Tuesday, July 28, 2009

There's one sad truth in life...

"There's one sad truth in life I've found
While journeying east and west -
The only folks we really wound
Are those we love the best.
We flatter those we scarcely know,
We please the fleeting guest,
And deal full many a thoughtless blow
To those who love us best.

"Ella Wheeler Wilcox"

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Monday, July 20, 2009

Ribbit Ribbit...

Here is Emilie’s latest hobby – a tank of amphibians.

We have four female American toads, (Bufo americanus) and six frogs – four green frogs (Rana clamitans), a pickerel frog (Rana palustris) and a wood frog (Rana sylvatica). The later two were added to the mix yesterday, so not seen in the above photo. We found the green frogs in our pool. The toads were found in various spots in our yard.

Emilie checks the pool each morning for frogs and skims out any live insects and then relocates them, as breakfast, to the tank. We also walk our yard each evening looking for and catching insects to feed these critters. Fortunately, the toads are not fussy eaters and will pretty much eat whatever insect you drop in, as long as they move. The Japanese beetles, Oriental beetles, and June beetles are plentiful right now and eagerly gobbled up. Other edible insects, that take more effort to catch, are; woodlouse, also known as sow bugs, pillbugs and isopods, centipedes, earwigs, ants, worms, etc.

It’s actually very interesting to watch these amphibians eat. It happens too fast to really see their tongues in action, however, you can hear the sound of their tongues lashing out snatch a meal.

The pickerel frog will need to be released soon. In researching this posting I've learned that pickerel frog are known to be toxic to other frogs - when stressed their skin secrets a toxin that can be fatal to other frogs...

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Fun Fact


Bananas are native to Southeast Asia. Currently, India is the world’s largest producer of bananas."

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Happy Cucumbers...

Our cucumbers are starting to come in, yum yum. There are about 6 to 8 coming along and in various stages. Somewhat of a surprise to have so many since the plants themselves are what I believe to be on the smaller size. They're climbing up the trellis nicely, just not as big a plant as I anticipated - perhaps, the rainy weather we had for most of the spring contributed to this.

As you can see from the picture above this cucumber was happy to see us ;-)

Monday, July 13, 2009

Swearing Makes You Feel Less Pain

This just in - Swearing Makes You Feel Less Pain

I knew it! It's true! It's been working for me for years but no one would listen.

It DOES! YES IT DOES! SHIT, I'm telling you it works DAMIT! PISS OFF...

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Allium California Soft Neck - Jumbo garlic

Emilie and I harvested our Allium California Soft Neck - Jumbo garlic Thursday night. We planted 36 cloves back on October 7, 2008 and dug out 36 beautiful whole garlic bulbs on July 9, 2009.

We rinsed the dirt from them and now have them drying.

Can't wait to get a taste of these gems, delish! It will also keep the vampires away...

Friday, July 10, 2009

Fun Fact

Did You Know:

Elephants have a 22-month gestation period, which is the longest of any mammal.

Thursday, July 02, 2009

Soft Rot

OK, enough all ready. We've had enough rain, how bouts some nice, dry, warm summer like weather?!

It's been a horrible spring here in New England weather wise. We've had more rain and cold days than I care to count. One plus is that everyone's lawn looks fantastic and alive; nice and dark green. However, too much rain can be problematic also. Take for example our broccoli - the plants themselves look great, nice, big and full. However, the conditions have been perfect for a disease called "Soft Rot", see picture below.

Soft rot of broccoli is brought on by long periods of wet weather. The results are a watery and slimy rot with an offending rotten odor. This condition also attracts a surprisingly large numbers of flies, which seem to enjoy dining on the slim. It's so bad that even our domestic rabbits, which typically love and devour broccoli, won't even touch it!

I was lucky enough to pick one smaller broccoli head before the rot arrived and let me tell you, it was DELICIOUS! Also, if I remember correctly last year each broccoli plant produced a second, smaller head following the initial harvesting . Perhaps, this will happen again this year - only time will tell.

Wednesday, July 01, 2009


Q: Last year, earwigs devoured our bean plants. Can you suggest a way to get rid of them?

A: Combine equal parts soy sauce and olive oil, put it in a small plastic container, and secure the lid. (A cottage cheese container works well.) Punch holes in the top of the container, near the lid. Make the holes large enough for the earwigs to get in. Bury the container in the soil just up to the holes. The soy sauce will attract the earwigs, and the oil will prevent them from escaping. Change the mixture as needed.