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.

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

You do what? Diary 12/29/15

I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas with friends and family. Ours was mellow and at this point in my life, that is fine. Meanwhile we have had more snow than the last three years combined, and we are halfway to as much rain as we had all of the last water year. As the snow has been frozen, it is not going anywhere very quickly which makes it harder for animals to survive. Thus, I am feeding the birds a bit while the cat is too lazy to go out and hunt. I have lost two chickens in the night to either a fox or a skunk. How do I prevent that happening over the next six nights until I have no chickens?
some of the nighttime visitors
Garden Dog( who is on his last legs and not protecting at night at all) and I go around the outskirts of the pen and pee. You do what? Well, I mark my territory, telling predators, "Hey, those are my chickens." I hope you are laughing and not saying "gross". It's a country thing...

Sunday, December 20, 2015

Diary 12/19/15

We have already had more snow this winter than either of the last two. Wet yucky snow is not that much fun unless you are a sledder, but all in all it has been lovely when not knocking out the phone and power...Meanwhile, I am working on writing and not much gardening as it is not at all inviting to get out there and start cleaning greenhouses for next year!

Monday, December 7, 2015

Cat barometers: Diary 9/7/15

Yeah, it was a rainy, dreary day, dark by 4:45.

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Diary 12/2/15

I found this guy while raking yesterday. I think he was still alive and so I didn't try to get him unstuck. Now today after a warm-up, I can't find him. Hopefully his small ice age ended and he survived!

Monday, November 16, 2015

Puffball mushrooms: Diary 11/16/15

Usually there are some edible puffballs that emerge this time of year. They are easy to identify, and don't seem to be as prone to freeze damage as some mushrooms. I like the smaller ones. They smell like Parmesan cheese. An edible puffball can be identified by cutting it in half. If it is white inside it is purported to be edible. If it is gray or brown, not so much. I did not pick this one, so I don't know.
I think it maybe a larger puffball called "poisonous pigskin" which does not sound good for those of us looking for a gourmet mushroom to eat!

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Diary 11/10/15

The sun peaked out from the clouds this afternoon. The fog had hung on all morning. When the sky did clear, the brightness hit the trees making them light up like Christmas lights.

Monday, November 9, 2015

Diary 11/9/15

It took me three hours to clean my refrigerator! I know that isn't anything interesting about gardening, but it is a fact of life that once in awhile you HAVE to tackle cleaning an appliance! Meanwhile these turkeys were strutting their stuff out by the garden.
Watch out! Thanksgiving is just around the corner...

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Diary 11/8/15

This will not be the most beautiful fall display. As late as it is and as dry as it has been, it does not point to the best colors on the trees. I will say that with the changes in the climate , if you will, and the changes in our local ecology, I am pleased that rain is finally here. With that, the leaves will fall, and there will be a reprieve from the eternal summer we have had. I took this picture at a place in the woods by us that there are viney maple trees that always have great colors, this year included. If you look with squinty eyes, it almost looks like I am photographing a reflection
in a puddle. I love the fall!

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Diary 11/4/15

Our neighbors lent us their lawnmower. Actually she escaped and has been trimming the grass that is just emerging after the rains. After being around all day, she was invisible when the owner came to call for her and lead her home. "Dixie" will no doubt be on the lawn come daylight~

Friday, October 30, 2015

Diary 10/30/15

The dahlias, zinnias, and petunias put on a final show of color as they wait for the first freeze to arrive. The shorter days and cooler temperatures make life easier and so they put on some of their best blooms~

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Diary 10/24/15

Red skies at night, sailor's delight~ Must be sailors that know how much we need some rain because the skies are supposed to gift us some today and tomorrow.

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Diary 10/21/15

The tomatoes are still coming in. Need to can a batch tomorrow as I haul in 30 pounds of them today. Still no frost and little rain, but enough to reduce fire danger and sprout some grass.

Monday, October 19, 2015

Mushroom Arrival Diary 10/19/15

With the sma
ll amount of rain, a first few of mushrooms are showing up. New ones to learn all the time. These are Jack-O-Lanterns or something. Need to look them up. More rain, more mushrooms, I hope~

Saturday, October 17, 2015

Elk Season 2015 Diary 10/17/15

This is the quietest elk season ever; the first year in the last thirty-five in which no one is sleeping in our living room for an early wake-up call on opening morning. In the distant past, hunters and their families stayed here for two to seven days, hunting, eating, and steadily growing older. Now a small group of four are going out with little expectations because of the dry weather and the lack of elk sightings. There is a basic luck factor that comes into play, but otherwise, they are going out to old stomping grounds and hoping for the best. I don't think the cooler will look like this anytime soon, but you never know...

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Diary 10/15/15

I am hoping the rain really comes this weekend. I am thinking it is time for a dance otherwise.

Are the burgers ready?

Friday, October 9, 2015

Diary 10/9/15

Long day of babysitting and then a six year old's birthday party, phew! Still waiting for rain and a cool down. High 80's feel even worse with how late and dry it is. YUCK! Making soup even if it isn't cold and wet.

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Diary 10/4/15

So I have successfully self-published my novel called The Gardener's Daughter. It has been an adventure. If you want an easy read story full of gardening facts, Georgian period in England references, and a hint of romance with only a suggestion of sex, this might be a good fit for you. It has a sequel which I hope to have out by next March. Let my marketing plan begin! Meanwhile, still waiting for rain. Lots of promising cloud action yesterday, but no, no rain~

Monday, September 28, 2015

Wild Kitten Taming: Diary 9/28/15

I am getting closer and closer to the wild kittens. I have fed them by hand twice. It was salmon and though I want to befriend these guys, I can't be serving salmon every day! I am working on moving my hands while they are eating. I touched the black one once. The striped one is super curious about me, but I still haven't touched her/him. I left my hand on their bowl at dinner tonight. They are so nervous, but little
by little I will move my hand until I touch them while they eat. After that, I think it will go much more quickly. They are starting to meet me when I come out and know my whistle.

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Diary 9/27/15

Spent the weekend with Garden Girl. She has been attending kindergarten, so we have not seen as much of each other lately. Also, she is moving out of the area. So, I wanted to spend some time with her. We did all our favorite things including sugar cookies(I !/2'd the sugar and they were still good)and laughing alot. We did some harvesting in the greenhouse. Well, I was harvesting and she was trying to resuscitate
a dead lizard.

Friday, September 25, 2015

Diary 9/25/15

It is always a pleasant surprise when these fall crocus show up. They make tons of foliage in spring and then disappear. Surprise! Here they are after I watered. The picnic table beside them may hide them from deer's munching mouths...

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Diary 9/24/15

Back in the day, (ha-ha. I sound so old) it used to frost in September. Yep, any rain storm would bring cold air behind it. A full moon also could mean a clear night of frost. Now those dates have moved up to November. At first, I didn't want to count on it being so late. I thought it was an unusual occurrence. Now, I believe we have lengthened our growing season by at least 45 days. That's alot. Still no sign of rain even though small low pressure systems are pushing through. Another ten days without a sign of serious rain and who knows beyond that. Poor plants. Poor trees. Poor animals.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

What skunks are good for: Diary 9/23/15

Yes, when a skunk lets go of his scent it is not fun. It happens often here in our rural location. Kinda doesn't even bother me that much anymore~ Skunks do riffle through the recycle looking for tidbits, so I have to clean cans very well. They will eat any cat food left out, so I bring food in at night. (Raccoons and foxes, too.) They will climb in cars if they think there is something great in there, so have to keep windows up at night. They do catch rodents. What they are really good for is routing out these yellow jacket wasp nests. I didn't even know I had been working by two such nests in the ground until the skunk got to them. Stepping in or on or near one of these can result in multiple stings.
Thank you, Skunk!

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Saturday, September 19, 2015

Diary 9/19/15

The rain was so nice. Now back to sunny skies and a couple days of almost hot temperatures.
drying the little black figs

the line-up
It was a good reminder of what is coming and time to cover, put away, and prepare for mud (we hope). Meanwhile, I am canning, drying, and freezing the bounty of the garden, or at least what the deer and gophers have left me!

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

The Last Plums for 2015! Diary 9/15/15

A rain is due in a matter of hours and the cloudy skies and increased humidity is wonderful. After all the build up, seems like the rain we are going to get is gonna be minimal. Anything counts at this point. Not expecting anything very hard, so the last few plums will not get knocked off and wait to be picked this weekend~

Friday, September 11, 2015

Remembering 9/11:Diary 9/11/15

Just saying 9/11, brings a cringe. It brings back visual memories of planes descending on buildings and into the ground, of dusty firemen, of flags flying, and rights lost. It has a mixture of feelings that come with it and hopefully hate is not one of them. I have to say that the impact has been far reaching and extreme in some cases. It set the tone for the new millennium, and only now do I feel a shroud of darkness beginning to come off. Though I do not wish to downplay the sacrifices made by public servants that day, I do remind us all that we have lost many usually private rights, and have taken on opinions which may have less basis than reality. 

I won't go Michael Moore on you now as this is a garden blog, but I do hope our respect for each other and those we don't know is not permanently damaged by fear. Enough said.

I have let the greenhouses go a little crazy. Glad for what the deer and gophers are leaving me as they eat the rest whenever I am not fully on duty. One more horrifically dry day to survive and then big changes coming by the middle of next week. Hoping for relief~

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

First Honeycrisp apple: Diary 9/8/15

Here is a picture of our first homegrown Honeycrisp apple. The tree has been pestered by deer and range cows. Now it has a small fence around it thanks to Tyler, so it has been left alone and five more apples are almost ready to pick. So proud, so proud.

Monday, September 7, 2015

Diary 9/7/15

Long time, no blog. Took a trip to southern Washington to see my daughter's new home. It was wet, lush, and green there compared to the dry parched southern Oregon. I felt almost like I should carry a machete as if the growth would close in behind me! It was beautiful and a nice break. Only problem was that I left the camera card in the computer! Ah well, I will catch up tomorrow on what is happening in the garden. Sad times with more deer damage and gopher starting to eat my onions. Picked 20 lbs. of tomatoes today, and some strawberries, cucumbers, and one lone bell pepper. So much work to feed to ruminants...

Monday, August 31, 2015

Diary 8/31/15

Good-bye August. Good bye hot, dry summer. Looking forward to rain, snow, and a good hard winter. Sorry commuters, can't help it! My camera wants to make pretty pictures when it is on this one setting. Interesting, but not sure how or why or what I am supposed to do with them.

My camera is much smarter than I am.

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Diary 8/27/15

The grey squirrels have been very busy hauling acorns off the tree beside the house. They are coming a fair distance either by ground or in a complicated path of barbeque, lawn tractor, arbor, madrone tree to fir tree and then fir to fir to fir. I noticed that they are eating the first couple acorns they pick, hungry from their long distance travel. I feel pretty sorry for them and the rough season we have had. I have even given them free reins at hauling apples off if they need to. I can share. Turkeys were at the edge of the yard this morning. Two moms, three bigger babies (poults?)and one much younger baby. Not sure if this is the mom turkey who had four babies and has lost one or a different mom. While the squirrels made alot of racket getting acorns, someone was watching from below.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Diary 8/25/15

Worked on making jam today. The plums are coming on fast and furious. So are the raspberries in the greenhouse. When the outside ones join in, I will be in trouble. Luckily, I have a few friends and family ho want to pick some, too. I made white peach jam yesterday and berry/peach/plum combo. Today, I made straight up strawberry jam for my grandson. He didn't want any plum mixed in his. Just strawberries. I also made a plum nectarine which I am anxious to try.

Friday, August 21, 2015

Diary 8/21/15

Making sauce and salsa. Finally getting some zucchini.
Between the gophers and the deer, I am lucky to say that this year. Grey squirrels are hauling off fruit from the orchard all day, something that has never happened before. I could wish for a hard winter and that is why they are storing up, but I think they are eating them on the spot. So little other food available, I guess.

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Diary 8/19/15

Garden Dog insisted on lying down right by this weed even though it kept bothering him whenever he moved and it brushed against his ear.

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Diary 8/16/15

Back from a quick northern sojourn for a good friend's son's wedding.

The weather and venue were perfect. The ceremony was simple, but nice. The get together with old friends was memorable. Enjoyed the agriculture along the way. Saw lots of hops growing up their strings.

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Diary 8/13/15

Another trip to Crater Lake and the water color did not disappoint. It was as blue as ever. We watched the National Creek Fire plume build through the afternoon. Not much smoke at all because really no wind.

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Diary 8/11/15

We have had a mother turkey and her chicks coming to the chicken pen to clean up excess scratch and get a drink of water. The rooster runs them off if he sees them. The picture is not very good, but that is what is going on in it. The turkeys are in the background and the chickens in the foreground. The rooster is on his way.

You can hear her chirp at them all over the farm. In addition we have a single mourning dove hanging around. They mate for life and there is only the one, so there might be a sad tale there. Now, this afternoon, I spotted two kittens hiding in the wood pile. They are very skiddish, but ate the food I gave them when I left. Poor things. I called the neighbors to see if they belonged to them, but no. Not sure what will happen about that. We have two cats already.

Sunday, August 9, 2015

Diary 8/9/15

Despite the hot days, the dry summer, and the smoke from the fire over the hill, there are still some beautiful corners to the garden as it tries to survive it all. I was surprised to find this arm of a Clematis vine, blooming later than the rest. Such a nice treat.

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Diary 7/4/15

I am getting closer to self-publishing the book I have written called "The Gardener's Daughter" about an orchid grower in London in 1806 and the daughter of his gardener(duh!). I am not sure how all this blogging here and at the book blog are going to go, but I will still report on things here as they occur, that is, in the garden. Bare with me~

Saturday, August 1, 2015

Diary 8/1/15

As predicted, the ashfall has really started this afternoon. It was all clear skies this morning when the fire pushed towards the north. Now it is headed south and the fire is traveling southwest also. Here is a complete leaf ash I found this evening.
On a cheerier note, the ash is potash, so most plants kinda like it even if they don't need the smoky dust on their leaves. Raspberries are kicking into gear~yum!

Friday, July 31, 2015

Milo Fire from Trail: Diary 7/31/15

So a fire started 20 miles away as a crow might fly. It put up this incredible pyrocumulus cloud from the heat from a vast area burning. It is so hot and dry, the fire which started as a guy mowing dry grass, will be devastation. It will come back, but not the same and not for a long time. As you can see, I am humble human when it comes to talking about wildfires. Now it is just smoky and I can only imagine from my own experience here 13 years ago, what folks are going through. My thoughts are with them~