14 July 2020

wc fry update

My little white clouds are four weeks old and they actually look like tiny tiny fish now. I can easily see all the fins- anal and dorsal as well as caudal. I tried three times to get photos today and this was the best could do- because they never stop flitting around!
Had my first actual casualty- I did a water change and hours later found one dead fry in the tank- with edges degraded. At first thought maybe it starved, because I'd accidentally skipped one of the midday feedings. But later saw a very tiny one, so obviously if that one didn't die from missing a feeding this one wouldn't (it was as large as most). I think it may have gotten caught by the hose suction against the mesh side of the box when I siphoned water out.
The tiniest one I saw in the evening- most of the fry then congregate loosely about an inch under the water surface behind the mesh box. I saw one that was less than half size of the others- still just looked like a tadpole with spade tail shape barely visible. I culled that one

Few more blurry pics:

12 July 2020

garden from above

Zucchini, cuke, cantaloupe bed
Roots- turnips, carrots and beets
Herbs on the left, greens bed with leaf beet chard, blue collards gone to seed and swiss chard on the right.
Repeat of the greens bed on left, other greens on right- tokyo bekana (they're grown more now), glaze collards, yellow and blue collards (which are now cut back - I'm behind on uploading photos).
This is the one that was supposed to have peppers, but instead has marigolds, sunberry, amaranth greens and cosmos flowers.
Pole beans and drying-out sugar snap peas.

11 July 2020

the whole garden

from afar
with my cat in it
he was staring at a bird
Angled view- rue in the front corner, marigolds and amaranth greens behind, green onions on the edge of herb bed across, other stuff kinda indistinguishable, pole beans in the back climbing.
That side of the garden from the back- this was taken a week ago, before I pulled the slo-bolt lettuce (bright green in center) and cut back the collards (large blue leaves on the left). Turtlehead is in the right foreground, and cosmos making the light ferny patch next to it.
Other side of the garden- the roots bed (beets, carrots and turnips), the zucchini and cantaloupe foreground, tomatoes in the back by the stairs. Those oddly angled white lines above the carrots and beets- I had a mesh panel in the back of that bed, and tied some strings down from the deck to try and extend it for the cardinal climber to go up. But for some reason cardinal climber seedlings didn't grow in this bed. Nothing's climbing it now.
I do have cardinal climber finally growing across from the garden against the boundary fence, though.

10 July 2020

extras in the garden-

the plants I don't eat, here for decoration, insect control or lovely scent. Cosmos! There's more white ones, but I like the pinks.
Rue is still lovely- blue color, pungent odor
This limelight coleus is near the deck stairs, across from tomato bed.
Other bright coleus is in corner behind the beans row
Clematis is blooming again! but some of the flowers look rather sorry
Seedheads of the pink one have gone from golden to fuzzy
More sweet peas!
So pretty- and the scent is even lovelier
Some of them are forming seed pods.
I cut down most of the borage in the bed of sugar snap peas and pole beans. Missed this one and now it's trailing over the edge.
Marigolds filling in their spot
In one area off to the side, I pulled up grass from a patch of moss, and planted zebrina seed in the gaps. I think this is one of those seedlings coming up. It's Malva sylvestris 'Zebrina' aka hollyhock mallow, another new one for me this year.
I also finally planted seed for cardinal climber several weeks ago- rather late in the season but tried anyway. The seedlings came up funny pointy shapes-
Week later- now sending out true leaves and tendrils to hang on
Here's two in containers that are kind of odd couple- 
semi-succulent ice plant with its flat, round, light-colored leaves
and narrow-leaved, tall aromatic hyssop
I like to brush the hyssop with my hand as I go around it back up the stairs. It's scent supposedly deters some pests from the garden- the squirrels have stayed away from my tomatoes so far this year, and maybe this is one of the reasons.

I'm starting to feel bad about Laddie

I looked back through my journal, and his symptoms are very like what Perry's were- listless, slightly swollen appearance in the belly but very little appetite, pale color. For long periods, then having one or two good days, then just hanging at the surface again. He doesn't even notice the guppies swarming around him to grab food. He only eats if I offer garlic-soaked flake and even has trouble getting that down now. He's been doing poorly for over two months now. I just kept hoping every time I saw him suddenly acting lively and spry again, that he was finally improving, but it doesn't last. I suspect it's a virus- especially because there's viruses that gouramis get that aren't as contagious to other fish species. That would explain why the guppies and white clouds dart around looking totally normal while Laddie is so unwell.

I am starting to wonder if I ought to be kind and euthanize.

08 July 2020


I was saving more photos for tomorrow but saw something new in the garden so just had to post a picture. I only saw this little guy because it leaped away from me. Can you spot it?
A frog!
Different from the tree frogs I usually see. I think it's a leopard frog.

around the yard-

Mostly the back half. My echinacea are so thick this year, and pinker than the photos manage to show. I've had to pull some young ones up from between path stones, and cut back others that lean over the walkway to compost bin.
Wall of monarda (bee balm):
Echinacea in various stages:
Center whorl
Them behind the row of hellebores and liriope.
From further off- behind the liriope behind the pannicle hydrangea. Closer up a few white stars of nicotiana floating, and flowers from the variegated hosta- much taller scapes than I expected!
That bed from the rear side- the borage have kind of faltered in the heat and fallen over in rainstorms, but nicotiana is really coming into its own now. Looks almost like a planned growing area, not just some random stuff on the edge of the lawn.
The aguja is filling in a ton.
I'm very pleased with its progress. And I love the foliage color.
Tithonias are up to my thigh in height
and a few are starting to flower
Up the sunny side yard, the sedums I moved are starting to bloom
Swamp milkweed is done flowering- disappointed I haven't seen many monarchs. I've looked- though not super close or meticulous- to see if there's any caterpillars. So far only found aphids.
Blue flags of black-and-blue salvia are stunning.
The lamb's ears I planted in a row flanking gladiolas looks just like I envisioned. Can't wait to see them fill in even more. Glads are flowering now! I am going to cut my first arrangement tomorrow morning when it's cool.