I didn’t mean to take such a long break from the blog but computer issues kept me away. I have a lot of things to share with you and have just edited the many photos I’ve taken so there is no reason (unless the computer acts up again) I will be away for so long again.
On the Weather Front
We went from a super cold and rainy spring to overnight temperatures more like August, and I mean that literally. One day the furnace was running in the afternoon and evenings the next day it was in the mid 80s! The rain with the sudden heat wave left me with a lot of weeding to do.
This is just a section of what my driveway looked like. So much for rocks keeping the weeds at bay.
Last summer I used white vinegar to kill them and then dug them out the best I could but as you can see it didn’t do the job. I’ve been experimenting with many natural formulas, which I’ll share with you in a day or two, but this is how the drive looks after several days work.
Still a lot to get done but that section around the planter bed (made of found bricks) is now weed free.
Last Thursday my youngest granddaughter came for a two-night sleepover before going on her family vacation. She enjoyed playing with the neighbor kids and with me but it was a nature walk and a library visit that were her highlights.
We took a nature walk after dinner the first night. We walked less than half a mile yet it took us just shy of an hour and a half to complete the walk. She brought with her a camera she received for her second birthday and had to photograph every thing that caught her eye.
We had a huge number of caterpillars that week as well. In some places they were everywhere making it hard to step without harming one. We had to stop and check each and every one out.
This particular caterpillar happened to be near a home that just had their grass cut and there was plenty of cut grass along the side of the road. Little one had to feed the caterpillar by dropping grass clippings on it every where it went. 🙂
The next morning we headed to the library to let her select books for us to read using her own library card we got for her.
The library has a lovely dollhouse complete with furnishings and dolls which she loves. After selecting the books she wanted to bring home she had to play with the doll house. It didn’t take long for me to realize two things, she didn’t want me to play with her and she was going to be here a while. I checked out our books and then sat nearby reading while she played.
On Saturday when she went home they left me with company.
Elsa has to be the most stubborn dog I’ve ever known! We have what could be called an infestation of cicadas this year and Elsa has decided they are quite delicious. She has quite the nose for finding them and I spend most of my time outside with her trying to limit the number she eats each day.
Speaking of cicadas, they are not common north of here by Lake Erie, we have never had them near the lake so it’s one insect that I knew little about. Last year I would sit outside and enjoy the sounds of the species that were out, this year I’m just frustrated with cleaning them up. Doing a search to see if it was safe for Elsa to eat so many cicadas I stumbled on an article on the damage they will do to young fruit trees.
I have been so happy with the health of the fruit trees I planted last year. This is the peach tree I planted last spring. I also planted an apricot, two apple trees and an almond tree. Each time I looked at the growth on my trees I smiled but now I am very concerned.
What I had known about cicadas was that they fed from the water in the trees but didn’t harm them. Now I learn that the female cuts a hole the size of a pencil in branches of all trees including young trees and really likes fruit trees to lay her eggs. The branches she cuts will most likely die. You have five to ten days, from the first time you hear or see them to cover your young trees with netting to save them, unfortunately, I didn’t know this in the ten day window. Now I have my fingers crossed hoping my trees survive.
My two oldest grandchildren arrive Saturday for their summer visit. For those of you who asked, we were able to work out an arrangement for both children to come down together for the first three weeks after which my granddaughter will stay for another week. Elsa won’t be going home until Sunday so there will be one day of watching over the dog while spending time with the children.
Speaking of Children
The neighbor boys are still visiting daily but they have a family with a twelve year old boy who moved in next to them that has joined in. Yesterday he spotted me painting and begged to paint. I just wanted to work alone for a while seeing as I won’t have time to myself for a month but finally gave in.
The retaining wall still isn’t completely painted as we have to keep stopping due to the rain but it’s getting closer. This child also asked if he could paint the railing posts I couldn’t reach so another job has been taken care of.
The younger boy is a bit jealous to have to share me and the work with his new neighbor so this will be a juggling act if this continues so he doesn’t feel slighted.
Much more has been happening here, but I’ll save that for another day.
How is your summer so far?