somehow always managing to have a thaw right before Christmas that melts the white stuff already on the ground. Heck, some years we don’t get any snow till after January 1st, at which point Mother Nature makes up for her kindness by dumping feet of the stuff on us. And sure enough, this past weekend we had temps in the 50’s with rain, resulting in all but the largest of snow piles melting into nothing.
But this year the few flakes that were drifting out of the sky when we left to go to Christmas Eve dinner at my Inlaws had turned into full on white out conditions by the time we left to come home. Its only a couple inches of snow, but it made driving home interesting. Apollo’s thrilled though.
Their family tradition is to open one gift on Christmas Eve, and this year my SIL planned to be spending Christmas dinner with HER Inlaws so the gifts chosen to open were the ones from her family to everyone else. Her gift to us this year was a new “welcome” mat for our front steps. Our current one is decidedly faded and worn. Please note the “‘ around the word “welcome”. Our current mat states “You read my door mat, thats enough social interaction for one day”. THIS is the new one. Which sent the entire family into gales of laughter when they read it. I love it, but when I flipped it over, and stopped to read the attached “warning label” I laughed even harder:
The other present I was handed last night was my belated Birthday gift from my MIL. My birthday was last month and she completely forgot to get me anything, I told her not to worry about it, birthday dinner and cake was plenty, but she insisted. She ordered several books off my Amazon Wish List, one of them Backyard Winter Gardening by Caleb Warnock.
I’ve been fascinated by the concept of winter gardening for a while, but the large majority of instruction and discussion on it that I’ve found has been done by folks in climates different from mine. Someone on the west coast, or a zone and a half warmer than I, is going to have different success with different techniques that I would. Technically we’re zone 5b, however I’ve repeatedly seen plants that are supposedly hardy to zone 5 not survive our winters. So I was skeptical that any of the winter gardening techniques that I was seeing would work here. The author of this book lives in the Rocky Mountains, and has recorded winter temps in his garden as low as -17. So I figure if HE can do a winter garden with these techniques than I ought to be able to pull off something here.
Husband practically lit up when he spotted me reading about winter grown broccoli last night. After my one disastrous attempt to grow broccoli two summers ago I’ve not tried anything close since. We may be trying again this next winter. I will attempt to remember to blog about how what when and what the results are!