Our life living off the land in our log cabin, breathing fresh mountain air, and getting back to basics.

Monday, April 8, 2013

Wildflowers, Potatoes & Snakes

There is no doubt spring is here.  Somehow, it puts a light in my fire and makes me want to be busy and accomplish things...which means Johny has to accomplish things.  I'm not saying we are slugs during the winter, but there definitely is something to be said for the energy spring evokes!

While walking to the mailbox, I came across a couple new wildflowers, making me smile (seeing 'the first' of anything in a season brings me great joy).

This is Bloodroot, a plant that emits a very red juice from it's stem, has some medicinal value, but using great caution is a wise approach.  For me, it is a bright and lively flower that indicates spring is here. 

I believe this is a Sundrop, though it is just opening up so I can't be absolutely sure.  So bright, so cheerful, so springy!

Now for the spring motivated tasks...there were two "to-do's"...

...Planting potatoes...we had our seed potatoes, and decided to plant them in the 3 raised beds already existing in the yard for a couple reasons...1 - we had no luck with planting other things there; the sun isn't consistent enough during the spring and summer, and 2 - potatoes don't require full sun, and they grow into the straw, so they don't need a deep tilled area to grow in...the raised beds seem to be a perfect spot. 

I won't take you through all the details, but here are a few things that are important.  Of course we weeded, then supplemented the earth with additional soil (we kept the fallen leaves in the box for compost).  Then we planted each seed potato, eye up, 12" apart, and covered it with a little of the dirt/soil. 
We then covered everything with 6" of straw (not hay, which still has seeds) and watered everything a little.
So we have 3 raised beds of potatoes (you can see them if you look closely; you also see some blueberry bushes and our fire pit for burning yard stuff we can't use in the wood burning stove and a row of cans for Johny to shoot at).  We still have more seed potatoes to plant, but that is tomorrow's to-do.

When I was walking to the mailbox, I came across this little garter snake sunning itself on the road.  At first I wondered if it was dangerous, but I do believe it's just a harmless snake enjoying life in the mountains!

The second task for today was getting the next hand rail installed on the deck, which Johny worked at much of the day.  Slowly but surely, this deck rail will be finished!  A part of me is a little concerned about using all these different types of wood, which end up with a different skip/peel look, but in the end, I believe it will all blend together.

Yesterday, I shared a picture of a wild plant that I wasn't sure about.  I've since learned it is Mullein, which has some medicinal properties, but I don't know enough about it to share.  As it matures, it grows a tall stalk with lovely yellow flowers, which is why it was hard to identify at this young stage.

I'll close by sharing that it is such a lovely spring evening, we have the windows open and I no longer have my sweatshirt and sweatpants on and no fire needed in the stove!

Thanks for reading my blog, you are the best f/f/r/s/f's, see you tomorrow,


Dad/Pepere said...

Clearly, gardening lessons from year 1 are coming into play...experience is a great teacher! Great looking snake..I think you are correct that it is a garter snake. The deck is taking shape...the different woods and finish will blend into a beautiful "scape" when you are done...don't fret! Hugs!

Lise said...

Indeed dad. You'll have to come back to enjoy some time on the finished deck! Hugs back:)