Day two of a long three-day holiday weekend. The weather is a mixed bag of sun, clouds and rain. It just wouldn’t be right to have three beautiful days in a row. At least it isn’t snowing!

Gardening

spiderwort

spiderwort

I am a morning person and if I had my choice I would wake up with the sun every day. I love the long days of summer. At the moment the sun comes up around 5:35 and as the light filters into the bedroom my eyes fly open. It doesn’t matter that I get up at 5 for work during the week, sleeping in on weekends when the sun is up so early is impossible. But instead of jumping out of bed and rushing to shower, I get to wake up slowly and stretch and lounge a bit and languorously get up and wander into the kitchen where Bookman has already been up for a few minutes and is brewing coffee and starting to make breakfast. All this and it is barely 6:00!

Over breakfast and the weather forecast Bookman and I discussed the order of the day, stay home and garden and cook or go for a long bike ride? Since the day promised light rain throughout, we decided today would be a good day to stay home. Bookman began his wizarding (he is not a witch, he is a kitchen wizard) by putting pinto beans on to cook so he can make vegan sausages one of which will be used to slice up for the pizza he is making the crust for today too. And then there are the energy bars he is making for biking. Who needs Clif Bars when you can make your own nutritious granola bars with real food and no white sugar. We add coconut and chocolate chips and change up a few different kinds of seed like flax, pepitas, and sunflower.

I did a few around the house chores and then we got suited up to go outside. It had not yet started raining. We gathered our gloves and tools and the seeds we intended to plant and walked outside and it immediately began raining! At first it was a few sprinkles and then it was a light rain heavy enough to chase us back inside. We changed our clothes and puttered around indoors and couldn’t bear it any longer. Back into our gardening togs and out into the light rain. Since neither Bookman nor I are wicked witches or made of sugar, we did not melt (such a relief because sometimes you just never know).

We planted flax seeds, planted three different kinds of sunflowers we had sprouted so the squirrels didn’t dig up the seeds (lemon queen, Russian, and arikara). We also planted the basil we had sprouted in pots in our little greenhouse. Oh, and okra, we planted seeds for that where the garlic was supposed to be growing.

Kind of pretty mystery bug

Kind of pretty mystery bug

The garlic is the first garden fail of the year. Only two cloves came up. Most of the rest I found mushy and heaved up beneath the winter mulch. We didn’t plant them deep enough for what turned out to be a warm winter with quite a lot of freezing and thawing. And I was so looking forward to garlic scapes again this year. Guess I will have to wait another year.

By this time we had gotten a bit damp so we came back indoors and changed out of our gardening gear and had some lunch. It was still raining after lunch with no chance of it clearing up. I was restless and grumpy over not being able to be outdoors. Bookman took pity and humored me. We put our gardening gear back on and went out to garden in the light rain.

We turned over the groundcover clover in an arm of the veggie bed and planted zucchini, lemon squash and strawberry spinach. The squash does not taste like lemons but are yellow round things about the size of a lemon, maybe a bit larger. The spinach isn’t really spinach at all but one of those green leafies that like the heat of summer and you can substitute for spinach. The strawberry comes from the strawberry red flowers is gets that look kind of like strawberries but I think look more raspberry-like, at least in the photos. The flowers are edible too. I have not grown this before so it will be a fun experiment. I decided to grow this instead of the malabar spinach I grew last summer that is a vining plant and requires trellising. The strawberry spinach is tall and bushy.

We also planted seeds for cantaloupe, variety Minnesota midget. These softball-sized melons that grow on a compact vine and in a shorter growing season than your big full-size cantaloupe. I have grown these for a couple of years now and love them. They are the perfect size for two people and they are as sweet and tasty as their bigger cousins.

Do I need to say that gardening in the rain is a muddy affair? My wellies were designed for such delights! My

geese with babies

geese with babies

gloves, my gardening pants and the sleeves of the light windbreaker I was wearing are caked in mud. So are Bookman’s gloves and jeans and shoes (he does not have wellies in spite of my encouragement for him to get some).

While we were out gardening in the rain, our neighbor walked through her yard on the way to her car and I can’t imagine what she must have thought about the two crazy people who live next door to her. She didn’t say a word, probably too afraid to.

Not much blooming at the moment. I did notice the lemon thyme I bought at the plant sale a couple weeks ago has a few tiny pink flowers on it. The spiderwort is beginning to flower and the wild geraniums in the garden are going to town. Walter is covered in little bean-sized crabapples and it looks like it will be a big year for Bossy, the green cooking apple too. I can’t tell yet what Bee the Honeycrisp apple is going to do. The tree is still pretty young so I don’t expect anything really. I wouldn’t mind a surprise though!

Biking

Theodore Wirth Park trail

Theodore Wirth Park trail

Bookman had to work on Saturday so I once again ventured out alone on Astrid to do some exploring. I found two trails I had not been on before and oh, are they gorgeous! I took a couple of photos so you can see what a marvelous bike city I live in. And the trails were a little hilly too. Not big hills, but a few long, not very steep inclines and a couple small rollers, enough for a bit of a workout and some panting and a few whees! when I got to go downhill.

While out I saw lots of birds, a few I didn’t know what they were. There were geese too with their fuzzy babies. I got hissed at as I rode by. I also saw a deer! She crossed the bike path about ten feet/3 m in front of me and then stood next to the path until I was about six feet/2 m away before she bounded into the woods. It was so amazing!

The weather was cool and cloudy and rained lightly a couple times but I rode between the raindrops and didn’t

Luce Line Regional Trail

Luce Line Regional Trail

get wet. It was a perfect day for a ride. When all was said and done I had gone 43.8 miles/70.5 km in three hours and ten minutes, three hours and 37 minutes if you count my rest breaks and stops to look at a map when I couldn’t find the connecting trails or when the trail would suddenly disappear at a street intersection. Not bad, eh?

Tomorrow it is supposed to rain in the afternoon so Bookman and I will be out early for a long ride. We are going to try and see if we can reach Purgatory. Seriously. There is a park off a spur of the trail I rode last week called Purgatory. This amuses me immensely. I’ll be sure to let you know what Purgatory is like!

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