ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
Today is cloudy, mild, and calm.

Round One -- We shoveled ash out of the firepit and dumped it in the prairie garden.  Then we picked up sticks from the grass wall in the south lot toward the house.

Round Two -- I dumped out three bags of topsoil in the hollow beyond the patio. It's not really topsoil though, it's full of wood chips in muck.  >_<  Oh well.  I threw down some grass and clover seed; hopefully it will sprout in that mess.  At least the hollow is less deep now. 

The cherry trees are blooming in the orchard.

Bluejay

Apr. 23rd, 2019 02:49 pm
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
 I just saw a bluejay in the forest garden.  :D  There are two robins out there also, bathing in the runoff.
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
I have two male goldfinches in the forest garden right now, one on the hopper feeder and one on the thistle feeder, both in their summer coats.  :D  In winter they are a drab olive, but in summer their bodies are brilliant yellow. They still have some smudges on their shoulders, but they're mostly changed over.  So cute! 
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
Today is sunny, warm, and calm.  It's the first chance I've had to get out and do yardwork since I bought the previous round of plants.

Round One -- First I put the goddess statue back into the goddess garden.  Then I planted a silver thyme and a creeping thyme around that.  

Next I planted 6 marigolds and 6 snapdragons in the barrel garden.  :D

EDIT 4/21/19: Round Two -- I planted 6 marigolds in the septic garden.  I planted 6 pinks in two pots and a pineapple mint in another pot.  Then I watered the new plants.  Everything from the most recent shopping trip has now been planted.  \o/  As it is now dark, I am done for the night.

I still have other yard stuff to do later.  I have 3 bags of topsoil to fill the hollow near the patio.  I also have a few bulbs and packets of seeds to plant somewhere.  But all that is less urgent than live plants.
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
Today was sunny, mild, and blustery.  We bought more birdseed, three bags of topsoil to fill the hollow beyond the patio, and a couple bags of flowers and herbs.
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
Today is sunny, mild, and blustery.  I fed the birds.  I need to get more birdseed soon.

Round One, I took the clippers and cut more brush from the prairie garden. 

Round Two, I went back out and cut brush from the strip between the mowed path of the prairie garden and the treeline of the savanna.

Round Three, I cut brush from the middle of the savanna.  I still need to do the edge near the north field and the berry patch.  It's getting dark, though, so I'm done for tonight.
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
I just watched a bird murder a plant.  There's a brown thrasher out in the forest garden.  I saw it vigorously digging with feet and beak.  Then it ripped a small plant out of the ground, and proceeded to tear into that thing like it was the spawn of Satan.  Full-on hammer blows with beak, raking claw strikes, slamming the plant against the tree trunk and shaking it until pieces flew off.  I have no idea why.  I don't know if the plant was a weed or a flower.  There probably isn't enough left to tell.  0_o 

Maybe the plant was really an invader from space that just got obliterated by a random Earthling.

EDIT 4/16/19 -- Closer examination revealed the victim to be a crocus.  I still don't know why the thrasher felt that a crocus needed to die such a horrible death.
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
Today is sunny and mild.  I fed the birds.  There were grackles under the feeders.

Round One, I carried 4 buckets of mulch to put around the older privets along the street edge of the savanna. 

EDIT 4/15/19 -- Round Two, we went out and cut brush from the prairie garden.

EDIT 4/15/19 -- Round Three, I hauled 4 more buckets of mulch to the privets in the savanna.
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
A trio of bald eagles are raising eaglets together.  Just in case people thought polyamory was somehow "un-American."  Here are some pictures of them nesting
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
Today is mild and gray, very nice for working outside.  I fed the birds.

Round One -- I planted 2 American persimmon trees in the  streetside yard.

EDIT 4/13/19 -- I planted a pink dogwood in the forest garden near the kitchen window, and a heartnut along the line that divides the savanna from the prairie.  That's the end of the last batch of mail-order seedlings.  \o/

ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
Today we went out to Warbler Ridge for the Grand Prairie Friends Open House. 

We took a short hike and saw some early wildflowers.  I recognized mayapple, ferns, trillium, spring beauties (in bloom), serviceberries (in bloom), and redbuds (almost ready to bloom).  One I didn't know turned out to be cutleaf toothwort.  Further research at home indicates the leaves and roots are edible.  :D

They had some interesting new educational materials.  BrandenBark is an artificial bark used to make bat roots.  Sadly the information page doesn't seem to have sale options.  :(  Here's a more detailed report of its use.  At Fieldhaven we have several standing dead snags -- we leave dead trees in place if they're not in the way.  And we definitely have bats in the area, as they are visible after a rain when the insects hatch.  One or two evenings later -- BATS BATS BATS swooping over the south lot and the prairie. \o/

I picked up some free seeds: milkweed, marigold, and two kinds of sunflowers.  Those will be fun to plant.

It's really cool to see how the place has grown.  A couple years ago they started cutting trails. They've torn down the ratty old shed and put up a nice new metal barn, along with the little old wooden one originally used for function space.  The parking lot is graveled in too.  I'm really looking forward to the native plant sale coming up.
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
Today is sunny, cool, and blustery.  I fed the birds.

Round One, I planted 2 juneberries along the fence in the streetside yard, then mulched them.

Round Two, I planted 2 aronias along the south edge of the streetside yard where it joins the south lot, then mulched them.

EDIT 4/12/19: Round Three, I planted a sassafras in the streetside yard and a Prairie Fire plum in the orchard, then mulched them.
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
We went up to Champagne today and stopped at a bunch of places. 

On the way up, we read a cookbook.  As a bit of backstory, our friend Matt showed us a cookbook from a video game, The Elder Scrolls, with recipes from Skyrim and Morrowind.  The cuisines are logical and well-conceived, with some very interesting flavor combinations.  Now, we own probably several hundred  cookbooks, and most of them have 3-6 recipes we use.  This one, I marked about half the recipes as worth trying, and most of the others were good but just not as distinctive or with ingredients we don't use.  That puts this immediately into a category with things like Moghul Microwave where we use lots of recipes.  \o/  Since we already needed a carrot for a meatloaf, and wound up buying a bag of carrots, we decided to try out the carrot cake recipe later on.  I'm very intrigued.  Tl;dr -- just go buy it.



First we hit Captain Jack's on the way in.  We found nothing there, but at the related consignment shop across the parking lot we bought a very interesting glass with runes on it.  :D 

Lunch was at Black Dog.  They had good pulled pork today, but sadly were out of burnt ends so we had to substitute brisket, which was okay.  We are very fond of their smoked sweet potatoes and cornbread, too.

We went out to Ashar to restock on honey beans, and also picked up a bottle of pineapple-ginger juice.

Then we spent a while hunting around several stores in search of faucets -- we need to replace ones in the bathroom sinks.  While they didn't have exactly the same style, we found some that should work nicely.  We also spotted a wheelbarrow that we will need to go back and buy later.  I'm very pleased to see that, because our old one is a wreck, and the last time I went looking there was nothing worth buying.  We want one with a metal bowl, not plastic; metal or wood handles, not plastic; and two wheels, not one.  And it's rather less than I expected the price to be, so that's cool.

We saw lots of geese sitting on nests.  One was on a grass strip between parking lanes!  So there will be goslings soon.  :D

We went to the mall.  I wanted to look for the new spring things in Earthbound.  They didn't have most of the stuff I had seen online.  :(  They've changed the incense section too, and no longer have Dragon's Blood.  >_<  So we walked down to Dr. G's Brain Store, which has moved to a different slot and will reopen in a few days.  We got to chat with one of our friends who works there, though.  They're wanting to make their web presence more interactive, so I need to remember to show them the reviews I write for games we buy.

For a snack we stopped at Wetzel's Pretzels in the mall, which sells a variety of soft pretzel items, because we wanted to try the cinnamon sugar pretzel bites.  Now, most cinnamon sugar pretzels are coated in sugar with a bit of cinnamon.  These are the opposite -- so much cinnamon they looked like they were covered in mud, and a little sugar.  I have no idea how anyone can afford to make them that way, it must take a jumbo can of cinnamon to prime that pan.  I think we had a couple tablespoons in our one bag.  Anyhow they come out much less sweet than usual, with a dusty-spicy-woodsy flavor.  It's not the redhot-flavored Saigon cinnamon, but it's quite excellent on pretzels.  So if you're a fan of loading things with cinnamon, this is well worth a try.

At Harvest Market we got most of the produce we needed for cooking.  They also had more golden berries and muscat grapes.  The latter are white grapes with a pink blush and a pronounced floral flavor.  They are my favorite table grapes.  :D  

Then we went to Wal-Mart and finished the grocery shopping.

We finished reading the cookbook on the way home.  I am seriously tempted to theme a feast based on this thing.

All in all, it was a very productive day.  I'm tired, but happy.
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
Today is mostly sunny, mild, and breezy.  I saw a brown-headed cowbird at the hopper feeder earlier.

My last shipment of mail-order plants arrived today.  \o/  I sorted them out.  Then I planted 4 Francee hostas and 1 White Feather hosta in the purple-and-white garden.

EDIT 4/10/19 -- Round Two, I planted 2 paw paw trees in the streetside yard.

EDIT 4/10/19 -- Round Three, I planted an American plum in the orchard.  Then I mulched around it and the pawpaws.  As it is now dark, I am done for the night.
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
Today is sunny, warm, and breezy.

I fed the birds.  There was a red-winged blackbird preening in the forest garden, probably after washing in the runoff from the sump pump.  I also saw a robin eating something out of the hopper feeder, and mostly shoving out other seeds to get it.  Possibly the peanuts.

Round 1, I planted 2 privets at the edge of the savanna.

Round 2, I put covers over the new privets and mulched them.  I still have 2 left to plant, and then I'll be done with this batch.

EDIT 4/9/19: Round 3, I planted the last 2 privets at the west edge of the south lot, filling in gaps there.  

Round 4, I covered and mulched the last 2 privets.
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
Today is a beautiful spring day, sunny and quite warm. 

I saw a tufted titmouse in the forest garden.  :D   We haven't had any here in years.

I went out and took some pictures of flowers and stuff in the yard.

Then I planted 3 privets along the edge of the south lot.  I didn't even have the energy to mulch them, I got too hot and tired.  >_<  So I still have to do that before I can do anything else.

EDIT 4/8/19: Round 2, I went out and mulched around the new privets.

I saw a bluejay in the yard!  :D

EDIT 4/8/19: Round 3, I planted 3 more privets in the same row.  That finishes the current section, although I still have more to plant elsewhere.

I saw a red admiral butterfly and some bees.  Yay!  

EDIT 4/8/19: Round 4, I mulched the latest privets.

My mayapples and wild ginger are sprouting in the forest garden.  I think the bluebells are too.

EDIT 4/8/19: Round 5, I mulched the rest of the privets in that section that had survived from last year.  *goflopnow*

 
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
Today is a beautiful spring day: partly cloudy and mild with a variable breeze. 

I fed the birds.  Yesterday we saw a turkey vulture fly out of our yard!

Round One -- I planted 3 yellow raspberries in the berry patch near the orchard, then mulched around them.

Round Two -- I planted a snowball bush and a goji berry, then mulched around them.

EDIT 4/7/19 -- Round Three -- I cleared brush along the edge of the south lot where I will need to plant some privets.  It looks like most of the ones from last year survived, so there's not as much patching as I expected.  \o/

EDIT 4/7/19: Round Four -- I walked around the yard to observe things and pick up loose jug covers that had blown off.  I can reuse these to cover the privets later.
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
Today is a beautiful spring day, sunny and warm with just a breath of air.  :D

I went out and planted 3 Everbearing Darrow blackberries at the end of the prairie garden. 
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
Today is mild and gray.  My cornelian cherry dogwood is blooming in the streetside yard.  Near the daffodil garden by the parking lot, far from where I had planted any, a dark purple miniature iris is blooming.  Go figure.

I fed the birds.  I saw a female downy woodpecker today.  :D

I planted and mulched 3 blackberry plants at the end of the prairie garden.  I hope to get back out for another round of planting later in the day.

EDIT 4/5/19: I went back out and planted a red oak in the treeline that divides the savanna from the prairie garden.  The old trees there are mulberries and maples, not in good shape, so I'm trying to refresh the treeline with more durable species.

I feel all accomplished now.  \o/

 
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
Today is cloudy, cool, and damp.  It's drizzling, but that didn't stop me from going outside.

I fed the birds.  Yesterday I saw two brown thrashers and a robin under the feeders in the forest garden.  I put out a new thistle sock yesterday too -- the old one got chewed through -- and the finches have already discovered it.  I saw a yellow-bellied woodpecker in the yard today.

My daffodils are blooming, and so are two different colors of miniature iris -- the pale blue I planted previously and the bright violet that are new this year.  :D

A shipment of plants arrived today.  That leaves just one more to come, which I hope will not arrive too soon.  I planted two tayberries (a blackberry relative) in the berry patch at the end of the prairie garden.

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