30 August, 2010

Datura in Full Bloom

Our garden is doing really well this year, with all the rain we've had, and the moon garden is particularly enchanting, although it is also nearly impossible for me to photograph on the camera I have. Here is one of about eight clumps of datura I have in bloom around the house. They shine brightly on moonlit nights.

27 August, 2010

More Bunnies!?

I thought our experience with bunny nests in the yard was over for the summer. But no. Seems another mama bunny decided to dig her nest in a flowerbed in the front yard. Doesn't look like she dug up any spring bulbs, though. Unfortunately the front yard doesn't leave her any protection from dogs, kids, and other critters, like the one in the backyard had. When I took Maggie out for a late night walk, last night, she kept trying to drag me to the flowerbed. After pulling her away three time Maggie gave up.

I didn't know there was a nest there; Joanne and Ted discovered it later when walking Maggie. Silly dog managed to get to the nest and pull two babies out! One ran away but the other was injured and couldn't run. The injured bunny was left by the cherry tree but was gone in the morning. I didn't see him anywhere. Looks like something else had gotten to it earlier. We do have skunks, possum, raccoons, etc. all around us.

The little guy that ran away may have headed to the backyard. Maggie and I heard rustling behind the trellis but didn't see anything. As far as we know there are two more left in the nest. I peeked and saw little fur covered toes. Hopefully they will survive and be on their way in a couple of weeks or sooner as they are a good size already. This explains why I've been seeing rabbits, in the front yard, the past few weeks, late at night.

Box Mom

18 August, 2010

Twilight Honey Bees

I call them twilight bees because they only seem to show up in the yard at dusk, when the datura (angel trumpets) open. On a typical evening, several dozen flowers open, which means hundreds of bees. They are very docile, stay around for only fifteen minutes or so before it gets too dark, and let me garden around them. I'm able to snip dead flowers and prune back a plant that has a dozen or more bees circling around it, without any of us being bothered.

The camera didn't want to stay in focus, as the gals kept flying straight at me. The noise drowning out their buzzing is from the cicadas, which begin their song about three o'clock.

03 August, 2010

First Year for Plums, Peaches at the Box House

You don't need a big yard out in the country to grow fruit. There are many fine dwarf specimens out there they don't get very tall. We have several fruit trees planted round the yard: three cherries, two antique apples, a peach, a pear, and a plum. Some are self-fertile, some cross-pollinate with other trees in my yard or my neighbors'; as for my pear, I hope there is another pear tree in the area, or else I'll have to figure out how I'm going to cross-pollinate that one.

I planted the peach and plum in the summer of 2008, and both bore fruit for the first time this year. The plum has two different varieties grafted to it, the yellow one matures first. Isn't it beautiful?

They are so sweet and delicious. There are few things finer than going in the backyard on a summer's day, plucking a fruit from a tree I nursed myself, and biting into its sun-warmed goodness as I flop in the shade with a book.

Last year we had blossoms, but no fruit on the peach tree. This year, we had over 300 baby peaches. We also had a nasty case of peach rust, where 95% of the tree seemed to be affected. Apparently the only time to treat for fungus is pre-leaf emergence, so I took the state extension office's advice and stripped the tree of fruit this year so it could focus its energy on healing. I'll treat it next spring. Boy, it hurt plucking all those cute little baby peaches. I left a few on so I have an idea of when they'll ripen next year. Here's one:

This fall, I think I'll plant a berry patch.