Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Salad Season

It's that highly anticipated season of the year again.....Salad Season!

This beautiful mix is a favorite of mine, Pinetree Lettuce Mix. It was winter sown on January 10th, transplanted out in February, and kept covered with ventilated plastic on those early cold days and frosty nights. It has come through several Spring hail storms! Last week I began picking this lovely, delicious lettuce. It is so tender, that it actually tastes creamy to me. ( I know creamy is an unusual word to describe lettuce, but that is just how tender it is!) Early lettuce is always best, as heat tends to make it bitter. Summer often hits us rather quickly here, so getting an early start with the lettuce is something I always endeavor to do.... and the little bit of extra time and effort involved pays off!

This photo shows the full view of the self watering container I use to grow the lettuce in. The size of the container is about 6 ft long by 1 Ft. wide. We received two of these from a friend, who was cleaning out his back yard, and I LOVE them! The second container was just planted yesterday with two lettuces that can take more summer heat, Jericho and Anuenue. When the heat hits us, I enlist the help of dear husband to move the container to my deck, where it gets morning sun and afternoon shade.

A bowl full of freshly picked, sweet, succulent lettuce.

A close up of all the beautiful textures and colors!


Tip: Lettuce should be planted in full sun for the spring and fall, and in partial shade for the hottest part of the summer.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Spring Postcards from Idaho

Spring has come to our valley! A couple weeks ago we took a drive up the mountain to a nearby community to attend a funeral. I spotted this idyllic scene on the way up, so persuaded dear husband to stop for me on the way back down,...to grab a photo.

This is a view of the beautiful Clearwater Valley. I loved the resting cattle in the foreground and the grazing sheep in the background. (Click on the photo to enlarge)

Just before we approached the above scene, we were surprised to see this herd of Elk, on the opposite side of the road. Seeing Elk is always an occasion, and a good reason to pull over and stop the car! (Click on photo to enlarge)

And lastly, I leave you with a lovely Spring sunset .... captured from our deck. There wasn't much light left when this was taken, but I liked the effect of the mountain silhouette.


Happy Spring..... to everyone!

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

My Own Dog Tooth Violets

One of the first wildflowers to cover the mountains here in Spring, is the Dog Tooth Violet. But there weren't any growing near our home, so two years ago I attempted to dig some up and transplant to a shady area beneath some pines in our yard. It was a good deal more challenging than I expected....because I had to dig really deep to coax the bulbs from the rocky soil, and it was difficult to lift them without breaking the roots. I wasn't at all sure that it would be a successful endeavor.

I am happy to say the operation was a success! Shown above is a close up of this cheerful yellow wildflower....growing in my very own yard.

They aren't very thick yet, like the ones on the hillsides, but I am hoping they will naturalize and spread, to cover the area. I do so love their appearance in early Spring, signaling the change of seasons.... and I am especially glad that I can now see them from my kitchen window. :-)


DOG'S-TOOTH VIOLET, Erythronium dens-cani

OBSERVERS of plants who endeavour to understand their names have usually a tough, task before them. Many names, indeed, carry their meanings in their faces, but many have no meaning at all; and, again, many are founded on such subtle distinctions or fanciful notions that it is not in the plant but in the mind of the no-menclator that we must seek for the coveted explanation. But whatever the vices of botanical terminology, there are many reasons why names intended to be descriptive should be founded on obvious characters that are displayed above ground. Here is a dog's-tooth violet, and the inquiring amateur may be led to search leaves and flowers for some resemblance to the dog's-tooth moulding that so often occurs in architecture, and may conclude at last that the spots on the leaves shadow forth the resemblance. But the dog's tooth is underground, and we must dig up the plant to make a proper study of its name. The bulbs of the plant are white, and in form not unlike dog's teeth.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Easter Blessings

...Thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
~1 Cor 15:57

Because I live, you will live also.
~John 14:19