Sunday, August 31, 2008
Thursday, August 28, 2008
The poor milkweed in the picture was all bent over by whatever has been sleeping in the garden. I pounded in a metal fence post and tied it up with some strips off an old towel.
The caterpillars are happily munching away. I was surprised that the plant still has so many leaves.
I spent a lot of time watching them.
They grow fast and then the biggest ones just disappear. I read they look for a spot away from the milkweed to climb and make their chrysallis.
Wednesday, August 27, 2008
Monday, August 25, 2008
This tree is one of the reasons we are cutting the brush back. To get to the vines before they kill any more trees. We have a LOT of vine-strangled trees.
This vine has already made hundreds of berries. Berries have seeds in them. Birds find Poison Ivy berries quite delicious. Birds poop. When the bird poops, out comes the seed ready to grow in a new location. Die, vine, die!
I used a pruning tool to cut off a section of the vine about six inches long and then sprayed the bottom portion of the vine with Poison Ivy killer. I cut a bigg enough portion so that I can tell at a glance that the vine has been cut and can easily see if a smaller vine grows up bridging the gap. Be careful not to touch the vine, leaves, berries, or the cutting part of the tool. Poison Ivy sap will get on your skin and itch like crazy. The rash takes up to two weeks to appear.
The bark has already fallen off and the branches are scored by the scars left behind by Bark Beetles. Bark Beetles kill many trees, but the scars are works of art. Click on the picture to see it larger.
Something I noticed is that the first blossoms were white and now I have several blossoms on the same plants that have a pink tint to them. I wonder if it is a sign of some deficiency?
Sunday, August 24, 2008
Friday, August 22, 2008
The mystery Alliums continue to put on a show.
Now for a strange one. I noticed this tomato is getting ripe, but only on half of it! It has a crease in the front that makes it look like it could possibly be two tomatoes but the back is smooth so it isn't. Strange!
Thursday, August 21, 2008
They dig long tunnels underground, often several feet long. They capture and paralyse Cicadas and lay eggs on them. When the young hatch they feed on the still living Cicada. Here is a burrow entrance on our road.
The pictures were taken last year. I have not been able to get a decent picture of them this year.
Wednesday, August 20, 2008
DIY Tree Guards. The next time we go to the cabin I will be taking these tree guards. I got the plastic pipe free from Freecycle and cut them in about eight to ten inch lengths. Then I cut a slit lengthwise to facilitate slipping it around the trunk.
If you make them do not be fooled into thinking you do not have to cut the lengthwise slit. You may be able to slip it over the top of a young tree but the tree will grow and eventually you will want to remove it. Make the slit now as it will be very difficult to do it later.
It took me about twenty minutes from start of project till everything was cleaned up and put away. I used an electric handheld saw for the project.
Hopefully the tree guards will help save the young trees from my husband's tractor and my weed whacker.
Tuesday, August 19, 2008
The address is 165 Ft. Evans Rd. and the phone number is 703-777-5755. I would advise calling first and making sure they can handle your emergency.
They also have a website:http://www.criticalcareattlc.com/
They hold the animal for a rehabilitator to pick up and you do have to sign a release form. There is no charge.
The little bird was alive and squeaking when it was dropped off so maybe it has a chance.
I have added some pictures to the previous post.
Monday, August 18, 2008
Little by little a crack appeared.
The crack got bigger and bigger.
Then it rolled over.
And the top popped off.
It struggled and soon the rest of it was free.
Here it is out of the egg.
You can see how just glancing at it I thought it was bird poop at first. True, it was not broken at that point but this is the side that was up. It has a very faint blue tint to the white. The speckles are a dark brown and are concentrated on the rounded end of the egg rather than the pointier end. I offered the egg to the clinic as a help in identifying but they did not want it. I am still searching for what it might be.
The theory is that a Crow or Blue Jay robbed a nest of a smaller bird and settled on my deck rail to eat it. I scared it off when I went out to cover the grill and it dropped the egg. I don't know as all I saw was the egg. It was pure coincidence that it was ready to hatch right at that instant.
That's how many boards I ended up with. Almost all of them had nails that needed pulled out. I put the nails in a one liter bottle as I removed them. Before tossing the bottle I screwed the lid on. I have had too many nails in tires to take chances with them.
The boards are four feet long but almost all are damaged on each end where they were ripped off their former wall. No problem. I will make smaller beds for now. I was worried about being able to afford the good lumber for constructing them. I started and got three made with untreated pine. My thinking was to get them made and usable first and then gradually replace them with cedar or redwood. Now I can make as many as I like with the boards and have them all in place by spring. Yes, I still have to finish painting the foundation too between tearing out the old beds and putting in new. I can build potato bins with the boards too. Yay!
Sunday, August 17, 2008
Do you know what these are? These are about 30 free barn boards that were used as paneling. They were offered on my local Freecycle list and I snagged them. I think there are closer to a hundred boards but some are cracked or have pieces cut out where outlets and switches were.
Currently I am busily pulling out nails and staples. Look for future reincarnations of the boards around the garden and cabin. They are all about four feet long and varying widths and tongue and groove too.
In the garden the Bush Beans are flowering. The seeds were planted in the ground outside on July 16 so one month from planting to flowering. Now I am anxious for beans to eat!
In one of the old beds some volunteers of some sort of allium are beginning to flower. I have no idea what they even are and will be bidding them goodbye when the new beds go in. I still have a Lemon Boy tomato plant in that bed.
Wednesday, August 13, 2008
The Bush Beans have really taken off. I expect flowers any day now.
The Pole Beans still had a poor germination rate but a few of them did grow. I decided to go with what I have and see what they do rather than trying again to start more seeds. The Pole Beans are a darker colored plant than the bush and can be seen behind the Bush Beans.