The week that was. It was weak.

There’s just been too much going on between the jobs, and that’s why I’m doing this roundup many days after my last update. All of these pictures are phone pictures snapped somewhat on the fly around my folks’ or occasionally at work.

IMAG5602Fallen pine needles in the lane along my parents’ house

IMAG5590Trout lily
IMAG5674Sedum growing between pavers

IMAG5673Day lilies

IMAG5587Trout lilies

IMAG5666This was the last of about 30,000 onions I helped plant this week

IMAG5581Pretty succulent arrangement that my parents picked up at a local garden center (though not the one where I work, FOR SHAME)

IMAG5618Hens and chicks

IMAG5615Lady’s mantle

IMAG5589Trout lilies

IMAG5645Hot peppers I transplanted the other day

April 18th: marigold polka dots

IMG_8172Been a quiet week at work, as cold as it is. I took a little stroll around the greenhouse before I left to see how things were going and found this little flat. You hate to see the marigolds come down with marigold pox. But seriously, I have no idea what’s up with them. My Essential Plant Pathology textbook is glaring at me from across the room, by the way.

April 14th: two steps forwardish, indeterminate number of steps backwards

Soooo…you might remember a picture from last week. Little picture of a strawberry plant. Real sweet thing. I was real proud of myself for planting a gajillion of those in one big go.

It got pretty cold this week, and my farm overlords got worried about the strawberries, so they told me to unplant the strawberries and we’ll plant them again next week. 2000+ strawberries fit in three totes, by the way. Snapped this picture with my phone before I put the poor suckers back in the freezer.


Oh well.

April 9th: the greenhouse


I wish I could say I’m responsible for these transplants, but I have done exactly none of them. In fact I haven’t been asked to do ANY transplanting this year! I am taking it as an extreme diss on my intermediary transplanting skills. I will, however, more than likely be planting most of these and more in their final resting place* in the ground at some point starting in probably a little over a month from now, so that’ll be exciting. I’ll get my moment to shine.

*A strange choice of words but still accurate

April 8th: Strawberriez


This is one of over 1,000 strawberry plants I planted today. As I did with all the others, I lovingly cradled this plant and tucked it into the soil with tender sweetness. I even gave it a little name.

Just kidding, I manhandled them. They can take it. And if they can’t survive me, they certainly won’t survive the influx of fruit flies later in the season! </sound horticultural advice>

Pictures I liked in 2013

I’ve been following Inga’s retrospective of her favorite photos from 2013. (Go check out the most recent post — they’re lovely.) Naturally, I thought “me, too.” I feel like I’ve barely been present this year (49 posts in 2013), but I want to look back, too.

I took about 20 minutes or so browsing the pictures I managed to actually share with you guys. Here are ten of my favorites. I didn’t think about it too hard. I don’t know what it is, but the winter pictures appeal to me more than others. Which is fun, because today is one of those days when my winter antipathy is reaching creative highs. Technical question, can you firebomb winter?

But let’s start when it was nice out:


An abandoned farmstead I’m obsessed with. I submitted this picture to the Minnesota State Fair Fine Arts competition. They told me to scram. One day, State Fair. One day.


I took this picture from a cemetery. Spoiler alert, this blog is actually written from a cemetery. It’s like that episode of the Twilight Zone. There was going to be a meteor shower that night, or something. There was a deadly sheen of ice on everything.


The merry, merry spring time, and water droplets forming so prettily as they seem to do especially on daylily leaves.


Cemetery trees


Cemetery flower. Man, see? Cemeteries.


Birch bark: the best bark.


This was probably taken in my second-favorite kind of place, a ditch.


I remember how happy I was to go on a walk that evening and finally start to see signs of spring.


I took this picture on my phone cruising around town on my bike one night. There were so many mosquitoes.


Another ditch picture.

Cleaning out my phone

My phone has accumulated 1000 or so pictures over the summer and fall. Here is a small handful of them!


This beauty is a type of gentian. The flower stays closed up like this in a cluster. Hey, do you like movies that portray a rich tapestry of Appalachian misery? Then I would recommend Chasing Spirits. The reason I bring it up is one of its characters is named Gentian Violet.


This picture is noisy, but here it is anyway. It’s a pretty flower. I don’t know what it is. This is my guess based on 30 seconds of research on the website Minnesota Wildflowers: agastache.


Isn’t fungus tremendous?


Look, galls. My sister used to tell me when I was a kid that these are bat droppings. That is not accurate.


This was taken on a path going through the state forest my family stayed at late this summer / early fall.


On the path were such things as fallen leaves.


And more fallen leaves.


A nest nestled among ferns.


Probably 30% of the pictures on my phone are of cats, mine or the farm cats. From top to bottom, these are Cookie, Fred, Princess, and Short Tail.




My dad inherited his dad’s fishing boat and we went fishing more this summer than we have in many past years combined. We still caught about the same number of fish, though.


This summer I encountered so many dragonflies with broken wings it seemed a veritable epidemic had struck.




A marshy area on the edge of town. I was being bit by so many mosquitoes as I was taking pictures this night. I feel like you should be able to see a couple of them in this picture.



Phone Pic Picture Dump Extravaganza

“Extravaganza? There’s only 20 pictures here!”

“And they’re all cats! And plants!”

Wrong! There’s also chicken and sky.

So I basically had this post ready over a week ago. I had the images uploaded, the code dumped in here. All I needed to do was go back and do the admittedly difficult work of centering the pictures and adding captions. Everything on WordPress is wildly, crazily different since I was here last. You know what else happened? It became summer. It stopped raining, and it got hot out.

And it seems like I’m still getting new followers. Hi! Look at me! I’m actually updating since you followed me! There are over 2000 of you now, and I am confident that a good many of you are not spambots. (Wink?) Welcome aboard. I’m so happy to have you here. Please enjoy these pictures from my phone.


After one of many rains, droplets bespeckle the strawberry netting.


One of my benevolent employer’s many irises.


Little Bad Cat (now named Blue by my benevolent employers, because of the grayish cast of some of his fur due to having fallen into a chimney) cuddles with Blackie in a box.


A portentous-looking sky one afternoon while we were laying down the plastic rows.


A delphinium that I now own.


Tomatoes flowering in the greenhouse, where they are partly supported by this orange twine.


The second greenhouse for tomatoes and cucumbers. Looks kinda Shinto, those supports, no? …No?


This image just sums up quite aptly the whole planting season for me. Especially this one. Being sucked down into a vortex of mud.


Tom chills.


One of the first really nice days we had. Planting peppers.


You just know they named this hot pepper that so they could advertise it as the variety that takes a bite out of you.


Wild flax and a syrphid fly.




Mom (Spot) with her two kittens, the first ones she’s had that have survived this long.


This is a little picture of my plant addiction. (The ones in the box are at least perennials or veggies, so, you know, slightly more practical than just, hey, pretty flowers.)


A new astilbe my mom brought home.


Milkweed and creeping phlox.


My peonies! They still aren’t open, but soon.


We have really gutted this front garden. I ran out of room in the vegetable garden so I planted the onions up here where the barberries used to be.


Some of the best chicken I’ve ever had. Dad is testing out the new grill.