Archive for the ‘Information vegetable animal and mineral’ Category


May 12, 2018

I planted my vegetable garden for the year a couple of days ago. Last year was very discouraging, but at least I think I learned a few things from the experience, so I’m trying again this year.

I tried starting some vegetables from seed, but only the carrots took, so I transplanted those to the garden and sowed some more carrot seed. I also got some cabbage, beet, and artichoke (!) seedlings from our local nursery to try, plus I planted some old potatoes that had gone to seed. We’ll see whether anything comes of this at all. I also planted a few pumpkin seeds at the edge of the woods; I’m not going to put much work into them, I’m just seeing what happens.

I’m using a different mix of composts this year and I’ve put down newspaper around the seedlings to discourage weeds. The netting I put up last year didn’t keep the rabbits out at all, so I’m trying a deterrent spray this year.


Starting spring work

April 21, 2018

I’m in the midst of final proofreading for my barbarians book, but we finally had a nice calm, sunny day today, so I took an hour before lunch to do some random outdoor work. I picked up fallen branches, pruned the fruit trees and berry bushes, and shoveled some gravel that got banked up by the plows during the winter back onto the road. There’s a lot of work yet to be done, but it was nice to putter around in the sun.


April 20, 2018

I’m trying to start some seedlings for the garden inside this year, since I had very poor luck with the plants I started outside last year. I have a tray of carrot, green bean, and cucumber seeds. So far the carrots have sprouted nicely, but the beans and cukes have yet to put in an appearance.

In other news, the New England Historical Association had its spring meeting last weekend. I was the program chair for that conference, meaning I took all the submitted papers and organized them into panels, which is fun but a lot of work. We held our annual election at the conference and I was elected president of the Association for the next year, which is a great honor.

I’ve also recently been in talks for a second book with the publishing house that is putting out my barbarians book. They were looking for someone to write a brief introduction to the Greco-Persian Wars, with translated documents. That’s a subject I regularly teach and I’ve been wishing for more opportunities to do translation work, so I jumped at the chance. The next step is to put together a proposal. I hope to have a contract in hand and start working within a couple of months. It’s shaping up to be a busy summer again.


March 2, 2018

We’re getting a serious storm today. The reports are of hurricane-strength winds and up to three feet of coastal flooding. The University administration has apparently decided to proceed as usual, but after a look at the weather reports, I decided to cancel my classes today for the sake of my students’ safety. All day I’ve been getting emails from students about flooding, even some who have had to evacuate their homes, so I think I made the right call.

We’ve been listening to the howling wind and watching trees come down in the woods out back. So far, we’ve had no interruptions to power or phone service, and I hope that holds true through the rest of the day and tonight. Tomorrow we’ll have to go out and survey the damage.

How does my garden grow?

July 21, 2017

Not quite as high as an elephant’s eye.

Well, the corn is starting to look like corn, and I have lots of young green bean plants growing. (I mistook them for clover when they were young, so I’m glad I let them grow!) So far only one cucumber has shown up, but I’ve also got some volunteer tomatoes and potatoes. It’s a bit of a chaos in the garden patch just now, but hopefully something yummy will come out of it all.

Back yard friends

June 2, 2017

We had some friends visit our back yard last night: two rabbits and a chipmunk. I only got one poor picture of a rabbit, but we watched them hop around munching on dandelions for a while.

Do you hear something, bunny?

Our friends seem to like it when the grass is long. I suppose it gives them more cover to hide in from the hawks and foxes we have around. I mowed the lawn today, but I left a strip of long grass at the back so hopefully they’ll come visit us again.


May 17, 2017

It’s hard to be sure at this size, but I believe this is my first corn sprout peeking up out of the earth.

Hello, sunshine

Suddenly summer

April 11, 2017

Two days ago we had snow in the back yard and I was wearing long johns, wool socks, a turtleneck, and a sweater.
Today it’s 85 F outside and I had to dig out my shorts and sandals.
We’ve had the windows open letting the warm air in and it’s lovely, but it’s also a bit of a shock to the system.

The winter that wasn’t

January 22, 2017

It’s been an odd winter. We keep getting snow, but then it all melts. Three or four times now we’ve had several inches on the ground all vanish in a few days. Yesterday E and I were walking around town doing some errands and it felt like spring. The sun was warm on our faces, the trees were full of fuzzy pussy willow buds, and the air smelled of fresh mud. It was hard to believe that it’s still January.

Maybe February will clobber us with snowstorms and cold. Who knows? For now, it doesn’t feel like much of a winter.

No snow

January 5, 2017

It’s been a warm, dry winter so far. We’ve had a couple of storms drop three or four inches of snow on us, but they’ve both been followed by warm weeks of melting. At the moment we have just a couple crusty patches of ice out back and otherwise the ground is bare. On one hand, I don’t mind not having to clear the driveway. On the other hand, it doesn’t feel right to have winter without snow on the ground. Of course, we still have most of January, February, and March ahead of us, so who knows what’s coming.

I’ve been hunkered down writing for most of the past couple weeks since Christmas. The work goes slowly, but still it goes.