Changing seasons

Last night the forecast said the temperature would get down to 45. It's not even October yet, but it's pretty obvious that fall's on its way. Call me crazy, but I kinda like fall. The air is so nice and crisp, the apples are ripening, and it's the perfect temperature outside during the day--between 58 and 72. I was always the dorky kid that liked buying new school supplies in the fall :-) It's a time for changes, and for new beginnings.

Some things are still blooming, while others have passed peak long ago. Without fall, mother nature wouldn't have her period of rest....and without rest there would be no summer. No blooms or harvests. Much as I dislike winter, the plants and ground all need that dormant period. So fall's definitely a good thing...and not just cause of apple cider and pecan pies and beautiful changing leaf colors.

Although those are nice too. :-)

New Feature

Check out the related links widget at the bottom of each post (those folks make this easy). I've been loving this feature on other blogs, only recently happened upon a blog that said where they got it from--so enjoy. :-)

Pizza Friday

Prosciutto and sun-dried tomatoes

We've been taking a break from Pizza Friday for a few weeks while we work our way through a massive backlog of eggs. But we're back with pizza this week :-)

See the original Pizza Friday post

Yellow flowers

For the past few weeks, our mountain has been virtually exploding with these yellow flowers:

I'm not sure what they are...I've looked them up in a few different places. Nothing quite matches their description--either the flowers aren't the same, or the leaves, or the stem (angular by the way).

I mean there are actually fields of them...all over:

Pretty though.

Peace and quiet

It's so nice and peaceful at our house this time of year...(although I'm surprised there's no deer in this picture there are so many of them). But often I'm frustrated by not being able to capture the light exactly as I see it...and to share the beauty. This took me 3 tries and some edits....and it's still not...quite...right (55mm, 1/25 sec, f 5.6, iso 800). Any digital camera fans out there to help? Wouldya believe that my camera is TOO sensitive to light? :-) Maybe that's it--maybe I need to figure out how to change the iso setting...

(and 103 eggs!)

We thought we were going to have a bit of male to female ratio problem when we noticed that two of the ducks had started ganging up on the third....perhaps the odd man out? The two in the foreground were chasing the one in the background (thus it's distance from the other two)...then again, the other day, the one in the background chased the closest one out of the pool. Hmmm.

Soooo....have you ever wondered how to tell a male duck from a female duck?
Here's how:

Now confirmed: there are definitely three sets of tail feathers that all look kinda like this. All males.

So much for duck eggs for a while.

What DON'T deer like to eat?

This is the only perennial still standing in our flowerbed. (Well, that and the random Oregano plant in the flowerbed.) We planted it this summer, and everything else---I think there's a Black-Eyed Susan, and maybe a Shasta Daisy with a few hostas--has been eaten pretty much down to the ground (hard tell when they're mere shadows of their former selves...). We did get three or four flowers off of the Black-Eyed Susan, but sheesh.

So yes, I definitely want one maybe two more 'Autumn Joy' sedums.

And does anyone else know what's deer-proof? Or even deer-resistant??

A creative quiche

Today is normally Pizza Friday here on Five Wooded Acres. That's been temporarily suspended due to crazy amounts of eggs in our fridge....any takers? Seriously, we've been getting 4-5 eggs a day for the past 4 days and it's starting to catch up to! (That one on the left was laid today--somebody took a peck out of it)

So today we decided to make something using eggs for dinner. Pretty simple really. First you saute some peppers, onions, and crumbled prosciutto (ham would be good too, I'm sure) in some olive oil. Add whatever seasonings suit your fancy.....

Then you beat 6 eggs, and 1 cup of milk together in a bowl.

Add the sauteed veggies to a pie plate (make sure to drain the oil off first!), then pour the egg mixture over it. We added some parmesan cheese to the top too.

Bake at 375 degrees Fahrenheit for approximately 30-40 minutes, or until the center is puffed and a knife inserted one inch from the center (not exactly the center--that's supposed to still be soft) comes out clean.

Japanese who-zee?

Living where we do, a lot of our property qualifies as an "edge." An "edge" is where the woods meet a field or cleared area. Our front yard, back yard, the side of our driveway, the powerline cut, all of these are "edges".....and "edge" areas are more susceptible to invasive species. The natives just can't compete. These disturbed-from-their-natural-state areas don't grow grass naturally...they would be harboring flowers, ferns and native grasses...on their way to reforming into woods...but we keep them mowed (tick control, house access, and a place to put the veggie garden) which makes them fair game for fast-growing plants (especially given the shady to the woods remember). And so, along with Tree of Heaven, which adores such conditions, we find the majority of our grass is, in fact, not grass, but Japanese Stiltgrass. Great for erosion control, if you like to look on the bright side, but quite invasive. And the bane of our vegetable garden this year.

Japanese Stiltgrass, according to the National Park Service website, is also known as Nepalese Browntop. It's considered an annual grass--germinates in the spring, and can get up to 3 feet tall (yep that would be what happened with the veggie garden. It only took 2 weeks and that stuff was TALL.) It gets that tall when it's producing it's flowers, which it does in late summer (excuse me..achoo..).

Japanese Stiltgrass is particularly well-adapted to low-light conditions and deer don't like to eat it...instead they prefer to eat the natives that are already trying to compete with it. Great. Oh, and "Stiltgrass appears to prefer moist, acidic to neutral soils that are high in nitrogen." Yes, you do get that, living in the woods...

So what're we gonna do? Well, we're gonna try and solarize the veggie garden this winter, and remember next year to keep the grass cut shorter---so the danged stuff can't go to seed.....Any other tips?

African Violets

My treasured African Violet collection, (I love that pot on the right and the middle one is beautiful--but I can't help thinking the one on the left needs ivy or something in it...) and you can also see our new fireplace molding in this pic---it was dark royal blue when we bought the house. I don't know, I don't know....but the rest of the crown molding and baseboard in that room (and the adjoining hallway..and the banister) still is.....for now.

I love African Violets--what's not to like here? Low-maintenance, evergreen, and pretty little flowers. On Sunday, I re-potted my African Violets (all were gifts -- two of them were from S. -- and now I have even more: they have multiplied thanks to S's grandmother. I've never been able to get one to root from a leaf cutting, although I hear it's quite easy...she got two of them to.) They were due for a re-potting, the soil was depleted and the pots were too small---conveniently, the previous owners of our house left some lovely pots for us when they moved out (of course I told them that we would love to take them off their hands and no, no, please don't throw them out :-) Some of those turned out to be the right size, so I used them rather than some of our own stash of plant pots....I do think I want to find one glazed in the same style as the others for that one pot on the left (nice pattern, but just doesn't scream 'African Violet' to me, ya know?). There were some lovely brown ones at our local home improvement store but we were in a hurry, (when are we not, at that store?) so I didn't have a chance to get one. I think next time when I re-pot them I will, though, for a full matched set.

I love those beautiful fuzzy leaf rosettes...with red & purple undersides, too. Just be careful not to get water on them--they don't like that, and will get water spots!

This one was just finishing up a bloom...the other two violets are darker purple (ruffled) and lighter, almost pink.. I like the unique ones :-)

P.S.  We got 5 chicken eggs today....5! In one day!

The Great Tortoise Escape

At that same small zoo that I mentioned before, they had some huge tortoises. And apparently these guys are spunkier then you would think....while we were there, we observed that one was hanging out a lot near the edge of its fenced area....then this:

And this......

It's hard to get these guys to go where they should....! (Notice that same tree in the above and below photos? They're very fast for their size...)

They finally got him back in....carried him and lured him with a peach half. Then they chained the damaged fence back together. The really great part? He staged another jailbreak as we were leaving.....must've been something in the air...
We ran out of tomato sauce in the middle of the week...sooo it's a white pizza this week with homegrown tomatoes, mozzarella and prosciutto.

White pizza, w/ homegrown tomatoes
S, get your hand out of the picture! :-)

Related Posts with Thumbnails