Thursday, September 24, 2015

molly in the tub, and sweetpea upside down

molly, napping in the tub. this is a regular occurrence.
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sweetpea was determined to escape her enclosure and managed to flip herself upside down more than 4 times one afternoon.
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molly treed a squirrel up on top of the swingset. i had to bring the dogs inside for a half hour before the squirrel finally came down and left, it was so frightened. but it never would have come down otherwise and the dogs never would have stopped barking.
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the dogs really wanted that squirrel
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i walked out into the porch and thought the glass door was cracked! thankfully it was NOT. when i closed the door the night before, the long clear plastic twisty thing for turning the blinds caught on the door handle is all.
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Monday, September 21, 2015

i sawed up a bunch of branches and didnt get hurt!

after a windy day some more branches fell in the yard.
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another one
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puppy investigating the mess i was making sawing and breaking everything up
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lots of little sticks
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the mess of wood stacked against the fence. mice have been under there and mollys done a lot of hunting, spreading the stacks around the yard.
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bonfire pile growing
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its taller than molly!
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i saw a log holder like this on pinterest to hold the wood stacked nicely, and i finagled out a way to do it with what i had.
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pinterest version

the wood is off the ground on the cinder blocks
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this is the final configuration of wood awaiting a bonfire, all nicely stacked.
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there was a pile of bark that fell off some of the older branches
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the pile got even taller!
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happy doggies (but not helpful doggies, hehehe. molly kept dragging sticks away to chew on.)
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Sunday, September 20, 2015

pear russetting

sedum, and daylilies started from seed, lower left. within two weeks the bunnies dug up and ate all the baby daylilies.
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asiatic lily seed pods
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possibly another asiatic lily seed pod
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luscious pears, with russetting
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see that brown discoloration? thats russetting. its never shown up on any of my pears before.
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the pears should be nothing but green. information on russetting seems to imply that damp springs can cause it, and that it wont necessarily be repeated the next year. not a lot of info on it.
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Saturday, September 19, 2015

death to stupid stinging wasps

these are pictures of the aftermath of me killing the wasps nest. i wanted to see inside their hive.

i let them live initially because they're pollinators, and bees have been so devastated by pesticides that i've been having pollination failures in my garden.

but recently they stung puppy! and then they stung me! and so they had to go.

i used a chemical spray, which i was loathe to do since this wasp hive was in my new raised bed garden. and i do my best to be organic. after i sprayed it in the new, partially filled bed, i used a shovel to dig out the hive, and separate it and see inside. then it went into the trash, i didnt leave it in the garden. the raised bed garden has leaf mulch that i dumped in there last year, and rocks relocated from the excess of the stupid landscaping rocks my house is surrounded with. i dug down to the rocks to remove it, so there are a few rocks in the pictures.

i feel bad about killing the wasps. i need all the pollinators i can attract to my garden. but not at the expense of stinging my dogs or me. i made a hard decision i had tried to avoid making. but it turns out wasps are not tolerable in gardens located so close to the house and dogs and me.

the pictures are from inside the bucket i shoveled the nest into after.
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Thursday, September 17, 2015

third and final round of tomato sauce making

i felt i didnt get enough tomatoes or sauce this year, so i picked up a large amount of tomatoes from the farmers market
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after mashing all the tomatoes thru the strainer, i ran the stuff that got spit out of the strainer thru again, and got even more tomato juice.
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cooking down. i did run out of patience before it got as thick as the previous batch, but its still good enough.
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taking apart the strainer
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using a spatula to scrape off the good thick stuff
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taking apart the strainer further. you can see the spiral inner piece all gunked up with seeds and skins. but with no more tomatoes to run thru, there is nothing to push the rest of this thru the strainer. so its the end and all goes in the compost bin.
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the spiral piece with all the gunk cleaned off
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chopping up onions and garlic to cook and add to the sauce once its been boiled down further
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making progress
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combined the remains to the two stock pots into one after cooking down
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the lids, sterilizing in a bowl of boiling water that i boiled in the microwave and then spilled over my hand as i pulled it out of the microwave. my fingers in the blue cup filled with ice water. i went thru the rest of the sauce making with that hand in the cup of ice water. made for quite a challenge.
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the jars of sauce boiling in the canner
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10 jars of sauce. 6 of which came from this batch. you can see the white hard water stains on the jars. my water softener has been dead for years. mostly i dont care. after the jars cool i wipe the hard water stains off and they look fine.
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one jar i accidentally put TWO lids on. oops. and BOTH lids popped separately! there were 7 pops for 6 jars. i didnt want to mess with it taking the second lid off since it seemed to seal fine.
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Tuesday, September 15, 2015

september garden pictures

my tomatoes. notice they're completely devoid of any foliage for the bottom 3 feet...
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thats thanks to septoria leaf spot. a fungal disease i cant seem to rid my garden of.
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it kills the leaves from the end of each branch inward, lowest branches moving upward.
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with the temps cooling, help is needed to ripen the remaining and grow existing green tomatoes, and discourage new flowers and new baby tomatoes. so i trimmed branches just past the last tomato. it worked pretty well for me.
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although some plants tried really hard to sprout new flowers later, this pruning still worked really well. most of the green tomatoes i brought in late in the month were nice sized.
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turns out basil is extremely sensitive to cooler temps. i think it got down to low 60's (F) and the basil just up and died.
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my biggest sunflower head
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my hand is 7" from fingertip to the first wrinkle of my wrist below my palm.
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puppy decided the leaves of the sunflowers were tasty. this is new. he's never eaten the leaves before.
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molly came up and said PAY ATTENTION TO ME!
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the few sunflower seeds that were left in the head. the dogs chewed apart the heads i cut down off the sunflowers. this they usually do. and roll on the heads and chewed up head bits. but the sunflower heads smell like sunflowers, mmm good.
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watermelons are supposed to be ripe when the leaf closest to the step dies off. is hard to see due to the dead leaves as mulch underneath. but the dead leaf is next to the super curlicues, they attach to anything as the vines spread.
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my hand for size on my watermelon
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good stuff! i shared with the dogs, and the tortoise, and saved seeds.
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i waited too long before removing the lower branches of the brussels sprouts. they didnt develop much.
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except for one, whose top was nibbled off by something. it developed a couple of really large sprouts. that dark spot in the middle was the center of the plant, dead.
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but only the top few. still, all the rest of the plants are just minuscule.
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the cooler weather is bringing the broccoli to tighter heads
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