Monday, July 2, 2012

Hotter'n A Pepper Sprout

I heard on the news this morning that 23 states have recorded record high temps, breaking 100 degrees F, and more to come today. Kansas has been referred to as Death Valley, Kansas, (with the real Death Valley being in the California Desert). And then there are the vicious storms on the East Coast. I have friends and relatives on the other side of the country without power now for, I guess, a couple of days. The fires here in Colorado are still burning, but the two killers are under control. The High Park Fire is now 100% contained. Residents are being allowed to go back home, but those houses that withstood the fire probably need a good cleaning. My daughter's mother-in-law said that the landscape is unrecognizable. We will go for a drive later in the summer to see the damage. The Waldo Fire in Colorado Springs claimed two lives, may be arson, and gobbled up 34 blocks of homes. Who is to say which force of Mother Nature renders the worst devastation: Wind, Rain, Fire? Really, it is just a matter of which one we are challenged to survive or get out of the way; each brings its own hell and heartache. While we have been safe here in the middle of prairie, we have offered prayers, assistance, and bits of donation as a very small part to help those who have suffered such devastation. I thank all of my blogger friends who have expressed concern.

This week at The Garden Spot:

How hot is it? Even the Cottontails seem to be sweltering. 

The Tree of Knowledge does have apples after all, but only on a few branches on the west side. The rest of the buds froze and the few we will have are wormy. Bummer.

Picture this: It's early Saturday morning. I am reading my blogs and having coffee, still in my night gown. Hubby comes in from letting the hens out. "Get your camera," he softly orders. "The fox is in the pasture." I have been tying all summer to get pictures of the resident foxes that have tried to dig their way into the hen house, left "presents' all over the place, awakened us at night with they horrible howls.  So by the time I get the camera, change lenses, find my shoes, and get outside, I may have lost another opportunity. (Which goes to prove that one should never leave the house without one's camera). But I am in luck this time because the little fellow is getting ready to take a siesta in the hayfield. So I sneak up to the fence, hiding behind the horse trailer, slowly with great stealth I take aim, focus, and who should decide he needs a bit of affection--ie. apple treat--? You can't exactly shoo a horse away or tell it lay down. or to get out of the way. 

So, I make an adjustment to get a clear shot.

All I can see are ears, twitching, listening.  I want a better shot.

More than just ears, so hubby whistles, makes a bit of a commotion, and the fox decides to head for a quieter nap spot.


He takes a quick look back--yes I am still shooting, now in continuous mode. And he is off to greener pastures.

And I have been sewing. I finally finished the little dress and bonnet for Lily Ann (now so christened). Please don't look too closely. The little dress, sweet as it is, is only picture perfect. The camera does lie. I am trying to master the fine heirloom sewing techniques and I am not very good. I took two lessons from an heirloom seamstress a few years ago, but never finished my project. Lily will look sweet in it, but I have cautioned mom who is a wonderful seamstress not to look too closely or to be too judgmental.

I bought a baby bonnet at a garage sale, so I used it to make my own pattern for the bonnet. I especially like the little button at the back. One of the ladies at the Bernia store showed me how to add a touch of color by doing a bit stitching in the button. 

On a side note, as I looked for a sweet, frilly baby dress at Babies R Us, I asked the clerk if the store had any sweet, frilly baby dresses. She laughed.
Guess I will be doing more sewing.

The garden looks like a war zone. Hubby has been skirting the pine trees and trimming the other trees. We have dozens of trees, so it has been a huge job. Tonight we will load branches when he gets home from work. We had this back and forth discussion: do we let the branches rest on the ground in a more natural presentation or do we skirt the trees and mulch, making a cleaner, more open presentation? We opted for the skirting, which has opened up the yard quite a bit. He took off just a little from the bottom, giving the whole yard a more open, airy feel. Later we will add mulch. 

We also chopped down the milkweed before they went to seed. They really had become a nuisance, overwhelming the other plants that weren't getting the sun and water that they need to look pretty. So bye-bye milkweeds.

Another gorgeous sunset over Northern Colorado, finally not filtered though layers of smoke. Hot, pink, and gorgeous.

No special plans for the 4th. We usually spend it with Uncle Don and Aunt Amy. They have the perfect view of the Front Range to see dozens of firework displays, but many have been canceled because it so dry. None the less, may your 4th of July celebrations be hotter'n a pepper sprout, full of fun and family and good food. Squirt guns for all.  Pray for those who are struggling with the forces of Mother Nature. Remember to give blessings for the brave men and women who are serving their county. 

God Bless America. 

Special thanks to Elaine at Ramblings from Rosebank for awarding Welcome to the Garden Spot the One Lovely Blog Award. I was caught quite by surprise, honored, and humbled by her tribute. I will be  fulfilling the obligations of the award in the next post. Thank you Elaine.


  1. You did a beautiful job on the baby gown, Ann!

  2. I am thankful to hear that the fires are getting under control. What a nightmare that must have been for everyone.

    Sorry about the heat...we get one hot day, one rainy day, and then a muggy day...but they keep promising more heat.

    Love the fox pics, and the horse in the photo just adds that nice touch.

    Jen @ Muddy Boot Dreams

  3. You did an awesome job on the dress, it's beautiful. We are having hot weather and there doesn't seem any relief in sight. We did get a window unit and it sure has helped. Great shots of the fox and the sunset is beautiful.

  4. The little dress is amazing, you've made a wonderful job of it Ann.

    So relieved to read the dreadful fires are finally under awful for those families. They'd be very welcome to some of the rain we seem to be getting almost daily.
    Your sunset certainly is incredible.

    Thank you for your sweet comments, describing my 'rambling' made me laugh! Most folk think I ramble on ;o) By the way I think voles are cute too - they are getting very rare in the UK.

    Have a wonderful week
    Rose H

  5. Wow, your dress is amazing! And what a timeless heirloom :)

    I've been following the Colorado fires - I am so glad they are contained - so scary!

    Your fox - my, what big ears he has! Great captures

    The sunset is just beautiful. And congratulations on your award - you deserve it :) XOLaura

  6. Hi Ann. First of all thanks for visiting again. I appreciate it. Second, I'm glad you aren't in danger of those terrible wildfires in Colorado. I've been seeing some of the news footage and it's just unbelievable. There are so many freak storms as well along the eastern seaboard. Third, you got some cute photos of Mr. Fox hiding in the long grass. The Christining dress you made is a precious keepsake for your sweet new granddaughter. And finally, fourth, I wish you and yours a blessed Fourth of July tomorrow! Have a great day! Pamela

  7. America is getting lots of heat and fire, and Ireland and UK are getting lots of rain and flooding. You've got alot of wildlife that can do quite a bit of damage to the garden. We've rabbits and fox in Ireland but luckily they don't do any damage in my garden. Have a relaxing 4th of July! P.S. your sewing looks great to me (not many people could do that)!

  8. Hotter than a pepper sprout, I love it! Same goes here. Heading up to 104 today. And that's in Ohio! I have to admit, the fox is kinda cute, even if he does try to eat your chickens, the rascal. The baby's gown is very beautiful, and I promise not to look too close. I used to sew all the time, and I think you've given me the itch to try again. Won awards in high school sewed all my own clothes then, made lots of things for my kids when they were growing up, but I barely touch it now. Gardening took over my hobbies!