Friday, August 3

Pumpkin...Where Have You Gone? A Tribute to My Garden

I can't believe we are into August already.  This has been a strange season, for sure!  My garden is doing so poorly this year that it's almost laughable--almost.  There has not been enough time lapsed for me to laugh yet (frowny face).  The one pumpkin that had started growing all of a sudden had a hole chewed in it one day, and the next day it was completely gone from the vine.  I was so sad about that...I think the smell of pumpkin pie is fading, fading...nary a cucumber has grown despite the vines growing well and constantly flowering, and I got one ear of corn that was cute, but was also chewed on when I checked on it.  To spite whatever critter has been munching on my minute harvest that is yet to be discovered, I pulled the ear of corn off, shucked it, and took it inside with the intention of taking a picture of the sad little ear, but then forgot and just threw it away.  If I can't have it, no creature can!  Haha.  I do plan on either making my own hot pepper spray or buying some from the store, if I can find any left, and applying it to whatever is left to see if it is a successful deterrent.  I have some little green peppers that have been untouched by the furry bandit, but I fear it's only a matter of time.  They just don't seem to be growing very large--a fact that I'm sure can be contributed to the intensely hot and drought conditions.  I have gotten a total of six heirloom chocolate cherry tomatoes from the tomato plant, and I still intend to keep the seeds and try it again next year.  I water ever other day or so, and the temps have abated for the time being, but I fear that it's too late to save my goodies.  I never got any beans, and in fact, holes had been chewed in the leaves, so I gave up and yanked out all of the plants.  I'm looking into a product for next year called Diatomaceous Earth, a product that is comprised of pulverized crustaceans called Diatomes.  Insects are literally shredded by the tiny particles of shells, and they dehydrate and die from it.  The bad part is that it kills not only the bad insects, but the good insects too.  It's not supposed to harm earthworms, though, and there is a food-grade version that is specifically made for dusting on your garden plants.  If anyone has used this and had a good experience, or if you tried it and didn't like it, I'd love to know--just leave a message at the bottom of the post. 
The pumpkin that is no more.
Cherry tomatoes soldier on.
Don't mess with my corn, critter.
Cucumbers, cucumber salad, cucumber slices with salt, freezer pickles...none are to be this year.
Tiny green peppers!
My only consolation of my pathetic garden is that I know that many gardens around here have suffered the same fate.  Try again next year, I guess!

Owl Corner - Eurasian Eagle Owl
I like how she seems to be smiling in this picture.
I first saw this gal on our trip to the Cincinnati Zoo, when a zookeeper had her out for people to see up close.  She was beautiful, and her name is Caspian.  Her species of owl is not one to be trifled with!  The eagle owl is one of the largest owls in the world, growing up to two and a half feet tall.  They have a wingspan of around six feet--as tall as a grown man!  They are found across Eurasia, and their favorite places to nest are on rocky cliffs in wooded areas.  They tend to prey on small mammals, such as rodents, but will also hunt smaller birds, and are capable of catching other birds in midair.  They tend to hunt at night, like most owls.  This particular owl in the pictures had recently laid two clutches of eggs, but none hatched.  They typically lay 2-4 eggs at one time.
Here she's showing her beautiful profile.
Information take from The Cincinnati Zoo website and  Photos are my own and are not to be copied or reproduced without my permission or credit.

There has been a lot of hype lately over Chick-Fil-A and the statements made by the owner of the company, a Christian who has never tried to hide his faith or beliefs.  During an interview, he was asked of his view on same-sex marriage, and he simply stated what he believed--without malice, without hate, and without anger toward those who don't agree.  It ignited a firestorm of hate from the people who are in favor of same-sex marriage.  I, as a Christian, hold the same beliefs of the owner of Chick-Fil-A.  I believe that God created man and woman to be mates, and that is the reason that traditional marriages and relationships have worked for thousands of years.  Man and woman were designed for specific purposes in relationships, and honestly, a family cannot function without both the husband and wife, father and mother roles.  God knew what He was doing when He set this all up!!  I promise.  For those who hold a different viewpoint, be glad you are fortunate enough to live in a country that still permits free speech and you are welcome to your opinion; in the Middle East it is... well...not allowed, to put it lightly.  This debate was never really about gay rights, despite what the media has blown it up to be.  It's simply about having the right and freedom to have a certain moral viewpoint, and the freedom to run a company according to those moral views.  The owner likely keeps these verses close in his heart for running his business: "But remember the Lord your God, for it is he who gives you the ability to produce wealth, and so confirms His covenant, which He swore to your ancestors, as it is today. If you ever forget the Lord your God and follow other gods and worship and bow down to them, I testify against you today that you will surely be destroyed" (Deut. 8:18-19) and "Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is —His good, pleasing and perfect will" (Romans 2:12).  He is also a businessman, though, and has never, and likely will never, discriminate or refuse service or employment to anyone who does not hold his same beliefs.  And that's all I'll say on the matter.  Except that Chick-Fil-A is delicious.

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