Monthly Archives: July 2012

Ittiest Bittiest Lizard Ever

By | Animals | 3 Comments

I was sitting on the front steps drinking iced tea and reading “Fire Study” (and a big thanks to the people who recommended the trilogy! Have devoured it completley.) and I happened to glance over at my tea and saw the teeniest little blue-tailed lizard darting away to one of the flowerpots.

He was maybe two inches long, much of it tail, and given the numerous varieties of skink in our area, all of whom have juveniles with blue tails, I cannot possibly tell you what specific species he was. He was teeny. A skinklet.

He was also fixated on my water glass.

I probably spent half an hour there reading and sneaking looks over at the skinklet. He would get closed to the iced tea, sniff around it, notice me and scurry away. His toes were finer than needles.

Finally I snuck a glance over and discovered him carefully licking condensation off the sides of the glass.

I was reading on my iPad and had take the photo with it, and I couldn’t move most of my body without spooking him, but here’s what I managed to get.

I wish I'd been able to get a photo of the tongue.

That glass is a half-size tumbler. The skinklet was WEE.

Stuff like this is why I keep reading on the front steps of the house, even if I do get bit by mosquitoes a lot.

Bumper Crop

By | My Garden | 6 Comments

Don’t let anybody tell you that heirloom tomatoes just don’t produce very well.

Mostly Pink Brandywine, couple of Cherokee Purples in there too.

This is just the last couple days worth, off three plants. We’ve gone through a couple of bowls full doing tomato sandwiches, bruschetta, chopping them over spaghetti, Kevin’s putting them in his salads…now they’re starting to pile up a bit as we run out of the usual methods. Kevin swears he’ll make salsa or sauce or something tomorrow.

There’s still probably a bowl worth ripe on the plants, I just haven’t gone out to bring them in yet. (When I get really ambitious, I have one potted tomato that has run its course and needs to be sent to the compost heap and replaced with petunias or something. Given the heat recently, I am not all that ambitious.)

It’s been a heckuva year for tomatoes—one of the Brandywines, trained over an arch, is really quite a glorious thing, and I’m probably going to do that every year now—and even the notoriously finicky Cherokee Purple is producing a bumper crop.

Incidentally, they are all upside-down in the bowl because America’s Test Kitchen determined in multiple trials that a tomato stored upside down—or with tape over the stem hole!—lasts two or three days longer than stored upright. Turns out that the air and the bacteria and whatnot that lead it to rot get in primarily through the hole left by the stem, so by placing them stem-side down, you get a couple of extra days on your tomato. How awesome is that?


By | My Garden | 4 Comments

I was at a party last night and my buddy Jason told me I needed to post more photos of my garden. So did a couple other people.

I always assumed that posting photos of your garden was sort of like posting photos of your kids—you do it now and again, but the only people who really care are you and your mother. But far be it from me to question!

The nice thing about photos is that I can get the angle so that it looks all lush and cottagey and you can’t see the war I am waging against goosegrass and sheep sorrel. And you can’t see the places where the coneflowers all fell over and the serious lean on the rosinweed and the openings in the middle of the catmint.

This is the good angle.

But y’know, there are more bees, dragonflies, and frogs here than there are anywhere in a mile radius (to the best of my knowledge) so to heck with it. Let it lean! I wasn’t gonna wind up in a garden magazine any time soon anyhow.

And now a close-up!

Cropped to hide soaker hose