alpine flowers at Grey Rock

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Spider wars

It may be hard to see, but this is a picture of a Daddy Long Legs spider sucking the life out of a wolf spider about 5 times its size.  Amazing.  That is why if you have Daddy Long Leg spiders around you are not supposed to have trouble with Black Widows.  Good to know, though I am not a huge fan of any of them.

Friday, August 5, 2011


It is hard to have sunflowers around and not be happy.  Just looking at them brings a smile across my face.  I love them.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Stirrup Hoe

I am loving my new stirrup hoe.  The u-shaped metal blade undercuts the roots of weeds as quickly as you can sweep it along on the ground. I like the smaller circle hoe for between things, but when you are trying to make progress on larger areas of weeds, this tool "gets 'er dun".

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Diatomaceous Earth

The powdered silica of old sea basin critters contains their fossils which are pokie when viewed under a microscope.  When plants are lightly dusted or D.E. is applied with a wetting solution, the bodies of most insects are punctured.  Other than not breathing the dust, it is safe and effective for many insects.  Here on these Napa cabbages,(a little heavy on the dusting) I am dealing with earwigs.  On the strawberries, it was slugs.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Water Lilies

The Water Lilies have opened and closed about 4 times today.  They slowly unfold when the sun is out and close up tight when the clouds come back in and at night.  If I had a time release camera set up, I could offer a great video.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Bug Love

Not sure who these bugs are, but hate to interrupt.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Friday, April 22, 2011

Easter cards

Had fun making Easter cards for kiddos with help from cat.  Rabbit has basket holding eggs that have slits, two pieces glued together with open middle.  The eggs have chicks, bugs, trucks, and even a vague rendition of a helicopter coming out of them. Hopefully the cards are strong enough to be somewhat interactive.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Cucumber Beetle

This is a picture of my first cucumber beetle for 2011.  They are voracious eaters and if YOU want any produce, you will have to deal with them harshly.  They are not to be confused with ladybugs which are red and eat bugs and bug larva.  Instead, these guys can eat all the flowers of your cucumbers and squashes while you wait patiently for fruit to form.  No flower, no fruit.  I hand pick them for awhile and then use Neem to keep them away.  If they get out of control, I use Pyganic, a flower based insecticide.  They are not a bug you can "live with".

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Basket making

I have to take a break from basket making as we are having a get together next weekend.  If you know us, you know you are welcome.  So, until I get some clean-up done around here, I will take a break.  One last harvest basket for me.  Watch out next winter, I am hooked! Also almost finished with second draft of great novel.  I know there will be a third draft and then who knows, maybe I will submit it to someone.  Until then it is a diamond in the rough, but good brain exercise for me. As garden chores increase, my free time of winter disappears.  Boo-hoo.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

More Broccoli


Friday, February 18, 2011

Seed Catalogs

The catalogs are coming, the catalogs are coming!   I have been going through the seed bin and ordering new seed for this year.  It forces a discussion of what the general plan is for the garden year.  I am trying to stick to the New Year's resolution of more family, more friends, less stress, and more fishing, but the easiest part of gardening is picking out seeds to grow.  Last year, I used up quite a few odds and ends of seeds that were three years old and newer.  This year we have to order enough for this year and some seeds that will carryover for the next year also.  Vegetables like lettuce, carrots, squash, beans, and peas, for instance, don't seem to lose too much germination ability over that period.  Other seeds such as onions are really best that first year.  Cucumber's and melon's seed which are long and flat can get brittle in their packages and can break which ends their viability.  If I had time and inclination, I could move the seeds into dark glass jars for safe keeping, but instead I don't order too far ahead. I try to buy organic seeds, but there are some hybrids from non-organic sources I have been growing for over 20 years that I just can't give up on or find an adequate substitute. I highly recommend High Mowing Seed Company this year!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011


I am a member of WWOOF, World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms.  The idea is to trade work on the farm for a view of the local area and a place to stay and maybe get food, all the while soaking up whatever can be learned about farming etc. in the process.  I have been "hosting" woofers, as the other parties are known, for 8 years.  It has been mostly an enjoyable experience, with only an occasional glitch, someone taking advantage of my good nature and food source, or someone not able to really help.  The trade off is having someone or someones in and around your home all summer.  The good part is it keeps my view of things fresh and I get cheap labor.  I am toying with the idea of NOT woofing this summer.  There is some pretty good options on local folks who want to help and I don't have to feed or board them.  Managerially, it would free me up immensely, as even when I don't feel like working all day, I have to find things for these people sitting in my house to do!   Sometimes I am not sure we are coming out ahead if they are heavy eaters... Anyway, I will let you know.  If this is something you are interested in doing on one side or another, I would recommend it on the whole.  I just want to do things a little differently this year.