Monday, October 4, 2010

Birds, Beans and Autumn Leaves

There are times when I wish I could share the whole experience
of being in Rowe in the fall (or any season).
I arrived earlier than usual on Friday and was sitting in
the library reading when I heard owls outside.
We have many barred owls around the house but usually
you hear one close by talking to one in the distance.
This time there were at least four of them in trees along the
driveway hooting to one another almost in unison, like people
when they talk over each other. This went on for about
15 minutes. Loud and amazing.
Combine that with the cool, crisp air and the smell of fallen
leaves and honestly there is nothing better.
This is the last bean to be harvested from the garden. They are
Scarlet Runners - I plant them for the flowers - like the name, the
flowers are bright red and the hummingbirds LOVE them. The beans
are fun as well. They are very large and colorful. I remember
being totally shocked the first year I grew them by their size. I've
been growing them for years now on various contraptions to hold
them up. Last year I made a trellis the length of the row, this year
it was a teepee. By happy chance a sunflower grew near the area
of the beans and one of the bean plants climbed up the flower as
it grew. I'm thinking next year I'll plant the beans and the sunflowers
together and see what happens. The birds will be very excited I'm sure.
We had a slight frost Saturday night - I had brought everything in
during the day so there was no damage. The sunflowers are
now drying but I think I may just feed them to the birds
one head at a time - they like them sooo much and the seeds
bring in birds that I don't usually see. I love the birds.
This begins the season I love the most leading into the one
I probably like the least. Guess you have to take the good
with the bad. :0)

Monday, September 20, 2010

Birds in my Garden

This year I planted some sunflowers (the giant ones) and
I had quite a few volunteers from last year. They were
a smaller, earlier variety.
Saturday morning I had quite a few new visitors.

I think the Phoebe was just waiting her turn, although she
spends a lot of time on the back of these chairs.

I also had quite a flock of goldfinches on the sunflowers.
The birds are the main reason for planting them. They attract
a whole different group of birds in the fall.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Fall is HERE

The tomatoes are coming in fast and furious now.
The days are cooler and canning has begun in earnest.
But there is always time for pie.
Apple Pie.
I made 2 in a week, one with cheddar in the crust.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Pinto Beans

The photo is of some of the pinto beans I grew this year. The seed
was open pollinated and probably half of this crop will be used
for next years crop. There is nothing like sorting pounds of
dried beans that you have grown yourself. You know their
history and their promise.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Odd Weekend Fun

Helped Carolyn and Mike grade their driveway last weekend.
Bill rode the grader while Mike drove the truck. This
piece of machinery looks like a pile of really unsafe junk and
works like a charm. And was fun too.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

The Weeds Are Winning

Not having blogged in a while I figured I'd dive back in
with photos of this years garden.
I planted a potager this year - can never seem to do just
rows. But after weeding this lovely design I'd like something
I can just run the tiller through.

The chard was beautiful, plentiful and very tasty.

Scarlet runner beans for the hummingbirds from lasts years seed.

Early sunflowers.

Many of the sunflowers were volunteers this year. I just left
them when they were coming up. You can never have too
many - just ask the birds and the bees!

Just waiting for the bumper crop of tomatoes. Started
my own seed this year and was sceptical when I put those
scrawny little plants in the ground.
Seeds are the most amazing things to me. You just place
a tiny thing in the earth (or pots) and life just springs
forth. Preparing your beds for them takes a little time
but is worth it. You fuss over them a little as they are
coming up. They are little bits of faith and hope. I love
gardening. It slows you down and fills you with wonder.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Warm weather and birds

No photographs this week. Was abnormally
warm for the 1st of March. The sort of
weather that puts you in a little panic about planting your
garden - so much to do and nothing is ready yet. Then
you realize that if you were planting everything this past
weekend we'd probably have snow next week, so it can wait.
My favorite part of the first warm weather days is sleeping with
my bedroom window open. You never know what sort of wildlife
things you will hear. And I love waking up to the birds in the wee
hours. I awoke about 5:30 on Sunday morning and listened and then
I think I woke up Bill and said "Where are all the birds?"
From childhood on there were sooo many birds making noise in
the morning that you didn't have to wake up to hear them - they woke you
up. This year there were a few but not the usual cacophony that
I'm used to hearing. I am deeply saddened by the state of my
little piece of earth. I am sad that people don't have any idea of what
is going away. I'm blessed to have such a quiet retreat in the hills away from
the traffic and people but it appears to be sneaking its way into every
little thing. Sad, sad, sad and I really miss the birds.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Burn Baby Burn

I love how the daffodils from compost heaps past

keep on coming up. Look close - they're everywhere.

Decided to take the last two weekends in April to clear

another area in the back forty.

This pile included part of a huge old apple tree.

Bill pushed it all together. Two days later there was

nothing but ash.

Yusuf came up to help this past Saturday. Bill gave him

some pointers on the fine art of using a chain saw.

Then they split what they'd cut.

I put up some pea fence.

They continued to split. It's nice to have the

help of a young back.

Later we met friends at the Shelburne Falls Bowling Alley.

This is what it's all about.

Visiting Tammy at the bar.

Then to Ollie's across the street for dinner.

Yusuf trying out what turned out to be HIS new espresso machine.

Sunday started burning a new pile and cleaning out

all of the trees and shrubs to the stone wall.

Burn, burn, burn.

We stayed til Monday because we just had to take

advantage of burn season.

We cleared to the wall on the other side of the road entrance.

The only thing left there now is an old, old apple tree.

The dogs love it here.

Here's a view of the whole spot. Difficult to judge

unless you've spent some time here but it really feels

good to see where the old pasture once was.

This is the view from the new clearing.

The one thing I can say about doing this is that I

still haven't quite recovered from working that

hard over a period of 2 days. I'm sure I will go up

this weekend, sit in one of the Adirondack chairs and

be very pleased with what we've accomplished.

Then I will be planning for next burn season!

Friday, April 16, 2010

New Equipment

Bill had to use the new splitter this week to split some
of the wood we cut down last week.

It's sweet.

And I bought a tiller from Florence that I can use. Did the
first pass this past weekend. Told Bill I'm ready to till
the entire yard!

I see a much larger garden this year - for many reasons.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Weekend of March 27

Haven't had the time to blog so I will catch up a little.
Bill's inspecting some of the work the beavers have done
on a nearby damn. He thinks he may just wait
for them to clear off the parcel he's been eyeing. We'll
just drag the trees out debarked ready to cut and split.
Russell called early on Saturday morning - since he didn't
sugar this year he needed to spend a day playing with Bill.
He drove his tractor over so we could use the winch to
haul some trees up the bank.

Bill uses a cant hook to try and get the logs over some rocks.

Bill using the winch to keep tension on a huge ash while
Russ cuts it down.

I think Russell just came over with his tractor to make
Bill want one even more.

Limbing up the trees, ready for burning.

Both in their safety gear.

Bill's new splitter. A little higher and able to split those
bigger logs standing up.
We burned all of the brush we had on Sunday with the help
of Manda and Yusuf.
Easter weekend we actually did nothing but eat. A weekend of

Monday, March 1, 2010

What a Difference a Week Makes

Last weekend Bill went out and started cutting

down some trees. Figured we'd get a little jump on


He had put the Christmas tree in the snow bank so we

could look at it through the winter.

The dogs were having a great time because we haven't

really had any snow in Enfield at all this year.
This weekend we went to a party for Bill's sister then went up

to the house to stay overnight. We'd heard there was

snow but . . .

We were just glad the door open into the shed. There was

about 8 inches on the ground where it had been plowed.

Sunday morning the clean up began. Tom came and plowed one

more time but with really no where to put it.

The snow was extremely heavy and wet. And I thought we

were going to make it through the winter without snow

in front of the windows!

It made me laugh every time I went outside or looked

out a window.

Even with the Bobcat it was difficult to move ( and it was all

ice underneath the snow).

Our tree was half buried but at least now it stands up.

All I kept thinking was this was the perfect snow to

make a fort or dig a little shelter. My sister, brother

and I LIVED for this snow. We'd be outdoors until

frostbite set in.

As we were ready to leave Bill told me to come out to see the

sky. This is facing east at about 5:15 pm. It was a spectacular

ending to a really wonderful day.

Bill's sister refers to her driveway as the luge run because

the banks are so high and the driveway so narrow. She said

most people couldn't understand what she was talking about

when she said she couldn't get out. If you drove 5 miles down

the road they had half as much snow.

Now I've had my winter fix I'm hoping it melts fast so gardening

season begins. It can't get here soon enough!