Monday, June 19, 2023

Plants, Plants and More Plants

I have all my annuals planted and the garden is planted.

I have three large planters at the front of the house. I haven’t come up with the perfect combination of plants for the two planters that get a good amount of sunlight. Usually around the 4th of July my annuals start to fill in and look great.

My oldest perennial bed needed a little reworking. It is just amazing that almost every plant in this bed dies back to almost nothing in the winter and miraculously comes back to life in a matter of weeks.

Buds are forming and a couple of plants are starting to bloom.

The first to bloom, rockcress.

The big star of both my perennial beds are Blue Himalayan Poppies.

For the first time, I had several violas that wintered over from a bed in the front yard so I moved them to the back beds as I am going with a different color scheme in front this year. 

I have a strawberry bed in my garden that faired well over the winter. 

The rest of the garden beds are planted in seeds for carrots, beets and a variety of lettuces. I have plant starts for kale, broccoli, and cabbages in red and green.

I need to get netting placed on the two beds I have of blueberries. Lots of flowers blooming on the bushes.

I’ve started another landscaping project on one side of our property where I cleared a mess of alders.  The alders gave us some privacy between our lot and our neighbors but it was getting very scraggly and the alders were leaning badly into my yard. My neighbors consented to me removing them last year and now I and trying to bring in plants that will give privacy but not get out of control. I made up a simple log border to keep me from taking over my neighbor’s yard. They have left their backyard wild…I’m sure they think I am a little crazy but they don’t say it out loud.

There are so many huge ferns that grow wild here and I am keeping all of those that I can.  On the other side of our lot, more ferns and wild roses.

I have several metal tubs buried in rock work in the front of the house. This is were the violas from last year wintered over. This year I wanted to bring in some orange.

My tub wall faired very well from the winter too! Two years in a row without having to replace damaged plants. Moose are most often the culprits…they walk on the tubs instead of using the steps. 

Just a quick trip to parts of my yard. I’m feeling very anxious to get outside…so much to do in such a short season.

A quick answer to questions about the bears. First…why do we have so many? We live about half a mile from the north side Eagle River…the actual river, not the town. It is a source of salmon for the bears. They also consume wild blueberries that grow on the mountains just above the tree line. I heard a local park ranger refer to our area as a bear highway. 

Second…yes…bears do scare me and I would never hike on my own anywhere in the area. I feel relatively safe working in my yard and doing walks in the area as long as I am with my dogs. Just a few days ago I was working in the yard when all of the sudden both dogs went racing into the vacant lot next to us. They treed a small black bear. I was a little worried there might be a mamma bear but apparently this little bear was on its own. Probably last year’s cub pushed out by the mom very recently. Yes, I did have my gun near me…but not actually on my body…very hard to keep that gun or even bear spray right at hand. FYI, bear spray cans are pretty large, not like the little pepper spray bottles ladies carry in their purse. 

Last week, a gal hiking on her own with a dog on the south side of Eagle River, encountered a grizzly sow with a cub. She had bear spray and after spraying the sow twice…emptying her spray can…she raced in the opposite direction…away from her car and higher on the mountain. She was able to call on her cell phone and get help to get hike without running into the bear again.  She plans to hike with at least two cans of bear spray. She was very lucky. She was an experienced hiker and had her spray can in hand when she heard a noise she knew was a bear and started spraying as soon as she saw the sow. 

Sorry I went down the bear story lane. 

The animal most deadly in Alaska is the moose.

A couple of weeks ago there was a moose eating the vegetation along our street. My dogs were so well behaved for that encounter…just keeping an eye on it. The moose kept an eye on them and decide to eat somewhere else. 

Monday, June 12, 2023

Crazy Busy...Typical Start to Summer

 Barely time for sleep.

So much to do.

Memorial Day is the official start of the gardening season. We spent Memorial Day weekend in Indianapolis to watch the Indy 500. One of those rare opportunities to join friends on a quick trip...not easy to do quick weekend trips to the lower 48 from Alaska. But our friends had done all the for the race and parade plus renting a place for our stay and a vehicle for our travels.

We just had to take care of our travel and write a check for our share. My favorite kind of trips!

It was a great race...lots of drama but no one hurt. Loved every minute of it. The parade the day before the race was so much fun.  All the drivers in the race were part of the parade...didn't expect that.

My Big Wild Life continues! 

I got another one of those texts from my neighbor, “Huge sow and cub out front.” I raced to a window and this is what I saw.

I had a good ten minutes to watch the pair. This was 9:15 p.m., so a nice quiet time of the day. 

The cub started making it’s way up the street. Then mama bear started heading down my driveway

Below is a video I posted on Youtube of the visit.

Lots of quilting except on the computer.

I've been playing with the custom quilt setting in EQ8.

Island Batik put out a batik panel with bears a couple of years ago...I've had this idea floating in my head since I bought the panels. Still a work in progress. I didn't center my big star so I need to move everything over to the right before I go any further. The background will eventually all be black.

I don't know why I am all of the sudden obsessed with panels. I love the digitally printed ones because the colors are so vibrant. The eagle panel above is due to be released by Northcott in November. I downloaded the fabric line into EQ and just had to start playing with it. My design has 50 stars.  It finishes at 55 x 73-inches.

Okay...just a quick post to say I'm here...just overwhelmed with gardening and critter sightings...yes there were many bears and moose!
Lots of yard photos in the next post...and probably more critter photos.