See pic above - when walking in the woods you need to watch where you walk - not only to avoid a copperhead but also to see what is going on down there - the different fungi and this small guy for whom my misstep would have been fatal. My last post was Aug 28 and since then I unfortunately had to focus on other matters.  The garden has transitioned with the approach of Fall. What little time I had for growing I tried to spend wisely.  I pulled the fading squash plants which had done Read more [...]

summer nears end

I had large yields of vegetables and fruit this year due primarily to plentiful rains and my slowly improving techniques.  We had so many patty pan squash we gave a 5 gal bucket to the local high end restaurant. So the squash were great this year but a few days ago I noticed borer holes in some of the new squash, so I yanked out all the squash plants for the compost heap.  They provided such good cover there were very few weeds and it was quick work to mulch the beds Read more [...]

can’t get no satisfaction

(Pic above - the Atlanta house has a big fig tree and recent rains produced a good crop.  The pic shows 2 days harvesting, net of consumption.) The Rolling Stones lyric (1965) - "can't get no satisfaction" played in my mind during my run through the woods.  Probably because I just watched "Norman: The Moderate Rise and Tragic Fall of a New York Fixer" and in one scene the fixer offers his help to a woman and she says "I need the satisfaction of knowing that I am doing good in the world" Read more [...]

rainwater harvesting – connecting new storage tank

Last year there was a drought, I was short of water and had to transport 35 gals a day from Atlanta to Pickens to maintain key plants.  I then resolved to increase my 6,000 gal storage capacity and in May I installed a 2,100 gal tank in a separate location and filled it from my other tanks.  More rain quickly refilled the depleted tanks. I irrigate my vegetables and fruit trees plentifully and they are producing a bumper crop of squash, cucumbers, apples, pears and also tomatoes, okra Read more [...]

Space Invaders and the world of 1’s and 0’s

After leaving South Africa in the late 70's I worked in London for one of the "big 8" accounting firms, now called the "big 4".  I remember a multi-day training event where in the evenings we drank a lot of beer, socialized and I discovered the addictive Space Invaders arcade video game which was housed in a large console.  As the commander of the only remaining space ship I had to dodge from side to side to evade incoming missiles and simultaneously destroy the horde of menacing invaders Read more [...]

what’s growing

After several days in the 90's this morning was overcast and I began working at 6.30am, so it was pleasant.  With all the recent rains I have 8,000 gallons stored rainwater and can be liberal with its use. As I stepped outside I heard loud buzzing.  M. had lamented we had not trimmed the Rose of Sharon hibiscus, which overtowers our deck, and it would have fewer flowers this year.  But not this morning - there were flowers enough and many pollinators. The bumblebee and also Read more [...]

what’s growing

We have had lots of rain and in the woods interesting fungi appear such as above or this unusual specimen below. The puffballs attract little attention while growing. But when it matures a hole appears at the top. In addition to the regular looking fungi there are other varieties, here is another one. But enough with the fungi, what's edible that's growing?  The blueberries and blackberries are done for the season.  And the jujube, such a stellar producer in previous Read more [...]

cracked iPhone 4 screen replacement

This morning's wsj 6/21/17 first page article says "Bust Your Phone Again?  These Teens Are Here To Help".  A 16 year old Nantucket resident instead of surfing, made close to $24k last summer repairing smart phones and is busy again this summer.  His charge to repair a cracked iPhone 7 Plus is $189.99.   M. dropped her iPhone 4 last week and the screen is hard to read - see pic above.  She wants to wait for the new iPhone due later this year.  So I suggested I would Read more [...]

water heater expansion tank

In addition to my place north of Atlanta where I spend most of my time, we have a large house in Atlanta which we will sell when M. stops working.  I have begun readying the Atlanta house for sale.  It has two water heaters and neither has an expansion tank.  The code requires an expansion tank be installed if a new heater is installed or if a backflow preventer (check or one way valve) is installed.   A backflow preventer prevents water on the house side of the device Read more [...]

what’s growing

My last growing update was June 2.  Since then ripe tomatoes, blackberries and blueberries have come on stream.  And wild plants such as the pokeweed above, compete for attention.  Yesterday's basket provided a delicious salad - tasty tomatoes, cucumber, beans plus onions and garlic (not shown).  All freshly picked. I inter-sprinkled some seeds for large sunflowers in the growing area and the sunflowers are now between 9ft and 10ft tall. I also added color to Read more [...]