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Friday, May 8, 2009

The Merry Month of May, Hooray!

Here are consecutive views I caught at the north end of our street, on the way out of town the other day; snow covered Pikes Peak behind my favorite apple orchard and the Arkansas River bluffs. I love this orchard, and have photographed it, and one old gnarled tree in particular, many times over all seasons. As I turned the corner and drove past the edge of the orchard, I saw an old man and woman setting out the irrigation pipes for the summer, so I stopped and told them how lovely I thought their orchard was and that I appreciated their hard work at keeping it looking so good. [Click on the photos to get the scope of the scenes.]

Wow after a couple of 80s degrees days, Joe had to turn the water into our swamp cooler, aka evaporative cooler, which we use in place of a refrigerated A/C in this dry climate. Today while shopping in Canon City I saw 91 degrees F on a bank sign! Sorry, that is just too hot for this early in the year, but we have a couple of cool fronts coming in for the weekend with the possibility of more rain. While working in the garden this evening I heard and felt my first mosquitos of the year. I love the moisture we've gotten, but I'm not crazy about the mosquitos. Especially after what my sweet DIL, Robyn, has gone through due to West Nile Virus with Encephalitis (sp?).

I knew I was feeling tireder, weaker, and slower since the 2 mini strokes last summer, but today when I went to buy compost for the vegetable garden I wasn't able to lift the heavy bags of compost onto the cart and had to get a staff member to help me. Last spring, I lifted my own bags, but that was before.... I'm just so glad that I am still able to do some gardening, even thought I have to have a little help from my friends (yard men Dave and Carl).

It was rather nice, when I was ready to plant the new Blaze climbing rose at the front fence, I didn't have to dig my own hole, I just showed Carl where I wanted it, and he dug through the broken and burned chunks of concrete and brick that are down about a foot beneath the surface of the yard. This is the debris of the old oil refinery that blew up here in 1926.

The Florence area had the first oil wells and refineries west of Pennsylvania, before Texas and Oklahoma. We only have a few oil wells and no need for a refinery here now. While the price of gas was up so high there was some more exploration in the area, but I haven't heard any more about it since the price dropped.
Today I picked up quite a few flowers and plants to transplant into pots and the garden. It's supposed to be a bit cooler tomorrow so I hope I won't have to wait until evening to do my gardening tomorrow. I'm going to have to sweet talk Joe into unloading the compost bags from my car trunk to the veggie garden tomorrow so I can dig it in and get some seeds planted. I haven't had the nerve to put out frost sensitive tomato, pepper, or squash plants yet. There is still snow on Greenhorn Peak (named for Cerno Verde, a Comanche chief who caused grief for the Spanish military in the pioneer days) to our south and the old timers around here say that is how you know when it's warm enough to safely put out those plants. Lots of others are already setting them out, so maybe it is safe. I'll at least wait until the weekend cold spell is over.

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