Saturday, May 6, 2017

The first "No!" of the day

It was 8:30 in the morning when I told Mrs ERJ, "If I just get one thing done today, mowing the lawn, it will be a good day."

Mrs ERJ replied with, "Why yes, oh wise and handsome man of my life!  Great idea."  Note to readers:  A small amount of poetic license was employed.

To which I responded, "There is too much dew on the grass.  I will have to wait a few hours.  I think I will go out and take a few pictures."

Mrs ERJ said, "OK."

Pictures of some grafts pushing.  This is Enterprise apple.  Walking around and looking at grafts is a bit like unwrapping Christmas presents.  You just don't know what you will see.

A quince.

Another quince with the milk jug pulled.

A pear graft that is being stupid.  I don't get 100% takes.  Sometimes I take shortcuts and get caught.  I did not use parafilm on this graft. 

Here is a branch that I budded in August of last year.  It is pushing.
About 9:30 I suggested we go for a walk.  Mrs ERJ responded, "Fabulous idea.  Do you mind if we take the dogs?  They would like it too."

"Sure" I responded.
Our neighbors have some very large mushrooms growing in their yard.
A Flowering Dogwood (Cornus florida We don't have a lot of it around here but what we do have really stands out, especially against a back drop of spruce or pine.  420 Growing Degree Days (B42).  The next few days will be cool and dry.  The GDD will not add up very quickly.

This video is for Belladonna so she can see her dog who is perfect in every way.  He loves water.

After getting home I saw a box that had magically shown up in our garage.  Hmmm!  Plants.

"Mrs ERJ," I said, "I think I need to get those plants in the ground.  Are you OK with my putting off the mowing for about an hour?"

Mrs ERJ said, "Yeah.  It is probably a good idea to get those trees into the ground before they die."

This is a "Before" shot
This is an "After" shot.  Five filbert bushes were plugged into the space that was freed up.
This row of bushes is being flipped over.  Formerly, the species were raspberries, pawpaws, rugosa rose and Rose of Sharon.  There are 11 filbert bushes now.

Red leaves are a fairly common trait in filberts.  I am pretty sure it is a recessive trait.  This is a seedling of Estrella #1.  Moscow #2 and NY 398 are also likely to produce red leaved seedlings.  All three of these cultivars have some resistance to Eastern Filbert Blight.
I have to armor everything I plant due to rabbit and deer pressure.  Four of the five bushes I planted today came out of my nursery.  That is why it is leafed out.  It was fifty degrees (F) out and mostly cloudy.   I moved them with as much of a dirt ball as I could manage and watered them in really well.  This is the only one that is sulking.  As you can see, it is wilting.
I don't know how well this photo captures these nettles that have been browsed by deer.  This is the first time I can recall seeing that.  I wonder if this specimen is particularly low in irritating hairs or if they are simply less "stingy" in the early spring.
It took way longer than an hour to plant and armor the filberts.  About 1:30 I remembered that the Kentucky Derby was running today.

I went to Mrs ERJ and asked if she could find our bottle of "Ye Olde Kentucky's Finest Bourbon".  She said, "Yes I can."

I collected some shoots of mint.  I picked three.  Fresh greens are notable for vitamins.
Then after a tipple or two and a wee bite to eat I asked Mrs ERJ if she would mind if I took a short nap.  (I love being retired...what day is this, anyway?).

Mrs ERJ said, "You look like you have been in the sun and working hard.  I think a nap would do you good.  Sure, take a nap."

So I did.

Upon waking up, I started picking up sticks so I could mow.  Mrs ERJ was right there at my side matching me step-for-step.

We are still working on the tree the satellite/dish technician told us we had to cut down.  In retrospect, I am not sure we needed to, but there it is, on the ground.

The smaller stuff went on the burn pile.  The bigger stuff went into the barn to dry for firewood.

We knocked off at 8:00 in the evening.

I looked around, realizing that I had not even started the mower.

"You know, Mrs ERJ," I said "it would sure save a lot of work if we had sheep to mow our lawn.  Or maybe we could bring over the Captain's cattle."

That is the first time I heard her say "No." today.  I was just checking to see if she was listening.

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