Sunday, August 23, 2015

Another Project Completed

We woke up to a bright orange sunrise and a very cool morning with a temperature of 46 degrees F. I went out early to take photos for this morning's post in sandals and short sleeves, wishing I had put on a sweater. Fall most certainly lingers in the air, waiting for the perfect opportunity make her grand appearance with the first frost. This morning the lawn and the hay field are heavy with dew.  The boys had been fed early; they watched as I took photos, waiting patiently for me to let them out in the pasture. The Head Gardener had put on his hunting cap and camouflage hunting clothes to hunt pronghorn antelope early this morning with his bow. So he had done the feeding early. I knew the look in at least Sundance's face: "I need my greens." You never know what Pop is thinking as he hides behind his sun screen.

Softly I chant to the grass: "Grow, Grow, Grow" because we lost our first cutting; it got rained on so many times that it molded, so we really need a good second cutting to get the boys through the winter.

The Head Gardener has worked so hard this summer, first on the sprinkler system digging hundreds of feet to improve the irrigation system, then he fulfilled my desire to have a nice, mud free path from the barn door to the hen house. His first step was to build the path, getting all of the weeds out and forming a nice shape.

Next, he used a pick to dig a small trench to embed the plastic garden edging, giving the path a 
defined shape.

With the edging in place, he used the tractor to move the gravel from where it has been piled for well over a year. The neighbors across the street let him have it when they ordered too much for their landscape project. We were happy to take the gift, knowing exactly what we would do with it. Just a took a while to get the project done.

 So it went from here--

Across the lawn

Happy is the man with a tractor.

To here: Nothing like seeing a dream project realized.

I love the clean, new lines. The path adds some architectural interest to the garden.

Look at little the apricot tree planted late last summer. We bought two for the price of one and while they were scrawny little saplings, look at the girl now. Apricots next year? And the holly hocks just plant themselves where ever they want. We keep some, but dig a lot out.

I don't know if Chanticleer will appreciate the path, but I know I will when the HG is away and I have feed the chickens. No more mud.

Next minor project: install the iron trellis--some place.

The beds along the pens may be the new strawberry beds. On the other side of the pens where the HG didn't put gravel I have thought about filling with decorative grasses. We want to provide some shade for the chickens. I had wanted to plant morning glories along the fence, but the seeds are toxic to poultry as is wood line (or Virginia Creeper). I have planted two clematis at each end of the this bed, so they will add color and fill in some. 

And this is the sunrise on the Garden Spot. Smoke from the fires in California and the Northwest has finally drifted over Colorado, bringing warnings for those with respiratory ailments to stay inside, so while the haze makes for glowingly beautiful sunrises and sun sets, they come with a heavy cost to those in the fires' paths. Give us normal, please.

Isn't the Head Gardener amazing? Close to going on Medicare soon, he has the strength of bear, the endurance a distance runner, and a commitment to get jobs done. Now, he gets to relax and do what he loves most-- head to the prairie or the mountains with his bow where he will relax, rest, as he contemplates nature and hopefully has a successful hunt. I don't tell him often enough just how much I appreciate his hard work and admire his desire and ability to do so. 

While he worked so hard to get some nagging projects done this summer, there are always more to do and some go undone until next year. Look at the garden, for example. Full of weeds and low production. We got off to a very bad start because the bad weather kept us from getting it planted on schedule. As I say, "There is always next year." We will have a nice crop of onions--ready to dig; tomatoes, thought they are slow to ripen; potatoes, ready;  cucumbers, which we are enjoying now; and cabbages. The cauliflower didn't do well, they never do; the broccoli worst we have ever grown, green beans eaten by rabbits. 

James A. Michener Library
Hubby will be elk hunting over Labor Day, and I will be recovering from my first week back at work.  I will be dog tried at the end of the day with aching feet, but ever so happy to back in my classroom.      Let me leave with a different mosaic for Judith's Monday Mosaics, one of my university: University of Northern Colorado, Greeley, home of the Bears. A Division I school belonging to the Big Sky League. A small liberal arts school, first known for its fine teacher education program and its School of Performing Arts, especially known for its spring Jazz festival with world renown musicians attending each. The university also is proud of its Monfort School of Business. I am honored to serve in a very small capacity teaching freshmen how to write academically. I am so lucky to get one more chance to do what I loved so much and a new kitchen floor. I will be teaching two classes back to back on Tuesday and Thursday and tutoring in the Writing Center for 2 hours on Fridays. And grading and blogging on Sundays as I watch the Broncos play. 

Yes, Fall is certainly in the air. 

So now that the blogiversary party is over, back to normal. Thanks so much joining me and for your sweet congratulations. Some of you have been with me since the beginning which just makes blogging so much fun. I find myself going to my right menu to read other blogs before I even get to reading my own comments. I'd say that I have matured as a blogger when it means more to see what you are doing than it does to read my comments first. I like that feeling.
Have a fabulous week. I will be getting my feet wet again.


  1. How nice to have a clean new path!
    Your apricot tree certainly looks very healthy, maybe you will be picking fruit next year!

  2. It looks like you have had a busy summer and a very productive one. It amazes me how much you have to do and you write about it without any complaints! I like your attitude when you say, "There's always next year." That is so true with gardening, at least for me. I learn something each year.

    Best wishes for a great school year.

    Jane x

  3. I'm glad for you! I think you'll have fun being at UNC again. You are doing big things at the Garden Spot! You guys make things happen!

  4. It only just feels like summer has got started here! The new path looks very smart. Xxx

  5. Hi Ann, As usual, I enjoyed your post very much. What a great job your husband, a/k/a the Head Gardener, did on the gravel path!! You'll really love that come winter when there is snow and mud. Is Chanticleer a goat? I couldn't tell from the picture.

    I'm sorry you all had a rough year with your gardening. The weather really dictates everything, doesn't it? I think in the days before grocery stores, people must have had some really lean winters with not so much to eat. We are so spoiled that we don't even realize the things we take for granted.

    Congratulations on getting to teach some more classes; I had read that on one of your previous posts. It's great that they asked you to do this! Thank you for your recent visits!! You asked about Duncan; he has matured a lot, but he is still quite feisty (definition of Scottish Terrier) and he has a little bit of a temper. He may not outgrow that. My parents have a five-year-old Lab, and she still has a temper, too. Duncan is a lot better than he was, though. I feel like he'll mature even more after he turns two (or maybe three). :-D

    Your mosaic is really pretty, Ann. I hope you have a great week and good luck back in the classroom!

    Big hugs,


  6. Wow - so busy. Love the new pathway - how nice to not have to walk in mud. Your yard is looking great - love the garden too.

    We have smoke here - on the western side of the mountains - from the fires on the eastern side - it is worse south of here - we just have a high haze - very thick - but high so our air is not so bad. Just 30 miles south of here it is so much worse - must be that our mountains keep the smoke away instead of letting it fill the valleys south of here. Enjoy your classroom work - sounds interesting.

  7. That has been a busy summer, your Head Gardener did a great job with the pathway to the henhouse, so much better than muddy feet and it looks grand. So nice to see this time different views over your yard. Yard? For me it looks like an estate, beautiful.

  8. You have so much land attached to your home no wonder that it takes a long time to get things how you want them. The HG has done a great job on the path and I am sure you will be very grateful for it during the winter months.

  9. It's the simple things that make a gardener happy, and a mud free path is one of them! Great job to your hubs.

  10. The path looks wonderful! I love it. Anything that reduces mud is a winner. :o)