Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Passion, bliss . . . and weeds

This is what a passionflower looks like, growing happily on my fence here in Carteret County. On the whole they do well here, coming back stronger each year. I understand that the fruit is edible, but I am sure the flavor is dependent on the variety, and I just grabbed this one on sale early in the summer. It did not have a tag, so I don't know what variety it is. The flowers are probably one of the most spectacular you can find. (Do you recognize this as the basis for the recent cell phone commercial?)

The hens are spending time every day in their spa spot: a hole they dug in the yard where they can dust bathe. The snuggle down, fluff up their feathers, and kick dirt up under their wings and between every single feather shaft. They flatten out like a pancake and burrow with their shoulders (ok, you know what I mean, the tops of their wings). They do it singularly and in groups. You can look in their eyes and just tell they are in complete bliss. The point: to control all types of bird mites. Here is Lou, just getting started on her spa treatment.

Finally: If you feel bad about the weeds in your gardens, look at this. All of my ornamental beds look like this today. I have quite a crop of common bermudagrass and pennywort, and if I don't get it out soon it is going to be a really big battle later. Maybe after this rain I will get out there and pull it out.

Nothing to harvest now or in the immediate future from the vegetable beds. Some of the greens I planted came up, others did not. The squash is up and going strong. I have bush bean seeds to plant, and will be ordering more seeds soon for the full fall garden.