Summer 2016 Recap

September 7, 2016 § Leave a comment

Whoo boy, what a summer we had! Mr. E, especially, was incredibly busy with a book project, but mostly it was the weather that we were dealing with. It was sunny and dry. Very sunny, very hot, and very dry. It felt like I was barely outside all summer from staying away from the worst of the heat so often.

Apparently both July and August broke heat records around here, and there was so little rain that we got three (or four? I’ve lost track) town notifications about first curbing and then forbidding outdoor water use. In our seven years in this town I can’t remember that many restrictions. Already in July, the grass was brown and the rest of the plants droopy, and the August proceeded to be equally bad. I’m so glad it’s fall now, both for cooler temps and (hopefully!) more rain.

Mr. E did careful early morning hand-watering (which was still allowed by our town) in his garden, and we were lucky to get decent crops, considering. The very first handful of potato, below, wasn’t big, but we got more afterwards.

Very First Potato Handful 2016

The tomatoes still continue to produce nicely:

September Tomato Vine w Fruit and Flower

Yum! There’s not only green tomatoes ripening, there are more flowers!

The non-homegrown food was good, too, with a lot of homemade dishes from local ingredients both sweet and savory:

Summer Strawberry Cake 2016

This summer we’ve had three to four turkey hens hanging around on and off. Here are two of them perching on the high-bush blueberry enclosures:

Two Turkeys on Blueberry Enclosure 2016

The really funny thing about the turkeys is that this summer they seemed to have had something against the potato patch. We saw more than once a turkey go to the patch and start pecking and pulling a potato plant until she got it all the way out of the ground. And then they’d just leave it there! We’ve never seen or heard of this kind of turkey behavior. We started shooing them off away from the patch after a few potato attacks, and that did the trick. Phew.

In other mysterious but great news, the ant colony that’s been pestering us for the past few years seems finally to have moved elsewhere. WO-HOO!

In not so great news, I suffered a fatal computer crash with all the headache that entails. I’ve been back up and running for just over two months now (let’s hear it for regular data backups!) and have more or less learned the basics of the replacement software I didn’t have before.

We also rearranged our basement in a big way (following the installation of the new lolly post) which affected the kitchen, and built a bit more storage. I’ll post about that later, though.

Midsummer Break

June 23, 2016 § Leave a comment

Tomorrow Finland celebrates summer in general, and juhannus (midsummer) and yötön yö (nightless night) specifically. It’s a magical time in the north. Even though I’m now living in the south where we don’t have nightless night to speak of, I continue to celebrate summer around juhannus time.

June 2016 Strawberries Growing

Our own strawberries growing.

Our strawberries are ripening! We already enjoyed the first ones. So good.

June 2016 First Strawberries

Also the potatos are growing fast; they’re big enough to blossom.

June 2016 Potato Blossoms

Blogwise, I’m taking July off to enjoy summer. See you in August.

Hyvää juhannusta!

A Ground Woodpecker Sighted

June 13, 2016 § Leave a comment

The other day, we saw a medium-sized bird sitting on our lawn and industriously pecking away at something on the ground. The shape was very woodpecker-like, and the coloring was a little similar, too, but on the ground…? Out came the bird book.

Flickr Rodney Campbell Northern Flicker

Northern flicker by Rodney Campbell.

(The photo above by Rodney Campbell.)

Lo and behold. It is indeed a kind of woodpecker, a northern flicker to be exact (Colaptes auratus; Fin kultatikka). It’s unquestionably the bird we saw. The distinctive chest marking and the little red neck decoration plus the spots on the sides match.

Apparently they eat ants and other insects. We surely have more than enough ants to go round; feel free to stay, friend!

New Growth

June 2, 2016 § 2 Comments

Mr. E has planted a small garden again. This year we’re getting, among other things, potatos. And not just accidental potatos either; these guys are planned.

Early Potato Sprouts

The photo above was taken three weeks ago or so. Since, they’ve definitely spurted:

Potato Sprouts Growing

The last week of May turned out to be quite hot, but so far everything in the garden is doing fine.

Blog Anniversary: 8

October 15, 2015 § Leave a comment

Some time this summer, I hit eight years on WordPress.

WP 8th Anniversary

I took a screenshot of the announcement and cleverly stored hid it in a folder to be blogged about later. Of course, “later” happened a little later than I’d thought. Oops.

Before that, I blogged on another platform for four or five years, I think. I’m getting close to 15 years, total. Wow. 🙂

Bye, Summer 2015

September 15, 2015 § Leave a comment

Summer was, on the whole, good. We were surprisingly busy, so the blog break was very welcome.

The weather was sunny and dry, at times a little too sunny and dry! In the beginning of September, up until the end of last week when we finally got some rain, the grass started to get brown and the rest of the plants to droop. Mr. E’s garden did flourish, with for example cucumbers…

1st Cucunger

…and potatoes…

1st Potatoes

…and other yummies. We visited out-of-state friends who were cat-sitting a gorgeous Cornish Rex who looooved Mr. E from the start…

Cat Love

…and worked on projects, large and small…

MagPages Recycled into Envelopes

…like these envelopes made out of recycled magazine pages. (Thank you, K, for the template! I’ve been using it so much.)

Now that we seem to be done with the last errant heat wave of September, I’m looking forward to fall weather.

Vacation in Social Media and IRL

June 22, 2015 § Leave a comment

It’s time to prioritize self care, clean my office, enjoy summer and take time to smell the flowers.

Clover Closeup

I’m taking time off from social media, plus some vacation time in real life, too.

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