My how time flies. Where has the summer gone? I know where mine went. Bye-bye.
My last post was in April. In May, I went to Yellowstone National Park, driving by myself. I was on assignment from Desert USA magazine, an online publication, to write about wolves. I stopped in Zzyyx near Baker California, and got an article out of that too. But have I written and submitted the articles. No, I have not. My computer crashed (OK, I did it, human error, I erased my entire photo library by accident) and I lost all of my photos. Fortunately, I have a Seagate backup drive, and with the help of the nice Apple genius guys, I was able to retrieve all of my photos. But it has left me afraid of my computer, especially in regard to photos. I haven’t uploaded any since. Until today.
Also upon my return from Yellowstone, I discovered that a good friend was seriously ill. Somehow that seems to have consumed my summer.
I have managed a tiny bit of gardening. I did a bit of work on improving my butterfly garden.
Bloodflower milkweed supports Monarch butterflies, and is pretty to boot.
We raised more Monarch caterpillars this summer than ever before.
Butterfly garden with white lantana in front
Fiery Skipper on a zinnia
But I didn’t get my summer vegetable garden planted until July. What with the drought and unseasonable heat in May and June, it has been a struggle keeping it going. I have yet to harvest a summer squash, tomato, or cucumber. But the garden is looking nice. Here is a brief tour.
We still have five hens. The Black Sex-linked hen went broody this summer, and is now molting. She is hiding in the coop, and is not in the picture. These are my three Barred Rock hens and one old Black Australorp, now six years old.
Here is half our backyard, looking north past the herb garden. This is where I grow most of my vegetables, in three 6 ft x 3 ft raised beds.
We have been harvesting a steady stream of bell peppers all summer.
Not trusting our neighborhood bees, I hand fertilized this butter squash flower this morning.
We have three butternuts already growing. This one may weigh in at 5-6 lbs once its harvested.
I am growing summer squash in a barrel this year, an experiment. There are three squash plants in here, plus a half dozen Scarlet Runner Beans.
I expect to harvest our first Yellow Crookneck in a couple of days.
I am still waiting for cucumbers. It’s going to be a long wait.
We are getting a nice harvest of Asian pears this summer. They are hard and crisp like an apple, not soft like European pears such as Bosc and Bartlett.
We might get some apples if the squirrels and possums don’t get them first. They already ate all of the Fuji apples. These are Gala apples.
There are Granny Smiths. Right now, I have enough to make only one apple pie, but they aren’t ready to harvest yet. Stay away, Critters!
Lemons are providing a steady harvest, but our navel orange tree set only ONE orange for our winter crop. Dang drought!
There was a hiatus in limes, but the next crop is about ready to harvest.
We still have about a half dozen avocados left.
So with a lack of much to harvest, I mostly sit on the deck and sip wine.
From the deck, I can keep an eye on the chicken coop and veggie garden (our of sight to the right).
And that is my garden update as of August 17. Sadly, I don’t seem to be able to make comments on Daphne’s Dandelion blog, and a number of others. I don’t know why not. And some of my favorite blogs (Henbogle, Diary of a Tomato) don’t seem to be active right now. “Annie’s Granny” passed away, so there goes another of my favorite blogs. I know I miss my favorite blogs when they aren’t posting. I wondered if people missed mine. So…. here is a post. Please leave a comment if you enjoyed the update.