Archive | June, 2008

Let’er Ripple

28 Jun

Even niece Janine, visiting for the week,  is getting along fairly well with ripple.

Sing a Song of Lettuce

28 Jun

I picked the most beautiful head of Buttercrunch yesterday that has to be shared. Here is is resting on a large hosta.

Now let us look at it closer up.  Here are a few leaves lying on the table. Do they not remind you of the most lovely, delicate tissue paper?  Except these are alive.  Wonderfully, delightfully and deliciously alive. 

Ripple This Morning

27 Jun

She must be feeding herself much better as she was not very hungry and flew away after only one large worm–broken up for polite and easy dining.  The last few days she has gotten hungrier as the day progresses.  Yesterday she ate 15 pieces of cat food at one meal!

I suspect she will come to be fed only another week or two, then be on her own.   We parents do the feeding early and late as a cousin is here and the children are sleeping very late–too late for the poor animals.

Poppy Season

26 Jun

The earliest poppies are the perennial orientals.  They are almost done now.  The rain today will probably finish off the last blooms.   They come in many colors, red, orange and shades of pink and pale purple.  I grew many of  the ones in the garden from seed.  A two year project as they do not bloom the first year.  I grow them in the vegetable garden and transplant the  one year plants in  August to their permanent homes.

Don’t you love the little furry sepal ‘hat’ the one at left is still wearing?  Watching poppies push open and releasing them the last little bit is fun to do in the early morning.

Now blooming are the annual poppies of several species including Papaver somniferum , which comes in many colors and petal variations–single, double, fringed, picoteed–, p. rhoeas and p. commutatum–the Flanders poppy, or corn poppy and  Shirley poppies after the British man who originally bred them .

Somniferum poppies are the infamous opium poppies.  They are mixed in with and look similar to P. orientalis and the  P. paeoniflorum, including the Flemish antique poppy–many of these are not yet blooming.  They are all lettuce-leaved poppies.  You can see one pale plant sticking up above the  p. rhoeas and commutatums in the photo above.

Jay and I have arguments about how much vegetable garden area I may “waste” (his word) for poppies.  I generally broadcast seed around most of the late fall garden just to ensure poppies will come up somewhere no matter what area he decides to cover with black plastic.  Just last night he commented that he could see the carrots and I must have been pulling poppies.  They do have to be ramped out or will take over.  It is a painful process.

Can you tell I find poppies hard to resist?  I have lots of seed to share, so tell me if you want some..

Teaching Ripple Robin

25 Jun

Ripple, we are convinced, is female.  She daily looks more like a young lady robin.  She sleeps and lives out on her own now.  Isabelle drenched her with water on the sidewalk a couple days ago when the sun was full out.  She seemed to enjoy her bath very much.

She likes small strawberry pieces.

She still calls to us from her perches when she is hungry and flies down to be fed.  She flies quite well and can go as high up into the spruces as she wishes.

Tonight another unusual experience added: a young fledgling robin flying down into the garden to be helped, “tutored” in finding insects and worms as we were weeding.  Jay and I did our best, digging in the mulch and even turning over an old straw bale where she pulled a couple small worms on her own and found several small insects: pillbugs, ant larvae among them.


24 Jun

Alan Korwin describes the Duquesne University 2008 Gun-Control Symposium and his speech there.

Perhaps I need to study those skills for use with my young’uns–not on this subject, though.

Breakfast, Anyone?

23 Jun

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