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Sure Signs of Summer

June 23, 2014
foxy flowers

foxy flowers


foxier pups

foxier pups


weedy gardens

weedy gardens


weedy pastures

weedy pastures with weeder in the distance





big frogs

big frogs


plump chickens

plump chickens


weary farmers

weary farmers


hungry farmers

hungry farmers


32 Comments leave one →
  1. Lee permalink
    June 23, 2014 11:05 am

    I so look forward to your pix and thoughts. thank you for all your effort and sharing

  2. Shannon Gene Templeton permalink
    June 23, 2014 11:14 am

    Beautiful…. Awesome….

  3. June 23, 2014 11:32 am

    Hmmm! We have the weedy garden and the weedy pasture, but that’s because it has rained so much we can’t get out in the garden. In fact not much further up north to us, they even had snow. It is almost as if we’ve gone through the four seasons already this year. I guess the only good things are I’m not so weary and I’m getting some computer work done. Trade places?

    • June 23, 2014 11:55 am

      Not yet, although we had to build a fire last week to warm up and dry off, now rain again this week. I need to get the gardens weeded before we start haying 😦

      • June 23, 2014 10:01 pm

        I don’t think there is much chance of that here. Although it does look drier here next week but not dry enough for haying. Maybe, maybe! πŸ˜€ Hope your hay season is dry for you

  4. June 23, 2014 12:24 pm

    Beautiful pictures and timely comments!

  5. June 23, 2014 12:32 pm

    We have foxes. No gloves though. Too impatient for biennials.

    I can match you Rana for Rana. I don’t have Ascaphus here nor Dicamptodon but I observed both down the hill from your house 17 years ago. Snap a pic of either and I’ll think you’re even cooler than you I already do.

    • June 23, 2014 1:21 pm

      No foxes and no patience here either…those are wild, no need to tend them, they just grow in the woods. Haven’t seen any Ascaphus, but there were two baby Dicamptodons in the ram yesterday… 😦 Did you see any of these guys?

      Larch Mountain Salamander Plethodon larselli

      The Larch Mountain salamander is one of the rarest amphibian species in the Pacific Northwest. This small woodland salamander has a reddish-brown or yellow black-spotted stripe along its back and has a pink belly. The Larch Mountain salamander is one of the lungless salamander species; they breathe through their skin. Mature adults can grow to four inches in total length.

      They find refuge in moist steep basalt talus (piles of volcanic rock fragments) slopes in forested habitats. The rocks, with a mossy covering sheltered by a dense canopy (tree branches and foliage) of coniferous trees, remain moist throughout the year. Larch Mountain salamanders prefer slopes that have large amounts of fine litter such as decaying leaves, bark and twigs. They also favor late-successional (old) forests with gravel or fractured rock in the soil. During extreme cold, hot or dry weather, they move deep under talus (rock fragment piles) to avoid desiccation (extreme dehydration).

      Most of this species’ habitat is within the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area, which encompasses the entire length of the Columbia River Gorge in northern Oregon and southern Washington ODFW Wildlife Species

      • June 24, 2014 6:20 am

        I would have to check my diary. I suspect we did. We turned over a lot of rocks in a few days. There are a number of plethodons out there but my favorite is out east…Plethodon Jordani…for obvious reasons.

        I think cutaneous respiration is fascinating.

  6. June 23, 2014 1:09 pm

    Off topic but I’ve just enjoyed roast vegetables for supper! Earlier I opened the last Sweet Meat (harvested October 2013) and it has kept splendidly, so thanks for the highlighting the value of that variety. (And thanks Joanna for spotting the seed in a UK catalogue.)

    I assume the seeds will keep for a couple of seasons and be viable if I wash them thoroughly then dry thoroughly on absorbent paper?

    • June 23, 2014 1:25 pm

      Carrie, wonderful! We have a few left as well on the shelf. We roasted garlic scapes, carrots and green beans last night to go with that chicken. Delicious!

      The seeds keep quite well, just make sure to dry them to brittle stage. I don’t ever wash mine, I just air dry and rub off the squash residue if there is any. I think the oldest seed of this variety I have ever planted kept 6 years.

      • June 23, 2014 1:45 pm

        Points noted, ta. I’m hoping the one seed that germinated this year crops reasonably well. This year, I’m paying more attention to watering and feeding – I hope the plant will repay my efforts! :-))

  7. June 23, 2014 1:13 pm

    I’m fighting buttercups in my garden. They are really hard to kill. Paying, again and again, for thinking, when they first showed up, “Oh, how pretty.”
    In spite of the rainy spring, and the watering I’ve been doing, the soil seems really dry. But the garden is beautiful.

    • June 23, 2014 1:30 pm

      nm, see if you can add something for drainage, they like wet water-logged soil. Sand maybe? I heard this morning that we are at least 5″ inches short so far and heading into dry summer 😦

  8. Chris permalink
    June 23, 2014 1:15 pm

    Beautiful, weedy πŸ™‚ photos of your beautiful weedy farm! That chicken looks amazing…the one on the plate, I mean!
    I have to laugh when I go into nurseries here in the Northwest and see Foxgloves for sale. That’s like trying to sell ice to the Eskimos or taking sand to the desert! πŸ™‚

    • June 23, 2014 1:29 pm

      Chris, I know, we had an organic certification inspector once think we were growing comfrey everywhere…that didn’t give me much confidence that she knew what to look for when certifying farms.

      I agree on the chickens, they don’t win any beauty contests but they sure taste good πŸ™‚ More freezer cleaning, that barbequed chicken is from last year, got to eat them up πŸ™‚

      • Karen permalink
        June 25, 2014 5:45 am

        Wild foxgloves… What I wouldn’t give. They’re like flower royalty in my book. You’ve mentioned you grow dahlias. Any other flowers you fancy?

        • June 25, 2014 7:24 am

          Karen, I know, foxgloves are hard to beat. If you have any disturbed area they show up πŸ™‚ They are all over in our woods and at the field edges.

          Gosh, I’m kind of partial to annual flowers just because the care of perennials escapes me 😦 Blooming right now in the vegetable garden: Tithonia, hollyhock, and a few marigolds and sunflowers just starting to look like they will bloom. I love glads, but haven’t planted any in years – especially the smoky ones, they are a perfect go-along with dahlias.

  9. Lori. Skoog permalink
    June 23, 2014 2:05 pm

    These photos look like they could be from my Journal! We are on the same page.

  10. June 23, 2014 2:21 pm

    That is a BIG garden! I didn’t grow Cornish chickens this year, because we need a new facility for them, and I’m missing them already! Just can’t buy the poor things in the market.

    • June 23, 2014 2:53 pm

      That’s only one of them… I don’t irrigate, hence the wide spacing.

      I know, those poor chickens from the big houses, I feel for them. These guys are pretty spoiled and they are fertilizing that little pasture like the dickens. πŸ™‚

  11. June 23, 2014 2:33 pm

    Ah. Well, we have heavy clay soil, so that explains that. I’ve been putting a lot of straw down in the garden, trying to add hummus, and also prevent some evaporation on hot days. They seem to grow in that and the piled up compost-over-clay raised beds just fine, too. Probably thanks to all that watering! : <
    The five inches down probably explains why the clay underneath is so dry in so many spots. Not good news for the future. I feel like I'm pouring water down a well. Keep hoping the straw will help address that. Eventually.
    My mistake was in letting the buttercups have the non-garden shady parts of the yard. Now they're established, and boy oh boy do they spread.
    I'm told I have available a source of horse manure/straw for the taking — supposedly the woman grows her own hay, with no sprays (was worried about clopyralid). Love the idea, but not so sure about spreading the stuff in a backyard suburban garden. No place to pile it for a year or three first…well, I suppose I could dump it in the compost pile for a bit. Making sure the dog is thoroughly fenced out.

  12. CassieOz permalink
    June 23, 2014 2:37 pm

    Wonderful to see ! Today I’m hiding indoors as the weather can’t decide whether to rain, hail, sleet or snow!

  13. June 23, 2014 2:41 pm

    I need to find out whether clopyralid actually is a spray. Am working through a family member who appears to think no spray is the synonym of certified organic. When I said please ask about clopyralid, “all no spray” was the answer. I should think about obtaining a pesticide applicator’s license, so just I have a working familiarity with the subject of herbicides and pesticides. Number 8,432 on the to-do list …

  14. June 23, 2014 2:44 pm

    Humus! Not cracker dip!! sheesh …

    • June 23, 2014 2:54 pm

      What the heck? Might be good πŸ˜‰

      • June 23, 2014 3:16 pm

        Haha! Mmmm, earthy!
        Yeah, probably need to talk to the person myself, to get the specific answers I need. The whole “no spray” label gives me fits.

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