Mountain Top Walks

One of my favorite places to walk or hike is on the Mountain Lake Conservancy property. There is a 1 mile trail/dirt road that leads from the lodge to the upper recreation area and from there, another trail that traverses the ridge line and can loop back to the first trail or continue on behind the lodge to a fire road just below the lodge. We usually walk up the first trail to a crossover trail that is 1/4 mile straight up to the ridge trail then walk it back to the recreation area and then down the 1 mile trail. We get in about 2 miles or slightly more and it is rare to see anyone and never on the upper trail. Saturday’s walk after Farmer’s Market and some planting was taken up there. Spring isn’t as far along there, about 2,000 feet higher elevation on the mountain. There weren’t many wildflowers yet, but we did see this little white daisy like flower that my app won’t identify. The wood ferns are still fiddleheads, the trees with squirrel ear sized leaves, but many with lichens growing on their bark.

I had donned a long sleeve shirt to work in the yard and was glad for the sleeve length up there.

Once home, the rest of the garden was seeded and transplanted then watered in thoroughly. Bush beans, cucumbers, popcorn, Hubbard squash, Tomatillo, Ground cherry, and Cilantro transplants all in. The rest of the old garden boxes were removed for destruction and burning which clears an area for me to improve or restart the asparagus bed and I think to add 3 more half barrels with thornless blackberries. I have a Comfrey that is not in a good place, but it is going to be dug out and given to a friend tomorrow. And I need to use a flat hoe or spade to dig out some grass right under the edge of the fence. In working out there today, I realized that though I thought the asparagus was a poor crop this year, that actually they have expanded out from where they were planted and there was a large cluster under the spoiled hay. Since this garden is my first experience with asparagus I didn’t realize their habits over the half dozen years plus they have been there. I guess more research needs to be done on that front. And perhaps a new start in a raised bed to help control the weeds better. They really don’t like any weed growth.

After prepping, eating, and cleaning up dinner, I tackled the succulent pots, giving one it’s own pot, making a nursery pot, and one that is just pretty to look at. The triple ponytail palm that was in our bathroom was so rootbound, I was surprised it hadn’t broken the pot, so they were divided, unfortunately ruining one of them, but replanting one for us, putting one aside with some trailing succulents to do daugter’s Mother’s Day gift she received from DIL last weekend. There are two more houseplant that need attention and moving out on the porch. I realized the Jade plant is pot bound and the tall Dracena needs some TLC and feeding. I guess larger pots will have to be obtained and both of them transplanted and fed.

Another potbound plant was a small pothos, so it was transplanted into my Mother’s Day gift from DIL. I love the trailing stems over the sides of the white egg shaped pot.

Yesterday was a busy, pleasant mix of social and market time at the Farmer’s Market, yard and garden time, a beautiful walk.

Today I will try to connect with daughter to plant her pot and take her some Cilantro starts that I have going for her. My two hydroponic gardens are currently idle. They will likely stay that way for a bit until time to plant fall and winter house herbs and some salad greens for hot summer, fall, and winter salads.

The Other One

A couple of days ago, I introduced you to Ms. Houdini. When she gets out, she comes running toward me to be let back in the pen and coop at dusk. This is Ms. HA (Houdini’s apprentice) who discovered she too can escape, however, at dusk, she does not come running to be put away with the other hens. For the past two nights, I have found her here…

She lets me pick her up and as soon as we round the end of the house, she begins a mighty struggle to be free.

Yesterday, I left them locked in the coop until early afternoon, hoping that they would all lay their eggs in the nesting boxes. I only found 4 eggs.

When we got home from the Farmer’s Market and Nursery this morning, I lured Ms. Houdini and Ms. HA back to the pen, hoping they would lay their daily egg in there. At the Market, I purchased an Elderberry and wanted to get it in the ground promptly, so I gathered my tools, water, hole filling soil, a ring of fence, and a stake and set about the task of digging into our very rocky soil, looked up and there they were again, in the yard. The Elderberry was tucked in and watered and the ring of fence staked over it to protect it.

As I was taking my update picture for one of the spinning challenges first thing this morning, using the succulents that were moved outside yesterday as backdrop, I remembered that I also needed a bag of Cactus, succulent soil which I got at the nursery while we were out. The pots need dividing, some bits discarded, some replanted.

I had two peppers growing in the hydroponic garden that needed to be put in the ground or in pots and decided to pot them and put them in the herb part of the walled garden. While I was doing that on the side of the house, I heard the “egg song” and dashed around the front of the house to see if I can figure out where these two are laying their eggs, but though she was standing near a garden, I couldn’t spot any eggs. I guess I’m going to have to us longer poles for their enclosure and run monofilament or bird net a few feet higher than the 48″ fence to see if I can keep them in. I don’t want to keep them locked in the Palace as it is dark.

The fig half barrel was shifted to near the walled garden so it get watered when the garden gets watered and the smaller half barrel of herbs was placed in the walled garden with the two peppers in pots near where the other planted and potted herbs are located.

The rest of the vegetable garden is going to get seeded before the rain comes in tomorrow, hoping it gets watered in well, though I do have a second sprinkler in the vegetable garden plot.

It has been a fairly productive early part of the day and we still haven’t gone for our walk. I think I will go plant some seed while I wait to do that.

The Blanket Challenge

At the rate I am going, getting at least two squares from each sample of wool, I’m going to have to assemble two blankets, or it will fit a king size bed. There are 23 squares done so far with one on the knitting needles and most of the breeds done have 2 or 3 squares with wool left over. The squares are spread out on a double bed and the rough outline is already 40″ by 40″.

And this basket is full of the breeds I haven’t begun yet.

Every inch of the yarn has been spun and plied on Jenkins Turkish spindles and every square hand knit. I am awaiting the return of my largest spindle that I use to ply as it was returned for repair. It’s absence has kept my quantity small enough to limit me to two squares per spin and that is a good thing. There will be wool left over to be spun when the year is done and a different project to utilize smaller quantities of various wools will have to be decided. Having a spindle and a small knitting project with me at all times, keeps my hands busy and my mind distracted.