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

Tuesday, August 23, 2022

Frogs, toads, exploring...and gardening

August 23, 2022

A couple of weeks ago, my craft group met up at one of our member's family sugar bush for a tour.

It happened that this year's frog and toad hatch were out and about, and as we walked along the bush trail into the sugar shack, tiny frogs and toadlets were skittering everywhere.

They could sure move fast, especially the frog babies, but I was able to catch the odd one for photos.

The little Wood frog babies are the image of their parents, with the bandit mask through their eye.

Little Spring Peepers were very fleet of foot, and were able to hide amazingly well, right at our feet. We also did a little exploring of the property, especially the tumble of rocks originally deposited by glaciation, where millennia
of winters have cracked the rocks apart, and with the help of erosion, have created a roofed cave, with Christmas ferns decorating each crack and crevice, and Rock Tripe clinging to the sides of the rocks.

(pics compliments of crafter K.)

The days are getting noticeably shorter, sunrise coming later, and dusk falling earlier. We have been getting regular rain, Mother Nature being very cooperative, and giving us sufficient amounts on almost a weekly basis. For the most part, the watering hoses have remained coiled. The dampness is promoting spots of mold on lower squash and cucumber leaves. I have been able to harvest enough cucumbers for two batches of dills, two batches of bread and butter pickles, and am now collecting enough for a batch of nine day pickles. We are having a couple of damp, drizzly days this week, so expect this may spell the end of the cucumber patch. 

On the cleared onion and garlic beds, I've planted Dutch White Clover, being unable to source buckwheat seed this year. The tiny clovers are growing slowly, so hope there will be enough greenery to turn under late this fall, and if the odd seed hangs on to germinate next year.. no problem. 

The bed of fall greens is coming along,

and the kale and collards in their patch, have been pruned to reinvigorate them for the fall. The second planting of beans is blooming, and I will be rethinking the amount I plant next spring, as I have almost enough processed from the first planting to tide us through. Beyond it, the Scarlet Runners and Mostellers on the bean teepee have made it to the top, and are waving at the sky.

After a slow start at blossoming, the sweet potato squash seem to be in a rush to catch up, and now have one large fruit, which expands daily, and at least 4 more are hiding among the vines.

Pumpkins are colouring up beautifully, 

and the crazy multitude of unknown species of squash, are just getting bigger and bigger. 

The okra plants have just started to put out the most beautiful yellow blooms,


and the red peppers will soon be colourful enough to make red pepper jelly with the zip of an added hot pepper or two.

Monday, August 15, 2022

Some harvesting, some flowers and some paddling...

August 14, 2022

So, here we are nearing the mid point of August...how does time go by so fast? Last weekend was brutally hot and humid until a cold front came through, producing a rain event that started late Sunday afternoon and lasted to early Tuesday morning. The result was 5 and 3/8 inches of rain in the gauge. At times there were intense downpours, and the deluges of water carved deep grooves across the road up the hill. The township had to bring in a backhoe to fix the road. Almost a week later, there is still lovely moist soil at the base of the onion roots as I pulled them this morning. 137 big, fat, juicy bulbs are now hanging to cure in the barn.

I've been harvesting and squirreling away produce.
Peppers; dried and frozen; some blanched, stuffed and frozen for future meals.  There are more growing on the plants, and the red ones are starting to really get colourful.
6 heads of broccoli have been processed and frozen, a mild saline bath after picking, disclosed a few earwigs, but NO GREEN WORMS! I really think the inter-planted dill was helpful. Looking forward to side shoots now, to keep us in greens until we get a hard frost.
The first crop of beans has been pulled and buds are starting to show on the second planting. Tomatoes...can one ever tire of eating fresh, vine ripened tomatoes?

The potato greenery in the two barrels started to look a little worse for the wear, so I dumped them out and now have a lovely selection of small potatoes to tide us over until the in-ground crop is harvested. Despite the drainage holes in the bottom of the barrels, the bottom section of soil was mud, and two tubers had rotted in the fingerling barrel.

Yukon Gems

French fingerlings

The squash and pumpkins are growing larger by the day. Some pumpkins are getting an orange tinge,

the acorns are deep, dark green,

and then there are these......

They are HUGE! Sure hope they are tasty, as they have been very prolific! 

 A few flower pictures, as one needs food for the soul, as well as for the body.... From the abundant sheaf of greenery rising from the tire planter in which the Crocosmia are growing...

only one bloom spike. I'll be lifting the corms this fall, and spacing them out more when re-planting in the spring. 

The Echinacea in the Flagpole Bed has improved on last year's performance, and the bees and butterflies are loving it.

I've harvested a bunch of Calendula flowers for drying and making Calendula salve at a later date. 

A bouquet of red and white glads.

The multi-coloured red and white guys are a little slower opening, but are so unique.

On Friday, we loaded up the canoe, took a picnic lunch, and did a little paddling further up the Bonnechere River, within the Bonnechere River Park. From the river, we pushed through a cat-tail/pickerel-weed/waterlily swamp, over a little beaver dam, to explore a small lake.

The water lilies were in full, beautiful, aromatic bloom.

The fish were not biting.

Thursday, August 4, 2022

Garden Potpourri.....

 August 3, 2022

Bee B & B!

Caged Zuc...


Bean bonanza...

Green almost finished, yellow in their prime...

Getting tired....

Beautiful, beautiful brown eyes...love those cheery guys and gals...

Rosy cheeks.....

Running away!

Captured cucs.....

First head harvested.

Dinner tonight, and tomorrow night...

The Bean Teepee...


And here as well...

Just one plant....

Starting to colour up....

Hanging pumpkins...


What are you???

Hummer magnets!!!!