Monday, July 19, 2010

Only 8C (46F) early this morning and the sun shined from a clear blue sky. I had to put a sweater on when we walked away for our morning walk. Most flies were still hiding in the bushes but some had placed themselves on the leafs (that was dry from the morning dew) to get some warmth from the sun.

I could hear some cranes from a distance, but otherwise it was totally quiet. It still is quiet because it´s vacation time here in Sweden. Back when I was a kid all industries closed down at the same time, usually on the second week of July if I remember correctly. So this period got the name Industry vacation time. I think most of the owners thought it was useless to stay open when all other companies were closed.

Unfortunally the camera didn´t catch the bronze color the morning dew gave it.

Nowdays it´s a bit different. Some, like in the company I work, close the factory for four weeks in a row. Others give half the crew vacation one week before the other half so they only have closed for three weeks and others doesn´t close at all and sort of works at lower speed for a longer period during the summer.

You can actually see my head reflected in the shell of this beetle :-) All photo´s gets bigger and better if You click on them.

Yesterday I could for the first time in a long period stay in my garden without being pestered by all flies out there. We might have come to a turning point actually. Flies doesn´t live that long and now they have done what they were supposed to do, secure the species survival. I do hope that´s the case. In the forest however this wasn´t the case at all :-) :-) But I have my mosquitoe hat to keep them away from my nose and ears:-) :-)

This is a Six-spot burnet, Allmän bastardsvärmare in swedish.

So I could do some use out there for once :-) I removed most of the leafs on my tomatoe plants. The leafs doesn´t do that much use actually and they keep the sun from reaching the comming tomatoes. So I kept just a few in the top of the plants. I also accidentally cut of two vines from a couple of clematises. But no worry, this is the perfect time to take cuttings and I´ll show You photo´s of how I do that in the bottom of todays blog. I also stumbeled over my gardenis that I put out in the beginning of this summer. It looked as it said "come help me and die" to be honest :-) :-) It had been attacked by different pests already in my kitchen and now it looked as some more had found it. So I just cut it down (even if it was flowering at the moment). I´ll show You photo´s of that later because I had over 125 photo´s to choose from today so I´ll have no space for them here today :-)

A Cabbage butterfly, it has the same name in swedish. Its larvaes eats all cabbage plants and also Garden nasturtiums.

Today I´ll go to the village Tråvad again. The girl I helped with herv french homework these last years will move away to another city to start gymnasiet (that´s highschool) and she can´t have her aquarium with her. So all fish she has will move to my home instead. Her parents can´t take care of them either since this is their busiest time of the year. They sell spices at markets all over southern Sweden. Well, my aquarium looks a bit empty to be honest so that´ll be perfect.

The Himalayan Balsam gets easily over two meters high (6,6 feet). It comes as the names says from the Himalyans and is a nice weed. Well it has a tendency to push away even as strong plants as nettles. But it´s an annual and easy to remove.

The flowers can have all colors, from pure white to almost maroon. I´ve even seen spotted ones.

One of my tomatoe plants stripped of almost all its leafs. It´s enough with those in the top of the bush.

My first tomatoe! It´s from the sort "Japanese fir tree". Gives really tasty tomatoes but it isn´t a plant that gives loads of tomatoes though.

It´s time for another cup of tea I think. It´ll be a warm day they say, perhaps the last really warm day before a longer period with cold weather. I hope the colder weather makes it perfect to paint my cottage.
Have a great day now, I will!

One of the vines from my clematis that has deep red leafs all spring. The other vine might be from the clematis growing beside that one.

Now is the perfect time for taking cuttings of those clematises that flowers in early spring. They have just started to become lignified.Just cut benieth a pair of leafs in the bottom of the cutting and just above on the top of it.

Gently pull of the bottom leafs. Don´t damage the stem, because this is where the new roots will come. Reduce the top leafs to half the ammount, they will only draw energy from the rooting otherwise.

Put the cuttings in sandy soil (I didn´t have that at home so I´ll have to do with common pot plant soil. The soil should be moist, not wet!! This is very important! Wet soil and they will root!

Put a plastic see through bag over it (or if You don´t have that it must at least be white). You can make som small holes in the bag with a needle if You want to. Now put the pot on a place where the sun can´t rech it. There should be new roots within a couple of weeks. You can normally see that it´s been a success when the cutting starts to grow new vines.


jaz@octoberfarm said...

hi christer...i love the pic of the beetle with your reflection! it is good that it is a bit cooler too. i wish that would happen here. a man trying to cross the street in his bare feet got second degree burns. they are saying this is the hottest summer on record in this country. the rain missed us so i will have to do lots of watering. i remember when we would travel to italy in the summer and i would be so disappointed because so many stores were closed for vacation. nothing like that happens here except for some restaurants in the northeast during the winter. have a great day! joyce

The cottage by the Cranelake said...

Hi Joyce! I love those little beetles! That color is fantastic!

Sorry about the rain missing You! We´ll get some more here later in the week they say, but first we´ll have a couple of really hot days. I´m glad that my garden is so small that my water hose reaches all over it :-) It´s only when I have to use fertilizers that I carry the water.

I think things are changing all over europe now. If You travel to Italy now stores will be open all summer. It´s only the industries that close for a longer period nowdays.

Have a great day in the heat now!

HermitJim said...

Once again, my friend, you have given us some very nice pictures! Beautiful countryside!

I hope you get a chance to paint your cottage soon, as I know you want to make good use of your time off!

Thanks again for the tour!

The cottage by the Cranelake said...

Hi Jim!
Much of Sweden looks like this nowdays. If it isn´t open fields it´s forest. Most people lives in cities nowdays. But I love it here (even if the flies drives me crazy sometimes :-) ) nd can´t imagine moving back to my old home town.

I have four weeks to paint the cottage if I want to do it all during my vacation. I just take one wall at a time :-)

Have a great day now!

Wsprsweetly Of Cottages said...

Hi Christer..
Are you painting inside or out? I am still working on my husband to let me paint the shutters deep red and some of the trim..but color rather frightens him I think. He has let me do a I will wait and hope he changes his mind.

Your photo's, again, are fantastic. I am not exactly sure what the difference I said already..they just get more and more wonderful. It is like being there...without the flies!
I always dream of visiting foreign countries...but I know I will never get to do that. It's too late...but I am a serious arm chair traveler and your posts are so special! Thank you for all you share, Christer.

Anonymous said...

AHHHHH for a nice cool crisp morning. We started here at 80F, but had a nice breeze so it was almost pleasent. Great Pictures.

Anonymous said...

I took my mobile Tomatoe plant and put it in the ground and made a nice brick fence to keep bugs out. Well snails that eat the meat. I'll have to water it daily and I did enjoy reading your explanation on those cuttings. Very good! Lovely photos today too Christer. Glad the student chose you to care for her fish. They are the kind that would survive in the pond though.

Beatrice P. Boyd said...

The early morning mist coming off the fields and the horses were my favorite shots this post, Christer.

Also after seeing the photos of the insects both on your site and others, I know I will post some of the little insects I've found in and around our yard.

Nice information on transplanting.
What color are you thinking about for the cottage?
Maybe we should all bring out paint brushes and come help out, but of course those pesky flies would not be much fun.

The cottage by the Cranelake said...

Hi Mona!
It´s the outside of the cottage that will be painted this year. I´ll take the inside next summer instead. But I´m not sure what colors I´ll have indoors though. I think my bedroom will become light green, perhaps the whole upper floor will get that color since it´s more or less one big room there. But I still can´t decide what to do with my kitchen yet. But I have a year to think about that :-)

I think it´s the combination of morning dew and morning sun that makes the difference in the photo´s. TRhis morning wasn´t like that at all and I got dissapointed with most of my photo´s taken on our morning walk.

Nowdays I almost never wishes to go to other places, I don´t even want to take daytrips any more :-) :-) But that changes from time to time :-) :-) To read others blogs is a good substitute :-)
Have a great day now!

The cottage by the Cranelake said...

Hi Grenville!

I just love these cool mornings:-) Especially if there´s lots of dew and a hhase still hovering above the ground. 80F in the morning would be just to much for me :-) :-)
Have a great day now!

The cottage by the Cranelake said...

Hi Z&M!
A good way to keep snails from Your tomatoeplants is to make a "border" with lime powder around it. Snails hate lime powder you see. To be absolutly sure they won´t pass that, make two borders, then it´ll be to much troubles for them to get to the plants.

As it is now atleast two of those aquarium fishes would live a great life in that pond, but soon the temperatures would drop to low. So I better keep them inside all the time.

Have a great day now!

The cottage by the Cranelake said...

Hi Beatrice!
Even though I hate some flies, insects are really interesting! I discover new species every day here and some are just amazing! As long as they don´t bother me I like them :-) :-)

My cottage will be red, like most houses here in the countryside in southern sweden are. We just love our red houses. Back in the days all houses had the same kind of paint too.

They have done surveys that shows that a majority of sweeds wants a red cottage in the country side. That is our most precious dream in life :-)

Have a great day now!