Sunday, November 20, 2016

Another Blog from Home – Garden, Moths, Knitting, Bread, and Wine

I got home from my private tour to Amazonian Ecuador and a short scouting trip to SE Peru just over two weeks ago, and time has flown by. I’ve sorted my photos and weeded out thousands of useless ones, but that still leaves 1505 photos, many of which I still haven’t even labeled. I’ll be posting here some eventually.

Despite the incredibly depressing election news, and a few days of severe morosity that resulted in my inability to do anything productive (you may not be a racist and a bigot if you voted for Trump, but you are an intellectually inept moron, not deserving of American citizenship), life has slowly resumed a normal pace if not with normal expectations for the future. My garden had mixed success, but overall positive, and I’m certain my work on the soil will have benefits for months to come. It turns out that many vegetable seeds don’t live long in the unprotected environment of my house; maybe the warm, humid monsoon is bad for them. But almost everything from freshly-ordered seed this past late summer sprouted abundantly, and just thinning the rows of mizuna, bok choy, and arugula seedlings provided me with a two big, delicious salads. Here’s what the garden looked like 31 days after sowing it.

The I’itoy onions went berserk, nasturtiums and snow peas had 100% and very rapid success, and all the sweet peas around the perimeter did well. Most of the things from the previous garden that I tried to transplant didn’t survive the trip – four days in a wheelbarrow (watered and covered with straw to protect them) was just too much of a shock – one red Salvia, two peppers, and the native Penstemon parryi are all that are left. All of the snapdragons, marigolds, and Monarda I put in as young starts from the general garden store were fine. But that still left many rows of soaker hose without any winter veggies. So the day after I got back from Peru I ordered more seeds from Nichols Garden Nursery of Albany, Oregon, my favorite source of seeds for their huge variety of heirloom and organic seeds. I sowed the seeds as soon as they arrived, and the first poked their heads out 5 days later. Here’s the garden yesterday, 39 days after the original sowing and 9 days after the second sowing.

I’ve regularly been checking the front porch light for moths, and from the signs of nibbles in all of the plants around the yard, there should be plenty around. But most are probably micromoths that go undetected. Here are two larger ones that I was able to ID:

Tornos erectarius, a native Geometrid.

Noctua pronuba, Large Yellow Underwing, an introduced species not yet with any records from Arizona on Bugguide.

I haven’t been able to knit much in recent months, but I finally finished two hats I’ve been working on extremely slowly since late May (there’s a sweater I’m designing and is about 3 years behind schedule, so I try not to start anything new). I’ve already given these away as gifts to my friends Matt and Sarah.

I’ve also put my new rye bread book to use: this is the Pumpkinseed Rye Bread.

Finally, I had a mini pizza and wine-tasting party last weekend, with only about 10 friends instead of the 60+ last time. I now have a tiny fridge and just can’t hold enough of the dough to hold a huge party any more. The surprise this time is that all of the wines were boxes.

The winning wine after ranking all of the scores was #5: The Naked Grape Cabernet Sauvignon.

No comments:

Post a Comment