Archive for July, 2011

July rain…brings August mushrooms

Yard shroom a growing

I’m sparing you the comparative picture from this morning, but if I were to eat a mushroom I found in the lawn, this one looks perfect. I’ll stick to morels, however, and this is not a morel.

The sour washcloth season continues. We did enjoy our evening ration of ice cream* sitting in the yard as the indoor-outdoor temps once again equalized, this evening at 81°F at 7:50 pm.

Have you tried the Turkey Hill vanilla bean Philadelphia style ice cream? Kroger carries the brand, and it’s like Breyers—lacking in additives of the obnoxious variety, if you can overlook a gum or two—and far cheaper. Go marketplace!

The guys loved it

Popcorn saturday all together now

Saturdays the routine changes just a bit.

Here, we left routine behind and had sloppy joes (the S version) for dinner. I think it’s the first time I’ve ever made it.

Gross underbelly of country life (mild version)

Sump pump pit with strong incoming flow

Another three(!!) inches of rainfall last night, and this baby is busy!

A couple of months ago, the water was flowing into the sump pump pit like this and the power went out. For over three days. Not fun. Not one bit of fun.

So, we are very happy that the electricity is still on, despite two nights of sometimes intense lightning.

Of course, we are also very happy that we still have power to run a houseful of fans, so we can attempt to stay sane in the heat/humidity that we air-bathe in constantly.

When I was a kid, Dad showed us the pump pit, how deep it is and how the water comes in. We were allowed to lay on the side and dangle our arms down and check it out. Then, we were told to stay away from it (not quite on pain of death, but you get the idea). No playing in this area.

See, kids do listen when they’re told serious stuff.

5.25 inches at 7:30AM (umhm)

Amazing single overnight rainfall

No kidding. And it’s raining again.

That’s the overnight rainfall. I checked with the soil probe, and the whole soil column is now wet (down at least 15″), whereas it was dry for much of that prior to this…weather event. The rain must have been soaky enough that there’s no standing water in the yard or driveway.

Blue light (special?)

20110727-073843.jpg

Surprise of surprises! A soaky rain graced us in the late afternoon! I see the outdoors as more green than blue-hued, however.

Where’s Waldo?

Waldo bumblebee on purple fleur

Meet Waldo the Bumblebee, aka Waldo of the Bombus clan.

Waldo likes purple fleurs.

Complete the sentence: Waldo is a busy ___.

Thanks for your participation.

No infringement on copyright or intellectual property intended….

They keep coming

Blanched green beans ready for freezing

Slightly fewer green beans today, but I still put a full cookie sheet into the freezer for later consumption. Gad, I’d be exhausted if I had to do a bit of canning every day to match the daily production. Blanching/freezing is not so bad in comparison to wrestling the jars and lids, and listening for the pop-seals.

Quiet amongst the fans

Morning fog in midwest summer heat

In this weather, there is one quiet time of the day, magnified this morning by Sunday silences.

We have the fans off just in the morning transition from ceiling-fan-cooling-the-house-down and inside-fans-moving-the-increasingly-stagnant-and-hot-air-around times.

This picture was closer to dawn than quiet time, but captures the essence of the change-over.

The other clue to our day here: no cloud-cover as we had most of the last two days. So, we’ll be hotter today, and with yesterday afternoon’s brief showers, we’ll be more humid, too.

Good thing the beans are picked!

Red shorts are THE thing

Botanist takes down those weeds

Before eight, the Botanist and I tackled the garden. He went directly after the weeds over by the strawberries. I picked the beans (ah, the beans…), and then we worked together to expand the newspaper zone around the tomatoes. He routs the weeds (mainly my job), then puts down 2–3 layers of paper, then stacks the freshly extracted weeds atop the paper to hold it in the wind…so the weeds go from growing to a weighty use (without collecting a single cent). At the end of the season, the weed-husks and the newspapers are incorporated into the soil.

It’s all part of the cycle the Botanist created and maintains….

Grapes sneak by Beetles

Grapes concord still green Japanese beatle posing with foot out

Somehow, with all the weather craziness, perhaps, the Japanese beetles (Popillia japonica) didn’t arrive soon enough to truncate the grape crop along the back fence. The Botanist has three different kinds of grapes trained along the wires, and this is the Concord (dates back to ca. 1850, says WikiPee), so when it gets ripe it will be deep purple.

We have temporarily escaped the bull’s-eye of the heat dome, and both the heat and humidity are now tolerable. In fact, I picked the beans this morning a half-hour later than the last two mornings. The number of beans is steady, however. I also watered the second planting of beans and the green peppers. Yea! for garden produce!