Walk in the Rain
sat 20 feb 2016
This has been my luck with the rain this year.
Don't get me wrong: I love walking in the rain! I have an excellent rain jacket which protects my camera. But I'm out there to take photos, and the rain makes that difficult and the clouds make the photos dull and sometimes blurry because of the lack of adequate light. sighs.
I tried to change it up yesterday: I left the house just as it was starting a rain shower. My hope was that it would rain itself out by the time I got to the garden!
Ha, what a joke. The sky was actually getting darker as I approached the community garden. The rain started pounding right as I got there, and I was actually worried that I was going to get hailed on!! I turned around, thinking I could wait it out under the bridge. But it was back to sprinkling when I got to the bridge, so I decided to head home.
I was a couple blocks away from the garden when the sun came out. I looked at the hole in the clouds. It was tiny. But you know what? Yep, I walked back to the garden! I had noticed some daffodils blooming and I HAD to get their photo! :)
By the time I had worked my way around to my own garden plot, it was sprinkling again. But I was happy to see that our hyacinth is on it's way. It's a purple one, but it won't bloom for a while. We also have a couple of pathetic looking crocuses which fight their way up every year... they'll be blooming maybe today or tomorrow!
And I got to visit with my new hummingbird friend. He looked a little pathetic in the rain, as well! ha. I have been spending time with the lovely fellow every weekend since the end of January. His territory includes the garden plots behind and to the right of ours. I'm not sure if he has a girlfriend... apparently the Anna's Hummingbirds are already nesting. But the males don't help with that, so there's probably no way of knowing if my friend has a family.
I walk home in the rain, and the rest of the afternoon the clouds clear out and the sun shines. ARG! (ha.)
sun 3 apr 2016
On January 29th, I discovered a male Anna's hummingbird standing at the top of a trellis in the garden plot behind ours at the Community Garden. He was singing his heart out and I may have fallen in love with him.
I've been taking his picture every weekend since then, all through February and March. He sits on the same trellis, or one nearby, occasionally flying off to get food, but mostly singing. And since teaching me his song, I became attuned to hummingbird songs elsewhere. I started taking photos of so many hummingbirds along my walk to the garden that I had to name them all according to their territory...
OP-e and OP-w, both named for the street I live on, east and west side.
Meantime, I was also watching a hummingbird cam that was set up at a window of our local newspaper building, just down the street from my day job. A nest has been built there in the rhododendron bush for several years in a row. The cam was set up on the 29th of Feb... and you could see the female sitting on the nest she built. The males have nothing to do with raising the babies (which is why I got so many photos of all of them, standing at the tippy tops of the trees or trellises in their territory!).
There are only a few flowers blooming in March, which made me wonder why you'd want to support a baby during this time. But I guess the hummingbirds know what they are doing! Soon I saw a single baby being fed! I never got to see what the young one looked like tho, being deep in the nest, so it was a bit of a surprise when the next update on the site was 24 March, the "fledgling appears to have flown the nest."
Wow. Done. Just like that.
And now, none of the males are sitting in their singing spots! It's been a very nice weekend, with warm temperatures and many more flowers blooming now. I'm sure they are off, enjoying Spring and the yummy food that the flowers bring... but I sure miss their songs.
Walking into our garden plot today, CG was sitting in his usual spot! I said hello enthusiastically and carefully moved into a position where I could get some pics. I took 4 photos before he flew to some nearby flowers. I couldn't get my camera to focus quickly enough before he flew elsewhere. bummer.
But I think I'll continue to see him at the community garden occasionally! It will be prime hummingbird territory, after all, with trellises supporting all kinds of flowering vines and tall bamboo poles set up all around for favored hummingbird perches.
Three Stressful Things
sat 21 may 2016
#2... I quit sending out monthly postcards to my VIP list a couple months ago. I am sad about not doing it any more, but I am ambivalent about going back to my mailings.
#3... But the major stress is about our plot at the community garden... This may be our last year there.
My partner and I are not real gardeners, no matter how much we pretend. And neither one of us belongs in a place with strict rules. But when I found out that they are probably going to kick us out of the community garden at the end of the year, it's like they ripped out my heart and stomped on it.
∞ So anyway, I am doing all I know to lower the stress levels in my head: Writing in my journal, Playing with the piggies, Meditating, attempting to get extra sleep, and thinking about some art projects.
And when I kill weeds in our garden plot, I try to imagine my life without a place to garden. Maybe I could go out hiking every weekend. I guess we could buy Sun Gold cherry tomatoes and Lemon cucumbers at the saturday Farmer's Market. but how depressing.
So I am going to try to follow their stupid rules as best I can. And maybe they will let us stay.
fri 22 july 2016
Honestly, I don't even know if all the hard, depressing work helped at all, or if the decision has already been made. Regardless, I'm excited about our current gardening, and planning for the future, but trying to be able to let it go in the future, if need be.
So, here's the list of what's going on...
∞ Beets Significant Other picked out a new kind of beet this year: Chiogia. Imagine my surprise when I cut into my first one!
ha! isn't that awesome?
∞ Butternut Squash A new favorite that we planted for the first time in 2014.
∞ Lemon Cucumbers We've been at the Community Garden for, what? 7 or 8 years? and I've never had too many Lemon Cucumbers! This year I planted 4 lemon cuc plants... and I can't wait for the abundance! We also acquired a freebie Silver Slicer Cucumber, but it was planted pretty late so I don't know if we'll get much from it.
∞ Garlic Last October we planted both Hard Neck and Soft Neck Garlics. They were both very happy until this spring when the Hard Necks got spots and then died. The Soft Necks got spots, but managed to flower while they were sick. I just let it go... Mostly because I had given up when our Elephant Garlic got destroyed in the spring by an ignorant work crew.
∞ Dinosaur Kale A freebie... I don't actually like kale so these two plants are going to be ornamental!
∞ Nasturtium and Edible Flower Mix You can eat the flowers and leaves of Nasturtium, but it's a bit too peppery for me. I just think they're pretty. I only got one plant out of the Flower Mix that lived, so that's disappointing.
Borage at the top, Nasturtium at the bottom. I don't know what the spike at the left is: need to look it up!
∞ Peas We planted so many Sugar Snap Peas, transplants and seed sowing, but I only ate a couple handfuls of pods. They were very yummy, but I want more. I don't know why our pea plants don't grow big like everyone else's.
∞ Tomatoes We've been planting Sun Gold cherry tomatoes for a long time because they are sweet like candy. This year we are also experimenting with a new-to-us, large tomato: Brandywine. Supposed to have a "sweet, rich, slightly spicy flavor". Looking forward to trying it!
∞ Spaghetti Squash New this year and I'm already obsessed. First transplant was completely eaten by Striped Cucumber Beetles (who totally ignored the actual cucumber plants in our plot!). 2nd transplant was completely eaten by Striped Cucumber Beetles. Apparently I just don't learn, but for the 3rd time around, I got four plants... and they were completely eaten by Striped Cucumber Beetles. For the 4th time, I got three plants and put them under a row cover! They lived! Last week, I set them free from their cover.
∞ Strawberries We've got two very small strawberry patches, and I only got a couple of strawberries this spring. I should figure out what I need to do to get more fruit.
∞ Sweet Potatoes One of our usuals. Trouble is, at the end of the season when these are ready to dig up, I'm tired of garden food! ha. So I only planted 2 instead of our usual 3.
∞ Sunflowers and Oregon Sunshine There are more than enough sunflowers at the community garden, but I wanted to add to the abundance! The Oregon Sunshine is a little plant with pretty leaves and yellow flowers. I found out after I planted it, that it's a native of Eastern Oregon, so I didn't hold out much hope for it here in Western Oregon... but we've got a couple blooms after all:
∞ Zucchini Got a Yellow Zuc this year. It was eaten by the aforementioned Striped Cucumber Beetles, and I got another one to replace it. Except the original plant lived! And so did the replacement! I'm not sure how to handle 2 zucchini plants, since I get tired of zucchini with just one plant every year.
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