Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Some Like it Hot!

has been a strange month. Hot, cold, hot again. If it weren't for that darn freeze a week or so ago the tomatoes and the basil may have produced a bit more. Ce la vie. What did survive was the peppers...and boy did they make me proud!

I planted "Ring of Fire" and "Habaneros". During the summer we tried using the long, cayenne like Ring of Fire and it sure did own up to its name. Phew! Haven't used the Habaneros yet but now I could probably make an atomic stomach bomb out of the crop seen here. Pulled the plants and gathered my harvest today.

They are beautiful in their own way. Everything from the garden is beautiful until you cook with it and don't feel so beautiful the next day. The chili made with our lovely heat seeking missiles and belly bombs will go into production tomorrow...

In the meantime, I enjoyed a hot and crackling firepit upon my arrival home from work a few nights ago. Now that "Ring of Fire" is so welcome & so very kind to the body and mind. A bit of crisp Autumn air and a beautiful evening with the moon rising....my kind of heat. I thank Pappa D for this wonderful surprise!

Some like it hot, hot, hot
......and this chili made with this year's peppers may have to be reserved for only the bravest of souls, used sparingly and with great care. Will let you know when it is ready to eat around the firepit if you dare.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

A Farewell to Ferns

Looking back at my springtime photos I realize how nice my garden looked! Lush, full of foxgloves in bloom and everything just so darn healthy. Enter summer heat, summer drought, summer rain and FERNS and there it went. The impatiens were blighted, the one new plant I planted mysteriously died and the sneaky fiddleheads were growing undetected. I ended up with a cash crop of beautiful lacy ferns that I don't remember being so prolific...and they were well on their way to overthrow the entire garden. Death by strangulation?

Hostas, what hostas?

And so my quest began. Clump after clump, I dug the roots (and boy do they have roots!) and just threw them out towards the yard. Notice here there is no visible birdhouse....it's hiding at this point behind the spruce.

This is a close up of the network of fern frond roots....unmistakable and unending.

Five bags? No way, there were probably at least ten in the end. At least I gave Shop Rite some good, almost free advertising when I put them out for pick up!

Not knowing exactly what fern I was digging I tried to identify it. There is always a chance to learn so I googled and matched images. I believe my fern friend is the Northern Lady Fern. If anyone knows otherwise, please let me know!

In the meantime, a frost hit our area and it was actually a good thing. It allowed me to pull out the frost bitten annuals and see the spaces I was left with. Dividing and transplanting a few hostas, moving one plant and purchasing a couple more leaves me exhausted & almost finished for the season. Now notice the birdhouse has moved it's address to the right of the spruce! That was quite the feat... basically an old telephone pole sunk 18 inches was hugged and with knees bent, I hoisted away.

So it is farewell for now to the ferns. I am sure the remaining ones will slowly spread again if anyone needs a few! With respect for their gracefulness, I clipped a few and put them into an arrangement. They are always perfect for pressing or sunprinting as well....and possibly for eating the fiddleheads?

Til the spring. Happy gardening this fall to all my green thumbed family & friends!

Monday, October 1, 2012

Quiet on Candlewood

Before the leaves change there is always a warm September day when a trip to the lake for lunch is a given. Intentions to return to see the autumn colors are made, promised and hopefully going to actually happen! The "lake" is Candlewood Lake but in my family we reverse the name due to an old map that hangs in our little cottage.

I sort of like our way of saying it...maybe because it means we (or our ancestors) were there before it all changed. Speaking of change, not much has changed up at the lake for us! It remains a glorified camping site with running water pumped from the lake for essentials, no drinking water or shower or hot water. A clunker of a refrigerator and a microwave along with a firepit for cooking outdoors complete the modern amenities. 

So most of life at the lake is spent on or near the dock...

And the September day we visited was gorgeous. 

Reflective beauty in the still water, the calmness of the day and the warmth of the sun was like a day at the spa for me. This is what I need to rejuvenate.

If you have time to look at details and let them soak in, they become important and not taken for granted! A well tied knot, the clarity of water rushing over stones, light bouncing off bubbles, old wood grained surfaces....are all beautiful in their own way.

Even Willie seemed at peace with his fur covered in prickly pods.

 Hoping now to return to see fall color & walk up Sweetcake Mountain,
which lies behind our cottage.

A bit of history to end with....Candlewood was named for the tree of same name whose sapling branches were used as candles by early settlers. In the 1920's the lake was formed by man. CL&P created the first pumped storage hydroelectric facility in the entire U.S. and flooded the valley after buying the lands. Entire farms were flooded, roads and more. This is the view from atop Sweetcake Mountain! Next visit, the colors should be ablaze....can't wait!