A Cool August

Catching up with the photos on my phone. We’ve had unseasonably cool weather. I’ve been wearing flannel!

We were excited to harvest our first watermelon a couple of weeks ago.

It wasn’t quite ripe. It was okay and will ask our neighbor about how to determine ripeness. We got the seeds for these Crimson Sweets from him a couple of years ago.

I bought this geranium from Elk Run Farm – a vendor at our Saturday Farmers Market. I think it is called apple blossom.

This is our first cantaloupe. We thought we were late harvesting it since the bugs had already gotten to it. We’ve found that the bugs are a good determination of ripeness. We’ve harvested others that have a strong scent but when we cut into them they aren’t quite ripe.

A Melon Petit Gris de Rennes – a sugar-sweet French favorite! We just have to be diligent and get them at peak ripeness before the bugs do!

Saving seeds – the cantaloupes (actually I think they are technically muskmelons though I’m not sure of the difference) and the large brown seeds are from bitter melons.

I love this African Violet. I was admiring the way the sun hit it a few mornings ago.

Our rain garden during a heavy rain.

Our harvest from yesterday. Lots of bitter melon. No one but me seems to go for it. More muskmelons, Doe Hill peppers (a small, yellow, sweet variety), green beans and apples. I made an apple pie and apples sauce earlier in the week and these went to Doris, our neighbor. She says she peels, slices and freezes them to use in the winter time.

Bitter melon on the vine.

The Staunton Historical Foundation holds noontime walking tours the first Friday of the month. Usually we are in the historical section of our downtown but today we went to Montgomery Hall Park which is about 4 minutes from our house. We took a hike in the woods during the rain. This is a wall from a bank barn. The barn burned down in a blaze many decades ago. The hike was led by an archaeologist. It was very interesting and fun to go tramping in the damp woods.

Just a pretty view.

 

Watering the Cows

And enjoying a half hour on our neighbors property. They went to the beach and asked Dave to make sure there was enough water in the troughs for their cows.

Prepare for lots of photos. A storm threatened us all evening and finally gave us a little light rain later on. Harrisonburg got 2 1/2 inches of rain in 35 minutes! We need rain but I’m glad we didn’t get that! I included so many photos because the light/sky kept changing. It was too hard to select out.

This is a view of our house from theirs.

The side of the barn

Looking at the field behind their house.

Across the street to the right of our house.

One of the dairy barns that used to be part of our property. The people that live there converted it into their home. They hold bluegrass and country dances there every Saturday night.

Sunflowers in the vegetable garden

Noting the eastern red cedar because I’m reading that book about trees.

Looking toward the house from the vegetable garden.

What we are here for!

Sky is darkening

The house has the original tin shingled roof.

I love this stair rail!

 

Douthat State Park

Took the afternoon off and went to Douthat State Park in Millboro – about an hour southwest of Staunton. It is in the Allegheny Mountains.

It was built by the Civilian Conservation Corps and opened in 1936.

Took a two mile hike.

I love trees and moss.

We ate dinner at the restaurant by the lake. They had really good homemade potato chips.

We’ve decided to visit all the Virginia State Parks.

 

Early Spring? Late Winter?

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Like much of the country we’ve been having crazy weather. I started bringing daffodils and jonquils in on nights when temperatures were expected to be in the teens and twenties.

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A Virginia Bluebell. This photo was taken before the snow and frigid temperatures returned. It doesn’t look too happy now. Hope more pop up.

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Freda next to the Lenten rose.

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Just a pretty little flower in the bed with the Lenten rose and Virginia bluebells.

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The table all set for a dinner party we hosted last Saturday night. I hope my guests had as much fun as I did.

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A couple weeks ago I took a walk in Thornrose Cemetery.

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Like most days that week it was a beautiful day.

End of Year Wrap Up

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A Super Moon (whatever that is!) in November. Too bad the street light is there.

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Can you see the icicle on the elm tree? It is the sap from the tree.  We had a quick and steep drop in temperature the night before.

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Dave was bothered by the absence of globes on the dining room chandelier. Me, not so much. The weekend after Thanksgiving he said let’s go to The Antique Factory and see if we can find some. I was very doubtful we’d find what we needed. Couldn’t believe he found some right away and they were 50% off! It does look much better with the globes.

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Christmas cheer

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Many photos of our Christmas Day hike in nearby Montgomery Hall Park.

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The dogs had a great time being off leash. Not many people about.

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We had a new visitor over Christmas weekend. A black and white kitten. I’m surprised our 3 cats didn’t chase it away. Hope we can find a new home for it. We certainly don’t need another cat.

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More Christmas cheer.

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More time for quilting in the winter. I’m basting my ocean waves quilt.

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A couple days ago it was near 60 so Dave got out the chain saw and shredder and Damian and I helped him take down and shred some of the trees growing into the meadow…

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and around the spring house. It seems to be some sort of invasive that keeps spreading into our native meadow.

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Our daughters’ friend, Soupy, built these stairs for our tool shed. We are doing an hour exchange for her. Dave is doing computer work for her and I’m doing some mending.

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Another photo of kitty. Uh, oh! We are all getting too comfortable!

First Landing State Park

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While at the family reunion, Dave, Samantha and I went to First Landing State Park in Virginia Beach.

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I didn’t know Virginia had such swamps.

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These are called knees.

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red belly snake

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water moccasin or cottonmouth – good thing this one wasn’t on the path

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garter snake – which was just made the state snake of Virginia

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Colonial Williamsburg

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A couple weeks ago we were in Williamsburg for a family reunion. Some of us toured Colonial Williamsburg.

These first nine photos are of the Governor’s Palace garden.

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The back side of the Governor’s Palace.

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Purple Coneflower and Bee Balm

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Love the arbor

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Ahhh, shade. It was a very hot day.

The next four photos are of the Wythe House garden.

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I recently read on Michael Weishan’s blog, Old House New Garden, that the gardens in Colonial Williamsburg are among his favorites in the U.S. because the gardens are well suited to the homes. He said the reason the garden is there is because of the house and it should be designed with that in mind.

The next ten photos are of the Colonial Garden.

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Like the crushed oyster shell walkway.

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Notice the wattle fence center right.

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Bruton Parish Church in the background.

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First Half of June

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I enjoy looking across the road at my neighbors cows. He’s had four calves born this spring. He buys several cows at auction each spring and never knows how many are expecting. It has been a banner year for him.

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These were the first two calves. I love seeing them romp around.

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Dolly and her chicks.

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Dave set up a drip line to water the tomatoes, sweet potatoes and summer squash. We kept transplanting the peonies from this site and they just kept on  sprouting! I think the root stock is very old.

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The kitchen garden – onions, collards, cilantro and borage.

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I went strawberry picking one morning at Troyer’s in Waynesboro.

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The barn garden – strawberries in front of the wormwood, potatoes on the right and a row of parsnips in the center.

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Larkspur in the morning light.

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I planted coleus seedlings in this bed off the patio. As you can see there are none in sight. I’m realizing Freda likes to nap in this bed and the chickens scratch around in it. I decided to put what seedlings I had left in pots!