Friday, August 31, 2018

Cabin'd, Cribb'd, and Confined

Okay, time to get serious and Do Something about all these trees blocking our view of the mountains to the east. This picture above is the only place  the mountains are visible from the house and it was taken from the small, rarely used deck off the front bedroom.  Another year and that sliver of a view will be gone too.

It's almost a solid wall of trees we see from the front porch.

When we bought our property back in '73, it was the view that sold us on it. And when we built our house forty-some years ago, we decided the view was worth putting up with the inconvenience of a steep road.

So we've had an estimate from some tree guys and, if all goes as planned, they will be here this weekend (or the next, depending on weather and all the other things that happen) to start taking down these trees and restoring our view.

This is the perfect time of year for taking down trees, in my opinion. The birds should have finished nesting and the squirrels haven't started building their winter homes.

We are looking forward to getting the mountains back -- and to a very good supply of firewood.

Hoping that all goes well. 

Thursday, August 30, 2018

Blast from the Past . . . and Flowers

My brother-in-law Skip sent us this picture from times past -- twenty years? thirty? Back when my nieces would spend a week or so in the summer here at Camp NoFun.

I'm not sure what I was doing -- possibly tearing up some leftover barbecued chicken to make sandwiches. I evidently had been canning earlier. 

The dog is Amanda, one of our two mastiffs. The little girls painted the dogs' toenails. 

The mastiffs are just a memory and the little girls are grown women now.

We did some fun things -- I'll look forward to doing them with Josie.

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Getting in Touch with My Inner Child

The little castle has acquired a stone bench and a moss carpet has been installed.

It's such a pleasure to come from the giant piles of weeds and the heat in the garden and to play in this tiny (and so easily managed) world. 

I'm thinking a little pool of some sort might be a nice addition if I can find the right sort of durable and very small container to bury and fill with water. Maybe a shot glass?

I know there's all sorts of fairy garden furniture and accessories available but I don't want to overdo things.

And, no, Josie hasn't spotted it yet.

Tuesday, August 28, 2018

End of Summer Cleanup

Some things can't be postponed. One of these is de-heading the garlic chives soon after they bloom. If left alone, they will spread seed everywhere. Invasive is their middle name.

So I set in to the task and soon realized that everything in the box beds  needed attention -- weeding, hoicking out squash and cucumber plants that are past bearing, and getting the beds ready for some fall crops.

The zinnias and nasturtiums above the wall are still blooming away, in spite of someone -- probably a deer -- having eating the tops off the nasturtiums. A little weeding around them and it all looks better.

Just as we've been gorging on fresh summer fruit -- peaches, blueberries, and cherries -- in anticipation of the months ahead when they won't be available, the milder weather we're having now makes me want to play in the dirt while I can. 

It's been a somewhat disappointing garden year  -- great corn and cucumbers, some peppers and beans, but the real blow was the tomatoes -- or lack thereof. They began so well and just as they started to ripen, critters developed a taste for them, even eating off the blossoms.

We hadn't fenced them off as we did the beans and kale and such, since the only thing that bothered our tomatoes in the past was the blight and the bugs. 

As I've said before, to garden is to know loss. But, in a way, almost every worthwhile human experience --  like love, pets, friends -- has that potential.

And yet we persist. 

Saturday, August 25, 2018

Things I Saw

A nodding sunflower . . .

A shy moonflower . . .

The passion flower still amaze me . . .

A red wasp exploring . . .

A dead bumblebee just hanging there . . . overcome by passion?

I've been leaving the greenhouse door open in hopes that insects will come in an pollinate those cucumber vines I planted back in June.

A swallowtail had fluttered in.
I caught it and put it out . . . 

And, oh joy! there are little cucumbers forming on the vine!

And last of all, this tiny (dead) moth that came in on the ferns I cut for the living room -- it makes me think of a hair bow on a pretty girl.