Month: August 2011

Hurricane prep

All predictions have hurricane Irene hitting Connecticut sometime after midnight Saturday. The past few days have been filled with preparations of one sort or another. Of course, we stored away outdoor furniture, wind chimes, the gas grill, and garden ornamentation that would blow in high winds, tools, and the many potted plants around the house. Some plants went into the garage, some went under the deck, and some came inside. We moved the biggest potted plants against a retaining wall and hope this will give them some protection or at least keep them from blowing around. It’s hard to predict what winds up to 75 mph will do to such things.

I harvested as many veggies as possible. Many will get eaten during the next few days. The hot peppers, however, had to be canned. And since I had so many green tomatoes I canned green tomato relish.  The cucumbers I bought at a farm stand on Wednesday had to become pickles and relish. I was not going to let the fantastic basil growing in the gardens get battered by hurricane winds …half of it is now pesto, some went to a neighbor, and some is sitting in a vase in water waiting for me to get to it another day. The ton of peaches picked during Wednesday’s farm visit are now sliced and stored in the freezer.

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All the hydrangeas are cut and resting safely in vases all around the house and other blossoms are cut and in water. I figure I’ll want something to do to keep my mind off the wind and rain expected to stay with us for most of tomorrow. What better activity than arranging bouquets of flowers from the garden?

Irene is acting much like a previous hurricane – Gloria – that hit CT in 1985. We lost power for six days. Irene is following the same track, but is larger and expected to stay for a longer visit. We have a generator, but if you don’t see any posts from me for the next week, blame Irene. Living in the woods, hurricane force winds, driving rains and electrical wires don’t always get along well.

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Small wonders in the garden

Sometimes colors and interest in the garden are provided by the smallest of creatures. It’s easy to miss these tiny wonders of nature unless you take time to really look at the life that occurs in the tight and smaller spaces of a garden that has never been inundated by herbicides and pesticides. The longer my gardens are in place, the more I find these everyday, but spectacular, creatures. For this post, photos speak louder than words.

A grasshopper breaking out …

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A Black and Yellow Arigope aurantia, aka orb-weaver because of the tell-tale zig-zag design of the web.

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A Black Swallowtail caterpillar eating one of its favorite foods, Queen Anne Lace. The caterpillar is as beautiful as the butterfly.

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