First hummer of the season! Yay! They’re still not really here, I’ve seen two at the most. We’ve had a few Canada Geese spending time at the pond. Katie has given up trying to chase them off, they just swim out of reach and honk at her.I have my kitchen herb garden going with all the usual suspects: Basil, thyme. chives, parsley, oregano, and rosemary. I have two cherry tomatoes going, and an assortment of hot peppers.We’ve managed to get a dozen tomato vines in the ground with the cages up and everything mulched.
It got cold enough the other night to freeze the little bird bath thing. Bonus! – Homer in the window keeping an eye on me. It’s a good thing my container garden, so far, isn’t any larger, it just barely fits onto the cart. I wheel it into the garage for the night.I noticed a spike in my view count at Flickr, Buzzfeed linked to one of my photos and I blew right through 3 million total views while we were eating dinner. I had hoped to get a screenshot of the stat page right at 3,000,000 but I missed it:Here are a couple of Chicago style hot dogs. I was surprised how good they are. Everything on there adds something to the experience. I have no idea why the bright green relish became standard on these things. [Note to self: remember the celery salt next time]We’ve looked hard at this photo from the trail camera we keep down by the back pond and I think it is an albino raccoon. I could be mistaken. There is a hint of color on the tail and there is probably a term other than “albino” that better describes what it is but I’m not going to look for it.
I’m loving my new smart phone. Not so much for the phone function or texting as for the “always there” camera. The Galaxy S4 has a dandy, a 13 megapixel job with modes and features that I may never use. It has one that I definitely like – a voice command to tell it to take the picture. It recognizes several words as triggers: shoot and smile work and a few others. I took this of one of the new-ish cherry trees from atop my mower yesterday.Mrs J has taken charge of walking Katie. Kate handles the leash well, even when it’s me on the other end. Katie is recovering from her surgery – St Francis offers spaying as a part of their adoption service but this was delayed in her case by her flight and subsequent outdoor adventures.The patio container garden is doing well. The tomatoes are at that stage where they are all promise and healthy and green with scads of yellow blossoms.Most of the herbs for the kitchen are arrayed on this bench and they are growing fast. I pinched the first flower buds from the basil yesterday. Swallowtail caterpillars have invaded the curly parsley (just behind the purple basil) but have so far left the flat leaf parsley alone.We have a better selection of peppers this year: Jalapenos again, and habaneros, new this year are cayennes, Anaheims, and some small, multi-colored sweet peppers. There are a few blossoms on these but they do best in the heat of the summer.Here’s Homer from early this morning. He and Toby have a mouse cornered under the end table. I have the S4 camera set on auto everything and noticed a brief flash from the LED assist for focusing but the auto focus needs better light to do good work.This was a few moments later. I got up to see how the flash was going to work where it was really too dark to see. I don’t think the camera will ever be as good as a dedicated DSLR, but it will do much better than my Nikons when they are not to hand and this one is.
We have 6 inches of snow on the ground this morning and Miss Bitsy was not really eager to check it out, though she finally made her way out the door. It didn’t take her very long to look at it. Here she is requesting readmittance.Homer has more experience with snow and is fairly content to remain on this side of the window. Toby hasn’t bothered to come from under the bed.There are two parsley plants on the bench that have survived the cold snaps we have had so far this season. I know we had sub 25 degree temps a few nights so I imagine the coat of snow will not hurt them. The rosemary at the end was OK before the snow but the chives looked to be ready for their winter nap.
I was out this morning watering the patio flowers and noticed this hummingbird moth flitting about.He’s in the upper right at a yellow blossom. I dropped the hose and ran in for my camera and spent a few minutes chasing him around the patio as he went from flower to flower. Little bugger never held still for more that a second and he was hard to capture in focus.
We had a scare from a horde of aphids that swarmed our tomato mascot, but a thorough drenching with some bug juice seemed to handle them OK. We skated by with some leaf damage but nothing worse, and we hope the little fellow can pull himself back together. Pretty good load of tiny green tomatoes coming along.
And we’ve already had a harvest! Behold the fruit of our labors: