|WHY THEY'RE CALLED STRAWBERRIES|
|WHY THEY'RE CALLED STRAWBERRIES|
|6.5 POUNDS OF STRAWBERRIES|
Wednesday, 8:30 AM. 66 degrees F, wind N, light with some gusts. The sky is partly cloudy with some weak sunshine. We got a trace of rain last night and things are damp, the humidity is 86%. The barometer is down from yesterday, at 29.97". It looks like there will be intermittent showers today. I have been trimming badly overgrown shrubbery in between raindrops and berry picking, and am making some progress.
We had a bear in nearby Fountain Garden Park yesterday around dinner time, and last evening Buddy had a fit , running from open door to open door, barking and growling. We got up and closed the doors.
We returned to Rocky Acres Berry Farm yesterday morning, this time to pick strawberries. The raspberries were a huge success, fun to pick and eat, and wonderful as raspberry shortcake with freshly whipped cream. We even had enough left to freeze a few pints. So, we anticipated doing the same with strawberries, and were not disappointed. And, yes, strawberries do get their name from being grown on straw, which keeps the low-growing berries out of the dust and mud.
The strawberry crop is almost done now, and we picked rows that had been picked before. We were pretty much being "gleaners," much like the biblical poor folks who followed the harvesters and picked up what was left in the fields. Even at that, we picked 6.5 pounds of berries in about 45 minutes. The berries were small but extremely sweet, and we were satisfied with our labors, and the price of $2.50 per pound. Now it's up to Joan to bake another shortcake.
Strawberries are a lot harder to pick than raspberries. You have to bend over at the waist, or proceed down the rows on hands and knees (a group of young folks from the Rez were doing just that). No hands and knees for me at least, as once horizontal I have a hard time getting back to vertical. The long rows seemed endless.
When picking raspberries the stress is on the lower back, as one works hunched over. When stooping over to pick strawberries the stress is on the calves of the legs, and if one is not used to it you can cramp up and not be able to walk. PICKING STRAWBERRIES AIN'T FOR SISSIES!
|LESLIE AND ALLISON AT ROCKY ACRES|
|BUYING BERRIES ON THE HONOR SYSTEM|
|ALLISON AND THREE POUNDS OF RASPBERRIES|
|GATE TO AN ARTIST'S GARDEN|
|A JAPANESE MAPLE GROWS IN WASHBURN|
Monday, 8:30 AM. 60 degrees F, wind N, light. The sky is clear, and the humidity is down, at 82%. The barometric pressure is up, at 30.08". It is a beautiful day to go raspberry picking.
On Saturday we went on a self-guided garden tour of Washburn, our neighboring town, and one of the best gardens was that of local artist Jan Lee, that has some nice artistic touches, including the sensitive use of color and form. She has an unusual entrance gate to her backyard garden which is pictured above. She has matched the light blue color of the gate perfectly with the blue flowers of chicory, Chicorea intybus, which is usually considered a roadside weed. I imagine she went out of her way to dig the plants up along the road somewhere, as I know they are not easily found in nurseries.
The dried, ground roots of chicory, which is in the sunflower, or Composite family, have long been used as an additive or even substitute for coffee, especially in France and in the American South. In some areas you can buy ground coffee with chicory, and I have tried it but I find the taste a little harsh.
We also found the above Japanese maple tree in an estate garden right on the lakeshore. It is not really hardy in the Bayfield region unless growing right on the water, where it is insulated from extreme cold.
The dog training season for bear hunting is over. I don't know what the bears thought of it but the dogs didn't fare too well, as the Daily Press reported last week that two hounds that had gotten into wolf "rondezvus" areas were killed. I'll have to be careful where I take Buddy looking for grouse before the season opens.
|STREET CLOSED FOR BROWNSTONE DAYS|
|LESLIE AND ALLISON LOOKING FOR FUN|
|1937 CHEVY PICKUP|
|1958 OLDS HARDTOP|
|1937 FORD V8|
|'60'S R&R BAND|
|AN ARTISTS' GARDEN|
|FULL FRONT OF RESIDENCE, BEFORE...|
|NORTH FRONT OF RESIDENCE, BEFORE...|
|SOUTH FRONT OF RESIDENCE, BEFORE...|
|LOOKS LIKE RAIN LATER ON TODAY|
|FENCE POST PULLER...|
|AMERICAN CHESTNUT, BLOSSOM SPIKES AND LEAVES|
|A SUMMER SUNDAY AT CHRIST CHURCH|
|THE USINGERS SAUSAGES RACED TWICE TODAY|
Monday, 8:00 AM. 62 degrees F, wind N, light. The sky has a high overcast, the humidity is 90% and the barometric pressure is 29.66". It looks like we will get some rain today.
Sunday was a quiet day of rest, devoted to church and baseball, and quite welcome after a rather hectic week working on the landscape project, several days in very oppressive heat and humidity.
While we were cooking supper yesterday with the kitchen window open we both thought we heard Buddy playing with one of his squeak toys outside, but there he was, right under our feet. Turns out the "squeaking" was a fledgeling downy woodpecker clinging to the trunk of the mountain ash tree right out the window.
Christ Church, Episcopal, is having a pretty successful summer, with tourists attending the services along with our handful of parishioners. We are far too small a congregation to have a parish priest these days, but we are getting along quite well seasonally by offering the parsonage to visiting priests from the diocese who wish to vacation in Bayfield in exchange for a Sunday service. It is a very practical business plan, which keeps the historic Carpenter Gothic church in use, and provides us with a mission; serving visiting Episcopalians and others who may simply appreciate the beauty of the church and the traditional service. The rotation of clergy also gives us an expanded perspective on Christianity and the Episcopal doctrine. And if we don't like the delivery all we have to do is wait for the next Sunday.
Not wishing to do anything but hang out at home we watched the Milwaukee Brewers baseball game, which was a pitchers' duel (sounds boring, but wasn't, due to great defensive play by both teams). The game went thirteen innings before it was won by Milwaukee, one to nothing. The winning hit was by rookie Brian Gimbl, and was his first major league home run.
The game went on so long that the world famous Usingers Sausage Racers raced twice.
We have a Tree Board meeting this morning and will be out trimming young street trees if the rain holds off.
|TRUCK FULL OF BAYING HOUNDS|
|...PURPLE WHEN RIPE...|
|...EACH BERRY HAS SEVERAL TINY SEEDS|
Friday, 7:45 AM. 76 degrees F, wind N and light at ground level, but atmospheric clouds are being pushed by a strong WNW wind. lf an hour ago the sky was mostly overcast, and within ten minutes lit cleared completely. the sky is mostly clear at present. the humidity is 85%, and we got .4" of rain last night when a front came through. The barometer is more or less steady at 29.61". Today's weather is a tossup, but I need it to be cooler and not rain to get the landscape job I am working on done.
I have written often about the Juneberry as a fine small ornamental street tree, as well as its place in the native landscape as an early spring-blooming forest understory and woods-edge plant. The Amelanchier genus, in the rose family, is native to temperate regions of the northern hemisphere. There are at least two dozen species in North America, and very many natural hybrids. The genus is closely allied with apple and mountain ash. There are several species that are very valuable in landscaping and horticulture, including A. laevis and canadensis. There are also selections which are shrubby and are grown for their fruit. The common names for the Amelanchier are Juneberry, serviceberry, and shadbllow, or shadbush. In French Canada it is known as Poirer or Petit Poirer.
Juneberry fruit is quite pleasant to the taste when fully ripe, even if rather bland. It is often used in jams and jellies. the berries are very small, and do not ripen all at once, making harvesting difficult. Unless the plants are netted the birds will usually get to the fruit first. I have even seen chipmunks scampering along the branches gathering the berries. The few seeds are very tiny and can be eaten right along with the berry. This is another rather pleasant fruit that is, to me, not really worth the effort to pick.
The Juneberries are several weeks late this year, due to our cool, wet spring. Perhaps they should be called Julyberries.
|ST. JOHN'S WORT|
|CHINESE TREE LILAC|
Thursday, 8:00 AM. 70 degrees F, wind N, calm to very light. the sky is partly cloudy with some towering white cumulous clouds. there is fog and haze over Madeline Island. The barometer is steady or trending down at 29.96"and the humidity is very high at 95% after last night's rain shower, which was spotty but probably averaged about 1/2" around town.
St. John's wort is blooming now along the roadsides and in the fields. There are too many similar species in the genus Hypericum for me to key out, but suffice it to say that this is a colorful group of herbaceous plants that can be found almost anywhere in the summer. St. John's wort (wort is simply an old English word for plant) has long been used in herbal medicine as a calmative, or sedative, and is still so used today. I have no personal experience regarding its use to pass on.
I wrote about the Japanese tree lilac, Syringia reticulata, in a recent blog. I believe the above is the closely related Chinese tree lilac, S pekinensis. It is a very impressive plant but is less tree-like than the Japanese species, and would be too wide and shrubby for street tree use. Its flower panicles are larger and more yellowish in color than S. reticulata.
The landscape job is going well but is still several days from being finished. Fortunately, the weather seems to be cooling off some. It has been a hot job, but a convertible ride after dinner yesterday evening cooled us off nicely. It may be too wet to work on the landscape job this morning, however.
I think the US Department of Justice should change its name to the Department of Fisheries, since fishing expeditions seem to be their new business. They are now seeking evidence to indict George Zimmerman for hate crimes by requesting incriminating evidence from hundreds of millions of Americans through emails. I think they are casting the nets of justice a bit wide, and like that famous "fisherman" Captain Ahab, I think this great white whale Holder is trying to harpoon with may well drag him down to Davey Jones Locker.
|INVASIVE PLANT ELIMINATORS...|
|...NO WEED PULLING|
|DAISY FLEABANE FLOWERS...|
|...DAISY FLEABANE PLANT|
|JAPANESE TREE LILAC, ON MANYPENNY BETWEEN 4TH AND 5TH STS.|
|...DITTO, CORNER OF 2ND AND MANYPENNY|
Tuesday, 8:00 AM. 69 degrees F on the porch, several degrees cooler at the lakefront. The N wind is very light to calm, and will shift to W and SW during the day. The sky is clear with the usual haze over the lake. The barometer is trending down at 30.23". and the humidity is falling, now at 88%.
The daisy fleabane, Erigeron annuus, in the sunflower (also called aster) family is a common annual plant along roadsides and in meadows and prairies. The ray towers are white or pink to blue, the center disk flowers golden yellow. the genus has as many as two hundred species. This particular plant reappears every year along the roadside so it is probably an escaped garden perennial.
The Japanese tree lilac, Syringia reticulate, in the olive family (Oleaceae) is a small tree lilac that blooms later than the common lilac and is very useful as an ornamental street tree, growing to a maximum of thirty feet or so. Its blooms are large and beautiful but lack the appealing scent of the common lilac. It is hardy to zone three, and is usually quite trouble free, so it has become very popular. The hazard of courseis that if it becomes over-used it is bound to develop problems, such as borer, mildew and scale insects which are common to other members of the genus. We have used it a lot along Bayfield streets, mostly the variety 'Ivory Silk.'
See the City of Bayfield web site (above) forestry page for more information on our city trees.