For all the socks that I’ve knitted over the years, yesterday bought 8 pairs of socks.  Not my fingers (nor my patience) can deal with fine sock yarns and the dozens of stitches it takes just to make one row, much less enough rows to make a pair of socks.  So my socks are good looking, fit fine, but when it comes to hiking, they can irritate the h*** out of my feet, with their big stitches.

If you don’t know the brand, Thorlo.  Right now, having a buy 3 and get one pair free sale, plus free shipping when you buy more than 3 pair.  Buying 8 pair on their web site was less than buying 8 pair on Amazon Prime.  They are expensive, they will also last a VERY long time.  Their suggestion is to wash them using liquid fabric softener.  Does not happen here, so they only last 8-10 years.

And if I’m going to hike again, want my feet to be comfortable.

Buy socks – THORLO!

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Which end is up?


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officially summer

Harvested the first zucchini today.  Officially summer

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managing the hive

Installed bees 4/17/16, last opened of 5/3/16.  Stopped feeding bees about 2 weeks ago. their rate of building new comb has slowed down.

IMG_0818 (1024x574)Front of comb#7, back was empty comb

IMG_0819 (1024x528)back of comb #6

IMG_0820 (1024x610)front of comb #6

IMG_0821 (1024x544)back of comb #5, in hive

IMG_0822 (1024x515)comb #8

moved false back two spaces.

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bees in the garden in pictures



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garden update with pictures


0519160831_resizedearly morning bee in the zucchini flower

0519160832_resizedthis is the new container area, tomatoes, zuchinni and peppers

0519160855_resizedfinally got around to mulching, lots of rain last two days, a good time when everything is soaked

0519160856_resizeddidn’t bother mulching the zucchini with its big leaves, but did get the peppers

0519160856a_resizedAmerican Ginseng, second year. protected in a container to be sure that nothing munches on them and they get a good start.  Will put them in the ground in this location since they are doing well in this spot

0519160856b_resizedThis was supposed to be a variety of shallot. looks more like regular onions to me. will set these aside for replanting in later in the season

0519160857_resizedanother early morning visitor

0519160858_resizedplanted this garden I guess year before last, threw in wild flower seeds last year.  There was just one small red yarrow plant last year, this year its in competition with the blanket flower to take over the garden. Love it!

0519160858a_resizedThis is the main garden with its cover.  With the1”  hail we had on Saturday, it was a good thing this cover was up!

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Nothing much to really say at this point.  Used the GZ to water, but didn’t get a chance to recharge it due cloud cover, so another experiment, how will the battery hold a partial charge, for how long, until we get sunshine again?

Am also cutting WAAAYYY back on feeding the bees.  Its been lots of wet, lots of flowers, good pollen flow with the Mesquite just coming into flower, a MAJOR source of pollen here. Do need to get back into the hive though and move the temporary back as they are filling up the front big time.

For the most part, the garden is planted, with spring plants still doing okay, but finishing up and the summer stuff just getting started.  Over the weekend had put up the shade cloth on the main garden. The new support worked fine, tested yesterday when a major storm blew threw, dropping 1″ hail, wind, rain, thunder.  All the plants under it are okay, everybody watered thoroughly, and the shade remains in place so I can walk under it comfortably for the first time since starting that container area.

Finally mulching.  Got a bit more than half of the main garden area mulched and am getting ready to do the REALLY BIG containers in one of the other grow areas. It is amazing the difference mulch makes, it was a matter of finding the right materials. Last year discovered the crushed coconut shell stuff, and then for my B’day, got a mulcher.  We’ve had to learn its quirks, but will be making our own from now on.   While I was looking forward to using Ollas, they didn’t work as well as I’d hoped. Maybe cause I wasn’t mulching too.  While the last two years have been El Nino years with LOTS of water, the La Nina that follows will put us back into the drought cycle, and every drop will matter.

We got another rain tank, now have to wait for it to be hooked up.  What a shame it wasn’t ready for yesterday’s rain! This is an 1100 gallon tank. lower and wider than our 1000 gallon tank, hides nicely behind the brush and trees.  It never would have fit where our 1000 gallon tank sits, just shows what’s available these days – a wide range of sizes and styles, and with the tax, it came to just a bit over $700. We had to trailer it home ourselves and supply our own bib and screen, but a big savings over the Poly mart. That came with those things, but had to be trucked in.  Actually, the only reason we beat the trucking all together was the tank place had already ordered the tank for their inventory and had already arranged for shipment to their location. We do have a trailer, so no biggie.

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