Because Celi Asked…

Morgage lifter

Happy Independence Day! Though we’ll have no fireworks around these parts tonight, what with Hurricane (Tropical Storm, by the time it gets to us) Arthur being such a party-pooper and all…

Amish Paste

Sometime last week, while I was traveling (and dealing with on-the-road sometimes-internet) Celi wrote about the Great Tomato Race that her husband and Mother-in-Law have every year, each trying to have big, red tomatoes for the 4th of July. She asked everyone to post their tomato pictures to share….

So here are mine. As you can see, we’re not to the Red Ripe stage yet…but not as far away as I would have thought.

sungold

Looks like Angel’s beloved Sun Gold’s will be the first to grace the table….if they make it out of the garden, that is!

Have a safe, happy and delicious 4th! Back tomorrow with a ‘real’ post.

I hope.

B is for Bugs

Whatcha' got?

It was a very Buggy week around here…

On Sunday morning, Grandad brought a surprise home from his walk…

moth 1

A very large moth.

It was sitting in the middle of the path, and didn’t so much as move when he walked up to it, even though it was still alive. He scooped it up and carried it another mile and half, just to show the kids.

I popped it into a clean peanut butter jar (See? There are great reasons to save such things!) and let the kids get a close look. They marveled at its furry body, and long, feathered antennae. We looked it up in the field guide – a Cecropia moth. I forgot to take any pictures of it in the jar, so here’s a link to a good one.

Given the state it was found in, and the fact that it wasn’t doing much moving in the jar, I figured it was simply near the end of its short adult life…

moth 2

Then, the sun started to go down…

Even though the jar was inside and away from the windows, when it got to be around 4:30, the moth suddenly became active. It stretched. It fluttered. It wanted OUT.

We waited until dusk – not really nice to release your new friend early and let him become a bird’s dinner! – and took it to the porch. It sat briefly on each little hand before launching into the sky. They were thrilled…

Later in the week, Angel spied something interesting next to the register at the feed store…they’re peering at it in the top photo.

What is it?

ladybugs!

Ladybugs!

Now, I know that releasing purchased ladybugs into the garden really doesn’t do much for pest control…they don’t usually hand around long enough to lay eggs and get the cycle started. But we have a wicked aphid problem this year, so every little bit helps…and the kids loved it.

Once again, we waited until dusk to release…Four days later, Angel is still running to the garden in the mornings to count them! They seem to have helped after all!

shadow boy

Oh… ‘B’ is also for ‘Boy’….

I think we need to spend more evenings outside :)

Niko and Angel’s Excellent (Almost!) Smmertime Adventures: Pool Party

Rainy Day

Sometime, you make a promise, and Mother Nature vetoes it…

On Monday, Angel really wanted to stay at school for lunch. That’s not usually a problem, but this week picking her up late would have been difficult.

“Tell you what,” I said. “Come home for lunch, and we’ll go play in the sprinkler right after.” It was 70F by 8 am, and the forecast rain wasn’t supposed to arrive until evening.

She agreed.

On the way home from school at 11:30, the first fat raindrops splashed on the windshield.

“It’ll stop.” She said, with the confidence of a girl who was not about to let her plans get ruined.

It didn’t. Her lip trembled. We were approaching a Nuclear Meltdown…

Think fast, Grandmom!

Indoor Pool Party!

“Go put on your swimsuits,” I told them. “We’re having an indoor pool party!”

Beachtowel "pools"

The blue beach towels were spread out in the floor to be Swimming Pools. (Angel’s idea)

I blew up the beach ball. (Niko’s idea)

beach bum

Crisis averted.

beach babeAwesome photo-op taken!

(Thursday was their last day of school for the year…let the REAL Adventures begin!)

 

It’s A Start….

baby beans

…But a slow one.

It’s still unseasonably cool here – we’ve just begun to have nights where the temps stay above 60. The beans are up (barely), but the squash are just sitting in the still-too-cold soil.

cheater's tomatoes

Tomatoes look good!

True Confession time: I bought them this year, rather than starting my own. It feels a little like cheating, but there you have it. All the laundry got done this winter, but the Garden Stuff didn’t. Wonder if I’ll ever be Grown Up enough to get All The Things done in the same year?

Don’t answer that.

Anyway, if you’re in the general vicinity and need awesome plants for your garden, I highly recommend The Farmer’s Daughter┬áin South Kingstown RI. Organic plants, lots of knowledge and incredibly friendly folks. Great selection of herbs, too…

the whole thing

In keeping with our theme this year – The Year of Herbs and Flowers – I’ve taken the first bed out of vegetables and let the grandkids choose loads of flowers for picking later in the year. Lots of snapdragons and marigolds, with a few other things thrown in besides. Looks a bit sparse now, but give it a few weeks to fill in, and we’ll be swimming in color!

And speaking of color:

shell-pink peony

Claire – here’s one of those peonies! One thing the cooler nights have been good for – the blossoms are lasting much longer than normal. The lilac bloomed for three weeks, rather than just one, and there are even still a few irises left.

The peonies are having a great year, but their bed is a mess…

who is that in the back?See what I mean? Looks like a jungle. Soon as they’re finished blooming, I’m digging┬áit all up and starting over.

Hey! What’s that pink thing in the background?

one lonely foxglove

Well, look at that…one lonely foxglove. A rouge seedling from seasons-past….in the yard, not the bed…

Sometimes being a lazy weeder has benefits.

 

 

One Fine Day

Iris in the garden

It finally happened…we had a truly warm day last week. The lilacs and irises were in full bloom, the breeze was gentle-to-still…

Spiderman Comes to Visit

And Spider Man came to our house to play.

sprinkler day!

DSCN9347

DSCN9353

The weather didn’t last for long – the last three nights have been in the low-40’s. Can’t believe it’s nearly June…

THIS way!

It’ll be hot, soon enough, but until then…

Gotcha!We’ll remember one truly fine day…

(Big computer still not fixed…trying to see if I can survive with just the old laptop for a while…Laptop now has virus, may be in its death throes…can’t win, eh? Will post when I can :( )