Monday, August 31, 2015

I can't seem to upload pix.

Sorry folks, but I can't upload any pictures here from my new Win Ten.  I managed to upload a new picture of Penny in the title page, but can't do any in the body of a post.
I'm still learning.  It doesn't seem to be Win Ten itself, but this site that won't work.
So in the interim, please bear with me.
I'll be back when things are running better.
     Happy Gardening!

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Just A Short Note.

I upgraded to Windows 10 from Win8.1 and what a hassle its been for me.  I'm not techy, you see.  I stumble thru the simplest of computer issues.  So its been a while getting up to snuff and back here.
No pictures to show you today.  I can't figure out how to work my photo albums at this point.
Hey, it took me hours to figure out how to even get on the internet and get my emails.
See what I mean about not being techy?  I was born before TV.
I remember having ink wells in our school desks and it was a really big thing to get an ink fountain pen set on graduating from the 6th grade.  With a fountain pen one could write several words before having to refill the ink in a fountain pen.  Yup, at school we used the kind you had to keep dipping in the ink well after every one or two words written.  Not quite quill pens, but pretty darn close.

So bear with me and I'll have pictures again for you soon.

I've been picking lots of tomatoes lately.  I've got to get some roasted and frozen today, before our temps rise back to the 80s and high humidity this weekend and next week.  Darn that humidity.
        Happy Gardening!

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Apples and More Apples!

I checked on the apples on my two dwarf trees today.  They are both looking good. 
How's this for a difference in size.  The Malus Honey Crisp on the left is 3 years older than the Benji Shogun Fuji apple on the right. 
Here's the Honey Crisp showing many green apples, though some are starting to ripen.
These are ripening, as you see.  Soon now I'll be able to harvest some.  I love their taste, crisp, white and juicy.  What's not to like in a Honey Crisp.
Even the Fuji, though young, is sporting some ripening apples this year.  I can't wait to test them.  It'll be the first year they've produced.
My other fruits trees, also dwarf, are the Almaden Duke Cherry on the left that gives many fruits but the birds always get them before I do.  I love seeing that my birds are well fed and kept healthy so I don't mind sharing this tree with them.  On the right is my Red Haven Peach that produces so well normally.
As you can see from this photo, my peach tree is lopsided.  That's due to a winter storm than tore a large branch off the right side of the tree.  Then in the spring it didn't produce any blossoms.  I think the tree was trying to recover from its injuries and maybe if I'm lucky, next year will give me a bounty of her large,  juicy, sweet, fruits.  They were so tasty I really missed them this year.
Before I sign off, I want you to see my ever-present shadow when I'm working in my gardens, my Penny, a Pembroke Welsh Corgi.
My best buddy, Penny.
Happy Gardening!

Friday, August 21, 2015

Rubythroated Hummers On Parade!

When I went to my open doorway to greet the cool air today, a hummer flew in front of my face and stayed a few seconds, as if to say "Good Morning."
I suppose she's used to me being the one that refills their feeders.  As the day continued, I found a moment to take a few pictures.
I had refilled the two feeders with fresh sugar water thinking maybe the water in the feeders had diluted a bit with the rain we've been having off and on since last nite.  Sure enough, as soon as the feeders went out again, my 3 hummers joined in having lunch.
A good view of one dipping her beak in the feeder.
Another was dipping into the Monarda (Bee Balm) quite happily.
You can barely see this one on top of the shepherd's crook hunched up a bit against the patter of raindrops.
This is a good view of her iridescent green back.
Another in flight looking for a place to settle.
Look at the length of that beak.
Unfortunately, the male in the group, and I think I've only spotted the one, is not very forthcoming.  He's always flitting off before I can snap a picture.  Well, that's OK.  I'm just happy the females are used to me and don't mind posing now and then.
Happy Gardening!

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Homemade Wooden Magnets

There's a nice 94-year-old gentleman who lives on Cape Cod, a friend of a friend, who makes lovely wooden magnets. 
I was the happy recipient of one this week.

Here's the horse head magnet I received.  Its a buckskin which is a favorite color horse for me after the palomino.  I adore this and it will have a special place on my fridge.  My fridge is not covered by dozens of magnets, but just a few treasured items.
This one of a cat I got last year in memory of the cat I lost when he was 21 years old.    These magnets are very well made.                      
                                           Thank You Sam.

Monday, August 17, 2015

Pretty Party Cakes

I just wanted to show you some of the cakes my DDIL made recently.
She's so talented and makes the best cakes that are delish!
This is a Birthday cake for one of her brothers last week.  It was made with two kinds of cake inside and both so tasty.
This she made for a co-workers young daughter's birthday the following day.  The girl loves Oreos.  Can you tell!
Personally, I'm not a person who likes cake.  My favorites are Rum Cake and if that's not available, give me Brownies.  That's about the extent of my love of cake but I find these beautiful as works of art.
Happy Days!

Friday, August 14, 2015

My First Bee Sting!

I'm into the last of my years on this Earth, and I finally suffered my very FIRST Bee Sting!   It hurt!
I was putting a refilled hummer feeder on its hook and moved my arm against my chest.  Well, a bee or a hornet must have been sitting there or taking a shortcut between me and a flower because I felt a sharp prick and brushed at something on my shirt so quickly I couldn't make it out.  Looked at my arm, and there was a tiny hole in my forearm with a red bit beginning to show.
I quickly came indoors, washed the area, added Bactine to it, then went looking for the baking soda.  Made a paste of that and slathered it on my forearm.
There was a small swelling popping up but not much.  The sting was gone within minutes so its not hurting.  I guess I'm not allergic because no reactions happening now after an hour. 
If it was a bee, I'm so sorry for it because it will have lost its life in its own defense.  A small hornet would live. I'm thinking maybe a small hornet or yellow jacket because I notice them now and again around the hummer feeders.
I'll never know what little critter I disturbed suddenly.
Anyway, the hummers have their refills for the day and are very happy and I had something new to post today.
Happy Gardening!

Apples are Falling on My Head......

The Honey Crisp apples are falling from the tree lately.  I think it is to make room for the others on the branches.
Here I have Honey Crisp apples, a couple of Bush Crop cukes from a container plant, and a green Cubanelle pepper.  Not a large haul, but I'll take anything I can get.
Remember, I didn't plant too many things this year in the veggie department.  I wanted to turn most of the Back40 growing area to perennials which are much less work than growing veggies.
I'm happy with whatever I can harvest and I enjoy every bite.
Happy Gardening!

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Its Raining Hummers!

We're having a rain shower right now but that doesn't stop my family of Hummers from feeding.
The Monarda is blooming beautifully and the Hummers feed on them daily.  But this morning they are flitting around the 2 hummer feeders even in the light rain shower.
Here's one coming in for a dip with her green back to me.
Here's an unusual view.  Hummer is coming in on her side heading for the feeder.
Here's a clear view of one feeding.
In this one she's just resting on the rim while the rain patters down on her head.  A light rain doesn't stop them and with the temps in the high 60s its very comfortable outside today.
They used to fly away when I came outside but now they do acrobatics around my head and flitter left and right in front of me, showing off I'm thinking.  When I refill a feeder, I call to them and in minutes they are flitting at the refilled feeder.  Very happy little birds and well fed, too.  I'm enjoying my family of hummers this year.  I've only seen 3 at the same time so I'm sure its the same little family that started with two earlier this season.
Happy Gardening!

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Sweet 16 Birthday Cake

One of the family celebrated a 16th Birthday this month so there was cake and ice cream at our house on Tuesday night.
My Darling Daughter-in-Law made a beautiful special cake for the occasion.  She has a talent and takes a lot of time and attention to detail to get these cakes just right.
Isn't this just gorgeous.  This was taken before the candles went on the cake.  And it was delicious as well.  Layers of both chocolate and vanilla cake inside.
This same DIL had to have her kidney stones blasted today.  My son brought her into the hospital at seven thirty this morning and she was home at three p.m.   The doctor said he got all of them and they were all blasted to powder so we are very happy about that.
That deserved a Get Well card and two plants to cheer her up.  On the left is an African Violet and on the right a bright pink Kalanchoe plant. 
I made lasagna for dinner tonite for the whole family and invited her Mother to join us.  There was a salad made with tomatoes and cucumbers from the garden and lettuce.  I also drove to the bakery this morning to get our favorite fresh Crusty Italian bread to have with our meal.
All pronounced it a good meal and we had lots of chatting around the dinner table for a couple hours. 
DIL is doing very well and will stay home from work tomorrow and spend it resting at the lake for the day and then the weekend.  Monday morning she'll be back at work.
Here are three of the little cukes I picked from my Spacemaster plant.  Very tasty little darlings, too.  Sweet and juicy and crunchy. 
Its nice to see crops coming from the home garden at last.  Only a couple months left for us in Maine so I'll take advantage of it and have fresh salads every day now.
                  Happy Gardening!

Sunday, August 2, 2015

The Dance of the Hummers

At last my little visitors are being cooperative so I have some pix to post.
Can you see her feeding on the Monarda.  Center of the photo with her long bill spearing a blossom.
In this one you can see her tail hanging down low on the left of the biggest flower in the center.  She's sipping in the flower.
I love this one of her in flight feeding.
This one is lovely with her wings widespread and hovering.
In this one the photographer could have done better.  Another female is resting on top of the pole with her belly stuck forward as she was preening.
Its times like this I wish I were a better photographer.
Amazingly, these were taken with the hummer knowing I was standing there in my doorway only a few feet away in the feeding shots.  In fact, she flew past me a couple times before settling to feed.  I think she must know I won't hurt her since I've been doing her bidding when she wants fresh sugar water after the ants find it.  I put the feeders on a different pole each time I change it so the ants aren't around in the beginning.
Happy Gardening friends!

Another Beautiful Summer Day in Maine

We have had nearly a week of bright sunny days, some very high 80sF and some low 80s like today and low humidity.  That means just a fan going makes the house comfy cozy.
The hummers are dancing among the Honeysuckle and Monarda and just now and then trying the feeders.  I wish I could catch them with my camera but they seem to know when the camera is on hand and flit away.
Funny, because one was flashing back and forth in front of my door this morning telling me something.  It wasn't that the two feeders were empty (filled them yesterday) but that ants had gathered on one of them.  They don't like the ants.   So I refilled with fresh to make her happy.  She's a very intelligent bird.
In the garden today, the tomatoes are ripening but slowly and I found cucumbers beginning to form.
Above is my Spacemaster in a pot.  The bees have been busy here so little fruits are forming at last.
Here's another cuke on the same plant.  As you can see, there's a problem with the Japanese beetles eating the leaves.  Its always an ongoing fight against them every summer.
Among the tomatoes I bagged to save seeds, this one is Li'l Pink with its red yarn tag so I know from which tomatoes to save seeds. This plant is potato leaf instead of the usual saw-tooth edges.   I've never tried one of these, so I'll have to see about size and taste before I bother to save any seeds.
This is Mountain Gold tagged for seeds as well. 
Red Zebra is another tagged for seeds.  This one I know I love.  It has great flavor and is my favorite tomato.
This is my Lily, Starlight Express crowded among the tomatoes and the peonies this year, but still looking so pretty.
I hope others in New England are having good things from their gardens.  I limited myself in what I planted this year so I don't have much to report.  I can say the sugar snap peas are about done.  I think I picked only a half dozen today and the vines are browning a lot.  I'll be pulling them out in a few days. 
The Asparagus has tall, lovely ferns after being productive earlier this year.  The Brussels sprouts and the Kalettes have a long way to go.  I hope for some success there.  The Winterbor Kale is thick and lovely and the Herbs are doing well; Rosemary, thyme, chives, parsley (2 kinds), basil, sage and oregano.  I find that herbs are easy.  They require less care since they only need about half the water of regular crops. 
I'm having trouble with my African Marigolds.  They are looking horrid with dark brown patches across the yellow blossoms.  I've never grown these before so don't know the reason nor the answer to that. 
I'm off to make a fresh tomato salad. 
Happy Gardening!