Thursday, June 16, 2011

A Rain Day

Purple Poppy Mallow (Callirhoe spp), a native of the prairies.
Today's rain was a pleasant surprise. Although less than half an inch, it was just the thing the garden needed. Now I am certain that the bean and cucumber seeds I planted a few days ago have a chance. I hope the cucumbers planted more than a month ago will start production soon. Cold cukes are a feast on hot summer days.

One bonus of getting up early to send my husband off to work is that I can get outside early, before the heat of the day. This morning I headed out to pick black raspberries, other berries and snap peas before the sun appeared over the tree tops on the east side of our property. I was finished with the harvest by 8:30 a.m. and about two hours later the rain began to fall.

Beans climbing to the sky. Where's Jack?
The peas will not last much longer, but the pole beans are climbing their trellises a foot a day, and I swear the little watermelon plants are twice as big now as they were two days ago.

Will this be a year that I get melons? It's always a risk. Too hot, too cold, too dry... Watermelons or not, the Prescott Fond Blanc cantalope-type melons are sure to produce. They haven't failed me yet.

LETTUCE REPORT: In spite of the heat, the lettuce keeps going. Although it did not germinate well, the May Queen lettuce has been nice, forming loose, crinkly heads that have stayed sweet, so far. The first planting of Super Jericho romaine keeps wanting to bolt, yet  it has had only the slightest bit of botterness.

If these two are doing well, I can's wait to taste the "heat resistant" varieties growing in the shade of the tomatoes.

ENCOUNTERS: I continue to meet our guardian black snake about the grounds. It seems to like the stack of hay and straw bales at the back of the garden. The spot also is probably attractive to mice. The black snake left another beautiful, shed skin in the bales the other day.
Baby bunnies also are living in the garden. Our loose hay mulch is a perfect nesting spot for them. The other day I scared up four or so (they're hard to count) quite little ones in the pea patch. I try to catch them for relocation to the woods, but they easily slip through the small spaces in the pea trellis. Since I cannot go through or over the trellis, I must go round. The bunny slips through and stops. I go around. The bunny slips through again, just half an inch from where it was before. I go around...
I know that someone out there is giggling at this little comedy. Fortunately, the bunny spares me too many go-rounds, as it vanishes into some unknown hiding place.
My latest encounter involved a black widow spider capturing one of the thousands of hackberry emporer butterflies that are now about. The last black widow I discovered (two or three years ago) was crushed under my shoe. But for personal reasons, I had to let this one live, although she has made her lair in the stones around one of my berry beds. If she weren't in the midst of gathering a meal, I would have tried to give her a new home in the woods. For now, I will just be very, very careful when picking those berries.

1 comment:

greysniperpoet said...

Awesome that the guardian left another token! :) and hooray for bunnies. your spider picture is amazing!