Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Blackberries and Memories

It was a long, dry July, and Central New York has been in a moderate drought.  This last week we've had a few hours here and there of rain, but we're still well below our average rainfall.  Still, the moisture is making a difference - a little fresh green in the lawns, and some brighter greens in the fields and on the trees.

My containers of tomatoes are happy, although I still have to water them by hand every day it's hot.  None of them are ripening yet - I'm hoping that changes soon.

But, oh my, the BLACKBERRIES!  Behind our house, edging the woods, is a massive wild blackberry patch.  So far we've picked and frozen 8 quarts of berries.  I'll be making blackberry jam, and sharing berries with my sister, so she can make a pie

Blackberries = memories.  When I was little, my mother and sisters and I would pick blackberries near our house.  We spent many buggy afternoons pushing aside brambles looking for juicy berry gold.  We would leave the house slathered in bug spray and toting Tupperware bowls, and we'd return sweaty and scratched tired and victorious, with all the berries we could find.  Mom made jam, cobbler, crisp, and pie, and nothing ever tasted so good.  Now I'm blessed to share blackberry picking with my daughter, and I can show her how to make jam, and cobbler, and crisp, and pie....

Friday, July 8, 2016

Breaking the Drought

Where I live in Central New York has been slowly baking and withering under a moderate drought.  I've been hand-watering my new garden and containers.  Today we finally got more than a trace of rain, for more than a few minutes.  We actually have a flash-flood warning for a couple hours.  I hope some of it soaks in instead of running off the hard-baked ground.

Fourth of July 2016, sunset over Oneida Lake.

I'm enjoying having a reduced case load of students for the summer, and I'm slowly tackling projects around the house, as well as catching up on routine chores.  Being beyond stressed at the end of the school year, and having problems with my back, really derailed me for a while.  I'm making up for lost time now.
Adirondack chair project, photobombed by my daughter.
One of my "wouldn't it be nice" projects was to refurbish my beat up old Adirondack chairs.  This week I scored a quart of good outdoors paint at a crazy low price.  Sometimes those "oops, we mixed it wrong" shelves at the big box home stores are a good place to find stuff for projects.  Khaki-olive green?  Okay, I can live with that on my chairs.

I know this one made the move - this is
last year's photo of my seedling 'Dixie Highway.'

A couple of my long-suffering, much-transplanted daylilies have bloomed.  I know I lost several in the move last winter (it's a long story - let's just say thank goodness it was a mild early winter, so I could dig up my plants in December....).  But several have made it, and a few more are yet to bloom.  I have the awful sinking feeling I lost my favorite one, though - we'll see....