Tag Archives: Gardening

Wild bunny

This was supposed to go up yesterday for Easter, but I forgot. I happened to capture this little guy by zooming a lot before he hopped away (of course). This was taken in Sparks Nevada, which has a lot of these little cotton-tails and also a lot big jack rabbits.

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This time of year is also for taxes and planting our vegetable garden. One thing is not so nice, but the other is great. We planted two weeks early after looking at the long-term forecast and seeing it wouldn’t get too cold, so we have a good jump on it. It’s been raining like crazy, my husband roto-tilled in a lot of fertilizer, and the plants are growing really fast as a result.

We also now have a wood chipper for our palm branches and can turn them into a nourishing mulch which in turn provides food for the palm tree when you spread it around the base. The dried palm fronds make a golden brown mulch that’s pretty.

We also took the plunge and bought a compost barrel. You’d think we live on a farm rather than the suburbs, but this area (Silicon Valley) is incredible for growing things. It’s more a matter of getting control of the weeds than anything else. We don’t have a lawn any more, but lawns tame the weeds in some ways. Our neighbor’s lawns look amazing again after a brown year last year when our watering was curtailed, but we have gravel with plants and drip watering now. Lawns are in some ways easy and in other ways a lot of work. So is weed control in our vast areas of mulch, especially when you want to be organic. But I guess it’s a matter of what work you like to do. I don’t mind pulling up the weeds by hand as long as there aren’t too many, which we have managed because we used plastic as a barrier. Weeds grow on top of the plastic in the bit of soil that the mulch creates, and they grow through the drainage holes we punched, but those weeds come up easily. Weeding is my job. There are a lot of things only my husband can do, so I do the things I can do. Yard work is oddly enjoyable though!

You can look forward to some plant photos at some point and I have a surprise planned for you, but I have to wait for the rain to stop before I can do that. I have to tell you, it’s bizarre getting this much rain in California. In the mountains it looks like January. It’s starting to rain up there so maybe the snow will melt, but honestly, it’s not going to melt this summer. They are planning to keep the ski resort at Squaw open all summer, which is pretty exciting in some ways, but the locals are quite sick of snow. It’s feast or famine, I guess! Down here in the valley, there was some catastrophic flooding and California roads are a disaster. The legislature just wrote a bill to slap us with a 12 cents a gallon tax to fix the roads. That’s understandable, but the thing I don’t know is, where was the money for roads coming from before? Why is there a shortfall in funding for that? I’d like to know what money was spent before and if the storms caused a shortfall in funding, and if so, how long will we need that tax? I think the roads have been under-funded for some time. I’d like to know why. I have so many questions, but so far, no answers.

Well that’s it for this wandering post. Have a great week!

You like tomato and I like tomahto…

I’m having a blast with my Australian photographer friend who is visiting, so even though I like tomato and she likes tomahto, we’re definitely calling the calling off off. (If you don’t know what I’m talking about, I’m quoting this song.)

Not only is my husband a foodie and a great cook, he’s passionate about growing food.¬†His garden suffered this year from our being a little too tight with watering because of the drought restrictions. It’s tricky to get that drip watering to come out just right. We think the veggie garden needed a bit more. While we didn’t get the bumper crop that we had last year, we did get enough to can some tomatoes to be enjoyed this winter.

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You have to look closely at the jar on the right, but if you do, you can see the bubbles rising. That jar just came out of the pressure cooker. It was hot! I needed to set it on a pot holder.

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Tonight we are going to enjoy some zucchini. Again, not the usual bumper crop, but the plant has come back to life and delivered a couple nice squash. Eggplant thrived this year, so we’ll have plenty of those tonight.

I know Saturday¬†isn’t one of my blogging days, but I might be doing more posts over the next month as I’m on an extended photography and travel blitz with my friend. We’ll consider Monday, Wednesday, Friday the minimum I’ll blog. There will be a lot of extra credit because I’m excited to share photos with you as I process them.

I’ve learned some about composing pictures during a photo shoot and after, in Lightroom. I’ve bitten the bullet and subscribed to Adobe’s Creative Cloud, having learned that Lightroom is very good for someone like me who doesn’t have much time to devote to processing pictures. (I took a Photoshop class, which I loved, but haven’t had time to practice much.)

One of the things I am learning from my new and old photographer friends is how fun and nurturing this hobby is. I am finding that it is a great way to help me reduce the stress from writing. Yes, writing causes me stress. I know that sounds weird, that my passion would cause stress, but sometimes it does.

Photography, by contrast, is pure joy. I’m so excited to realize it’s good for me and to embrace the hobby. I’ve always taken zillions of photos, as you know, but what will be new is taking the time to play with developing photos, to learn more, to go out on photo shoots, and to meet up with other photographers.

Thankfully, I already have a blog where I can post my photos. I really appreciate your time and interest in taking a look. Thank you, and enjoy the rest of your weekend.