Sunday, July 27, 2014

Party Before the Storm.

7-27 14 VERMONT: The potluck party was a big success. Everyone hailed Judy as the neighborhood social catalyst. The evening was perfect, if anything, it was too cool, weather-wise. We had put a table on the terrace with extra seating that nobody used. Everybody was on the deck either at the bar or the food. Thanks to all for bringing food and wine.

This morning there was a short T-storm after we brought everything inside and, again, there was another in the afternoon followed by a rainbow.

Sunset party. [Thanks to Gail for these pix.]

Action on the deck.

Everybody hangs between the food and bar.

Rainbow after tonight's T-storm.

Saturday, July 26, 2014


7-26-14 VERMONT: Wow, I have fallen into a posting deficit. We had 0.8 inches of rain after my last post, which got everything nicely soaked.

The next day Alison, Dan and I did an easy hike up Mt. Kearsarge in southern NH. We did the southern hike, from Rollins State Park on the Rollins Trail. It’s an easy half mile and 300 feet of vertical, just enough for geezer bones. The summit of Kearsarge is bare from a forest fire in 1796. The views are great. They say Boston can be seen on a clear day, but not when we were there, and it was pretty clear. The rock looked like igneous/gneiss at first glance. I’ll do an entry on the geology blog after I’ve researched it.

The next day Judy and Alison helped Lily host a BBQ for her friends who didn’t have visitors for Parents’ Weekend at camp, oops, I mean college. It worked out well, and gave us a practice run for the potluck, neighborhood party we’re hosting tonight.

New blooms: Shasta daisy, goose-neck loosestrife, phlox.

Which one is the sherpa?

Lake Sunapee in the  middle and Mt. Ascutney in the distance.

Looking NE toward the Whites.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

A Moment in the Hammock.

7-22-14 VERMONT: The humidity is back, and we almost need rain. I’ve watered the new plantings. It’s been more of the usual chores—weeding, pruning, trimming. I did spend five minutes in the hammock between cartloads of prunings getting dumped.

The days are noticeably shorter now that we’re more than a month away from the June solstice. The plants are still racing to get the job done before the season ends. They all still seem to be ahead of schedule.

Alison and Dan are visiting for the week, and they're impressed with new WiFi.

There is a ton of milkweed in the pasture this year, but none of its leaves look chewed up. I haven’t seen any Monarch butterflies or caterpillars. [Milkweed is the Monarch caterpillars’ meal of choice.]

New blooms: Joe Pye weed, ligularia, boltonia.

Daylily reflections.

Mixed palate.

Cabbage White butterfly on hesperis.

Friday, July 18, 2014

Reds and Pinks.

7-18-14 VERMONT: It’s been sunny, cool, dry and breezy. Once again things are drying out. That part of the yard that drains into the pond has been soggy all season and dry enough to get mowed only about twice.

Yesterday the apple trees were pruned by Ben B. He also hauled away all the cuttings. That is now off my to do list.

A few blueberries and a few tomatoes have been ripe enough to eat. The corn is as high as my eye and tassels are starting to show.

New blooms: echinacea, red hybrid daylilies.

Grape juice?


Very red.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Fast Times and High Speed.

7-16-14 VERMONT: It’s been a crazy, social whirl for Judy’s birthday. Alan was here, and we went to Canoe Club, his treat, thanks again, Al. The next night, the two of us hit Elixir, and tonight we ate at the Pine Room with Lily. Middlebrook is on the calendar with Ken and Jane in a few days.

There was a bunch of rain, 1.5 inches, yesterday and last night. The new stone work out front worked fine and the rain flowed away from the house toward the road. The basement stayed dry.

ECFiberNet was here yesterday to bring the line from the road to the house, and another tech was here today to bring the fiber optics inside and to the router. We now have high speed Wi-Fi and feel very twenty-first century.

New blooms: pink and maroon hybrid daylilies.

Water Lilys, these are in pink. I think there are three frogs in the picture.


After the rain.

Sunday, July 13, 2014


7-13-14 VERMONT: it’s mid-summer and the pollinators and flowers are hard at work through the long days. Blossoms seem to be ahead of the usual schedule, but that may just be my imagination, or perhaps, the plants know there’s an early winter in the works. We got an afternoon shower today, so far just enough to wet the leaves.

The bed under the dining room windows originally had a lot of hostas growing and doing well in a shady spot. After the house was painted twice, and pre-washed twice, the bed is barren. At first I thought it was the foot traffic from the painters, but replacement plants died so I am guessing that there’s lead in the soil from the scrapping and washing of the old paint. Today I dug some of the soil out and replaced it with new topsoil and planted pachysandra cuttings—we’ll see.

New blooms: potentilla, summer azalea.

Hollyhock, dramatic flower repeated for several weeks.

Pickerel weed is an aquatic with tear-drop shaped leaves and blue/purple flowers.

Another hybrid daylily.

Friday, July 11, 2014

Turkey Sighting.

7-11-14 VERMONT: The rain has stopped for the moment, and we’ve had gorgeous days. I have been at the usual chores, generating cart loads of prunings.

We went to an onsite auction in Orford, NH this morning. We saw a couple beautiful farms on the road, but didn’t bid on anything. On the way home we stopped to let two adult turkeys and a bunch of chicks cross the road. I suppose they wanted to get to the other side.

New blooms: pickerel weed, catmint [forgot to mention before], delphinium, perennial foxglove, bee balm, milkweed, Queen Anne's lace.

Hybrid daylily.

Roses are recovering from the severe winter.

Milkweed with pollinators. We have the pink variety also, but no Monarch butterfly caterpillars.

Why did the turkeys cross the road? Note the chicks.