It’s lily season

The lilies are blooming and this bunch caught my eye. Our front yard at Ladybird Lane is pretty shady but sometimes sunbeams punch their way through the ash and locust canopy and give the flowers this momentary brilliance.

Pink lilies

Supersteak!

It’s been tomato season here at Ladybird Lane for about a month. They started ripening slowly, a few grape tomatoes, then some cherry tomatoes followed up by some really sweet cluster tomatoes and now the Supersteaks are ripening. Boy, oh, boy, are they big! The ones in the photo were a pound and a half each. I say “were” ‘cuz they are no longer! ;-) Anyway, I weighed them with a metric scale and that comes to 600 grams for the small one and the two larger were 650 grams. Yes, that’s just three supersteak tomatoes on a single dinner plate. You can get a dozen regular tomatoes on a dinner plate. And they are fantastic tasting especially when eaten with some salt and pepper and a thick slice of fresh mozzarella. I like putting a little olive oil on them, too, then sprinkling them with some grated Parmesan cheese, maybe some balsamico. Mmmm, mmm good! One disadvantage of the supersteaks is that they are a bit more fragile than other tomatoes. They get over ripe quickly so eat them not too long after you pick them. It’s also interesting how they grow. Instead of beginning with a small globe the supersteak begins as a small flat, ribbed button. Kinda cool.

This year I planted six different types of tomatoes, a cherry, a grape, a plum, an heirloom named Burgundy, two supersteaks and two cluster tomatoes. And then, any volunteers that decided to grow I tried to find a place for them. I love surprises. One turned out to be a San Marzano plum which makes a really nice, thick tomato paste. Anyway, they’re not ripening yet.

It’s all downhill from here

I heard the weatherman excitedly pronounce a few days ago that from here on through January the average daily high temperature would be decreasing. Wow! That’s a cheery thought. So, here in southern Sconnieland we top out at 83 degrees Fahrenheit the last week of July. Gradually the average high declines until the end of January when the temperature finally hits 26 degrees Fahrenheit. That’s kind of optimistic, I think. The way I remember the end of January we’d be really happy to see 26 degrees. :-)

downhill

Longtail’s long day

Ol’ Longtail had a very long day on Monday. Imagine, raspberries to the right, sunflower seed to the left, after a while you’re just bushed. Ladybird Lane is a fine place to be this summer especially if you’re a squirrel or even a turkey for that matter. This morning I got up about 5:30 and went to the kitchen, raised the blind and there underneath this feeder Longtail found so comfortable was a big tom turkey cleaning up the spilled bird seed. Unfortunately by the time I could run and get a camera he was gone. This guy I was able to photograph through the kitchen window so the photo quality isn’t all that hot.

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48 degrees and green!

That was this morning’s low temperature, 48 Fahrenheit. If you look at the graph from yesterday where I griped about the cold summer we’ve had so far you’ll see that the record low for July 2 is 44 F. Nonetheless, it was brisk this morning. I shouldn’t complain, though, because everything is so green.

Here’s a shot of the backyard here at Ladybird Lane. That big ol’ weeping willow tree has gone through a lot. It lost a branch in the wind a couple days ago. And the far side is totally missing since the electric company comes by ever few years and trims off the branches so they don’t interfere with the electric lines. That hole in the middle, there used to be a second huge branch, about 18 inches thick, that shot up and to the right. But, it was down on the ground when we bought the house. We’re hoping it will last for a while more. Without that willow our backyard would be naked. The little orchard there on the left of the photo, those apples, plums and cherry trees wouldn’t mind the extra sun and neither would the veggie garden on the right. But, we’d sure miss that willow.

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Bucharest sunset

We spent a little time on vacation in Bucharest the last two weeks and boy-o-boy was it hot. The official temperature must be measured somewhere outside of the city, maybe at the airport, because the thermometer on the street where we were staying consistently read 35 to 38 Celcius (95 to 100 Fahrenheit) in the afternoon. And not to mention that most of the streets and even sidewalks are asphalt so all of that black on the ground didn’t help out much. The Commies weren’t very good at planning and still aren’t Anyway, when sunset hit I was feeling a little better. Unfortunately the building we stayed in was concrete and only had WOAC (window open air conditioning). So, it stayed pretty warm even into the night. Nonetheless, we had a lot of fun. Many of the streets and sidewalks were lined with beautiful lavender and white hibiscus bushes. That was very nice.

The city is growing and modernizing a lot. From where I took this picture I used to be able to see the Intercontinental Hotel on Balcescu Blvd. Now that new beige building on the left in the photo is blocking the view. From all of the orange in the photo you can tell that there is a lot of dust in the air. Hot and dry. That’s Bucharest in the Summer.

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The Yellow Rose of Sconnieland

We got home from a bit of vacation and my favorite yellow rose has some big buds on it. One of them opened yesterday. I like the faint red blush in the petals. Texas has nothing on this Yellow Rose of Sconnieland.

Life is good at Ladybird Lane

Life is good here at Ladybird Lane. This morning when I stepped out onto the backyard deck this is what I saw.

Makin’ punkins

Here at Ladybird Lane the “punkins” are doing really well. We’ve had a lot of rain this year and last week was really warm and pumpkins seem to just love that. This year I planted three different kinds of pumpkins and a few butternut squash. There isn’t too much space in the garden for them to spread out. But, I put up sort of a trellis for the vines to crawl on and they seem to like that. After yesterday’s rain there were lots of flowers opening this morning. Here are two from a type of pumpkin that is really good roasted or even used for pie it’s so sweet.

Makin' punkins

Second raspberry of the Summer

The first one somehow found its way into my mouth before I thought about taking a photo.

Second raspberry

The raspberries and blackberries here at Ladybird Lane are just fantastic this year. That first one this morning was so sweet even after a swig of sweet, creamy coffee. Wow! I love Summer!

P.S. I’m so glad the rabbits don’t care for raspberries. They are raising cane with the roses, peas and broccoli even though I have a pretty good chicken wire fence around the garden. One thing I can’t fence out are the Japanese beetles. They are just starting to show up and are a real terror for for berry growers.

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