Tuesday, September 25, 2007
Even though I collected seeds, I didn't get them planted in this year's garden. I was happy to see seedlings appear and then a quickly growing flower stalk. There might be another one that will make it to flowering also. I hope they'll plant themselves again, but next year, I'll make sure I plant some seeds also. The garden and gardener would miss them.
Sunday, September 23, 2007
This afternoon in the garden, we watched the chickadees eating sunflower seeds and a hummingbird visiting the blooming flowers. We also saw another hummingbird at the fuchsias on the patio. I don't recall when I stopped seeing them last year.
Tuesday, September 18, 2007
Sunday, September 16, 2007
I thought this was an Italian White Sunflower from seeds I ordered this year. See the Italian White from last year's garden here. Now I'm thinking it may be Valentine, also ordered this year. This one has grown to about 7 feet tall, but unlike the other sunflowers, it has these graceful stalks that hold up the 4-6 inch flowers very nicely. More for cut flowers than seeds, I think, but I will check for seed production in the older flower heads next time I'm out there.
Saturday, September 15, 2007
Friday, September 14, 2007
Apparently, the snakes finally got tired of waiting for summer too and decided to get about their business anyway. We've been seeing them more lately than we have all summer.
Wednesday, September 12, 2007
After one drying day, I decided to just place it in the open, but covered stall area outside the barn. This way it would get air but little dew.
A few days later, I went to have a look. Here is what I found....
What does this say about the winter ahead? I would really like to see where the squirrel (I assume) has stashed all of the seed heads! One day, I'm sure we'll find the remains somewhere.
Tuesday, September 11, 2007
Sunday, September 09, 2007
Also above, and part of the preparation, is the blender DH's parents passed on to him when he moved out in 1986. We don't know the year, but it is an Osterizer Galaxie model. With a new gasket for the bottom of the glass part, it has served us well since. After a quick blend, I poured the blackberries into the press and lightly rolled around the wooden roller. It quickly drained and the seeds actually stuck to the roller, photo below, which made them very easy to wipe off. Much better than the sieve I've used in the past.
To finish up the sauce, I heated the blackberries, sugar and a little cornstarch in a saucepan. It was good enough that I didn't complain too much about picking a few remaining thorns out of my hands this morning.
I've heard this press is great for apple sauce too. We should have some apples ready about the time we tired of blackberries.
Saturday, September 08, 2007
Powdery Mildew! A sure sign that summer is transitioning to autumn. (& I'm not ready for this, but I do like the fall season.) Some humid days and cool nights we've had aren't helping.
Innocent enough looking at this stage, but don't be fooled. It will spread rapidly to the favorite host plants in the garden. For me that is the delicata squash, cucumbers, and eventually the zucchini (the zucchini variety I'm growing this is supposed to be PM tolerant, though).
So what to do? In my live and let live garden where the squash and cucumbers ramble out of their beds and across walkways, I did jump in the tangle with the snippers and opened up the walkway. This should improve air flow around the plants. I also snipped & removed some of the leaves with PM or other injuries to improve air flow within the plant (these don't go into the compost either). Then I mixed up a water and baking soda mixture (sometimes a little dish soap to help it stick) and sprayed many of the leaves. The baking soda apparently changes the pH level on the surface of the leaves enough to discourage PM.
But then it rained... so I'll check up on them today.
All I try to do is hold it at bay long enough to keep the plant reasonably happy and comfortable until the last of their days and the end of the harvest. If it gets really bad, I remove the plant. Not willing to start spraying anything stronger than baking soda. By then, we're ready to move on to eating something else anyway!
Wednesday, September 05, 2007
The brown shed-like structure in the bottom right corner above is a snow shed big enough for a train to go under. They were used (& often destroyed) in drifting snow & avalanche prone areas to keep the tracks open for business. This one now makes for a good geocache landmark.
Tuesday, September 04, 2007
Yep.... there is the other end, below. We're still on the right track....
There was a small geocache inside the tunnel and we did remember our flashlights. As a former train track bed, the trail grade changes gradually so it is nice for walking or biking (we were walking). Altogether, the trail is over 100 miles and is called the John Wayne Pioneer Trail.
Now off to a few other caches further down the trail, before the return trip through the tunnel.
Stop by tomorrow for the above ground garden part of the geocaching trip (i.e. garden tours by GPS). It was fun having the neighbors along on the excursion (and bet they'll remember to add 5 miles to any future walking estimates we give)!
Click on the Geocaching Tours label for postings of other tours.
Monday, September 03, 2007
See this link to my photo of the berries.
See this link for a web photo of this beautiful bird. You can see how they could glow in the evening sunlight.
See the bottom photo of this post for a view of the micro cascara flowers loved by the bees.
Sunday, September 02, 2007
Here, above, are the west ends of the beds as the late afternoon shadows move in.
And this is from the northwest corner looking south (most of my garden photos are from the gate facing north, instead). Zucchini in the bottom of the photo, bean structure on the left. In the middle of the garden is the wall of tomatoes (mostly green, except for the Sungold). The sunflowers, dill, calandula and hyssop from my last post are on the other side of this wall of tomatoes. You can see the bright red/pink stalks of the Swiss Chard also. We are still making salads from this spring planting, but now I also have new chard seedlings growing for the fall.
Click on the label "Garden-Monthly Photos" for earlier views including snowy January.