Monday, June 30, 2014

Metal detecting finds

The above photo is an artistically presented image of the garbage I find.  I find it rather attractive.

Anyway, when I go metal detecting, I lug around a little plastic carry-all tub with my digging tools and rags.  Anything I find gets tossed into the tub, too.  I try to put the interesting stuff on one side, the coins in one spot, and the garbage wherever it will fit.

I don't clean out my tub after every trip.  Instead I kind of save it up. I have done very little metal detecting over the past year, but finally after last week it was time to clean it out; it was just too full to keep using it.

All together I had about $5.85 in coins.  There were a few other slightly interesting bits:

I think the corroded cap gun and one or two of the cars came from the yard of the house my dad lived in when he was little; we hunted there about a year ago. The spoon is silver clad.  The lock at top was mainly interesting to me because the little lock mechanisms sticking out the side looked neat, but you can't really see them in this photo.  Right beneath the nose of the cap gun is a small-caliber bullet I found someplace.

One coin I found was an 1896 Indian head penny, but it is so corroded that it's hard to tell what it is.

This is aluminum to recycle:

And here is the rest of the garbage:

That's a lot of garbage. Oh, well, better in the landfill than in the ground at the park or the school.  Even though the amount of junk I dig up is large, I always think it's surprising how high the ratio is of coins to junk.  At least, as long as I'm hunting in a decent spot.  There have been plenty of places where I just keep finding junk and more junk and then give up.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Mark's garden report

It is time for the garden report.

The new rain barrel is not yet installed.  It is in its spot, propped up an nice blocks, but I need to reconfigure the downspout to drain to the barrel.  I also need to re-fasten the spigot.

I planted three tomato plants.  One of them spent a couple of weeks looking yellow and sickly, but it has turned green again, and started growing.  I suspect it must have had root damage.  All three are looking good now.  Only one of them is a cherry tomato plant, and it is the only one to have any (small) fruit on it.  I rate my odds of having a ripe cherry tomato by July 4 at about 25%.  My odds of having a large, ripe tomato by that date are about .01%.

I was picking some asparagus in May, but I stopped before June ever got here, and now the asparagus patch has turned into what looks like a little enchanted woodland.  I’d like to spend more time weeding around it and then put down some mulch, but it’s obviously not struggling, so I’m not too worried.  My goal now is to keep the weeds there under control, let the asparagus run wild for the rest of the summer, and have even larger plants to harvest from next year.

I’m happy that my glad bulbs survived the unusually harsh winter.  I think some of them died, but most are growing and looking good.  The garden spot where they are growing is very weedy and overgrown, but there isn’t much I can do about that without damaging the gladioluses, so I think I’ll wait until late fall and dig the whole area up. Then I can turn over the weeds, separate the glad corms and cormels, and replant them (I hope with some mulch) next year.

I have sown seeds for purple coneflower and Shasta daisies.  I grew daisies when we first bought the house, but they failed to return the second year for some reason. I hope these do better.

Back in March (I think) I had a few potatoes on our kitchen counter, and they had started to sprout.  I covered them in a pot in our yard, and they grew until last weekend when I noticed that the leaves were turning yellow.  It was getting hot and the weather had been dry, so I decided it was time to dig them up. I ended up with enough to go with dinner last night.  I sliced and boiled them with onion, then oiled and baked them with rosemary until they had turned a little brown.  We had them as a side with fajitas, and they were quite good.

Spiderwort, bee balm, coreopsis, and daylilies are all blooming. They look nice.

There is a little blackberry sprig coming up in our yard, ten feet from the main plant.  I think I’ll give it to Helga.  She said she wanted some again, and the blackberry bush originally came from her.

I have some green onion and basil started from seed in a whisky barrel planter with some lavender.  They came from last year’s seeds, but they had been refrigerated, which I think is a good way to store seeds, and now they are growing.  They are all pretty scrawny, however.  It might be because I have not kept the soil in the barrel moist enough.

The kale I grew last year is growing again after dying back.  I did not know it was perennial.  It’s pretty scrawny, though, and is already starting to bolt.  That whole area is covered in a layer of leaves I piled there last fall, and that annoying ground ivy is growing over that, so that whole area looks sort of rotten.  It’s in the back of this area that I sowed the coneflower and daisy seeds. I might rake up the rest of that spot and put in more sunflowers, which I have started in a couple of other spaces.

I guess that’s all I feel is worth mentioning.

Monday, June 16, 2014

Father's Day

I have been posting few photos and even fewer sentences to this blog.

I had a very nice Father’s Day. I was told on Saturday that I had to sleep in on Sunday, so I did as instructed.  This gave the girls time to fix me a breakfast in bed (peanut butter and jelly toast, a sunny-side up fried egg, and chocolate soy milk mixed with La Croix sparkling water.) 

They gave me clay sculptures they had fashioned, which were cute and which I may put on my desk at work. 

I told them that what I wanted to do most was play board games, and let them pick which games.  We ended up playing two games of Clue: The Great Museum Caper.  I was the thief in the second game, and got caught before I even stole the second painting.  Then we played Sorry!, which is not a game I hold in any esteem, but which involves such a barrage of character-building misfortune and eye-poking that I manage to feel somewhat engaged.

Then we met up with some other family members, including a couple other dads, for dessert.  The late afternoon was spent chatting and swimming, then I did a little gardening at home.

Friday, June 13, 2014



A couple of months ago I had a few potatoes that were shriveling and sprouting on the kitchen counter, so I buried them in a pot. Today I figured it was time to unearth the resulting growth, since the leaves were yellowing and summer heat is setting in. This is what I got.