Sunday, August 25, 2013

Too Soon for Summer to be Over?

Things are a happening outside in my garden and beyond that suggest summer is preparing to be over. Oh please, say it isn't so!

Earlier this season I dug a couple of wheelbarrow loads of compost into this garden. A plant sprouted from that and I decided to give it a chance. Well, let me tell you, if you have never before grown butternut squash, then you are in for a treat! Just give it a lot of space. This is what the vine looked like on August 12.  Keep in mind this is growing on/alongside my front walkway! See that butternut in the front foreground - watch out for it later.
Here you can see what is growing - this photo taken on August 23 just two days ago.
Here's that one from the front foreground. Apparently I am going to have to get ruthless and cut back the vines (confession - I did some pruning this morning) because any squash just beginning to develop now will not have enough time to grow fully before the first frost. Wow, I hate having to cut things back.  But there are at least five almost fully grown butternuts on the vine now so that is a bonus!
Here's a tomato plant of an unknown type. I purchased it marked as a black cherry but it clearly isn't that. The fruits do not seem to ripen to a full clear red and they are a small roma style shape. Yet another of my garden mysteries.
Here's one of my volunteer tomato plants. The fruit on this one are great tasting and a little larger than a cherry tomato but not really a full sized one.
I had company staying for a week and I was not picking tomatoes as often as I should have been. Once I went out to gather ripe ones I found  a number of tomatoes that were over-ripe. Rather than bring them inside I left them on the brick edging thinking the critters could have them. Who knew butterflies liked to eat tomatoes?
Dinner tonight was porkchops in the slo cooker seasoned with rosemary from my garden, green and yellow beans from the farmers market seasoned with basil from my garden and a side salad of tomatoes also from my garden also tossed with basil as above. The sweet potato puree, potatoes and onions were from the supermarket.

The butterflies have been frequent visitors to the summer garden - not as many as in previous years but still plentiful in number.
This might have been a photo of yellow finches feeding on the coneflowers which have gone to seed...but the yellow finches don't like to pose for the camera. But you might want to note the fine dill plants nestled here in the front garden. We enjoyed dill from them with our smoked salmon and scrambled egg lunch today.
Last week we had a lot of hummingbirds fighting over the right to feed from the feeder. But on Thursday - pouff! - they were gone. Flown south for the winter I am left to understand. I thought I might as well leave the feeders out for a few more days and sure enough, this afternoon I saw a couple of hummers visit the feeder again so I guess they don't all fly south on the same day. It has been such fun watching them this summer.
And another place where you might have seen the yellow finches but alas, they did not wait for my camera here either. What you can see if you peer closely is how efficient the rabbit has been pruning down the back row of coneflowers - look in the right front for the stalks.

These birds are looking a little bedraggled as they pause on their way south - w a a a y south is where they come from!
A couple of weekends ago I was on the Chesapeake Bay and was introduced to Ospreys. And I have been totally captivated by them. I really did not know anything about them so when I got home I went to my friend google to have an introduction. In my googling I came across a livecam that has been set up on a nest that had seen three chicks hatch earlier this season. Here's a screen save of a couple of the chicks on Friday.
I have become very attached to this nest and have my laptop set up downstairs with the livecam left on during the day so I can see what's going on. It took everyone in my house a little while to get adjusted to continually hearing the chirping/squawking coming from the nest but they are fascinating to watch. You might like to join in - go here (that should be a live link but you can only see them in the daylight).
These birds are also about to fly south for the season.
Here's a sunset scene from the Chesapeake on August 10.

The equinox is still some weeks off but it seems to me that there are plenty of signs that the season is coming to an end.

1 comment:

  1. What a treat all around - your dinner plate (minus the pork chop) would make a vegetarian swoon! And what a bonus of those butternut squash by letting that vine grow where it was!! I am just about to pick my first tomato. Our hummers also dropped a little in number last week, but departure for the south is usually a little ways off - Norris thought it might have been because there was no one here to tend the feeders for a few days.
    But the real surprise was Osprey-Cam. I had Lu on my lap until I tuned in and was delighted to see the little chicks. Then they started up their chirping and he jumped down and over to the window where the local goldfinch snack on a small window-hung sunflower seed feeder, but they weren't the source of the cheeps. He's very confused.


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