altivo: (rocking horse)
OK, we added another gig for the ThingamaJig at local fiberfest. Have to get business cards and website up and running.

I finished up a design for the card yesterday, we printed some and they look good enough. Here's the front side of the card.

Back side has personnel and additional contact info on it, summed up on the temporary page I put up here.

[Late addition: Gary has now added a link on the website page above to our actual calendar of events, which has started to fill up nicely enough.]

In other news, late winter seems to be fading into full-fledged summer, with one day in the 80s already this week. No more snow, but rain and fog are intermingled with warm and sunny.

Neighbors' chickens are scratching up my garden beds and generally making a mess. Their German shepherd was over here this morning digging a hole under the corner of the arena. Same people who in the past have visited two very large hogs on us (two different occasions) and a horse once, and a rabbit that kept escaping and coming over to hide in my barn. Their geese used to hang around here squawking and following Gary about, too. They seem to feel no sense of responsibility for any of this.

In spite of all of this, I feel I'm finally getting the hang of being "retired" and not having to do stuff. Except of course for all the stuff I have to do. ;p
altivo: Plush horsey (plushie)
Like Jack's beanstalk in some cases (beans, cucumbers) and like a snail in others (peppers, tomatoes.) I think the potatoes are about done, but I need to dig down to make sure.

Here is yesterday's haul of cucumbers:


I do love cucumbers. However, since husband Gary dislikes them, I'm going to have a problem eating this many. I may have to make some pickles. Or feed them to the ducks if they keep producing at this rate.
altivo: The Clydesdale Librarian (Default)
Well, the change is not dramatic. I can't complain that I'm busier than before, nor that I'm bored. I finally reached the point today where I was confused about the day of the week. (I changed the calendar page in the dim pre-dawn light, as always, so I didn't see it to remind me.)

Status report under cut )

So... it's beginning to look a lot like Gentoo here. After all, I have endless time on my hands, right? [not]
altivo: 'Tivo as an inflatable toy (inflatable toy)
Two nights in a row that dropped solidly below freezing, so the pumpkin leaves finally folded up. The tomato trellis had already blown over in strong winds earlier this week, and I didn't try to pick it back up because I knew there was little hope all those green tomatoes would ripen.

Today the sun came out, though it remained very brisk. I dug through the ruins of the volunteer pumpkin patch and retrieved no less than ten slightly immature pumpkins. The two largest ones were the size of cantelopes and still slightly greenish. The rest ranged from croquet ball to tennis ball size and were yellow or orange. All were pretty hefty, so there's hope of getting some usable pumpkin from them for soup or curry if not enough for pies.

Then I picked through the tomato vines and recovered almost five pounds of green or pinkish tomatoes. These are a large cherry tomato that matures at about golf ball size and has pretty good flavor. There were also a couple of volunteer vines from last year that had the small yellow pear tomatoes, and I got a a good double handful of those, all still green. Gary likes green tomato pie, an experiment I tried years ago. It didn't really impress me, but he thinks it's wonderful and these will make two or three pies after washing them and slicing them up. I'll freeze a couple of packages and make him a pie from the rest.

We also went to the farmers' market in Woodstock, which moves indoors to the Farm Bureau for winter. Right now it still opens once a week, but after November it goes to just twice a month I think. We brought back winter squash, honey, and a pound of Brussels sprouts. We just found a newspaper article this week with ten ways to cook sprouts, none of which I've ever tried.

Tonight's version was oven roasted. Split in half, tossed with olive oil, salt, and pepper, and roasted for 25 min. at 425F. Halfway through I added apple cubes and sprinkled them with sesame seed. To serve I turned them into a serving dish and sprinkled them with some Balsamic vinegar. They turned out delicious. Gary made the first course, a curried carrot and apple soup suggested by a friend. We also had mashed potatoes from the garden, and Gary's favorite slow cooked chicken with gravy. Apple pie or rice pudding for dessert, both already made up.

I can't wait to try the sprout pizza, and the fried sprouts and onions with eggs.

Clocks fall back tonight. My wind-up clocks are already set back, which I do by stopping them for an hour. Various digital and battery clocks will need to be adjusted yet.
altivo: Running Clydesdale (running clyde)
A productive weekend, more or less, but not nearly enough done.

We went up to Williams Bay, Wisconsin with friend Carol to hear the opening performance of the season by the Lake Geneva Symphony. There were only two pieces on the program.

The first was Ravel's Piano Concerto in G Major, new to all three of us and (I gather) not often performed. The piece clearly reflects the result of an American visit by the French composer, who used jazz styling and motifs throughout. The timing and nuance are almost Gershwin-like, and reminded all of us of American in Paris and Rhapsody in Blue though there were no obvious quotes from either of Gershwin's masterpieces. Pianist Krassimira Jordan was remarkable, virtuoso even beyond what I expected, and that is certainly needed for this concerto. The style is intricate rather than bombastic, and requires passages where each hand plays in a different key or time signature, as well as a lot of cross-hand work. The overall result was very fine and we enjoyed it greatly.

The second selection was Tchaikovksy Symphony No. 4 in F minor, which was all the better for Conductor and Musical Director David Anderson's advance explanation of major themes and elements of the work. The LGSO has improved a great deal (not that it was bad to begin with) under Anderson's direction, and the performance came across very well. The French horns play a major role in this symphony, and they sounded like the noted horn section of the Chicago Symphony this time.

A predicted heavy frost skipped over our small garden, so we still have green tomatoes that "might" ripen before the vines are killed, but hope is diminishing. The plants are heavily laden, but almost nothing has turned ripe yet. The pumpkins I did NOT plant have produced six usable pumpkins so far after sprouting from seeds that apparently made it through last winter in the compost bin. There are many more immature fruits on the ground, but I'm pretty sure the frost is going to cut them off soon. These are the small and heavy pumpkins that can be used for pies and soup, not the large thin-shelled jack-o-lantern variety. We will put them to good use.

On Sunday I also baked a peach pie, bought groceries, tried to photograph the fall colors though it wasn't really sunny enough, and made a pot of cholent. We haven't had cholent for a couple of years and the cooler weather inspired me to put it together. It's a traditional Jewish stew, created to cook slowly overnight from Friday to Saturday so it would provide a hot meal on the sabbath without requiring anyone to cook or light a fire. The principal ingredients of my Hungarian version include small lima beans, tomatoes, onion, garlic, carrots, turnips or rutabaga, smoked sausage (I use a turkey sausage,) and both hot and sweet Hungarian paprika. I usually bake this in a closed cast iron pot at 250°F for about 8 hours, but this time I opted for a slow cooker set to high temperature. A little red wine added near the end of cooking enriches the blend and enhances the aromas. The smell becomes enticing after about four hours and makes you drool after the sixth. As usual, it turned out well, since it is almost foolproof and requires little attention once assembled.

What a week

May. 4th, 2012 08:56 pm
altivo: My mare Contessa (nosy tess)
More birds: Red-headed woodpecker, at least one, is still here, spotted today several times. Indigo buntings in the yard just at dusk. We generally see a few each year, though many are in the general area by all accounts. I think our property is too heavily wooded for them. Really odd one was a warbler walking in the grass outside the library windows. Might have been a yellow warbler, but I couldn't see any streaks on the breast. Other possibility is Tennessee warbler but no russet cap on its head. Maybe females don't show that?

Still missing the rose-breasted grosbeaks and the white crowned sparrows we usually see passing through about now.

Wild cherry trees are coming into bloom now, nearly a month early. Honeysuckle, which is normally just opening now, is nearly past. Bee balm or Mountain mint are opening too. Wild cherry fragrance on the still air is overpowering.

Have to be up at 5 tomorrow to start the Audubon bird count at 6. If the sun comes out, it should be a good year. At least it is supposed to be reasonably warm and not overly windy.


Apr. 22nd, 2012 07:18 pm
altivo: 'Tivo as a plush toy (Miktar's plushie)
Early flowers are early.

White trillium and Bleeding hearts

Here are the white trillium and pink bleeding hearts that we usually do not see at the same time.

Cranesbill (Wild geranium)

And here the wild geranium (also called cranesbill) that usually blooms in May. Our lilacs that normally open in mid-May are already come and gone.

Hot frame

Cool weather now, after the heat in March, has not discouraged the salad greens started in the hot frame at all. Clockwise from top center: spinach, Japanese greens, oak leaf lettuce, green leaf lettuce, and cilantro. Also in the frame but not visible are chard and additional lettuces.

And Gary is home safe from his trip to Indiana, so all's right with the world.

Short news

Apr. 9th, 2012 09:35 pm
altivo: My mare Contessa (nosy tess)
This morning we found a pear tree on our land that we hadn't noticed in the almost 14 years we've been here. How do you miss a 30 foot tall tree covered with snow white, fragrant blossoms every spring and (presumably) pears in the fall? Well, said tree is on the northernmost boundary of the property, outside the pasture fence and among a clump of aspen trees. In a more typical year, the aspens would have their leaves by the time the pear blossoms appeared. Since the pear is on the boundary farthest from the house and barns, and farthest from the pasture gate, we have normally seen it at a distance of about 600 feet. It blends right into the aspens.

This year, the early warmth has brought apples and pears into blossom about three weeks earlier than usual. The aspens are still almost naked, having just a few leaf bugs opening at their tops, well above the pear. And Gary happened to walk that fenceline with the dog this week, while the flowers were very obvious from close up. It will be interesting to see whether it actually bears fruit. Pollenation may be an issue, between the shortage of bees now and the distance to the nearest other pears. We have a Bradford ornamental pear in bloom in front of the house, but that's almost a quarter mile away. No problem for honeybees if we had any, but it's a long haul for bumbles or the native green bees that have appeared to fill in for the missing honeybees now.

The red flag warning (excessive wildfire risk) has been lifted after three days, but it is replaced by a hard freeze warning. That may have a serious impact on orchard trees, including our apples and pears here.
altivo: Running Clydesdale (running clyde)
Warm and sunny again. Of course, now it's April, and we are supposed to expect rain tomorrow.

Took time out this evening to watch The Adventures of TinTin since it crossed my desk at work and I could nab it. Spielberg and Jackson did a good job together, I'd say. The CGI dog (Milou in the original, though they changed the name to "Snowy" for some reason) was spectacular and the other characters well played. They caught the feel and excitement as well as the period of the original. The parallels to Indiana Jones were noteworthy.

We have the first watermelon of the season. A tiny one, and you can tell it was picked early, but still it counts.

You may remember the redbud tree I posted last spring when it finally bloomed after I'd been nursing it along for ten years. It's about to bloom again. Most of the others in the area have been in full blossom for over a week now, but this one just has buds that haven't yet opened. Still, the buds are obvious and should open soon. And as I promised last year, I picked one bud and tasted it. There's a delicate fruity aroma/flavor to it, rather like pear or quince. Not sweet, though it might be by the time the flowers open. Probably rich in vitamin C unless I miss my guess, which might explain why 19th century settlers considered it a useful thing to eat. You could put it in a salad, anyway.

When the flowers open I'll try to photograph it again.

Three more workdays (two and a half, actually) and then vacation.
altivo: My mare Contessa (nosy tess)
It was quite chilly today, though the sun did at least put in an appearance. Tess was happy enough to go out to the pasture for a couple of hours. Now the NOAA weather alert system is alive with watches for the counties to our west, but so far none for us.

Started reading Soulless by Gail Carriger, first in the Parasol Protectorate series. It's about as silly as I expected, but the absurdity is sufficiently amusing that I've now gone through about a fifth of it and will probably continue. One needs a certain appreciation of Jane Austen and her era in order to really get the laughs, I think.

Replanted some lettuce and spinach that failed to sprout from our plantings of two weeks ago. In the process, pulled out a lot of melon seedlings that started, apprently, from seeds thrown into the compost. I think we are going to have to stop doing that.

Temperatures are expected to rise during the night, I think it's time for bed.
altivo: (rocking horse)
Tire still holding pressure this morning. A good sign, I hope.

Gary and Rob had a stage performance to give at the Boone County Pioneer Festival this afternoon, and I tagged along. I enjoy that event and in spite of threatening weather and cool temperatures, it was still good. While they tuned up I made a round to look at exhibitors, re-enactors, and vendors as well as the many historical "settler's gardens" they have on the grounds. These are kitchen gardens maintained to show what immigrants from various nations might have planted. I toured the Norwegian, German, Scottish, and American plots. The Norwegian was best, not only well-kept but they had chickens running loose in it to keep down the bugs and scratch up the earth. The American garden was also quite tidy. All were very productive, with lots of beans, squash, tomatoes, and eggplants in evidence. There are two original wood cabins, or mostly original, that were recovered from where they had been built up into larger houses later, leaving them entirely encapsulated. (I had never heard of such a thing until I first saw these a few years ago. They are very well preserved, even down to the marks on the walls where shelves were hung and furniture rubbed.

There are many re-enactors playing the roles of trappers, traders, surveyors, and various craftsmen. I took some photos, but will wait to post until after tomorrow because we plan to return so Gary can walk through the exhibits too.

We came back to Woodstock for lunch and then dropped Rob off at the train station. I went grocery shopping while Gary did barn chores, and found the price of gasoline down to $3.59, the lowest it has been since last March, but a year ago it was more like $2.79 so it has quite a way to go. Now a pie made from leftovers is in the oven and we are going to have supper. Haywagon is in the arena but still not unloaded. Somehow that has to fit into tomorrow, I guess.


Jul. 25th, 2011 10:19 pm
altivo: (rocking horse)
Or so it seems, for a day or two. The new duck house and yard are almost ready: fox and raccoon proof we hope. New wood needs paint and they're done. Outdoor area is completely enclosed, sides, top, bottom-- with welded wire mesh.

And I planted flower seeds. Late in the season, but they were sent by a good friend and we will see if they grow.

Archived the entire SAS C directory tree from the old Amiga and transferred it via ftp, but too late tonight to unpack it and see if I got everything. Probably not. I imagine there are changes in the startup-script and possibly a library or two that need to be copied over as well. The original installation logs were still intact and came with it, so I should be able to figure it out.

I need to get HiSoft Pascal as well. ARexx was incorporated into AmigaOS as of 3.0, so I shouldn't need to transfer that. There are other things, of course, that might be nice to retrieve. I had a lot of MIDI and music software, but I'm not sure how useful it is on UAE instead of a real Amiga. Probably no need for the word processor (ProWrite) and I'm pretty sure I already had all the actual documents converted but I'll double check that. Project for later. The Amiga boots up readily for now, but the bridge board needs two or three tries before it "catches" the shared library and memory that is essential to making the ethernet functional.

Google is clearly making a fool of itself again with GooglePlus. They just don't get social networking even now. Mad purges of users, inconsistent treatment of complaints and interpretation of policy or terms of service will not win them support or users. They're making even the vagaries of Facebook look good by comparison.
altivo: My mare Contessa (nosy tess)
Runaway asparagus. Happens when we fail to check for new shoots and cut them every couple of days. They have turned into small trees, so I guess we will leave them for this year now.

Making rhubarb pie again for Gary, realized that the rhubarb I had sitting in the fridge was getting rather tired so went out to cut some fresh. Only when I got out there, sharp paring knife in hand, I was greeted by one of the Brit neighbors' horses who started to come right up to me in the middle of the garden. He had obviously gotten through their flimsy fences (not the first time.) He nickered at me but was not afraid apparently.

I didn't want to deal with being nosed by a friendly horse while I had a sharp tool in my hand, though, so I turned back toward the barn to get Gary and a lead rope and unload the knife. Of course when we came back the horse was gone. Or so I thought until I saw him trotting down the fence line on our side. He disappeared on the edge of the wood and when I got up to the spot I couldn't figure out how he got through. I expect he'll be back, though. Runaway horse.

Haven't seen the fox for a couple of days, but heard her at night and we have been finding chicken parts again. Gary says he found a foot. I keep finding stray feathers that are odd colors and definitely not from any of our usual wild birds. Oh, and coming back from looking for the runaway horse, we heard a woodpecker in the woods and hunted him down on a dead oak about 30 feet up. It was a large hairy woodpecker, I'm pretty sure, though I only heard him and saw his back. Gary thinks he went into a hole in the tree. I suppose that may mean he's a she. We'll have to watch.

Time to sample that pie...
altivo: The Clydesdale Librarian (Default)
Promised photos, here they are.

First the obverse of some coins. The Canadian silver "fish scale" is the tiny one at the bottom.

Old coins, front

Now the reverse, showing the buffalo (actually a bison) and the Bluenose sailing schooner. The "fish scale" really should have a fish, it's kinda boring.

Old coins: back

And for a bonus, yummy stuff from the garden. Perennials are lovely, they just come back every year and need only water and some compost. Rhubarb and asparagus here.

Spring bounty

Our lovely sunny morning is clouding over this afternoon, and a tornado watch has been sounded for all of Illinois though I'm doubtful anything serious will occur. Now to make a rhubarb pie, in case the power cuts out later.
altivo: Clydesdale Pegasus (pegasus)
Tra la! I mentioned white trillium last week I think, and here's a photo of one of the clumps I propagated last year. All have survived to bloom again this spring.

White trillium

I've always loved the trillium, which is a common woodland blossom back home in Michigan. I don't recall seeing redbud so often there, but the small tree/large shrub is widespread in Illinois and Indiana though it grows best rather farther south than our location here. Photo taken this evening of the first blossoms on the redbud I planted as a twig about eleven years ago.

Redbud in bloom

In other farm news, apple trees are already passing their peak. I hope there were enough insects to pollinate them. We had asparagus from the garden for dinner, and it was infinitely better than the factory farmed grocery store kind. Sweet, tender, mild-flavored. Quite delicious. Rhubarb will be ready for a first cutting this weekend, I think. The blueberries are in blossom, and I should try to get a photo of those flowers. They are unusual, bell-shaped pink things.

Saw a pair of tree swallows (intense blue on back and top of wings, white underneath) in the orchard and watched one of them fly into a bluebird house. She didn't come out for several minutes. I suspect eggs or babies in there.

Summer is almost here. The scent of (just opened) honeysuckle and lilac fills the air every time I step outdoors.
altivo: Horsie cupcakes (cupcake)
Well, not the weather. This is the grayest spring I can remember in many years.

Despite a guild meeting in the morning, shopping in the afternoon, and Gary going to a music event this evening so I'm left with the dogs, it feels less hectic than any day in the last two weeks. That's the definite improvement. I even had time to read over my dinner.

Outdoors, spring proceeds with or without the sun. Lettuce, spinach, and chard are sprouting. For some reason, peas are lagging and may have to be replanted tomorrow. Apples, crabs, and pears are blossoming, not quite open enough to scent the air yet, but soon I hope. And no hail or ice storms to reduce the crop this year please.

Also, we have redbud in bloom. I have been nurturing a redbud for ten years, and finally it has blossoms on a couple of branches. You folks farther south may laugh, but we are near the border of where redbud will no longer tolerate the winters. This one was started from one of those little twigs that the Arbor Day Foundation gives away. After three years it stood about four feet high and had lots of foliage, so I thought it was going to make it. Then it winterkilled right back to the roots and I figured it was dead. It is planted in a relatively sheltered spot and is partly obscured by other saplings that grew more easily. A Bradford pear and a crabapple from the same bundle of twigs now stand over 20 feet tall and bloom profusely in May.

So I forgot about the redbud for a couple of years. Then in summer I noticed the characteristic leaves again and sure enough, it had resprouted from the roots. It has a rather lopsided shape, but many redbuds do grow that way. Early this spring I was convinced that the tree had died over the winter, but now the rose and magenta blossoms are appearing. These come before the leaves, and are intensely colored. With any luck, they are a sign that the rootstock is healthy and the tree will continue to spread.

Rhubarb is almost ready for a first cutting. Last night we ate the first asparagus from the garden. Dandelions are blooming. Yes, I know, my ancestors celebrated spring by eating the dandelion leaves, but I don't care for them, thanks.

Oh, and while I was putting the horses and sheep to bed for the night, I heard a fox barking incessantly. Finally I went outside the barn to try to figure out where it was and could tell that it was just at the back corner of the arena. Sure enough, a movement in the undergrowth and then I saw her cross the lane and head west behind the arena. A smallish fox, probably a vixen, strawberry blond rather than deep red, and possibly a bit thin due either to nursing kits or to poor luck hunting. This could well be the kit that was tangled in our sheep fence a few years back, and had to be released by hand. The color and size would fit.
altivo: Plush horsey (plushie)
But Thursday usually is, because I get a chunk of it to myself, even at work.

Remember last spring when I went to see the marsh marigolds in bloom and Timmie gave me a big hunk of showy white trillium root?

Widerange View

I divided that root into five pieces, and planted them in several spots around our place here. They all did still bloom last year (the buds were already showing when I got it) but I was concerned that they might not all survive the winter. They did. Checking yesterday and today, I found all five pieces coming up again, and all of them have flower buds. Hooray! Photos when the flowers open.

Hearing unfamiliar birds around, even though it's been cloudy and raining much of the day. I suspect the warblers are starting to pass through. We will be going to count birds, especially the migrants passing through, a week from Saturday. Wish us sunny weather, please. Last year was gloomy, cold, and rainy.

I have committed a small splurge. I do have a nice tax refund coming, but it will all be eaten by the property taxes. I'm not getting a raise (no one is) but this month had three paydays in it instead of two. Consequently, I have purchased three modest but utterly unnecessary things: a Carcassonne game because I'm curious about it (both the table board game version and the computer version,) a plush okapi (Webkins) because it looks so cute, and a lion puppet from Folkmanis. I may buy some clothes too, but good quality is so expensive... and cheap Walmart stuff doesn't last.

The latest issue of Audubon magazine arrived today and has articles on both Florida black bears and urban coyotes. Some great photos, including a coyote riding a shuttle train in Portland, and people trying to coax a coyote out from under a taxi in Chicago.

Bedtime. One more work day this week, and no major plans for the weekend I think. Yay!
altivo: Running Clydesdale (running clyde)
Oo-oo-oh. September's gone.

Plucked a nice big (6 inch diameter) puffball out of the grass next to the sheep pen this evening. White, slightly elongated, fresh and solid. That's going to be tasty. Washed it off and put it in the refrigerator so I can take a day or two to decide what to make from it. We haven't seen a puffball here in about three years I think. Have to look in all the usual spots now. This one was in an entirely new place, though.

Seems like I accomplished little today other than normal barn chores and making dinner (home made pizza) even though I only had to be at work this morning. Well, no matter, I'm worn out now and need to get some sleep.

Gary came back from his evening class with severe cold symptoms. Now I'm coughing, so I suspect I'm about to get the same thing. Not a good time for it, but you never get to choose, do you?
altivo: Horsie cupcakes (cupcake)
And I haven't even been drinking. Much progress on the remaining rug to be finished. With luck, I'll have it off the loom as early as tomorrow evening. It's called "Winter Sunset" and is a largely abstract design in white, beige, gray, and brown with a large irregular red spot near the middle. I'm really pleased with the thickness and the irregular bumpy texture that developed.

Cold enough this morning that the house windows were fogged inside, and we have double pane glass. The reading was about 41°F. It didn't get much above 60 all day, though at least the sun came out.

The crazy cyclamen plant that bloomed for a solid year and more 2008-2009 on my windowsill at work has started up again. When it finally went dormant I brought it home and let it rest, and Gary managed to wake it up again late this summer. It has about 20 red blossoms on it right now with more coming. I wonder if it will go nuts again the way it did before. There were as many as 40 blossoms open at once, and it just continued to produce them for at least 15 months continuously. I think the normally cool temperatures and morning sunlight at my window there were contributing factors. I also watered it with waste water from the aquariums, which I'll have to start doing again. The flowers are crimson, and the foliage is deep green with red veining, so it's altogether very handsome.

We think the hummingbirds are gone for the season now. Last week we were seeing as many as four at once, but it dropped off to singles by Friday and on Saturday we saw only one early in the morning. No sightings since then, at home or at work.

Now to bed, I think.
altivo: My mare Contessa (nosy tess)
I still need to put yarn into a mordant bath tonight and let it soak until tomorrow.

The strange tower like construction I noted along highway 23 last week has acquired another feature today: a tall, cylindrical pressure tank shrouded with what looks like stainless steel or possibly polished aluminum. I start to suspect that the structure is a fractional distillation plant for producing liquid nitrogen and/or oxygen. Why they would choose that location I have no idea, but I can't come up with any other explanation for the structure or the way in which they've cleared everything within an eighth of a mile or so. Glad I'm not their neighbor. Since the process requires very high pressure and lots of electricity to run the compression system, I'd have thought they would locate in a more industrial area. However, the air may be somewhat cleaner here (or at least easier to clean, as the contaminants are probably dust for the most part where an industrial region would have all sorts of pollutants in the air. The air must be compressed and chilled down to -200F, then warmed slowly. The nitrogen boils off first at about -196F, leaving mostly liquid oxygen and argon. The oxygen boils off at -183F, and the argon somewhat warmer than that. The residue is made up of trace amounts of various heavier constituents. Liquid nitrogen is marketable for industrial purposes and other uses, including the manufacture of fertilizer. The oxygen is more hazardous, as it not only freezes things on contact like the nitrogen, but sparks into flame and explodes readily. Argon and nitrogen are used inside various light bulbs and tubes. Dry ice or pressurized carbon dioxide can also be produced as by-products and are marketable commodities.

Mosquito population is dropping now, and dry weather is forecast for the next week or more, which will help. I seem to have acquired a lot more bites than I realized while gathering goldenrod flowers. I still need more. This morning I spotted one of our volunteer gardeners working in the wildflower plot and thought she was pulling goldenrod. I went out to ask her, but it turned out to be primrose once I got closer. She pointed out some areas with goldenrod in them, though, and told me to pull or cut as much as I want.

August 2017



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