All posts by ruthsoaper

Asparagus, Daffodils and More

It’s an early spring here in Michigan. This week my husband noticed asparagus shoots popping up. I didn’t get any photos of it but I wanted to give a heads up to anyone living in our area who grows asparagus or hunts wild asparagus to watch for it. As I looked back over previous posts I noticed that in the past few years our asparagus has started coming around the last week of April or the first week in May so it’s two to three weeks early this year. I didn’t want anyone to miss out.

I did, however, get lots of photos of daffodils and some others things that are blossoming.

There is so much to love about daffodils.

They are a reliable, low maintenance, perennial.

They will grow in full sun

or wooded, wet, shady areas.

An early bloomer, they come in a variety of shades that say “Welcome to Spring”.

They also vary in size.

They continue to multiply each year so eventually they may need to be thinned by digging some up. The best time to dig the bulbs is in the fall. They can then be transplanted or given to friends.

They grow in harmony with other plants so keeping the area weed free in not really necessary.

We didn’t wait until fall to transplant these. Instead we dug them with a good size root ball (keeping the soil surrounding the roots/bulbs intact). We then dug a hole large enough for the entire root ball, placed the plant in the soil and filled in around it. You can see they brought some of their companions (mayapples) along with them.

Last but not least they top the list of being deer and rabbit resistant.

It’s kind of hidden amongst other plants but my primrose has more blossoms this year than it has since I first planted it. I am so happy with it that yesterday I picked up two more of these plants (one with purple blossoms and one with yellow) to keep this one company. (I should not be trusted in a store that sells garden plants. LOL!)

The forsythia have been in full boom for over a week now. It seems they are much earlier than last year because when I looked back through my photos my album from April 20, 2020 has photos of them beginning to blossom.

They create an impressive array as the backdrop for the pond. From a distance neighbors and passers-by enjoy the blast of color amidst the greens and browns that monopolize the landscape this time of year.

But walking along the berm surrounded by these brilliant yellow blossoms is an experience to behold. It felt like a natural high with my husband using the term uplifting to describe it while I found it breathtaking.

The cherry tree next to our deck began blossoming the week and while it’s delightful to see it is way too early. With snow and freezing temperatures in the forecast for next week we can expect a less than optimal cherry crop this year. I’m not ready to write it off completely though. I will hold out hope for a least one homemade cherry pie or crisp. 🙂

Thanks for visiting. What’s blooming in your area?

Word of the Week- Week #15

Hello and welcome!

It’s time for another word of the week (maybe a little past time).

I was actually working on a different word (that is taking longer than I planned) but it’s getting late so I was wishing I could just reuse last week’s post. Couldn’t I just say, “ditto” I thought.

Thus our word of the week is Ditto.

Merriam Webster has four entries for the this word:

Definition of ditto

 (Entry 1 of 4 )1: a thing mentioned previously or above —used to avoid repeating a word —often symbolized by inverted commas or apostrophes 2: a ditto mark

Definition of ditto (Entry 2 of 4)having the same characteristics SIMILAR

Definition of ditto (Entry 3 of 4)as before or aforesaidin the same manner

Definition of ditto (Entry 4 of 4) 1: to repeat the action or statement of 2: to copy (something, such as printed matter) on a duplicator

Now that I think about it I would like to ditto last week’s weather as well.

Thanks for reading 🙂

Crochet Season Comes To A Close

As the days get warmer and longer the amount of time I spend crocheting is greatly reduced. I can’t say that I don’t do any crocheting during the spring and summer because my hook and yarn are always at the ready and you never know when I’ll just pick it up and I do have one project in mind that I would like to get done before fall.

Any way let me show you the last few projects I have done. None of these really fit into the “quickie” crochet category that a couple of my previous projects did.

I made some sunflower pot holders that I gave to my daughters for Easter. I think they look better in real life than they do in the picture. I think I will be making some more of these since I did not keep any for myself.

Here is a link for the sunflower pot holder pattern.

The next project is one I worked on most of the winter. It is and afghan I made for my daughter Tina. Like the pot holders, I don’t think the photos do this justice. The colors were much more vibrant than they appear in the photo.

In the above photo it is folded in quarters. I took a photo of it opened up but for some reason it would not download to my computer.

My husband loved this blanket and whenever he would see me working on it he would ask me when I was going to have his blanket done. I guess I’ll have to make another one for him.

There is no pattern for this. It is simply double crochet stitches done in a square. I loved using the self striping yarn.

I did add a shell stitch boarder for the very last round to give it a touch of class.

The afghan was not a difficult crochet project at all – just time consuming because of it’s size.

The last project, despite being small, is one of the most difficult crochet projects I have ever done. I had actually started this project two or three times in the past only to become frustrated and give up.

This time I completed it. It came out bigger than I like for a book mark (about 4×6 inches) and the stitches are not as uniform as they should be so I am trying again using a smaller hook. I did apply a coating of clear craft glue to this so it will hold it’s shape. I do have a link to this pattern saved somewhere on my computer so if any of my crochet friends would like to give it a try just leave me a comment and I’ll dig it up for you.

Thanks for visiting and have a great day. 🙂

Word of the Week – Week # 14

Hello and Welcome!

It’s hard for me to believe that we are already more than one-forth of the way through 2021.

Our word of the week, or actually phrase of the week, is Tempus Fugit.

According to Merriam-Webster tempus fugit is a Latin phrase meaning time flies.

On Easter Sunday as I sat in our living room with my Aunt Donna and my two youngest daughters looking through a box full of family photos this phrase came to mind repeatedly. Spanning 5 decades these photos took me back to various periods or events of my life, many seeming like they were but a short while ago. It was a fun day of reminiscing and telling the girls stories of times and events before they were born. I was again reminded how important it is to live in the moment.

Thanks for reading.

Our Peaceable Kingdom

Visitors to our farm often talk about how peaceful it is there and my husband often refers to it as ‘Our Peaceable Kingdom’. You might see that in some of the following pictures.

Peanut, the cat, likes to hang out with the chickens. The chickens have gotten use to him and have learned that he is not a threat.

We had one hen who was old and crippled but the others did not pick or peck on her. She needed some extra assistance but continued to live with the rest of the flock. (she died last week 😦 )

The chickens have also gotten used to Ranger. He shares their food and they share his as well. Ranger and the chickens will be happy to clean up Peanut’s plate when he is finished.

We lost all of our bees again this winter but honey bees were showing up from somewhere to forage honey and wax that was left in our hives. There may be wild bees in our area or other bee keepers whose bees survived the winter or there there may be both.

Early spring, before the trees leaf out and flowers bloom, can be a bit dull looking, but it can also be a time of discovery. Last summer this nest was hidden amongst the leaves and we never even realized it was there.

I wonder who came out of this cocoon.

We did get some much needed rain but the U.S. drought monitor map continues to show our area as abnormally dry.

The North-West corner of the farm is always very wet in the spring and it is where the frogs/toads hang out this time of year. Even though I didn’t see any I’m sure they were there because they quieted down as I approached.

Yes, I do walk through all that water, but not without appropriate footwear.

Normally this time of year the pond is overflowing it’s banks and there is very little beach sand that is not under water. The lighter area along the edge shows how much the water level rose after the last rain. The dark areas are leaves that have collected along the shoreline. We will eventually rake them out of the beach area but since my husband spotted an egg nest (likely frog or toad) we will wait awhile to give them a chance to hatch.

Even though it has been mostly dry we have had lots of wind. When I took the picture above I could not see the individual blades on the windmill because it was spinning so fast. The camera, however, was quick enough to partially capture them.

When the pond is bubbling like this we know the windmill is turning. One of it’s purposes is to aerate the pond.

There were no babies rocking on the tree tops but I was still a bit concerned that the bough(s) might break. The branches in the foreground are maple and the ones toward the rear are poplar. As you can see both are budding.

The wind was really rocking these spruce trees. Good thing they have strong roots.

Momma oak is likely the oldest tree on our property. She is surrounded buy her offspring. She does not waver.

Nor does our eldest shagbark hickory. I often ponder the stories of these two trees. How long have they lived there? If they could talk what stories would they tell?

Sadly our oldest crab apple tree became the target of a wood pecker. I wonder how long she can survive these wounds.

I learned something about my crocuses this year. Last year I only had three or four come up.

This spring I had more come up in a different area. I was thrilled to see them but wondered why they came up this year and not last year.

The day after I noticed and photographed them the blossoms were gone. Apparently eaten by a hungry bunny. (I can’t blame the deer this time because there were no deer tracks in the wet soil where they were growing.)

I now suspect these crocuses did come up last year but became bunny food before I ever noticed them.

I will now reconsider my plans to plant more crocuses.

I also learned that this beautiful little primrose bears some of the first blossoms of the season – but only if the chickens leave it alone.

It was even earlier than the daffodils that were just beginning to open as I took these photos last week.

We have more and more daffodils blossoming each day so I will likely share more pictures in an upcoming post. Why so many daffodils? Because the deer, bunnies and chickens leave them alone.

Last but not least the garlic is up and off to a good start. 🙂

What’s blooming in your neck of the woods?