Monday, August 9, 2010

Big Fat Summer Day

First week of August.
RAIN: Last Thursday (the 5th?), the monsoon clouds took pity on us at last, and gifted everything with a generous rain--the kind of hard showers that left an inch of water in all the 5 gallon buckets strewn around the yard.

G with the first 2 eggplantsSaturday G picked the first two globe eggplants. Small but perfect. We took a deep breath and chopped back 10' sunflowers and ripped up some volunteer pole bean vines to give plants number four and five enough sun to thrive.

On a whim, I planted some peas. A few in between the sweet potato vines, since there is a lazy rope trellis already dangling there, and put the rest in a tidy row where the garlic was.

Blossoms on the trumpet vineLIZARDS We have a lot of lizards this season. [Need to explore and see if I can find out what scientists call them...] It's hard to be anywhere in the yard/ garden without hearing a faint rustle. So far, I have not figured out how to capture them on camera or video. But they sure are cute. Planting the little gallon Bluebeard (check name) up in front of the fence by the trumpet vine, we must have disturbed their home. We spotted not one but two youngsters prowling around. They were about three inches long, from the tip of their snubby noses to the end of their slender, metallic blue tails. Whether it was due to their youth or just general lizard pluck--they did not seem to be afraid of us. As we crouched there in the dirt, they calmly explored the spot where we had been digging. They got so close that G started telling it, in a stage whisper, NOT to climb up her pant leg. Since I was further away and wearing shorts, I thought it was funny and chuckled softly.

Bean flowers are just flat-out gorgeous. And as I have confessed elsewhere, I LOVE eating their babies. Here is a long-awaited photo of our first bean of the season--a purple snap.
First purple snap bean

Wide shot with winter squash, a blur that are snap beans, and a  second blob that are the biggest of the eggplantsWe waited until practically the end of July to finally plant the winter squash plants. G read somewhere that they liked mounds, so she put these guys on a small hill. Most of the greedy squash bugs should (a)have not found this part of the yard yet and (b) be dead by high summer. We have been carefully watching, having fought vicious battles last year. Saturday I found and killed 2 pair, one pale green adolescent and two half-hearted batches of eggs. We'll see. As we often say, either smiling or sighing, "There's a lot of hope out there." And yes, we are being unashamedly species-centric: Hope for us bipeds, NOT for the crunchy brown insects with the rapacious piercing and sucking mouth parts!

Not sure why, but haven't kept up with my photo documenting process this summer. Yesterday I finally ran around and snapped a shot of everything--for posterity. Here is a sudden bumper crop. The blossoms on the trumpet vine never fail to arrest my attention. So sensuous. And ditto the sunflowers framing our huge western sky. They help me stop for a moment, and see, really see the clouds. I accidentally caught a bee in mid-flight in this one. The blooms are covered with them, though it seems to be one gal per flower. I witnessed what I think was a dog-fight between 2 bees for the rights to harvest one blossom in particular. ?!

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