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Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Exuberant Spring After Slow Start

Greetings from Cascade Bluff, where spring came suddenly after a long slow start this year. Of course it is now fully summer but I had this pack of pix waiting to post from last month, so here goes... 

The view to Lake Superior was really vibrant and green...

...as was the view toward Cascade Mountain to our west...

...and even on gloomy days a bit of sunlight seems to always peek through and light up those trees...


Yours truly has been busy making mischief in the south side of our "yard" -- which is another word for our sloping area below the rock bed that holds up the ground surrounding our foundation. I discovered the soil out here has a pH of about 5, really acid, and did some research... guess what grows well in acid soil?
Blueberries! 
We made the nursery in Finland, MN quite happy when we stopped there in June and bought a bunch of blueberries, making sure we got at least 3 different types so they can cross-pollinate...
...and in future pix I hope to show the swirly spirals-in-circles pattern I am attempting to achieve out here... on a slope, no less...

Mmm... a few more long views of the glowing light on the spring foliage...


Now what would a blog post on "Kathy and Val's New World" be without an update about one of our whacky projects? Well, not much... and here is one of the latest projects.

We continue to be determined to use up all the leftover wood from our house construction. Some of it is starting to be a bit warped and doesn't look grand... but it is serviceable. Here we are taking advantage of some leftover Douglas Fir plywood, to make a storage cabinet/shelf for all our electronics that run our "communication network"...

...and without showing you all the sweating and minor cursing that went into design, measuring, creative use of mishaps, and all those great carpentry skills we are gaining, here is the finished product!

Not half bad for a couple of old bench wenches (see previous posts)!!

Spring brings thoughts of birds and bees... And speaking of birds, here is a robin's nest, parked right outside our front door. We checked... there were eggs... Now we are being very careful to use a different door so we don't disturb Mom and Dad too much... Perhaps we will have news of some hatchlings soon...
Last year's cherry tree looked lovely all dressed up in white blossoms... no pix yet but we added another cherry tree this year...
Our perennial rock garden looks just splendid! Everything seems to be doing well, even some of the plants that had yet to really bloom... Glad to see our ground phlox finally revived and put on a show...
A view up toward the solar clothes dryer...
Cute little candytuft... nice fragrance, too...
A new addition of pasque flowers... one of my personal favorite spring wildflowers....
Oh how our solar panels love the long hours of sunlight and all those photons showering down on them! 
Late in June the leaves were already completely full and thick...
...and the shining green against the sky's bright blue is always magnificent! 
But here's a reality shot of what it takes to be a tough northern gardener.
Here I am, decked out in my knee pads -- for kneeling and crawling around on soil that's basically, rocks -- my hand axe/fork tool -- for chopping out the many very tough and deep roots -- and my fashionable bug net shirt to keep out the hordes of black flies! 

Let's not forget our vegetable gardens...
With our cool slow spring, our cold frame (built last year but not used due to the amazingly warm spring of 2012) was great and kept tomatoes and broccoli alive and well and free of frost...
...green beans coming up...
...hoping to keep the weeds down with some straw mulch...
...and for tougher mulching duties, we visited our local lumber mill and bought a truck bed load full of red pine wood chip mulch...

...and are planning to "deploy" it around some of the trees and shrubs we've been planting all around...


...one last serene shot of spring light before I go...


We will be back soon with more... lots more! You won't believe what crazy stuff we are into up at Kathy and Val's New World... and what 2013 is going to bring for us! Stay tuned!