Thursday, July 11, 2013

Three back yard visitors—two welcome one not

Dan is definitely my best spotter for wildlife pictures.  He always has been able to see things I miss.  So, he was the one that spotted these important backyard visitors around 6:30 this morning.  We’ve heard quail calling this summer, but never thought we might spot them.   Exciting! 

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The second visitor is really not a visitor at all.  Rather a member of the family.  Either this Phoebe or its parents/grandparents come back each year and occupy a nest under our back deck.  The clothesline is their base to check for clearance before flying into the nest.  We watch, first the parents, then the new babies dip their tails all summer.  From the looks of the fluffy feathers, this is either a young one or it has picked up the early morning dew. The tail was dipping when I clicked because it is a blur.

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The last visitor is very unwelcome.  It looks like something from the grandkids’ movies.  These things hurt when they bite too.  Obviously, it is on the outside of the window otherwise it would have had an important meeting with my fly swatter. 

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Tuesday, July 09, 2013

Morning’s work

With 100 degree temperatures in the forecast, we decided to harvest the early vegetables.  I already dug about a third of the potatoes, so it is a fair crop for about seven pounds of seed potatoes.  We never dig potatoes without spearing some—they will be our dinner.  The onions are under a little shade right out in the heat.  We are trying to dry up the stocks. 

On top of the potatoes, there is a glimpse of what is just starting to produce—okra and tomatoes—both look to be good crops.  We are thinking of starting to water every three or four days, especially the tomatoes.  Okra are hot weather plants. 

You see that someone else needs “watered” (with a twist of lemon) more than any of the plants.

The bottom picture shows the green beans still hanging in there.  With the early planting not germinating and then replanting late, they are having to set on in more heat than I like.  (I think hot weather makes green beans rubbery.)  I put the soaker hose on them and they are chugging away.  Maybe I’ll be wrong and have the best crop ever.  There are blooms galore.

There are a few ears of corn that will be ready to eat within a week.  The late planting needs rain.  We have a lot planted (more in another place) and not sure we will water all of it.  It gets expensive.  Of course, our yard has never seen a drop of water in all the years we’ve lived here so maybe we can justify it.

In the background are the grape vines—loaded!  Trying to convince Mark to try his hand with wine….

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