stubbed toes and mud pies

flowerbug

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i got a small garden done that wasn't too far away from the spot where the bee was upset at me. i managed to get almost done with it and then a bee started hovering about like the one that was dive bombing me yesterday. i think it was trying to decide if i was a problem or not. so i finished up what i was doing and went somewhere else for a few minutes to pull some weeds and then that was enough and i came in.

possibly the bee remembered the hat and white shirt, but since they'd been washed not enough of the attack scent was left that it was sure what to do.

it was hovering but i did not swat at it or do anything to upset it. well, ok, i did chop off some mint flowers that were trying to take over that garden, but the bee wasn't around when i was doing that.

weeding plans for tomorrow will be gardens further away and i'm changing my hat, shirt, gloves to make sure it isn't some residual scent issue causing the bee to be upset and pondering mayhem.

there's normally way too many bees around that i cannot possibly risk being attacked and setting off a mass reaction from other bees (which will happen). i normally work only a few inches from many bees for hours at a time.
 

flowerbug

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yesterday i had a few minutes waiting where i was able to watch a hummingbird moth feeding on some pink phlox flowers.

always fun to watch. :)

trying to tell people about it a few minutes later and everyone of the four people i told first thought i was talking about hummingbirds...
 

flowerbug

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mission accomplished for distributing strawberry freezer jam which is nice because it gives us some more space in the freezer. eight pints gone.

some cousins stopped over and they are one of the main reasons why i make the freezer strawberry jam to begin with. if we have extra tomatoes we'll give them some of those too, but it is too early in the season here to know that as of yet.

aside from being appreciated they also remember to bring back canning jars/rings and sometimes bring us new cases of jars to use. so we scored some old jars yesterday and a case of wide mouth jars with lids/rings. they're usually pretty good about returning rings too. i did forget to remove the rings though, so next time i'll have to remember to do that. it saves wear and tear or rust on the rings if we can remove them before we give them away.

finding lids is kinda tough right now so anything that helps is great. :)
 

Ridgerunner

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After I can I remove the rings for storage so they won't rust. And I wash the jars after canning to make sure anything that may have leaked out is gone so they are not sticky and won't attract ants. To me it's a test of the seal but I've never had a sealed jar open up while washing, gives me real confidence in the canning.

When I give jars away I put rings back on them. Not real tight, I want them easy to unscrew. That's just to protect the top from damage or chipping, not to help with the seal.

I agree, it is good to get jars and rings back. Some people return the lids too even if I tell them to not bother. I'm not going to reuse them.
 

flowerbug

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@Ridgerunner i prefer to store the jars with the rings on like you say to protect against chipping or cracking as we do stack cases on top of each other (with cardboard layers in between to provide some cushion).

we always wash empty jars well before putting them in storage (and also turn them upside down in the box so that dust doesn't collect in them even if they are covered). when putting newly canned jars away they are wiped down so there's no issue of attracting ants or other creatures. we have enough of those sorts of issues so we sure don't need to make it worse.

i have no problem reusing a lid if it is in good condition, especially for high acid items or things that don't take all that much effort to put up. the more expensive things and things we'll be giving away i'll always use new lids as then it's not worth the risk of spoilage. as of yet, no problems at all with this method. we buy plenty of new lids and new jars each season as it is.

what we really need to do is to encourage more people to buy us a box of jars once in a while especially since most of what we give away is as gifts and that way if they don't give us the jars back right away at least we don't feel like we're wasting money on jars.
 

flowerbug

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@ninnymary here's a pic of a nice spot in one of the two melon patches. i was worried we weren't going to get very many melons but this picture shows you that's not going to be an issue this year... :) :) :) there's at least four melons just right there and i'm pretty sure a few others in that patch. one of the melons is hiding but you can find it (kinda like Where's Waldo?). :)



 

flowerbug

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in wandering around and taking some pictures today i was glad to see yet more than just the one hubbard squash out there @digitS'! :) :) :) yes, it does make me happy to see a baby squash less than the size of a grapefruit starting to form right next to the monster that is already mostly there and hopefully almost mostly ready. i also checked around the buttercup and kobocha/something cross we've been growing and i'm glad to see we have some of those this year with the same pattern as before that Mom really likes. i'm not sure they've crossed with a local pumpkin from some other garden or what but as long as they remain tasty we'll keep growing them. as of yet i see no signs of borers and very few squash bugs. that can all change i'm sure... i'll get some of the pictures posted eventually. if i remember. hahaha...

also took pictures of gardens, beans, tomato plants, cucumbers, etc. but so much of the gardens now look pretty beaten up even if they are producing.

some of the early beans are even finishing up already (in the more sandy soil in a few gardens). i'm going to have to start getting some picked and dried.
 

ninnymary

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Wow, Flowerbug those melons and their plants look great! Keep an eye that they don't over ripen. Once there is a blush they are over ripened. I don't really know how to tell when they are ready other than they stop growing. Are you able to get down on your hands and knees to smell them? I know that can be pretty hard for some of us.

Out of a couple plants I got 2 over ripened, one I cut too green, and there are still 2 more out there. Not heavy producers but boy are they sweet especially for our cool summers. It's more of a novelty for me to grow them.

Mary
 

flowerbug

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Wow, Flowerbug those melons and their plants look great! Keep an eye that they don't over ripen. Once there is a blush they are over ripened. I don't really know how to tell when they are ready other than they stop growing. Are you able to get down on your hands and knees to smell them? I know that can be pretty hard for some of us.

Out of a couple plants I got 2 over ripened, one I cut too green, and there are still 2 more out there. Not heavy producers but boy are they sweet especially for our cool summers. It's more of a novelty for me to grow them.

Mary
i'm ready to have some melon, but i think it will be a bit longer yet. :) will definitely keep an eye on them.

from what i am reading people say to pick them when they start turning yellow. from what i've seen of pictures some people pick them a lot later than that. given that we may have a lot of them *knocks on wood head* i may get to pick them at many different points to compare. one review i read said that raccoons like them too. that may be an issue... eek! always some thing to worry about here, but i kinda roll with it anyways - Mom is the one who freaks out about sharing... ha. :)
 

digitS'

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Are you able to get down on your hands and knees to smell them? I know that can be pretty hard for some of us.
I'm willing to make that commitment, if necessary. What about the leaf nearest to the fruit; do you think that may help us identify a ripe melon?

I should have something in the melon patch to "capture on film," as we used to say. Shoot, I'll have be down on the ground just to see the cucamelon.

I'm encouraged by @flowerbug 's photos :D. Maybe Dear Friend @marshallsmyth will take some pictures, too. Hhmm?

Steve
 

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