Deer Destruction

August 2nd, 2017

While the gardener is away, the deer will play. Or while the gardener is playing, the deer are slaying (the cucumber vines).

Luna Moths

August 3rd, 2016

Two huge Luna Moths. Mating? Resting?


The Springing of the Year

April 9th, 2015

It’s been a long dry spell. I don’t mean rain.

The garden is a real mess but with the spouse’s help and good weather and not-too-hungry critters, we plan to coax it back into shape this year. We’ve been weeding and digging, and I began to sow seeds indoors about two months ago and transplanted seedlings into the garden a week ago or thereabouts.

So, this is the makings of the first salad of the year entirely of our own greens.

Salad Greens

First Salad Greens 2015

I made a simple vinaigrette of pink wine vinegar, a couple drops of Datil pepper vinegar, salt, black pepper, a small amount of walnut oil and a larger amount of olive oil. The greens are ‘Forellenschluss’ lettuce, purple mizuna, arugula, and garden cress. A radish was also involved, but I didn’t take a picture of it.

New Grill and Cherry Tomatoes

August 5th, 2013
Last night’s dinner. Chicken roasted on the new grill, and cherry tomato salad with basil. The tomatoes are Sungold and Red Pisa Date.

Peppers Are Ripening

August 6th, 2012
It’s the most wonderful time of the year. Peppers are ripening! A few weeks ago I thought we might not have any peppers this year after the deer chomped on the plants.

AjÍ Crystal Pepper

August 5th, 2012

First good Ají Crystal pepper. This from a volunteer plant that the deer and I overlooked in a clump of volunteer dill. The deer didn’t bother the Rooster Spur peppers much.

Black Widows

May 26th, 2012

… another public service announcement …

I saw my first black widow spider many years ago – in a box of mail-order plants I was unpacking. Nothing bad happened. I smashed it with a trowel and it made a good story and I assumed I’d never see another.

I saw my second black widow spider here in the woods of central Virginia. It was a few years ago, maybe 2007 or 2008. I probably should have killed it.

I saw my third black widow spider on Monday of this week. On my front porch! I knocked it down and stomped on it with my garden clogs.

Black Widow Spider

The Monday front porch spider

I saw my fourth, fifth, sixth, and seventh black widow spiders yesterday. All in various place on the outside of our house. But now some of them were busily making babies.

Black Widow Spider

One of the Friday black widows

I shredded my green credentials and called an exterminator. I really hated to do it, but we just can’t have so many of these things around. Everything I read about them says they inhabit damp dark spots generally hidden to human view. Well I don’t know about that – all the ones I’ve seen have been clearly out in the open. With the exception of one that was on the foundation nestled up against the first row of siding, all the rest were under the eaves of the house and garage. How many more are there in those damp dark hidden places?

What would Rachel Carson do?

More information about black widow spiders: