Friday, August 11, 2017

Blue Screen of Death


When was the last time you saw one of there Microsoft "problems", the "blue screen of death"?!

Well, that's my work computer after a reboot, UGH.

Fortunately, after a power off and a bit of rest, it came back up with no problems.  However, clearly there's something going on here and if Murphy has anything to do with it, the next time I won't be so lucky.

We Have The Spirit!

JoAnne and Emilie, out and about on their RI scavenger hunt this past weekend, came across these beauties - Cheyenne Spirit echinacea.

Although, we have oodles of Purple Coneflower all over our yard, we didn't have these beauties...until now.

Of course the only downside to echinacea is that the deer love them too, and I'm not taking about enjoying their colors either.




It's only been a week since we planted and with nightly watering their doing great!

I Like Me Some Allium!



Picked and enjoyed out first Red Onion of the season!!

Sure made my hamburger taste SO much better!

Many more still to pick, as they did very good this year.

WHAT Do We Have Here?!

I spy with my little eye...

Fresh dropping.  Turds.  Poop. Fecal matter. Waste.

These, although kinda gross, are a dead giveaway that an unwanted critter is hiding in my tomatoes.

These dung dropping are produced by the dreaded Tomato Hornworm!  These dudes can ruin tomato crops in record time, if not found in time.  They have a fierce, seemingly never ending appetite.

Since they're so hard to find on the tomato plants themselves, I rely on scanning the ground around each plant and once the excrement is found the search begins.

Here's another tell-tale sign of dining Tomato Hornworms -


AH HA, there you are -


A chubby one too - 


After spending thirty minutes or so I was able to locate these four dudes.  I'm fairly certain there are more out there, so the hunting continues.  

No need to worry about these four below, they became a special and welcomed treat for our chickens.


This is an exercise I find myself doing every year.

Find The Critter

Can you find the critter in the below photo?


I was cutting it a little too close, literally!

Whilst pruning the forsythia I startled a baby robin out of it's nest.  Boy-O-Boy what a ruckus followed, which in turn startled the bajesus outta me!  The parents, who were well aware of my presence meddling in their neighborhood, immediately came to their chicks defense.  All kinds of racket and carrying on, with puffed out feathers and an occasional dive bombing fly by.

I tried to assure them all that I was unaware of the little and would move along to finish another day but they didn't believe me until I was well out of the area.

Phyciodes tharos

A female Pearl Crescent butterfly taking a rest on a beautiful Black-eyed Susan.

We have all kinds of insects; flying and crawling, all over our flowers.  It's a great time of the year to spend walking the yard and taking it all in.



*It's quite difficult to tell Pearl Crescents and Northern Crescents apart. So, it is possible that my identification is incorrect. However, since I've taken this photo in Massachusetts, where only Pearls are present, I'd feel fairly confident about my ID.

Friday, August 04, 2017

Some Are a Buzz Over Bee Balm!

We have oodles and oodles of Hummingbird Hawk-moths this summer.

They seem to enjoy the Bee Balm the best and seem to visit each and every flower.

These pictures show a Hummingbird Clearwing moth



Mr Marsupial on a Walkabout

Say hello to my little friend.



Our Unique Platycodon!

Here's a sampling of our Balloon flowers!

We have solid white, solid purple and a cool variety of these two colors mixed.

The honey and bumble bees love them too.







I can remember when the kids were younger, much younger they loved to pop these once ballooned up.  Of course my head would pop when they would do that...

A Wedgie Dog

Shhhhh, Trixie-dog is wedged in and trying to nap...

2017 Garlic Harvest, A-Yum!


Harvested our Russian Red garlic about a month ago.  I was a little disappointed in this variety.  I let them turn or ripened to about the same stage as previously planted varieties, i.e. German White and Music, however, many of the bulbs were rotten when pulled out of the ground.  The sizes of the bulbs were considerably smaller than previous mentioned varieties.

None the less, I hung them in the garage for several weeks to dry.  I spent a little over an hour last weekend removing the stalks, roots and outer bulb layers for each.  Out of the 76 cloves planted we netted about 51 tasty looking bulbs.

The bulbs that survived, although small, look wonderful and smell terrific.  The ultimate proof will be in the tasting.  Can't wait!!

Thursday, July 27, 2017

"Dennis"

Here is a picture of a Rose of Sharon that was given to us by Dennis last year.  Dennis was a very close friend of, and who grew up with, Uncle Tommy.

Uncle Tommy was a gardener who always had a yard full of beautiful plants.  At some point before his passing Uncle Tommy brought Dennis, who lived down the Cape, a Rose of Sharon plant.  A sapling, one from his yard.  

Fast forward several years and Dennis gifted us a sapling from the grown sapling that Uncle Tommy had gifted to him.

Sadly, Dennis passed away in the Fall shortly after gifting us this Rose of Sharon.


I was moved the the other day when I noticed this first single bloom adorning the Rose of Sharon.  To which JoAnne called it "Dennis"

Flower Photos

Random flower pics from our yard this summer!

Echinacea, and Rudbeckia -

Catnip -

 Monarda and Queen Anne's Lace -

Rudbeckia -

Double Daylily -

Broccoli flowers =

Monarda -

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Filler-Up!

It was a project I had on my list of to-do's for a very long time, years actually, and I'm happy to report I finally completed it this past weekend and I couldn't be happier!

In all the years that we've been at our ole homestead our pool house has never had a gutter.  Even after we created a couple vegetable beds on that side of the yard, no gutter.  Water for plants on that side of the yard was always pulled from the rain barrel on the opposite side of the yard and lugged over.  But no more!

Pre-gutter install -

This was actually a fun project!  I cut the gutter to length, affixed and glued both end-caps, cut the downspout hole in the base of the gutter, installed and glued the downspout and mounted.

 Post-gutter install-


 Downspout install, 55-gallon barrel in place with a nice level paver footing -

 Paver base laid and leveled -

 Filler up -

 Monday was a day of heavy rains.  Low and behold a near full 55-gallon barrel of fresh rain water -

Happy plants!  No more lumping water around the yard!  Happy farmer!

Red Admiral Visitor


This Red Admiral butterfly is looking a bit ragged for sure.  However, this male still had plenty of spunk and just wouldn't sit still.  He made me work for this picture but it was worth the effort, as you can see.  Insects just love them some purple coneflower!!

They're BIG fans of nettles, of which I am NOT.  We have quite a bit of stinging nettles and I stay clear of it, for very good reason!

Visiting Monarch

Very pleased to have a Monarch butterfly visiting our flower gardens this past weekend!  A very healthy looking female who was not camera shy at all!

Sadly, I don't see too many of these beauties now a days.



Hoping to see more of her and many more...

Friday, July 21, 2017

Insect Fornication...


A pair of Mason Bees taking a break from collecting pollen.

Bowchickawowow!!

Flowers and Insects

Our echinacea are in full bloom and very inviting treat to many a visiting insect.

A handsome Bumble Bee hard at work - 


A pesky earwig -


A Green Sweat bee covered in pollen and sporting a good size pollen basket on it's rear legs -


A Hover fly taking a rest on this Black-eyed Susan -