Fog and Flood

A soggy mess. The lady ferns don’t seem to mind.

A lot more rain since Sunday and some very heavy rain late yesterday.

These photos were taken this morning and the water was still running this evening.

Foggy this morning – almost like the earth was giving off some of the excess moisture.

The birds have been all over this dogwood tree.

Finally, some beautiful sun today.

Heavy Rains, Heavy Creek

We got more rain on Saturday, September 22 and into the following day than we did from Hurricane Florence. I don’t remember the total but it was a few to several inches.

The fence in the foreground is the property line. The bridge is on our neighbors property. See the stream of water through the fence? That usually isn’t there.

The stream of water going by our neighbors house and into the creek comes from the stream that forms during heavy rains on our property along the road. It doesn’t form on our property – it comes up hill from the northwest.

Country Roads

September 21

I took these photos in or near Harrisonburg. I was up that way taking a quilt top to be quilted and decided to go to an apple orchard. I couldn’t resist stopping and taking these photos.

The September Garden

September 19 and 20

A profusion of asters!

White snakeroot under the arborvitae.

These photos were taken just a little over a week ago. Since then we’ve had so much rain that it is now looking very soggy. I hope the asters perk up and the ones that only have buds will flower. Too much rain can be as bad as too little.

Duke got in some cleaver so Damian is getting the burrs out of his fur. Sometimes we can pull it out and sometimes we have to get the scissors and cut it out. That can be real painful after we just paid to have him groomed.

Creating

My daughter won a gift certificate for a class at the Beverley Street Studio School here in Staunton. Because she is in Charlottesville and was finding it hard to commit to a class here we asked if we could transfer the gift certificate to me. They graciously allowed it and I signed up for a beginner drawing and painting class. Above is my drawing after the first class. I was quite nervous at first because we were just told to start drawing while the teacher went around to give individual advice. It took her a while to get to me and I was really struggling with it. It’s probably been about 45 years since I’ve had any kind of art class. Once she got me started I had no trouble continuing. That said, I had my eraser in hand at all time and used it constantly.

I’m sharing this here because I hope to get to where I can do a half decent botanical drawing and still lifes and landscapes around our home and property. It will take a lot of practice though – which I hadn’t really been thinking of when I signed up for the class. Now that I’ve gotten started though, I hate the thought of giving it up. And it has only been a little over a week since my first class! I always loved art class in elementary school and I’ve always said I wished I could draw. So now I hope to commit to the effort. We’ll see!

Posted in Art

Ash Tree

September 10

I missed most of the cutting down of the ash tree. Above, the crane had just let down a 5500 lb. segment of the tree. Apparently, this was a great weight because they were giving each other high fives when it was announced.

The first crane they brought in wasn’t big enough. This one left tire impressions in the driveway asphalt.

This was the first time Queen City Silviculture did work for us. I would definitely have them back. They did a great job and Jason, who is the owner along with his wife Danielle, was very personable.

They left a huge pile of mulch in the driveway and this pile of logs. We plan to rent a splitter and get the hOUR Economy people to help split and stack.

Because I like lichen.

I’m a little concerned about the plantings in the native garden that will now get more sun. After some research, I think some will actually benefit from more sunlight. Others, we may have to move.

Aromatic Aster

Our first aromatic aster bloom of the year. It will bloom from now until the first frost. A real winner for us and the butterflies. Late last winter/early spring we saw dark-eyed junco birds eating the seed and taking the stems off with them presumably for nesting material. A good excuse not to tidy up the garden.

Where Have I Been?!?!

Well, it’s been a busy summer with four sets of visitors over a five week period. I have been taking photos so I’ll finally share them here. These first several are from mid July.

We stopped mowing a wet section of the field (on the left) last summer. The section on the right we stopped mowing this summer. It is interesting to see the difference.

By the front porch. The lone daylily looks pretty with the beebalm.

In front of the sun room.

We noticed a volunteer sassafras tree under the mahonia last year. The japanese beetles have been hard on it but it’s hanging in there.

Zinnias from the garden. I love this little vase our daughter made for us last year. I told her I wanted it to mimic tree bark and she delivered.

The orange coneflowers in our native garden started blooming in mid July and the flowers still look beautiful six weeks later. These photos are from July.

Dave bringing in the onion harvest on July 21.

These bitter melon are ridiculous. We could pick this many each week. I still have some in the freezer from last year. I gave some of these away. Dave took another large basket full to a coworker last week. I’ve frozen some and might freeze more. We learned from our daughter that you can take some of the bitter taste out by blanching them in water with a tablespoon of salt and baking soda.

These photos are from July 27.

I went to Polyface Farm on July 28 to purchase some meat and took the above and below photos on my way home. Polyface is in Swoope – just west of us..

Poor Len. He was diagnosed with thyroid cancer. I hope we are keeping him comfortable with meds.

The only photo we got of our visitors. I’m on the right with my sister Melissa and my niece Mary.

Such a pleasant surprise to find these volunteers on August 11 at the base of the spruce tree between the house and the shed – an impatiens and a coleus.

I harvested these peppers on August 14.

I think it was back in July when I took some bricks and defined the beds around the plants in front of the shed. I think it turned out pretty nice.

Joe Pye Weed in the native garden on the morning of August 15.

Making our yummy tomato sauce on August 19.

I’m so sad that we have to take down this beautiful ash tree (on the right). The emerald ash borer has gotten to it so it can’t be saved.

$3000 poorer and down one beautiful shade tree. I will probably spend most of the day they take it down elsewhere.

Don’t like ending on a sad note, but here we are. I hope I keep up my posts with my photos as we enter the fall. It has been a very wet spring and summer. A little on the cool side, too. I’m hoping the valley will have some spectacular color this fall. Hard to believe it is almost September!

Tomato Cream Sauce Dining Room

It’s not done yet but I had to share.

This color is a bold one for me.

I love it!

I’m planning to make a quilt out of 18th century dutch reproduction fabrics for that empty wall.

I think I’ve found my go to plant for my front porch – caladiums. They get just a little bit of sun in the early morning. They are already putting out new leaves and I planted them less than two weeks ago.