Hey! Our roses have had a tough year, and although the city’s roses are mostly spent, ours are just being cut and sniffed at:
1) OWL Update: Regarding our owl mystery………….. There has been a NEW sighting! Rodger posted his news at his page, LUCKY RODGER ! ! ! I was inside the house and missed it. I have NO, none, “0″ worries that this owl can possibly thin the chipmunk, squirrel population enough to make a difference in the crowds of them that are feeding under our feeders.
**Think this guy has a chance? If he doesn’t make it, his other 3 dozen cousins can fill in, I’m sure.
I DO worry though that we are NOT seeing any flying squirrels……it just MAY be the fact I reduced the amount of food sitting out there at night because of the fiendish raccoons, of which, we’ve place 2 into the “secret witness relocation program” (moved to a new area that was logged about 20 years ago) …………an accomplishment I would deny to Fish & Game officials who have laws on the books to protect this rascal. As Baird says, “Yes, we all love nature……until it does something we don’t like.”…. Hm.
2) BERRIES! WE have finished our strawberry work, and loved using the NEW Sauvie Island Bridge that was dedicated a couple weeks ago. This thing dwarfs the old one as you can see here………….
ABOUT berries though, we HAVE done SOME canning, and almost gave up waiting for the Cadillac of Raspberries. Up to date, so far, we’ve put away some batches that taste very good:
Fresh froozen Strawberry Jam: 28 cups.
RED Raspberry – from Krueger Farm, 22 cups.
RED COHO Raspberry – from JD Ranch, 16 cups
Blu-Mari (combination Blueberry & Marionberry…..good name, eh?)……. 16 cups
Ras – Mari (comb Rasbperry & Marionberry – frozen)…..5 cups
The GOOD NEWS? I got the word from Farmer Sheryl at West Union Gardens today! Tomorrow mid-morning, I pick up 2-3 flats of yes, the Cadillac of the berry world, Cascade Delights, and the canning of that fabulous berry Jam begins. Melanie’s coming over to do a couple batches for her family, and we’ll finish out our year quota for this lovely fresh tasting jam. The Cascade Delight berry has only BEEN around since 1998………..it’s a winner if you can find it.
3) Garden Harvest slowly beginning? Well, rhubarb has been cut twice, herbs are being used, thyme dried and stored, oregano will be cut very soon, dried, and stored for later use in Tomatillo Salsa, AND…..we ARE eating lettuce out of the garden from now till fall. I LOVE fresh cut lettuce.
The Potatoes, those little Finnish Fingerlings that volunteer every year will be harvested Monday:
Those drooping, pale vines, tell me, the growing’s done.
4) Marigolds as a natural Mole barrier….. This is the 2nd year I’m testing that claim, and here, mid-July, it is STILL working. NOT ONE MOLE has pawed inside the vegetable garden with these things planted about every 4-6 feet….I’m convinced and will plant them every year….so MUCH easier than fighting them varmints all summer long and the language that creates, hah. The plants don’t LOOK bad either:
5) The garden is just coming into its own, although its progress seems more like late June than mid-July:
The corn is JUST taking off, and that “bare” spot next to it isn’t bare….it’s just the onions are SLOW getting up to speed:
Tomatillos, as always, came up all on their own, and have JUST NOW taken off:
Hot Tomatillo Salsa, anyone?
6). Those pesky DEER! I went out the other morning to find I’d left one corner of the fence open from watering…..woops. A Deer walked inside that opening, BUT…..luckily, the dog discovered him, he mistakenly ran to the closed end and jumped out to cause damaged fencing:
and luckily, the giant sunflower didn’t snap off:
I had to spend an hour or so taking part of it down, getting everything straightened up, and hopefully, he won’t try that again. Hopefully, I won’t leave it open again.
And this shows why we never get raspberries from our yard plants………either birds steal the fruit as it ripens, OR the deer just strip the new branches of every bit of growth:
We’re into our seriously dry NW weather phase………….and the plants are growing fast. That translates to a 1-2 hour watering session by hand twice a week………….I don’t mind it though, it’s the most relaxing time of the day.
7) Hummingbirds. We’re feeding about .8 of a quart daily now………….I believe most of our adult females have gone. I cannot believe it happens that quick.
8) Evening Grosbeaks – SOME are still here, but I don’t think all. I’m hearing a new sort of “chortling” call in the mornings from some of them, and believe it to be the roundup call…….I love these birds and will miss them.
OKAY. There’s work to be done other than jam, so I’d best get that out of the way, eh? Wish you were all here! We’d have some fun, then some good fun, then a little wine, and all laugh at our silly human condition.