Monday, February 21, 2011

The Constant Gardner Returns

Well gang, despite some of the trials of last years garden the Constant Gardner is back. I really enjoyed being able to walk outside and pick vegetables fresh off the vine and that was the draw to return to back yard gardening. As usual click each photo for a better view.

This year I have decided to be less ambitious and limit the plants I will grow. I have settled on Cucumbers, squash (I’m trying a store hybrid variety and hope to have better luck this time), collards, tomatoes,watermelon, and finally spaghetti squash (another round from the seeds I had last year).

My niece gave me a great suggestion to soak the seeds before planting them to speed up the germinating process. I bought seedlings to get a head start on the process

but also have some plants that I am growing in small pots from seeds that will be worked into the store seedlings. The advantage of doing both is that I get a jump on the growing season and will be eating a crop in a little over a month.

So yesterday Sunny-Girl and I spent the day digging up and preparing the ground or should I say Sunny-Girl sat in the shade and watched me, periodically doing her bit by digging a hole to bury her chew bone in the freshly turned ground. In the space of a few days it has turned fairly warm here so I guess we are well past the point of frost because even the trees have begun to blossom.

As I did last year, I will provide periodic updates and need to alert you that Daddy already has his collard greens up and growing. I have learned to listen to some of the growing tips he let drop last year. I say that based on the very telling expression: Age and trickery will always win out over youth and hard work. I mention that because his garden lasted almost into our first hard frost, long after mine had been plowed over. This year I plan to trick the trickster!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

There is something about a park...

Sunny-Girl and I decided we needed a breath of fresh air as we like the rest of the nation have begun to dig out from all the cold weather.

We found this rustic park that allowed us to wander around and bask in the bright if not very warm sunlight while we got a sense of what Spring will have to offer. As usual, click each photo for a better view.

Evidently we were not the only ones and passed a number of others with the same idea. I had to smile as this Father, son, and dog trio rode past us. Talk about killing two birds with one stone. It was a great way to get in a bike ride and walk the dog at the same time.

You could tell we were still in the grip of Winter as it seemed odd to be able to see through the grouping of trees that are normally hidden by palmetto and other over-growth.

The park is filled with trails and benches for quiet reflection,

and rabbit holes like this one that made you think of Alice in Wonderland and almost expect to see the white rabbit come along and run in to it.

We could tell Winter had taken it's toll as we passed this dead tree that had now become the home of helpful parasites as they worked to eat their way toward clearing the area.

There was even forest art that was readily apparent in this odd shaped pine tree that reminded me of a piece I saw in a juried art show last year. Can you see it too?

There truely is something about a park that lets your mind wander and offers all kinds of flights of fancy if you are willing to follow what is presented. It is not Glee, nor as exciting as the latest news on Victoria Beckham, or any of the other modern day forms of entertainment, but we enjoyed our quiet adventure.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Can Spring be Far Behind?

Sunny-Girl and I decided to explore a new area of the city, Stockton Park, a little park recommended by a friend. It seemed a great idea to get out in the sun and enjoy the warm weather, but Sunny-Girl had other ideas. She decided to remain in the car while I explored the surroundings. As usual, click each photo for a better view.

The park is small but very scenic. Another view of the entrance illustrates how green and tranquil the place is. This time of year I sing the praises of Florida weather. It was cool but nothing like what the rest of the country has been experiencing.

As you walk down the path from the entrance, there is a spirit lifting view of the St. Johns River and a pergola where you can stand and hear the water lap against the embankment.

I love this close-up shot of the pergola. Somehow the sight of it makes you want to take some time to just stand there and ponder all the wonders of life.

And this view of the boardwalk, a friend mentioned it made him think of a place for quiet meditation.

The park even provided a great view of downtown.

A final walk through the park and I was ready to go. Sunny-Girl may not have enjoyed it but I sure did. I thought to myself how beautiful this park must be in all it's Summer glory. And, as I drove away had to ask myself... "Can Spring be far behind?"