Sunday, May 30, 2010

Arlington Farmer's Market

My wife and I will be out a the Arlington, Texas farmer's market this coming Friday.
The city decided to start having one last fall and has brought it back this spring. It is supposed to continue through the summer on into late fall /early winter when there will probably be mostly squash and such.
Among other things there will be fresh vegetables, honey, and eggs. My wife will be bringing herbs and some herbal items. We will possibly be starting a larger bed to plant things in to eat and bring out in the coming months. I have plenty of supplies and just need to get up off of the sofa and do something with it all.
The Arlington, Texas Farmer's Market is located at 215 E. Front St., Arlington, Texas and is open on Friday and Saturday 8:00 till sold out.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Botanical Gardens, Mexico

After the trip to the bird sanctuary we headed to a botanic garden near the local university. Actually I believe it was a school that was a combination of different grades but at the time we were there we saw mostly older teens or twenties with backpacks and such.

This picture was one of my favorites. The way the light hit it just right was too good to pass up. It is one of the varieties of heliconia they have there.

Here is another where the yellow is also present. They don't look a lot alike but they're in the same family. If you look closely you can see some ants at the bottom looking for a bit of something to eat.

This one lacks the yellow in favor of the green, but like the first one is upright instead of hanging.

Mexican Cruise 2

While on the lagoon tour we had a chance to get up close and personal with some lovely lotus plants. Unfortunately we didn't have a chance to use them for lunch.

Another thing we will probably never get a chance to taste is these cute little sea turtles. One of them had died although the workers there swore, if they could in English, that it was fine. That glassy look in it's eye and the fact that it wasn't moving made me think otherwise.
I don't know if I mentioned it but we never did find a tortilla in Mexico...

Friday, May 21, 2010

Fairytale Castle Cactus

I have pruned my fairytale castle cactus back cutting all of the deat parts off from last winter's freeze. It was about 80% dead but it seems to not mind the slightly harsh butchering.
Once I was done it was still about half the height and about a third the width. A few pieces also came off and have been planted in their own pots. I don't know if it will be as successful as the other cactus that my wife transplanted which is smaller than my thumb but has already decided to flower. I figured it would take more than that since all she did was put it on top of some dirt in a pot and leave it alone.
Fortunately not all plants are that hardy or I would never be able to get rid of some of the weeds in my yard.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Mexican Cruise 1

I have finally gotten to the cruise portion of my vacation.

We started out going to a bird sanctuary. Although I have lots of pictures of birds and bird nests and bird habitats, that is not what this blog is about.
Fortunately I took lots of pictures of plants as well.

Here is a mexican almond tree. They had them all over the place and they were entirely happy to show me how to open them

Here I am opening one of them. Not only can you eat the almond in the middle but you can also eat the red fleshy part. The flesh can also be yellow or orange.

On the way back we saw this really old tree. I'm sure it had some name but all I remember is that it was, old...

Friday, May 14, 2010

Figs of a Feather... Oh Nevermind

The point being that the figs this year have not fallen off of the tree despite the hard rains and wind. Some of the first figs are even changing color and ripening. If all goes well we will be making fig preserves and eating figs on toast and scones.
If you have never had scones, and I mean real home made scones, then you really should find someone who knows how to make them and give them a shot. Fresh scones right from the oven... are too hot and fall apart. Scones that have had a few minutes to cool after coming out of the oven are perfect. Add a cup of your favorite tea (you do have a favorite right, if not then there is something else we need to talk about) and voila!

In short, fresh figs good, birds eating the figs, bad.

Pre-Cruise Nursery Stop

Before the cruise we stopped at a local nursery to get some plants for my wife's lecture. None of the following were picked but they looked really cool.

I snapped this picture of some society garlic flowers. They're more colorful than, though not as showy as, the onions we have here at home.

These guys are a little less ordinary. They make me think of hag fish with little hooks to cling onto dead rotting carcass ripping away pieces to feed on. I'm not sure what they were either but cactus is always a good subject.

I know we tried to grow some of these but again I don't really feel like looking up their name and I'm tired. If you want to leave a comment on what they are I will be happy to post it. Until then I shall call these "Happy Cuppy Spiky Flower Stalks." Maybe they should change their name to that.

Cruise in Review Coming Soon...

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Upcoming Rain

The rain is comming for the next few days which means I will need to go clean the gutters from all of the pecan droppings and sweep the drive and walks so they won't make matted depris piles. I all goes well then my garden should start producing and I can stop spending so much at the store.
I think everyone would like it if they could just go outside and eat whatever was growing. This would eliminate having to go the store, search for ingredients, stand in line and end up paying way too much for something that really doesn't taste very good. I know, put that way it the grocery store doesn't sound very good. I wonder what food would taste like if they grew stuff without trying to mass produce it. Wait, I know this one. Good!

Still waiting for seeds from:
Lettuce, Beets, and Cilantro

They should all be ready in the next week or so.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Garden Pearls

Have you ever gone out into your backyard and looked down to find a pearl? A shiny irridescent, not so perfect, gem just sitting there waiting for you to pick it up and.... eat it?

Ok so we don't eat pearls but that's just what our local texas onion looks like. We piked up a bunch of the flower/bulb stalks and dried them a little while. They started falling to the floor so I figured it was about time to pull them all off. I got about a half cup of tiny gems and they have the most wonderful flavor. It took about a half an hour to get but it will last outside the refridgerator for months and when I want to use it in a soup or other dish all I have to do is rinse them and toss them in.
Anything I don't use I can plant in the ground for more onions and little pearls. Each onion will produce from 10 -30 little pearls at a time. If we had harvested our entire backyard we would have had cups of onion. and probably thousands of little bulbs.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Sunny California

Honest, it was sunny at times just not in these photos.
The crevice was very interesting but this picture doesn't do it justice.

When we finally got to Lake Arrowhead it was a small lake community. This was taken from the fourth floor of the shopping area with the lake in the distance.

Before we got there we stopped in a snowy area with some trees hanging over the side. I shot this looking almost straight up.

In the little town there was this poor flower frozen in ice. It had just snowed the day before.

On the way back down we stopped as we could finally see some of the scenery. This flower spike was the only one that hadn't already bloomed. The rest of them were in full or at least partial bloom.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Roses in Bloom

All of my rose bushes are blooming now. i am especially happy about this one since it is on a fence between us and one of our neighbors who has a very nice yard. usually this particular bush has been a little lanky and sparse, not a very good look for a fence, but this year it has plenty of volume and show.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Garden Life

Sounds like a magazine... It might be a magazine but that's not what I had in mind.

I don't remember what these flowering plants are called but who cares right now. the important part is that these little butterflies love it! There were four of them and they seemed more interested in the plant than in the fact that I was right in the midst of them. I was able to stand there watching them for a good five minutes before they flew off.

This little guy startled me. At first I thought he was a wasp that had come back to unsettle my nerves but after a little while I realized he was no wasp. It's almost like he wanted to pose for me. I didn't even know my camera was that good.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Backyard Flowers

I'm trying to get more seeds for planting but the bugs are against me. I went out today and the caterpillars were eating away at the lettuce seed pods. They only seem to like one of the varieties though and fortunately one of the tasty varieties is very close to one that isn't and the caterpillars are leaving both of them alone.
The onions are in full bloom and shouldn't be too much longer until they seed.

2010 Strawberries

I leave for a couple weeks and *poof* red berries appear! Fortunately I like to eat the little red berries and just like that they're all gone.
I need to water them for the next few months and hopefully I'll get berries all spring. and possibly through to winter.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Gone for a Bit

The trip out to sea was great but I haven't had the time yet to go through the pictures that will soon grace the walls of this blog.