More Fence Posts

Yes, we are still working on the garden fence posts, but we are making good progress.  Since we have a dual purpose area planned – garden and chicken yard – we need to make sure it is critter proof.  We have 10 posts cemented in now.  Did I mention that we have a LOT of rocks?

Here are just a few from one hole.  You can see how big they are compared to Rick’s hand. All these from one two foot post hole!

On the positive side, it was a beautiful couple of days to be outside.  Cool with a nice breeze and some very interesting cloud formations.

In the meantime, out garden is doing very well.  We weren’t sure what to expect in this cool climate but all the seeds we planted have come up.  The lettuce and broccoli we planted as seedlings are really growing.

The deer continue to get closer and closer to the garden, but so far so good with our unconventional fencing.

Fence Posts

 The deer are creeping closer and closer to our garden, so we decided we better get busy on a real fence.  We spent what seemed like days laying it out and pulling strings to square it up.  It is now not only perfectly symmetrical, it is also exactly parallel to the house.  I hereby formally apologize to Mr. Scott, my 9th grade algebra teacher.  I have actually used one thing I learned in your class in real life 😉

Since we had so many holes to dig, we bought an auger.  It said on the box it was a “2-Man” style.

 

I told Rick he should find another one to help him.

He assured me that really meant “two person.”  Since there was no one else available, I was the second person.  I am sure it was much easier than digging with posthole diggers, but it still wasn’t easy.  We have a LOT of rocks!  Here are the only some of the rocks that came out of one two foot hole.

When the auger hits those, you have to stop, lift it out of the hole, take out the rocks, then lift it back into the hole and start again.  Sometimes the only way to get the rocks out is with a sledge hammer and rock pick.  Doesn’t that sound like fun?   Now you know why our fencing has been laying on the ground!

 

We finally did get three holes done and Rick carried the fence posts out.  Now we only have ten more fence posts, and then six double-wide holes for the fruit trees.  I can hardly wait!

This & That

It has been a busy week with lots of little projects.  We decided to start a small orchard to go with the garden.  The trees had a bit of a rough ride home (45 miles) hanging out the back of the truck, but they made it OK.  We got three apples, two cherries and a plum to start with.

The garden is still doing well, in spite of having no fence up yet to keep the deer out.  We still have the fencing laying down around the plants.  The lettuce and broccoli – two things we’ve never had much luck growing in the California heat – are doing well.

We also built a frame inside the covered area of the shop for wood storage so it will be out of the weather.  It will be a lot nicer not to have to wade through the snow to get dry wood this winter!  Now we need to split and stack that huge pile of logs waiting for us.

All the hillsides and meadows are really greening up after the warmer weather and rain.  We had another inch and a half this week. 

We saw the first of the lupine just starting to bloom yesterday.  They grow wild all over our property.

Birds

We put out a bird feeder, actually two, and have been rewarded with a lot of intersting birds.    

We don’t know much about birds, but according to the field guide we bought, this is a Black-headed Grosbeak.

This one seems to be some type of sparrow?  He doesn’t really look like any of the pictures in the book.

Today after church we went to lunch at the Marblemount Diner, one of the three choices in town.  They have a small orchard and six hummingbird feeders hanging near the windows.  There were probably ten to twelve hummingbirds flying around all during our lunch.  One was a beautiful orange color that we had never seen before.  Unfortunately he was camera shy.  This is one of the others who cooperated by holding still.

We have also seen birds in places we hadn’t planned.  Here is our deer feeder with the resident Blue Jay (or Steller’s Jay in the book).

He seems to think the deer block is his personal feeder.

The birds aren’t the only ones who are enjoying the feeders.  This little guy, we named him Theodore, waits til the birds spill out the seeds then he runs out and gobbles them up out of the bushes and grass.

At least the dropped seeds aren’t going to waste, and he really is cute!

Spring Runoff

 

The record breaking temperatures have caused the creeks and rivers around here to rise dramatically.  The Cascade River is the south border of our property.  Here it is when Alex visited in November . 

And here it is today.These two pictures were taken from the same location, looking west.

Here is the Cascade looking east up to the glaciers last summer.

And here it is today. 

And our usually crystal clear water is MUDDY!  Here it is last month when the Canada goose was enjoying the sun.

And here it is today.

The creeks (around here that is pronounced Crick) are really flowing too.  Jordan Creek is about a half mile from us and flows into the Cascade.

About 3/4 of a mile below us, the Cascade river flows into the Skagit river.  This is the confluence of the Skagit & Cascade rivers.  The bridge in the background is the one we go over to get into town.

 With the Cascade running so muddy, you can really see where the two come together.  The Skagit is glacier green and the Cascade is the muddy brown water.

Garden

 

We finished planting our garden today. Though it seems late in the season to us, we are right on time for this area. It was a warm, sunny, beautiful day to be outside.

Our soil consultant Don told us our soil is very acidic, not to mention full of rocks. We knew we would have to add lots of organic matter and amendments. Rick tilled the patch and got out a lot of rocks, big rocks and little rocks – all kinds of rocks.  Then we added ash from the burn pile, mulched leaves, dry grass, lime and bags of peat moss and composted manure.

We also don’t have our garden fence in yet, so here is our version.

We just laid the wire fencing down next to the rows.  The deer are really skittish and won’t walk on it to nibble on our plants.  Amazingly this has worked really well.  We’ve had our cooler weather plants in for over a month and the broccoli and lettuce haven’t been touched by the deer – and we have a lot of deer!  Hopefully they won’t figure it out and we will be able to harvest everything we planted.

The rock next to the tire (which holds some of our potatoes) is just one of the many, many we took out of the garden.  Isn’t it nice we have all the free materials we need to build those rock walls?  We just have to dig them out and stack them up.