The Garden Continues into Fall

The best time to plant garlic…and comfrey roots….and carrots…..and cabbage.

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The cats thought the carrot/garlic bed was a custom cat box.

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Alpine strawberries have produced all summer. More to come!

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Lemon balm is fantastic!

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Dahlias have lots more coming.

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Coleus is at it’s best.

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Stink Bugs and Regret

stinkbugHave you ever see one of these? This is Halyomorpha halys, also known as the brown marmorated stink bug. When we first moved into our house my husband and I jokingly named them “Herkimer”.  It just seemed to fit.  They were slow, few and seemed to show up in and around the house in such small numbers that we swore it was always the same bug.  That has all changed……we are now jaded,  hardened, with angry thoughts and disturbed sleep, thanks to the vile Herkimer.

These horrible, stinking, buzzing, tenacious demons have suddenly taken over our lives. They have appeared in droves to occupy space on the outside of our house, under the eaves, inside our patio umbrella, under the barbecue cover and anywhere they can hide or just sit and sun themselves.

At first we started our battle by flicking them off whatever they were invading .  That was not near enough…..we got the hose.  With the nozzle set to jet we blasted the little beasts off the walls and eaves.  Many of them were forcefully sent down below into the space between the house andStink-Bug deck.  Aside from the smell (the odor they apparently release when being jetted either to death or a new location smells like really strong cilantro in a very bad way), our efforts seemed to be productive!……for about five minutes.  Soon the little deathless, tank-like plague came crawling up the wall like some sort of horror film insect zombies!  Hundreds of them on one wall!

Now, just to clarify, I am not usually a bug-killing kind of person.  I will usually gently escort unwanted creatures to a place that is better for them. Even slugs in my garden have found themselves being lifted by a gloved hand and placed in a damp, leafy spot where garden clippings and shade reside (I call it slug heaven).  I have relocated a lot of slugs this year, but this disgusting abomination was more than I could take…….STOMP! I found myself in a frenzy of knocking down and squishing the multitudes that were overtaking the side of my house….I’m still hating myself….. and the smell that will never leave my nostrils.

I suddenly realized I couldn’t live with myself if I continued, nor could I endure the smell, or the bugs  that were still living. I resorted to the internet.  Apparently there are a few chemicals that might work…..that is out of the question.  As you can guess, the slug-whisperer doesn’t use toxic chemicals in the same yard where hummingbirds feed, cats romp, and a forest of feathered friends chirp, tweet and caw.  But wait…..I read about dish soap….it dehydrates them and they DIE! I can’t let these evil invaders live…they just might consume my house (and my soul), they are giving us the willies and they are making me never want to use cilantro again.   If I escort them to slug heaven they will surely come right back, and well….it would take a month and a lot of creepiness.

My husband was immediately onboard with this idea, and promptly filled the big pump sprayer with our eco-Natural-Seventh-Generation-Dish-Soap
friendly dish soap and water.  And they were sprayed……they sat…….they died.  Let the killing begin!!!!

He sprayed and sprayed.  He went around the whole house.  They started dropping, and more appeared…..out of every crack!  More spray, stink and more dead.  We noticed that some died right away, and some kept going until they would flip upside down and die.  Finally…..the repulsive job was done.  Dead bodies with legs pointing skyward occupied all of our walkways, patio and deck.  We sat in the aftermath of the dead Herkimers with a feeling of abhorrent accomplishment.  It was time for a shower and a stiff drink.

After our attempts to recoup our happier selves after our deeds of destruction, and after some fitful sleep, we woke to a beautiful morning of promise….the whole event can be left in the past. With coffee in hand we headed out to enjoy our peaceful bug-free deck………..They’re back!

 

 

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Weekly Photo Challenge: Home

Weekly Photo Challenge: Home

This is my home….wherever he is.

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Weekly Photo Challenge: Surprise

2012-12-22 09.34.14This is the month of December. Crocus bulbs coming up is not somthing I was expecting to see.   I am  fascinated by their tenacity as they actually pierced through the dead leaves to make this early appearance.  They aren’t bothered by the weather at all.

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Weekly Photo Challenge: Inspiration

Zooming ByWhen I saw the photo challenge for this week I figured I was too late and wouldn’t really be able to come up with anything in time… until I realized it is just what I needed.  So far the things I have posted are a variety of things, random and undisciplined, in my attempt to figure out what I really want to blog about.  But in the mean time I have been doing something else without even recognizing what was happening.  I have started a new blog without even knowing it.

Zooming By.  I have even named it.  It’s what is happening when I am inspired.  The truth is, many of my most inspiring moments are experienced while doing this.  Zooming by…. in the car on the way to some thing or another.  This is when I see things I love.  Clouds, trees, buildings, birds, people, city lights, all being viewed through the windshield of our car.  The music being played as we drive helps to make things more beautiful…even poetic.  Music always inspires me, so I create collections of all of my favorite songs so my husband and I can hear them within our little space of inspiration.  There is not time to stop and take a proper picture, because taking pictures is not usually on the agenda at the same moment I am being drawn to grab my camera to capture the moment.  My husband usually drives (he’s a better captain than passenger), so I am free to snap away at whatever I can.  We have commented many times on the fact that if we had to turn in rolls of film to be developed, this photo frenzy would never take place.  So many pictures that don’t turn out.  Seconds to grab, point, shoot.  Oops, missed that one!  Oh well.  Next time we pass that crazy rusty spot on the bridge, I’ll be ready.

Now I have discovered that some of the  I thought were duds are actually unique and quite lovely.  Abstract blurs of fall colors, street lights and sunsets can make beautiful art.  Especially while listening to music.  My husband loves to see the slide show of whatever excursion we just took.  I delete a lot but have kept some surprisingly great shots.  We have talked about creating some kind of memoir of these photos.  I always say “it should be called Zooming By”.

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Quiet Flicker of Halloween Night

Halloween candlesHalloween decorhalloween lightsHalloween lightsHalloween Jack-o-lanternHalloween Bone Candle

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Chinese Latern Festival

Chinese New Year Year Lantern FestivalI wasn’t sure I would be getting back to this, but I learned something new about Chinese New Year and I promised I’d share.   The Lantern Festival falls on the 15th day of the first month of the Chinese lunar calendar. (That would be today this year!)   The Lantern Festival is held to mark the first full moon of the new lunar year. Chinese celebrate it by hanging colorful lanterns, playing games and gathering with friends.  I love the full moon, so a celebration with glowing lanterns spent with friends to mark the first full moon seems just right to me.  I don’t know of any particular celebrations going on tonight, and I didn’t really prepare.  So this year I will surf through Google images of Chinese lanterns and say “ooh”, and start looking for some colorful paper lanterns to hang on my porch this time next year.Chinese New Year Lantern Festival

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