Thursday, September 24, 2015

The Glory is Gone

 Last year my mom gave me a couple of morning glory plants she started from seed and they grew, but not spectacularly, and I was pleased to see one plant come up from seed this spring.  I've enjoyed watching it grow since it's just really outdone itself. 

August 15th

In less than a month, this one plant has grown itself all over our railing and we were looking forward to see if the vines would reach around the corner.

September 9th

And strangely enough, like I took the photo of our flag with the petunias under it that sane day they were demolished that evening with hail,
so, it was with this plant.

Monday, September 14, 2015

Finished At Last

Like many of us, it is easier to start a project than finish it.  We started this project about the first of March and due to a few circumstances beyond Jim's control and due to some within his control, the entry way is finished at last.  (Well, except for the handrail and the screen door, but the hard work is done.)
Life does have a way of interfering such as surgeries, visiting, birthdays, grandchildren, but the worst part of the job according to Jim was cleaning all the brick.  Reusing the brick from the planters to do this project was the only option, since this brick hasn't been available for at least 30 years. 

June--Building up the decorative wall. 

August--Setting the capstone 

With my help 

September--Jim has filled the pillars with concrete, fixed the conduit so it is accessible in the future and is ready to put the caps on the pillars. 

Finished! Outside in. 

And inside out. 

I love it.

Saturday, September 12, 2015

The End of Summer

The beginning of September often feels like the end of summer.  Kids are back in school, the nights start getting cooler, the sun in setting earlier and rising later.  It makes for beautiful mornings and gorgeous evenings.  It was so nice it makes me want to be out early.  I took a walk around our subdivision early the morning of September 9th and took this photo at 6:58am to show what the morning was like.  It had to be good, there was no wind.  
It wasn't until later that day that I realized this is the only photo I have of these petunias that Jim has enjoyed so much under the flag.  

About 5:20pm that lovely day changed abruptly and the dark clouds fulfilled their prophecy of a big storm coming and it started to hail.  
This just wasn't the usual hail, where we watch a few pea-sized stones come down making music on our roof and gutters and melt a few minutes later.  
It hailed, let up a bit and hailed some more, just like the first wave.  And then again, when we thought it was lessening, the third wave came through.  
For awhile I just stared, watching the hail pile up in corners and on the grass, watching it cover the driveway, and watching golf ball sized hail stones play on the trampoline. 
(Hail bounces pretty high after landing on a trampoline.)
Then I reached for my camera and started taking pictures.
This is about 5 minutes in.

My poor plants!

Most of the hail stones where this sized.  About the time I was going to run out and try to get a larger one it started hailing again, and I didn't want one that badly.

In 10 minutes, this is what we had. 

And after the storm had passed, we got a look at the back side of that storm.

And the end of our petunias.

That storm did plenty of damage around here.  We saw a few fields with leaves stripped off corn and soybeans, but the storm took such a small swath through the area, it wasn't a big deal for most people.  In fact, 3 miles away, the middle of town had no rain at all.  
It meant the end of gardening season for us. I was just getting started on my tomatoes, my peppers were finally starting to turn, and I was still picking beans.  We haven't had the heart to go look at the butternut squash.  The leaves were stripped off all the plants, the fruits bruised.  

The flower garden looks like it needs cleaned up for winter instead of gearing up for fall blooms.  
Leaves were stripped off the tops of the trees, leaving the ground looking like fall, only the leaves were green, not yellow.  
We hadn't thought about our roof, but we've had two roofing companies ready to give us estimates, so it's time to call the insurance company.
We keep finding more things that were damaged.  Those caps on the posts of the deck have some holes in, and my turtle in the flower garden, has a big piece knocked out of his head.

There really isn't a huge amount of damage.  It could be a lot worse.  We've had hail before that caused more damage, but we've never had one that covered so completely.  
It's just sad to see all the work we've done all summer, nearly gone.  
My flower gardens have never looked better.
I wanted more tomato juice.


And then, just about the same time the following day, September 10th, I heard the familiar thunk, thunk, thunk of hail.  
Oh, no, not again!
Thankfully, no, we got a few pea-sized stones, and then it rained and washed them all away.
Leaving behind the promise of the sun.