Monday, May 26, 2008

now I can show you

"Dung beetles are powerfully addicted to fresh dung. Beetles are alerted as soon as a nearby animal lifts its tail to defecate and passes a little odorus gas."
Ok. I just thought this was so damn cute I had to buy it. Its only about 3" across and has three tiny legs on the underside. I sent it to my son for his 40th birthday and he immediately proclaimed it his "new wasabi bowl" and will "break it out at the next sushi party." (Oh! So that's what it is!)
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Friday, May 23, 2008

what a little compost and sunshine can do

My brother planted his tomatoes last month. Can you say "Ripe well before July 4th?" Just look at these things! He does mulch the heck and by golly out of all his flower and veggie beds and he does have a lot more sunshine warming his garden than I do, but criminy, Its only May 23rd!
These fruits are already more than 3" across. I am SO hungry for a toasted tomato sandwich right now...made with REAL tomatoes....
and fresh basil....and fresh purple onion.....
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Sunday, May 18, 2008

I Know. I KNOW!

I'm not supposed to be buying more plants right now but I just couldn't resist this Ligularia tussilaginea 'Gigantea' (aka; Farfugium japonicum). For one thing I had a 20% off coupon. For another this seemed like a macho version of the delicate water Lotus "Nelumbo nucefera", not to mention much cheaper and much less demanding of water. Besides, its cute. And it can go to Oregon should the fates happen to tilt in that direction. (ie; is the buyer gonna cough up the money in less than three weeks...or not? Last we heard he wanted a several thousand dollar discount.. I don't bloody think so! Its not our fault he has drug this thing out for over a year. Not our fault that the market has tanked. I don't HAVE to move to Oregon, I just would like to. ) Enough about that.
Its hot here. Depending on which report one reads or which thermometer one looks at, it is 97°. or 98°. Or 95°. All I know is that its awfully friggin' early for July temperatures. Phoebe and I have been standing side by side in the doggie wading pool a lot today. The rooster just cools off with dust baths.
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I can't remember the name of this plant nor can I find all the little stakes I'd printed its name on and stuck about in the leaves. I keep thinking that
its common name is "measlewart" but I could be misremembering. It will grow in the shade but wants at least a few hours of sunshine to bloom. The flowers are little greenish star-shaped gals at the ends of the 8' long stalks. Maybe I'll go hunt for the name stake its a very pleasant 70° outside.
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Saturday, May 17, 2008

Big mower

This is the "little" sweetie who helps me get rid of the tall dry weeds and the chasmanthe.
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Needed: Herd of buffalo

In April the orchard was in full Sparaxil glory with occasional outcroppings of the pretty, lavendar Oxalis and great patches of the yellow kind. Buried beneath all this green glory were various balls from the grade school, cans and bottles, (sadly, also from the grade school), dead branches from the oak and olive trees and surely a vast population of Elves, Gnomes, Leprachauns, and the occasional Ogre.
By May the Elves, Gnomes, Leprachauns and Ogres had packed up all the flowers and all the green , leaving behind a veritable keep-me-awake-at-night worry about fire. So, Thursday morning the rake and I were out at the school fence by 6:00am and managed to fill two large "greens" cans with dried foxtails and crispy bedstraw. That stretch HAD been mowed several weeks ago but there was a ton of dead grass stems and seed heads in the fence line. The juicy blister on my right paw allowed me to stop and tidy up for my real job. You know, the one that actually pays money?
Friday morning the mower and I spent an hour rolling back and forth between the trees, stirring up clouds of foxtails, dust, and tiny peices of dried Sparaxis. The big mower and I run outta gas about the same time. (By "big" mower I mean this thing has bicycle tires and a "self propelling" gear..another blister issue...and a 24" cutting deck. It can eat a lot of grass in a short time.) It would be better yet
if I had a riding lawnmower-with-bag so that all this fuel could be sucked up off the dirt. Our parents used to have the orchard disked every spring and then they would make ditches along each row and water the trees. The trees have been on their own for several years now and staying alive on winter rains. They are also obviously way out of control in the pruning department. I was elated to notice a 10" Alligator Lizard scurrying away from the noise and bluster of the mower. I was afraid that they had all dissappeared since I hadn't seen one in a few years. They should come down to the house and dine on the snails that the lone rooster misses.

Meanwhile, there are still two rows to mow if anyone is interested....150' x 25' each...........
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Monday, May 12, 2008

Whole Earth Day

Oh those UCD Eggheads! Some day it would be fun to just wander the entire campus and "capture" all the sculptures. However, yesterday we were on a shopping mission. The University of California, Davis, hosts the Whole Earth Festival every spring; I believe this was my third visit to the event....certainly it was the most costly. (giggle) After kicking myself for at least 4 years for not buying a certain beautiful painted silk scarf, I decided that I was gonna buy whatever struck my fancy this year...hence, the wonderful bowl. (There's another wonderful ceramic from the same artist ( , Dublin, CA.) in my collection but I can't show it yet cuz its gonna be a gift. They also had mugs and tiny vases, and bigger vases, and plates, and little serving containers....all hand painted with these delightful
little birds or wonderful little dragonflies. This bowl is 8" across and 2" deep. Must have more!

Besides all the great jewelery, and ceramics, and painted silks, there were many booths selling tie-dye clothing, hemp clothing, and clothing made out of ... well, I'm not sure....sustainable cowhide?LOTS of Hippies and dreadlocks and bare, bejewelled bellies, and oh yes, once in awhile that strange odor of burning leaves...I'm sorry I didn't get pictures of some of the dancers. The live music was great. Its all very peaceful and festive and organic and earthy at the Whole Earth gathering. gulp..was it Whole Earth Festival? Whole Earth Day? Whatever, it was fun. I also have new earrings and a matching pendant as well as a cool, bent tine fork..meant to be a key chain fob but which has become a pendant. The gentleman manning that booth was wearing a beautiful tiedye peace sign t-shirt AND an Obama button. How could I NOT buy something from him? I'll try to remember to post pictures of the jewelery soon...
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