Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Six months of gardening

It's hard to believe that it has been more than six months since our garden spot was tilled into fluffy powder. L began planning early in the year. Late March, during a warm dry spell the deed was done. Plants and seeds went into the soil in short order only to be frozen soon after in an unusually late freeze.

New tomato and pepper plants replaced the dead ones that stuck out of the ground like black frost bitten fingers. Beds of lettuce, kale, corn, and carrots were replanted as well as hills of Zucchini, Cucumber, Cantaloupe, and Watermelon.

L, with the help of C spent tireless hours keeping the weeds under control and watering the fledgling plants.

By early July, the garden was flourishing due to their TLC and we had more than our share of Zucchini and Cucumbers.

Later July brought Tomatoes (Early Girl, Beef Steak, Rutgers, Roma), Swiss Chard, Cayenne Peppers, and the first Okra.

Early lettuce gave way to bell peppers, cantaloupe, and watermelon.

Flowers in the collage above; left to right, top to bottom are:
  • Sunflower with Honey Bees
  • Cosmos
  • Okra
  • Gladiolus
  • Zucchini
  • Gladiolus
  • Morning Glory
  • Sunflower
  • Zinnia with Gulf Fritillary
Additional photos can be found at:


Thanks L for making this year's garden a great success!

Monday, October 1, 2007

Tales of the feet

The dog ate my shoes. Really, and I don't have anything to wear on my feet!

Funny how some peoples pets can do no wrong. I've heard it before. "He's just playing. He won't bite.", "She's an indoor cat. She won't catch birds." Uh, what's that red hanging out of her mouth? Looks like a Cardinal to me. And finally. "You can leave the shoes there. She won't chew on them."

May I present exhibit #1:

Needless to say. I was done with these shoes. Now I'm picky. Shoes need to look right, fit right, feel right. The search began.

Off and on through the years I've seen an Australian boot advertised in the back of National Geographic Adventure and Outside magazines. They looked different, to me, in a good sort of way.

Blundstone or "blunnies" are . . . Wait! Why should I write when it's already been written?


After researching a bit I decided to spring for the 550s rather than the original 500s. "Rugged Lux" is how they're billed. I ordered from this Australian outfit:


After a couple of tries Aussie size 7.5 seemed to be the right fit. So, for your viewing pleasure. Behold my Blundstone 550 (Note: there's another one as well):

After four-plus hours in them I do believe we've got a keeper. I'll keep you apprised of any noteworthy news in the on going "Tales of the feet",

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

September surprise

So I'm mowing the lawn the other day and I see this stalk sticking out of the ground under a Dogwood tree. I decided to spare it and see what happened. Imagine my surprise when, yesterday, I saw the stalk with a smudge of red hovering over it. Further investigation revealed this unusual flower perched on top. Really like nothing that I'd ever seen.

L (wife) deemed it to be some sort of Lily. I tasked her and C (daughter) with identifying it while I was at work in the afternoon. Upon checking my email I found a couple of links with the requested information.

Red Spider Lily (Lycoris radiata) or Higanbana blooms in late September. Further research reveals that the name Japanese name Higanbana (higan + hana=flower) refers to the Buddhist term higan which is a period of about a week around the Spring and Autumn equinox.

The plant grows to a height of 24-38 inches and prefers full PM sun. The plant is sterile and propagates as the bulbs, which are poisonous, divide. If planting, plant at a depth of 8 inches and space 6-12 inches. USDA hardiness zones are 7-8 with mulch and 9-10 without mulch.

We've lived several years in this location and I don't ever remember seeing this plant. L's theory, and a good one I might add, is that past summers have been wetter than this one. As a result I was out sitting on the mower and probably hacking this plant to the ground over and over again during the course of the summer. Due to the dryness mowing has been rather limited and probably preserved this lily for our September surprise.