I am trying to learn the butterflies in our area. I have a wonderful book, Butterflies of the Pacific Northwest, by William Neill, and photos by Doug Hepburn. It tells what plant or family of plants each butterfly lays its eggs on. They are very specific. This is the Snowberry Checkerspot which lays eggs on the low growing snowberry bushes that are everywhere. Here it is gathering pollen from a Calendula in the garden. It has made me pay more attention to the bugs around me...
Tuesday, May 27, 2014
So, the rest of the firewood story is that the truck's battery died. Aftyer filling both trucks and ready to take weary bodies home, truck wouldn't start, or make any noise for that matter, so worried more than battery problem. Our cohort, Doug, towed us through the flats until we reached the downhill sections. Then we would wildly coast to keep momentum, the momentum that also made it difficult to stop, and with no power steering, difficult to steer. We made it down to the county road with three pulls and some exciting corners. Then pulled again home and up the hill to our yard.
Good news was it was only the battery.
|Chaining up on the flat...|
Monday, May 26, 2014
Firewood gathering adventure yesterday. We found a "danger tree", a dead tree that could fall across the road. Further up on the hill were other "snags" left for birds and animals to nest in. We bought a permit on the tree for a nominal fee from the Forest Service. They knew that we would successfully fall this huge Douglas Fir and clean up the mess after we took the firewood from it, our part of the deal. How do you fall such a giant? Very carefully~ After accessing the tree, the branches, where it wants to fall, and where we would like it to fall, the process of "facing" making an undercut and then cutting from the back to meet that absent wedge. Once the tree is down, the even harder work begins! Dry firewood for next winter...check.
Sunday, May 25, 2014
Not to bring anyone down, but in the midst of camping, barbequing, and time off, and all the fun that comes with it, there is the reason for this 3 day weekend that must be remembered. I wish the list of those who would be remembered on Memorial Day was not growing, but shrinking. When PBS rolls the list of recent deaths in Afghanistan and other places around the military world, and many of them are not yet 20 years old, my heart is sore with the thought of good kids who will never know half of the joys life has brought me.
So, I am not saying don't have a fun weekend~
So, I am not saying don't have a fun weekend~
Saturday, May 24, 2014
Last evening, a friend who was helping out around here found a mess of berry netting I had torn out of the grapes and balled up on the driveway. When he picked it up to toss it in the trash, he found two large bull snakes entwined in the netting, stuck and going to die. Luckily for the snakes, he came to their rescue with the aid of my son, two pairs of snippers and a knife. Both snakes went back to the wild. I think they might have been having an amorous encounter. Hopefully they will be successful elsewhere. Bull snakes are very territorial and will fight rattle snakes for an area(my yard
|He is lightly holding the snake's head down with his boot because the angry snake wants to bite him. Not venomous, but still painful.|
Thursday, May 22, 2014
Early Spring stir-fry for dinner last night with Napa cabbage, green onions, radishes, a handful of peas and asparagus. Delicious, of course! Can hardly wait for the rest of the gang to arrive. I find I am enthused about zucchini, but that will wear off, ha-ha.
Wednesday, May 21, 2014
Very happy that the county I live in voted in favor of a ban on growing GMO crops. It is comforting to know shocked to know that the citizens of this area get it!I feel very hopeful about the world today! The wild irises have been really nice this year. They are still blooming here and there in the shade along the edges of the forest. With the hot weather over the next couple days, they might be done, and on to the next flowers~
Monday, May 19, 2014
Saturday, May 17, 2014
Wednesday, May 14, 2014
We have friends visiting from the north. There is no free meals around here. We have put them to work. Well, my work partner really came through. She worked overtime on weeding. She planted corn with the seeder and transplanted plants of
Sunday, May 11, 2014
Friday, May 9, 2014
A flush of spears beyond what can be eaten fresh gave way to canning some for later. Asparagus, as a low acid vegetable, requires the use of the pressure cooker. Many people are frightened by the tool, but if used correctly, it isn't that scary. First, snap your spears so that they will fit in the jars. Slide into sterilized jars until tightly packed. I prefer cold pack, but you can steam them slightly so that they are limp. Use your steaming water to fill the jars or heat water to a boil to do so. Leave a space at the top of the jars so that they don't boil over when cooking. Add lids which have been sterilized by adding them to the jars at the end of heating. Do not boil the rubber seals on the lids. Make sure to put the top of the pressure cooker in the place indicated with an arrow and a slice in the bottom, sliding into place. Tighten the top down a little at a time around the circle until all are hand tight. Start heating with petcock flipped down(in open position) to let steam fill the top space. Stand petcock up and keep an eye on the
Thursday, May 8, 2014
Went to bed good and tired last night, partly from some insomnia the night before, partly from a physical afternoon helping with a roofing project. Glad to see it is raining even though we have plans for the weekend. I am worried that like everything else this season, the end of the rain is going to come sooner than later. In this neck of the woods, the southernmost part of the Pacific Northwest, when June arrives, the rains stop and the temperatures warm up. This year, the temperatures have already bumped the record highs several times and seem to hover 5 or 10 degrees warmer than usual. With no or little snow pack, when the dry season starts, and the air does warm up, it may be a swelter situation. It will certainly be a drier summer than usual as there is no snow to evaporate which can help create summer rains.
Wednesday, May 7, 2014
Monday, May 5, 2014
I love these spring days in May when everything is growing so quickly and so verdantly. I think my flowers look their best now before things start drying out. Birds are busy, busy. I see fighting, nest building, and even bug hauling going on. Quite the cacophony of sounds in the morning.
Sunday, May 4, 2014
The 33rd Annual Shady Cove/ Trail Wildflower Show came off well. Talked with lots of nice people. Only problem was small attendance. There were so many events in the valley this same weekend. Unfortunately, our advertising was not great and that is something to work on for next year especially with so much competition for folks to stop by. Perhaps a event tour like a wine tour could be mapped by the newspaper for next year. Came home with a box of my plants leftover and some new treasures. I also brought home the wildflowers from the vases that had nice flowers and pressed them in two phone books. I just love them even if I don't quite know what I will do with them!
|Cheryl finishing tags for the flowers before we opened on Sat. morning|
Thursday, May 1, 2014
|Young Swallowtail butterfly on Milk Vetch(Goat's Rue)|
|A new version of Trout Lily to me|