August 7, 2014

The yard next door. I know I keep harping on it. The neighbors are working hard to fix the place up, but so far only on the inside. The grounds are barren as the heat of summer goes on. And yet, there is life.

I glanced over there and saw a little sparrow hopping around. It went for the dirtiest patch and took a dust bath for several minutes. It was very cute, and it made me realize something. Nature doesn’t need people to make a lot of effort to create habitat. It doesn’t really need any help. Sometimes what nature needs is for us to leave things alone.

Ace Hardware stores in Spokane are holding a series of food preservation workshops on weekends through August. They will be led by a food safety expert from the County Ag Extension. This weekend’s workshops will be on Saturday at Francis & Monroe (9 am – 1 pm) and 44th & Regal (3 – 7 pm), and on Sunday at Wandermere (1 – 5 pm).

It’s hot, did I mention? And I’ve been watering steadily, trying to keep some life in my lawn. Not that I expect my place to look like a golf course, but walking on dead grass just isn’t so comfy on the feet. And it’s working! I drove up to the house the other day and was very pleased to see my cheery sunflowers and coreopsis lighting up the yard.

The first pumpkin is growing on my vines, and there’s silk on the corn. More to look forward to.

Alas, my Dragon radishes had maggots almost as bad as the onions. However, a hardy few made it through unscathed. I have spicy, crispy slices for my salad today.

I dried my twelve heads of garlic, and donated 3 of them to the local food bank. They even moved the food bank, but I tracked it down and donated my garlic. Vampires beware the food bank!

Although my blackberries have been badly sun damaged, I’ve collected enough to make a batch of puree. Soon as I can get some pectin, I’ll be making jam.

I saw two new butterflies this week. One of them circled around me, apparently drawn to my pink shirt. It didn’t stay still long enough to get a good look, but I think it was something in the Fritillary family. There also was a gray butterfly with white spots that I got a very good look at and still couldn’t identify. Maybe they’ll stick around and I’ll get a better chance.

Until next week, water wisely.


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