Sky rockets Monday, Jul 21 2014 

Lots of dynamic flowers in the garden right now: snake-root, ostrich-plume astilbe, big lilies, hostas, daylilies…I sort of wonder just how big we could get the snake-root to grow if we deliberately fertilized it. The bees adore it.




New England roads Saturday, Jul 19 2014 

I was taking an exploratory drive today, adding a few more roads in a few more towns to my ‘I know exactly where that goes and what is on it’ list.  I took myself in a wonderful backwards arc (it being cloudy and having misjudged the overall alignment of hills/reservoirs/towns) to come out in an unexpected location from an unexpected direction.  Quite enjoyable. I fully intend to do it again.

But the roads must be a little maddening to people.  Poorly signed, frequently narrow and twisting*, and in the area I was in today (dominated by state/water company land) entirely wooded. Now one tree does not look like another tree, but you know what? One green Connecticut hilltop looks remarkably like the next green Connecticut hilltop, especially when one can only see one at a time and briefly. For that matter, one river looks a lot like the next river.  And straight lines? They are an anathema.

There is only one rule in these explorations: if the power lines stop, the pavement ends, and the incline starts to exceed 10% with washing, pay attention to what an elderly Civic can and cannot do!


*A paved, two-lane road, perhaps twenty feet wide, with no shoulders is a New England staple.  And, of course, because it is a two lane, paved road the appropriate speed is precisely the same as that for a road with modern curves and double the width; furthermore the traffic load is probably the same.

Note to self Friday, Jul 18 2014 

If you are contemplating the structural integrity of the chimney while yanking vines off of it….a) there are too many vines; b) perhaps the chimney ought to be considered?

Actually, the chimney in question is just fine. Still it crossed my mind while beginning to attempt to nibble at the Green Blob engulfing Minnietrost (small outbuilding).  Something about overgrown multiflora rose*, weigela, forsythia, burning bush, strawberry bush, pagoda dogwood, and all tied together by enthusiastic grape-vine, wood-bine, and akebia vine.  The vines are especially enthusiastic because of the absurdly large (80ft) hemlock that towers over the whole assemblage.  The woodbine goes most of the way up it….and what berries the birds don’t eat, grow.  Of course, what the birds do eat and Everybody, Everybody from crows to hawks to itty bitty sparrows perch in that hemlock so lots of birds perch and lots of birds eat fruit and lots of birds….

I’m leaving the woodbine on the chimney through fall, I simply cannot bring myself to yank off what is a veritable bounty of berries before then. The grape and akebia, however, have been removed.

Soft hearted.

*I have a plan for the rose: chainsaw at the base (and yes it is that big), attach a chain to it, and then floor it in an appropriate vehicle.  Yanking it out that way means that the trimming of the weigela and forsythia will be a bit brutal (thanks the to the akebia vine growing throughout) but I think it is the only way to go.

Can’t I eat these, Mom? Thursday, Jul 17 2014 

Yes daylilies are edible, yes Deer-off works with horses too!


Twins Monday, Jul 14 2014 

Common ordinary Thalictrum makes for an excellent garden plant.


A and B Saturday, Jul 12 2014 


Please explain Friday, Jul 11 2014 

How it got to be mid-July? The only good thing is that everyone seems to feel that way.  I was hashing out a calendar at a meeting last night and we were scheduling things for October!

The beans haven’t even come in yet, though I think we should get some Romas (flat beans) by Sunday.  But not the tenderpods, which should be earlier.  Tomatoes…Green. Squash…a blossom or two.

It is a good thing that the supermarket exists.

On the other hand, we have some lovely daylilies coming along and I finally got the forsythia trimmed down.  It took a ladder this year, but the end result is pretty good looking.

Boom! Wednesday, Jul 9 2014 

Amazing how fast some thunderstorms move. The trick is to have the windows open as long as possible; but not so long that the wind picks up too fast and things don’t get wet.  Then, open the windows back up again.

The difficulty is if one has multiple thunderstorms a night. One either gets a great deal of exercise or stays up late.  The sane person simply leaves the doors closed and goes to bed.  Still, if one can do the circuit of opening and closing, it makes for a rather nice (and entirely free) way to deal with hot weather without air conditioning.  Of course, it helps if one lives on the top of a hill and not in a valley.  There are locations where living in a valley is a good idea; but New England really isn’t one of them.  There is a reason all the old town centers are on hilltops.  Winter isn’t that much colder on the top of the hill and the summer is much, much nicer.  The soil is rocky in either location, so that really doesn’t matter!

You put me in a bucket! Tuesday, Jul 8 2014 

Releasing a snapping turtle for a friend (it had been found as a hatchling in the swimming pool, spent the winter in their house, but had recently demonstrated a lamentable tendency to, well, snap and having gone from being about an inch long to six plus tail and neeeeck, the snap was no longer amusing)

Driving while attempting to keep said turtle in the pan (they assured me it couldn’t climb, it most assuredly could) was interesting. But it is now down in the pond on the lower road, which used to have snapping turtles and has good water and plenty of little critters to eat.


Revealing Secrets Sunday, Jul 6 2014 


An excellent place to quietly read. A good view of the comings and goings, while being essentially invisible, and an elegant view in and of itself. I particularly like the way the west porch rises above the trees, enough exposure to be interesting but not too much.



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