Morning adorableness, morning finds

No rain this morning, so the bitty kitties were out and about!

This one looks disheveled because I had just been holding it. 😻 Not only did it let me pick it up and cuddle it, but when I put it down in the food tray, it just started to eat, ignoring me while I continued to pet it.


The little calico acts conflicted. It’s curious enough to slink around, watching me closely, sometimes inching closer, but shy enough to not let me anywhere near it.

This one is not conflicted. It will stay and watch me, only if it’s behind something. It will not come any closer, and will leave it I pay too much attention to it, even if it’s holding my phone off to the side to try and get a picture.

It was, however, more than happy to get into the water tray, after I refilled the gallon water bottle that I’ve set up to drain slowly. They seem to like it when I put the frozen water bottle in the tray to help keep the water cool longer, too.

As I continued on, I did a double taken when I realized I was seeing something new. A self-sown poppy had opened.

When we moved there, we found ornamental poppies growing among the lilacs along the side of the house, so seeing poppies show up in other places was no surprise. This one, however, is a completely different flower! The others are more of an orange, and don’t have the ruffled petals. So far, the is the only red poppy like this we’ve seen. A couple of self seeded poppies have sown up in our beet bed. I kind figured they were from the bread see poppies that we have in a nearby bed, but I know my mother had ornamental poppies growing in the old kitchen garden for quite a few years. When I was a kid, she had seed poppies in that garden. It should be interesting to see if these volunteers turn out to be an ornamental poppy, or an edible seed type!

As for the red ornamental poppy that just bloomed, I’ll be sure to allow it to self seed. This area needs more cleaning up, and it would be nice for the stuff we want to get rid of to be crowded out by something we would like to keep! 🙂

While continuing my rounds, I had another nice surprise. Our very first golden pattypan squash is forming! It was too small to try and get a picture of, among the foliage. Hopefully, it’ll get well pollinated and not just wither and fall off.

We’ve got a very few other things trying to produce. The sugar snap peas are not doing well, but I did find a single well formed pod.

I ate it. It was tasty!

The King Tut purple peas grown from our own seeds are producing pods, but they are green instead of purple. There aren’t very many, but I have been able to pick the odd pod and give them a taste.

They are not tasty. Quite bitter, instead! Which is different from last year. I wonder if they had cross pollinated with the pod peas growing on the other trellis. The peas did so poorly last year, I would not have expected so. The one King Tut volunteer from last year has produced a single purple pod, which I’ve left to dry out and keep for seed. Now I wonder if it’ll stay true to type. It bloomed well before the shelling peas and snap peas did, so it should be fine.

Some of the Chocolate cherry tomatoes needed additional support. Not all of them are blooming yet, and no tomatoes forming yet. Some of them are growing well, but others, not so much. One end of that bed along the chain link fence got drowned, even though the bed itself it raised about 4-5 inches. We’ve lost quite a few of the shallots from sets to the wet, and it looks like none of the shallots from seed have made it, but I was able to give the yellow onions grown from seed a “hair cut”. I now have more green onions dehydrating in the oven, along with a tray of mint.

I was still able to pick some lettuce this morning. They have not yet bolted from the heat, which is nice. The chard I planted not long ago has started to sprout! I should sow more of those soon.

Though we had a decently cool night last night (it was a wonderful 17C/63F at about 7am), it quickly heated right up to our expected high of 27C/81F. We’re not supposed to start cooling down until about 8pm. Hopefully, between the heat and the wind, things will have a chance to dry up. Yesterday’s downpours flooded out quite a few towns. I’d heard the town my mother lives in got 5 inches of rain in 3 hours, however it now seems it wasn’t quite that much. More than enough to flood streets and parking lots, however. The town to the north of us was among those that got hit the worst in our province, and they had flooded streets as well. We certainly don’t have much to complain about, where we are! Still, it does keep us from getting a lot of outside work done. Frustrating, but we’ll live. 😉

The Re-Farmer

Summer growth

Yesterday, forecasts said we were supposed to have a couple of dry days. While I was out and about with my mother, I saw lots of people mowing, so when I got home, I decided to do some preparatory weed trimming. The beans and peas are coming up nicely, and some of the cucumber plants are getting pretty big, so we need to get those A frame trellises up. I picked up some 6′ bamboo stakes to use as supports. I’d hoped to use pieces of poplar, like the frames are made of, but of what we have, any pieces long enough were too thick or too crooked. If it was straight enough, or thin enough, it was too short. So, bamboo stakes it is. Unfortunately, they cost a fair bit; just under $10 for a bundle of 6. I was only able to get 4. Not enough for what I was thinking to do.

Before we could set those up, I got out the weed trimmer and a whole lot of extension cord, and trimmed the paths as close to the ground as I could.

Which is about when I started hearing thunder.

I did get the trimming done, then 4 pairs of stakes lashed together and set up at the trellis with the cucumbers. I had planned to set up 5 pairs – one at each upright support – then have cross pieces at the bottom, to help support the netting. With only 4 pairs, I don’t think they’re long enough to join with cross pieces.

I was able to lash together 4 more pairs of stakes before I was driven inside by rain. We ended up with quite a thunderstorm with heavy rain and strong winds. We even lost internet and had power fluctuations.

Still, when I headed out this morning, I thought we might at least be able to do some mowing in the west yard, but no. There’s water all over, and even the usually drier spots are squelchy. :-/

Quite a few new flowers are blooming. The ornamental poppies have exploded along with the dwarf Korean lilac, and even some wild columbine is blooming. The yellow lilies near the fire pit that I keep intending to divide and never quite get to, are in full bloom.

I waded through the tall grass and water to check on the Korean pine. A couple of them are in puddles of water! Five of them are showing new growth, but the one that got dug up by something looks like it has not survived. A lot of the needles have turned brown.

While checking one of the pine trees, I kept an eye out for the strawberries I saw before. They are now mostly hidden by the tall grass, but I could still see them. They are still blooming.

The corn we recently direct sowed are starting to come up! The popcorn seems to be a bit slower in germinating than the sweet corn. No sign of the green bush beans, yet.

The garlic that is doing really well in the main garden area is now starting to grow scapes. The other garlic, that seemed to have been set back badly by the extended winter, are finally starting to really perk up and grow, though they are still quite small. I’m seeing carrots coming up in the various beds, but a lot of the turnips that I saw before now seem to be gone. One variety seems to be holding out, even if the tiny leaves are riddled with holes.

No sign of the bare-root white strawberries starting to grow. Those might be a total loss. The red strawberries we transplanted with the asparagus are still blooming, though.

Everything is so wet, wet, wet – and we’re supposed to get more showers tonight! In fact, now the forecasts are saying nightly showers, or thunderstorms, for the next 5 days. This is frustrating. One of the down spouts is clogged. Normally, the girls would go out onto the roof to clear it, through one of their windows. Their windows, however, are pretty much coated with mosquitoes. Which means using a ladder, but the ground is so wet and mushy, there’s no place solid to set a ladder. The eaves over the north side of the old kitchen also need to be cleared. That area is difficult enough to set up a ladder at the best of times. With how slick and muddy things are now, it’s just not an option. The ground needs to dry out at least somewhat, but that’s not going to happen. I think the girls are going to have to brave the mosquitoes to at least do the one over the living room. Too much water is seeping into the new basement.

One of these days, we need to pick up one of those small, mobile scaffolding set ups. Too bad the scaffolding that was here before we moved in grew legs and walked away. It would be so useful – and safer – with scaffolding.

The rains we’ve been having are certainly a mixed blessing. The saturated ground and open water prevents us from being able to do some things, and makes it harder to get to different parts of the year – but things are growing and blooming and, with a few drowned exceptions, fairing much better than last year! Things definitely prefer the damp, over the drought.

The Re-Farmer