From proud commentor Gelfling545:
I thought I’d send along a few photos of my “happy accidents” in the garden.
The first [top] occurred when the neighbor’s daylilies migrated to an area where not much would grow in my yard. The daisies leapt across from the other side of the yard.
The second happened when I was too slack to remove the finial of a garden structure brought down by heavy wind and the roses decided to grow through it.
The third was the result of my greed at the plant nursery – plants I had no actual place for. I stuffed them into a pot to keep them alive and I’m pretty pleased – and surprised with the result.
The garden keeps rewarding my bad garden practice in not having a plan but just thinking hmmm, I’d like one (or 5) of those.
What’s going on in your garden(s), this week?
Such a beautiful garden. Wish I had a green thumb.
Comrade Colette Collaboratrice
Something is eating the Sungold tomatoes. I suspect it’s the same something that previously ate my lovely old kitty Peter, i.e., a coyote.
My neighbor, who has a one-year-old toddler, found fresh coyote scat again in her yard yesterday. She called Animal Control and was once again told, “we can’t do anything about a coyote until/unless it does something.” So, I guess she has to wait until it actually EATS her toddler before there will be any official response. WTF???
Comrade Colette Collaboratrice
@Comrade Colette Collaboratrice: For what it’s worth, we live in a completely urbanized area of San Francisco.
Good Morning, Everyone ???
Beautiful pictures of the garden ??
You and me both, Gelfling. :-)
@Comrade Colette Collaboratrice: It is unlikely the coyote will bother her toddler. Not impossible but unlikely. I would be more worried by a stray dog because it is habituated to humans.
Sister Golden Bear
@Comrade Colette Collaboratrice: Toddlers are usually safe, but cats and dogs shouldn’t be left alone outside.
A Ghost To Most
@Sister Golden Bear: Our cats come in at night, not because of coyotes (which are a common sight), but because of mountain lions. Our once fearless cat learned that lesson one night.
@A Ghost To Most: I’m having a real issue with feral cats all over the block. They hang in our fenced yard and Lil Bit loves cat shit. The last thing she needs is so have cat shit get into her lungs now that she’s had the tie back surgery.
@rikyrah: Good morning.
Still on Hawaii time. Been tiptoeing around the place since 5:45 a.m. NY time.
J-minus 10 hours.
(J for jackal meeting.)
@rikyrah: Good morning ?!
My hotel room has no coffee for my mini coffeepot, so I’m going to need to get ready and go in search of some. My son from China will be picking me up at 10 for the visit at his house, and then bringing me to the train to get to the meet up. Looking forward to both but need my caffeine fix right now!
@raven: hope Lil Bit’s coughing is nothing serious.
A Ghost To Most
@raven: I’m glad to hear that Lil Bit is doing ok. I wish I could trust dogs; the bond between dogs and humans is an evolutionary wonder.
I blame Dolt 45.
Spaghetti squash poked its head out of a pile of freshly made compost, and has gone all Little Shop of Horrors on the side garden. MrsFromOhio decided to let it do its thing to see what happens, although it’s almost a daily exercise to train it away from the tomato plants, the attraction is very strong. A welcome bumper crop of basil, tarragon and lemon thyme is in the making.
Love that third pic, that’s a handsome bunch!
I hate that people let their cats run like that but I didn’t even think of that as one of the dangers.
Good to hear li’l bit is on the mend.
And Gelfling545, beautiful pictures of your beautiful garden! So the accidents in my garden turn out to be weeds.
I always like hearing updates on your doggy family. I don’t remember how old Lil Bit is but she is blessed with having humans who make every day the best for her.
Our now totally blind older dog, 10 years old, is adjusting pretty well. On walks in our woods property, she is able to run free with her younger doggy pal on the wider trails without veering off into the brush as much. Her humans have learned to keep talking so she knows the direction she should be taking along with her younger dog pal helping. Great that she can get more enjoyment from some good trots and hopefully get up to her usual running exercise. She already needs to drop some weight with the reduced activity since she lost her sight.
@BruceFromOhio: Our tarragon went crazy this year too. If you like fish, slow roasting at 300 degrees) a thickish firm filet on a big bed of tarragon is wonderful. It’s nice with any variation of a brown butter sauce.
We had a week of tropical sultry showers in Philadelphia PA. More on the way this coming week. Last time this happen in 1994 the tomato plants went crazy with production. My one and only plant looks like it is very happy.
Let’s see if this works. Scenes from Mom’s terrace. Not gardening, but greenery anyway.
Gelfling545. Thank for the pics! There is nothing I like more than a volunteer (or traveler in your case) that shows up in the garden.
@raven: take care of that Lil Bit! Feral cats are a real problem in my area for cats as well. Not the scat, but fighting.
@Suburban Mom: That sounds yummy! It’s nice to be able to pull a handful fresh to go into whatever is in the making: marinade for the days grilling, chopped up fine and added to a rub, or cooked with the purple basil into the vinegar MrsFromOhio makes every autumn. I get spoiled having the fresh stuff around.
@NotMax: That 2nd has petunias in it, hence “gardening”.
@NotMax: it worked! Your mom’s petunias look like they’re doing good too.
Having tea to fortify myself for the trip to go get coffee, because room service sends (and charges!) by the cup. Nope. ?
Garden update — I am having tomato trouble which is not usual for me. We think it might be the fact that I planted late this year and the roots didn’t get to grow enough before fruit set. But the plants look great in the morning but wilt in the daytime heat. I’ve cut some back and they are getting nice and healthy. Others aren’t really doing so well….
But in this heat, my tomatillos are going crazy. Salsa verde for everyone!
@satby: I wish I could have joined you and Not Max in NYC. Have fun!
You’ll have to take it on trust she’s got a tomato plant goin’ nuts on the terrace, too. Planted in a big plastic paint bucket.
Why might my tomatoes be having problems setting fruit? They were all having problems (except for the cherry) earlier in the summer. Now two of them are fine, but my Green Zebra is doing nothing. Lots of blossoms, which just wither and fall off. Thoughts?
Dorothy A. Winsor
It’s a cool morning. I have my office window open and can hear a church bell somewhere in town. It’s a lovely morning sound.
Has it been really hot where you are? Tomatoes won’t set fruit if the temps are too high. If that is not it I got nothin
@Princess: @Schlemazel: yeah, if the nights stay above 70° the flowers drop without setting fruit. Or maybe one of these other reasons: https://www.growveg.com/guides/top-3-reasons-why-your-tomatoes-are-not-setting-fruit/
Heat? Tomato’s won’t set above about 70. Or, sometimes the tomato’s get a little fungus that makes the flowers curl back and/or drop off too soon. There is a fruit/flower set spray you can get at a nursery or probably even Home Depot will help if that is your problem. Good luck. We all need more ‘maters!
ETA Satby has your info
@Immanentize: too bad little I’m isn’t looking at jock schools like Notre Dame, you could visit there. But when was it you were swinging by Chicago?
Young Imm not I’m.
Earned brownie points for ‘fixing’ Mom’s all-in-one printer.
She doesn’t have much if any use for printing in color, so masked off the part of the color cartridges where a sensor reads ink level so that machine is fooled into thinking they are full. No more messages that cartridges need to be replaced. Stupid printer won’t print in black if any ink cartridge is being read as low on ink.
@satby: Still trying to get in the Midwest. Might be in September. Man the summer flew by!
ETA. At most fancy schools, being a jock makes for better admission chances than good grades and scores…. At least 30% of early action decisions go to athletes. Some places it’s as high as 60%. Gotta keep the alums in the stands!
@Comrade Colette Collaboratrice:
I’m also in an urbanized area and we’ve got foxes. Interesting but alarming, at least to me.
Love those garden accidents!
@satby: Thanks, this is helpful. I bet I am low on potassium. The other tomatoes recovered once it got cooler, but it has been pretty temperate recently.
Sending good thoughts to lil bit.
Gelfling, I do love all of these happy accidents. Just in case you live in a place where pots don’t overwinter, the dark plum colored plant at the front of your pot in accident 3 is a heuchera. One of my favorite plants. It loves shade to part sun. It will shoot up pretty coral flowers if it is in its happy place. It looks wonderful in a shade bed with astilbe and hostas (chartreuse hostas and heuchera really light up a shade garden). Anyway it’s worth moving to a permanent home in your garden so it will survive the winter. I think yours is plum pudding which is one of my favorite heucheras. Almost has a metallic cast.
Same here, urban with foxes. They don’t bother me and do help keep rabbits out of the gardens. What does bother me is the recent invasion of opposum, they do not belong on the tundra.
Dorothy A. Winsor
@Immanentize: I was just thinking this morning about university finances. I loved my department at ISU, but the university kept cutting funding, and just before I left, they came through and took the phones out of our offices as an economy measure.
They’re cute lil fellas, but I worry about rabies.
@Schlemazel: possums eat ticks, so they’re good to have around.
@debbie: can’t edit my other comment, but possums are nocturnal and not vicious, they bare their teeth to intimidate predators, which they rightly think humans are. Also: Any mammal can get rabies. However, the chance of rabies in an opossum is EXTREMELY RARE. This may have something to do with the opossum’s low body temperature (94-97º F) making it difficult for the virus to survive in an opossum’s body. Source: https://opossumsocietyus.org/faq-opossum/
James Corden and Tom Cruise
But they don’t belong here. That means they are driving out native species , that sort of displacement has not worked well for us. Dutch elm disease, Eurasian milfoil, zebra muscles, purple loosestriffe, silver carp (European carp for that matter) and many others
@Schlemazel: Just wait until the armadillos show up.
Ohio farmer compares the Dump’s farm welfare to Stormy hush money! He screwed us and now thinks he can buy our silence.
Uh huh ? ?
@dcherring: Both Ecuador and Britain’s suspicions are that “US prosecutors have a sealed indictment against Assange and will extradite h… https://twitter.com/dcherring/status/1023379296172175362?s=17
Hope kudzu can’t take real winters!
@Schlemazel: How long till real winters are a thing of the past up there?
About 5 years ago it became obvious.
I love happy garden accidents, too Gelfling. The crowded pot is gorgeous. I planted a sunflower called Italian White four years ago that self sows like a boss, and maybe due to birds, has popped up all over the back yard.
I used to want a movie based on his life. Now, I want a movie based on him being CIA ??
@MuckRock: #BayardRustin was being investigated by the #FBI while, unbeknownst to the Bureau, he was working for the #CIA https://t.co/u… https://twitter.com/MuckRock/status/1023410294654214150?s=17
@OzarkHillbilly: https://youtu.be/FySkfswaTUQ (10 second video)
I just binged watched Seven Seconds on Netflix. Although the acting was terrific, because it was so realistic, it wounded my soul.
Is the term “Yuccies” in ommon use? Young Urban Coyotes. It’s certainly what a friend and I used for the critters roaming about Chicago. (Exact spelling entirely optional.)
@Dorothy A. Winsor:
Phones!? What tha?
@Schlemazel: Our winters are becoming more and more Alabama-esque. We didn’t get any snow to speak of last year. Same thing happened 3 winters ago The first time I remember that ever happening was in ’06 (I remember the day because it finally “snowed” the night my mother died- March 21, a half inch) When I was a kid 6-12″ inch snows were not uncommon. In ’78 we had 57 days of snow cover in STL (a record but not a surprising one at the time) and on and on and on…
Clever them Chinese, quite the hoax.
Dorothy A. Winsor
@MagdaInBlack: They said use email or our own cell phones. Like I’m going to give my cell number to students. Other than that, people could call the office and the secretary would come and get us to stand by the front counter and talk.
@Dorothy A. Winsor:
I kind of expected that answer. My company (BFD Corp > just ask them) expects the estmators to put the estmating app on their personal phones and write mobile estimates. So far no pushback on that but its coming.
My personal phone is not available for company use, nor should yours.
Ain’t it amazing? … The presumption.
I can’t deal with the realness right now.??
@jeffreyw: My sons and I were camped near the Current River in Shannon Co when I heard a bear coming thru the woods towards our camp. It was an armadillo sniffing and digging as he meandered about and he walked by me not 3′ away, never taking notice of me or the boys. Close enough to reach out a toe and give him a light kick just to see the startle reflex in action.
@Dorothy A. Winsor:
And did the university reimburse whatever you got billed for work-related cellphone calls?
@debbie: Fox populations tend to increase around human habitation because, among other things, we drive out larger predators. We have foxes in Metro DC in nearly every neighborhood. I can’t imagine SF would be different. Ditto with raccoons.
@Dorothy A. Winsor: I’m sure Iowa’s tilt toward Republicans in the last decade accelerated those financial difficulties.
Somewhat related, last night, my wife and I were walking on the local state school campus where she got her master’s degree and walked past the big stadium which is named after a bank. It’s not one of the huge schools with big sports programs and TV contracts, but the sports program is apparently big enough to be sponsored by a small bank. State schools aren’t schools anymore, they’re sports enterprises which happen to do some teaching on the side. We just shook our heads in disgust.
If I were dictator, I’d force the sports out of the schools. If you want to play sports part-time for recreation, that’s great and the school should provide some decent, but not professional, facilities. If you want to pursue a career in sports, more power to you, but you should not be forced to pretend you’re a student (and you should get paid). And if you want to study and work, then you should be able to do that like anyone else – by paying for it out of your wages and academic scholarships.
That wouldn’t solve universities’ funding problems, but it would lay them bare and remove a major source of corruption and perverse incentives. Of course, a lot of people like the corruption and perverse incentives and prefer to not acknowledge what it’s doing to students and universities, so I don’t have much hope for that happening naturally.
I’m paranoid enough to worry about rabies.
@scav: Heehee. “Yuccies”. Using it.
There’s something about how, where there are streetlights, a coyote’s coloring almost disappears on any asphalt which isn’t brand new.
We still get snow and in fact have had some huge storms (which is predicted by the Chinese hoax) but also long streaks of too warm for winter weather. Spring is coming sooner while the first snow is all over the board. If it were not for the very short days Canada would be a nice ‘return’ to the winters of the past
@rikyrah: That’s a wise decision on your part, because it’s so depressing.
@debbie: It’s not paranoid to worry about rabies in foxes or raccoons. We have had incidents involving rabid foxes and raccoons. If you see one in the daytime you should be especially cautious.
MN just finished a $100MM palace for training facilities & cafeterias for the ‘student’-athletes there. The football stadium (also named for a local bank) was finished about 5 year ago at great cost to taxpayers & students. It really has gotten out of hand & is only going to get worse.
Back in the 70’s Donald Westlake wrote in one of his ‘Dortmunder’ series (I forget which)
The Battle for the Right to Vote Has Never Been Won
Dorothy A. Winsor
@Amir Khalid: Haha. You are a card.
@sdhays: I feel more or less the same way about Big Sports at universities. I can see that their presence might keep the public engaged though, which can matter for funding for other things too. (or what Schlemazel said via Westlake)
ETA: I should add that university funding is very much by dept. This was the English dept, which the university did not see as central to its land grant mission.
@rikyrah: March for our lives planned on having a rally at a local high school tomorrow, but the venue was denied at the last minute. Democracy in action. Fortunately, a local church invited the group to use their facilities, so the rally will go on. I have to wonder who was involved in canceling the previous location.
@OzarkHillbilly: That’s what I do, I thought that’s how everybody did that!
@MomSense: second everything good you said about heuchera. My favorite is blackberry ice, and I have several of those, I also have one that is a light chartreuse color, which looks lovely with my blue hosta. They really help other plants pop, especially nice at a time when nothing else is flowering.
You guys have to quit scaring me with talk about John Lewis being rushed to the hospital and Lil Bit coughing and not feeling well. Good thing to have the garden chat to calm me down.
Gelfling545, your photos are gorgeous.
Good god, the bullshit sanctimony of this jackass. He purported nothing of the kind. He told you he planned to at least threaten a trade war over coal and steel. And his entire campaign was built on hating certain people. You voted for him because, at best, you are too stupid to pay attention to what politicians say and just reflexively vote for the party which you’ve always voted for, regardless of what their policies are or how they would affect you. At worst, you voted for him because in reality you’re a racist little piece of shit whining about how your shit grenade was only supposed to get shit on “the right people”, not YOU.
And fuck you, Christopher Gibbs, for comparing yourself favorably to Stormy Daniels. Ms. Daniels went into her relationship with Old Spanky with her eyes open. She wasn’t looking for love (or to “make love”); she was looking for a job. You stupid, racist jackasses are the ones who completely ignored all the times he made it clear he didn’t know who the hell you are or what you do or what you need. You’re the ones who “screwed him” (in your metaphor, not mine) without taking stock of what he is. And now you act all shocked that a stupid, lying, bigoted, narcissist has thrown you in his basket of expendables.
Write a column reflecting on how you made the morally repugnant decision to support the current Republican Party and how you’re not going to continue making those types of decisions, and then we’ll talk. Until then, enjoy your time in the barrel.
@Schlemazel: That pull quote sounds like something from the world of Sinclair Lewis. Now you made me interested in Donald Westlake.
@Dorothy A. Winsor: Perhaps without sports hogging all the attention, universities engagement with the community would still be there but more grounded in the university’s purported mission. At least, that’s what I’d like to believe.
The week’s good news: July 26, 2018
@sdhays: I don’t smoke but I need a cigarette after that beautiful takedown!
Westlake wrote straight crime novels as well as this comedy series. John Dortmunder and his oddball crew screw up every job they pull in hilarious ways. Start with “The Hot Rock”
He wrote hardcore under several names & since his death they have been published under his real name, I don’t care for them much. Two that originally came out under his name are different and very good. “The Hook” is about a successful novelist with writers block using a newbie to ghost his next book. It doesn’t go well. The other I have mentioned before, The Ax” is the story of a middle aged guy laid off from his dying business who plots to kill rivals for the only job he can get and then kill the guy that has the job. I could imagine someone thinking like that and it does not go the way crime novels go so it is unsettling.
J R in WV
The first possums I met were after a chicken dinner out in the coop, so not a good thing.
But since I have recently learned that possums hoover up ticks — one of the few critters that really go after them — I feel a lot different about them. Ticks are an abomination and can be a killer, just like mosquitoes with a poison in them!
Wife got a tick on her, a tiny one, the day after I took it off she had redness and swelling, called the doc who put her on doxycycline, which administered early can prevent lyme disease, or whatever she had going on on the side of her hip.
It was like maybe 3 mm long tops.
J R in WV
FOIA for every communication, email, text, phone call involving the demonstration. Make it clear they are legally required to provide that data promptly and completely on the first go around. Then let the chips fall where they may!
ANYONE can FOIA any government agency in most places. There’s nothing secret about debate on a demonstration permit. Some RWNJ NRA bastard who would rather work in the dark, no doubt. Call them out for a Russian stooge!
@rikyrah: Tsk. What a pity. ?
@Mary G: I love most self-seeders. I still have nigella every year from a packet of seed planted about 10 years ago. It springs up in unexpected places but is so small and delicate that it is never a problem. My daughter has tons of sunflowers from her bird feeders. Sometimes she has the kids move them to a better location but mostly they just grow happily in place. Some years ago I came across a columbine called Irish Elegance that is pure white tipped with a little light green shading. Is reseeds prolifically which pleases me because I haven’t been able to find that variety since then and it breeds true which most columbines don’t do.
@satby: possom scares away young coyote (10 sec video)
@Gelfling 545: I am a little late here this morning because I have been working in the garden while it is cool. Your flowers are so lovely. My mother could grow beautiful daisy’s, I cannot. I end up with a lot of plants I cannot say no to. I end up with several pots filled because they come in a six pack.
@Comrade Colette Collaboratrice: We did too, on the east side of the SF bay. We had coyotes and mountain lions, thanks to the large green area that was part of the San Francisco Bay trail. We were worried about our jr high kids.
@Schlemazel: Lake Trout in Yellowstone Lake have damaged the native species so badly that the food chain is broken and eagles are killing other large birds, like the pelicans. Bears and eagles depended on the varieties that spawned upstream from the lake, mostly gone now.
@J R in WV: It’s been a few years (the research could have changed) but I read that when ticks carrying lyme get onto a possum, something about their blood deactivates the lyme or its infectiousness. So even ticks that escape being eaten can be neutralized by possums.
Starlings and magpies eat a lot too, so they say. A small research result is that some places with a lot of foxes have lower amounts of (deer ticks or Lyme incidence, I forget which), despite high deer population. The arrival of coyotes drives out the fox, and they aren’t as effective at rodent control because of territory size.
I know a researcher who studies the microenvironment (humidity ) of certain plants as effective as tick habitat. One is a plant that we have a lot of in the area of my cabin. There have always been lots of deer ticks around there (but lyme only a few years ago), so we’re removing the barberry.
@Schlemazel: Lurker in ME – possums eat ticks. They are a beneficial critter – kind of creepy in looks, but definitely fall into the good-critter category for being neighborhood residents. And they are a hell of a lot quieter than the ducks next door who were purchased, in part,to keep the tick population down. (On the high side, the ducks are a damn sight better than the neighbors’ guinea hens that terrorized my kids and the dog back in the day.)
Oh goody, “pre-season” football whining.
@satby: Also possums are marsupials. Makes it harder to get rabies. They eat ticks so leave them be.
@J R in WV: My mom got ehrlichia from a tick bite. The doc checked her for Lyme’s disease, it came back negative and they didn’t look further. My dog got ehrlichia and I looked it up to see if it was zoonotic. Yep. People can get it too and my mom had every one of the symptoms. It took another 2 months to get the results (first convince the doc to test for it and wait 2 weeks for the results). It took 6 months of doxycycline to get it suppressed. It hides in your bone marrow and can flare up over and over. Turns out there are a LOT of tick diseases that can kill you.
I just read about that a couple of months ago. Bear, Elk and Deer populations are in trouble because everything is thrown out of balance by an invasive fish
My possum story #1
Back in the 90’s, was living in old brownstone twin in West Philly, converted into apartments. My kitchen window was at back, door to fire escape landing, big window covered with cyclone-wire grill looking at fire escape diagonals.. Young lady upstairs had rooftop porch, solid weatherproof door and outer door of wrought-iron grill. In summer, weather door could be left open for ventilation, and grill door locked. That also enabled her cat to go out and roam, and other neighborhood felines to come in for meals.
Woke up one fine summer morn, lumbered into kitchen. Saw something climbing fire escape, thought “cat… cat ??? Not Cat !!!” Wokeup fast, grabbed phone, dialed her number “Hi Kathy ! There’s a mommy possum and a half-dozen baby possums coming up to join you for breakfast…”