Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Observations/Updates

It's been a busy summer so far, and I haven't been able to blog very much, so I thought some of you might be wondering what's going on around here.

The garden is doing well.  We've been eating sugar snap peas right off the plants for about 3 weeks now, and we just froze about 2 gallons of green beans for later eating.  Some of the corn is taller than Code-man--we're hoping to get enough corn to freeze some of that, too.  The watermelons (yes, we're trying watermelons again--maybe someday we'll get to eat one that we grew) are starting to flower and the zucchinis have flowers as well--there may even be a baby zucchini out there--they kind of hide, so they're hard to see if you're not right there looking and moving leaves out of the way.  Hubby tells me that the pumpkin plants are blooming as well.  I planted them in a sunny part of our back yard this year, so that they couldn't overtake all of the other plants in the garden enclosure, and as a result, I don't keep as close an eye on them.  I suppose that's good, as they grow slowly and it's much more exciting to go out and find that you have a 5" pumpkin already than it is to just see it grow microscopically each day. 

The tomatoes just got put in the ground.  I got a late start this year, planting about a month after I planted last year (I know, crazy, right?), and I hadn't started the tomatoes because last year when I started them indoors they all died before it was warm enough to plant outside, and I had to start over.  So this year, I thought I'd just plant the seeds directly in the ground, but when it came time to do it, the seeds seemed too small and vulnerable to just plant out there.  I didn't get around to even starting my seeds indoors until about 2 weeks later, and now, about a month later, they're finally in the ground.  I'm kind of disappointed about that, because I was hoping to be able to can some diced tomatoes for chili and tomato sauce for pizza and spaghetti this year.  I guess I'll just have to wait and see if there's enough time for my plants to produce any tomatoes.

My flowers are growing, too.  The zinnias are blooming, and I just got my first ever snap dragon bloom.  Unfortunately, a lot of the zinnias got baked while we were out of town--they're in window boxes on the front of the house and the house faces west, which makes it very hot out there in the afternoon and evening.  My hanging baskets aren't doing the best either.  I started 3 different kinds of daisy-like plants this spring, but I don't think they'll be big enough to bloom this year.  We need to get digging on our pond and waterfall so I have someplace to put them.  And it's definitely time to dig up the front flower beds, divide, and replant.  It's a jungle out there.

A mama bird built her nest on top of one of the support columns for the roof over the place where our some-assembly-required porch will go someday.  This is right outside our bedroom window, and I can see it from where I type.  I was very worried about this mama bird and her choice of nesting sites.  There's only about a 5.5" x 3" area, and in fact, the first nest she built fell down.  She rebuilt, laid eggs, and the babies have hatched, so we've been hearing little voices clambering for food, and little beaks open wide when mama flies back to the nest with some tasty morsel.  I think there are 4, but there are at least 3 babies, and I find myself wondering how that mama bird knows which chick to give the next bug to.  I know I had a hard time remembering which side to start on when I was nursing my babies, and that was only one at a time!  Maybe mama birds don't get as sleep deprived.

We've already raised and released one monarch caterpillar, Rocky, who actually turned out to be a boy (for once our gender guess at the larval stage proved correct in the adult stage).  Now we've invited Victor II to be our guest until metamorphosis.  I'm a little cloudy on the correct naming of this little guy, because Victor I turned out to be Victoria...or was it the other way around?  Anyway, since the first Victor wasn't really Victor, shouldn't this be Victor I?   But then we have to differentiate somehow...and what if this Victor turns out to be Victoria?

So far this summer, pretty much all we've done (besides watching the garden, the birds, and the caterpillars) is swim lessons.  I really don't know what happens to the rest of the day.  We get home, get our stuff put away and then it's lunch time.  Then suddenly it's nap time and then daddy's home.  It's very disconcerting.   We have one more camping trip planned this summer, and the boys are heading out for their 4(?)th annual Boundary Waters trip later.  Hubby has surprised me with a trip to celebrate our wedding anniversary, so I have that to look forward to as well. 

It blows my mind that the summer break is already half over.  I remember when I was a kid, the summers seemed to stretch on forever and I was almost always anxious to get back to school by the end of the summer.  Now, it seems to be just flying by.  I always think that summer is going to be slower, more relaxed, but it never is--there's just so much to squeeze into such a (relatively) short period of time.

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