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

Friday, September 22, 2023

Summer is done and dusted.....

September 22, 2023

 We are having a lovely stretch of warm, sunny days, great for working outside and getting things done. There has been a touch of patchy frost two nights running, but it wasn't severe, and I covered the cherry tomatoes, (which are bearing like crazy), the pepper patch, and the watermelons.

A few pictures of some of the pretty flowers that are blooming. The marigolds are a bevy of cheery blooms.

The two-tone red glads are still putting out blooms. Some have just little streaks of white, while others are more flamboyant.

A packet of wild flower seeds tossed on some bare soil this spring, have finally produced some blooms. A few cosmos, (see the tiny spider on that one?),

and some red poppies are blooming now....
as well as a pretty pink thing, perhaps a mallow of some sort(?) with a very beautiful star shape in the middle.

I am still waiting for the red peppers to turn from green to red. I harvested most of the green peppers, diced and froze them. This summer's patch has been a lot less productive than last year's. I left the smaller green peppers on the plants, hoping that maybe they will get a little larger. Until a severe frost is forecast, I am leaving them alone and will continue covering them on cool nights.

The watermelons have continued to grow. There are 6 of a decent size, and we sampled one about a week ago. It could have used some more time on the vine, but it was so very sweet and juicy.

 One of these will be our next victim!

The bush is still mostly green, a tinge of colour showing up here and there. 

Pickling and preserving is in full swing. Cucumbers are done. This is the last batch of pickles.
I don't usually reuse store bought pickle jars, but I have used up all my quart sealers on the amazing cucumber/pickle harvest we have enjoyed this year.
It is now tomato and apple time. I had to strip the fruit from my tomato plants a while ago, as the plants were badly blighted. Every couple of days I sort through the tomatoes spread out in boxes, processing them as they ripen. A batch of chili sauce is cooling on the counter now. 

Apple slices have been dried and frozen, the first batch of apple sauce is on the shelves, tomorrow will see another batch canned, and hopefully a third one will keep us in sauce until next year's apple harvest.

Hubby has been busy....

He has made a box with 2 inch thick white cedar planks he milled, levelled the spot in front of the slab retaining wall beside the root cellar's entrance, and buried it. He built the frame to fit the window we found up in the barn loft when we moved here. Now for some soil and some seeds!!!



Tuesday, September 12, 2023

Some Gorgeous Glads, Root Cellar, and Helicopters....

 September 12, 2023

For your viewing pleasure.


 "Generally, gladioli represent strength of character, faithfulness, moral integrity, and remembrance. Gladioli are actually the traditional 40th-anniversary flower and the birth flower for the month of August!" (Shamelessly copied from the internet)

The marigolds encircling the onion bed have sure taken off since the onions were harvested. They are so sunny and cheerful, and will keep going until frost, and they can even take a light frost.

"marigolds symbolize purity, auspiciousness, and the divine. Their strong fragrance is believed to ward off negativity and evil spirits. The vibrant colours of marigolds also represent the sun's energy, signifying warmth, passion, and creativity." (ditto)

The tire planter is abloom with beautiful asters, just lucky that the seedlings I put there turned out to be a mixture of colours. It is a long wait for asters to bloom, but so worth the wait.

"Asters symbolize love, wisdom, faith, and colour. (ditto)

 So the root cellar build is coming along. It occurred to us that in front of the root cellar's hump would be the perfect place to put a cold frame, as it is south facing. I have been looking around, and had chosen a site, but it was not an optimum location. Hubby has sunk posts, nailed the slabs from the hemlock beams milled for the cellar across the front, will be bracing them, filling in soil behind, and then the cold frame will be sunk in at the front. So that plan is coming together.

Over the past weekend, we headed to an auction sale along the Petawawa river. It happens that the location is just downstream from Garrison Petawawa, and the military were practising air drops with big helicopters with double rotors. (Chinooks??) They flew up the river past the auction site about every 30 minutes, their noise and vibration drowning out the auctioneer. It was very cool to watch them. On some passes, they were so low that one could look into the aircraft as they zoomed past.

We could also hear rapid gun fire in the distance, more practising. We wondered if the noise was instrumental in the cottage/house being sold!


Thursday, September 7, 2023

Flowers, birds, bruins and surviving the heat and humididy....

 September 7, 2023

A sauna is supposed to be good for a person...we have been living in one for the past few days. This morning was still very humid, very early, as I got a few chores done before the sun cracked the tree line. You just go ahead and "'git 'er done" despite the sweat running down your face and dripping off. Today, the weather is supposed to moderate. A shame, (joking) as we were just getting used to it....

My sunflowers have jumped right along. I have never grown this Teddy Bear variety before, but looked carefully at the seed choices this spring, as I didn't want monsters.They are about chest high.

While admiring my row yesterday, a steady cheeping noise drew my attention...and finally I spotted the source....a tiny hummingbird baby. It had positioned itself among the sunflowers and the gladiolas. This morning, I was relieved to see the mother bird feeding the youngster over on the cucumber fence. I am concerned over the little guy, as it is late in the season and the Hummers will be heading south very soon. I am afraid it won't be big enough to make the journey safely.

The second planting of carrots came out of the ground this morning. There is a bit of sunburn on some of the tops, and the soil they were in was very dry, but not too bad looking.
They are in the shade in the woodshed, and I'll get them squirrelled away later today. 

The root cellar has it's entrance way and it's double doors installed now. We just have to do some more work on the burying aspect, and getting the top smoothed and seeded. It is just too brutally hot right now and the soil is dust dry and slides.

The tire planter is abloom with pretty asters, and my glads are making me very happy.

The old apple tree beside the driveway has been dropping apples steadily. Every other day or so I have a wagon load for the compost where I layer them with last year's leaves. They make beautiful compost.

Sadly, the apples from this tree bruise rather easily and badly, and these warm temperatures we have been experiencing seems to be hastening the process, so there is a lot of knife work involved in prepping the fruit for preserving.
I have made a batch of apple butter from them, and dehydrated a load of slices, but am waiting on the apples on our other favourite tree to ripen. I did all my appleing from the driveway tree last fall, and I really want to use the ones from our other favourite tree. It just happens to be the favourite of Mr. Bruin and Foxy as well! (Yes, we have seen him eating apples under the trees.)

So far, the bears have not done any damage....fingers crossed!

A very cool recent surprise for me, was the discovery of this little native orchid blooming on the shady side of a big rock beside the pond, right beside my path to the garden shed. We think it may be an Alaska orchid....but are by no means sure. It has two tiny pointed, ovate basal leaves right at ground level, and is growing up out of a patch of moss.

Such a very dainty little plant. 

Finally, we did take a morning off and went swimming. So very refreshing!