Thursday, February 21, 2013

To Drive the Cold Winter Away

I am sitting before a roaring fire today. Why, you might ask, are you sitting in front of a roaring fire when the daffodils are already blooming?

Well, I believe that even the daffodils wish they were sitting in front of a roaring fire.

Yes indeed, that is what happens when you bloom too early. Lady Winter comes and dashes all your hopes, laughs in your face, and coats the trees in ice.

 I think it's quite beautiful though, and since my seedlings are safe indoors, I don't mind the ice storm. I've gotten my last bit of winter, so when she's gone, I'll be happy to welcome spring.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

A Flying Bear

Well, if this won't cheer you up, I don't know what will. In an exercise to accurately show fur, feathers, and wood grain all in one drawing, I gave this wonderful brown bear I met in a berry patch a way to fly. You just take some feathers and stick them in your nest, put your nest on a stump, and take off. It's as simple as that!

Monday, February 11, 2013

How to Sprout Seeds: Eggplant, Basil, and Chamomile

Meet Cordelia:


Yes indeed, my seeds are sprouting, and that little tenacious eggplant seedling earned the name Cordelia, after Anne Shirley's imaginary bosom friend, because she seems like a she, and the dramatic sort of she as well, since she burst forth first of all the eggplants. I started them 11 days ago and already I have 13 basil sprouts, who knows how many chamomile, and seven eggplants. I'm especially proud since I've never actually done my own seedling starting before.

Awww, look at me little lovelies.

Since there is no room in the house to put a light and two flats of seedlings, I decided to put them down in the tornado cellar, since it has an electrical outlet. I bought one of those handy-dandy plant light bulbs they have at Lowe's, which screws into a regular light socket, and put it in one of those trouble lights which can also be found at Lowe's. And then I suspended it from the ceiling of the cellar and put my seedlings underneath, and twice a day I mist them with water. Misting with a spray bottle is the best method for seedlings because it doesn't disturbe the soil and is less tedious than using a spoon. Oh, and I used those little coconut pellets they sell for starting seeds. In a couple weeks they'll need to be fertilized, but for now they just need to grow grow grow!

Sigurd, bottom right, the largest of the basil sprouts. I shall make much pesto with you, my darling.

I'm pretty sure the chamomile sprouts are all identical siblings, so they don't get names.

I ordered all my seeds from Baker Creek Heirloom Seed Company, and I am very pleased with the germination rate. However, the chamomile seeds are the Burpee kind you can find in the gardening section of any store, and while I wasn't too optimistic about them sprouting well, I was pleasantly surprised at the excellent germination rate. I'm used to people getting a couple of seedlings per packet.

So, there you have it. I've got plants under a grow light in my cellar. That doesn't sound suspicious. But I shall have ever so much eggplant and basil this summer!

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

The Silver Light of Dawn

I ran across this painting by Dan McCaw and I was of course immediately enchanted. Have you ever seen the sun rising on a frosty morning with a week, pale glow from the cloud cover and cold air? He has captured the light perfectly in this piece.

Dan McCaw, title unknown, from his Facebook page.

Here's another morning painting by him, even titled such. I'm afraid I don't look that put together this morning... or most mornings... but the light here looks about the same. If you can't enjoy anything else in the bleak midwinter, then admire what sunlight there is and wait for me to post up pictures of MY SEEDS WHICH ARE ALREADY SPROUTING! Yes indeed, I am starting seedlings indoors and after only three days of watering and a grow light bulb, they are sprouting.

Dan McCaw,  Morning Light,