Thursday, September 23, 2010

Non-plant related

Recent Weather: Very fall-like - mid to upper sixties (although yesterday it got up into the mid-70's and felt way too warm ;) ).

Right now I'm only plant flowers and a vegetable garden but someday I would like to raise chickens, turkeys and maybe a goat or two. So, I found this blog post very interesting.

Anyone who eats eggs should check it out. It's very eye-opening. Thanks to Henbogle for the link!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Fall Dreaming

This week's weather: Getting chilly. The highs have only been in the 60's and it's been raining more often than not for the past few days. But I like this weather - it means my favorite season is here.

Yes, it is sad that the growing season is over but it's worth it - to me, at least.

One of the reasons I wanted to move to Maine was to have seasons again. I grew up in Missouri and while it is more Southern than Northern, it still had seasons and the trees changed along with those seasons. When we moved to Texas when I was 12, I had no idea it wouldn't be until I was 33 that I would enjoy a true Autumn once again. So, I've been reveling in it every year.

Across the Street
The first real signs of change in my world happen just across the street. Messalonskee Lake is to the North of our house and has some marsh/blog land around it. Trees in those areas are always the first to turn and those are the really red trees in the above picture.

Around the House
Slowly, the trees surrounding our house start their annual change and we get all the great Maple colors - red, yellow and orange.

Colorful Splotches
The surrounding woods is always at its most beautiful this time of year. The pine trees mixed in with the maples and oaks create an interesting texture.

Why do I have to do this every year?
One sure sign of fall is the above sight. Every year I make my dog sit among the sparse leaves so I can take her fall portrait. It always goes into her yearly calendar that we give to all of our relatives. (They love the dog more than they love us - as it should be.)

Belgrade Dam
 Our house isn't the only lovely place to be in Autumn. The sights around town are gorgeous and a local drive provides tons of color.

My tin roof is on fiyuh!
 As the season goes on, the red in our back yard maple deepens and for a while it looks like our house has tall flames leaping from the roof.

Gold in them thar leaves
My favorite tree in our yard is the yellow maple next to our driveway. I love to just stand under it and look up into it when the sun is overhead. I'm sure the passersby wonder what the hell I'm staring at.

Camden, Maine
The great state of Maine is a favorite tourist destination for all the leaf peepers and, as you can see, there is good reason.

Late season color
Fortunately, our trees all turn at different times so we can enjoy the color for the entire season. In the above picture the center tree has finished turning, while the tree on the right is just getting started. At the time this picture was taken, the trees in the back were half bare.

It's all over - can't wait 'till next year
And finally, all the trees are naked and ready for their winter nap.

The fun is just now beginning so be sure to stick around to see how this year turns out!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Slowing things down

The weather has gotten much better here in central Maine, although it's still not as cool as usual. It's been sticking in the mid-70's with almost daily showers. It's nice - the showers are rarely long and the sun always comes out afterward - but I'm still looking forward to more Fall-like temperatures.

The vegetable garden is done except for some late-turning tomatoes. I did a harsh pruning of the plants in hopes to hurry the ripening process. They look pretty pitiful - much like Charlie Brown's Christmas Tree - but that doesn't matter. Especially since the rest of the garden is pretty much empty anyway except for the birdbath and Marigold ring.

The output of the garden this year was the best of any garden I've planted. I even had to give away squash and I love that stuff.

Squash and Tomato Treats
I didn't have such good luck with my pumpkins, however. I had four pie pumpkins which is pretty much what I wanted so I was happy. However, when I went to cut them after turning full orange, I found that two of them were soft and rotting. I'm not sure why this happened - the other two were perfectly fine - but I wasn't happy.

Also, my one last, large Buttercup Squash that was in the garden split in four places rendering it useless. I already have two large and two small so that wasn't a big deal, but I hate seeing the waste of such a beautiful gourd.

But, I have enough for the fall holidays and that's all that really matters.

Zoe watches over the gourds

The only thing I really have to take care of right now are the front flower gardens. They're doing very well without much help due to the recent nice weather and daily showers. Even my petunias made an astounding recovery.

Front Garden - Stage Left
Front Garden - Stage Right
But the work isn't done for the season quite yet. I purchased my daffodil bulbs - 70 of them - and I'll be planting those in the next few weeks. I plan to get some tulips, too and mix them in with the daffodils. I'm also going to do some moving of Hosta plants to fill in my back yard shade garden.

The season's almost over but the work is not. But really, is it really ever done? ;)

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Let's talk about the weather

So, the weather this past week has been nuts. Yeah, we've had a warmer than usual summer here in Central Maine, but it was Summer. Hot temperatures are always a possibility and I try not to complain about that too much. The garden sure did love it. :)

But this week - yikes. The normal highs for this time of year are the mid-70's. For three days now we've been experiencing mid-to-upper 90's. Again. The flowers are not enjoying this and it doesn't help that we haven't had any real rain for over a week.

That's all about to change, though. Hurricane Earl is moving up the coast and a cold front is coming down from the north. Today it will get up to at least 93. By Sunday, the high will be "69, dude!"*

We're certainly looking forward to Sunday. Heck, I'm looking forward to tomorrow! The heat will break, although it will only get down to 83. But after several days of these high temps, 83 will feel nice.

I certainly hope I never have to live in the South ever again. I'm just not suited for it anymore.

 * No, I'm not a surfer. Just a Bill and Ted fan.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

September Birth Flower

Yeah, I kind of skipped last month - although I did post the picture in the sidebar.

This month's birth flower is the Poppy.

The Poppy signifies imagination, dreaminess, and eternal sleep. Yellow varieties are a symbol for wealth and success. They're a bit infamous because some varieties are used to make Opium.

They're also used by wicked witches to get those pretties and their little dogs, too.