Ticks, Ticks, and more Ticks

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):

May Pocket Prairie

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.

Photo Gear

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.

2010 Gardens Update

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.

Best of Texas Backyard Habitat

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.

Building a Pergola

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.

Pergola plans

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.

Spring To-Do List Heats Up

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.

2010 Vegetables Cont’d

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.

Vegetable and Herb Garden 2010

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.