Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Before & After, From our Bedroom

I once had a very ambitious plan to take a picture of our oak tree from our bedroom window every day for a year. Some days we weren't here, some days I forgot, and then there were several weeks in there when our camera wasn't working. But from what I did take you might get an idea of how much we loved this tree.

And here is a fade from one of those pictures to our current view out the bedroom window. The shed and the holly tree on the left were my points of reference for lining these up -- it's not perfect, but again, you get the idea...

Our House Post Post Oak

We still maintain that we got off incredibly lucky compared to what could have happened when our tree came down. But there was more damage than we realized hiding under the foliage. And we have a lot of wood to split.

Closeup of the hole in our laundry room roof:

That corner suffered more damage than we had realized both on the 1st floor addition...
...and on the second floor. Not sure how this will play out, since the siding shingles are made of asbestos embedded in concrete -- I don't think they can be replaced, since they aren't made anymore.

Two of our solar panels are visibly broken, and a third is way down in production.

But perhaps the biggest surprise was finding our attic fan on the ground, which means we had a second decent-sized hole in our roof that we didn't even know about until Monday night.

Dewey's Truck

Somewhere under all this foliage...
...our neighbor's truck.

Hurricane Destruction: Our Civil War Era Post Oak

Matt and I went to bed Saturday night talking about how the local and national 24-hour news generating machine had possibly over-hyped Hurricane Irene.

I woke up at 3:45 to the noise of the 150+ year old post oak that was the centerpiece of our backyard starting to fall down.

Matt woke up to me screaming as I realized what was happening.

In slow motion, with an enormous creaking noise, the whole tree snapped and fell, hitting mostly the laundry room on the corner of our house and our neighbor's two vehicles, with some other scattered damage in its wake.

It could have been so much worse. Last night we walked around the neighborhood and visited a house where a huge section of the second floor, including the bedroom, was totally obliterated by a tree less than half the size of ours. Miraculously the person who normally would have been sleeping in the now-flattened bed was on the first floor of her house, unable to sleep in the storm.

Still, we will miss this tree -- and all the critters who visited it and lived in it.

I found a couple of pictures we had of the tree in all its glory and tried to match them up with some pictures of the aftermath, but it's hard to convey even in pictures the magnitude of the destruction. (For a sense of scale, notice tiny me in the last picture.)

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Tomato Tasting

What a spread!

The final vote tally:

Purple Cherry - 8
Green Zebra - 7
German Stripe - 5
Sun Gold - 4
Ground Cherry - 3
Cherokee Purple - 2
Matt's Wild Cherry - 2
Earle's Compost - 2
Yellow Brandywine - 2
Amana Orange - 1
Ruby Gold (?) - 1
Purple Eva - 1
Yellow Pear - 1
Brandywine - 1
Sweet Pea - 0
White Cherry - 0
Canada "On-Vine" from Whole Foods - 0

And then it was on to poetry about rodents stealing vegetables, and pelting them with rotten tomatoes:

Unfortunately we didn't capture any of the music, not our rendition of Guy Clark's "Homegrown Tomatoes" nor Jimmy and Stephanie's "Happy Habitats." And Shannon never got a chance to read Pablo Neruda's Ode to Tomatoes. Next year!

Sunday, April 10, 2011

We Have Bees

Here's how they got into the hive:

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Takoma Voice articles

Pictures of our garden in the February Takoma/Silver Spring Voice! (Full article here). We'll post a link to Sat Jiwan's March article about Matt when it's online.

Early Spring in the Garden

Our friend Gordon (founder of Montgomery Victory Gardens) stopped by this afternoon to see what was going on in our backyard. It was a good guess on his part -- we happened to be planting potatoes. It turned into a little photo shoot of early spring in the garden...