Saturday, July 30, 2016

Patience pays...

I love my Jacob Cline Monarda and this year they are putting on a show.  Sitting in the front row is my hiccuping hummingbird.  I call it the hiccuping hummingbird because it only shows up to my feeders after they have fermented.   She likes her sugar water on the syrupy side.  Right now she is enjoying the monarda flowers.  I had to sit quietly in 87 degree sunshine, with ants crawling on me, and not move an inch to get these shots.  It was well worth it.  I hope you enjoy.

I must say I'm pretty proud of my photos.  What have you taken pictures of that you had to put extra effort into?

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Life is a bowl of cherries...

 I am so proud of my Bali Cherry tree.  She was loaded with fruit this year.  Enough for a pie.  
Isn't that beautiful?  Cherries and raspberries?  Every other day I wander around with my pail and pick what is ripe.

 Oh, there are some tomatoes and peas in the bottom of the bowl.  I started my picking path at the greenhouse.  I bet you were wondering about the monster cherry in the first photo.
 I figured out how to pit the cherries.  I gathered another bowl full after this one.  All from my one little tree.
 Then I gallivanted around and gathered a gob of gooseberries.  I just figured out last year that they grow on our property.  I am sill not certain what I will do with them.  Wine or jelly?  What is your vote?  You will see a few currants in there.  They didn't do very well this year.

 I have been getting a lot of peas and chamomile from the vegetable gardens.  I love using the chamomile in teas and as a hair detangler.  
A plethora of perfectly prepared peas.   They will be frozen and used in salads and pot pies.  My carrots failed miserably this year, as did my spinach.  
 I spent Sunday making raspberry jam and raspberry wine.  At least I think it is raspberry wine.  Due to poor or non-existent labeling it may be a mix of raspberry, rhubarb, and cherry wine.  I really need to improve my record keeping.    The raspberry jam was a cinch to make this year.  Usually I have to boil it forever before it is ready, but my new stove had it perfect in 1/4 the time.  I really had no idea a stove could make that big of a difference.  
What are you doing with your harvest?  What do you think I should do with my gooseberries? 
I hope you had as productive weekend as I did.  

Friday, July 15, 2016

Finally, I am off the porch...

I have had a few nudges to get off the porch.  I haven't posted for two weeks, because we enjoyed some quality time with family and friends.  We visited with family in Minnesota, where I am always enamored with the diverse plants.  I also share my love of birdwatching with my mother-in-law.
 Then when we got home I was grateful to be able to spend a week with my friend from Denmark.  We had a wonderful time relaxing and visiting. She always appreciates the South Dakota sun.  It was 45 degrees and raining in her homeland, while she enjoyed 70's, 80's, and even a day in the 90's here.
Although it was a busy few weeks, it was certainly worth it.  Time with family and friends never gets old.  Christina also reminds me of how lucky I am to live somewhere with wonderful summers.  She always says,  "Summer in Denmark is the nicest day of the year."   I always think our summers are short, but I believe she has me beat.  

The gardens are holding tough despite the heat.  My poppies and cosmos are blooming.  Along with the daylilies and clematis.

I am excited as it is now berry picking time.   I've already picked a gallon of raspberries, a few wild strawberries, and my Bali Cherry is going nuts.  I should have enough of those to make a pie and perhaps even have some leftover for Cherry/Baily's Irish Cream Ice Cream.  I've gotta try that.  I also think the goose berries are ripe.  I still don't know enough to tell for sure, but I'll find out this weekend.

 This weekend my goal is to pick berries, catch up on blogs, and make jam.  What are you looking forward to doing in the late fall?