Evening glow in the greenhouse

Evening glow in the greenhouse
WELCOME TO MY BLOG! I am glad you found me because I hope I can be helpful or at least interesting for you to follow, be you a gardener yourself or just watching vicariously.

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Diary 1/30/14

A walk in the woods noted some changes. I found some fungus among us. The recent rain helped to start some microbes working, but we need more moisture, much more.
Witches Butter ~ edible (Tremella mesenterica)

Yellow Rabbit Ears cup fungus(Otidea leporina)

Tuesday, January 28, 2014


Rainy day. So much more normal than all those warm dry ones. It will either rain or snow for the next few
days, through the weekend.
 We need that and a couple more good storms to even start to make up the deficit. The woods were so dry. There was this layer of fall leaves that had not rotted at all. Hopefully this rain will get soil micro-organisms going. Worked in the top greenhouse with Garden Girl. I weeded. She made an impressive mud hole.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Diary 1/26/14

Two of the youngest firepersons in Oregon put out a fire~

Friday, January 24, 2014

Diary 1/24/14

We are having incredible weather. It is like April; sunny, blue skies, and 65 degrees! Women are out in sundresses and men are wearing shorts. I am going to put on a tank top! Anyway, the eagles, both bald and golden, are up the creek eating spawned salmon. They have been spotted along the waterway for the last three weeks. Yesterday, two pairs enjoyed the thermal uplifts above our house. So great to watch and listen to their chirping.

 I feel so lucky to see such things~

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Diary 1/23/14

The hellebores
 are perking up for their big show in between all the other plants that are sleeping through the cold and low light. Last year they bloomed for months. I am seeing small signs of the days lengthening. Yesterday was 52 here and today is supposed to be even nicer. Grass is growing and buds are forming at the tips of trees and bushes.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Diary 1/21/14

Treasures from the coast. Port Orford Sustainable crab and fresh fish fillets and steaks. Tractor Guy came home from very successful steelhead fishing trip.
Packing and freezing some for later and delicious dinner tonight.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Diary 1/19/14

 Walk to the top of the hill disturbed this grey squirrel. Could not make him move, despite my best squirrel noises. Looks like he was enjoying his incredible perch in the sun. Took pictures so I could truly identify that it was a squirrel. Maybe seeing the dog made him freeze. Wanted to tell him he was safe from this old dog.
Yep, it's a squirrel!

Squirrel's eye view~

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Diary 1/18/14

Climbed to the top of our property to see how the trees we planted after the forest fire were doing. The pines were really big, some up to 12 feet I'd say. The firs looked good even if they were shorter. Actually the new forest looks like it needs thinning. May have to take a few out for them to continue to grow and wildlife even be able to walk through. When I went around the corner, I was able to see the plume from the slash pile burn that is making it so smoky. Weird that I am not supposed to have any fires, but they have a waiver to light such a big one. Hmmmm...
10 year old trees  Notice denuded hillsides in the background~ Timbered Rock Fire 2002
slash burning

Friday, January 17, 2014

Diary 1/17/14

Butternut squash soup is appropriate on these cold winter days. I sauteed onions and celery, added broth and baked squash chunks. I baked the butternut whole this time and then peeled and cut it up. Much safer than trying to force a French knife through the tough outer layer when it is raw. I added some cayenne pepper flakes to spice it up. Hearty fare on a gloomy day.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Diary 1/16/14

The days are still so short. Seems like there is only a matter of hours in the day that the sun is out and it is above freezing. At least there was less smoke today and the fog thinned out early. I don't think I have low light depression, just sniveling about the weather as usual. What we really need is a good wet snow, but it is nowhere in the forecast.
Fog  and smoke combo

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Diary 1/14/14

The sun is going to break through the fog today, but later than usual as it just now arriving at almost noon. The lumber companies must be burning slash piles up the hill as the atmosphere is also smoke filled which adds to the fog being stuck in our valley; warmer air meeting colder air. I told the chickens they could come out and roam around if the sun came out, but not before as a reward for an egg yesterday! Otherwise they just hang out on the front stoop and poop. I gave my lemon tree a dose of compost tea and it is going crazy with blooms. Really there should be fruit on there now, but as an inside tree and maybe ever blooming, I will take any fruit it wants to set. I brought a wasp I found wandering around upstairs to the tree to pollinate and eat any mites that might be there. He has been spotted in the another room.
 I will bring him back!

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Friday, January 10, 2014

Diary 1/10/14

I am not the only one happy to see the rain...

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Diary 1/9/14

The buck stops here! ha-ha~
Happy to see puddles and mud. It is raining, really raining with another good dose coming over the weekend. We are still way behind on moisture, but every bit will help. The storm this weekend will bring much needed snow to the mountains, also. Maybe the ski resorts will be able to open! Yes, there has not been enough snow to date. It may be a hot, dry summer if we don't get more of these moisture giving events in January and February. The snow pack is super important to capture later rain storms, the evaporation has a way of producing rain. If there is no snow, the weaker systems pass us by until they get to the Rockies. Bugs in the garden and fires in the forest may be the result. Fingers crossed for more storms to come~

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Diary 1/7/13

While working on clean-up in the top greenhouse, I was rewarded with some great finds. I thought that the deer had eaten all the carrots when they broke in during the sub-freezing weather. But no! They ate the tops, but safely hidden beneath the soil level, there are still carrots. Then further down the bed, I was cleaning off old potato plant debris and lo and behold there were still some potatoes. The shallow ones were frozen, but deep in the soil, these few remained, hard and ready to eat. The onions were left over from some that never made bulbs. They avoided freezing somehow and are hard, sweet onions now. Looks like venison stew for dinner!

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Diary 1/5/13

A walk in the woods is very serene these days, not much action. The mosses and ferns are happy, but otherwise, the forest floor is empty of all that will return in Spring. I had hoped to see some sign of the elk that have been frequenting the field above the woods, but they are not coming that far down the hill. With the dog in tow, I didn't want to go check or bother them. They have to work hard to get enough to eat this time of year.

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Diary 1/4/13

Working on cleaning the outside chicken pen. There is about 14 inches of good stuff in there to haul to the garden. Inside the pen under roof is some manure for the compost pile buried by
Oak leaves in the foreground, compost in a pile in the middle in front of shovel and old bedding coming out to repeat cycle.
not so composted straw bedding that I am moving out to the pen. I also have piles of oak leaves to incorporate. It has been so dry, the cycle has slowed down, and the chickens have not used up their dry bedding as quickly. My garden will be even smaller than last year, so I am happy to have such a good supply of compost for the beds.

Friday, January 3, 2014

Diary 1/3/14

Why are winter greens so sweet? There must be something in the photosynthesis cycle that while a plant's growth is slow, sugars are stored rather than used up. I am going to read a book about Luther Burbank, an amazing plant propagator and hybridizer. I know he was eager to make a white marigold, but he also bred so many plants we all grow for granted in our gardens.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Diary 1/2/14

Well, there you have it! The limits of my abilities on the computer. This is a link to a post on Google plus of very cute appetizers made to look like ladybugs out of halved cherry tomatoes. Don't know if it will work if you are not a google plus person. I am, and I have a good connection to some interesting people there. It is supposed to be an intelligent Facebook, but there is still some worthless posting there.  Hope your new year is going well so far. We all ate out black-eyes peas yesterday and are hoping they provide the assurance of a good year. I use to hate them, but now serve them more than just once a year. My mother referred to some Irish tradition, but all I could find was some southern tales of Jumpin' John and a Civil War reference. Field peas were considered animal feed and thus spared when Union soldiers burned property in the south. They became a staple for many and thus a sign of better times.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Diary January 1, 2014

Happy New Year to all! Bring it on~ Last year was a nice year for me with a lack of the events that make for sadness or pain. Yes, we are older. Yes, we have friends who are fighting cancer, economically challenged, and have had a rough time for one reason or another. Yes, we lost some important people this last year, but some new little ones arrived. Yes, the future remains unknown, but if 2014 is
no worse than 2013, I am good to go. So lucky to be able to say that. Time to store those memories in case I need them later. Best wishes to you and yours. May 2014 be great for you!