Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Garden Time!

Northern Cali is a new place for me.  This will be my first year having a vegetable garden at our home.  It is also the first week of June, in gardening terms that typically means its safe to get tomatoes, peppers, and other heat loving plants in the ground.

It has been a slow start but full of work.  First, we had to clear out blackberries and willow trees that have invaded the garden area.  This laborious task was not without surprise, we discovered rhubarb, an ornamental dogwood, spearmint, and an animal trap in the thorny brush.  Next, we replaced the old fence, adding 10 feet on both sides for a total 70 x 40 ft garden area.  Don't go gasping at 2800 sq ft, a large portion of it is apple and pear trees.  Then we had to wait for the soil to dry out from the spring rains before we could roto-till the soil and grass.  For all you lasagna gardeners out there, this will be the only deep tilling for a while, we had to break up grass and tree roots.

Then it was a slow planting of leafy greens, cabbage, and broccoli.  Followed by peas and bean seeds. And most recently, the tomatoes (21), peppers (18), and various squashes and melons.  I look forward to summer harvest, salsa, and canning!  Lastly, I am setting up drip irrigation.  It is so very hot here and water is at a premium.  Todd installed faucets in the garden that supply the garden with river water.  What a relief from having three lengths of hose from the house.


Garden as of June 2
California King Snake
California has plenty of reptiles.  Sunday, I saw a California King Snake slither across our road into the woods.  These are good snakes as they eat Rattlesnakes, which I heard the following day near the property boundary.  My cat was in the shrub that the rattling sound came from.  Luckily for her, she slowly walked out of the shrub, with eyes on the snake.  She was bit last year, not sure she learned her lesson.

Friday, May 6, 2016

Riverine spring

Spring along the creeks is fantastic here.  Within the rivers, an amazing plant is sprouting pink fleshy shoots of flowers from a twist of tuberous roots submerged in the water.  I do not recall the name of this plant.  Come summer time, it has large green leaves that gives a tropical feel to the river.



















Also along the edges of the rivers, in meadow areas that were underwater, comes a delicate orchid, the fairy slipper, Calypso bulbosa.
Calypso bulbosa


On the open slopes, a white native lily sprouts and fuzzy pussy ears lily (Calochortus tolmiei), like the sego lily in ID but fuzzy.


Calochortus tolmiei
?


Spring at the B Bar K home

It is spring time at B Bar K.  This has been a wet spring, especially after the past 5 drought years.  This is also my first spring in California, first spring on B Bar K.


Some wildflowers have bloomed in April, mostly trillium, an early spring flower even in Idaho.  The trillium in California are huge.  The leaves and flower are both twice as big as an Idaho specimen.

Trillium
Trillium

















Today, May 6, the following plants were in bloom in our B Bar K flower beds.  Most of these are not native, some are relatives of natives, and all are pleasant to see.

Purple Robe locust Robinia pseudoacacia

 
Columbine  Aquilegia sp.
Columbine  Aquilegia sp.



Columbine  Aquilegia sp.
Iris Iris


Iris Iris






 

California Dogwood Cornus nuttallii
 

 







Puffball Hydrangea Hortensia

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Merced River float

We also floated down the Merced River.  Being with a bunch of Alaskan kids, there was some swimming to be had by them!  Brrrr.




Yosemite NP Vernal Falls hike

We did one hike, it was not far but very steep.  We went to the top of Vernal Falls.
Past half way up

Granite steps, very well done!  There were many of these.

Hi Kate! and the Edwards staff (see shirt).

Vernal Falls

Yosemite N.P.

Yosemite National Park has been established in 1864! The park is fantastic to see. Here is just a snap shot:

The waterfalls were in full glory!

Bridal Veil Falls

Merced River and Yosemite Falls

Vernal Falls

Above Vernal Falls, Merced River

Yosemite Valley view

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Yosemite flowers

Todd and I spent last week in Yosemite area.  We went to view spring flowers and were pleasantly surprised by the display.