Fun With Science

After much prep, E’s first loaves of homemade sourdough bread were a success.  They rose nicely, and smelled and tasted like proper sourdough.  “Cleopatra” now resides in the fridge, to be fed once a week and used whenever yeast is called for.  It’s like a real bakery around here.

Look at this alien freak black-eyed susan!  It’s oblong.  The tall sunflower (one of the few not eaten by rabbits) is going to open soon.  Other bird/bee/butterfly-friendly flowers continue to draw pollinators.  The latest opener is a red zinnia (last photo).



Magic Purple Pods

It’s hard to see, but lots of little birds are hanging out at the newest watering hole.  Meanwhile, mobs of squirrels are going totally squirrelly, and the two Wily Wabbits continue to eat my veg garden.  Yay wildlife!

Here is your daily flower dose.  They seem pretty pleased with the accommodations.

I did a double-take this morning at all the purple pod pole beans that magically appeared overnight!  How do they do that?  Here are some with yet more snow peas, also skilled at camouflage.  Hopefully they can hide from the Wacky Wabbits.



Emancipation–a Work in Progress

On this 155th commemoration of the (so-called) end of slavery, racism is alive and well in trumpworld.  Between that and the rising COVID cases and deaths among all ages, due to denial and reckless negligence encouraged by trump, it’s a mad, mad world out there.  I’m trying to ignore the news, it’s so beyond insane.

Instead, here are more rainbow flower colors, to celebrate the diversity of all species.  I’m particularly pleased to see an Italian zucchini variety I tried this year, starting to do something.  The little purple buds are purple pole bean flowers.  The balloon flowers started opening today.  And bees are a-pollinating.  The last pic is an unopened zinnia bud.


Victories in Various Sizes

GO Supreme Court!  Two victories over trump in a couple of days (LGBTQ civil rights and now DACA).  Let’s hope this is a trend toward a return to some sanity and justice for everyone.  They can start with our sick criminal-in-chief.  His downfall is coming.

Back at the homestead, E’s homemade bread yeast/ sourdough starter (a.k.a. “Cleopatra”) is a big success.  Her first trial products are these flatbreads with a distinctive sourdough taste, and this pizza before and after.  Basil courtesy of my herb garden.

Meanwhile, I’m puttering in the garden as usual, weeding, cultivating, watering, planting homegrown plants, starting new veg and herb seedlings, and harvesting.  I like that there’s always more to do, and I get to grow things full-time.

Here are your daily flowers, including a balloon flower (Platycodon) (the last pic) about to pop.

OCD Quarantine Gardening

Yesterday we chanced one of our periodic treks to Lowes for essential supplies.  Maybe less than half of people were wearing masks and distancing.  As we ventured farther back into the store, fewer customers were doing so.  We planned ahead in order to spend as little time inside as possible, and more in the garden center.

Knowing this careless behavior is causing a big spike in COVID cases and deaths, including among the young, doesn’t help with the stress level.  Each time we go out, the probability of getting the virus increases.  It could have been a better outcome, if we had competent leaders and intelligent voters.

On the upside, I got some much-needed gardening items.  You can tell how quarantined we’ve been by how sorted out the garden is looking.  I’m not being a showoff, it’s what I do to feel productive when there’s no other outlet.  Here are some newly-improved perennial beds.

And here are more flowers, including one I’m very happy about, bee balm (Monarda), the last one, which is a great pollinator/hummer wildflower.  It finally took off this year.

A Glimmer of Hope

Every once in a while, something actually goes right in politics–in this case LGBTQ civil rights, way overdue.  Now if  the SC could just enforce non-discrimination in healthcare for trans and gay people, overruling trump’s latest hate move, that would be even better.  It’s scary enough to be black and/or trans, without being refused healthcare in a COVID world.

In healthier news, I’m still getting loads of snow peas, and the pole beans (purple, in this case) are flowering, as well as all the squash.  Masses of other flowers are surrounding the house.  I’m starting to see goldfinches and purple finches, while awaiting the arrival of monarchs and other butterflies.  So far no hummer sightings, but they have to be out there.

Muddling Through Dangerous Times

First, a shout-out to my exhausted son, trying to work (self-employed) from home full-time, while dealing with major home repairs, with a house full of rambunctious, demanding young kids (almost teen in some cases) for the summer, all under pandemic restrictions, mostly alone.

I feel very bad that I can’t be there in any capacity, or be helpful from a distance.  I’m proud of him for the hard work he does of being a good father while overloaded by all the responsibilities of supporting them and fixing a deteriorating house.  I just want him to know he’s loved and appreciated.  Not many people could accomplish what he’s doing by himself.

These “buzzards” have seriously taken over the place.  I think they just allow us to cohabit on their land.  I wish they’d eat up some of the large rabbits that have moved into my garden.

Today was mowing day.  Yes, we still have a damn lawn.  It takes three machines to mow it.  The goal is to shrink it eventually, but it takes time and labor, neither of which are on our side.  So we mow on.

Here’s Misu, living the good life.  Sometimes she flops right on top of my laptop so I can’t type and have to pay attention to her.

Here are some garden views.  The first two are from the “prairie”, where the white mountain mint (Pycnanthemum) is blooming.  It will attract many unusual pollinators.

I feel fortunate to be surrounded by so much wildlife in the face of so much pervasive death by virus and brutality.




Quarantine Lab Experiments

Here are E’s latest breads, challah and another fabulous old-fashioned white/wheat bread, already being devoured as it came out of the oven.  Our precious yeast supply is now used up, so the next bread batch will be an experiment using E’s homegrown yeast, which we named “Cleopatra”, after the Addams Family’s carnivorous plant. Yep, too much time on our hands under quarantine.

Here are your daily flowers, plus my agent Misu supervising my “work”.  Now that she’s an indoor cat, the rabbit population is taking over and decimating my veg garden.  It’s frustrating, but in effect I invited wildlife to move in, so  I can’t really blame them.  I can still think “KILL THE WABBIT!” thoughts, though.


If you’re reading this, please don’t let your guard down against COVID-19.  The cases and death toll are still rising in many places, and this next spike could be much worse.  Continue to take precautions and use social distancing.  This goes for any and all age groups.  There’s no evidence that getting and surviving the virus gives you automatic, permanent immunity, and that includes younger, lower risk people.  And asymptomatic carriers can pass it on to others.  Please use common sense and continue to protect your family and friends.  This is not a virus you want to take chances with, at any age.  A PSA based on the latest scientific findings.  And now back to the garden.

I’ve been harvesting piles of snow peas like this every day.  And I had my first blackberry today.  These are unripe ones.

It’s pollinator heaven out there.  And plenty of bouquet material.

The whole time I’m writing these posts, my agent Misu is right there with me, proofreading and editing.  Nothing gets published without her approval.