1st Ripe Figs & Fabric

The first of this year's fig crop

The first of this year’s fig crop

I walked outside in a light drizzle today to check on the figs.  They are starting to ripen!  The tree with the early, smaller figs is loaded.  The other fig tree has larger, fat green figs that will ripen later.

I’m keeping this first picking to pig out on fresh.   They are superb!

I ordered fabric for the small bathroom last night.  Am going crazy trying to pick out paint colors.

But there’s a lot of prep work before I start since I need to replace part of the subfloor under the toilet, install a new toilet and lavatory and replace the flooring.  I’ve decided to keep the existing countertop.  It’s dated, but still sound and the color will work with my fabric.

I’m feeling a little under the weather, so might take a while to actually get busy on the project.  But the planning is always the toughest part for me, anyway, and I think I have most of what I want to do figured out.

Squirrel in the Fig Tree & Hummingbirds

After working in the garden late this afternoon, I decided to pick figs and make fig preserves this evening.  But most of the figs were partially eaten, and the uneaten ones were not ripe enough to pick.  What a disappointment!

If it were birds, I wouldn’t have minded too much.  But later I was sitting on the deck and noticed the fig tree moving.  I didn’t think that a bird would cause that much motion, so I watched for a few minutes… and then I saw the squirrel.   After he helped himself to what he wanted in the tree, he jumped to the ground and ate the partially eaten figs that I had discarded.

Since I didn’t have enough figs to even think of making preserves, I decided to play with an orange marmalade recipe.  I LOVE orange marmalade.  And figs go well with oranges.  So I’m planning to cut up my few figs and add them to the marmalade recipe and see how it turns out.  I bet it will be good!

Two hummingbirds have discovered the feeder I put up yesterday.  They have entertained us on and off all day.  It always amazes me how such exquisitely beautiful little birds can be so contentious in asserting proprietary rights to the feeder.  It’s like watching a tiny WWI airborne dogfight!

I also started more fall vegetable seeds in little plastic cups this evening.  I used to have good luck direct seeding almost everything.  But this year it is so hot that it is impossible to keep the garden soil evenly moist.

 

 

 

Figs are Ripening

Figs ripening. The darker one to the left is at the peak of sweetness.

The figs are almost ripe!  I wanted to wait until they were at their peak of sweetness before picking them.  But the birds are getting to them, so I picked a small bowlful for myself today, even though they would be better later.  They are still delicious, though.  Most of them should be at the peak of perfection in a few days.

I do NOT begrudge the birds!  I have been mourning at how few of them I see and hear lately.  So they are welcome to feast on a few of them.  I do wish they would eat a whole fig instead of pecking at several of them though!

For the birds 🙂

Also, we got the most wonderful rain today.  A warm, soft, misty sprinkle that lasted for hours and thoroughly soaked the ground.  We probably got less than an inch, but every drop of it soaked in and the plants look positively jubilant to me!

Our days continue in the 90’s.  In fact. they have been in the 90’s since May with only a handful of days in the high 80’s.  But we have been amazingly blessed with cloud cover that keeps the sun from blistering us.  And we’ve had showers pretty often, too.

Happy grass!

We are classified in a moderate drought on the weather maps, but having been through an exceptional drought a few years back, this looks like Eden to me.  I feel deeply for the people who are undergoing brutal heat and exceptional drought this year.  My sister in Texas says her grass is brown, dead, and crunches when she walks on it.

Wish I could share some of our beautiful rain with her.

Green Onions & Blackberry Cobbler

last years green onions produce new shoots

Dying onions produce tender new plants

Since we’ve started planning camping trips most months of the year, my former passion, gardening, has been sadly neglected.  However, I do still grow several Earthbox containers of flowers and herbs.

Last year I planted green onions intending to let them overwinter and go to seed.  As expected, they did go to seed earlier this year and the plants began dying.   I neglected pulling up the old plants until today.  And I got a nice surprise.

ripe and unripe blackberries

Ready to pick ripe blackberries

Not only did the old plants provide me with seed.  But when I pulled them up, I discovered that each one had also produced a new onion sprout.  That was an unexpected bonanza.  So I replanted half of the bulbs and harvested a nice supply of green onions for the kitchen.

Not bad for dead onions!

Then I wandered over to check out the wild blackberry bushes that grow on the margins of our property.   They are still mostly unripe, but, again, I found enough ripe ones to make a cobbler.

I added orange juice, cinnamon, nutmeg, butter, sugar and cornstarch to the blackberries, boiled them briefly, then used sweet vanilla drop biscuits for the crust.  It was superb!

blackberry cobbler

Yum!

I love the way the blackberry season is staggered.   I can enjoy their essence of summer flavor fresh from the bush for a while.

I won’t make blackberry jam or jelly this year because my sister gave me all the blackberry and huckleberry jam that I can use for a while.

Using the berries fresh is more fun anyway.  🙂

with ice cream

....with ice cream

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