That part of summer has arrived when rain is irregular, the sun is strong, there are patches of brown grass in the yard, and the chewing insects are eating the leaves and petals in the wildflower garden. I do still have the section of silt-textured dirt along the south side of the house to turn over and mix with the spent coffee grounds and peat moss to add organic materials. Right now, there are none, and nothing grows there but in a few spots where I tried adding the coffee grounds some months ago. And then it was evident that I needed to do more with it.
So, I have reserved most of the 1/4 lb. package of annual blue wild flax seed, which I will try to get planted, assuming I prepare that stretch of dirt. In previous years the stuff reseeded and bloomed into November on its own in the old plot. I think it is not too late, getting it into the dirt at the beginning of August, here in North Dakota.
In the meanwhile, some photographs from the past two to four days of the California Poppies.
The week has been too warm and too humid, with attending off-and-on rain showers. I’ve turned the desktop computer on (but not the printer) and will not unplug everything again until/unless there is a thunderstorm in the immediate area.
In the meanwhile, the puppies and I have gotten outside occasionally for short time periods to walk around and remember that we are mobile creatures, all of us. I am happy for the Tough camera that I bought (Olympus), which is droppable and waterproof. Yes, the wet is that wet.
The Scampers and I leave tracks from the back step into the living room until the sun’s been out long enough to dry the grass in the back yard.
Things are … scattered at this point, disorganized and relatively low key, but comfortable.
Here are some of the photographs from the last time that the Scampers and I went outside. Not that long ago.
The reports of the Nile Virus on the news broadcasts sounded daunting. Since I can’t use insect repellents or insecticides, I may be spending more time indoors than I had planned on, timing my gardening around pest-free conditions. I expect that may involve being out on a breezy, dry day in long skirts/long-sleeve shirt and work gloves. I still have to improve the soil along the front and sides of the house, where nothing grows, now, but for the tulips in the spring. I’ve the “aged” used coffee grounds and the peat moss. I have only to dig out half a foot of soil all the way around (in sections), mix the barren dirt with the additives, and smooth it out, again. Then I can water the soil and tamp down the seeds. I’ve only the annual flax seeds, and only two ounces of those, and so I may have to order more for summer and autumn blooming.
The new garden is in shade more than I’d planned on, by the backyard fence. It catches tree and house shadows before 9:00 a.m. and late in the afternoon until dark. So, I must pick wildflower mixtures next year that fit better with that.
California Poppy in the Morning Sunlight, Lizl Bennefeld (2017-07-07)
California Poppy, Lizl Bennefeld
Blue Flax Flower (False Colours), Lizl Bennefeld (2017-07-06)
California Poppy, 2017-07-06
Plains Coreopsis, Lizl Bennefeld (2017-07-07)
California Poppy, Lizl Bennefeld (2017-07-07)
Wildflower in my Garden, Lizl Bennefeld (2017-07-07)
Poppies with Hoverfly, by Lizl Bennefeld (2017-07-06)
The Scampers mostly do not come immediately in answer their names, but when they hear the call “Scampers!” there’s a rush and the sound of galloping feet. They know, when they hear that call, that something important is about to happen. (Treats, a ride in the car, a meal, or to stay home and take care of the house, which involves a special treat beforehand and a reward when we return home.)
The Scampers turned one, last December, and they’re growing, energetic, and happy. Mostly. The beginning of summer’s heat is dragging them down, already. 80°F isn’t hot, but the 45% humidity doesn’t help things.
One of the Scampers’ favorite things is to chase the neighborhood bunnies. It’s fortunate that there are so many ways out of the back yard, since the Scampers are learning to hunt as a team. If they’re anything like our previous dogs, though, they wouldn’t know what to do with a rabbit if they caught one.
Mostly, the Scampers are really good friends. They brighten our lives.
This post was written in response to the Daily Post prompt of 2 July 2017: Scamper. Without the Scampers knowing about it.
I do not know where the day went! I spent a large portion of yesterday visiting with the diabetes educator (six-month appointment) about how I have been assessing and streamlining my approach to managing the Type-2 diabetes. Afterwards, Al and I took care of the banking and the rest of the grocery shopping. On Tuesday, we only got the meat, which I cooked up and stashed in the refrigerator.
Today, I enjoyed spending a lot of time in the back yard with The Scampers. Also, helping Al with the workshop building by holding things up and together while he took screws out and put them back in, in different spots, getting the door ready for the final installation. At least it locks, now. two locks, one a deadbolt. Talking alarm systems, now, but I expect that won’t become an issue until after we have the electric installed and figure out what we’re going to move in there and where.
There was wind, but I still managed to get a few wildflower pictures. And of the Scampers, who waited on the back step for me to quit taking photographs and go inside to fetch their supper.
Some of the photographs that I took when the Scampers and I went outside after breakfast.
California Poppy at Morning
I got outside to exercise, later in the morning. Almost ready, now, to assemble lunch, not having been hungry for a mid-morning snack. Took note of some vitals at The Art of Disorder, making a concentration shift to cholesterol levels. The exercise affects both the cholesterol and the blood sugar levels. Now that I am “between” allergens and have an energy level again, I’ll be working on establishing exercise and sleep habits that will, hopefully, maintain in some form during the ragweed season.
We’ve enjoyed a lot of rain showers, recently, which helped with keeping the flowerbeds watered, and also the grass seed that Al has added to the tracks made by the trucks and related equipment during the renovations the summer before last and the preparations for the wood-working shop that’s currently underway.
The rabbits are spending a lot of time in my wildflower garden before we get up, mornings. The Scampers enjoy the frantic races, first thing. Gives them an appetite for breakfast. I’ve increased the amount of food I give them, because they were losing weight.
This morning we got up early, so that I could have lab work done prior to my appointment this coming Wednesday. Just got a notice that the rest of the test results are waiting for me online. Suppose I should check those out. The new A1C and other misc. stuff are at The Art of Disorder.
Last week got a bit hectic, comings and goings, rain, errands to run, and stuff to do. I do now have more flowers in my garden. Most of them are yellow and orange (sweet clover, dandelions, wallflowers and California poppies). I can now see tiny wild flax stems emerging, and I’m looking forward to some flowers developing within the next month or so.
These last four photographs are from Sunday’s backyard outing with the Scampers.
With the warmer weather, my energy level has gone down. Fortunately, so have the pollen levels. The tree pollen that bothers me is now out of season. I think I’m good, now, until ragweed becomes prevalent. (No trips to the ER, this spring!)
I have purchased copies of the poster-size photo montages that were created for my parents’ memorial services and hope to get frames for them. Not all to be hung up around the house, but finding a place to hang one at a time and rotate through the seven of them. I have looked through the book Writing to Heal the Soul. I decided that writing an occasional poem is/has been adequate and happens spontaneously…I think I’m good.
At last wildflowers are opening in the new garden plot. Most of what’s emerged, actually, is clover. Several different kinds. When I was a small child, I used to eat the sweet clover flowers. They really do taste sweet. California poppies are among my favorites, although they’re not great to photograph.
Last Friday, the Scampers finally got their summer haircuts. They’re looking really cool. Here are “before” and “after” photographs. And Thadd having a wonderful time rolling in the grass when we brought them home and let them out in the back yard.
Due for a Haircut
Charlie in the White Campions
After Their Haircuts
I think that I’ve finally gotten my eating patterns squared away as I want them. I do forget to eat, more than I’m comfortable with. Trying to do better while not raising my blood sugar levels. Weight loss has slowed. Isn’t it such nice timing, our having to replace the bathroom scale when we did? The new scale shows the tenths of a pound! We can be really obsessive, now!
For tonight, assuming the rain holds off, I am planning to mix the latest batch of spent coffee grounds into the sandy dirt that contains little to no organic material (other than the seeds that I sowed, which did not germinate) along the south side of the garage. Then I am going to plant clumps of wild flax seeds with bricks on the downward slope to keep all of the water from running off and taking the seeds with it.
One of my husband’s ham radio buddies has come back into the area for a short visit with relatives, and they’re getting together for an evening out, whoever can make it. That will give me time for the planting procedures, assuming nothing comes along to interfere. Must check the radar before I get everything readied for gardening.
Later in the week, some of my husband’s family are coming over to help wrap the workshop building in with whatever it is that blocks the wind, once the inner and outer walls are up. Windows are ordered and a couple more things. Not getting ahead of what’s being used almost immediately. I keep thinking that June is the “rain” month around here and worrying that everything is going to either drown or blow away.