Posted by: David | October 19, 2010

Autumnal Break

There I sat at the computer last Friday night. Four days off spread before me just like one ginormous yawn. It rained like hell that day, windy and raw. I tried to stay at my screen in my office as much as possible., but had to venture out a few times into the maelstrom.  Someone said it had been sleeting at one point. Glad I wore my bright yellow raincoat and waterproof shoes.

Early autumn sunsets have been pretty.

Sunrise, the far hills catch the light. More dramatic light with the sun gone south.

That was last week. Break is over now. Back to work tomorrow. The 4 days off from work were nice, but it was cool and windy every day. Not much for bike riding. But when you’re addicted you have to go do it anyway. So I did. Just a couple of short rides. This morning the temp got down to 26°F.

The ice in the bird bath lasted until late morning.

The notable achievement of this break was the planting of the garlic. First wheelbarrow loads of compost had to be moved to the two long beds where onions had grown so nicely this summer.

The compost from this pile went to about 5 garden beds. I think I turned it 3 or 4 times over the summer.

After covering the two beds with about 4-5 inches of compost, I tilled the beds with a turning fork. Mind you this work took place over the last week or two. There’s about an hour of light left after getting home from work, and working the soil helps melt away the business of the day. After turning, 5 – 10 pounds of organic Pro-Gro 5-3-4 fertilizer is worked in with a cultivator and then the beds are raked down nice and flat for planting. I made a planting guide that spaces the garlic cloves 6 inches from each other.

The plywood has notches every 6 inches, and is 6 inches wide.

Break the head up, push cloves in a couple of inches, move board down, repeat.

It took a couple of hours to plant 373 cloves.  When it’s less windy, the straw mulch will be applied. The early spring sprouts poking through the straw will be a welcome sight.

Also dried another load of onions. Some purple ones this time.

Another important thing accomplished today was the gathering and roasting of as many pumpkin seeds as I could find. We gave away a lot of pumpkins, as usual, but there were 3 big ones left and the seeds were nice and plump. Next weekend I’m going to a farm in Warner where they carve up hundreds of pumpkins. I heard I could take all the seeds I could possibly want.



  1. Mmm, garlic! I love it in almost everything. Life is better with garlic.

    Sorry to hear your time off didn’t work out better, with crisp sunny days and some wonderful long rides.

    Thanks Pi, it was nice to be off, no matter what actually happened or got done. Sometimes it’s harder to remember that and just enjoy idling.

    You can’t have too much garlic. Unless you’re a vampire I guess.

  2. Do you ever have to actually go to the grocery store?

    I love that picture of early autumn. It reminds me of my favorite Swayze movie, “Red Dawn.” Glorious.

    Thanks VAGB, we go to the grocery store all the time. We haven’t figured out how to grow Good N Plenty yet. Or bacon.

    Not sure I’ve ever seen Red Dawn. Is it as good as Road House?

  3. Your opening paragraph read like the beginning of a good fiction novel.

    As I read the rest, I kept saying, “Ooohhh, pretty pictures!”

    Yeah right. It was a dark and stormy night … Still, thanks for the props. And for stopping by. 🙂

  4. But bacon is easy to grow. Also, a pig if you get to know him or her personally is not similar to those poor beasts that are produced industrially to be slaughtered by machines. I think they are a little dumb; that is their problem. And of course they are dirty because their owners keep them that way. The dirt is all their owners’.

    And then the way pigs are slaughtered, even if it is done by machines. Jesus! And nobody knows about that. Don’t ask, don’t tell. Let’s all attack the Spanish bull fight instead.

    Yes, swine are high yielding livestock. They eat anything and everything, and can nicely root up pretty rough landscape. The saying is that you can eat every part of them but the “oink”, which is the sound they make (in English anyway). Funny that they make such good pets too. They are not the least bit attractive to me, even though I like bacon.

    Our cruelty to animals is as yet unmatched by our cruelty to each other. 😦

  5. The garlic bed is very beautiful as a thing, e.g. a sculpture, and it is photogenic. What if the cloves were not spaced so regularly? And does each clove produce a “head”(?) of garlic?

    Yet there are garlic flowers, and so there would also be seeds. Couldn’t you use those?

    Spaniards eat sunflower seeds. They used to eat sunflower seeds day in day out. They are very sociable and they used to sit in groups on benches all over the center of any pueblo, talk and eat sunflower seeds. They had a way of taking one between their teeth, bite it just one, spit out the shell and eat the seed.

    You would not believe how much and how fast people change when money pours in from nowhere, as it poured here for unexplainable reasons for about 8 years continuously. You cannot imagine it. It changes every little detail of how they live, dress, spend their time, and it changes every one of their opinions.

    Thanks cantueso. I thought the planted garlic beds looked interesting too. Giving each clove plenty of room encourages them to grow into large heads. As to flowers, there are none with the hardneck variety I grow. This is another fascinating thing about garlic. They produce a stalk with miniature bulbs, which if left to its own devices would flop over and take root, coming up the following year. In this way the garlic would “walk” and spread itself around. Asexually.

    We like sunflower seeds here in the USA too. Lots of spitting is involved. Some of the baseball players can be seen spitting these in lieu of tobacco.

  6. But it isn’t true that humans are more cruel to each other than to animals. Cruelty to animals looks bad only if the animals are large and/or can show their pain in some intelligible way.

    Yesterday I landed on a blog where they spoke about fish farms……Little fish, you know?

    Cockroaches agonize for 12 hours if they get Bygone.

    Crabs are packed in straw and sent live to the markets so the ladies see they are indeed fresh.

    These levels of cruelty were only reached in the holocaust. Even the famous Spanish inquisition treated the victims most solemnly as individuals. The cruelty was ritualistic, not idiotic or mindless, nor sadistic.
    I think that you prove my point by writing “show their pain in some intelligible way”. Because we can fully understand the depth and nature of human suffering, our inflicting of pain on our own kind is worse than what we do to animals. The Holocaust certainly is one of the best examples, where the victims were treated as animals.

  7. What is this convention among photographers to say nothing about the picture except what camera they used?

    If you see a picture, can you tell the camera that was used?

    There was a pretty image of peach blossoms.
    28583950685746382987776943857436 PANASONIC DUAL F 32 FR26

    This is a really old convention among photographers. It’s about the craft, not the art. In the old days it was possible to make a reasonable guess as to what camera, or sort of camera, was used by seeing the resulting image. Believe it or not, certain optics and films yielded visibly different results. However, the content of the final print or picture is the essence of the photographic act, which could have been done with a pinhole camera and still be amazing. Today there is such a bewildering variety of good cameras available that it’s sillier than ever to mention the camera, unless your audience wants that information or you want to brag. If I owned this camera I would do a lot of bragging.

  8. !! I see. I should have understood that on my own. However, the name of the camera is also part of the computerized identification tag that the photo gets, in addition to the moment the photo was taken.

    Yes, the computer has changed the paradigm of photography. The machine eye now sees and registers the light in its own way. But the human eye still points the camera.

  9. Remember when I got the new computer and got it to help the local economy from a local store. It has since folded up, of course.
    And remember for a long ttime I had two main disks and then once transferred everything to C.
    But ever since I have had 2 “desktops” and yesterday, finally, the thing turned schizo and everything came twice on the desktop.

    Example: I open up a picture, and the picture appears twice. I try to throw away one, which works, but then the other one becomes invalid and cannot be eliminated, nor moved. So I get its sibling out of the paper basket and throw away the other one of the two, and this time both disappear, but in the paper basked there is only one!

    Seeing that, I see a solution which is to set up a new folder, call it cantueso, and it appears twice. And from then on I use this new folder as if it were the desktop. I put all new things in there, and all the accesses etc and I work only inside it.
    Of course I tried to revert the system to its former existence, but it three times it said that could not be done and would I please inform Bill Gates. But my own solution works perfectly though it is absurd. In the explorer, too, there are two desktops, one empty and the other one showing everything twice.

    Also, I have to confess that as I’ll have more free time until maybe November I opened up two blogs and put in some of your pictures but not yet with any acknowledgement, which I will put in once the blogs have become more defined. I took the sweetest pink little kitten of yours and called it Alter Ego.

    Sorry to hear about your computer problems. It’s not the first time I’ve heard of a schizophrenic system. There is no cure …

    Please tell me where to see your other blogs.

  10. No, I can’t yet tell you about my other blogs, because I have yet to see what I want to do with them . Remember, on my other two blogs I don’t have almost anything in German or in French because in fact I have been trying to streamline them, make them smaller. So some things will simply be transferred.

    The system doesn’t tell me when there is a cut and I have to check all the time to see whether I am still online. Conversely, once they cut me off, I could do something else, but have to watch the modem to see when it comes back on.

    The solution to the schyzophrenic behaviour was to give in to it. We no longer put anything on the desktop. Instead, there are two folders with my name and two with the other user’s name, each pair representing 1 folder 😀 with our basic links.

    This way the desktop always looks incredibly clean.
    Have you been watching Madrid going nuts over the Pope’s visit?
    It’s 40º in the shade and he has to give long speeches wearing all those clothes.
    Today he will address a crowd of 1 000 000 on the military airfield specially prepared with the landing strips serving to organize the crowd.

    I used to read him some years before he became pope.

    Kudos to you for using folders to clear up your schizo desktop problem.

    Sorry, I missed the Pope’s visit to Madrid. I’m still too darn busy …

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