In other food news, i brought back crabcakes from Maryland. The TSA apparently lets ice packs on the plane if they are still frozen. Last night's dinner was on a bed of romaine, including from the garden, with cubes of fresh mozzarella and kalamata olives. Two slices of Italian bread were dressed with balsamic vinegar, then topped with fresh mozzarella, basil leaves, tomato, and a borage blossom. In the center, broiled Maryland crabcake.
Maryland crabcake is more like a scoop of slightly dressed crab with a tiny bit of saltines than any crabcake i've ever met before. Four crabcakes were over $50, but the two meals with them have been delicious. Oh my -- to have four shipped is $150.
I walked Carrie around the tenure track last night wearing sandals. Carrie was frustrated as we walked very slowly, but i was worried about tripping or developing blisters under my callused "toe mounds". (The part between the balls of the foot ant the toes). I did that last year and found it really weird, because the callus is so tough. And both ankles ache -- from the urban walking, i guess? Although the last ankle twisting fall wasn't that long ago. Geeze louise my feet.
Everything is so lush. The lawn, that weeks ago seemed a riot of various spring blooming "weeds" looks like a lush manicured lawn. There are actually "weed" grasses mixed in, but mown it's a lovely green carpet. Blackberry fruits have set and are tiny green buttons, but mulberries are ripening in overhanging trees. I nibbled on a few, the first mild and sweet, another insipid. I think Carrie tried one from the ground. I look forward to planting mulberries in the orchard.
Yesterday's yard work was haphazard in the sense that half way doing one thing, i'd need to stop and do another before moving on.
The western side of the house features the meadow née drain field. A year ago we had a tree of heaven ripped out. I planted that area with millet. This winter i seeded oats there, and now there's a lovely blue green stand ripening there. At some point, i will cut down the stalks for a straw mulch, but i think i'll need to take care to do that before sunny weather. The meadow shares a border with the northern extent of the orchard area. I pulled up much of the oats that i'd seeded in the orchard area. The pulled up oats went as a mulch in the garden around the hibiscus. The oats had an effect on the aggressiveness of the stilt grass: oat free areas are now lush with the invasive horror. It seems to have grown a foot in the last two weeks.
The articles on prairie restoration note the need to really be aggressive about the weeds before investing in the native seeds. I sprayed the western part of the orchard area with round-up as part of my tough on stilt grass campaign. I'm trusting that the round-up met the advertised "rain proof after 30 min" as i finished a couple hours before the rain.
I mowed the walking areas on the west side of the house -- a path to the compost, a path through the center of the meadow. I'm looking at some of the fescue going to seed and think i want that to continue. Surely i could use that seed elsewhere. We now have logs piled up bounding the meadow from lawn: i need to get the zig zag fence in place. I think it will be rather attractive. I started mowing the front, but realized that the daffodils were about to disappear. I stopped to dig them up, hit a huge rock, dug the rock up, went back to the orchard to dig up some of the fescue that is going to get plowed under, used that to somewhat fill the big hole, and left the clumps of daffs under the magnolia.
* sometime around the 20th i saw three swallows over the yard at dusk -- i don't remember seeing them before.
* tiniest box turtle in the driveway on the 24th
* the self seeded Hungarian blue breadseed poppies have almost finished blooming. I'm keeping an eye on those seed heads to collect them before birds and bugs do. (Other poppies haven't started yet.)
* saw my first day lily blooming roadside on the 26th
* almost time to harvest cover-crop radish/mustard/turnip/whatever seeds from the meadow
* the patch of daisy fleabane blooming in the glade is almost done; near the first copse and the elm at the SE corner of the house, fleabane is just beginning to bloom.
* catnip continues to grow three foot long stalks
* i picked the carrot that sprouted last fall: the outside layers had split from the core of the root. Dry weather then wet?
* cut-leaf coreopsis and borage were blooming when i got back from Baltimore (24 May)
* pitcher plant has two glorious new pitcher heads
* one of the three groundnuts (Apios americana have sprouted
* planted the sunchokes my sister gave me near the black walnut in the western flower bed
* more poppies have sprouted
* no sign of marigolds anywhere
* zinnas sprouted in the hugelkultur
* i only see wormwood sprouts in the south row of the south square now.
* Egyptian walking onion tops -- the little topsets -- are nice to cook with.