26 May 2011

Weekly garden update: 26 May

Garden in a rainstorm, 23 May.

The garden is coming along nicely. The onions are looking great, and the tomatoes and peppers are all in their spots. (Well, all except the one additional tomato plant I just *had* to pick up at the farmer's market this week. It goes in tonight. THEN we're done adding tomatoes. Really.)

Behold: the tomatoes. 15 plants. Next to them: the peppers. 15 plants.

Just so you don't think our garden is all beauty and serenity, I present the carnage:

The stems on the left were once chard. I'm not sure what munched it, but the critter was quite thorough. On the left you'll see our current leafy green nemesis, the flea beetle. Darn buggers are munching small holes all throughout our radish and bok choy leaves. It seems the bok choy and spinach will be coming out of the garden soon, while there's still enough leaf for us to eat.

Hmm, perhaps their absence would free up enough room for oh, I don't know, maybe another tomato plant?

24 May 2011

Gardening in the rain

We got caught in a rainstorm at the garden yesterday. Kids didn't mind too much.

Of course, by the time we got home the rain had stopped. They didn't mind that either, as there were still puddles for jumping and a gutter flowing with water perfect for sending sticks and acorns downhill.

16 May 2011

Nature sleuth question

At the City of Rocks we found this Mountain Mahogany that had been damaged. The bark and cambium are missing on half of the lower part of the tree. There are a bunch of holes above the bare area.
Close-up of the bare area. Note the brown cambium has been scraped(?) off in the bare area. This is perplexing me. So here's my question for the nature sleuths out there: what in south-central Idaho could have done this to the tree?

15 May 2011

Wildflower walk

This Thursday we went on a wildflower walk with J's lab group. It was great to get out and enjoy the verdant PA spring, and to learn some of the plants around here.

The group. A parasitic plant (Conopholis americana). J's boss using Doodle's magnifying glass.

Botanizing papa. Yellow lady's slipper orchid (Cypripedium parviflorum).
Pink lady's slipper orchid (Cypripedium acaule).

Bunch of lady's slippers. Tiger beetle eating an ant. Fringed milkwort (Polygala paucifolia).

Little violet. Another orchid (Galearis spectabilis).

It was a nice afternoon full of good company, cool plants, and even a few bees.

Return to the City

While back in Utah last week we made a quick trip up to one of our very favorite places: The City of Rocks. We even talked FunEllen into coming with us, so it was like old times. J and FunEllen climbed while the kids and I played, basked in the sun, watched chipmunks, floated sticks, found and buried treasure and took pretend baths in rock pools. It was great to get back there. I miss the City.

Playing in hollowed-out "bath tubs" on a boulder.

The elusive Doodle Owl in its native habitat. Roo with FunEllen.

Doodle doodling. Lichen - the kids and I counted 13 different ones on this rock.

FunEllen being Fun.

14 May 2011

Garden: Week 3

The garden survived our trip to Utah. The onions and peas are sprouting and looking great. Unfortunately a couple of our bok choy plants have bolted, probably due to a few warm days without enough water. Ah well.

Putting in perennials. RIP little spade. They don't weld 'em like they used to.

We went out to the garden last night and planted our perennial herbs and strawberries, plus dill, chives, peas, radish and carrot seeds. Here's my latest photoshopped masterpiece:

Yet to plant: tomatoes, green beans(?), tomatoes, ground cherries, tomatoes, peppers, tomatoes, sunflowers and tomatoes. The garden fence goes in next week, and sometime after that we'll probably get the rest of the garden planted. WOOHOO!!! We're getting there!

On a related note, here is an interesting article on the monetary value of a home garden. Pretty neat to see the numbers laid out.

It's coming together nicely. I'm excited to compare this photo to our big, lush garden in August. The plants are ready - bring on the rain!

01 May 2011

Through Doodle's eyes: The Garden

Here's a glimpse of our garden experience so far as seen by Doodle:

plot marker, J digging in the rain, some of the rocks we unearthed.

"Mom, make a funny face!", kid garden bucket, and one of the many flag photos.

These flags are all over the garden.

Flag closeup, garden view, candid of Roo.

Self portrait.