Summer’s Dryness

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.

 

A tired week

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.

Coming Inside, Now

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.

 

Morning’s Garden Creatures

The insects were busy long before some of the flowers in the wildflower garden were open for business.

In order to put off Sunday evening’s dishwashing, I have taken a lot of photographs, this morning.

The end of the week and gardening

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.

Thursday and Damselflies

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.

Tuesday Morning Photos

Some of the photographs that I took when the Scampers and I went outside after breakfast.

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.

A new week, new flowers

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.

Best wishes for the coming week!

Gardening and such

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.

a pair of blue wild flax flowers from last year's garden
Blue Wild Flax

Another day of rain

In lieu of wildflowers, which are only now beginning to grow in the new wildflower garden, I’ve taken photos of the chives by the back step. I enjoy having them just outside the back door, handy for cutting. I like them in soups, salads and scrambled eggs. I do still need to find good recipes for low-calorie/low carbohydrate/gluten-free soup. I will make it through the summer, but nothing’s better than a tasty clear soup in the wintertime.

I have, while pulling what dandelion plants I can reach out of the wildflower garden, noticed three new plants that appear to be flax. I am looking forward to wild flax in order to take photographs, again, and I’ve been worried that they won’t “take” in the new spot. I am not sure what the sun exposure will be, since we didn’t pick the plot (50 sq. ft.) until late in the summer or early autumn. Too, the willow tree across the back fence has dropped some larger branches, and we had to remove one of the four stands of cotoneaster bushes, those closest to the back fence on the southwest end of the yard.

There was precipitation, this morning, but the afternoon winds have dried the grass enough for Al to mow the yard. He’s finished the front and sides, and is now working on the back. Before that, he cleared out the project-in-process enough that he can build the interior wall when it’s too wet for shingling. Looks like tomorrow will include shingling.

In the meanwhile, I also took pictures of the peony leaves. The new plants, erupting from the middle of the plot we staked out (to protect them, early and now emerging, from the lawnmower), had raindrops on their leaves. I love the colors of them when they are youngish.

I am going through stacks of books and papers that have accumulated beside my chair since my father died. Time to start putting things back into order, again. Since inheriting, after giving away my set to a nephew and his family, the family’s Great Books of the Western World, along with copies of all of the Great Ideas Today yearbooks (with duplicates for the years when both I and my parents were buying them), I am once again short of shelf space. I do not know what I would have done if I hadn’t given away/thrown out over five hundred hardcover/paperback books with last year’s Spring Clean-up Week discards.

Nonetheless, I will keep at this thing. Neither of us wants to go into older age with closets or cardboard boxes to go through when it actually will be too much work, rather than now, when it just feels like it is. I have new artwork to put on the walls, however, when I get to the framer’s. I look forward to that.