Nine bean rows will I have there, a hive for the honeybee, and live alone in the bee loud glade.

Friday, June 24, 2016

Just sitting on the porch...

It has been super hot and dry here.  Today we had a quick shower.  Not enough to really do anything besides get some good photos.  

 Despite the heat, my flowers are looking fabulous. Was able to get some wonderful photos right after the rain.

 I like this one of the water droplets on the peony.  You can even see a speck of dirt in the one droplet. 
To beat the heat I made a batch of my favorite homemade peach ice cream.  I can't wait to sit on the porch eating an ice cream cone and watching the robins feed their little ones.
 I am impressed with their hunting abilities.  They make unending rounds to the nest and their beaks are always full.
What do you see from your porch?  Have you had any rain?  What is your favorite homemade ice cream?

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Keeping busy...

We were all over the place this weekend.  Out on the Belle Fourche River, there had been an inch of rain.  Things looked greener than the last weekend we were out.  I was very pleased to catch this dragon fly and the nest of a mourning dove. 

Back at the cabin the roses and iris are blooming like crazy.  This is one of the many wild roses that blooms all around the cabin.

 These are my Harrison's yellow roses.  They can be seen at South Dakota homesteads long after the homesteader has gone.   They are one of the hardiest roses I've ever seen.

 My rose bed is flourishing.   It looked especially beautiful on our foggy Saturday morning.

 I was very happy to catch this colorful fellow amongst the flowers.
 The dianthus, creeping thyme, and lamb's ear are a perfect match.  
 We took my husband's little Willy's jeep for a trial run.  It passed with flying colors.

 I was a busy weekend.  We are enjoying summer every moment, because it never lasts long enough.  I was also lucky enough to spend this afternoon on the porch with a good friend sharing lemonade and enjoying a long visit.  How is your summer going?

Sunday, June 12, 2016


 It is hot.  I think we got to 96 degrees yesterday.   Unheard of for June.   Time to take the doors and top off of my Jeep (that will make it rain).  I also spend a lot time drinking lemonade on the porch.   

I bottled my Finnish Hard Lemonade tonight.  I was sure it was going to be atrocious, as it smelled like turpentine.  Turns out it isn't too bad.  I also have to admit my dandelion wine smells pretty good and seems to be progressing better than anticipated.   Early summer is lemonade season.  

I make homemade lemonade using the Anne of Green Gables recipe.  2 cups of fresh squeezed lemon, 2 cups of sugar, and 2 cups of water.  Boil the water and sugar while squeezing the lemons.   Then add 1 1/2 cups of the concentrate to about 6 cups of water.  Wonderful.  I will warn you it is addicting and pre-made lemonades will never have the same standing.  

The Finnish lemonade is a fermented mead.  4 cups of boiling water with 2 1/2 cups of honey dissolved.  4 lemons zest with pith thrown out and sliced thinly.    Add 1/2 tsp. yeast to 1/2 cup of water.  Then add 16 cups of water into the bucket with an airlock.  Let sit a week.  Put it in gallon jugs with raisins or dried cranberries.    Then I treated it like my wines and racked it every month for 3 months.  Added 2 cups of water with 2 cups of sugar boiled an voila.... hard lemonade.  I was skeptical, but now I will have to make another batch.  I just started a cherry rhubarb wine and have high hopes for it.  I am on my 72 batch of wine.  Pretty good for just a starter kit.  Almost every batch is made with home grown fruits.  The lemons are definitely and exception on that.

Blooms are at a lull right now.  mainly iris and columbine.  These aren't the best photos as I waited way too long to take them and the sun was already down.  I will do better next time I promise.

 I have been running occasionally in the mornings now, as it is cooler.  Anyone who really knows me knows that this is an amazing feat.  I am a lot of things in the morning, full of energy and enthusiasm is not one of them.  Ella, on the other hand, thinks it is AWESOME. 
That is all I know.  I hope everyone is slowing down and enjoying the summer.  I'm sure in a mere 3 months my running trail will again be a snowshoe trail.  I will just pour myself another glass of lemonade and sit on the porch while enjoying life.  

Sunday, June 5, 2016

This weekend is for the birds...

Finally a nice weekend.  A bit of a wind, but still warm enough to sit outside and enjoy the world.  Enjoy I did.  I spent the weekend birdwatching.  

These robins got my hopes up by starting a nest on the porch, but they must have abandon the idea.  Still, it has been fun to watch their relentless search for worms on our lawn.  They were my Grandmother's favorite bird. 

Below I was skeptical about my new bird bath.  But if you look in the lower corner there is already a line forming to use it.  I think that is a female house finch waiting for the junco to finish.  

The evening grossbeaks have been singing their beautiful song.
The bluejays are also enjoying the feeders.  If you notice on the photo to the left he is checking out the feeder before partaking in the seed.  This is probably because yesterday he wasn't so careful and landed on a chipmunk.  There was quite the noise as both parties were very surprised.   

I am hopeful to add one more photo, as a hummingbird has been visiting my feeders this evening.  I'm trying to get a picture as I sit on the porch typing this blog.  He is still pretty skittish, so maybe by the next post.  
 I do have two late entries.  Not the hummingbird, but the Western tanager and it's mate.  Both are very beautiful and tease me with occasional visits.  I guess they wanted to be a part of this evening's post.  Now if I could just get that hummingbird.
I have certainly enjoyed watching the birds this weekend.  I hope the birds are providing you with entertainment as well.
A late addition, but a welcome one.

Sunday, May 29, 2016

Finally finished...

Last year we built a new flower bed in front of the cabin  The old one had moved with the clay soil and was pushing against the porch supports.  I was very pleased with the final result.  I was somewhat skeptical that my poor Miss Kim lilac would take to the rehoming, but she looks great this spring.

Now comes part two of the flower bed project.   This is the old block flower bed.  It has also moved into the porch supports.
 I started out by removing the blocks, then the plants, and finally the grass.  I put down a nice layer of gravel.  Then we started creating the bed from scratch.  There is something very rewarding about getting a project like this done in a day.  

Finally, my favorite part, planting!  My pink rose was in need of a better bed.

 I'm afraid my fishing bears had to go.  I needed my tall bear and short bear to even out the beds.  We didn't realize the height difference between beds until we were all done.  Luckily the bears make it appear even.  

I am glad to have these two projects done.  They were damaging the cabin and were actually quite small.  Now my plants have room to grow and the beds sick out far enough from the roof to capture rain water.  It was quite ridiculous that I was having to water both beds despite lots of rain.  These beds may be in recovery mode this year, but I am certain that next year they will be phenomenal.  

I can't say enough how much I appreciate my husband.  If I say I need flower beds, he builds me flower beds.  I am the luckiest woman ever.  

Sunday, May 22, 2016

A plethora of planting...

We have been super busy.  Last week was filled with family.  Kelly's nephew and his family came out for turkey hunting and fishing.  Then I was off to my sister's to run a 5k with my sister and nieces.  A great time was had by everyone.  It is good to spend time together.  

This weekend was a plethora of planting.  Kelly planted the food plots for our deer.  I planted the greenhouse and all of my planters.  It was very fulfilling to get my hands in the dirt.   
Kelly putting the finishing touches on the food plot.
I wasn't the only one planting.  The wild pasque flower was sowing it's seeds this weekend.
My little wild tulips look great in the rose bed.

These daffodils are so complicated.  I get lost in their petals.
The tulips were all afire this afternoon.  They look great.
These tulips are my favorite.  I'm going to have to replant, as they have slowly died out over time.
This is my go to grouping.  Every year they bring me happiness.

Do you have any planting combinations that are your favorite?