Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Where the blimps sleep,

We had another big day with Nona and Papa.

We visited Wingfoot Lake. It's a new State Park in our area that used to be a recreational facility for Goodyear Tire Co. Just across the lake from the park, is a hangar for Goodyear Blimps. It's a great place with a wonderful playground, tennis courts, picnic areas and a disc golf course. If you are scratching your head over that one, click here.

We played on the playground, admired some baby goslings, had a picnic lunch and took a quick walk around the grounds. While we were standing on the boat dock, we saw the blimp come in over the trees.

It's a pretty awesome sight up close, though we were not as close as Nona and Papa got on Sunday when they were in their kayaks on the lake. While we watched they snagged the cables on the front, and backed the thing into the hangar. I'll have a video of that for you tomorrow, but it might take all night upload. (The Blimp moves pretty slowly.)

Next we searched for four leaf clovers.

Kate carried her own snacks on the hike in her butterfly backpack.

After our walk, we took Kate for her first round of putt-putt. I don't have much hope for her on the WPGA tour:

But we ended the day with ice cream, so overall, a successful day.

Monday, May 23, 2011

What happens when you give the five-year-old the camera and leave her alone.

What happens when there is no food in the house.

That's a meatloaf, beef stew, fresh spinach quiche, steamed cauliflower and broccoli, fresh peppers, fresh bread and chocolate chip cookies. (In defense of the stew, it was very dreary this morning when I planned this, now however, it's beautiful.)

And here is what is living in the bluebird house out back. It is not a bluebird, but it is also not a sparrow, so that is progress. It's a barn swallow.

Pics From Yesterday

The blooming chives continue to fascinate me.

This is the neatest my garden ever looks. (Please note: for those of you who might be trying to learn how to garden, this is the way NOT to do it. My plants are way too close together. I am a greedy gardener, and a silly woman, and I will regret this in about two months. Just sayin)

The master gardener hard at work.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Garden Log

Rick took pity on me and did the tilling in the vegetable garden today, so Kate and I went off to Pamida to buy plants. Sadly, all their tomato plants already seem to have the blight, which I've never seen before this early in the year. I did not buy them, but I did buy some other plants. I hope this does not turn out to be a mistake. Here's what got planted today: Two cucumber plants (Burpfree Bush), six Lady Bell peppers, four Pacman broccoli plants, four Snow Crown cauliflower, two Big Bertha peppers, four Rutgers Slicing tomatoes, one Park's Whopper tomato and one better bush tomato. We also planted three hills of potatoes, one row of eggplant seeds and one row of onion sets. I don't know what to tell you about the eggplant, but that the seeds were free, and I've never grown them, so why not. Kate and I also planted Mexican Sunflowers, Zinnias and Nasturtiums in the pine tree beds. My body aches but my garden is lovely. Goodnight and grow well.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Garden Log

On our first truly nice day, here's what's been accomplished:

Library Garden: half tilled, six tomatoes and two zucchini plants in. 3 ft. of peas, and 3 ft. of radishes planted. One jalapeno pot planted.

Home Garden: Two rows of peas planted, one early girl tomato pot planted. garden half weeded (it was the easy half.)

Wildlife update: We are overrun with toads, but they are not enough to eat all the ticks yet. I saw a bald eagle cruising above the library this morning before we opened. Rick saw a very large snapping turtle in the pond today, and it happened to be eating the remains of a black snake in the pond. The tail end that Rick fished out was about 2 inches in diameter about 6 inches up from the tip of the tail. That means he was pretty darn big.

I emptied 3/8 of an inch from the rain gauge this evening.

That's all for now. Too tired to type.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Oh Wow

Yesterday the rain ruined Nona and Papa's plans, so Kate and I had to pitch in and help entertain them. You know, they can't just sit around and do nothing! So they took us out for lunch and to the new hands-on science museum in Youngstown called Oh Wow. It's a fantastic place; not very large, but every single thing is something a kid can do and enjoy (not to mention the adults who had a pretty good time too.)

They have a great water table with water pouring down two ways, one with sand to show kids about erosion and one with movable plates for kids to make dams and tons of things to float down.

We also enjoyed the rhythm machine. The percussion instruments are up on the wall, and you can control each one from a touch screen in front of you. We got a good dance beat going.

We built a catenary arch, although we didn't follow the rules because the directions didn't seem to work, it did stand up long enough for a picture.

Then there was the ball pipes, a set of vacuum tubes which you could shoot plastic balls and handkerchiefs through. We could have stayed there all day. There were a few tubes shooting air straight up, and you could balance a ball there if you were careful.

They have a full size plane, cockpit you can sit in, and a paper airplane launcher. Our last stop was the laser guitar, which played a note when you interrupted the lasers with your hand.

If you've got a youngster, you should definitely go, and plan to stay awhile. If you don't have a kid, find one you can borrow so you can have and excuse to go and play too.

Garden Update:
Before we hit the museum we re-potted some tomatoes and spinach. Planted nasturtiums, spinach, oregano, basil, chives and parsley in pots. Outside, the rain continues, so this stuff may have to continue growing in my dining room all summer.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

rain gauge

5/8 of an inch in the rain gauge at 5:30

Friday, May 13, 2011

facts for the day

The strawberries are blooming among the bee balm.

The spinach is sprouting outside

Zucchini and thyme are sprouting inside

It's been over 80 degrees for two days. We got an inch of rain yesterday, and have had 1/2 and inch so far today and the Chives are blooming (I think. it's possible an alien has landed in my garden.)

Monday, May 9, 2011

We wait in hope

So, we are finally nearing the point in our warmer weather where we are almost brave enough to believe it's really spring. The rain has stopped for a few days, although the yard is still squishy and requires gum boots in most places. We are playing outside without jackets and the flower beds are cleaned out for the season.

Yesterday my dad came over with his wader boots and went out to check on the wood duck box. He saw several eggs, but no wood duck. We though this was not good. This morning there was a worse sign. Instead of the daddy wood duck sitting on the box, there was a juvenile red tailed hawk. I'm pretty sure he didn't eat our daddy duck, but I'm sure he gave him a scare. Today dad came over and installed a raccoon baffle to keep the eggs safe.
I was ready to give up on the eggs after spotting the hawk this morning, but apparently dad still has faith. We'll see.

Meanwhile this little guy
has moved into Fort Katie. He's a cute little tree frog. They are usually hard to spot but his camouflage doesn't quite match the redwood stain.

Dad also installed this for me.
The bluebirds are probably all nested by now, but they might use this for a second round of babies.

And I set up my birthday present:
Something to keep me from mowing up my garden hose. Kate and I planted pumpkin seeds today, and her zucchini seeds are coming along.

So baby plants and baby birds are all the world right now. There's not much we can do in either situation but wait in hope.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Spring News

Garden update: Pine tree gardens have been weeded, and the silver mound, dames rocket and phlox look good. The coral bells and ice plant are currently questionable.
There's also the mystery bush:
Came up on it's own, and I let it live. It doesn't seem to bloom or anything, just be green.

In the upper garden, last week's weeding has allowed the bee balm to flourish, and the strawberries are blooming. Also, the stargazer lilies are coming back. If only I can keep the myrtle from strangling them.

And now for the big news. ThisP1010818is a wood duck box. Been there a few years. A few days ago, while in the shower, I though I saw something sitting on top of it. Our shower has a window onto the back yard which is cool because you can see things while shampooing. However, since I need glasses to see anything past about 6 feet, I pretty much only know "something" is out there, not what it is. Turns out it was a wood duck! He seems to spend pretty much every morning out there. I'm hoping this means he's got a family in that box, but I can't be sure, and I'm afraid I'll scare them off if I go out there and check. Also, I don't want to get too close, so I can't get a good picture. This is the best I can do, through the scope:
P1010827 Terrible picture but wonderful news.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Garden Log April 30

Kate and I planted pepper and zucchini seeds along with lavender, oregano, and thyme inside. Spinach seeds planted outside in planters. Dandelions pulled from upper garden.