Sunday, September 24, 2017

Fall in Minnesota...

It is hard to believe that it is fall in Minnesota.  The temperatures have been in the 90's.  Yes, I said 90's. I took a walk in the park with my mother-in-law this morning, while it was still cool.  It was a perfect time for a walk with good company.  The colors were vivid and the smells were rich.
This caterpillar is a beautiful hue.  I had a hard time getting him to sit still for his portrait.
No photo collage of Minnesota would be complete without at least one picture of a barn.

My mother-in-laws flowers still look grand.
The sun sets over a field of corn.

 We are on our way home tomorrow.  The weather report warns us of snow showers.  A little bit of a contrast from the heat wave here.  We had a great visit with family, before winter arrives.  What is your weather?

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Buffalo berries and backaches...

My favorite jelly in the whole world is buffalo berry.  I always get a lot of questions about buffalo berries, so I took quite a few photos on this berry picking trip.  I am thankful to have a good friend who's pasture is loaded with buffalo berries.  She is always accommodating when I ask to come picking.  They grow in draws on the prairie.  The berries are super tart, but not so bad if you can wait until a frost.   Which they had a frost that morning.
My heart leaps to see bushes loaded with berries.  Do you see all of the bushes farther back?  This lady's property is a paradise when it comes to picking.
 All those pretty red jewels surround one nasty sharp thorn.  These are not fun berries to pick.  Though I have to say four hours of berry picking passed quickly as Lois and I visited.  I am thankful to know such a wonderful, smart, and kind lady.
 When we got all done picking and as I went to help her carry her plunder she surprised my by telling me to keep her half.  She had just come along for the company.  I must say I was almost in tears.  Again, these are not fun berries to pick.   Thank you Lois.   You are a grand lady.  

Along the lines of thankfulness.  My husband got me what I'm sure is every woman's dream.  A giant truck of compost.  Do you see that truckload?  I'm in heaven.  When I wasn't picking berries I was loading wheelbarrows and directing where the tractor scoops would be dumped.  

Many projects were completed.  My strawberry, sometimes flower, bed was in dire need of decent soil amendments.  I cleaned it out and filled it to the top.  I am determined to make it back into a strawberry bed.  This means I need to find somewhere for my butterfly bed.  I'm sure I will figure something out.
 It froze this Sunday.  I knew it was coming, so I went to close up the greenhouse.  I had to cut the pumpkin vine to my pumpkin on a pedestal.   Remember him?  Well, I was in the greenhouse and cut the vine attached to him without thinking twice, knowing that he was on a solidly built pedestal.   I wish I had a photo of my face as I watched the pumpkin catapulting out of sight.  I guess the vine was keeping tension on the whole shebang.  I went flying out of the greenhouse expecting to see pumpkin pieces everywhere, but he somehow landed safely.   Of course I forgot to take a picture for the blog.   I am saving the pumpkin pedestal as that isn't the first pumpkin I've had on the greenhouse roof.

 I am still harvesting from the garden.  Dill, peppers, lemon cucumbers, tomatoes, and squash.  Right now I our fridge is filled with cucumber slices in water.  I am waiting until the water is infused and then I will take out the cucumbers and freeze the water.  There is nothing more refreshing than cucumber water.   I'm hoping my idea will work and I can enjoy the treat long into winter.  
 Well, that wasn't everything and it certainly wasn't in a nutshell.  This weekend flew by.  There wasn't enough time in the day.   My back is killing me from all of the shoveling, pulling, and picking.   What have you been working on?  Have you ever had buffalo berries?  Have you had cucumber water?  

Sunday, September 10, 2017

Butterflies and bees...

My sedum is starting to bloom.  Much to the delight of my butterflies and bees.  I took several good photos today.  
 I love that you can see him probing the flowers.
 It has been so dry that the leaves are turning, despite the fact we were one of the few who escaped the first frost of the year.

 Above is a young fuzzy bumblebee and below is a busy honeybee.
 Here are all of the bees hanging out at the local water hole.  They are not very nice when the poor birds try to take a bath or get a drink.  
There isn't much else going on.  Just wishing we would get a rain.  Are the leaves turning where you are?  Are you getting rain?   Hope all is well and you are all easing into fall.

Sunday, September 3, 2017

Just humming along...

It is dry and smokey around here.  We are in need of some rain.  The smoke from the Montana fires are a bit smothering.
It may be dry, but this sweet fella keeps my gardens well watered.  He makes sure the gardens are fruitful and I am thankful for him.  It is because of his care that the gardens are successful.
If you look closely there is a chipmunk tail hanging out of the bird house that was occupied by bumblebees.   I don't know if the bees moved out or they are living in harmony.  All I know is that dang birdhouse has housed everything but a bird.   Below is my favorite photography subject the hummingbird moth.  He has such a determined look on his face.  I love taking photos of this little fella.  They love the phlox.  

 My peaches and cream phlox is a perfect backdrop for both the hummingbird moth and the humming bird itself.   Sitting still on the porch provides such a plethora of action.  I am super pleased with the photo below.  

 My hummingbird is quite the conversationalist.  She sits in the tree squeaking for twenty minutes before she goes to the feeders.   
 The late season blooms are keeping the bees going.  They love the Maximilian Sunflowers and Purple Coneflowers.  They have been super busy this summer, I can't wait to taste the fruits of their labor.

I picked my tomatoes, carrots, borage, peppers, and lemon cucumbers added some ranch dressing, dill, and celery seeds.  The combination with some salt and pepper made for a wonderful salad.  I also put a cucumber in some water for some refreshing cucumber water.  

 I am thankful for so many things.  I am a lucky woman and happy with the life I have chosen.  I hope you are also enjoying your life and the people within it that make it great.  Have a fabulous Labor Day weekend.