Monday, April 21, 2008

Monday, 21 Apr 2008 - Patriot's Day in Maine; gardening here

Just a couple of quickies tonight -- posting some photos we took off the camera.

Barry shot this one of a dogwood tree almost in full bloom. Note how he happened to get the Robin in the lower left to pose in mid-flight! The petals of the dogwood start off green, but as they open, they turn almost an incandescent white -- even at night you can see them. I think the petals are actually just specialized leaves -- like the poinsettia -- the red "petals" are actually leaves. We have three dogwoods, hoping that at least one of them would be a pink one, but the white are pretty anyway. Paducah (in western KY) has a "Dogwood Trail" where everyone in the neighborhood who has dogwoods (which IS everyone) lights them up at night, and people even take bus tours of the Trail just to see the trees. We're either too early or too late for them to be at their peak, but one of these days we'll have our OWN dogwood trail here in Alum Springs.

We took a ride down to Hustonville to our favorite 24 flavor soft serve ice cream place. On the way back home, we just naturally drove over to see the old Butchertown place. What a surprise on the way! The sides of the Butchertown Road are full of "Redbud" trees -- and since they grow down in the valley, we were able to see some of them 40 feet up the tree. The Redbud isn't a tree you look at -- you can actually see right through it, so its flowers appear to float on nothing -- but when you DO look at it, you really notice it. The roadsides were pink with them. This photo, taken through the front windshield, doesn't do the trees justice though. People pay a good price to plant these in their back yards, yet, they line the interstates and back roads, like pine trees in Maine. They look SO beautiful that way.

For those of you who have never seen a "knob", here's one of the best examples. These rounded, conical hills, are all that's left after erosion has taken most of the soil around them to fill in the river valleys. The stone on the cap is harder than surrounding stone, so it doesn't erode, making the cone-shaped hills which are typical of much of this area. The soil in the Knobs is generally poor except in the valleys, where the soil eroding from the hills has settled. Back in Butchertown, we were maybe 500 feet below the tops of two knobs, which meant that the sun didn't rise until 9AM and it would set by 5PM in the winter. Where we live now, the "Knob Region" begins just across the street, and the sun is up at 7AM and it stays light until well after 8PM. Take 4 or 5 of the knobs in a string, then imagine the road going around, through, over hills like these. No wonder the accident rate in Kentucky is so high!

Finally, we came home, and Barry watered the garden. I couldn't resist taking one more photo at sunset. Incidentally, the hill in the right background is a knob. The leaning tree is a cedar which almost touches the ground when the wind is strong and out of the west; the pink tree is a Korean cherry, and the small dark green shrub is a holly (female, with LOTS of flowers which I hope will mean LOTS of red holly berries this coming wither).

We've already had fresh lettuce twice, parsley once, and other herbs are growing to the point where we'll be able to begin harvesting a few leaves here and there shortly. We planted some red onions today, and the tomatoes, now on the side porch, may be ready to go in the ground in another week. Then, we start thinking about the warm crops -- which will be planted on the front side of the house

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