I go to nature to be soothed and healed, and to have my senses put in order.
John Burroughs

Tuesday, July 26, 2022

Garlic harvest, and visitors....

July 26, 2022

The weather has been cycling, from heat and humidity, to rain and wind, followed by a cool down, building to heat and humidity again. It is the "Brown-eyed Susan" time of the year; love those cheery blooms that seem to be everywhere!

The garden has taken off. I swear the squash and pumpkin vines have grown about a foot over each of the warmer nights. There are baby acorn and butternut squash growing,


and the pumpkins are expanding daily.

The cucumbers are loaded with bloom, and small cucs are forming in the depth of the greenery that is the cucumber bed. We have been eating the cherry tomatoes as they ripen...so very sweet. A couple of Scotia tomatoes are almost ready to harvest, and the Brandy wine tomatoes are getting bigger and bigger, but are still very green.

There are baby beans on the first planting and the nice scant half an inch of recent rain has popped the second planting along to be big enough to hill up. Every morning there are more bud spikes rising on the gladiola row, the first one is showing colour, and will soon be open. Phlox and day lilies are blooming, and the creeping thyme is is purple carpet that the bees are loving. 

The broccoli are starting head up,

the inter-planted dill seems to be doing a pretty good job of deterring the white cabbage moths. I only found 2 worms to pick off, earlier when the plants were younger.

Today was "dig the garlic" day, as three to four of the bottom leaves are browned off.

The garlic bed has never needed to be watered, thanks to Mother Nature, and moist soil had to be gently tapped and shaken out of every root ball as I dug the plants.

They are now residing on hanging old screen doors up in the barn to cure for a month or so. I think this crop has produced the biggest bulbs I've grown so far in the five summers I've grown garlic. It is one of my favourite things to grow; plant it, mulch it, watch it grow; then dig and dry it. And bonus, the planting is done in the fall when there are no pestering insects!
October 19, 2021

Early yesterday morning, I happened to be looking to the north when a large coyote came trotting up by the barn, about 100 yards away, stopped, looked right at me, then did a 90 degree turn and trotted off behind the barn, in no particular hurry.

Later in the day, my craft group convened on the verandah after a garden tour. We are taking turns hosting for the next few weeks, then going on hiatus until later in the fall. We had a lovely breezy, cooler day for the first of our 'home' visits. We are all gardeners, as well as crafters, so I'm really looking forward to the next few weeks!


Thursday, July 21, 2022

Blooming, crawling and climbing....

 July 21, 2022

Today is a sunny day with a beautiful breeze blowing, the brutal humidity of the last couple of days has decreased due to a cold front that thundered through in the night. Over this week, we have had just under an inch of rain, falling in three episodes. Everything seems to be growing by leaps and bounds. 

Buds have risen from all my amaryllis bulbs, except the baby one, and the pink one opened yesterday.

We have certainly dodged the bullet of the Spongy (Gypsy) Moths, as it appears that a combination of virus and bacteria targeting the caterpillars, and we think, freezing of the egg masses above the insulating snow, has drastically reduced their numbers. We can see no evidence of defoliation in our immediate area, unlike last summer. 

Our favourite apple trees are loaded with growing fruit. This tree is right out from the back door beside the driveway, and is a very good eating apple.

In the pepper patch, several are of a usable size.
Squash and pumpkin vines are crawling across the patio slabs,
and hidden under the greenery are a couple of these.
Climbing beans are really starting to clothe the bean teepee, the first planting of bush beans are blooming and the first bloom spikes are rising from the double row of gladioli. The cucumber plants are loaded with bloom and starting to crawl up the fence at the far end.
Hidden in the row of Brandy wine tomato plants are many of these.
On the trail cameras, we are seeing a buck with velvety growing antlers,

and a pretty doe crossing our trail.
As always, clicking on the pictures will make them bigger.

Friday, July 15, 2022

Mid-July Garden....

July 13 pictures. 

'Moose eye' view of the garden beds, with white clover blooming everywhere.

Broccoli patch, with one plant that something continues to eat despite my best efforts. The plants around it are relatively unscathed. The inter-planted dill is supposed to deter the white cabbage moths.

Amaryllis down one side of the herb bed. There are 6 adult and one baby bulb. They all have buds rising except for one adult bulb, and the baby bulb. All are red but one, which is pink with a cream center.

Kelsae onions, which were started from seed this spring. Looking so forward to their big, sweet, deliciousness.

New Zealand spinach, new this year and un-sampled as of yet. It just recently started to take off.

Several varieties of squash, just learning to crawl across the patio slabs. It will soon be time to move the picnic table. A big yellow female flower on two of the plants this morning! Where are the guys??

Red Carmen peppers.

Green California Wonder peppers.

First tomato to colour up. A Sweet Million cherry.

The tire planter with crocosmia which overwintered in there, well mulched, even though they are not supposed to be hardy to this zone. The marigolds are Vesey's Super Hero mix, and I'll be growing them again. They are such compact plants with big cheery blooms.

First zucchini flower, a female. 

Hooray! At least two of the climbing beans are Scarlet Runners, and they are blooming even though they have barely started to climb???

Quite a few nice sized, green Brandy Wine tomatoes in this row of 6 plants. Can hardly wait!!!

The cucumbers...starting to crawl, but wait...what is that supposed cucumber in the foreground...I question it's DNA! The far plant is a pumpkin. 

On the trail cameras....little bear is growing bigger, and Mom and calf moose went by one of the trail cameras.


Friday, July 8, 2022

Moose on the loose....

July 8, 2022

Yesterday I headed over to Algonquin Park to meet up with an old friend who was up from her home in Florida, visiting family in Huntsville. The half way place between there and here is roughly at the Visitor's Center in Algonquin Park, so we agreed to meet there. We had a lovely long visit, having not seen each other in person for 11 years. 

The Center is located along the main highway that runs through the busy southern portion of the park. It was a sublime summer day, with clear skies, puffy white clouds and warm sunshine. I was surprised at how little traffic there was, and how few vehicles were parked at the trail heads I passed, and how few folk were at the Visitor's Center, it being the peak of holiday season.

There is the off hand chance that you might see a moose feeding on pond lilies in the ponds one can see along the highway, but not too likely in the middle part of the day.

I headed home, and stopped to snap a photo of the East Gate on the way out,

then another of one of the big moose warning signs along the highway.

So, home safe and sound, and later, off to bed I went, to be awakened shortly by Hubby leaning over and whispering..."Cow and calf in the yard!" I rolled out of bed and went to the upstairs window to look down at a cow moose, and a little blondish-red coloured calf standing right below me at the side of the picnic table by the garden beds! Daylight lasts on toward 10PM at this time of the year, so there was plenty of light to see. The cow looked sooo big! They looked like they were waiting to be served at the table, and I had visions of them having a meal on my garden! Mama sniffed at the pot of pansies on the table with her big nose, then at the burgeoning potato greenery in the barrel right beside the table. They then slowly meandered toward the end of the pond, walking right along the end of the row of garden beds. The little one stayed close to mom, although she/he did stop and seem fascinated by the curiously white-veined leaves of the squash plant at the end of one of the beds! 

By the time they got to the pond edge, Hubby had grabbed a camera and had stepped outside the back door, Moma moose looking toward the sound of the door, her ears radaring around. The little one did a short jaunt along the trail toward the garden shed, but stopped.

They stood at the edge of the mown grass for a bit, then Moma stepped down through the rough edge and into the pond, splashing along through the shallower water, past the trail camera positioned there.

moose butt

The little one came back and walked down my rock steps into the pond to join her mom. They waded along the east edge of the pond until Mom could reach a willow growing there. We could see them, and hear their splashing footsteps, then the rustling of the willow branches as the cow pulled them down with her mouth, stripping the leaves off. She browsed along, the calf close beside her, then they came out of the pond at the north end, to eventually walk along past the woodshed and disappear behind the barn. This calf was small, and we are sure it was not the same one that was by the trail camera a while back.

It is rather ironic to return from Algonquin, known for its moose, come home and have them in the yard!

Wednesday, July 6, 2022

July garden, and other stuff.....

July 5, 2022

So far this summer, we've had only a few of those nasty hot, humid days, the rest have been beautiful sunny, warm summer days with low humidity. There has been enough rain that I haven't had to water much at all. Long daylight hours, and warmish nights have the garden really taking off. All the garden pictures except the first one,  were taken on July 4, a showery overcast day, after a night of rain.

There are beets in the foreground of this bed, with 10 broccoli plants, interspersed with dill beyond. A couple of the broccoli plants got chewed badly so I cut the bottom out of some plastic containers and pressed them into the soil to keep the mulch at bay, and planted new seeds inside. They will catch up eventually.

A couple of Scotia, determinate tomato plants, onion sets beyond and rutabaga leaves in the foreground.

There are peppers forming on the Red Carmen sweet peppers,

and tomatoes on the Black Plums, and on most of the other tomato plants.

The greens bed has just gone nuts.

In the field garden, the Brandywine tomatoes are growing by leaps and bounds, the lone Large paste in the foreground has fruit, the zucchini is growing and climbing beans are starting up the bean teepee. 

At the other end, the cucumber plants are getting bigger, but not heading up their fence yet. No buds on the glads so far, first planting of beans is doing well and that weedy blank space at the bottom right, is my chore for tomorrow, clearing it and planting the second bean crop. 

I have to rethink the strawberry bed. It is caged to keep out voles and chipmunks, but I caught a chipmunk in there red-pawed. Somehow, it had found a gap and squeezed itself in. We spent some time reinforcing the sides and top, again. The vermin ate all the wild strawberries, and now mine are going down their gullets. There are a couple of okra plants in the end, and some extra marigolds.

The asparagus has ferned out, with a vengeance, and the horseradish plants are sending up new shoots throughout their bed...and beyond! I am glad we planted them off by themselves.

We got out for a day of fishing on the beautiful Bonnechere River, that comes down from Algonquin Park. It was a nice change of pace, but the fish were not cooperating with us that day.

At the pond, a great blue heron stalked by the Pond Camera.

Papa bluebird called the youngsters out of the nest box on a cool, rainy day late in June. The whole family disappeared for a while, but later reappeared, three small puffy, blue-grey birds with mottled breasts and blue tails, with the adults. The youngsters were sitting up on clothesline poles, fence posts, and solar panels, their parents bringing food to them. The phoebe is sitting on a second batch of eggs, up under the verandah eaves; the chipping sparrows and the robin chicks have all fledged and gone.