Thursday, April 21, 2011

My new friend, my sworn enemy.

I was walking around yesterday on my day off and I saw something move in the mat of dried leaves. I looked a bit closer and saw it was a mouse. I had grabbed my camera on my way out and decided to try and get closer for a shot. It was a baby! And he didn't know what I was so he just kind of stared at me as I approached. I set the camera to the macro setting and leaned in hoping he would let me get close enough and he did. I had the camera within three inches of his face and he just sat there staring at the camera. After a couple pictures he'd had enough and started to hop/run off and latched on to the side of this rock where I grabbed the last pic and then left him to go on his merry way. I spent all winter killing his family without remorse but even though I know he'll probably be breaking into our house next fall and the hunt will resume I spent this moment with him as my friend. I wonder if this is how Dumbledore felt when he first met Tom Riddle as a child. Or am I Voldemort and the mouse is baby Harry Potter? Hmmm.....

On an unrelated note I would recommend not listening to the Deer Resistant labels on expensive shrubbery. Did someone say..... shrubbery? (dramatic chord!!)

Sunday, April 17, 2011


I took a quick stroll around the house and took some quick pics. Now I am posting them. Don't judge my photo skills on these as I've done no retouching, everything is straight from my point and shoot. Though I do think some of them came out nice.

The apple trees starting to bud:

A couple more pics of the spontaneous fountain:

Poison ivy vine gripping the tree:

Little bee/wasp guy looking for pollen:

The Secret Of Nymn style forsythia bush:

The empty garden:

Some tulip plants getting ready to bloom soon:

A ransom little flower:

I forget this guy's name but I'm amazed it lasted through the winter and came back:
A couple tiny mushrooms I almost stepped on. Sorry Leafmen.

Another tulip patch, this one is much bigger:

The stream:
I don't know what this guy is, I've never seen him before. Anyone have a clue? There are a bunch down by the stream but this was the only one with a flower:

And the shoots of a giant fern coming up:
And that's it for today.

Let the planting begin!

After checking out the blog of friend and world reknown urban gardener Amy Staffaroni it inspired me to start tracking what I'm doing with my garden this year. Last weekend I went out and scattered a ton of wild flower seeds I'd collected from different places last fall: my mother's garden, my uncle Oscar's garden, from my own plants, some rose pods from a hotel in Montauk NY, some lily pods from a lake in upstate NY, and of course a few random seeds I snatched from the plants at the nursery near our house (I figure they won't mind so I don't ask *wink* ). So they've been scattered all around the border of the house. Will they grow? We'll see I guess. Will they flower this year if they do sprout? I doubt it, most will likely need to toughen up this first year and save their energy to come back strong next year. But there are a bunch of perennials in the mix as well so we should see something.

Outside, around the house some plants from last year are coming up already. Some lilies, columbine and a bunch of other plants whose names I don't recall. But this must mean spring is here! And if I wasn't sure I was reassured by the amount of rain last night, it was cookoo crazy. So much so when I walked around the house this morning I found a fountain in the middle of the lawn. At what to me was a random spot on the lawn water was just coming up as if there was a hose underneath. Here are some pics:

Something else that was a little wacky this morning was the amount of dead bugs outside our one glass door. The hatch must have come yesterday for these guys because there were a ton of them trying to get into the house to get to the lights inside last night. This was the carnage I found this morning.

OK, back to plants. Here is my grow room:

And some of the trays of plants. Last year I made the mistake of planting way too many plants in the garden and it was practically choking itself. For example I had about 50+ tomato plants in an area I will be planting 9 now. This year I'm going for less quantity for higher quality results. We'll see if it works.


Brussel sprouts and poppies:

The sun flowers exploded within two days, I've already had to replant them into much bigger containers. I wasn't expecting them to grow this quickly:

Here are some other trays with some plants (I'm only using red because it's all we had):

Here are my charts so I know what the hell everything is:

And then here is the shoe box of all my seeds, now half empty:

And then my buddy Vader looking at me wondering what the hell I was doing all morning instead of playing with him. I told him "I'm putting food on the table, what are you doing?!"