First, my apologies for not posting on Thursday… limited computer access and friends visiting from overseas made me lose track of the date. So, once again, the Greater Balloon Juice Commentariat takes center stage.
From commentor Linda M:
This morning I wanted to respond to Sunday morning garden chat by including a picture of a wonderful sight in my garden, which is this awesome Royal Walnut moth. From a distance, she appeared as a dead leaf hanging off of a twig but closer I realized this was something special. I wanted to share in my excitement… Enjoy!
And more from commentor Mark D:
Our strawberry pot that has simply taken the hell off for reasons we don’t fully understand. It’s always done okay, but this year we did something right. (Maybe it’s the no-gnomes at bottom keeping guard. Not sure.)
Our absurdly huge hostas. The one in back left is about 3’7″ across and growing, and the one in back right is about 4.5′ (part is hidden under the left one). What makes this so odd is that we split these things into thirds last year. And we’ll have to do it again just so they don’t take over the whole damn area.
Just a pic of our front garden, including yet another giant hosta at back right that’s bigger than the other two. (The blues in back are about 3.6′ tall, and we split those as well. So … yeah. We found the right spots for all them, apparently.)
Thanks for sharing everyone’s pictures (loved Woody’s rock garden — just lovely). Nice to see so many people still out there getting their hands dirty!
So: What are things like in your gardens, this weekend?
Comrade Nimrod Humperdink
O/T from the garden chat, but I figured anyone that hadn’t seen this story yet probably should take a look:
I found it on Wonkette, but some of the details in the King5 story actually made the story even worse when I read the version they linked to.
This shit just blew me away, and I find myself wondering how often it actually happens.
Great picture of the moth! [Some of us are fancy on the outside . . . ]
Comrade Nimrod Humperdink
huh… don’t see the link. Oh well, still a commenting noob around here, maybe I screwed it up. Just Google Ikenna Njoku if you’re up for a little Sunday morning outrage to go with your coffee.
Comrade Nimrod Humperdink
And I agree on the moth picture. I’ve never actually seen a moth that looked like that before.
Great pics. My bride watered for hours yesterday. We went to a wonderful party and out of nowhere the sky opened and we got three inches in about 45 minutes!
@Linda M: Thank you for sharing that wonderful photo. What a gorgeous moth! The colours and markings are just beautiful. And the name, Royal Walnut, is wonderful (did you know that when you first saw that it wasn’t a dead leaf or did you have to consult a field guide?)
@Mark D: Your garden is lovely. I love the lavishness of everything.
@Comrade NH: Link, please? I’m seeing nothing except your own text. Thanks.
I may live in the rainiest place on earth ™ but we’re having a great year for crops so far. We planted our sw facing front garden with perrennial herbs 2 years ago and they’ve gone crazy – we’re actually selling our oregano and thyme (money goes to charity) to get rid of the damn stuff. Most exciting though are the three tomato plants we have growing in the front window – it’s also sw facing and the tomatoes seem to love it. THey’re a meter high and covered with lovely grape tomatoes which, when harvested, are like candy. I haven’t had tomatoes this nice since I left the states.
The problem we’re having is grapes – we’ve been trying to train up grape vines in the back garden, but a combination of clouds, rain and bind weed has severely hampered them. Any advice?
Did you get the torrential rain?
@Comrade NH: Sorry, posted mine before I saw your follow up comment re link to outrage story. Unable to edit mine. FYWP. Will Google as you suggest.
banking while black
The bank is staffed with idiots and assholes and maybe worse.
What about the police? I can see questioning the man at the behest of the bank, but actually arresting him? Without an investigation? Is the police really an arm of the Chase Manhattan bank?
@stuckinred #8: If we did, I managed to sleep right through it! But it does look a bit damp and shiny out, so we must have had some rain, just don’t know how torrential.
Congrats on the tomatoes. The little tomatoes are tough little babies. I’ve heard stories of growth and production in the most adverse of conditions. Enjoy!
The only grapes I ever lived with were vines that might have been as old as I was. Wellllll established. So I can offer no advice.
banking while black
To Mark D:
Lovely and lush!
Comrade Nimrod Humperdink
Thanks for getting the link to post Linda. And yes, banking while black was the first thing that came to mind. The King5 link they provide is worth skimming as well. It just blew me away how one racist bank teller can screw up your whole life. The local news story has a pdf of his lawyer’s letter to the bank. I hope this guy wrings a ton out of them.
I’m so excited about seeing the picture I snapped of the moth here on BJ! Thanks Anne Laurie. The colors are really beautiful. When I saw the moth from a distance, I thought it was a twig with a dead leaf on it. As I got closer, I could see it was something special; something I might not ever see again. What a priviledge. It was so furry I wanted to pet it. Also, the pictures here of the hostas are great. I am somewhat of a hosta freak with a collection of over 30 varieties. The mature ones in my yard this year are huge–must be all the rain we had in April and May.
this is from last year. we had just put this in in this picture.
end of year.
i put up some flicker links, and the comment got put in moderation.
Oh, and I had to go to whatsthatbug.com to identify the moth. That’s a great site.
@Linda M: Great looking bug, Linda! I have a soft spot, myself, for this little fellow.
Anybody have any idea what to do with a raccoon once you’ve trapped the sucker? He’s huge and now I’m afraid to pick up the trap.
You ask your manly neighbor to help you pick it up and drive it 5 miles away from your home, somewhere in the country, and let it out.
Lovely moth, lovely basil, lovely hostas!
It’s all thunderstorms all the time here in Colorado. We had hail this week as well, which slightly shredded my young squash plants. The green tomatoes are trying to ripen, but it’s slow what with all the chill and shadows. And they’re cracking from too much water, which is never good.
Hail also knocked some buds off my pepper plants, so they’re set back a bit as well. And something’s eating my kale.
The bindweed’s perfectly happy though!
Sadly, the manly man I live with is also wary of the very large, very pissed off raccoon.
Too many links. FYWP doesn’t like more than three at a time.
Lovely! Never seen a critter like that!
Something really good is going to happen to me on my berfday this month. Guess what it is? teehee
Pictures were worth the mod wait. Bucky the Cat looks like a hoot! What an attitude!
: Isn’t it funny how the heavens open up after you water?
You’re going to Disney World?
ETA: happy birthday in advance
You’re getting a job? Or are you the one who just went back to work recently after a long hiatus?
Wow. That moth is amazing. I’ve never seen or heard of it before. And mega-jealous of everyone’s gardens.
this video of a season in the life of a robin’s nest is awesome and very moving
I’ve got the sprinkler running as I speak, because we have another couple 90+ days, and no rain in sight. But I’ve got my first tomato. I’d show a picture, but gobbled it up right away.
The only thing that would have made it rain faster would be washing the car.
Yea and we have this tiered water billing that kills you when you go over a certain amount.
Cover the cage with a blanket. That will calm him down. Keep it covered during transprt. Not sure how you open the cage while keeping all your fingers tho. Coat hanger on a broomstick?
I’m picking green beans here – about a pound a day. And gai lan (Chinese broccoli). I also have a five foot tall echinacea which is the envy of the neighborhood. And weeding…
Stuckinred, Friday night we had a light shower but that’s it. My yard would appreciate a three inch rain storm.
I’m trying to upload a video of the creek running through our friend’s yard, it is unreal.
Been picking cherry and grape tomatoes, also the Yellow pear are coming on. All the rest just keep getting larger w/o ripening. Had to dust (organic) all my tomatoes as the hornworms kept appearing faster than I could pick them off. That worked. My banana peppers look as sick as the bells did, but I am going to hold off pulling them as they still have a few peppers. The bush beans are coming in (burgundy and wax)(not yet black and pinto) but the pole beans just want to climb even higher. I will be canning beans soon.
All the melons have begun to flower and I hope for a banner year. The squash continue to look better and better.
The herb garden has exploded, especially the basil.
Ah, bind weed! A pest with which I am intimately familiar.
In order to get rid of it, it’s not enough to just pull the green parts off or even to get “most” of the root. You have to get every single bit of root out of the ground. Even a tiny piece of root left behind will re-establish the problem.
I had a lovely spot in the Fenway Victory Gardens in the ’80s and ’90s. One third of my space (each third being 15×30) was rotten with the stuff. I spent weeks digging down a foot, turning the soil, and sifting every square inch of dirt with my bare fingers to get all the root out.
It’s brutal but satisfying work.
This is the garden the first spring after I did a complete renovation of the entire garden. This is the seating area, which is where the bind weed was.
It was a great place to garden because there was always someone around to consult on design or help with the labor. There was a lot of plant sharing too. More than half of my perennials were gifted by people splitting plants that had gotten too big, and extras from my garden gave many new gardeners a nice start.
Why did I ever move away? I don’t know.
Steeplejack: I am working, yes, I will be getting insurance and 401k soon, something I have not had for about 5 grueling, demoralizing years of working temp assignments and collecting unemployment which ran out about the time I got a job.
Interestingly, the first job I got was a 3-month traumatic nightmare of the worst proportions and I got another job, which I love, to get out of a situation which, if it had gone on much longer, would have psychologically destroyed me, it was absolute HELL but I could not just quit, not in these times, I just resorted to lots of drinking at night to get through it all.
Life is better. Honestly, if it can happen for someone like me, it can happen for anyone out there who is struggling with unemployment right now.
To be completely honest, the eebil, eebil gubmint helped me get the wonderful job that I have now, so I didn’t do it completely on my own, but, hey, when the boot is on your neck, you’d be foolish not to exhaust whatever resources that are out there.
It’s anecdotal, of course, but I keep hearing (also reading) that many of those folks who have been unemployed and have almost given up hope (like me, I thought I was going to have to find a home for my cat (which would have absolutely killed me), and move in with my 80+ year old parents), will find jobs around the 2-year mark, just like me.
And, also too, this will happen on my b-day.
geg6 — call your local animal control office. if they haven’t been shut down…
And, yes, I was the one who trumpeted my excitement about the first job, I had no idea what I was getting into!
Even if animal control hasn’t been shut down, they might refer you to a private wild-animal-removal contractor anyway. That’s what they do where I live. Animal control only deals with domestic animals.
: Thanks much! :D
wow, i keep block-quoting people’s names, what’s that about? anyway, all said and done, this is the ONLY reason I am excited about my berfday cuz I’m not real happy about turning 49!
Also, the clinic where I worked those 2 months is being sold to a new owner this month
You’re getting married? Or you’re just celebrating the event in general?
@harlana: I turned 49 on May 1st. It’s pretty good so far. I’ve decided to stop coloring my hair and let the grey flag fly, baby.
Re: The two-year mark on unemployment-my hubby pulled down all 99 weeks of benefits, and started work the week after they ended. At a job made possible by a stimulus project grant. Yeah, that gubmint bootheel has left a mark. /snark.
Phyllis: Great to hear a stimulus success story!
Steeplejack: Oh hell no, no, no! I just found it interesting that it falls on my b-day.
I had some tomato hornworms attack this week. I’ll send pics in later.
Very interesting creatures. About as good camouflage as it gets.
I know I’m late (been out of town for several days), but had to pop in to say THANKS! to everyone for the nice comments.
Though all credit goes to The Mrs — the gardens are her babies. I’m just there for the labor.