Friday, September 17, 2010

still blooming

damn, i haven’t posted in a long time. i haven’t even been online in days. i’ve been really busy working (and playing) the last two weeks, and my email got a virus that was (is?) a pain in the ass, then my computer caught its own little malware thingy that wouldn’t allow me to connect to the internet except through firefox--so i battled until i thought it was dead, then i was so annoyed and exasperated that i abandoned the computer for days. it still isn’t right.

doing odd jobs at the literary center has been a lot of fun. they have a couple empty offices so when i’m not working at the front desk i get to claim a nice, spacious room where it’s super quiet and easy to concentrate. the first week i curled up on this couch and edited the anthology, which was full of errors (very satisfying), but it was also painfully long and took me twice the amount of time i expected to finish.

the cabin is a bring-your-dog-to-work kinda place so andy got to be my assistant for a few days. i think he was pretty bored, but it’s better than leaving him home alone, and he was so well-behaved, he mostly slept, waking up occasionally to gaze longingly through the window at dogs walking by on the greenbelt.

while i was there my mom found these two old typewriters up in the attic. no one remembers how they ended up there. a local business is donating a new-old-stock typing table for their upcoming auction, so she’s going to use one of the typewriters as a prop.

i love old typewriters, especially ones with history:

this one belonged to idaho author vardis fisher. looks like it was his travel typewriter--it has an old “french line” (compagnie générale transatlantique) ocean liner luggage sticker on it.

a few days later i found this old underwood at the distro for about $5. it works beautifully, even the ribbon is fresh enough. i have a feeling it’s going to come in handy for a lot of things--i love the look of typed letters, i love the sound the machine makes, i love the challenge of it, and i love that you can manually lay out the type exactly how you want it without microsoft word and its autocorrect bullshit stepping in to mess things up. and of course i love that it doesn’t catch horrid viruses.

art in the park was last weekend, so i walked over there after work on friday--julia davis park is right across the street from the cabin.

it wasn’t too crowded friday evening but when i came back on saturday it was packed. i didn’t stay long or buy anything either day.

some vendors had really cool stuff, but nothing i wanted that i couldn’t make myself.

between the cabin and the library is this big stretch of beautiful lavender, full of bees and butterflies.

i checked out a whole stack of books the likes of which i haven’t scored since spring when i was compulsively reading up about gardening and raw foods.

the wedding photo shoot went really well, mostly. the only problem i ran into was lighting--both the ceremony and reception were inside, in huge, dark, dimly-lit-from-above rooms without a single window. still, i got all the important shots and then some, they turned out unexpectedly well, and the bride and groom (or should i say zucchini and bell pepper?) were very happy with the result, so i’m happy too.

my favorite photos were the candid, behind-the-scenes types--the bride sewing a button on one of the groomsmen’s cuffs, the groom and his friends taking shots before the wedding, everyone trying to cram into a small elevator together, the bride and her friends spinning around outside in the sunlight in their big, flowing dresses like a group of whirling dervishes.

it still looks like summer in my back yard, even though the temperatures are falling and the days are getting shorter.

it was cooler for a while, but this week summer weather is back with temperatures in the mid-to-upper-80s, forecasted to reach 90 today. the sunset just crossed the 8pm border, which is upsetting, i hate seeing days get shorter. and about a week ago the sun changed. it’s a whole different type of sun in autumn, you know? when it’s warm and clear out the sun is just so intense, weirdly-angled, sometimes to the point of being irritating, much more so than in summer. i still love autumn, though.

i realized this year the harvest moon falls on the same day as the autumnal equinox (september 23). that’s pretty special...i feel like i need to do something to celebrate. maybe an adventure, if the weather’s right. or maybe i’ll have some friends over and we can have a feast and read poetry to my plants at twilight.

little tomatoes are still coming in by the basketful, an average of one to two pounds per day.

i missed garden fail friday for the first time last week. here’s a big garden fail for today: i’m still kicking myself for planting all late-season varieties of large heirlooms. they’ve been trickling in for a few weeks now, but the vast majority are still on the vines, taunting me. i severed all the growing tips in mid-august, and a few weeks ago i did some drastic pruning, chopping practically all the leaves, flowers, and anything else that isn’t essential to the ripening of the existing tomatoes. so, now the plants look pretty peculiar:

one bush is cascading with over 150 medium-sized black from tulas, easily 35 pounds of fruit, probably more. this is that weird plant which for the longest time had only one tomato on it. these popped out almost all at once, so they’ll probably all ripen within a week or two of each other.

this iron trellis is so weighted down with paul robesons that it actually fell over last week, i had to tie it back to a tree with strong rope. (some of these green tomato photos are from about two weeks ago...a lot of them are at least blushing now).

i estimate about 200 pounds of tomato remain on the vine. even though they’re still mostly green it’s cool to be able to see all these fat ones right out in the open rather than having to dig through the plants for a peek. nearly all of them are to the point where if i had to pick them today they would be able to ripen inside--i’ve accidentally knocked a few off and brought them in, wrapped them in newspaper, and they’re ripening properly.

it’s going to be ridiculous when these do ripen. all at once, with my luck. i will be up to my ever-loving elbows in sauce-making and canning and dehydrating for days.

the sauce recipe keeps evolving to include more herbs and more garlic. i haven’t canned any yet, but soon.

garden freak alert: double white currant tomato that looks like a fat, screaming, caterpillar-snowman hybrid.

i might get a few late-season raspberries this year after all...

i guess there were a few canes that i didn’t dig up last year. i hope they have time to ripen.

first sweet marketmore cucumber from last week. my cucumbers were sad, so sad, this year.

first winged pea starting out.

and first two eggplants are now growing.

the eggplant bushes have never looked healthier. they’re blooming more than ever, too. why couldn’t this have happened last month instead?

alaska mix nasturtiums started blooming a couple weeks ago.

cumin is sending up these gorgeous flowers left and right.

even the primroses decided to start blooming again.

the ground cherries are still blooming but haven’t set fruit yet, and i’m losing hope.

i started some more seeds for fall planting--in containers so that i can transplant them once the summer plants vacate their spaces in the garden.

it’s so fun to see little sproutlings coming up again!

that’s it for my garden update, time to go see what everyone else has been up to. it’s kind of exciting to have two weeks’ worth of blogs to catch up on.


GoneferalinID said...

I was starting to worry, glad to have you back on the internets. I have always been acutely aware of the change in late summer sunlight. It seems to wash everything out a bit and the browning of foliage becomes really noticeable. Driving west at low sun is a nightmare, I had to actually guess I had a green arrow last week and went for it. The sky getting dark at 8 is a big blow as well. It seems to happen overnight. We may both have literally tons of tomatoes as most of mine are still green. Yum , tomato sauce!

mangocheeks said...

My you have been busy away from the computer.

Sad little doggie was bored at your workplace, but at least as you said 'better than leaving him at home and worrying'. Just look at those big eyes.

Your tommy-tatoes are looking so wonderful. As always beautiful photographs, and good to read that zucchini and bell pepper loved the end result of the wedding photos that you too. I agree with you, sometimes the behind the scene wedding photos are better (but don't tell the happy couple i said that).

Emily said...

goneferal--sorry to worry you! i had the same experience driving at sunset, it's awful, i'm surprised there aren't more car crashes caused by glare around this time of year. it's such a relief when it gets cloudy, especially in the evening.

mangocheeks--"tommy-tatoes," i like that! i'm sure the happy couple wouldn't mind, they requested a lot of candid stuff...the bride told me ahead of time she wanted pretty natural photos rather than stuffy posed ones, so i mostly just let them do their thing and followed them around like paparazzi.

Jessica said...

Your tomatoes are amazing. My tomatoes are sad. My neighbor's CSA apologized for the lack of tomatoes, so that was slightly comforting. We had such a shitty spring, followed by a fall that is turning out to be equally shitty. The slugs are also enjoying my tomatoes and my lack of time. But I'm going to attack this evening. I think I'll also follow your lead and prune back plants more than I have to encourage and speed up ripening.
Your photos look fantastic as always.

Emily said...

i'm sorry about your shitty luck with the seasons this year. spring set me back a lot, too, i still feel like everything is about a month behind where it should be because of how late i waited to plant. i hope the pruning helps--i'm sending some happy ripening vibes your direction.