To bloom or not to bloom

We have SO many flowers blooming all over right now! The combination of lilac and crab apple flowers is heavenly!

In the tulip patch, a single black tulip has managed to bloom! I believe there was 5 of each type of tulip in the collection my daughter got. It’s hard to say how many of these would have bloomed, if they hadn’t been eaten by something. Now that the tulip patch is surrounded by chicken wire, which we’ll likely leave there until we need to work in the area to clear out the dead apple tree stump, etc., we have a better chance of finding out, next spring!

While putting the plants out this morning, we had another flower blooming.

This is a Crespo squash, and it shouldn’t be blooming yet! A lot of the remaining squash waiting for transplanting have flower buds on them, but they’re more like the other tiny ones you can see in the photo. There was just this one large one!

We’ll have to pinch off the buds when we plant them, so their energy will go towards growing and establishing themselves, rather than into flowers. These would be the early, all male flowers. The female flowers should start showing up later.

With my husband and I heading to the doctor today, then needing to make an unexpected trip into town, there was no point in getting back to the garden today. Especially with the hordes of mosquitoes out there. Tomorrow will be a day to cover ourselves with bug spray and get back at it. It’s supposed to be another hot day, then the day after, we might be getting thunderstorms, showers, and more thunderstorms over the next three days. So if I’m going to go at what will be the squash patch with the weed trimmer, tomorrow is the day to get it done!

The Re-Farmer

Finally!

The surviving tulips are starting to open!

This area had a double tulip collection planted, with 10 bulbs each of Orca, Pinksize and Double Brownie, and 8 bulbs each of Black Hero, Pamplona and Vanilla Coup planted in it, plus some Bulls Eye tulips off to the side. Aside from the Bulls Eye tulip (which Veseys no longer carries), we’re not sure which is which, anymore!

The tulips weren’t the only things starting to bloom.

The surrounding plum trees have exploded with flower buds!

Everything is about a month behind, but the flowers and leaves are finally appearing!

The Re-Farmer

Some progress today

I’m going to try something a bit different with my images today. I’m starting to run low on storage space on WordPress. The only way to increase it is to upgrade my legacy plan – at more than triple the price. Instead, I’ll try uploading them elsewhere and embedding them. Please let me know if you have any issues with them.

I actually got useable pictures of the outside cats while doing my rounds this morning!

I spotted a dozen of them, in total, this morning. There was about eight of them waiting at the door for me! It’s been a while since they’ve done that. 🙂

Today, I actually got ahead on a few things. I wasn’t sure if I would, since I was heading to my mother’s to help her with her shopping and didn’t know how long I’d be gone.

I picked up our usual lunch along the way, though she didn’t think she would be up to a larger meal. I figured if she wasn’t, we could just put it in the fridge for later. By the time I got there, though, she did have some of it, and was glad for the change. Plus, she still has some for later, so that worked out.

She is feeling better, though still says she hurts from top to bottom. My brother thinks she has the flu, though the way she describes it, it sounds like how I get when the barometric pressure changes drastically – and we do have thunderstorms on the forecast! To be honest, most of my joints are hurting, too. Stiff and sore finger joints are making it hard to type! So to me, that seems a likely cause, since she has no other symptoms other than a slight headache.

Still, she wasn’t going to go to the grocery store with me. She took her Tylenol, and was going to stay home to rest. She was feeling pretty sad about having to miss a dinner event tonight. One of the local colonies used to host annual dinners with entertainment for widows and widowers, and she looked forward to them every year. They weren’t allowed to host these for the past two years, and she really missed them. When they called to confirm if she were coming and she had to say no, they asked if they could bring her a care package! She happily said yes. That was sweet of them. 🙂

After going over her list to make sure I knew what she wanted, and in what quantities, etc., I headed to the grocery store. As I was unloading the items at the cash desk, the cashier asked about my mother! I didn’t recognize the cashier, though; it’s the first time I’ve seen all of her face, but she recognized me since I have never been able to wear a mask, and this is one of the few places where it was safe for me to go to. It was nice that she asked about my mother. She thinks my mom is funny. 😀

Once back at my mother’s place and putting stuff away in her fridge, there was a knock at the door. It was one of her neighbours, coming to check up on her! Then, as I was leaving, a passed another neighbour coming out of her apartment, and she asked how my mother was, too, telling me she’d checked on her last night.

I am glad that my mother has so many neighbours keeping an eye out for her! Now that the abusive caretakers have quit, things are really good in her building now. 🙂

It turned out to be a really nice day today, and the winds died down, so once I got home, I snagged a daughter and we set the platform up for hardening off the transplants, out of reach from critters that might eat them. There are now so many seedlings germinating in the flat trays of cucumbers and summer squash right now – only the green zucchini isn’t germinating yet – I even brought those out, too, setting them up on the roof of the cats’ house, along with the new strawberries. It’s been a few days since we brought the trays and bins out, so I only wanted to leave them for an hour. They really should have been in the shade, but that wasn’t an option, so I brought a hose out of storage and misted them all, and made sure the trays and bins all had water in their bottoms.

Then I took advantage of the lovely day and finished up the chimney block planters at the chain link fence.

The last four got a layer of shredded paper on the bottom, a layer of the soil from the new bed in this spot last year, a layer of straw, then topped with more soil. Between the space the blocks take up, and the layers of straw and shredded paper, there was extra soil, so that got used to top up the four blocks that were done in the fall and had settled. This is the garden soil we bought two truckloads of last year, so I didn’t want to waste any! Once these were filled and the soil in the path smoothed off, I used straw to cover the path along the blocks, so it wouldn’t be muddy to walk on. The blocks all got watered to help the soil settle in, too.

These are now ready for anything with a vining habit, or that can use the support of the fence.

That done, I decided to do a bit of work in a bed I’d already prepared in the old kitchen garden. I noticed some greenery coming through at one end, and wanted to pull those out so they wouldn’t cause problems for the food plants we’ll be planting there. A good excuse to use my new garden fork! 😀

Well, it didn’t turn out to be the quick job I thought it would be.

I’d already prepped the bed using a hoe, but once I started digging deep with the fork and pulling those plants up from the roots, I just kept finding more roots.

And more roots.

Then more roots!

Before I knew it, I was working my way across the entire bed.

Part way through, my timer went off. I got my daughters to help me bring the transplants back into the sun room, so I could get back to work faster! 😀

While working on the bed, I remembered that we still had an upper piece of spruce tree by the compost heap. Most of it had been used in the high raised bed, but the upper parts were too thin and wonky. I figured it would do very well in the old kitchen garden. When I was done pulling out as many roots as I could – there was no way I was going to get all of them! – my daughters helped me bring the log over and set it in place.

After leveling the soil, I hosed off the log and the blocks to clean things up a bit and settle in the soil. Later on, we’ll add more straw to the paths, and I’ll make sure to push some against the underside of the log as much as possible, to make sure no soil gets washed out under the bendy parts of the log.

I think this will work out rather well. As we find ourselves with other leftover pieces of log like this, we’ll probably border the L shaped bed with them, too, to help keep the soil from eroding into the paths.

You can see some of the roots I pulled out, in the lawn on the other side of the retaining wall blocks. While all the roots couldn’t be removed, it should still go a long way in reducing how many of these… whatever they were… from growing around whatever we end up planting here.

One thing is for sure; the soil here is SO much improved since we first started working on this garden! I could easily push the garden fork deep into the ground, and the soil was rich with earthworms. This bed would do well for any deep root vegetable – as long as we can keep the groundhogs and deer out!

Speaking of which…

The wire fencing we’ve managed to put around the tulip patch seems to be working. No new tulips have been eaten, and even among the ones that did get eaten, some look like they are growing again. They won’t be able to bloom, but should at least be able to store enough energy to be able to regrow next year.

One other thing that is growing well is the garlic in the main garden area.

They are getting so tall! The garlic in the other two beds, in the south east yard, are just barely breaking ground right now, but here, some of them at as much as 8 inches tall! What a difference. They were planted at the same time, and mulched the same way. The only major difference is location and, with that, sunlight. This particular bed, which is right next to our first high raised bed, would be getting light for more than 12 hours, this time of year. The other two beds get at least 8 hours of light this time of year, but are in shade for the morning hours.

This bodes well for when we build more of the permanent high raised beds in this area.

Gosh, it feels good to be working outside again! We’re supposed to get light rain tomorrow, with warmer temperatures. Weather willing, I’m looking forward to getting back at it! I especially want to prepare the areas the potatoes will be going in. I got an email with a tracking number from Canada Post today, and they should arrive by the 24th.

I can hardly wait to get those into the ground!

The Re-Farmer

Morning kitties, and critter damage

I headed out a bit late this morning, and this time, I had lots of kitties waiting for their kibble!

Potato Beetle and Rosencrantz were chill, but Toesencrantz did not like me being so close!

So he joined the party at the kibble house. 🙂

Altogether, I think I counted 10 cats, and saw more running towards the house as I continued my rounds.

While putting the bird seed out, I had a surprise.

It looks like a groundhog tried to dig under the steps again! That plastic had been wrapped around the mock orange to hold the branches back last year, when trying to make it so they wouldn’t dig here again. It did work – until now!

All these rocks and broken pieces of bricks had been used to fill the hole, with pieces of insulation slid between the steps and the basement wall.

Much to my surprise, when I cleared the pieces out of the hole, with the intention of putting all the smaller rocks in, I actually saw movement! I think the grog may actually have been stuck there, with the heavier pieces falling over the opening after it dug through.

In trying to fix this last year, it was a relief to find the digging did not go far. The concrete steps are hollow. In the past, cats have had their kittens under there. I am less concerned now, knowing they’re not digging deep against the basement wall. Unfortunately, they’re also digging up the roots of the mock orange. Mind you, I do want to transplant it to a better location. It’s too close to the house, and gets really dried out.

So I think this time, we will leave the grog to it’s hidey hole under the steps.

I saw another one, later, going under the old garden shed, which makes three spots with dens under them.

I did find another burrow, of a sort.

The wheelbarrow leaning on the bale had start all around it, with just a small opening leading under the barrow. This morning, it was very open, with the straw knocked down and flattened. Taking a closer look, I could see something had burrowed under the loose, fallen straw, around the rest of the bale. I don’t see any dirt, so whatever made this may have a nest deeper in the straw.

I was much more dismayed by this damage.

A bunch of tulips have been eaten!

Not all of them; mostly around one edge. Still, quite a few seem to be just gone; eaten all the way to ground level. They’re not dug up at all, which makes me think it was a deer, rather than a skunk or a racoon.

I don’t think groundhogs eat tulips.

Do they?

Anyhow, I grabbed one of the rolls of chicken wire we’d used to try and protect the Crespo squash last year and set it up as far as it could go.

There’s a second, smaller piece that I hope is long enough to cover the rest of the space. It won’t stop any digging creatures, but hopefully it will be enough of a deterrent that critters in general won’t bother, and go for easier food elsewhere.

Along with the usual morning routine, I also checked out the road conditions, which will be in my next post.

The Re-Farmer

Budding

I was so distracted by a conference call I had to make this morning, I completely forgot to schedule today’s Recommended post! I will post it tomorrow and be back to Mondays and Fridays after that.

I did make sure to feed the critters before the conference call, since I had no idea how long it would be.

The cats are much more laid back out the food and take their time coming out, even though the kibble trays were empty. Clearly, they are no longer as hungry as they were when it was still cold out. I only saw 8 cats in total this morning, which means we are “missing” about 10 cats. I know some, like Potato Beetle and Broccoli, will come by later, but others have not been seen in weeks.

After the conference call was done, I went back out to do the rest of my morning rounds. One of the fun things now on the list is checking on the tulip patch. Look what showed up overnight!

Whole bunches of them now have flower buds!

We will have to keep a close eye on them. This is the stage last year, when something ate all the flower buds. We still have some rope barriers and distractions, like bells and spinny, sparkly things, around it that seems to be keeping the deer away (I can see their hoof prints in the mud, going past it), but there’s nothing to stop any small critters.

It’s a chilly and overcast day today, and the crocus flowers are mostly closed, but I was seeing more of the purple ones again.

The first wonderberry in the sun room has started blooming again, and the younger two are covered in clusters of buds. I gave up pinching off the buds; there were just too many to keep up with! We still haven’t even found a spot for them, yet. As they readily self seed, it has to be someplace they can be treated as perennials.

I did try to peak into the cats’ house to see the babies. What I saw were two adult cats so wrapped around each other that, aside from their heads, I couldn’t tell one from the other. It did seem that both were nursing kittens, but I couldn’t really tell. I’d love to be able to get those windows cleaned on the insides; they are quite smeared from the cats rubbing up against them all winter, but we aren’t going to open that roof right now.

As for the conference call, it was to set a new trial date for our vandal’s vexatious litigation against me. It turns out the previous date was cancelled because the judge got sick. When it was cancelled, we received an email with alternate dates; three early ones, two in May, one in June, all in the city, or three late ones, one in November, two in December, at where we have been going for my retraining order application against our vandal. The only time we had to go to court in the city was for court mediation. I left something like an hour earlier than necessary, and still ended up late. The area is a disaster to navigate. Meanwhile, our vandal didn’t even show up. Just his lawyer was there.

He doesn’t seem to have any lawyer for this one. He has no case, so I doubt any civil lawyer would take it, though when it came up during court mediation, his criminal lawyer did say he’d be willing to represent, if asked, but he hadn’t been asked.

These conference calls run through a docket and, in the past it has taken a while, but this time we were the first ones called. After clarifying that we were there to set a new trial date, and asking if we wanted to attend in person or by video call (which neither of us can do), the clerk spent some time searching and found one date in August. After clarifying that it was at our usual location, I said I was good with any date at that location. Our vandal, as I expected, jumped in and asked if it could be done in the city, and brought up the date he’d chosen before – which he knew I couldn’t do. He said he just wanted to get it over with. Ha!

Anyhow.

The clerk told him it had be be where the “cause of action” was taken, and couldn’t be done in the city unless one of us lived there, or if we both agreed to it. He said he hadn’t known that. Then she said that the August date was the ONLY one that had an open slot we could take. So he had no choice but to accept the date the court gave us. Which is pretty much what I’d suggested be done when I tried to take the November date in the original email exchange, because I knew he’d never accept any date I chose. For me, it wasn’t so much about the date, but the location, so of course our vandal tried to choose the other location! With so many files being delayed over and over, the next available date likely would have been next year.

The main thing is, it’s done and we have a new date. Barring more crazy stuff happening, as it has since all this started back in late 2020, I look forward to a judge throwing it his case out in August.

At this point, even if we were able to do a May date more locally, I still wouldn’t be sure if I could make it. Our vandal may have vehicles that can get through the washouts, but we don’t, and those washouts might just get worse. The predicted rain started while I was writing this, and was coming down pretty hard for a while. We’re still getting weather alerts, and now they’re saying we might be getting 3.5 – 5.5cm (about 1 1/2 – 2 inches) at times. The Overland Flow Flood warning now reads:

High amounts of rainfall occurring in a short period could create overland flooding in these areas which may impact low lying areas, roads, and properties. As the ground is extremely saturated, a sudden rise in water levels could occur in some waterways and creeks Residents along these areas are cautioned about the potential sudden rise of water levels. Follow all directions by local authorities. Listen for updates and take all necessary precautions to stay safe.

We aren’t near any waterways, unless you count the municipal drainage ditches, but the washouts we already have will likely get worse. We’re supposed to get a couple of warm sunny days next, then two more days of light rain again. At least now, the 14 day forecast shows a week of sun before we are supposed to get rain again. For us, around the house and the inner and outer yards, that mostly just means more mud. The areas low enough to collect water are not a threat to any buildings we’re actually using. We are okay. I’m concerned about some of our neighbours, though. 😦

The Re-Farmer

Looks like I won’t be doing that again, anytime soon

First up, here are cute kitties!

A couple more showed up after I got this photo; I think I saw 8 or 9 altogether, with Potato Beetle going straight for the sun room.

I haven’t actually seen Broccoli for a little while. She is looking far less round right now.

I wonder where she found to have her babies?

Speaking of babies, I still can’t tell exactly how many are in the cat’s house. They tend to be all in one big pile, and I can’t tell one from another. I couldn’t even tell where the grey and white one was, it was to thoroughly buried by the others!

The tulips are getting a lot easier to see among the leaf litter. Just look at how many there are!

Now, if we can just keep the deer away, we should have quite a show of flowers this year!

With yesterday’s successful trip to the city, I decided to grab the big water jugs and get them refilled in town. I also wanted to look for something for Mother’s Day, thinking that I would surprise her tomorrow and meet her for church. I was pretty sure my brother would make the trip out, and we could visit her together.

I’m glad I made the trip today, because I don’t think we’re going anywhere for quite a while. I would not have wanted to discover this while driving my mother’s car, tomorrow!

I had checked the washout on the road to the south of us. Whatever heavy equipment I’d heard the day before, they were not working there. The water may be down, but the erosion has worked its way further across the deeper washout. As I was still walking towards it, I saw a truck coming from the other direction. It stopped at the washout, then backed up until it reached a higher driveway into a field it could turn around in. I was just wearing regular shoes, not my rubber boots, so I wasn’t able to do more than check the washout from one side, but as I did, another truck came by from the opposite direction. This one did drive through, but when it reached the deeper washout, I could see it struggle to get through.

This morning, remembering a neighbor that told me our road was good to the north, I decided to avoid the washout by the bison ranch and go that way.

That neighbor clearly doesn’t take the road to our main gravel road to get out, likely going north to a paved road, instead. His driveway is a little over a mile from our intersection. At about 3/4 of a mile, I reached a washout that was even deeper, if narrower, than the one to the south I’ve been checking.

This time, I was the one carefully reversing until I could reach a stable driveway to turn around in.

So I took the main road out, but when I reached the washout near the bison ranch, I could see that it, too, had eroded quite a bit more. I was able to get through but, clearly, this was going to be our last trip out until the road could be fixed.

None of these washouts can be fixed right now. Not even a quick patch job. The water levels may be dropping, but it’s still flowing way too fast over the roads. Any attempt to repair them right now would just get washed away.

With that in mind, I made sure to pick up the few things I didn’t get yesterday, though when I saw the price of even no-name brand vegetable oil, I was thinking I’d have done better getting the big restaurant sized bucket at the wholesale store, instead! While I was paying for my few items, I commented on how much the price had gone up on the oil. The cashier got quite wide eyed (they’re still forced to wear masks, so that’s all I could see) and commented on how ALL the prices had gone up. Yeah – as cashier, she would be seeing all of it going by! She commented that she’s starting to expect wagons to show up in the parking lot, pulled by horses, because people can’t afford the increased gas prices. I truly wouldn’t be surprised to see that.

Knowing it might be a while before we could get out again, I made a quick stop to pick up a couple more of those storage bins we’re using for the transplants, then headed back again.

In the time it took me to do that, the washout was worse.

I stopped to take a closer look before trying to cross.

It’s hard to tell from the wide angle shot I took, but there’s a darker spot about in the middle. Just past that, there’s a deeply eroded part more than half way across. The water on either side of it, though, hides other deeper areas – and those are on the side that’s still safer to drive through! The wind from the south is actually strong enough that the water was being pushed back. I could see more of the road than earlier, and was not encouraged.

While I was checking it out, I saw a truck coming, so I went back to the van. I watched him as he drove through and my heart dropped when I saw the start bouncing around in one area in particular. His truck could make it, though. He stopped beside me and we talked for a bit. He told me he thought it was better around the other way. The roads here are on a 1 mile grid. If I went back to the highway, went a mile south to the next gravel road, took it west one mile, then cut across, past the bison farm’s driveway, to the intersection on the other side of this washout, I’d be able to continue home. He did think I’d be able to make it through here, though. It’s been a long time since I’ve taken the road past the bison ranch and it’s not one that’s maintained as well as those that get more traffic, at the best of times.

So I went for it and drove through here.

Yeah. I’m definitely not going to my mother’s, tomorrow! Our van had a hard enough time; my mother’s little car could never make it.

As I said, I’m glad I decided to go into town today and found out how much worse it was, now!

Which means we are basically stuck again. It’s possible that I might find a route I could get through to the west of us – the opposite direction of the highway we need to get to. The main road is no longer closed and I’m sure I could go quite some distance, but the side roads would be no different than any of the side roads near our place. I’ve talked to quite a few people who say they simply can’t get out to friends and family that way at all, and that’s even using the paved road to the north of us that I’d hope to use this morning.

We are going nowhere.

I really hope at least the main road can finally be fixed soon. I haven’t gotten any shipping notices yet, but we’re going to be getting our potatoes and live trees mailed to us fairly soon. The potato company typically finishes shipping their orders by mid-May. That’s just a week away. Then there are the sweet potato slips and more than 40 trees that will need to be planted as soon as possible – and we can’t even start digging the holes for them, yet, because of all the water in places. The last thing I would want is for these to be at the post office while not being able to pick them up. The potatoes might be okay, but the rest can’t stay there for too long.

It all depends on how much longer it takes for the water to go down and not be rushing across the roads like this, then how long it takes for the road crews to fix them up. The one by the bison ranch will be a priority fix, since that’s a main road. As long as that one gets done, most people stuck as we are will be able to get through.

So once again, we hunker down. Which is okay. We are well stocked up, and there is plenty of work to get done! A whole lot of seedlings in the big aquarium greenhouse need to be thinned, potted up and moved to the sun room. The different types of pumpkins are getting such huge leaves! Meanwhile, the winter squash started at the end of April – Boston Marrow, Georgia Candy Roaster and Winter sweet – are doing much better on the heat mat. Almost every pot has seedlings exploding out of the soil! It’s so awesome to see!

With all of these, if the plants seem strong and healthy, we plan to thin by dividing. The more we have to transplant, the less of a concern it is, if we lose some to transplant shock.

And if they all survive transplanting, some may get eaten by critters, bird or bugs.

And if they all survive that, we’ll just have whole lot of squash.

I’m good with that.

We’ll have plenty to keep us busy while we wait for the roads to be fixed up.

The Re-Farmer

Signs of spring – I’m so excited!

After checking on the road conditions, I continued checking areas of the inner yard we can now access again. I also checked on the old kitchen garden. It just happened that the sump pump was running, and I was quite amused by what I saw.

Along with the water coming out the end, there was water spraying like fountains out of the hose! There are three areas with holes in them. Once I saw the two smaller holes next to the rain barrel, I pulled up the slack a bit, so that they will hopefully spray on the paving slabs, instead. Once things dry up a bit, I’ll just patch it with some electric tape. We do have spare hose, but I’m still considering adding it to the end of this one, to send the water further away from the house. The ground does slope away from the house rather well, here, so I really don’t need to, but it does give us more options.

Walking through the old kitchen garden, I could see deep hoof prints in the garden beds from the deer. Which made a good indicator of how thawed out the ground is!

Going into the maple grove, I noticed an area was clearer of snow that I wanted to get a closer look at.

Between these two rows of trees is where we planted crocuses. About a quarter of it is still too covered with snow, but I wanted to see if there was any sign of them, where it was clear.

Yes!!! In one section, I found so many little crocuses coming up! Including the one you see here, that has pierced its way through a leaf. 😀

I am just thrilled that they survived the winter. I went to check the area we planted the grape hyacinth in, but it’s still too covered with snow.

With the crocuses coming up, I was curious. Was it possible? I had to check.

YESSSS!!!!!! We have tulips coming up! Just look at them all! I put arrows pointing to the ones I could find. It’s entirely possible there are more, camouflaged among the leaf litter.

There are even a few visible in a section my daughters planted fewer, more unique, tulips. Only a couple are visible in this photo, but there were more.

This is just so exciting! After the deer and other critters decimated the tulips last year, we thought they were done for. It was their first growing season, and we didn’t think they had the chance to establish themselves.

My daughter is so happy. She was heart broken when all her tulips were eaten! One of the things the girls had done was make sure the bulbs were buried extra deep, as recommended on the package to keep them as perennials. A lot of people buy and plant tulips and other bulbs every spring. If they’re buried closer to the surface, they can’t survive our winters. We didn’t want that, so my daughter made the extra effort. It looks like all their hard work paid off!

Now I’m wondering if my daughter’s irises and daffodils, planted along the edge of the old kitchen garden, will come up, too. One type did show some leaves last year, but never got to the point of sending up flowers. Another type didn’t come up at all, that we could see.

Aside from some leaf buds starting to show, this is the first major sign of spring growth we’ve had this year!

Oh, and we have more exciting growth, this time indoors. We’ve got melons sprouting! Two types; the Halona melon, plus one of the grocery store melons I lost the name for.

Flowers and food, there’s lots to look forward to in the gardens this summer!

The Re-Farmer

Testing, testing!

Well, I’m certainly glad I decided to switch memory cards on the trail cam over the tulips after I finished my last post.

With this camera, if it happens to be recording when I pull out the memory card, I have to manually turn it back on again after putting in the new card. This time, it wouldn’t turn back on again. After much fussing, and even loosening the camera so I could reach things better, I finally got it going again.

When I checked the card, there was nothing on it. Whatever happened that caused it to turn off and stay off, happened while I was positioning the camera in a new location.

So I went back, made a point of triggering the camera so I would have at least one file from it in position, then switched cards again.

I then went back and forth between re-positioning the camera, switching cards and checking the files, several more times.

There were a couple of problems. The first was, no matter how I positioned the camera on various parts of the apple tree, I couldn’t cover all of the tulip area.

The other problem was physically moving the camera. It is held in place by a long strap. One end has a gripping clasp that the other end is woven through. This is great if I have to put it on a large tree and leave it there. It also doesn’t make much difference when it was on a fence post, as I could just loosen the strap and lift it off the top of the post. To move it from place to place on the tree, the strap needed to be pulled through the clasp, every time, then placed around the trunk, reinserted into the clasp and pulled tight again. Meanwhile, the strap runs through slots in the back of the camera that grip nothing, so the weight of the camera itself kept causing it to slide around and swing.

Since it was still on while this was being done, I had a lot of videos that were very hard on the eyes to watch!

In the end, there was simply no place I could put the camera that would cover the area needed. And there were no other trees in suitable spots that I could attach the camera to.

I could see where the camera needed to be set up. What I needed was something there I could attach the camera to.

I found something.

I grabbed one of the old sawhorses. We have three, and this one is the odd sized one, so it doesn’t get used as much. I set it up on its end, and attached the camera to the cross bar. The bonus is, now that the camera is strapped onto it, making adjustments is easy. I just shift the saw horse instead of trying to move the camera. With the camera mounted so low to the ground, I can switch the memory card more easily by tipping the sawhorse onto its side, then popping it back up again, without shifting its position. If I check the files and find that it does need to be shifted, it is much, much easier to do so now, then trying to do it on a post or tree trunk.

I already have a file of Creamsicle Jr. walking past the camera!

This should work out just fine.

And yes, I did move the string of bells and plastic spinner to the sides, so that they wouldn’t trigger the motion sensor in the wind!

On the one hand, I hope to capture the critter that’s abusing our tulips. On the other, I hope the critter never shows up, because there aren’t many tulips with flower buds left. We have not found other materials we can use to protect them (the fence wire I was thinking we could use would not stop a skunk), and won’t be able to buy anything until at least tomorrow. We’ll be making our monthly bulk shopping trip to the city tomorrow, but I’m not sure if we’ll be able to find anything useful. Now that we’ve added Canadian Tire to our list of places to shop at, to get the stove pellets we’re using for cat litter, I’m hoping to at least be able to find some chicken wire or something like that.

We’ll see how things work out!

The Re-Farmer

Tulip carnage continues!

What a disappointing sight to see this morning!

More tulip flower buds and leaves have been eaten, even with the efforts we made last night to deter the deer.

It might not be deer.

Or maybe not “just” deer.

You can see it a bit in the photo; something has been digging in the leaf mulch. It looks like skunks were digging for grubs.

It turns out skunks eat tulips. too.

I am thinking of setting up one of the trail cams over the area. Meanwhile, I think the roll of wire fence that I intended to use on the squash arch is going to be pressed into tulip protection duty.

I just hope the bulbs have enough energy left in them to grow more leaves and survive this.

The Re-Farmer

Tulip carnage

I woke up late this morning, and it was already getting hot by the time I headed out to finish in the garden. I still made sure to check my daughter’s tulips, after so many flower bulbs got eaten the other night.

At first, I was please; the rope I’d put around the front and side had worked. No new damage.

Then I looked further back.

The deer had just gone around the back, through the lilacs and caragana hedge. They didn’t just eat the flower buds, either, but the leaves as well.

My daughter was quite upset. It looks like all the ones with black flowers got eaten. We have no idea if the tulips will recover from having so much of their leaves eaten. We’re hoping they will still be able to grow more leaves, but so much has been eaten!

This evening, the girls added more rope around the area, and dug out some chicken wire that was among the junk stacked around the garden shed. You can’t see it in the photo, but it’s along the lilacs in the back. I still have some plastic spinners I’d picked up from the dollar store, then we raided my craft supplies for some Christmas bells. Those got strung onto twine. In some areas, there are short lengths hanging down. At the back of this photo, plus on the other side of the lilacs at a more open area covered by the chicken wire, we tied longer strings of bells.

Hopefully, this will keep the deer away from the rest of the tulips.

Of all the green things coming up that the deer are going after, why does it have to be my daughter’s flowers? 😦

I suspect the girls will not be so averse to my goal of hunting, anymore. Especially if it’s venison with a hint of tulip.

The Re-Farmer