Where oh where, are those seedlings?

Packets of seeds can be addictive. It seems so simple to put seeds in the ground when the little map on back says it is best and wait. Except, waiting can often go beyond the seedling should appear dates. The worst part of seed packets are the ones that don’t have an image of what the seedling may look like. I recall dozens of weeds I pulled up one summer. They had edgy looking leaves and white sap inside. Then, I saw one had bloomed and realised I was determinedly removing small red poppies I’d seeded in the spring. I’m pretty sure I know what many seedlings look like, but I planted 3 packages of cosmos in my iris bed and have not seen a single one. I pulled up quite a few little plants (see first photo below), but after online investigation, they were not cosmos. Not sure what they are!!! I’ve been dusting the taters and the green and yellow beans with diatomaceous earth because the bugs have been having hefty meals off those. Hoping the stuff ‘works’. I’m trying to be cautious where it is used because I don’t want to kill off ‘good’ bugs like ladybugs or butterflies or bees. It needs reapplied after being rained on (unless it dries out again), so anticipating something survives!! Some of the beans are barely an inch tall. I think the sweet peas I planted were sterile or died. The seeds, I mean!! The nasturtiums came up, but not a single sweet pea. Reseeded them again among the forget-me-nots. The orange poppy seems to be expressing my flower face perfectly!!!!!!

On the great side, however, my nursery purchased rosebush has flowers on it! It has been awhile since seeing them in person. It is a sharp, pokey plant with tiny scented flowers. It is also one of the few expensive plants purchased for this yard in EO. Most of them have been picked up from box stores or out of neighbor yards. The yew, cedar, juniper, and not so dwarf maple were purchased, too. But, those are trees, not what I consider a plant or bush!!

The funniest thing this week are the robins. There are many young ones, they have been out and about, so was certain sure they knew how to eat on their own. But, this parent was being worn out by the young! Was fortunate to be able to capture them through the kitchen window. I think I was being looked at, but work went on anyway!

The freezer was picked up, the last crate from AK was emptied and the stuff brought back (did get a mini storage to put some of the debris in. There is a table we brought back set up in it, too. It will be much easier to sort stuff in that little room than trying to find stuff scattered all over the in law house!), and discovered a night light I’d asked for!! Some of the stuff from the container are already being used. Like the saucepans and my shorts. Wore a summer dress today for about 3 hours. It was a perfect day for temps, but it didn’t last. The black clouds rushed in, temps dropped 20 degrees, and it poured and blew and rained! There was also thunder. Last night there was thunder and sheet lightning, but not sure if there was the latter today. Little Bear was listening to news from E. Washington and heard some little planes blew over! We didn’t get winds of that strength here, but YIKES!!!

I’ll leave you with my elephant light and then a video featuring a composer from more than one favorite movie.

Weather and Relevancy

This last couple of weeks has been beyond bizarre for the weather. We had chilly days with spots of torrential downpours and then ‘hotter than hollerin’ hell’ days (quote from a book about the Tillamook Burn and the hot summer before the fire), which brought our temps up to 100 F, followed by serious wind and now they have fallen back to the lower 60s. 

Little Bear had to move his rabbits to the basement at his grandma’s. The mister and fans weren’t doing enough for the furry four leggers. They went from yard bunnies to cave ones for several days. The guys went to a car show this last weekend when it was blowing. EO has a lot of dust and the car show was right next to a rodeo grounds that was being prepped. The Mercury still looked fairly nice, but the aged Toyota Land Cruiser with the Husqvarna in the bed was perfect! Old, rusty, well used rigs are always popular and the duo caused a lot of excitement. 

The poor garden is absolutely confused. Especially the cucumbers. One plant drowned and rotted away and the other one started to thrive, then the edges crisped, and one of the main stems broke almost completely away because of the wind. (I wonder if I could have taped it together, except bugs love hiding inside stuff like that…) The peas look fairly nice, the beans started to pop out of the ground (they also prefer heat), and the poppies danced away faster than Murdock dodging BA in an A-Team episode. (ok, that dates me, but I adored that silly show!!!) There are two colors in the yard. A pinkish white that just budded for the first time this summer and orange. The orange ones are in a spot that is too shaded, but they seem to do ok. (there is talk of trimming the trees back a bit in that area. Talk….) The pinkish white poppies burned to almost a crepe paper consistency in the heat. I managed to save a couple for a vase, but I must have done something wrong with the procedure..although, the orange one looks splendid. Poppies should be cut in the cool of the day, popped into a container of cool water and left in a cool area for several hours. Then, you cut the stems again and sear them with flame and then dunk them in just boiled water. I used to only do one of the heat sealing things, but the flowers never seemed to last very long. So, now I follow all the steps and things look like they work. (I shared orange flowers in my previous post) The pinkish white ones fell apart not even 36 hours later. Although, I did fall in love with the poppy ballerinas. Carefully dying in center stage (of the window), petals falling one by one from a delicate frock, and leaving this lone dancer to say goodbye in a swan song of beauty. 

The house next door is being sold to a couple with a pair of littles. Ages 2 and 4 or is it 3 and 5?? Anyway, the owner and I were talking through the fence (she JUST noticed I’d put marbles in the holes in the fence!) about being irrelevant. She’s a year from retiring as a science teacher, her kids are both in a different state, she is finally getting her mom’s house sold (Tex died about two years before mom), and she’s feeling displaced. (she was teaching college classes online, not sure if she’s still doing that. She had issues with one online course she had to take before she could teach. The college insisted she couldn’t enroll until she sent them her vaccination records!! She sent them, but she was disgusted because it took her a while to find them.) I absolutely get where she’s coming from. It is so hard to not be needed anymore except as a cook, dishwasher, and house keeper. Even the garden is not entirely mine to manage. (Although,The Craftsman IS the son of a farmer and grew up in a farming community and knows a lot more than this Alaskan.) I miss being alone on a lake or in a place where being alone is the norm. Being alone in a busy town when living with a kid and a spouse seems backwards. I did so much in AK and here, I can only do what is expected. I know what happens if I try to do more. It gets redone ‘properly’ or I start something hoping it will galvanise someone into doing more and it stagnates (such as digging up the bulbs along the sidewalk so the walk and porch can be replaced. I dug up a section and found out they are now going to wait a while before doing the walk). They are going to get the freezer I researched and got the numbers for The Craftsman to call, so he could purchase one. They tried last week, but he forgot to let them know he was going to be there at 530 and they had closed early.  

Piffle and nose crinkle. Reckon this gal just needs to remember to be content where she is and be thankful for the small things in the world. Like chocolate chips or poppy seeds that become plants with beautiful flowers or spoons to eat ice cream with! And roses. This plant is AMAZING this summer!!!! (won’t bring any of these little blooms inside, though. Aphids are also small things, ones I’m not thankful for!)

Hot Days and Butterflies

It is the first of June and it is HOT! Temps outside are already in the low 90’s F and it isn’t even noon yet. Days like this, I really miss being in AK. (although, being able to take a short shower this morning and wash clothes without leaving is a definite plus!) Little Bear came home briefly to turn on the mister and the fan, to help keep the rabbits cool. Even the birds like the mister. I’ve seen small birds fly near and sit under it. The Craftsman spied a bird the other day sitting on a sprinkler. EO heat means everyone wants to keep cool! Moses goes outside to sit in the sun, but am not so sure he’ll relish that today. I’ll let him out, but betting he’ll return fairly fast! Baking old bones is lovely (I can attest to that!!) at lower temps, hotter ones might dry up the poor aged dear kitty. Mittens, however, is enjoying the sunshine!

Was going to tuck my tornado pink geranium into a pot today, but will wait til it is cooler outside. Was also annoyed the pot has an odd crack in it! It won’t compromise the pot and the crack is inside, but I wish I’d seen it before purchasing! 

The painted lady butterflies are the coolest thing that has happened the last few days. I was startled to find so many bloggers who share raising these insects, so won’t inundate you with too much information. The link is for the best site I visited. I started with 7 in the little container of specialised goo. It seems odd to just leave them to their caterpillar lives in the small lidded jar, but it works. I was a bit worried with how much the caterpillars bothered the ones who made their chrysalids, but that’s life in a tiny house! The caterpillars grow and eventually make a ‘j’ shape. This is their resting time before they make their personal chrysalis. Only one caterpillar didn’t manage. It was the tiniest caterpillar and it was so sad. It got into an itty bitty ‘j’ and then it was like it didn’t have enough oomph to do anything else and hung there in a lower case ‘l’. It was all alone by this time and just couldn’t go on. 

The others, however, did well. One chrysalis fell and I wasn’t sure it would survive, but it was the very first one to emerge!! I let that one go because it was being annoying and not figuring out how to eat. The little plastic container filled with sugar water didn’t appear to be what it wanted! At any rate, a bit after the first one emerged, 3 more entered the world! I was trying to keep my eyes on them to witness an emergence, but sheesh! It is a lot like a down sleeping bag in a stuff sack. It is all crammed in there and with the first breach, it seems to explode into being! On Memorial Day, I did, however, get to watch one finally. It was incredible and I admit to getting a bit teary.

I was watching the three because we were planning on releasing them in the evening after Grandma came to visit (she was impressed with the whole idea of raising butterflies). While I was looking in the mesh container, I saw one of the two remaining chrysalids moving. A tiny leg waved around, a couple more showed up, you could see the body of the butterfly humping and squirming to get out, and finally it could crawl onto the mesh. The wings were about the size of one of my trimmed pinky nails! It wasn’t doing as well as the other butterflies. The others emerged and climbed to the top of the enclosure in less than a minute. This one had all sorts of trouble and fell to the bottom of the container several times, crumpling its wings. The butterflies have a red goo (not blood) called Meconium that is a waste product from the change that makes a mess wherever they sit for the first day or so. They also need to move to get their limbs and wings strong. It was amazing seeing almost transparent legs become threadlike appendages and today, 24 hours after it emerged, the painted lady looks like it might be ok. 

One chrysalis turned coal black and after the last one emerged, I looked it over. I’m not sure why it died, but it was really and truly dead. The company guarantees 3, I think, and I ended up with 5. 

Oh dear! Had no idea I was going to write for so long. Aren’t you glad I didn’t take you through every step of development?!? Did laugh at one website I visited. The site called the butterflies ‘organisms’ and suggested they be kept in captivity until their death, after which you contact a local organisation for proper disposal! I’m more fond of setting things free. And so, we did and will. All in all, I’m super glad I purchased the caterpillars and will definitely do it again.

Still am having a lot of trouble with this chromebook. This post has taken me almost 2 hours!! I’m also not sure how to ‘shrink’ photos to load smaller images. Will leave you with a pretty I had to take last night. Poppies and their reflections.