It’s been a beautiful, long, cool spring. While so many others have been bored during this stay at home spring due to COVID-19, I found myself busier than ever. It’s been nice being outside tending my garden with temperature mostly in the 50’s and 60’s during the day. I have a lot of photos to share.
I’m sitting at a table with an open window at my back and the breeze is glorious! The first three days of October were around 90 degrees which is crazy. Today is beautiful and we are even expecting some much needed rain on Monday so keeping my fingers crossed.
Dave usually walks Darcy in the morning and we both go in the evening. Dave’s requirement to report to work in northern Virgina two days every other week means it is hard to get his hours in so I’ve been walking Darcy in the morning when I can. She plops herself down when she looks back and sees people coming up behind us which is pretty much always since it is a well loved park we walk in. I literally have to drag her to get her going again. Then the people say “oh, she’s tired” and I let them know she just wants to see them. She runs around the dog park for an hour so I know walking with me isn’t causing her to be tired. I enjoy walking again and can feel it is good for my body.
Letting her have her little break.
The red chokeberry bush
in my nature journal
The paw paw tree leaves start turning color quite early. I harvested quite a few this year. They are best when I just pick them off the ground before they start to rot too much. I gave some away this year. Some people had them before and were happy to have them again. One had never had a paw paw and was surprised she like it.
Our one little pepper plant has given us quite a few large peppers. I expect this is the last of it. I made some sweet red pepper relish with these. The guys ate it on their chicken salad sandwiches last night.
The kitchen garden is starting to fill in nicely. In the center of the above photo is our onion patch. We’ve started harvesting them one at a time as needed. When the green part is mostly brown we’ll bring them in and store them on a rack in the basement. They should last us through the end of the year. Along the fence on the left are nasturtiums and two little cucumber plants. They are far from producing so we’ll see if we get anything. We were a little late getting the seeds planted. Behind the onions are zinnias, borage and weeds.
This photo shows the day lilies, calendula, borage, purple cone flowers, pie pumpkin, beans, sage, oregano, dill and the inevitable weeds along the fence. It’s always hard to keep that fence line neat.
The cardboard and brick is there to kill the grass. This was a difficult area to cut. I hope to get a path down and some additional planting area. We don’t have a firm plan of what material we will use for the path.
The weather has been hot and muggy. We are getting frequent thunderstorms. Thankfully, nothing too heavy. The wet area along the road has finally dried up. It was very unusual that it was wet for so long – about 10 months. While so much rain was concerning, the one good thing was that most of the trees we’ve planted loved it. We’ve also notice an abundance of black walnut seedlings sprouting here and there. We are leaving those that are not too close to the house. Lots of people consider this a weed tree. Not me. It’s a native and will provide shade on the property. If they become a problem, we can always take them down. Dave didn’t mow the areas in the field that were too wet and we’ve noticed little maple tree sprouts. They are from the mature trees along the road and we are pretty sure they are silver maples. Again, maybe not a prized tree but they are free so we are hoping they do well.
On November 15th we had a full day of sleet and freezing rain. We lost power around 3:00 in the afternoon.
Reading Mendelwitz’s Guide to Drawing by candlelight. It got very windy that night. Dave said he could hear the popping of tree branches.
We woke up to an icy landscape and more branches on the ground than I’ve ever seen. The above photo is the front yard. Somehow my photos have gotten out of order so bear with me.
You can see the icy tops of the white pines as the sun is coming up.
Our poor siberian elm in the back yard took quite a hit.
Branches everywhere…and leaves. Many of the trees still had leaves so when the ice clung to the leaves it was just too heavy and caused so many of the branches to break.
Above photo is looking toward the front yard from the back path to the house. That is the sunroom.
The pine is sagging from the weight of the ice. That building is the garage/cottage.
Ice on the asters
Dave is cooking french toast on the woodstove.
These branches fell on the fence – totally crushed it. This building is what we call the shed. It is two stories and is where we store most of our garden equipment.
Looking toward the house from the backyard.
So many big and small branches – and a deep layer of leaves. We are still cleaning it up.
Duke is having a hard time getting around with so much debris in his way.
Looking toward the orchard from behind the cottage.
The cable we had installed in this siberian elm in the front probably saved this tree.
A big pine branch fell on the power line to our house (seen in the photo above) so we were without power for 3 full days. Our neighbors lost power for 2 days.
Colin helped with the apple pie for Thanksgiving.
A branch fell on the fence in the front too.
You don’t get to see Smokey very much. He always moves around too much when I try to photograph him. This is about the best I can get. He likes to rub up against the dogs. You can see Dukes legs behind him. Smokey is ready to dash outside. He doesn’t come in the house but does come into the mudroom to eat and sometimes to sleep. I think he usually sleeps in the barn – even on frigid nights.