Sunday, July 26, 2009

garlic harvest

It's that time of year again, already. Once again I had a pretty respectable harvest of garlic, planted last October. Actually I only harvested half of it; the garlic in the bed where the dill came up fantastically has yet to be pulled up. But this basket alone was pretty heavy. No vampires here.

I also tilled that garlic bed, along with a bed of beans that were chomped heavily by my resident garden doe. And the parsnips, which did not sprout. Might as well plant some kohlrabi or Chinese cabbage or other fall crop now, although I just might be able to sneak a bean crop in yet.

In the rest of the too short weekend, I ran 5.2 miles, something I haven't done since my early twenties, and watched the always wonderful East Central marching band in a parade.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

clouds today

I was on a tiny bog lake miles from anywhere. First there were no clouds. Then the clouds looked beautiful, as in the photo. Then they looked ominous. One flash of lightning was enough to send us off the lake for half an hour, waiting out a small storm. Then the sun came out again.

There were little storms like that all afternoon, the kind where you can see sunshine and blue sky while standing in the midst of a downpour of rain and hail. Things have settled down for the evening, at least I think.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

diving lessons

Remember the loon family I posted about approximately three weeks ago?

I was on the same lake today, finishing up a vegetation survey, and I saw them again! The babies have grown from tiny fuzzballs to big, demanding fuzzballs. Both parents were busy diving and bringing up small fish to feed them, and my coworker and I watched in awe as the little ones dipped their heads under the water to watch the adults, then finally disappeared under the surface themselves. Diving lessons. Amazing. And all this happened within fifty feet or so of our boat. This was the best picture I got with the low-zoom work camera; I was lucky to get all four of them on the surface at the same time.

It was kind of a windy, nasty day to be out otherwise, and I was glad to be finished around noon. Tomorrow's high is only supposed to be in the upper fifties. O Summer, where art thou?

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

just add water

Last evening we had a total of around 1.8 inches of rain. It was raining so heavy at times I thought we would not be able to watch the All Star Game; our satellite TV was knocked out for a few minutes during the pregame. But all worked out well.

Tonight the frogs are back at it. They had been silent for a few nights, but I guess they were just waiting for a little more moisture. Tree frogs are chirping, and it even sounds like Western chorus frogs, usually an early spring species, are going for a second round.

Today while I was driving somewhere for work I saw a pair of sandhill cranes, and their half grown chick, crossing the road. I so rarely get to see a young sandhill! Cute!

Monday, July 13, 2009

Welcome to the Coldest Spot in Minnesota, again

This is not sun scald, or some strange fungal thing. This is frost damage, here on a winter squash. In the middle of July. The plant will survive, but excuse me? Are we entering a mini Ice Age here? Can I not expect to grow frost sensitive vegetables and not have to worry about covering them up every night in the summer?

On the other hand, the sugar snap peas, which I planted pretty late, are thriving. As are the kale and Swiss chard. The tomatoes and other frost wimpy plants survived too.

Saturday, July 11, 2009


It's that fireweed time of year, the time I first realize that summer is slipping by, the days are only going to get shorter. Best to savor every moment.

I think this photo is absolutely priceless. Calvin, on the right, is giving me the "okay Mom, I see you but I'm not supposed to look like I do" look. His two flag bearing friends in the middle had some 12 year old goofy look thing going on. And Floridacracker, this photo does not show it very well, but the flag at the right is indeed the banner of Florida. I guess because the band has played at Disney World, they earned it. :)

Thursday, July 09, 2009

white pine eagle

If I had only had my own camera with 10x zoom...

At first I thought there was a nest in that bunch of branches behind the eagle. But after viewing it from two different angles, I saw no nest. The eagle was staying in the tree as we moved in pretty close, though, so I'm guessing the nest may not be too far away.

Sometimes my job is worth it.

Monday, July 06, 2009

random thoughts of grace

I don't exactly remember the night I took this photo; maybe a week or so ago. What a pleasure to find on the camera card!

I just saw and heard an indigo bunting! I am hoping the song is etched in my mind, but I think I will need to hear it a few more times to associate it with the bird. They must be nesting around here!

Tomorrow is Calvin's first ever marching band parade, and what a biggie: the Lions Club International Convention in Minneapolis. From what I've seen and heard, the band is up for it. I would think they would have to be really good to get in in the first place. So I'll be thinking of and cheering for East Central in the morning.

The evening is still and beautiful, deer flies notwithstanding. We've had high temps in the upper 70's, lows in the upper 40's. A bearable summer, all in all.

I heard Bob Dylan sing "Boots of Spanish Leather" on the radio as I was driving home, and now I have the uncontrollable urge to play and sing it. The question is, which instrument?

Saturday, July 04, 2009

my garden helper

Mr. Attitude, in a gracious display of helpfulness, took over the hose today as I was watering the garden. Here he is, watering my still small but hopefully huge and fruitful by the end of the month tomato plants.

There has been a hoofed visitor to the garden lately, and I think we will need to take action. She has been nibbling on beans, potatoes, peas, and tomatoes (surprisingly!) As our first action, Mr. Attitude and I were yelling "WE LIKE VENISON!" :) I don't think it will help tho.

And I could not leave without posting about Mr. Attitude's post-gardening outfit. Very Miami Vice, and definitely cool!

Notice however, the bare studs and undone appearance of the house interior. It will get done someday.