This weekend over Fall Break we made a quick trip up to Highlands North Carolina. On Saturday morning we strolled up to Sunset Rock to get the kids out of the house before lunch. The trail head is located just past Mountain Fresh and only takes about 20 minutes to hike. There is parking across the street from the Highlands Nature Center on Horse Cove Road. Sunset Rock offers a stunning overhead view of the town of Highlands. In the morning the sun behind you provides beautiful light over the town, highlighting the fall colors.
In the evening the sun sets perfectly over Highlands. Below is a picture taken in November of 2015 over Thanksgiving.
Over the past couple of days I have noticed some of the green beans getting pretty big in the garden. This morning I picked a couple of handfuls of beans and two pretty red tomatoes. Tomorrow night I believe we will be having green beans, tomatoes with basil and a cucumber for dinner!
After picking a few of the straight eight cucumbers this summer I have realized mine are not going to resemble either of those descriptions. A straight eight cucumber is supposed to be long and straight, about 7-8 inches. The first fruit was really fat and short, and while I waited on it to grow, it turned yellow and became compost food. This time I picked it when it looked about right, just not straight or eight. Here is the picture I got of it. On the right side you can see it oozing from the fresh cut. Click on the image below to see the hi-res version on my website.
Based on some articles online this shape is due to a lack of bees getting their pollinating on. I have definitely noticed a lack of bees this year for some reason or another.
Cat photography has never been on my radar. I didn’t have a cat growing up and have pretty much been scared of cats my entire adult life. It’s not an unwarranted fear, they really seem to hate me. Showing houses I have had cats just walk up and bite me on the ankle, leap across the room and shred my mls paperwork, just harassing me. They love to be in my face, almost certainly aware of my fear.
Well this week we got a cat. We adopted her from our neighbor who fostered 5 kittens since they were found about two weeks old under a neighbor’s back deck. Her name is Poppy and she is pretty unbelievable! We are 4 days in and everyone in our family is in love with her, including Cody the Goldendoodle who was also adopted about 6 years ago; maybe he feels a connection with her…
I’m excited about the opportunity to photograph her as she grows from a kitten into a cat. Her markings are really beautiful, and something I assume sets every cat apart. One thing I really like are the five stripes down the back of her head and neck. What made her jump out to me at first was her white paws and the white splotch on her chest. We almost named her Boots because of her white paws, but after a slew of name ideas and changes we landed on Poppy. Watching her play around the name really fits her, she loves to pop around chasing her tail, shadow or whatever has her immediate attention.
The Matthews back yard garden is starting to produce fruit in the way of tomatoes, cucumbers and squash. Below are some pictures of the progress. We are still waiting on the zucchini and green beans to start fruiting. Not pictured below are the bell peppers which are starting to change from green to red, and now have a purple tone to them.
Over the past couple of weeks I have added some growing structures for the tomatoes, squash & cucumbers.
I have harvested lots of strawberries, but for most of them a slug has been getting to them first. I added some natural wood charcoal ash around the raised beds as well as epson salt around the plants which will hopefully take care of the slugs.
I added some stakes to the pole beans, cucumbers & tomatoes and all seem to be shooting up as a result. The blueberries are starting to get their color which has the kids really excited, hopefully they will be ready to go soon.