Friday, April 30, 2010

Flowery pictures and a small victory

This is a picture of one of my small victories in the garden (and they are all small, believe me):

It's the bloom of an azalea that was mostly dead at one point. It used to be in my front yard, but it didn't survive its first winter in the spot that I had put it. I guess I should say that it barely survived. I dug the mostly dead thing up and plopped it among the weeds in the wild plot in the back. This is the third year it's been back there, and the second that it has mustered the courage to bloom. The first year it concentrated on just surviving.

Below is a violet among the rocks:

Here are blossoms on one of my four blueberry plants:

Ooh, I can't wait until these become blueberries!:

This is a very small peony bud. It'll get bigger, trust me. And it will seem to take forever, swelling oh-so-slowly until one distant day it will blossom into a frilled and fragrant beauty:

A lone tulip among the silver dollar plants. Don't ask me how it got there, I haven't the foggiest notion:

And my dogwood. It gives me pleasure all year long, even when it's covered in ice and snow instead of blossoms, I admire its shape:

How are things in your neck of the woods?

Monday, April 26, 2010

Accidentally popular - or - 15 minutes of blog fame

A blog for an online publication used a picture from a post on my blog and referenced it back here. The picture is of the scads of violets I had in bloom last year. Now I have scads of people visiting from The Atlantic.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Don't know why I bother...

I've been digging dandelions out of my yard by hand. Just the front yard. The back yard is hopeless.

I'm sore all over now.

I'd take pictures, but I'm not sure I can get my hands to work the camera at this point.

A few days ago when I was doing some work in the back yard, I noticed large shadows passing over me. I looked up, and what did I see? Vultures circling overhead. Okay, maybe I'm a little out of shape, but I'm not that bad.

What doesn't kill you will make you stronger. And just in case, the vultures are there to clean things up.

Happy Earth Day, everyone!

Friday, April 16, 2010

Volcanoes and Fringe

This is a NASA satellite image of the volcanic ash plume from the volcano in Iceland:

Hope you weren't planning to fly into or out of Europe or the UK right about now.

And, Gaah! Did anyone watch Fringe last night? That old guy (Peter's father) is such a good actor. Even though I suspected what was in the envelope in the end, it blew me away. He didn't have any memory of talking with the time-jumping man, and there was the sign he was looking for. A while tulip. He looks at the tulip, and then up the stairs after his son.

At the end of the show, I felt like I had just read an extremely satisfying short story. Well done, whoever crafted that script.

My husband and I were talking about the time travel in the show, and he was asking why everyone seemed to jump back in time with the time-jumper man. I told him that everyone didn't, the show was just showing how things changed when the man jumped back. The conversation became a little surreal and I was reminded of a quote that headlined a chapter in a modern physics text (an introduction to quantum theory and mechanics) for a class I was taking once. It said:

"Ludwig Boltzmann, who spent much of his life studying statistical mechanics, died in 1906 by his own hand. Paul Ehrenfest, carrying on his work, died similarly in 1933. Now it is our turn to study statistical mechanics. Perhaps it will be wise to approach the subject cautiously." - David L. Goodstein (States of Matter, Mineola, New York: Dover Press, 1985)

If you didn't watch Fringe, then I aplogize for all of the above. If you want to watch this episode, go to and then select the episode titled, White Tulip." Or just click here.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Let the Gardening commence

Over the weekend my husband and I tilled up the two garden plots in our back yard. One plot is for herbs and the other is mostly for veggies, but will also have some herbs. This morning I planted some lettuce, spinach, and five-color Swiss chard. They don't mind a bit of cold weather and can be sown early.

I don't have any pictures of either of those plots yet, but I did snap a picture of the community gardens, which are a three minute walk away. I will have a 10' x 20' plot in these gardens this year:

The ugly orange fencing is meant to keep the deer out. There are plenty of other critters around too, voles and rabbits, to name a couple. This is the third year of the community gardens. I walk past them everyday with the dog and over the past two seasons, it looks like the critters have left things alone. I hope this year isn't the year they suddenly discover the fresh veggie stand not five yards from some of their burrows.

My plot is somewhere right in the foreground in the picture below. You can see the old barn from the farm that used to be here in the background. They haven't put up the stakes marking each plot yet, and planting season is still a few weeks off. We have to wait until about mid-May until the last freeze has passed:

Once it's safe to plant, I'll use this plot for veggies.

On the way back to the house from our walk, my daughter and I spotted a little snake. It looks big in the picture, only because it's a zoomed-in shot. The little guy (or gal) was only about the size of a pencil in both circumference and length:

Maybe it'll grow big eating voles and keep them out of my garden.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Gone to the birds

Robins really do have beautiful songs. I don't know why they're not praised more highly. I can hear one singing through my open window right now.

And I can see why Woody Woodpecker was given that laugh. A woodpecker often stops in the trees in my backyard for a laugh. Sometimes my daughter and I laugh back and we get a conversation going.

And red-winged blackbirds? What's not to love there? A lot of them nest in the cattail area in the park next door and often drop by our birdfeeder for a snack. It makes me feel special when they do, I mean, how many people out there attract red-winged blackbirds to their feeders? You have to live in just the right spot.