Tea smoked duck…

Tea Smoked in the tub

I’m still the foster parent for five Pekin ducks.  Homes need to be found for four of the five.  One is challenged, no social skills with fellow ducks, prone to standing in a corner,  no instinct for putting himself to bed and sketchy eating habits.  Every evening I hunt him down in the dark so others won’t.  He makes the one who’s been missing an eye since ducklinghood appear fully abled.  Naturally he’s the one duck I’m thinking we should hold onto.  It took me weeks to catch them in the act of bathing in their not so natural pond.  I had noted that post breakfast they were looking cleaner, more groomed in a metrosexual fashion but had still not witnessed the ritual.  Satisfaction came in the form of the sound of splashing the other morning.

I’ve got my eye on you…

Watermelon blossom

It’s already August and my mind is still back on our cool wet Spring weather.  This did not stop me from planting (no cold frame start) several Watermelon vines for the first time.  My expectations were minimal, perhaps just survival of the plants. It has not felt like there has been the necessary heat even though we are partially though Summer.  There are now signs of fruit which I meditate on daily.  The expectations have shifted.  Yes, I will be fertilizing with some additional compost and sliding a piece of plastic under the pencil eraser sized fruit to prevent slugs and mold.  Hopefully the extra attention will not scare off harvesting even just one Watermelon.

The first watermelon

The tasty weed…

Post 4th of July weekend I went over to Peggy and Dave’s house, spent some time in their garden and shot a few images.  They bought their San Rafael home in the 1960’s and have been outside making their yard thrive ever since. Purslane often ends up pulled and tossed as a weed.  A better option for Purslane, or Portulaca oleracea is to eat it.  It’s one of the varietals intentionally found in their garden.  As a salad green, in soups or a stir fry Purslane is one of the best sources for Omega 3 fatty acids, E, C, beta carotene and is even high in protein.  Endorsed, well at least eaten as a vegetable by Native Americans prior to Colonial discovery.  All that and a pretty plant too.

Purslane