Archive for August, 2008

I looked back and found the first photo of the Tigger Melon on the vine – it was taken July 27th

 Today is August 24th – almost a month later and the melon was harvested.  I could have/should have waited a few more days, but I was anxious!  The melon is rather small … only 3″ across both directions and for most of the month it was a green color.  The past week it slowly turned orange and then really orange today, so I had to have a taste!  It was fresh and crisp tasting and with a few more days I am sure sweeter – there is another one almost ready so we will wait longer on that one!


The Swan Gourd finally started producing fruit – it seems it took forever to get going, so not so sure we will have a full size gourd before the freezing weather hits.

 Swan Gourd

The Rio Roma Tomato ripened nicely and is very tasty!

 Rio Roma Tomato

We had the invasion of the squash bugs so I pulled most of the plants and started some fall plantings – spinach from the seed I saved earlier this year and some more peas!

 Squash bugs

This grasshopper sure looks healthy … I wonder what he is eating on ??

I decided to start a website for Gardening and Crafts .. I purchased the domain and I am sure there will be many hours of learning involved with setting this baby up, but I am ready to give it a shot!  TheCraftyGarden.com is the name and you are welcome to bookmark it, but there is really nothing there yet.  I need to focus and do some major brainstorming … any ideas??


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I am excited to post my pictures of the recent catfish I caught while down south last weekend.  I waited so I could post the link to my Blog at GRIT magazine where you will find the reason I do believe I caught these giant fish!  We installed a surface pond aerator and it was quite the project, but well worth the efforts we all put in!  Without further ado .. the Fish!

  The first one I caught which I was quite happy with … but thennnnnnn

  Grampa Cat

  We were in shock!  I have fished quite a bit in the past and alot more in the last year with our home down south.  Caught bluegill left and right and an occassional little bass, Stan caught a huge catfish last year and my sister a monster large mouth bass!  I used a bobber on my line and a live worm …… go figure

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  My first Praying Mantis encounter and I thought he was Awesome!  I have only seen pictures in magazines and books and imaged them to be much smaller and when I saw this guy all I could think of was “Wow”!  This is one example of the differences between Northern Illinois and Southern.  Up North the Praying Mantis does not exist (if he does, I have never seen any) .. down at our place in Southern Illinois they do and being a gardener I am overly excited about this and I spent quite a long time watching this guy.  I was shocked when he actually turned his head to look right at me – he kept doing this, wondering what the heck I was and what I was doing. I expected him to fly off, but he never did.

    Check out the Spikes..Ouch!

 I came upon this Praying Mantis as I was pruning back the Guardian Marigold plant around the walkway. I was making a mental note not to plant these flowers so close to areas that I want open since they spread and seem to extend all over. Now on second thought I will be planting many of these around the exterior of my gardens down south – it appears the Praying Mantis calls this home. He does blend in rather well.

 I also found his shell that he shed and took a picture …

 and I measured him as well – almost 4 inches!  Told you I was mesmerized by this guy!  He will be very good for my Gardens down south!!!

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Traveling down south this past weekend was Great! We took an extra day and it seemed like we actually had some time to relax! The big project was installing the aerator pump on our 3 acre pond and I will post detailed information on the installation later this week at GRIT on my Reader’s Blog I recently started SO make sure to check it out! Here are a few pictures of the aerator .. well worth all the work to install

Oil in Southern Illinois – I never figured! Once you travel down past central Illinois area you start to see oil pumps working out in the fields. When we bought our property we were told to make sure the mineral rights were transferred to us. If oil is ever discovered on our land we will have the rights to it. Now didn’t you think all the oil came from some far off land?

We always seem to plan our meals much more carefully when we travel and we eat very well! We brought down our first harvest of corn (3 ears) and Wowee they were Excellent! I have posted additional garden vegetables here. The tomatoes are starting to turn now and I still think thus far the Amish Paste Tomato is the best. Great harvest and a superstar for canning.

I saw at least 5 different types of mushrooms growing and will be researching them to figure out what types they actually are ….

This tiny blue tailed lizard is SO cute and very quick and the turtle basking in the sun didn’t stick around long for his photo shoot!

Also thank you to all those who have commented on my blog! I would comment back but rather have your comment remain listed on the “Recent Comment” section of my blog…..So I Thank you all here!!!!

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Sometimes in life when you least expect it, Great Things Happen!  Almost 5 months ago I started my WordPress blog to document my gardening happenings as a record for myself and also as an aid to anyone looking for information about something I had experienced or knew how to do.  I love Gardening and there never is an end to how much you can discover – even from planting just one flower or one veggie seed.  It does take time and patience but if you have a passion for it, then you enjoy what you are doing and marvel in the small accomplishments and the big ones too (like the overload of cucumbers right now).  As with any passion it keeps you learning and trying to discover more.

Not to long ago, the editor of GRIT magazine, took notice of my blog and he liked it.  He asked me to join the Reader Blogs on GRIT’S website and oh my gosh …. I said Yes and it launched Today!  You have to make sure to stop over there and check it out … I am Debbie, of course, but all the other bloggers are Wonderful.  The advice and knowledge they have is really cool if you are living the country life or thinking about it.  If you have anything to share about country living GRIT is definitely the place to share it.  Now if you stop on over there, make sure to give the new Blogger Debbie a Big Howdy …            A Huge Thank You!

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I knew he was out there lurking in the garden destroying my tomatoes, tomato plants and enjoying every minute.  I spotted the damage earlier in the week and each day I went out several times to find this monster!

  Damaged tomato

Today I finally captured the demon and he is gone!  They blend in so well with the tomato plant it is difficult to spot them.  You could be looking right at it and not even see it.

 See what I mean!

I am sure it will not be the only one this season .. be on the lookout!  Tomato hornworms are huge and can destroy a whole tomato plant in one evening!

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I first saw and photographed the baby swans on June 8th and it’s amazing how much they have grown!

 Proud parent and six babies!

There is one white baby and the other 5 are dark grey – not sure what the difference is.

  Two baby swans

 Closeup of baby swan

 Checking each other out and this last pictures is a Great Shot of one of the adult swans, the blue heron and a couple of ducks!

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