Monarch visitor

Monarch visitor

It was a quiet week in the garden. Actually there was a lot going on but I saw it mostly from the window. We had rain and heat and tropical humidity and then a cold front from Canada that gave us a couple dry, gorgeous early autumn days. If the forecast for the week pans out we will be warm to start and then after some rain and a cold front by Friday I’ll be looking at a high of 58F (14.4C) and a low of 38F (3C). There are even rumors of the possibility of frost in the outlying burbs.

Yesterday I was out enjoying the garden. It was a beautiful, sunny, Goldilocks kind of day and I was in and out hanging wet laundry on the line and bringing in the dry clothes. I love drying clothes and sheets and towels outdoors during the summer. My next door neighbor likes it too. He tells me he always knows that Saturday is going to be a nice day because I’m hanging laundry out. As someone who suffers from seasonal allergies, all the experts tell me never hang laundry outside to

Out to dry

Out to dry

dry. Supposedly it catches pollen which you then rub your face on with your towels and sleep in with your sheets, and wear on your back with your clothes. But really, in all the years I have been hanging out my laundry, I can’t say I have noticed that it makes me feel worse. I’m already taking allergy medication that works really well to keep the symptoms at bay except on the highest pollen count days so perhaps that is why I don’t notice a problem? Maybe if I didn’t take medicine from thaw to frost I would notice my laundry causing me trouble? Can’t say. Until I notice my sun-dried laundry making me feel worse, I will continue to hang it outside. And even if the day comes where I start to notice it troubles me I might just ignore it because I really like saving money on my utility bills!

Today Bookman and I would have normally been out in the garden enjoying the cool, early morning, but we were busy biking in the St. Paul Bicycle Classic. Thirty miles of bike riding fun through the closed streets of St Paul. All my hard bike workouts have been paying off as I passed quite a few people going up hill who were wearing fancy racing jerseys and riding nice road bikes while I’m riding a commuter bike with a rack and basket on the back end. These rides are dangerous though because I start to think how much faster I could be if I had one of those nice road bikes. One of the pleasures of biking though, even while huffing and puffing up a hill, is being slow enough to see the front yard gardens of other people around town. There were some really nice ones too. One shade garden was especially lovely and looked so serene it made me want to stop and rest in it.

Back in my garden it feels like things are starting to wind down even though I am a month away from the average first frost date (October 7). The heirloom garlic I ordered in July arrived a few days ago. I got a pound of Moroccan Creole. It is supposed to be a little warm. I am not someone who likes really hot and spicy foods, a medium curry is my limit and hot peppers, forget it. But I like hot garlic. This won’t be hot, but warm is good. I have to keep it cool and dry until I can plant it, after first frost when there will still be some nice days for the cloves to grow some roots but hopefully not nice enough for them to start sprouting.

Monarch in the morning sun

Monarch in the morning sun

A couple weeks ago I planted some radishes and turnips to have as end of season things that don’t mind cooler weather. I have never done this before and it is clear I have some things to learn. Everything began sprouting beautifully but the radish sprouts have been decimated and the turnips are quickly disappearing too. In spring I don’t have to contend with slugs and grasshoppers but at the end of the season they are everywhere. I must figure out a way to deal with them so next year my late season sprouts don’t get eaten. I still might get lucky and get a few turnips but the radishes, there was only one sprout left yesterday and I expect it will no longer be there when next I check. Sigh.

Friday morning while waiting for the bus in the cool dawn I discovered the likely visitors to Amy Pond I had all summer. I looked down the street and not three car lengths away were four raccoons casually ambling across the road. It was a mother, fairly large around 30 pounds (13.6 kg) I’d say, and three adolescents following behind her. One of them looked up at me, waved, and said, “thanks for all the sushi!” I was not amused. We never were able to get the solar pump working again after their visit so we never got our TARDIS “fountain” going. I think there is still one fish left in the pond but the floating plants that did survive the visits have multiplied so much that they cover the surface so I can’t look in to see if there is a fish. I haven’t seen any mosquito larva so I am assuming there is at least one fish taking care of them. I won’t know for sure until we are ready to drain the pond for the winter.

We’ve still got corn in the garden. We had our first ears last weekend. We bought an heirloom variety, the name of which I don’t remember and I am too lazy to go and look it up at the moment. It is sweet corn but it is not the juicy high water content, sugary sweet stuff you get at the grocery store that doesn’t taste like much but sugar. No, this corn is a bit chewy, not especially juicy, mildly sweet and actually tastes like corn. Bookman isn’t thrilled with it but I like it quite a bit. Sure it could be juicier, but I like the flavor. Bookman is advocating for a different variety next year. I definitely want to stick with an heirloom so we’ll see what our choices end up being. In the mean time, we’ll be enjoying corn on the cob and black bean veggie burgers for dinner tonight.

Advertisements