Volunteer Melons

I have never successfully grown melons until this year! I didn’t start them from seed. I didn’t plant them. I didn’t even know what they were (although I had secretly hoped they would be cucumbers)!

I had finally given up after losing seedlings for years.

This year we had many inches of rain, and I had dumped a large amount of last year’s compost onto this particular bed. The compost was composed in part of all the vegetable scraps from my kitchen–including all the guts from the melons we ate last season.

Since I never turn my pile to keep it burning as hot as possible, not all the seeds are killed. For this reason, I have oregano, thyme, borage, and even petunias growing out of cracks in the sidewalk, patio, and driveway.  This year I didn’t plant flower seeds in one of my front borders. I just waited to see what would come up! (What came up? Bachelor’s buttons, cosmos, lots of dill, poppies, snapdragons, borage, marigolds, and milkweed.)

Here is to enjoying the fruits of volunteer labor! Begonia

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Where Do I Start?

We just returned from a vacation to Oregon. Recently my oldest boy, his wife, and our only grandchild moved to Portland and hosted us for the days before and after we saw our daughter off for a semester abroad in Japan. She took this picture of the Cape Meares light. Doesn’t she have a good eye for composition?

She had never seen the sea, and it had been a sore point with her for a number of years. I kept telling her to be patient. But who can be patient when they are over 20 years old and haven’t seen the sea yet?

We also traveled to the Columbia River Gorge area with it’s waterfalls and steady winds.  We stopped at the observatory to view the river and the mountain peaks but we couldn’t see far because of all the smoke from the fires in Idaho, California, and southern Oregon. We did see this much of Mount Hood after leaving the lavender farm.

 

I was amazed at all the stuff they grow at once in Oregon: peaches, pears, plums, grapes, strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, blackberries–all ripe at the SAME TIME! (Here raspberries come in May, strawberries in June, blueberries in late July/August, and blackberries in August/September. I’d heard of lavender farms in Europe. It turns out that we have them in the states as well! Yes, it really did smell wonderful.

We spent about 10 days altogether in Oregon and we just scratched the surface. We saw the public rose garden, the Japanese and Chinese gardens in Portland. Waterfalls–one state park had 10 waterfalls–we saw 8 of them. We climbed almost to the top of Saddleback mountain.  Here’s where I stopped!

It doesn’t look as daunting in a picture as it did in real life. After hiking straight up for a mile and a half (and a mile and a half doesn’t seem like much until you are hiking straight up)! The rest of trail was in the open with hundreds of feet of drop on each side. The trails were covered with chain link fence laid down on the ground to keep the rock from rolling out from under your feet. There were also low cables to hold onto at early points in the trail–I noted one during our climb that had snapped and was trailing down the side of the mountain. From here on up there was cable most of the way. The humbling part of the whole endeavor was all the younger people who skipped up and down ahead of me. One young woman was scampering down from the top chattering on her smart phone. Honestly?!

 

At Ecola State Park, we were able to stand on Tillamook Head where Clark (of Lewis and Clark) had so admired the view and see the Tillamook light, a seal fishing among the submerged rocks, and hike through a temperate rainforest. (The waterfall state park was also a rain forest–receiving about 80 inches or rain a year!)

Yes, this is a branch of a giant tree and it is covered with big ferns! Here is a picture to give you an idea of the size of these trees. (My husband in the picture is just about 6 feet tall.)

We were very impressed with Oregon. The scale of things is much greater than we were used to coming from the Midwest. I have to say though that it still was very good to get home! Begonia

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Our 28th Wedding Anniversary

We had our 28th wedding anniversary last week. My husband reminded me that it was a special one because I married him when I was 28 years old and that meant that I have now spent half of my life married to him.

I gave him a new wallet and he gave me these flowers, some overpriced strawberries (that I had been denying myself), and a love letter very like the one he wrote me on our wedding day. To quote my husband, “It really feels like we have one shared life.” Begonia

 

 

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