30 August 2010

Gardening, Accidental and Otherwise

I harvested my first butternut squash today.


The funny thing is that I never intentionally planted any. The composted alpaca manure I used to fill the raised beds for raspberry and sweet potato just happened to have some squash remains that had been thrown on the pile. So I ended up with three totally unplanned vines that have spread over a big chunk of the sideyard and over the compost pile. This one is growing between the slats of one of the pallets we have to enclose the compost.


Not quite sure how I'm going to cut it out of there. And then there's the third variety.


I also have a little stand of sunflowers that I think were planted by our resident chipmunk.


One crop I did plant that's been going at it gangbusters are my crowder peas. The description says they "have a tendency to vine in rich soils". Apparently my soil is very rich! They've been rather Jack-and-the-beanstalk-ish, and it's been sort of a constant effort to keep them trained up the rather strained poles I put up, rather than sprawling all over the walkway. I've already saved some early seeds for next year and expect I should have a decent little crop for eating by the end of season.


My tomato plants are also loaded with green tomatoes. I set them out a bit later than planned, so they've needed time to catch up, but I'm expecting they'll ripen up before frost hits. Long season crops are always a bit of a challenge here, but being by the ocean and having a south-facing hillside keeps us effectively as a USDA zone 7 microclimate, even though we're nominally zone 5 or 6, depending on which version of the map you reference. Since that designation only looks at minimum winter temps, though, we still run into the issue of a short season, but as with knitting, it's more about the process for me than the final product.

15 August 2010

Time with the Nieces

My sister's girls (aged 6 and 8) are up visiting their Gram & Pa for a few weeks, so as I was planning to head to my grandmother's on Schoodic Peninsula for a too-short visit while my aunts are up from FL and NC, I swung by my parents' and picked the girls up to get a taste of what my childhood summers were like. We made the trip downeast on Thursday, which was also the peak activity night for the Perseids.

Since the skies were clear and perfect for some spectacular viewing, we fished out a couple of old Army surplus quilts to lay on the ground in the back yard and covered up with a quilt I had in the car. Alison (aka Ash), the younger, decided to stay up with me and we saw some amazing ones before Mary, who is not a night owl, was roused from her nap to come watch for a while.

The next day we headed across the road and down to the shore, where my uncle Brad lives. He was going to take the girls for a little ride in his inflatable raft but decided once they headed out that the water was too choppy for it to be enjoyable and took them for a somewhat longer ride in his big boat, which is moored out in the natural harbor.



The view of Mount Desert Island and the Porcupine Islands was particularly nice.


And the girls really enjoyed the boat ride.


Then we threw together a picnic lunch and headed to Schoodic Point.



And then on to visit cousin Miriam Colwell, who lives in the colonial farmhouse where she was raised by her grandparents and who, at 93, is remarkably spry. While I enjoyed visiting with Miriam and looking at the paintings and sculptures done by her late partner, the artist Chenoweth (Chennie) Hall, the girls were more interested in being kids.


Then we headed on to Corea village, so we could take some photos of the ever-picturesque harbor.



On the way back to the house, we stopped for one last photo op in Prospect Harbor village.


Mary declared it "the most awesomest day ever since we've been in Maine!"

05 August 2010

Queen of Vagina (Almost Certainly NSFW)

My sister flew up with her girls Tuesday night so they could spend a few weeks with their Gram & Pa. Said sister had to turn around and fly back yesterday afternoon, so we didn't get to spend a lot of time visiting. She did, however, share this Ohrwurm, which she was humming almost constantly.

I particularly love how the QoV keeps singing "have sex with my vagina", as if she'd just be a bystander in the whole experience. Reminds me of a David Sedaris story (which I can't seem to find video of).