Thursday, May 19, 2011

Gardening in Wisconsin

My body's definitely feeling the consequences of a long and sedentary winter followed by a frantic gardening season. Springtime in NW Wisconsin is about a week long, summer is about three months long, and we can already see next winter on the horizon, so there's no time to waste. Got to purchase perennials, annuals, and vegetable seeds, get the garden planted, and start mowing the grass. I suggested to my husband tonight that we fence in the yard and get goats. He just gave me a look. But doesn't it seem a bit ridiculous to mow all that yard when something could survive by eating it? And then I could make Feta cheese with goats' milk! Yes, I am kidding...kinda.

 As I reached to get the spade so I could transplant strawberries*, I happened to notice a wee little bull snake resting in a warm spot inside a railroad tie next to the house. Doesn't he look comfy - and cute!!

Zooming out, you can see a few of my garden tools resting against the house. You're right, it's not where they belong, but it's so convenient to have them just outside the door! The red arrow points to...the little bull snake. (He was about as big around as a crayon.) Later, I noticed that he was no longer there. I'm really hoping that he didn't decide to slither into the basement. I'd like him to know that his home is outdoors. We have enough pets in the house.

And speaking of pets, I took these pics of the dogs today. Lionel and Tuppence were unavailable for a photo shoot.

 Misty, lying close to wherever I am at any given moment. She snores. Loudly.
When I took this pic, I was sitting at the kitchen counter, checking my e-mail.
Yes, I know I should purchase a new rug for on top of the dog bed, but she hasn't complained yet.

 Bridger, looking his usual handsome self.
I've got to take him to the vet next week for his shots. He's 10, and it's getting harder for him to get into the Jeep. I'll have to provide a ramp for him.

Last, but not least, the visiting grandpuppy.
She gets a Lyme booster shot next week and then she can go home.

* From three strawberry plants that I purchased last spring, I now have 30-40 strawberry plants which I'm transplanting into rows.  Next are the raspberries. Since I neglected to wrap the chicken wire fencing around the raspberry patch last fall, the local bunny population survived the winter by eating raspberry canes. I think it's a good time to move new little plants which are coming up to a new location, inside the fenced-in main garden. And I also need to plant some asparagus crowns. Rodents manage to take one or two asparagus plants per winter.

P.S. The following photo is posted especially for Judy S. who mentioned in a comment that she loves pics of parents reading to kids. Actually, this is Grandpa reading to the boys when they were out last week. I think the book is Tifky Doofky by William Steig. We have several of his books and read most of them to the grandsons while they were with us. Steig's stories are so much fun!!

 Tifky Doofky holds everyone's attention

Back to the garden.

Author, Second Chance - A Tale of Two Puppies
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Under Her Wings said...

Oh, Judy. I'm so jealous of your garden! Mine is 5x8 and on our side yard, along with some herbs that are struggling to survive. I think the boxes I built for them were of treated wood! Dummy me! We live in the city, with MANY trees, so I've borrowed my next door neighbor's side yard this year, hoping it will give me enough sun. I try!

Anonymous said...

That first picture looks like the snake is a giant killer!! Last year I was cleaning out the garden and found a HUGE (ok maybe not huge but at the time I thought it may as well have been an anaconda) snake coiled up in a old piece of wood border on the garden. I threw down the shovel to show my husband and he still doesn't believe me...snakey was gone by the time we got back. I swear I can still feel him in my garden a year later...

Parsley said...

Loved seeing some of your furry family! The snake is SOOO little. I leave little non-poisonous snakes alone but big ones SKEEEER me!

Karen Harris said...

We once had a moonflower vine growing over our back door in our house in Texas. One night while talking to a friend, I noticed a small snake was caught in the door, half in and half out. What a production to get him back outside and he was just a little garden snake of some sort. Yours does look cozy, but not so cute.

Empty Nester said...

Well Judy, first let me say that the picture of that SNAKE is not cute nor comfy. Ewwww..... LOL

Secondly, I'm so excited that you finally are able to get out and do some gardening! I know you've been longing to do so. I am doing the happy dance in celebration---be glad you can't see that.

Last, I love the pictures of you sweet doggies and that last one of your hubby reading to the boys is simply precious! I love the expressions on their faces--they are so engrossed in the story!

Unknown said...

Ok... other then the snake freaking me out, the pictures are great!! Love the puppies!

Mama Hen said...

The pictures are wonderful! I am not one for snakes. However, you got a great pictures! Your dogs are beautiful! Spring here seems to be hanging on. We are getting a lot of rain. Happy planting my friend!

Mama Hen

Diane said...

We are gardening as well and with no rain :o(

I hope your snake stays in Wisconsin, lol. I'm terrified of them.

I ♥ your doggies and those grandsons look very intent with their reading partner Ÿ

Yenta Mary said...

I always love visiting you, even in cyberspace, where there's fluffy critters, kids and grandkids, fresh fruits and vegetables, wholesome food, and such a sense of welcome and comfort ... :)

karen said...

Pity I couldn`t help with the gardening and the snake did look quite at home.
Hope you have a good summer!
Looking forward to trying your banana nut bread though.
Lovely pics of the dogs and family, take care xx

Judy S. said...

My favorite snake story is the one that was in the felt at the fabric store! REally!

The last photo could be another poster! Love it. Males reading to boys is crucial! Not that there's anything wrong with mom/grandmas reading to them but boys need to see that males read too.

Joyce said...

Thanks for visiting my blog today. The snake definitely looks comfy but I'm not so sure about cute : )

Gardening is a challenge in this yard as we have a few too many woodland creatures, including black bears who eat anything berry like including door wreaths and Christmas decorations.

Leaving England was hard. I had to be pried out with a crowbar : ) Part of my heart is still there and I think will be forevermore.

Nice to 'meet' you!

NanaNor's said...

Hi there, I love seeing all your photos-thankful it was a small bull snake and not a rattler. I thought we left those behind in Ca. but we have them here in Colorado too. Love your pups-is Bridger a Belgian malinois? He is beautiful but all pups are beautiful. Seeing your hubby reading to your grandsons reminds me of our home, except now the grandsons can read so we read to the granddaughters.
Glad you are having nice weather-we still have rain and I'm ready for spring!
Have a great evening.

Unknown said...

"TINY" bull snake?????? I know just how long, big and crazy those suckers can grow! ICK!!!!! Mom and Dad would mow down the old strawberries once their new shoots took root. Raspberries.....sigh....gotta get me some of those! Glad you are planting. Hope the fire is out to stay in your furnace. I turned ours off, hopefully for the last time, this morning!

Candace said...

The dogs are cute...the snake is not. Uggggh! I just don't like them at all.


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