It's been awhile since I've been here. Ran into some trouble posting photos which frustrated me and just been plain busy with no time to blog. Not that there hasn't been plenty to write about.
Take the cicadas for example. The 13 year periodical magicicadas of the great southern brood XIX. I didn't make that up, that's what they are. And when you walk outside our house it sounds like a spaceship is landing on top of us. I feel like I'm in a sci-fi movie, Day of the Locust perhaps? They are noisy and its predicted to last several weeks, but they are not really a problem like back in the days of plagues of locusts. I read an account from the diary of a western settler who described having locusts fly inside their clothes and eat away their underwear. I should think that might drive me mad if I had lived through it. But the cicadas are LOUD. And everywhere. If you look towards the trees in any direction for more than a minute you'll see their heavy orange bodies, like little footballs with wings, gliding from branch to branch. Walking up the road to get the mail yesterday the gravel was littered with their remains.They're a remarkable phenomenon though and one I won't hear or see again until I'm 65 years old!
I could also talk about the peonies, but I'll just show these photos instead.
They're coming to an end, the softball sized, double pinks have mostly been cut and brought inside or given away as they get so heavy they bend their stems and fall face first into the dirt. Not acceptable, they must be cut and brought in to scent the whole house with their heady perfume.
Maybe you'd like to know what we've been eating from the garden lately. The asparagus are winding down after a solid 5 weeks of heavy bearing. It's a tough job eating all those jade beauties but somebodies got to do it. The strawberries are also coming to a close, their red sweetness gracing my breakfast for several weeks now. I'll have to wait a few more weeks for blueberries, but I'm happy to report the bushes are loaded with plump clusters of green fruit.
We finished the last of the wintered over cabbages this week and the radishes are about gone. We're buried in tender lettuce, spinach, kale, chard and green onions. Peas are about to start happening as are beets and carrots. The cukes, squash and first planting of beans are up. Planted two more varieties of beans yesterday. All of the tomatoes are finally in the ground. Twenty plants, 12 varieties, 3 cherry, 2 plum and various slicers including Cherokee purple, yellow taxi and green zebra. I'm hoping for some very colorful tomato sampler plates and salads this season.
The weather has continued to be remarkably cool and beautiful with fairly plentiful and frequent rains for which I am grateful. It's been one of the nicest and longest springs I can remember having in these parts.
We have been busy and continue to be so, the process of growing and making so much of our own food is a time consuming proposition. The KP alone can sometimes overwhelm. I do understand why lots of people eat fast and pre-processed food, but I'm glad I'm not one of them.
In closing, I share this fantastic pairing of Jackmanii clematis and the pale pink New Dawn rose. I got the idea from the Wayside Gardens catalog and it's a winner. This is even better than I imagined it would be, I can see it from the kitchen window, the flowers softening the many hours I spend at the sink.