It’s well into tick season and for many, getting outdoors means dealing with ticks. Not only are they annoying little creepy-crawlies, they are also vectors for many different diseases.
According to the CDC, the following disease/tick species associations are notweworthy in the United States (they are not necessarily exclusive to these particular tick species and there are likely to be more diseases, too):
Ticks, Ticks, and more Ticks full post
(1668 words, estimated 6:40 mins reading time)
My pocket prairie is coming alive this year. With more reliable rain and a little more time for things to establish, I’m getting a lot of neat flowers. Not even close to all of the ones I planted, though. The perennials pictured were planted as already mature plants, while the annuals were all planted from seed. I planted many perennials from seed last fall that will not flower until 2013 at minimum.
Permanent link to this post
(73 words, 11 images, estimated 18 secs reading time)
I’ve got a vacation coming up, and I plan on spending a good portion of my time learning some photography. The professional photographer I’ll be learning from suggested I get a few items. I already knew I needed a decent tripod. He suggested some filters for me. This post isn’t about the filters…I’m enough of a photography newbie that I don’t feel in a position to review those.
This post is about the tripod and ball head that was my number one priority.
Photo Gear full post
(756 words, 17 images, estimated 3:01 mins reading time)
It’s been a little while since my last post. Forgive me, as I’ve been busy. The semester ended, and just afterward, I spent a week visiting family out of state.
I had hoped for some new GPS adventures from my trip, but the weather was rotten when I had time to get out, and when the weather was good and the dirt was drying out, I was busiest visiting with folks. Sigh…maybe another time. I had high hopes for enjoying new trails (to me).
2010 Gardens Update full post
(712 words, 12 images, estimated 2:51 mins reading time)
For this Earth Day 2010, I am making a commitment to get my backyard certified as a Best of Texas Backyard Habitat.
Thankfully, I have about .8 acre, so it will be relatively easy to meet the requirements of the certification program.
What do I need to incorporate? Well, there’s a list of things you need.
- An obviously native plant habitat. Volunteers will not count plants to see if you have a majority of native plants. If there are more than two plants listed in the Invasive Exotic Species section of this webpage, we will reserve the right to deny certification as a Best of Texas Backyard Habitat.
Best of Texas Backyard Habitat full post
(727 words, estimated 2:54 mins reading time)
This has been in the makings since my wife and I bought our first home in 2008. When we bought the place, it was new, and the builder hadn’t bothered to do anything with the yard. No grass, no landscaping, nothing. It was just a bare sandy lawn. We decided then that we were going to make this place look nice while we lived here.
This is what it looked like when we moved in:
I was beginning to lay out the patio and pour the concrete footings to prepare for the pergola nearly 2yrs ago.
Building a Pergola full post
(548 words, 17 images, estimated 2:12 mins reading time)
I learned today I need to get a building permit before I start constructing my pergola. No worries on that, my plans for the thing are rock solid. But I have to submit a sketch with my application.
I tried to sketch it by hand, but I just can’t pull that off since the cancer.
So I decided to try it out in Google Sketchup. Quite a simple program to use, but very cool for 3d modeling. I’m impressed!
I sketched up this alternate design with more even spacing between the second tier beams. Hmmm, now there’s a dilemma. Which one do you prefer?
Permanent link to this post
(105 words, 2 images, estimated 25 secs reading time)
My list of projects for this spring is starting to get going. In a few weeks, my area will be at its average date of last frost (March 15 or s0) so I need to have my vegetable garden ready for planting. That means I need to have the area fenced to keep the rabbits out. It’s nice and toasty this week (in the 60’s), so I think I’m going to get that fence installed. A few wooden posts, steel t-posts to supplement, and rabbit fencing. I plan on installing a pair of gates since it’s a big garden, too. Once that is done, I can get to planting some woody species…I absolutely want some blackberries. Maybe some raspberries, too.
Spring To-Do List Heats Up full post
(359 words, estimated 1:26 mins reading time)
I finally planted the rest of my vegetables today. Due to budgetary issues, the wife didn’t want me buying more seed starting gear…I had to make due with what I had. I had some extra starter discs, but I didn’t have a tray to put them in. So I improvised. I’m not using the lid on my big tray anymore, because the plants are too tall. So that top became the bottom for my other veggies.
2010 Vegetables Cont’d full post
(1032 words, 3 images, estimated 4:08 mins reading time)
I tried to start a vegetable garden last year and I had all my seeds started…until I got leukemia. When that happened, the whole project halted. I had tilled the garden, fertilized with horse manure, and all that. But being in a coma for a month dampens the ability to work on such a project.
I’m trying again this year…with some improvements. Last year, I just put my seeds in an eastern window. That was grossly insufficient. They came up spindly and weak. This year, I built a growing rack to hang grow lights on. It’s allowing me to start more seeds, as well as give them a better start.
Vegetable and Herb Garden 2010 full post
(250 words, 2 images, estimated 1:00 mins reading time)