Thursday, November 30, 2017

Beautiful weeds

(Note: This was written several months ago)

The girls' school is thirty minutes away, through country and farming land, and I pay attention to the crops. There was a few wheat fields early in the year, corn early in the summer, tobacco is almost all harvested now, and soybeans (and possibly peanuts) are still in the fields. 

But in the ditches, weeds are growing. A tangle of vines, that I didn't notice until they started blooming this week. Morning glories. Beautiful, big morning glories. 

They are in purple and pink, and I saw one patch of white flowers. These are different than bind weed -- I saw one patch of that, too, with its little white flowers.

We have weeks until frost is expected. I hope they keep blooming until then.

(They did keep blooming. Even better, I had wild morning glories sprout up in my garden bed. They grew on the trellis (cough, cough, dead sunflowers) all the way up to the deck. Beauthiful!)

Top-down sock cast-on

I'm really not very adventurous with my knitting. I use long-tail cast-on, judy's magic cast-on, knitted cast-off, and the sewn cast-off. Over and over, unless I run into a pattern that uses something different. But, this morning I decided to try something else.

I've been trying to make a pair of socks for Little Fishie, from the yarn left over from a pair I knitted for me. And since I've cast on for these socks about five times already, I am so bored of the long-tailed cast-on. I browsed the internet, asking questions. "What's a stretchy cast-on?" "Best cast-on for socks?" "cast-on for top-down socks" The internet replied, "German Twisted Cast-On"

I did look at a few different pages for instructions, but this is the one I followed. It has a mix of words and photographs for its instructions. If you like videos instead, Jimmy Bean's has one here.

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Gardens and bugs

Little F likes holding bugs :)

I've had a small backyard garden since early this year. It's three beds that are each 4x4', so not very big, only 48 sq ft. That means what I plant, are the things that I really like.

But that also means, when insects or rabbits attack my garden, they can do some serious damage. A rabbit (probably) ate the leaves off of half of my sunflowers and nibbled the first tomato. Cabbage worms (three different species) ate Little G's cabbage plant, made the kale look like lace, and chewed on half of my four cauliflower plants' heads.

Now, it's leaf-footed bugs. First they liked my pea plants, clustering on the new pea pods, and after I removed the pea plants, they've spread to other plants.

These are the immature leaf-footed bugs. Probably L. occidental. There was two adults in this bunch as well, but they were hiding behind leaves. They see well enough that they try to hide from me when I get close tho the plants.

The web sources I've found say that they don't do much damage, although they can kill young seedlings and cause new fruit to drop off. That may be a problem, because I've found the immature ones on my cucumber and my cantaloupe plants (one of each), and they don't have as many new fruits as they should, considering how many flowers there have been. That picture is of my biggest tomato plant, and I really hope they haven't damaged the tomato.

Right after I took the picture I brushed as many as I could into soapy water. The best control for these bugs seems to be mechanical. Insecticides aren't recommended because they are usually on almost ripe fruit.

I tell the children this is a hobby. It is, because I can't grow enough in this small space to feed us all year long. But, it would be nice if nature would let me have a bit more to eat from its bounty!

And, anybody know why my baby summer squash are rotting from the blossom end?