Sunday, April 29, 2012


Eleanor finally laid her eggs! Four days after the first testing site, she laid her eggs in almost the exact same spot as the first testing site. I was beginning to get worried about her. The weather changed this week, and one of the nights got into the upper 40s, and she didn't move from the spot she was digging for a whole day. Yesterday, it warmed up considerably, and she was roaming about most of the day. She started digging again around 4 or 5 pm, and I went to check on her every couple of hours, but it was all in a huge rain storm! We had larger than golf ball sized hail, and some in our area had baseball or larger sized hail.

This is where she decided to finally nest. The little indentation to the right is where I uncovered the first egg. I'm glad that I went out multiple times, because she changed her digging location around 8 or 9 pm. You can see the one she started on the left. The actual nest was covered up and even when I first saw it, so I could reasonably assume there were actually eggs there. The site to the left was abandoned as is.

Here's the first egg!

Seeing more white showing through as I dig through with a spoon. 

I started marking the eggs with a marker to make sure I keep them right side up. I was surprised after I uncovered six, and started moving them, to find two more.

Eleanor is an octomom!

Time to keep them humid, but not to much. Last year, Nadine's eggs split, and I think they were too wet.

This is the earliest we've ever had eggs by nearly three weeks, but we had such a goofy March. I can't imagine how Eleanor fit all eight eggs inside of her and still managed such a voracious appetite. Eleanor laid two clutches of eggs last year, first 5 eggs, and then another clutch of 4 eggs. She's never laid this many at a time. 

I've got garden updates too, but not that much time. I'll share those pictures later!

Tuesday, April 24, 2012


She's digging! Go Eleanor! There will at least be some eggs in our near future.  If not tonight, soon. She normally digs a few tests sites beforehand. Hers have never been fertile to our knowledge, and I'm REALLY hoping the compost isn't hot where she's digging, as that MAY be an issue with them in the past (overheating will spoil the eggs, even a few hours) This is nearly 3 weeks earlier than last year, or the year before that. I am thinking the warm March sped everything up. I'm hoping this means early babies, because we may be moving come late July/August, and I would be pretty devastated to miss the hatching!

EDIT- As of 8:00 pm, Eleanor has now abandoned the digging, that she worked for several hours on. Just a test site, but it looks like we'll be watching her the next week!

In gardening news, tomatoes were planted yesterday. Pictures to come, dinner is still in progress. The night time temp last night was 48, but I bit the bullet, and stuck them in the ground, as the rest of the week looks to be in the mid to upper 70s, lows in the 50s. I think my plants will be happier with the space and the occasional lowish temp than they were about the lack of root space and ability to fertilize.

Lastly, if you ever decide to go into cardiac arrest, I am now capable in an "advanced" way to take care of you. I got my advanced cardiac life support class finished up and tested out.  Feels good to add another thing to the resume!

Friday, April 20, 2012

100th post and a Garden Update

It is officially my 100th post! I absolutely intended to get to this post before the start of 2012. Quite a bit late on that one... A lot of people do exciting giveaways and things like that when they hit these milestones. If I had something worth giving away, I would.  If I think of something, maybe I'll do one on a random day.

It was getting dark out when I ran outside to snag these photos. Sorry for the low quality.

Here are my scallions, red onions in the back right, Burgundy bush beans, radishes and lettuce that have come up. I planted a few more rows to the left of this area yesterday with cilantro, more lettuce, more radishes, and more beans, to try to stagger some of the harvest.

Tomatoes and peppers, yearning to be in the ground with more space.  After this weekend, they'll be planted. Tomorrow night's low is in the 40s, but I should be safe after that, and the plants are ready to be in the ground. I've got some blossoms on some of the tomatoes starting to form, and that's never happened before I put them in the ground before. I've been pinching off the ones I see.

My dwarf tophat blueberry bush getting acclimated to it's first of what will probably be several pots.

The lettuce and spinach growing down the center of the garden. I seeded several more feet of this yesterday as well. I love blending the red and green lettuces.  The red lettuce really doesn't get touched the way that the spinach does right next to it. 

Mammoth broccoli plants for April.  I did some clean up of most of the maple seeds since the last picture that was taken. They are just about 1.5 to 2 ft tall now. They're about a month and a half ahead, if not more, of what they were last year. I'm certainly not complaining. I love broccoli, and I'll love getting to use that space for pole beans when they're through!

 The broccoli has begun to shade the red lettuces planted around it. It's hard to even see the plants from this picture, but they're there!

My zucchini and yellow squash are growing so slowly, I decided to put some new seed in these pots to see if they do better. The seeds that are growing (slowly) are from a old packets.  The squash did so well last year in these pots, so I want to give it a second try. The last pot in that row is my garlic chives with some cilantro growing around the edges.

The peas growing up the fence behind the pots are doing well. Neither these peas, nor the snow peas have any blossoms yet, but it shouldn't be long!

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Harvesting in April

So far, I've had radishes and a two person meal sized salad's portion of lettuce harvested. I haven't gotten around to posting about the harvests on Mondays though, but here they are! The radishes are much bigger this year than they've been in the past, and far more mild. I've enjoyed just snacking on a bowl full!

I planted a lot of red lettuces this year, and I think so much that we may have a "red salad" night at some point. The spinach that's growing is getting chewed on, so there just isn't nearly as much green without it.  I am getting some spinach though, which is an improvement from past years.

Some of my first radishes... hubby had the camera at school, so this is from my phone.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Big Ol' Broccoli

Here is an updated look at the broccoli, it's amazing what different weather can do for a plant! (Probably doesn't hurt that we put our finished compost pile on this end of the garden to be able to spread it this Spring...)  We're getting lots of rain here, which can only mean more green! (Hopefully no damaged plants though!)

I just noticed last night that our broccoli "goes to sleep!" It was strange to see these plants that touch all be vertical out there last night!

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Documentation Post.

 I took all these pictures several days ago (save a few at the end from today), and never got the chance to upload them. So here they finally are.  Completely random, but I know I'll want to look back next year, and see where the garden was this time of year, so this is more of a "documentation" post. It's incredible to me because I know how much growth I've seen even since these were taken!  We had had some "normal" temperatures this week, which shows me just how spoiled I've been. I've had to bring IN plants, something I haven't had to do for about a month!  Plants are back outside tonight though, with a low of 50, I think they're alright.

I had my first problem with rollie-pollies as we grew up calling them, pill bugs, sow bugs to others. I have never had a problem with them, but they absolutely destroyed my pepper plants! I may have about enough to not have to buy them from the store, but I may not even get off that lucky, and I planted over double of what I wanted to plant for myself!

This particular container I used to carry the plants did not have a full bottom to it, so one day I moved it when I saw several chewed up plants and they were swarming. Literally, swarming.  This container has stayed on the patio table after that incident, and they haven't seemed to sustain any additional damage, though I'm not sure many will recover. The other containers for my plants had a lip to them, and I think that's what kept them away from my others. 

New strawberry plants have taken. The old ones have fruit set already.

I looked through last year's blog, and my earliest FLOWER was April 11, this year they are already covered with growing berries!

Tomato and pepper seedlings, broccoli and peas

My broccoli is as big now as it was at the end of May last year (I got a pretty nasty freeze/snow just after planting last year)

Radishes and peas (the radishes have been incredibly mild flavored this year, and have really filled out nicely)

Alright, Granny-- you were right! Here's a carrot seedling!

Broccoli and lettuce -- I'll need to take an updated picture, broccoli plants are touching now, and we've had a full container worth of lettuce harvested since this photo. It made for two delicious salads, but I definitely forgot how long it takes to clean each individual leaf!

Tomato seedlings getting bigger! I've had some issues with what I think is nitrogen deficiency and have tried to keep them fed-- the new growth is really LIGHT green, almost yellow.

This picture shows how much my broccoli has grown since I planted it. This is an extra seedling that didn't get planted, and has pretty much stayed the same size as the plants were when I transplanted them. 

Zucchini seedling popping up in my buckets!

Radishes popping over the soil.

 One of my favorite things about early spring-- pea tendrils. I absolutely love how delicate they are, but are still intensely strong.

 Happy Birthday Heidi! She's 9 today!

Quick and easy way to gain the title "Messy Garden"-- Maple seeds  Sometimes it sounds like it's raining when the wind blows. They're almost finished falling, so it'll be time to clean them up soon!

Monday, April 2, 2012

It's Hot.

At least there is still garden growth! I've got lots of things just taking off, and took quite a few pictures, but dinner is almost ready.

Mama! Where are the peas already!! I know they're in there!