||[Feb. 13th, 2018|06:55 pm]
It's been grey. It's going to keep being grey. Ugh. This is typical, i know, but it didn't happen last year and it didn't happen with the drought in California and oh it is so DREARY. Also, muddy. Mud mud mud.
Today's eBird list has 11 species including an Eastern bluebird and Red-bellied Woodpecker that were on the nearby tulip poplar. Both of those i checked out using the binoculars. The others -- Northern cardinals, tufted tit...mice?, Carolina chickadees and wren, juncos, brownheaded nuthatch, goldfinch, and white throated sparrow -- were feeder visitors. The mourning dove was cleaning up underneath. The feeder is now in a very agreeable (also distracting) location easily viewed while i am working. It's a bit too close to use the binoculars on. Mr Piggy Squirrel did NOT show up -- maybe the Cayenne pepper was a slow acting deterrent?
The past few days have also had a drag on them independent of the weather: i was not myself on Saturday and Christine's had migraines Sunday, Monday at waking, and the wee hours of today. Despite that, or perhaps because of that, i've been making sure i did some gardening bits.
I identified a clumping "grass" that has an attractive quality about it. Disappointingly, it is the non-native and fairly common "lilliturf" or Liriope muscari. I've decided i'll move it so it carpets under the non-native gardenia and crepe myrtles and around the transplanted peonies. That should create a weed supressing carpet that doesn't need mowing.
My little greenhouse is all toasty. The flat i started on the 4th of February (#2) had sprouts of lettuces, broccoli, cabbage and chamomile by Saturday, when i moved the sprouts to a tray of little pots (#2'). More seeds have sprouted in the flat including slower seeds in the lettuces and brassicas. I've also a tray (#3) of just seeded small pots of brassicas and lettuce -- i'm not sure a week's difference now will make a difference two months from now, but my hope is to spread out the maturing of the plants. And another flat (#4) with flower and herb seeds.
In the garden i am trying my self-made seed tapes of brassicas, lettuce, carrots, and beets as well as a seeding of mesculun, carrots, and beets. It might be early, but the next ten days are forecast to be averaging in the 50s, with a lowest low 37°F and a highest high of 77°F. I'd rather be out there covering up in case of a freeze than weeding.
The button bushes i started last year have finally been planted where their feet will be kept wet. They're a native shrub and i think i got the seeds at a native seed swap in late 2016. I'm pretty tickled something has made it. The crabapple almost made it, but i think the hard freeze in early January was just too much. Remembering advice, though, i'm not giving up on the crab apple yet.
I've been digging up Star of Bethlehem (Ornithogalum umbellatum), a pretty and poisonous pest. My main goal is eradicating it from the orchard area, as the cats and Carrie the dog will roam that fenced in space. It looks too much like grass and is on many "poisonous to pets" lists. It seems a reasonable concern that someone will nibble on it. But oh how pervasive the clumps of little green sprouts are! I'll need to transplant out the daffodils as well for the same reason.