Sunday, August 17, 2008

A Night on the River

My husband I took the riverboat out tonight. I was going to link to a picture of the boat but discovered I never posted one. So here is a picture from last summer.

We always head upriver first (so we can float back if there is any trouble) and the first bridge we come to is the historic Van Zile bridge. Until I saw the photo, I didn't realize the trees are no longer the lush green of early summer.

We turned around a few bends after the next bridge and headed back into the sunset reflected by some swirly clouds which were reflected in the river.

Then a low "smoke" cloud entered the scene.

Before we landed, the moon rose. It is impossible to hold the camera still on a riverboat to take a night photo, but you can tell how awesome a moonrise is on a river. Perhaps I may even have broke into my rendition of Moon River at this point.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Living things in my garden

This PM decided to take up residence on a Coronation Gold yarrow for the summer. He has doubled in size since I first spotted him and has changed from all green to green and brown. Normally I deadhead the yarrow, but not this year.

I didn't post often this spring but here's a picture of a snapping turtle looking for a place to lay eggs. Steve took this picture into his 4th grade classroom since they were studying reptiles at the time.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Quick, cut the corn

This morning, my brother John brought over 12 dozen ears of corn, his turkey fryer and a corn cutter (the simple one). A few hours later, there were 19 bags of corn in my freezer. John said his focus was speed. We started on the back deck, with the turkey fryer filled with water. While the water came to a boil, we shucked the corn. The fryer cooked 25 ears at one time. I had two of my large canning pans filled with cold water to cool the corn. We then moved inside where John had arranged an assembly line. He cut the corn from the cob while I bagged it. I tested the speed of his corn cutter against my trusty knife and it was four cobs to one. Now maybe he can figure out how to speed up making grape jelly (the grapes are just starting to turn purple), tomato sauce (the Roma tomatoes are just starting to turn red), and pickles (the cucumbers are starting to accumulate in the fridge.)

Glad Grasshopper

I found this fella snuggled between two glad blooms. I think it would be a delightful place to hang out.

Monday, August 11, 2008


When purchasing plants from a design drafted by someone else, it is always good to put on your reading glasses.

Two wonderful women with a real design knack gifted a design for the landscaping of the sign for our church's new community center building. When we (I won't embarrass my fellow gardener but her last name is a synonym for boast) went to the nursery to purchase the plants, we both read penstemon. We couldn't find the cultivar named and couldn't picture how a penstemon would look in the design.

Then we put on our reading glasses and saw it was a pennisetum. We found this beautiful plant and even though it wasn't the named cultivar, we decided it would be just the thing. As we were planting it, we noticed it was an annual and not hardy in our zone. I ended up with it in a smallish planter by my sidewalk. It is magnificent! I want to try to overwinter it inside but a large praying mantis has been in it for about a month and I suspect has laid eggs on it.

Oh, and my fellow gardener and I are both Advanced Master Gardeners with close to 100 years of gardening experience between us.

What are you doing this weekend?

Come to the Gene Stratton-Porter State Historic site to celebrate her birthday on Saturday and Sunday. There will be free cake, soapmaking demonstration and I will be in the garden from 1 to 5 for informal tours.

And I am very excited about a fund-raiser for Vincent House, Roots and Rhythm at the Headwaters, Saturday from 2 to 11. Check out the bands! This is my type of music. There will be children's activities from 2 to 8. This is festival seating so bring a blanket. And the best part? It benefits Vincent Village, which serves homeless families in Fort Wayne. It is the only shelter in Allen County that serves two-parent families and single male-headed families.

So here's your agenda. Attend Roots and Rhythm on Saturday and then come up to Sylvan Lake on Sunday for a garden tour.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Brothers (who don't shave on the weekends)

"Hey, Mom, why don't you take our picture?' So I snap it and Ricky is making some kind of weird hand and face gestures.

So I take another picture.

And another

And another

And another

And end up with this.

World's Ugliest Cucumber

If Carol can declare that she has grown the World's Ugliest Tomato, I am declaring that I have grown the World's Ugliest Cucumber.

Here's another view to show what happened. My bush cucumber vine decided to grow up the fence and this cucumber grew through the fence. I haven't harvested it yet. I'm not quite sure how.

If you don't like to sand, don't build a canoe

Steve laid fiberglass cloth on the outside of the canoe and then covered it with three layers of epoxy. He sanded the final layer in preparation for a varnish finish. Since these pictures were taken, he has turned the canoe over, knocked out the forms, sanded the hull, and laid fiberglass and two coats of epoxy on the inside. Today he selected some cherry for the thwarts and seats. He will put in the seat after he uses the canoe to make sure the seat is in the right spot for him.