Thursday, August 17, 2017

The Jungle Blooms!

 Starting out in the early morning mist

The usual time for my slug-hunting expeditions, the triumph of hope over experience.

Gradually the sun comes out

And things start looking lively. The burning bush to the right is taking its time. Japanese beetles ate most of the top of it, so don't look too closely.

Amazing that this trumpet vine started from just a tiny shoot from brother-in-law's garden.

I resisted these ubiquitous chaps for a long time but they do so well here - if you can keep  the pests off 'em.  When I first started, I used to wonder why the petals kept getting shorter. As for the foxgloves, I keep hoping they'll come back but so far I've had to keep planting new ones.

 The English country cottage look is starting to get a bit overgrown

A forest garden, more like. It's quite a feat to find some sunny spots.

We grumbled about all the rain for most of this miserable summer but somehow it must have paid dividends. The garden phlox are prettier than they've ever been.

 And for the first time this year, the vines have met at the top of the arch leading to lands beyond.

Those hardy hydrangeas are on the rampage

 I like this delicate combination

 Another shot of the coneflowers - in the sun, this time

And just for fun, another of the phlox with a few of the pushy yellow rudbekias getting in on the act.

And to top it off, a brazen lily.

 It may not be all-American neat, there's not much mulch in sight but considering it started from nothing, it's doing OK. Anyway it's my jungle and I like it.

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Friends at the Farmers' Market

 Our farmers' market has not been blessed with good weather this year. Practically every Saturday morning, it seems, there's been wind or rain or both but the intrepid stallholders have kept calm and carried on..  Happily the best lettuces in the world are back this year, Granny's Cookie Jar, with its excellent pies, is still going strong and there's now a coffee stall and someone selling fancy teas and body lotion too, though I do miss the goats' milk body lotion stall - that was the best!   
  Incidentally I asked why no one sold pickles. Well would you believe it they are not allowed to sell pickles.Jam yes, pickles no.  Pickles! Since when were pickles a controlled substance? The nanny state marches on...
  Also marching on are my friends from Flanigan Farm just over the hill in the next village. 

You may remember Olivia the  Picasso Pig?   This is not she. His name is Finigan, which I may not have spelled properly. Apologies if that's the case.

 Unfortunately I'm told Olivia has become a little cantankerous and lost some of her PR skills.  The goat family are a good substitute though.

I had been wondering about approaching Rent-a-Goat to help with the denser parts of our jungle, which no one on two legs is prepared to come out and tackle.

Apparently these companies supply the goats and a portable fence to stop unfortunate misunderstandings, you provide a bucket of water and sit back while they munch and everyone's happy. Trouble is, most of the Rent-a-Goat companies seem to be in swanky places like California and the more expensive suburbs of New York City, where people can't have that much of a jungle but would like to assuage their green consciences. So far as I know there are none in Cattaraugus County, though I'm happy to be contradicted.

Friday, August 4, 2017

Fog and Befogged Motorists

 Fog shrouds the lane on these early mornings.

 And the journey into town is a perilous activity. Deer are only waiting to cross just where it's at its thickest. (You may remember that, in my first couple of weeks in America, on just such a foggy morning  I was following hubby and a deer ran into his car. I stopped behind him and another deer ran into mine. Both cars and sadly both deer were written off, or totalled, as they say here.)  

 But one of my pet peeves about America (or perhaps just western New York) along with noisy lawnmowers unnecessarily mowing huge expanses of lawn, excessive air conditioning and cinnamon, is people driving without lights. And there seem to be more and more of them.

 I'm not sparing their feelings. These people are stupid. crazy idiots,  especially as most of them seem to drive grey cars, so you can't see them till they're almost upon you. I don't recall drivers doing this in Britain.

 And while a police car has taken to lying in wait to catch motorists coming out of the village a little too fast, I haven't, so far, seen the forces of the law tackle these miscreants. One of these days there will be  a horrible accident and don't say I didn't warn you.