Tuesday, May 31, 2011

BOOM! Hot weather is here.

Summer came on all at once and with a vengeance. We've had a solid week of days in the upper 80's and 90's and there is another one just like it forecast for the days to come.  I'm trying not to complain since we had the longest coolest spring I can remember for many years.  But I sure hope we get a break and are not going to see temps in the 90's for three straight months.  It's enough to make me consider moving further north, for the summer at least.

In the meantime, I'm thinking hard about where I can get to some moving cool water and I have a couple of nearby rivers in mind for later this week.

Today I had to take my car to the shop.  When I got in the car on Sunday and cranked up the AC it was painfully obvious that something had died.  Stinkola.  Sure enough an unfortunate mouse had met its demise in the fan blades of my AC system and with the hot days had gotten quite ripe quite quickly.  I hope it won't take too long to get the smell out of there...
On a lighter note, the horsetail (Equisetum hyemale) coming up through the chives in flower was pretty stunning last week.  This is the edge of what I call the invasive plants garden.  We just try to keep things contained and let them battle it our for superiority and space. Horsetail, mint, painters palette (Persicaria virginiana), traveling ferns and salvia.  They look pretty good all together and seem to co-exist somehow.  But take heed, do not plant horsetail in your garden, you will be fighting it for the rest of eternity, even the lawnmower can barely keep it at bay.  We pull it up wholesale on a regular basis and it just grows right back.  The new shoots are cool looking, but I rue the day I planted it in my yard.
The cicadas are still at it though they seem to be easing up some.  Lots of dead ones litter the ground and leave a slightly uric smell on the air.  The tips of the tree branches are starting to turn brown where the females have cut the bark to lay their eggs and now those tips are drying and will soon fall.  I'll be glad when things are quieter again.

The onions are starting to fatten up and their tops fall over signaling harvest time coming soon.  The garlic tops are drying and browning too, I've starting pulling a few heads just to cook with, I finally used up the last head from last season a couple of weeks ago.  It feels pretty good to have grown enough garlic to get us through a whole year and this years crop promises to be as abundant.  The pea crop is peaking, despite the heat.  Summer crops look really good; the beans, squash and cukes are some of the healthiest plants I can remember. I hope that continues.  We tickled out a handful of new red potatoes the other night and they were super sweet and tasty, I'm leaving the rest to keep on growing.  I still haven't gotten my pepper plants in the ground, it's been too darn hot, but maybe tomorrow?  As usual, there is no end to the gardening demands this time of year.

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