09/27/2022 moon and stars salad again

Briar examines the food table which is covered with a mesh cover with fancy lace edges. The outdoor plague safety dining experience!
You will note it protects a new version of the watermelon and feta salad.
The main innovation here is that I suggested we use the melon as the bowl. Paula assembled the salad as before. I believe Judy gave me the fancy salad tongs long ago. They worked well and looked lovely.

09/08/2022 nighttime only adventure

The Chef wanted to see what was out this week so we took the UV flashlight and checked. Here’s a spider!
It’s beige in regular light.
I had no idea there were hairless bee flies. This one came to the porch light. We turned off the porch light once we went inside so all the critters could go back to their business.
We found three glowing crab spiders. All of them were on insect pollinated flowers, so I wonder if they glow to blend in for pollinators who can see UV? Though on this Salvia greggii, presumably all the pollen is farther down the flower. But we found two on zinnias.
The green striped cushaw squash looks melted!
Escobaria missouriensis cactus spines glow!
There’s a lot of sunflower pollen glowing. You can see how much has fallen off!
This was my favorite picture of the glowing sunflower pollen: just the disk flowers glowing against the dark sky, leaves barely visible.

09/06/2022

The rainbow garden in the morning. Only orange not blooming.
Dinner with garden onions in the quiche and up in the corner, a watermelon salad.
Here’s a close up of the watermelon salad. The feta cheese and balsamic vinegar really helps the bland watermelon. I really hope the next moon and stars actually gets riper.
Tragedy strikes. The scurf-pea got chopped off at the stem. I assume it is too small yet to come back from that.

09/03/2022 popcorn testing again

The tiny bowl on the left contains popcorn from a deeper container. The tiny bowl on the right contains popcorn from a shallow bowl. Both are stored near an air vent. The sample on the right had nearly all kernels pop. The sample on left did not. We have decided we need to at least stir that container.

08/20/2022 fruit tree check-in and pruning

I was going to trim the granny Smith back carefully to see if any life remained in the tree, but it broke right off at the base, completely dry, in my hands. So that one’s a goner. I’m not sure if it was too much water or too much heat. I don’t think it was too little water, as the soaker hose leaks prodigiously near here.
The north star pie cherry died this year and I checked the trunk- no green left. I think it was irregular watering (boo, me) and heat.
The surecrop pie cherry lost all its leaves a bit later, but I found a bit of green as I pruned back its branches. I think this winter we will move it to where the Granny Smith apple was, and then replace the soil in the corten planters and do native calcareous barrens flowers there instead.
Paula found a magnificent preying mantis and it helped us look at clouds in hope of rain.
We pruned the remaining apple and pear trees back. The first summer ones are supposed to be down to three short branches, so it’s especially sparse looking. This is supposed to help them stay small. The two remaining second-summer ones are trimmed back but more branches left in place. They’ll all get pruned again in the winter for structure and shape.

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.