Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Needle Drop

What we have here is something called natural needle drop. This is the ponderosa pine that blossomed back in the spring and had magenta colored cones - also a natural process every couple years.

Pine trees drop needles every fall. Ponderosa's keep needles for about 4 yrs - these needles you see on the ground first appeared on the tree 2005-06. If the needle drop is more than usual, it means that 4 yrs ago was a great year for growing needles.

Sometimes needle drop happens over several weeks, or it can happen much more quickly. They say it depends on the weather. Last Sunday, I was mowing the lawn and there was no needle drop. Today, voila!

1st Blue

September 29 - First blueberry! It was sweet and ripe. This is the extent of the blueberry crop - yes, two (2) berries. But, since they usually don't bear fruit the first year, I hear, then this crop is overflowing!

Weather has taken a turn. Weekend was up to 80F. As of Monday, we have upper 40s, low 50s in the morning and high of 60ish. Today, sprinkles only.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Sunflower Status Report

The Lemon Queen Sunflower that I planted (as part of the Great Sunflower Project), have smallish blossoms, last for about 5 days or so. Then they slowly wither, dry out, and die to brown. The stems have been spindly for sunflowers. Too many to a container? Too much water? Not enough water? Or just the way the plant is? I dunno.

As they wither, the sunflower and stem start leaning over, as you can see here the 3 are headed south. I planted a wooden stake in the container and trussed them all up together. To keep the stake upright, I tied it off to the iron hanging planter in the middle of that patch of comfrey. The stems still seem a bit top heavy.

So far, only 1 seed head. The seeds don't taste like much though. I think the birds have been pilfering the seeds. This plant isn't grown for it's seed heads, apparently.

Weather today was mild, in the 70s, a bit cloudy by afternoon.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Flower Shots

I bought a new little ultra compact camera to supplement my larger one for trips and such. I am impressed by the way it handled some flower shots in the yard. Here are 3 examples. The bee is on an autum sedum which is flowering right now. For some reason, I thought the flowers were supposed to be on the orange side of the color wheel, but they appear pink to me. The bee is proof that the honey bees are still here! In fact I've had honey bees throughout the spring and summer.

Here is the interior of a petunia. This was totally an automatic pic, taken with the camera deciding all elements of shutter, etc. I cropped this to show how in focus the stamens and seed pods are.

The yellow viola I cropped to focus in on the flower. Violas have been hanging in here since early spring. They are rejuvenating now that the weather is cooling down some.

This Labor Day weekend was the first 2 days of rain in a row that we've had in some time. Today, it's about 70, sunny at the moment, with a slight breeze. Some clouds.

Grass Patch

The city replaced and moved the water meter that was installed decades ago (I imagine it went back to the 1920s--40s). It was right next to the house. Nowadays, they put them in the street where they have the right of way. The new one is installed to the left of the black car.

In the process, they had to trench from street to house, run new pipe, and refill the trench. Today, I put out grass seed, seed soil cover and watered. Hoping to see green grass before the season turns.