Sunday, June 30, 2013

Guineas love mustard greens

And it's Mrs. Davis down the backstretch, with Connie close behind. It's Mrs. Davis. It's Mrs. Davis across the finish line!

The three faces of Connie.

And since when do grasshoppers have horns? This guy is all flat as if he were made of origami. Weird. I've never seen anything like him, and I was a childhood bugologist. I found him on a wooden stool in the garden, shot his photo, and fed him to the guineas. It's OK – he's not rare, and he was in my garden!

It's a long-headed toothpick grasshopper (Achurum Carinatum). See bug net link.

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Dirty Tricks

The dogs have been getting in trouble for yapping at the sheep – come to find out Tricks is teasing them. She runs at their shared fence, paws the ground, then casually grazes as they go nuts. Richard and I caught her in the act.

Sheep whisperer

Em and Richard came up to see the guineas and the skittish sheep, and in a half hour had both sheep enjoying chin rubs – with the gate wide open. I am, of course, jealous. I'm more of a sheep cusser.

In other news, the pup is now Earl. Or Early. Just don't call him late for dinner.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013


See them up above the garden? That's Tricks silhouetted against the door. And the garden looks great. Jerusalem artichokes in the foreground, then Tall Telephone peas, and on up the terraced hill.

And here are the sheep. Shetland ewes, about 2 years old, bought from neighbors just across the county line. That's Savannah, with the creamy wool and badger face, and Tricks, black shading to chocolate. They aren't sure about us. We're not sure about them, either.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013



Yep, we've added four adult guinea hens to the mix. Aren't they weird? C. had some years ago and liked them, and we'll sure need the grasshopper and tick control. And they're pleasant in a sort of my-big-weird-favorite-aunt kind of way. You know – polka dot dress, too much makeup, too-loud voice, smelling ever so slightly of powder and beer, and willing to play any dumb card game for hours.

In other news, Himself continues to grow, and Jack's haircut reveals his inner poodle. I'm embarrassed for him.

Below, my awesome new beach/farm wagon. It hauls up to 1,000 pounds and has a rack for an ice chest on the back. And it has baby moon hubcaps. And a shade canopy. And cushions. No brakes, though, so get out of the way if I'm coming at you down a hill with 1,000 pounds of something. It's full of duck poo and straw in the photo.

And check out the rattlesnake pole beans popping out of the ground. 
Seeds and puppies. Life is good.

Saturday, June 8, 2013

It's rocks all the way down. Not turtles.

In case you were wondering. 

We're planting tomatoes, but all the dang beds are full of rocks. I was sure we'd dug them all out – apparently they've been sneaking back in at night. Or something. Bloody things. So we're digging them out again and putting them in secure wire cages. 

The onions and spuds are looking good, as you can see below.

There's a bunch of basil planted out in the garden, but these, below, will stay in the greenhouse/cold frame coldhouse/green frame thing. There has to be lots for pesto. It's the law.

Above, another color of tree frog. This one was lurking on squash seedlings in the cold frame. 

And below, Himself at nearly 11 weeks. Note the stink eye. He's gigantic, nameless and finally has a momma. Kewpie the peke has taken to washing his face and ears (when she's not kicking his butt in rowdy play). We called him Robby for a while, but lately he's Speckled Pecker. I hope it doesn't stick.

In other news, we bought a really cool beach/farm wagon and two Shetland sheep. More later.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Concrete lump in the garden

C. uncovered an old cement whosit while digging garden beds. It's about 3 feet across and held a big wooden post in place in the old lawn in front of the school. There are bits of old rotten wood still in the center. Power pole? Telephone? Playground equipment? Huge tetherball post maybe. Anyway, we looked it over, then filled in the hole. While C. loves a challenge and comes from rock-moving stock, she isn't nuts. Plants will just have to deal with it.

Also in the garden, we've run out of large rocks for terracing, and have gone to homemade gabions. The fencing is recycled stuff from Craig's List, and the rocks are home grown. Use what you've got, right? 

We (C., actually) got corn and pole beans in the ground this weekend, and are getting close to ready to move the billions and billions of tomatoes from the cold frame into the dirt. And we stopped at a plant-sale sign on our road, bought some brussel-sprout plants (fleadgh) and met a very cool woman who told us tales of Elk. She lives just up the hill from the place the county dumps roadkill deer, which sounds pretty grim except that eagles, coyotes and cougar gather there to feed in the fall. 

We're trying to decide between a used garden tractor and a few Shetland sheep, as the knapweed will be going to seed soon. We've got to get the two fields mowed somehow, or we'll have more of this miserable toxic plant. Sheep, bless their wooly little heads, actually eat the stuff.

And below, check out the tiny visitor to the gym. There are green tree frogs on the south side of the building and brown ones to the north, but this is the first one found inside. Maybe it's the leaky roof that attracted him. Or the high ceiling (19 feet) that draws the eye upward and gives a feeling of spaciousness.