08/16/2022 developments of interest

Tuesday started off sleepy before work.
On my way out I saw the two leaf senna blooming for the first time! I’m so happy it’s doing ok. There is a second plant too but it has no buds yet.
The Chef and Briar picked me up from work. When we came back, we discovered Gram waiting.
He was waiting for his Doggie. “Hello Big Sister!”. Once she came back in the house all was well again.
Fajita salad by Paula and The Chef. I am informed there were garden onions and at least one garden tomato involved.
The first cushaw squash just keeps growing. We think it is almost ready as the rind is getting pretty hard now.
The purple beauty peppers are inexplicably red. I wonder if it’s too hot for the purple color.
The mystery pumpkin vine made a second bit of Halloween. It’s the slightly more yellow one above. The vine itself seemed to be dying of squash vine borers so we went ahead and removed it.

08/14/2022 fermenting slimy seeds

I did some reading and it seems like we should actually be fermenting the canteloupe seeds, so I threw out the others (which were crunchy with dried goo/slime). Here’s the seeds from today’s snack.
White currant tomato seeds looked pretty fermenty in the cupboard today so I rinsed them in the strainer and plopped them onto a paper towel. We set the paper towel by an air vent. This has worked for these seeds in the past, as this year’s plant is from harvested seeds.

08/14/2022 straw bale potatoes

We lifted and sorted through our two straw bales of potatoes since the leaves were all eaten off by blister beetles. Upon moving the bales, we found eight bess beetles
One fast isopod
A second fast isopod
Three baby house mice
And one click beetle. This brings us to a total of 14 photographed animals plus a whole nest of ants and a small earwig that got away.
Compare this to our glorious harvest: ten potatoes from two bales. Paula is researching where we went wrong. I feel like maybe we should just go back to growing them in soil. (These experiments were my idea so I’m not blaming anyone else.). At least this year’s harvest is safer than last year’s crop of black widow spiders??

08/14/2022 Ruby Grant park morning

Our first Salvia azurea of the season blooming!
The first of many Helianthus annuus this morning.
A lone Maximilian sunflower starting to bloom. The rest don’t even have buds.
Snow on the mountain was magnificent today!
We went on a new part of the trail today and encountered some highly concerning Art.
“It has a lot of eyes Mom”
The little mosaic seats are also suspect.
“Why do you humans keep doing things to me”
“Ok I guess it’s ok”
We also came to terms with the big Art.
Possibly Amorpha, false-indigo.
Soapberry! Thanks Abby for the identification.
Another H. Annuus.
A beautiful Grindelia bud.
More sunflower (H annuus)
A differential grasshopper snacking on the sunflower.
We found a magnificent patch of silver leaf nightshade!
We had Briar pose among the silver leaf nightshades.
Possibly a Physalis?
Maybe non-blooming camphorweed?
Possibly Asclepias verticillata (thanks Mom!)
An aster starting to bloom!
Unknown flower that hasn’t bloomed yet.
Possibly Cardiospermum, balloon vine? From reading, it seems to be native but disliked for clogging farm equipment.
The balloon vine flower.
Ruby Grant park considerately has a dog level water fountain at the parking lot!

08/13/2022 shucking

A full range of glass gem popcorn corn ears!
Some kernels started to pop in the hot dry shade which is what prompted us to bring them inside.
Not sure if this is popping or fungus or something else.
Some kernels appear scratched up but we’re not sure why.
A few ears did not get fully pollinated and were not covered with kernels completely.
These ears had several kernels that popped open.
Natural lighting shows off the colors best.
Everyone’s thumbs are sore from removing kernels.
I used the colander to sift out a bit of chaff. I think Paula has plans to do more later.
Two bowls full. 1,146 g total including our earlier test.

08/13/2022 walking around

A mystery yellow composite flower along the sidewalk. Update: Mom and Abby have identified as camphorweed, probably Heterotheca subaxillaris. Camphorweeds are native.
Leaves and stem of the yellow flowered plant.
This picture is from yesterday (08/12/2022) but there are lots of Grindelia getting ready to bloom near the railroad tracks. A few had opened up by today.
I was also pleased to find 2-3 Scarlet Pea plants along the sidewalk near the Grindelia yesterday. They were still blooming today.
Downstream from the OU duck pond there is a somewhat hidden bridge and there was a native hibiscus blooming near it.
A few tiny annual coreopsis were in the field near the creek. Before it got mowed this spring there were a lot more and taller.
It was too hot. We gave Briar and ourselves some ice cubes upon returning.
She has taken to resting her chin on her ice cubes after getting a drink from her water bowl.

08/07/2022 bulb time

Wild Hyacinth bulbs arrived in the mail yesterday!
We planted the three bulbs in a little crescent along the edge of this drier strawberry/honeyberry bed, and reinforced the dirt berm to trap a little extra water. Prairie Moon Nursery says they like medium-dry at most, but will generally do okay if it’s wet during the bloom time (which is usually our rain times).
New earwig… We saw it moving around as we dug into the hard packed dry soil! It was somewhere between 2-6″ down. Just as bone dry the whole way. It swam across the water mud as we watered in the new bulbs. Hoping it might be a native one but waiting on what inaturalist or friends say.

08/06/2022 POPCORN

Glass gem popcorn in all its glorious colors!
One cob down, two to go.
Paula just used her hands to remove the kernels.
The kernels are such a beautiful mix of colors!
Three ears of popcorn made 147 g of dried kernels. We let the ears dry on the stalk and then have been keeping them in the hot dry shade on the porch.
About half of the kernels Paula tried did pop. According to this extension service article we found, this means they’re probably still too moist. More should pop and be fluffier too once they dry more. However, we’re still quite pleased!