Friday, June 30, 2023

Life in the Zinnia Patch...



It's another hot one in the zinnia patch today.  Our weather guy posted this map yesterday showing us in the top 1% of the world for highest heat index of near 110-115.  (Hint:  We are not in the Sahara.  :~/ )

Millie and I walked the trail early.  It was eerily quiet this morning.  A doe was in no hurry to leave her cedar thicket just off the path.  Somewhere the summer tanagers were hiding in the thick branches above us.  They were quiet as were the mockingbirds and other songbirds that usually sing their early morning songs.  

A couple of black swallowtail butterflies seemed undaunted, however, flitting from flower to flower.  

There were more poppies to admire.  My grandmother and Georgia O'Keefe would have loved this bright red one.  I did too.  

In last year's journal, I had written about these two fabulous women.  Of Georgia O'Keefe I had scribbled, "She kept the tails of rattlesnakes she killed in a tin box.  She picked bones from the desert in lieu of flowers.  To me they are as beautiful as anything I know."  In her new desert home in New Mexico, she never looked back and the red poppy was no more....

My grandmother's home surrounded by red flowers. 

Then, dearer to me, were these notes I had written about my grandmother.

My grandmother....

💗  loved the color red ~ red dahlias and verbena.  And, Santa Claus.  Her Christmas cards always had  pictures of Santa Claus on them.

💗  enjoyed taking visitors on a walk-about to look at her flowers, gardens and orchards.

💗  took pride in raising large juicy deep red Black Diamond watermelons.

💗  tended a large flock of prized brown leghorn hens (and a rooster or two that was up crowing at the crack of dawn.)

💗   cooked on a wood-burning cookstove until she replaced it with an electric one later on.  

💗  set up make-shift racks from metal roofing for drying fruits, apples and peaches from the orchard.

💗  lit a kerosene lamp at night for light until they got electricity.

💗  taught me how to make doll house furniture from light-weight cardboard, and flowers from crepe paper ~ red, of course. 

💗  took me to the corner drug store for ice cream served in clear glass dishes.  We sat in a booth and talked.  

Monday, June 26, 2023

Closing out June...


I was so happy to find a red poppy blooming in the garden this morning.  It reminds me so much of the red crepe paper flowers I made with my grandmother when I was a kid.  She would have loved these red poppies. 

  I pressed this one flat to be placed in my journal when dry.  I will collect seeds from other red blooms in hopes of having more next year.  But I will also take seeds from the pink ones for they are quite lovely too.  

We had rain late yesterday, then beautiful blue skies and lots of sunshine today. 

The plants were happy.

Blackcurrant Swirl Moonflower

The sewing room project.

Sunday, June 11, 2023

Rearranging the Shanty and Garden Closeups...

What a fun project this has been.  And Hubby just loves moving furniture. Ha! Ha!  Of course, one can't move just one thing without the domino effect kicking in.  The sewing room somehow got involved, but I will have more about that later.

It's through the Shanty windows that I enjoy watching the hummingbirds.  Activity around the feeders has picked up considerably this past week, so there's lots to see.  

Despite our extremely dry conditions here, I am still enjoying quite a bit of color in the gardens.  The zinnias will start blooming in a few days.  I am anxiously awaiting to see what colors they will be this year - hopefully not so much yellow as last year.  

Sunday, June 4, 2023

A Day in June...

As I write this, I am looking through old buttons for something suitable for the Wild Jacket.  Yes, the jacket is finished now except for this final step of making buttonholes and sewing on buttons... and then it'll be off to the dye pot.

Earlier, when I was out and about, making my preliminary rounds of checking on the gardens, I surprised a doe as she was nibbling on one of the tomato plants.  She looked a bit abashed to have been found out, and gave me one of those, "what goes on here, stays here," looks.  I thought she was beautiful.  

We missed an opportunity yesterday for a good rain shower.  Dark clouds looked promising, but all to no avail.  We did, however, enjoy a drop in temperature of about a dozen degrees, which made for a most pleasant afternoon.

While the plants were in the mood for rain, I dragged out the garden hoses and began to water.  I hoped that every flower, bush, and garden vegetable would think it was rain falling from the sky, for plants like that kind of water best of all.  

As I moved slowly from here to there, my summer tanager alighted on his favorite fence post and sang to me.  I have read that the tanagers are quite shy, but it seems to me that they seek out company, or in this case, this summer tanager seems to seek out my company.  

There are several other summer tanagers here on the hill this year ~ possibly sons and daughters that have been born and raised here.  I often hear their sweet songs as Millie and I walk the trails, and on one day's trek, I saw both a male and female together.  The female is rather yellow green in color, but I do not often see her. 

I am happy to see that the Bee Balm (monarda) is beginning to bloom. The hummingbirds love it almost as much as I do.

I have begun to move a few plants into the new border along the old plank fence.  Monarda was one of the first things I planted there.  I have given it lots of space so it can do what it wants to do.  

And, now for those buttons......