Thursday, May 23, 2013

An almost full moon

An sojourn outside this evening as it was becoming dark surprised me with an almost full moon.  It was high in the sky as dusk descended, so was easily visible.

I remembered that the April full moon hike was on the 25th -- the full moon date for May is also the 25th, although tonight's moon looms large!

an almost full moon (May 23, 2013)

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Swapping out cool-season to warm-season veggies

It's been a strange spring, for sure.  But it's finally time to harvest the last of the greens to make room for the tomatoes, peppers, and squash in my mountain raised beds. The early planted tomatoes, eggplants, and peppers have survived, but they vary in how they've coped with the unseasonably low temperatures, too.

The early spring cole crops (direct-seeded) are bolting, although the lettuce that I put in via transplants is still looking great (and it's tasty, too, thanks to cool weather).

I'll be putting in more tomato plants this weekend, as well as sowing beans, squash, etc.!

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Swiss chard

I wish I had a photo to go along with this post! 

I harvested lots of chard from the mountain beds earlier in the week (they were starting to bolt).

We had part of it (the harvest) cooked a couple of days ago, but I included the final harvest in a chard salad to take to a local foods potluck this evening.  Yum. 

I'd not made a fresh chard salad before, amazingly, but chard (chopped finely) is mild in taste, and with some vinaigrette, onions, chives, chive flowers, and some diced purple sweet potatoes -- it made a lovely, colorful, and delicious dish.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Enjoying waterfalls

My gardening companion has been visiting great wildflower and waterfall areas, as part of his field work for a new project.

Here's our boy Woody, enjoying the research!

Woody at Jones Gap Falls

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Waiting for monarchs

I brought some Common Milkweed (Asclepias syriaca) shoots and (dug-up) plants to share with a friend in the mountains.  She's "fostering" monarch caterpillars through Monarch Watch (I think).  What a great thing to do!

I had plenty of milkweed in the Piedmont, but the chilly spring has meant slow emergence in the mountains.  And the numbers of monarchs overwintering was at a really low point this year, so help (for the successive broods as they come north) is especially important.

Planting milkweeds of all sorts, but particularly common milkweed, is especially important, as it helps their journey north, as it takes at least 4 generations to make it to the farthest point!

My favorite site for tracking the adults is Journey North, but there are others, too.

And my friend shared this great video about the journey of Monarchs via her Facebook page, which I'm reposting here.


Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Spring migrants

The director at the Garden where I work (in the Piedmont of SC) reported hearing numerous warblers yesterday in our woodland gardens (in this Facebook post). Wow!

And Journey North's expert described an amazing array of sightings in his final Weather and Songbird post.

It's a great time to be out watching (and listening) for birds.
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