Saturday, July 23, 2011
I was watering the trees between the Newington Public School and the Fire Department when I noticed some mockingbirds in the flowering pear tree by the side entrance. You can see both adults in the three in this first picture.
In the second picture you can see four chicks with their beaks open. They seemed pretty stressed. It was still about 98 degrees, down from 102 earlier in the day. You can see their mouths open ~ hopefully because they are hungry and not due to dehydration.
Tuesday, July 19, 2011
Saturday, July 16, 2011
With all the heat and occasional rains of late, the garden has really taken off. I looked back at the pictures I posted in June and it has been a total transformation since then.
For one, the sunflowers are now pushing ten feet or more high. These are close to the tallest in the garden, but the highest ones are already starting to bend under the weight of the seeds as the flowers mature.
That is good news for all the leafhoppers (aka "Hoppies") that live up on the higher leaves and are now out of the kids' reach. Catching hoppies has become one of their favorite pastimes, and I have noticed a slight decline in the populations as the kids are not afraid to pluck them right off the leaves, as long as there are no ants protecting them. They then provoke the hoppy to jump, usually onto the ground or some other plant for which they are not suited. I don't know if they can find their way back or not.
Tomatoes have started which, as I have written before, is the most anticipated moment in pretty much any garden, especially a northern one. Here is Josie with the first two taken on Friday, along with the first onion of any substance, as well as a cucumber and zucchini number.... I am not sure at this point. Probably about the 12th zucchini of the season from two plants. We had zucchini latkas for breakfast in an effort to diversify. It was a simple recipe of 2 grated zucchinis, 2 eggs, a little flower with salt pepper and parsley. I was pretty pleased with the results but I think I was in the minority. Leila's not a big parsley fan and the kids are suspicious of everything that is not drenched in maple syrup.
Right behind the first tomato in terms of excitement is our first watermelon shown here with Elsa's foot (size 10) for comparison. This is really taking off and I think the next rain storm is going to cause spectacular growth on all the melons. Their shoots are growing about 18 inches a day after each rain storm. I am watering about once or twice a week as needed which has close to the same effect. I like to water on Saturday or Sunday depending on the weather because it takes me about an hour to get everything done. It's a labor of love in any case.