23 August 2011

Busy exploring

My lack of blogging is not due to lack of material. Rather, we've just been too busy soaking up summer with outings and adventures to sit down and type about it.

Here are some photos from our adventure last week at Poe Valley State Park.

Roo & Doodle on the nature trail. A one-mile loop, we spent three hours(!) hiking it at an observant child's pace (read: very slowly), soaking up all that there was to see and experience.

The view of the stream. Here we discovered two different salamanders, watched water striders, threw rocks and sand and sticks, and thought deep thoughts about streams and clouds and their connectedness.

Bee petting, yet again. This little bumblebee worker was licking salt from our fingers, and Doodle was eager to oblige.

...not that I have any idea where she gets her fondness for bees.

22 August 2011

Overdue garden update

Current photo of our tomato jungle.

The garden is doing pretty well. Tomatoes are producing enough to keep up with our family's daily consumption (though not enough for canning surplus, unfortunately). A lot of the plants have an early blight, so some are dropping leaves and decreasing production. Lesson learned: plant tomatoes farther apart in this wet climate for better air circulation and less fungal infection.

I'm glad we let the volunteer tomato plants in the onion bed grow - they are producing enough cherry tomatoes for us to bring home a surplus after each garden visit. Plus they were free and took no effort - the best kind of garden guest!

Here are some glamor shots of our produce so far:

Kosovo, Kellogg's Breakfast. I love both of these varieties. Flavorful, beautiful and large. Definitely hoping to get them in the garden again next year.

Hillbilly Potato Leaf (beautiful, isn't it?), various peppers, fresh herbs.

A day's harvest (Black Krim on left, Kosovo on right and top), and our onion harvest for the year.

We are learning a lot this year about gardening in a community garden plot and in a far wetter climate than I've ever gardened in before. While I like the community feel of the garden, it's a bit frustrating when garden neighbors neglect their plots and let pests run rampant. I've resigned myself to a cucurbit-free garden plot for the foreseeable future, as the squash bugs are going crazy and transmitting wilt all over the place. Not a scene I want to mess with. BUT the tomatoes seem very do-able, and will definitely be a large component of our garden again next year. Plus Doodle now knows how to spot squash bugs, Japanese beetles, potato beetles and striped cucumber beetles, and will squish them on the spot. That's my girl.

20 August 2011

Bellydancing pic

My new favorite photo of me bellydancing:

Pepper Lotus Tribal performing at the People's Choice Festival in Boalsburg, PA.

02 August 2011

Roo's hair

Poor Roo keeps getting left out of the blog. The big Roo-news from just before J left on a trip: his first haircut.Before


Quite a dapper little fella, don't you think?