Sunday, July 19, 2009

Coulda, Woulda, Shoulda

Usually I'm pretty good with my photos. I take more than one from different lengths. This morning I must have been a little too complacent with some of them. Sometimes they come out well though. The above butterfly was taken with my little camera. It usually won't focus on something like a butterfly, but since the big camera was nowhere around I took a chance. Sometimes the planets align and it just happens.

Other times it doesn't. I was going to show you some photos of my chard. The one above turned out OK, but right now the leaf miners are back and I wanted to show the phtotos of eggs up close. These things are tiny. The early morning light isn't all the strong. I should have taken lots, but I didn't. So I have nothing to show you but white blurs. I can tell you that the white eggs are tiny, white, and long and thin, but as the saying goes, a picture is worth a thousand words and it is certainly worth much more than the four I describe it with.

Since the leaf miners are back I'm supposed to scrape off the white eggs every couple of days. They hatch in about four so you can't leave them too long or your leaves are history. Well I became a bit complacent about looking for them too. I had to remove a couple of leaves. I'll try to keep on top of it from now on.

Then I tried to photograph another milestone event in the garden. Luckily all my neighbors are asleep at 7am so they couldn't see. Not only did I do my little happy dance, but I helped out with sex in the garden. I took photos of the great event. Yes it is the start of the great zucchini glut. The first female blossom opened this morning (Dark Green). With three male flowers opened on the other zucchini (Costata Romanesca) and me wanting them for my lunch, I decided to pollinate the female flower by hand. I ripped the anthers off the poor males and liberal wiped them over the stigma of the female. Then took the males in for lunch. Hmm writing this makes me feel a bit like a black widow spider, but I like squash flowers in my salads.

Sadly all of the whopping two photos didn't come out. So I had to go back into the garden this afternoon. The flower was all closed up. Once pollinated, she had takes off her fancy dress. I think the celebration is over. If all goes well I certainly won't be celebrating in a few weeks when I can't get rid of them all. Why oh why did I plant four zucchinis?

At least my salad was festive. I had lettuce with snow peas, tomatoes (donations from Debra - whose flowers are not Sungold yellow but orange-red - and Zelda), and squash blossoms. The salad was dressed with my garlic scape dressing. The cole slaw features my cabbage, carrots and onions. The pickled snap peas get a bit gray when pickled, but they taste divine. They feature my peas, dill, hot peppers, garlic and onions.

As I was taking my replacement photos I of course noticed all the things that still need to get done in the garden. The wind had blown over the potato foliage so it was draping down over all of my tomatillos. I grabbed two stick and proceeded to prop them up with some string. Now the tomatillos that have grown up the side of the cage can finally get some sun. The the potatoes finally have a few buds on them. Now I just need about another month or so before they are ready. They take so long. Note to self: if I grow potatoes again, use a much smaller space.


  1. Great shot of the butterfly Daphne. I'll have to try some of the squash blossoms in my salads from now on..they look good!

  2. I planted four zucchinis as well. I swam in them, I drowned in them and I froze them.

    Now I miss them. :(

    They really do make you feel like the most successful gardener in the world, don't they.

  3. Don't you hate when you get in and half the photos are no good. I take multiples as well with different exposure compensations but even that doesn't turn out some times. I'm bad at not taking blog photos until dusk and usually end up with lots of blurry shots or fuzzy ones from shooting at 800 iso.

    The butterfly is very nice and your potatoes are monsters! I just propped mine up this evening because they were flopping as well. Why can't things just behave :-)

  4. Love your butterfly picture. I've never seen one of those in my neck of the woods.

  5. Everything looks so healthy- my chard is looking a bit trashed with little holes- yep, I didn't keep up with the egg ritual! My potatoes too are looking a little ragged, but then we are pretending they are accidental potatoes ;). I've lost a few things and others are looking neglected- but what do I expect when I have to leave out of town almost 2 weeks in a row? Happy gardening to you, Daphne!

  6. Nice butterfly shot! I am so jealous of the zucchini! I just had a seedling tragedy and lost at least one, maybe two of (my 3rd batch) my replacement zucchinis :-( The slugs just feasted on the cucurbits this year, sigh. I'm debating about growing some in my hoophouse -- they are so big, but so tasty. Am I the only gardener in the world who can't grow zucchini?

  7. perennialgardener, thanks. They are quite tasty.

    Ribbit, lol yup it is just like when my MIL took my kids for a week when they were both about five. They drove her crazy. Then they left and she wanted them back. You appreciate the horde most when you don't have it. Last year I only grew one zucchini and one summer squash. I don't know what drove me to such excess, but it ought to raise my poundage a lot if they ever deign to produce.

    Dan, I can handle half the photos, but when they all don't turn out and you have to reshoot and it is too late. I tend to shoot in the early morning when it is hot and avoid the garden. It has finally been hot this last week. Normal weather for one week. Yeah! It is so much easier in the afternoon, but the light isn't as pretty.

    Maureen, thanks. I hadn't seen him this year before either. I love how he almost blends in. If not for his orange bits I wouldn't know he was there at all.

    Tessa, it is so easy to let it go too long. I let it go five days, which is just too long. My potato leaves are looking a bit munched on, but I haven't a clue (except flea beetles) what is doing it. I've never seen a potato beetle up here yet.Not that I've grown potatoes before so I probably wouldn't have. Ack two weeks in a row? I had trouble leaving my garden for one. My biggest issue is that I have to leave again this summer for a week (have to HA, its vacation) and all my neighboring friends are coming with me so I have no one to take care of the garden. Ack! I need to find a way to water my tomato pails.

    henboggle, Ack. The slugs have been annoying. I was mowing the lawn yesterday and there is a wooden marker that separates the property boundaries. I picked it out of the ground to mow over the area and there were tons of slugs on it. Then I looked in the hole. Arrrggg. it was a slime pit. I'm seeing so many slugs. I keep seeing them on my patio with their icky slime trails. Oh I hope your zucchini grows. Your zucchini is growing in my garden well enough. Maybe I can save some seed for you and send it back. Sadly I don't think the zucchini would survive the mail process, but the seeds sure could.

  8. I haven't tried squash blossoms in my salad before, I'll have to try it. This year I've tried nasturtium leaves & borage, so might as well add some flowers too!