Vermont Adventures Part 2
We've had a busy weekend and a busy week to look forward to. It's been hot and sunny during the day and rained every evening so we have been able to spend less time tending to our plants and more time enjoying the first truly glorious few days of heat and sun. We headed out paddleboarding on Saturday over at Wrightsville Reservoir for a few hours and enjoyed bumbling around the lake, pausing to jump off the boards and into the cold water to cool down. We stopped at the far bank and sat for a spell to picnic and enjoy the peace and tranquility. After we ate we headed along to the shallow end past the state park beach to where we've seen Great Blue Heron and Bald Eagles in the past. There were none to be seen on Saturday but that's ok... There is plenty more summer fun to come!
On our way back along the lake to head home Elizabeth managed to fall off her board- unfortunately losing her glasses in the process! Thankfully she has better eyes than me and could manage to paddle back to shore even without them! We both tried to dive down at the spot where they sank but parts of the lake are DEEP and neither of us could reach the bottom... Even if we had I doubt we would have been able to find them without goggles...
This is near the boat launch where we put our boards in the water. The spot we like to sit is directly across.
These two are from where we sat on the bank to picnic and swim a little.
We had dinner around the firepit and toasted marshmallows before bed, all in all a great way to spend a Saturday!
Please ignore the tarp covered mound of clay in the background- we use it for cobb and all kinds of stuff but it isn't exactly the prettiest thing ever. I guess the pit itself is pretty rough too lol but it does the job!
Sunday we were all a little tired, a little sunburned, and a little sore from paddling around the lake for so long. We took it kind of easy and had a low key day at home. We potted a couple of tree starts that arrived earlier in the week. We are hedging our bets with this as we are going away for a week on Thursday. We aren't sure what the weather is going to be like while we are gone so we don't want to put all of our new starts in the ground and then leave them for that long without watering. This way we can pot a few of them and put under the eaves or our house where any rain or dew will roll right off and water them while we are gone... The rest we will plant in the field before we leave and hope the weather is kind to us.
We spent a bunch of time wandering around the field checking on stuff and watching frogs and fish along the riverbank and snapping photos.
Strawberries are looking great- this is one of many we've planted along the swale that borders our path down to the field.
Crab apple is beginning to fruit!
The "special tomato" is doing great and particularly hard to spot in amongst the surrounding ferns 😉🙈. Its grown at least 6 inches taller since being moved outside, some of the early growth has died back at the bottom after transitioning from lights to full sun but it has put on some rapid growth in the last week or so of rain and sun!
As we walked along the river I kept having to pause to pull knotweed out of the water. If it breaks and floats downstream it will lodge somewhere and spread itself still further... People don't understand just how awful the stuff is and when they mow their banks or cut a path to the water they often drop full stems in the water. A one inch piece of its roots can grow a whole new plant... or any part of living stem that has a node will root...
I also found another awful plant on the way back up to the house... not as troublesome to get rid of as knotweed but more dangerous... giant hogweed (Heracleum mantegazzianum). It was hidden along the tree line but I noticed the large leaves from a distance and got thinking it might be wild rhubarb or something. When I got closer my heart sank.
This one is truly awful. It's sap contains furocoumarins that penetrate your skin cells and destroy the DNA and RNA in those cells with the help of sunlight- essentially giving you a chemical burn... wonderful. I'll have to come down with a machete, long pants, longsleeves, boots, and gloves and be very very careful to cut this one back to the ground before it gets a chance to establish itself. Apparently its not the only plant that contains these furocoumarins but it does have the highest concentrations. I knew how to identify it and that it was dangerous but had not researched it until I found it on Sunday... We have other members of its family that also contain furocoumarins as well- Cow Parsnip and similar but have never worried about being burned by their sap. Now I will be a little more cautious! If you want to read more about it here's a link to a Scientific American article about it.
We will be busy this week getting ready for our trip but I'll probably be posting at least a little while we are away!