Tag: Great outdoors (Page 1 of 2)

Ducks and more ducks

Every year like clockwork, ducks show up in my swimming pool. They hang out for about six weeks, hatch a gaggle of babies, and then waddle off into the sunset–with a little help, because once baby ducks get in the pool they can’t get out again. This year, it happened twice: one pair of ducks […]

Midnight bandits

And we thought the ducks were annoying. Over the summer, Rosy became very finicky about peeing at night, leading us to suspect there was another animal in or near the yard. A few mornings we woke up to find the yard ransacked — dog toys torn up and tossed in the pool, the small gate […]

The Great Mallard Caper

Every year, a mother duck takes up residence in the ivy in our backyard, using the swimming pool as her own personal pond. (Dad pays the occasional visit… they may be monogamous, but sharing a nest is out.) Rosy goes nuts whenever she sees them, and after about six weeks a gaggle of ducklings hatch […]

Veggie growth, and the dreaded black spots

Haven’t felt much like blogging lately. Case in point: my tomato and pepper plants have gotten much bigger since I last posted pictures a month ago. In late April / early May we had some crazy hot days and the tomato plants shot up. Here they are on May 4, roughly four weeks after planting. […]

Springtime is for (tomato) lovers

After last year’s depressing tomato experience, I promised myself I wouldn’t jump the gun this year. But after a week of gorgeous 70-80 degree days at the end of March, the tomato bug bit me. (As did the pepper bug. But not as hard.) I sure hope they survive the spring, because I went a […]

Lemon Boy and Early Girl, sitting in a tree…

No, they’re not really lame superheroes. They’re tomatoes! Of the five varieties of tomatoes I’m attempting to grow, two of them are “real” tomatoes—the kind you buy by the pound at the supermarket, rather than by the pint. The varieties in question are Lemon Boy and Early Girl, and for most of the summer I’ve […]

The incredible edible egg

My neighbors are on vacation, and they asked me to take care of their chickens while they’re away. In my youth I spent summers working at the Natick Community Organic Farm, so this isn’t my first experience herding chickens into a coop or collecting eggs. (Little known fact: if you need to pick up a […]

New tomatoes, week 1

Although I have some lingering guilt over last week’s tomato euthanasia, the new plants seem to be doing well. They’ve all gotten bigger and bushier—in particular the Early Girl, which seemed to go from one slender stalk to a real live tomato plant overnight. Still only a handful of flowers, but I’m optimistic. Also the […]

A sad tomato tale

Soon after I planted my tomatoes, it started raining. Then it stopped. Then it started again. It was unseasonably rainy and kind of miserable. I pulled the pepper plants under the porch roof because I remembered from last year that they don’t do well with lots of water, but thought the tomatoes would be okay. […]

D’oh, a deer!

Last week Geoff spotted this little guy huddled on the other side of our fence. Its eyes and nose looked kind of mucusy, which made us wonder if it was newly born. The mom wasn’t anywhere around, but when we looked again a few hours later, the fawn was gone, so presumably she came back […]

The mystery of the Blue-Tailed Squiggle

Anyone know what this is?* We keep spotting this guy (maybe more than one of them) in the back yard. When it moves it looks like a snake, but it has legs. In other backyard news, the vegetables have grown quite a bit since they were planted a month ago… The biggest tomato plant (back […]

The Fairfield’s garden, in full bloom

My Fairfield has been in progress for six and a half years, and it’s *this* close to being complete. I have some details to finish (a few baseboards, the upper porch railings), plus I’m still working on furniture for some of the rooms. But even though it’s not quite done, the house has been placed […]

Spring has sprung (in multiple scales!)

I’m not much of a gardener, but last summer I discovered that growing vegetables is a lot of fun. (And yummy!) This week Geoff’s mom helped me pick out and plant veggies for a second round. This year’s garden includes three types of tomatoes: one plant each of Juliet grape and “brown berry” tomatoes, plus […]

Make Way for Ducklings: The Sequel

Last spring Geoff and I had the pleasure of sharing our yard with a couple of uninvited guests. They were a pair of mallards who enjoyed paddling around our pool (which meant lots of duck poop to clean up) and who made a nest in the ivy, very close to the edge of the retaining […]

Sunbathing with a bone

Am I going to turn into one of those people who shows off pictures of her dog at every opportunity? Yes, it would appear that I am. It’s rained almost constantly since we brought Rosy home, but yesterday during a few rare hours of sunlight, we brought her outside for a warm nap. This dog […]

Pickle update

Back in November I picked the rest of my tomatoes and attempted to pickle them. Turns out I kind of screwed it up. For anyone who decides to try pickling at home, don’t mess around with the ingredients. As I learned from some nice people at the GardenWeb forums, when you’re pickling, as a rule […]

Nature continues to be gross (yet fascinating)

While doing an oil change on my car this afternoon, Geoff discovered that a critter had taken up residence under the hood and gnawed through an ignition wire. (Not sure what you’re looking at? Click here for an establishing shot.) Note the little string nest behind the wires. Apparently some sort of rodent was in […]

Final harvest (a pickling adventure)

Yesterday I decided it was finally time to put my faithful tomato plants out of their misery. I’m frankly surprised they lived this long, but I guess that’s a benefit of living in California. (It doesn’t balance out the crappy 9.5% sales tax, but what can you do?) The past two months of their lives, […]

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