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Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Missed Photo Op

I looked up from the computer yesterday afternoon to see a HAWK perched on the top of the birdfeeder shepherd's hook. I reached for the camera just as he opened those wings and flapped off.

He was a small hawk, only a little larger than the largest of the blackbirds. The dull brown with bits of white on the wing tips and tail are perfect camouflage. His back was to me but he turned his head and the hooked beak was unmistakable.

The absence of all other birds for a while after he left was unmistakable, too. What a cafeteria my garden must be for him!

Lots of Garden Help

The girls enjoy wandering around the garden but I am not getting much help this year. I will be having the younger DGD some days while her mother tutors and her sister is in the Performance Camp. It is really the older of the two who would be the most help, though. I still have some veggie seeds to plant, zinnias, and vegetable beds to weed.

A New Toy

The weeds in my garden path drive me to distraction! I just get it weeded and another variety pops up. I doused it with Preen but that only lasts so long and some weed varieties just don't care. So, I bought a propane weed torch! It is a "Man's Toy" but this woman likes it, too!

It works very well on cement, patio-block, my gravel path and along the fence line. There was a moment when I was hitting the weeds where the fence crosses from my neighbor's grass to weed cloth topped with hay topped with mulch. That hay catches fire real easily, doesn't it? Fortunately I had a hose handy.

I killed back the weeds that sprouted in the expansion strips in the cement between the sunroom and the pool. ALso, I hit the weeds along the back fence. Those were some tall weeds!

Now I just have to see how long the weeds are gone. I am sure I will have to hit the path once a month or so.
Sunday, June 1, 2008

Revisiting the Garden

I think almost all of the containers are planted, now. At last count there were 24.

1. a half-whisky tub of a cherry tomato and 8 herbs
2, 3, 4. three railing planters of bright red geraniums, chartreuse sweet potato vine, and white licorice vine
5. a huge coffee cup planter of begonias...deep red
6, 7, 8. three tiers of geraniums, trailing vines, several varieties of nemesia
9, 10. two tiers of sage in the center pot and 2 different kinds of thyme in the lower planter
11. a huge pot by the doorwall of spikes, and left over filler plants and trailers
12. a long planter of purple bean plants (from my Indiana fellow gardener) hoping to climb my trellis
13, 14. two pots of caladiums from Florida IF the squirrel didn't ruin them
15. a terra cotta pot in a wrought iron holder of nemesia, petunia, licorice, and two geraniums left from last year. If they don't make it the rest will fill in.
16. a little wood slat wheelbarrow of coleus, geranium, trailing plants and a petunia
17. a twig garden cart planted with a little of everything
18. a large round green bowl with a little of everything sitting on an old chair in the corner of the garden
19. a watering can rescued from the trash planted with a tall pink Nemesia and frosty Euphorbia
20. a red basket fo coleus, licorice, nemesia, creeping jenny, spikes
21. a decorative pot (from FranRV) still to fill
22. another terra cotta pot to fill
23, 24. two small "strawberry pots" yet to fill. Now that I know from TV the best way to plant those I am anxious to try.

Bought from the nursery:
3 Black Heart ipomoea batatas (sweet potato vine)
3 Tri-Color ipomoea batatas
6 Margarita ipomoea batatas
White Licorice hellichrysum petiolare
Raspberry sunsatia
Magella Purple perilla nemesia
Flying Colors Coral diaseia (twinspur)
Goldilocks lysimachia nummularia (creeping jenny)
Diamond Frost euphorbia
Silver Dust dusty miller
mixed double Madness petunia
blue lobelia
Solstice Chocolate Regal pelargonium
Compact Pink Innocence nemesia fruticand (twinspur)
pre-planted containers of herbs, perennials, and vegetables which I took apart and replanted.

But, DARN! They look GOOD!

Look and Listen to the Skys

There is a single long island parallel to our 5 little one s, here at the North end of Lake Erie. That long island is a lovely community having its "special weekend" now. At one time, the South tip of the island held a thriving Naval Air Base. Now it is a municipal airport. Private airplanes, small cargo operations, and other endeavors utilize what is left of the old buildings. So, on this special weekend there is a lot of activity in the sky opposite my particular island. There is the morning Fly-by of the Air Force Jets. With the Red Bull Air Races up-river, the Fly-By is doing double duty. At noon a formation of World War II fighter planes flew the length of the river and turned right above us. I was too late for a picture then, but the camera is ready NOW. Who knows what else is going to come into view.

Later in the summer there is another happening at the airport...a "fly-in" of historic war planes known as "The Confederate Air Force". That weekend I need a sound recorder more than a camera. Having spent those WWII days at my grandmother's house within sight of the airbase, I heard fighters and cargo planes on an hourly basis. To hear those sounds again takes me right back to those days...happy for me, but difficult as war years always are. I try to explain things to my way-younger brother and my dear 50s Man, who is just enough younger than I am not to remember the War Years. There is no way to transfer the nostalgia from my memory to theirs.

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Gabby Faye
Michigan, United States
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