Friday, June 13, 2008

Weeding until dark

So, I managed to get over to the garden plot to take another shot at weeding, and to pull some of the now truly invasive raspberry canes that have popped up in random locations outside their designated allotment.
Happily, they are going to a good home. Those too mangled in the process of uprooting went on the compost pile with the weeds. And there were a lot of weeds. The mullein is now very tall, and the herb garden - though seemingly drowned out by all the crabgrass and mysterious little weeds as well as the sneaky convolvulus that pops up everywhere and tries to twine its way around something ("oh, I'm so well twined in here, you wouldn't *dare* try to pull me off, it might hurt your plant!" "oh you're history. I'm patient and you, are compost!")

Much weeding was done, and I used some rope to hold back the allotted raspberry canes for now, until I have the necessary strength to do a proper job with the wire and tensioners that the Duchess of 78A procured. The mosquitoes were once again out in force, so I made use of the inadvertently abandoned (since it was largely unnecessary during the hiking trip) canister of bug spray, brought by Chiquitita. Thanks! I didn't think to return to the car to use it the first night I was out around 8pm, and my hands, forearms, and ankles are just covered. >gggghh<

The potatoes are also thriving, so that's encouraging. Looks like it'll be a good weekend for gardening. Now, I must go to bed.

It's not my fault...

Katie over at gardenpunks got me sucked into this travel map thang. man!!!
Seriously I'm a sucker for maps, so here's mine. I still hope to fill in more. Maybe Vancouver, Montreal/Quebec and Alaska for starters...

Thursday, June 12, 2008

There's a resident garter snake!

...and he's fast. I just caught sight of him slithering into the shelter of the now-towering raspberry canes. He deserves a name too, but since I didn't see him, it's hard to name him as I didn't properly see him. The name 'Sam' has been suggested, and I think I'll let the issue ride for a while to see how it works on him. :)

Sadly, no photo: he was far too quick slithering under cover for me to even think to reach for my camera, let alone snap a photo.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Birthday salad

mesclun greens, purslane
arugula and mint
lettuce and borage

emails and meetings
miscommunication, oops
still, celebration.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

weeds have taken over; or mea culpa, mea maxima culpa

weeds have taken over, originally uploaded by Margo and George.

I think this shot says it all. At least the potatoes are running amok too, and seemingly outcompeting the weeds, if that's possible? Not that I'm complaining about that, being a great fan of potatoes. Even better, I inherited these freebies - which is also why they're popping up unexpectedly in beds I'd thought I'd cleared...oh well. I guess I'll make other plans for that bed...that include potatoes.

Still, it was quite a jungle, and I need to get in there again - I had to sound the retreat sooner than I'd prefer, because the mosquitoes were simply out in force, dive-bombing me and doing a spectacular job of it.

At least I could splash some cold water on me - it had cooled down significantly from daytime, but was still muggy and warm. Back tomorrow!

herb garden, with weeds

herb garden, with weeds, originally uploaded by Margo and George.

Well, it's nice/reassuring to know that at least most of the herbs withstood the onslaught pretty well. Look at the dill and chamomile! Mint, simply needs no comments. It's certainly not the blushing bride of the herb garden... still - I had to yank a lot of crabgrass and other things with purple splotches that I've never known the name of, but that aren't edible, nor do they provide a nice flower or nice scent, so...Yank!!!!

weeds run amok

June1008 024, originally uploaded by Margo and George.

and critters. I see that someone, I say someone with four feet nibbled my peas right off at the middle! varmints!!! Plus because I went away and then didn't brave the garden to tend it properly over this 90sF weekend, naturally, the weeds ran amok and the mosquitos, naturally, think they own the place too.

and for my friends who work in IT and threaten dire events all the time...

Razors pain you;
Rivers are damp;
Acids stain you;
And drugs cause cramp.
Guns aren't lawful;
Nooses give;
Gas smells awful;
You might as well live.

--- Dorothy Parker

for ilex

angry camel, originally uploaded by Margo and George.

If Herman the frog is the heart of "Whatev" - camels are the soul of disdain.
(btw, the original statue can be found in the Metropolitan Museum of Art in NYC)

Monday, June 9, 2008

bladderwrack and klinker

bladderwrack and klinker, originally uploaded by Margo and George.

Should have brought a bag of this stuff back for mulch. dangit.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Haiku for a Saturday night...

"Autumn Moon":

Beneath the full moon of autumn,
my neighbor plays his flute
out of tune.

Ozaki Kôyô

mesclun greens, about to bolt

So, clearly I'll have to nab the mesclun greens for a lunch tomorrow: they're close to bolting, what with the abrupt heat we've had. I was visiting with my aunt today, and was happy to be able to not only show off my garden, but also hand along some of the fat radishes that came up. All in all, a good day!

Hopefully, tomorrow will bring some before & after weeding photos; as well as put my (belated) seeds into the ground. It's been raining ever since I came back, and now today and muggy. :/

french breakfast radishes

I was so psyched to find these - in spite of the fact that my garden - whilst I was away hiking - had not only grown like mad, but in fact had become overgrown with weeds. Looks like early tomorrow morning, before it gets so hot (today was in the 90s) I'll be packing a thermos of coffee and heading over to garden land for a little weeding.

But not before a nice breakfast of radishes and eggs, num num!

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Evil deer...

Evil deer..., originally uploaded by Margo and George.

Maine has evil deer :)
Actually, I just thought it was hilarious that my attempt to take a quick shot of a small family of four deer while they strolled back under cover of the woods revealed only the reflective green eyes of one of them - and nothing else! I had to laugh, and share.

Obligatory Sunset photo

Obligatory Sunset photo, originally uploaded by Margo and George.

Voila! Here is my obligatory sunset / ocean photo from where we were sitting, reading our books, near Otter Cliffs.

...and after

After, originally uploaded by Margo and George.

Yes. I ate it all. All of it. I was very hungry. :)

Lobster dinner: before

Lobster dinner: before, originally uploaded by Margo and George.

Yes, after hiking 12 miles or so the day before, I earned this lobster lunch/dinner (yeah, it did serve as two meals in one) at Beal's Lobster pound.

alpine plants

June0408 110, originally uploaded by Margo and George.

See if you can pick out the: alpine cranberry, blueberry, alpine raspberry (I think), as well as the lichens and a couple other alpine plants. All of them crammed into a crevice between two boulders atop Mt. Cadillac.

Mr. Loon

Mr. Loon, originally uploaded by Margo and George.

Towards the end of what turned out to be a ~12 mile hike on Sunday, we got to see a loon fishing in/on Bubble pond.

flower-filled tarn

flower-filled tarn, originally uploaded by Margo and George.

This is to make up for the icky wood-tick photos from yesterday. This is from Sunday's hike up the South Face trail up Mt. Cadillac. It had rained all day on Saturday, and so all the little tarns were filled, as well as lots of flowers being in bloom. I don't know what the white ones were, but the purple appeared to be in the rhododendron family (although maybe they were technically azaleas...).

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

camp dinner, friday night

Friday gave us decent weather, but we were moving around the island, and later setting up our campsite at the Blackwoods campground.

Dinner was low-key: garlic bread (fresh garlic); pasta and tomato sauce, and grilled asparagus and mushrooms (all cooked over the campfire, thank you very much!) Granted, I brought a tablecloth this time, which for a picnic table is probably silly, but it was nice to have a "clean" surface to eat from, and then hang up on the line afterwards. It's not as snazzy as it looks though: it's a polyester thing I found on clearance at LinensNThings, ha ha.

Lichens, several spp.

Lichens, several spp., originally uploaded by Margo and George.

Acadia is incredible for its sheer number of lichen species growing on various substrates. I won't go on at length here about them, but suffice to say I've come to appreciate and be amazed by these fungi-alga (or -cyanobacteria) symbiotic relationships. They're amazing.

The large stringy type front and center in the photo is of the Usnea type (Usnea filipendula?); so named for its production of (antibacterial) usnic acid. Also, historically there has been a folk remedy associated with this particular lichen - that is, that wounds should be staunched using this particular lichen. While the morphology is actually very convenient (the long strands with tendrils resemble cotton bandage - and so might function the same way) it turns out usnic acid (which this species produces) has antibacterial properties. Each species produces its own chemical defenses; usnic acid is just one of the many, often unique, chemicals produced by individual lichen species.

Lichens are bioaccumulators - while they are slow-growing and incredibly tolerant of their specific environment (and lichens of one kind or another can be found all over the globe, from Antarctica to the American southwest deserts to Alaska and the Maritimes, rocky shorelines and the foggy Pacific Northwest forests...), they are self-sufficient in that their pairing of fungal and algal (or bacterial) partnership grants them respiration as well as photosynthesis, so they obtain what they need from the atmosphere and go dormant when there isn't enough moisture present - they cannot excrete. Therefore, they're good indicators of the presence of airborne pollutants - some species tolerate certain contaminants quite well, while others will die off when the pollutant ratio climbs past a certain point.

Acadia simply has an incredible array of species, and is the reason I became interested in learning about lichens at all.
For a quick survey and a *far* better array of photos than my own, go here: Their text book, which I used for my class, is incredible.

Lady Slipper orchid

Lady Slipper orchid, originally uploaded by Margo and George.

detail of the lady slipper orchids

Lady Slippers

Lady Slippers, originally uploaded by Margo and George.

Okay, these are the orchids, more specifically the Lady Slipper orchids that I saw as we repacked from a brief stay at Seawall Campground in Acadia National Park. I've always camped at Seawall, but this time around we decided to stay at Blackwoods CG because it was closer to most of the trails we planned on hiking, etc. (Ah, the price of gas).

Well, we arrived quite late Thursday night, so we set up our tents in the dark, and had just - *just* gotten to bed and were drifting off when the 4am Official Town Meeting of the Birds of D Loop warmed up. They are incredible. I had the leisure to count some 20 different bird calls just in our little area. There may have been more, I'm just not that good of a birdwatcher. At any rate, they kept us up for a while longer until I personally passed out from exhaustion.

Wood ticks

Wood ticks, originally uploaded by Margo and George.

These, however, are in my book, "bad bugs" - they are wood ticks. And there are a lot of them in our garden meadow. Lots of them. After I took this shot (and you can tell my hands were shaking) I smashed these guys. Oh, the violence!

Charlotte's children

Charlotte's children, originally uploaded by Margo and George.

I would normally be freaked out by spiders, but I had to give these ones the time of day: they will, after all, be good "bugs" in that they are spider eggs, so far as I know, and will go out and eat bad bugs. So, instead of smooshing them, I took a photo instead.

Yay! early radishes

Yay! early radishes, originally uploaded by Margo and George.

So, it was fun doing some of the thinning of the rows, since I discovered some of the radishes had grown so enthusiastically that the rows needed thinning and I could actually eat some of what I thinned. And hey, they're all photogenic too.