340: A morning with the jewelweed

Most of my outdoor time today was spent by a large patch of jewelweed early this morning.  The leaves of the plants were dotted with dew glittering in the sun.  I’m not sure but I think that’s why it’s called jewelweed.  Another name for it is the spotted touch-me-not.  The flowers attract the Ruby Throated Hummingbird, and long-tongued bees such as honeybees and bumblebees.  This morning the jewelweed was a-buzz and humming with thousands of bees.

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Seredipity Saturday

(This afternoon’s view of the pond from above the wildflower meadow.)

In between making salsa and chopping up sweet peppers for freezing, I took a short stroll out by the pond to see what’s happening out there lately.  We had a cold front move through last night, bringing a little of the rain we so badly need.  A couple of days of gentle showers would be nice but we’ll take what we can get.

The temperature has cooled down considerably.  We had to break out the blankets last night.  It’s not yet cold enough to turn the heat on, thank goodness.  But too cold to sleep with the windows open.

It has been breezy and downright blustery at times.  The wind did its usual howling, moaning, groaning song throughout the night.

Some of the leaves on the trees have turned yellow and red.  Some of the leaves have been falling.  I think that is due, in part, to the lack of rain.  Driving around the area earlier today, we noticed that the corn and soybean fields are looking pretty dry and brown.

Some of the flowers are going or have gone to seed.  Others — the goldenrod and asters, for instance — are just starting to bloom.

And the bees are still out and about, doing their dance around and on the flowers.  No sign of any butterflies today, and I still have not seen so much as one monarch this year.  That puzzles me greatly.

I’d better get back upstairs and continue my work on the salsa.  It’s looking and tasting pretty good so far.  Although I am grateful for the abundant harvest this year, I will be happy to be finished with all the prepping, canning, and freezing.

Which reminds me…

Joanne asked me why we call it “canning” here in the U.S.  I found a discussion of the subject here.  Since there were a couple of different explanations (meaning no one really knows?), I decided it was best just to give you the link so you can read all about it.  One of these days — perhaps when the weather is cold and gray and there are no more vegetables to preserve — I am going to see what I can find about the history of preserving food.  I think it would be a fascinating subject to study for a little while.


(176:  Honey bee on bok choy flowers.)

The weather here in the Bogs has been amazing.  I’ve probably already said that a few times over the past week.  And it’s true.  Amazing.  Simply amazing.  This has not been November weather at all.  No snow.  Very little rain.  Mostly sunny, mostly clear, most of the time.  M and I both said a thank you to the sun for hanging around over the past four days.

While working in the garden yesterday I noticed some yellow flowers.  They turned out to be bok choy plants that I was too lazy busy to pull once they bolted.  There was a honey bee hanging out on one of the plants, enjoying the flowers.

It’s going to be unseasonably warm again today, but with a cloud cover.  There is a weak cold front moving through, bringing mostly clouds and little rain.  We could probably use a bit of rain although it would be good to see the pond levels continue to go down.  We have decided not to try a drawdown (first mentioned here).  We would have to run a pump constantly for 6-8 days to bring the pond down enough to kill the weeds at the edges.  That doesn’t take into account the inevitable clogging of the pump which would set us back at least a few hours each time it happened.  So, if the pond should naturally do a drawdown due to evaporation and a lack of rain, that would be a good thing.

All abuzz

(126:  Hide and seek.  Photo © 2009 by Robin)

As you may have guessed, I have been feeling more than a little blah and blue lately, finding it difficult to get excited about much of anything including my photography.  I realize it’s understandable and normal.  It’s also frustrating in a way as the lack of energy and ambition has led to a further lack of energy and ambition and that, my friends, leads me to a messy house.  Depressing.

Yes, yes, yes, I know.  Honestly, I do.  I know that a messy house is not the end of the world (a favorite phrase of Mom’s — “it’s not the end of the world”).  I will not go to my grave regretting that I didn’t spend more time cleaning.  It’s just… clutter and mess are not conducive to bringing me up and out of the blahs and blues.  A disorganized house, for me, is a disorganized mind.  They feed on each other, creating a cycle of clutter and depression.  It’s about getting things under control although why I think things need to be under control is beyond me.

So yesterday I gave up on control and energy and ambition.  I ignored my to-do list.  I watched Dancing With the Stars on Hulu.  That cheered me up a little.  The bizarreness of their “star” choices is too funny.  Tom Delay??  Good grief.

Then I stepped outside for a little while, bringing the camera along with me to take a picture of some flowers that my sister-in-law sent.  I thought she might like to see them.  My intention was to snap the shot, put the camera back in the house, and maybe wander around outside for a little while.  I started out well.  I took the photo of the pot of flowers.  And then I got distracted by a low hum coming from the wildflower meadow.  With camera in hand, I walked over to see what all the humming was about.

The meadow is buzzing with bees.  All sorts of bees.  Honey bees, bumble bees, and carpenter bees were the three I was able to identify with some degree of (un)certainty.  There are so many bees that their hum and buzz is almost carried up into the house.  One giant of a bee attracted my attention and the next thing I knew, I had all but forgotten to be blah and blue while I followed the bee around the goldenrod.

It was a lovely respite.

Autumn has arrived

(124:  Busy Bee.  Photo © 2009 by Robin)

Today is the autumnal equinox in the northern hemisphere.  Here in the Bogs fall has rolled in with a tropical gloom:  cloudy, humid, and very warm.  I took the photo above a few days ago when the weather was still bright and beautiful.

I’m feeling pretty gloomy, too, so the weather and I are a matching set today.  Not to worry, though.  I’ll pull out of it eventually.  The grief and sadness are not always the predominant feelings in my repertoire.  Time, I’m told, will help.