Wednesday, November 30, 2011

The End of November

Winter will be taking hold soon as the last month of the year comes up.  Harvesting should be finished soon if it hasn't already unless you live in a very southern part of the country.
Here in the metroplex we've had unusually warm weather.  No real frost to speak of.  It was a little unusual this morning when I turned my wipers on.  At first it wiped off just fine. They were on intermitant and as soon as I had any real speed, over 10 mph) the water froze and the blades scraped against them.  Once I got really moving though the water was liquid again.  It was just on the edge it seemed.

Monday, November 28, 2011

The Basil has Survived

I wasn't sure about it but going out in the middle of the night to pick basil wasn't very high on my priorities.  The weather guy said it was supposed to reach freezing but just barely.  When I got up I went outside to look and they seemed fine.  I'll check again when I get home just in case they got colder as the sun was rising.
The coldest time of day is often just after sunrise before the sun has had a chance to really change the temperature any.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Anticipating the First Frost

The first frost of the year is really hard to pin down here in Arlington since we're smack dab in the middle of the metroplex. the temperature here is usually at leas five degrees warmer than surrounding rural areas due to reflected heat off of pavement and millions of vehicles running constantly, or at least it feels like it.
Rains are coming regularly now keeping the plants happy but the temperatures like to roll up and down. tonight for instance it's supposed to drop into the 30's but the rest of the week is supposed to be low of 50-60 with highs in the 70's. We've really only had a few weeks of decent growing time since the heat decided to take a break and the rain came back. Now with freezing weather just barely out of the current forecast it's almost nerve wrecking. When will it arrive and will the current crops be ripe enough to pick before it does?
Have to keep a watchful eye out. I reall don't want to loose my basil or tomatoes. Fortunately the wild onion is coming up again. I never can get a grasp on exactly where they are from year to year since they seem to move a little. they're one plant that likes the frost.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Lady in a Boat - Purple setcressea

It never ceases to amaze me what common names are shared by, at times, many plants. When down south this plant was introduced to me by the above name by not a few different people.
When looking up the name in a search it didn't come up at all but was in the same group of plants, groundcovers.

Apple Season

I know fruit lovers usually know that when winter comes it's citrus time. Unfortunately it seems that these same people seem to forget that apple season is here and now is the time you can get some really good apples.
I was listening to the radio some years ago and they were interviewing a guy who helped develop new apples. By the sounds of it there were supposed to be several new types that sounded very promising. Unfortunately I can't recall ever seeing any of the varieties he mentioned. This could be due to many reasons, the most probable being a renaming of the variety to better suit the apple or because someone with more clout decided to name it after his dog. Don't laugh, I've seen it done with street names.
Even though I don't think I will be tasting some of what they were working on we can still be happy knowing that many varieties are available and can be used for a wide range of foods.
Generally for my tastes I like a sweet and crunchy apple for eating. The more tart apples like Granny Smith I use in making pies. the mealier ones can be either juiced or made into sauce.
Any way you slice it, peel it, cut it up into little chunks, apples make great snacks.

Friday, November 11, 2011

It's 4 O'clock Somewhere

It's four o'clock somewhere and that's exactly what these flowers believe too. These pictures were taken around 6:30. I have to say they were on their way out at this point but that's a long happy hour if you ask me.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Frost on the Windshield

Extreme weather really is a problem here. We don't get the coldest winters but we get them cold enough, and unfortunately not consistantly cold, that it keeps most produce from growing quite right.
Head south and you have the humidity and the gulf keeping things in check. Go north and you have winters that stay cold and don't jump to the mid eighties all of the sudden convincing your broccoli and lettuce to bolt. Head east even and you start to hit a little more humidity. By the time you reach Louisiana green is a major color in the landscape.
Couple that with the grey blotch you can see in images from space, the grand mass of concrete which keeps this area nearly 5 degrees hotter than surrounding areas and there goes your moisture.
I was watching the weather a few weeks ago when we were supposed to have rain and you could see the clouds and rain part in the middle as it reached the metroplex. There was so little humidity and so much heat that it absorbed the clouds before they could do much of anything.
Yet here I am still. What can I say, I live really close to work.