Tuesday, November 30, 2010

First Snowfall

Our first snowfall arrived on November 22nd this year. As always, it prompts me to pull on my boots and venture out for a few photos. After all, it is an event! We have had several snows since then, adding up to about 6 inches, and it is softly falling even as I write.

Heritage Rose, with the mountain as a backdrop.

A snow-laden rose bud.

Black-eyed Susan seed head....food for the birds!

Autumn Joy Sedum.... still looking good!

Orange Calendula....bravely blooming beyond the frost.

A pair of Black-Eyed Susans......yellow petals still intact.

There is much to appreciate about the flowers that hold on, to give us a spot of color...... long after the Petunias and Zinnias have disappeared!


"He giveth snow like wool....." Psalm 147:16

It is compared to wool for its whiteness, and its softness; it falls silently, and makes no more noise than the fall of a lock of wool; it covers the earth, and keeps it warm like a fleece of wool, and so promotes its fruitfulness. See how God can work by contraries and.... can warm the earth with cold snow. ~ Matthew Henry

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Squash Harvest 2010

It was another good squash year.....which makes me smile, because Winter squash is one of our favorite vegetables around here!

This season's harvest, all lined up in their beautiful colors. These were picked on October 17th....we received our first frost later that night.

Squash posing in front of Steve's garden......with the beautiful backdrop of Cut and Come Again Zinnias in the background. This garden space needed a little something to beautify it, so I made the little bark area, surrounded by smooth river rocks and added the cobalt blue birdbath and pots. I was very pleased with it, except that by the time this photo was taken the petunias in the pots were pretty well exhausted, so next year I will have something waiting in the wings to pop into the blue pots....maybe some fall asters?

Sweet Meat Squash, on the left, are so pretty in their bluish green hues. It is one of our all time favorites for it's sweet, dry, orange flesh. The orange squash, on the right, is called Sunshine, the only hybrid I grow. It is also a favorite, especially for it's earliness. If I pick the fruits early enough, I can get two crops from this variety.

Bumpy and warted Marina de Chioggia. I grew these for the first time last year, and found that they improve in storage, so we will eat them last!

This odd looking squash is called Galeux D'eysines. I grew these at the request of my friend Catherine who supplied the seeds. The days to maturity is 105, and her growing season is too short for them to mature in her area. Does this make me a surrogate gardener? :-)

This is the catalog description from Territorial Seeds: " An elegant French heirloom with an appropriately elegant sounding name. Magnifique! This stunning squash has beautiful salmon-peach colored skin covered with peanut shell-like warts caused by sugar in the skin. Traditionally used in France for soups and sauces, when cooked, the sweet orange flesh is as smooth as velvet. Each flattened squash weighs 10-15 pounds and can store for up to 6 months. Definitely a show stopper in the garden or on the table. " I might add that the vines are very prolific and outgrew my garden....until the deer pruned them off for me.

Two different types of Butternut squash, to the right in the photo above, rounded out the line-up for this year. We love them for the sweet, smooth, dry flesh.... and because one is just the right size to pop in the oven for the two of us.

While pulling up squash vines, I found this adorable little nest of Quail eggs, hidden beneath the vines. We have lots of Quail here, and they are like pets. We love watching them peck around with their cute little top feathers bobbing!