12/2022 heavy duty garden cart!!

New boxes. Gram stands on the cart box while Tuqu investigates some pet toys.
Briar discovers some assembly required.
Briar lets humans assemble the cart. Humans have thumbs.
The Chef alarms Shackleton by cruising by. Zoom in on his eyes.
Shackleton actually liked his cart ride once he settled in. He got to look at things and the dog didn’t get near.
Gram was nervous about his ride and left his tail hanging out the whole time.
First test of cart! We moved this rock from the irises to the rainbow garden.
Briar says boring. But leaves are nice to sit in.
Current state of the side yard. Lots of good sticks and leafy habitat for insects.
The front door/garage nook keeps sinking in as the tree roots decay. We moved soil from the backyard mystery berms (a later post will feature this progress) to fill this in.
Needs one more load for this year probably. You can see I raked the top layer of soil that probably had most of the Euphorbia maculata and Melothria pendula vine seeds to the side so I can put that layer back over the top once we have filled it back in. anyway, an excellent test of the cart! A big success!

12/2022 backlog of infrastructure and little babies

Yesterday, 12/31, I finally glued on the rain barrel cap holders that the Chef 3D printed for me! I used epoxy after cleaning both surfaces with ethanol.
Paula got solar powered outdoor lights for Christmas and has used them to make the path to the compost visible! Edit: thanks to Mom for inquiring if we can turn the lights out. Yes we can! It’s important not to pollute the dark with more light than we use at any given moment.
I am hoping these tiny seedlings are the annual bluets that sometimes grow in this part of the yard. Keeping an eye on them.
A tinier potential annual bluet seedling next to the comparatively large wild geraniums. These two pictures were 12/31/2022.
12/28/2022, the Ratibida columnifera rosettes survived the big cold!
Two Verbena halei rosettes also exist and made it!
Finally, and very thrilling, two potential Penstemon oklahomensis seedlings! They don’t appear to be hairy leaves like some other common seedling volunteers. Stay tuned.
Shackleton enjoyed a leashed walk in the same excellent 12/28 weather.
Jeanne kindly sent us some Salaginella riddellii- Riddell’s Spike-Moss. We put the biggest chunk in the rainbow garden (in green of course) on 12/25.
We put a smaller piece of the spike moss in the cactus planter.
12/25 was so nice we also moved some volunteers. This is the big root of a poke berry! We moved those along the back fence where another pokeberry lives. We also moved several ampelopsis from random spots in the yard to along the south fence trellis.
A blackjack oak acorn with a sprout on it! We planted this exciting find (12/24) into a pot on 12/25. Fingers crossed for a spring sprout.
Judy gave us an adorable toad house! I have placed it near the veggie beds. Please come eat our earwigs, toad friends.
12/24 checking the pot containing Sedum nutallii from Jeanne. The sedums seem to have made it along with Verbena rosettes (V. Halei??) and other intriguing volunteers.
Going somewhere! Wow!! Happy briar in the car.
On 12/24 we visited the lake at Lexington WMA. This seasonal creek was frozen solid! The lake was too. Briar wears her hunter orange.
After the deep freeze, only the top tips of the recently transplanted rosemary got frozen. They were pressed down by the sheets. But the sheets protected the rest of the plant!

12/22/2022 definitely no birds only leaves

I put out bird seed since it’s so cold and a flock of a dozen or so juncos visited. They never came when we first moved here- they needed the cover of the wood pile and later the brush pile.
I put the seeds on the stepping stones and by the brush pile especially to make it easier and safer.
Shackleton might have noticed the birds. The birds say any and all movement was leaves! Definitely no birds!! Fortunately for them, this polar explorer is indoors only except on a leash. Much safer for birds and warmer for Shacks.

12/15/2022 luxury yogurt dessert shrikhand with garden saffron

Saffron soaked in warmed yogurt liquid begins the shrikhand. I read about this dessert online, but a friend also says his mom makes it for certain holidays.
Freshly ground cardamom added
Whisking!
So smooth! It tastes best after sitting for a few days. The flavors soak into the yogurt more. It tastes like luxury.
The next day you can see the saffron dissolving into the yogurt.
The recipe amount was just enough to fill two small jars and leave enough to sample.

12/08/2022 surprises

One single aster flower is still blooming. It’s somewhat sheltered by the garage wall and kitchen wall.
In the cactus planter, I was pleased to find a rabbit’s tobacco seedling in near the juniper leaf.
Here I am pointing at it if you didn’t spot it in the previous picture.

12/10/2022 finally turning

The greens are doing well.
Seedlings are in the raised bed but I’m not sure what they are. Hoping for field violets?
The apple trees still are mostly green but one pear tree is turning. The three pictures below of leaves turning yellow and orange are from the one pear tree in front.
Later we walked the dog at Saxon park. Lots of rabbit’s tobacco sprouting.

11/16/2022 a previous frost

Away from the shelter of the oak tree, lots of plants are getting frost, including the wine cups we grew from seed and planted last spring.
The rosettes will stay green all winter, I believe. They show off the frost beautifully as it avoids the veins, creating a pattern of frost with greener veins.
The frost hasn’t killed the apple leaves yet either.
Another apple tree with light frost.

11/20/2022 frostweed!

With every freeze I’ve checked our frostweed. This morning, a low of 20F was enough to freeze beneath our still-fully-leafed red oak.
A close up of the left stem.
A close up of the right stem.
Another nearby plant.

The oak tree has been protecting the Texas mallow from freezing too, so once it gets above freezing today , we’ll see if that finally got “got” too.