Bog day afternoon

Our little water feature is taking much longer to finish than planned, but then again, it will always be somewhat of a work in progress. Excavating the bog garden uncovered a water pipe, probably running from the old well to a barn or outbuilding. We left it in place, and lined the pit with black plastic, then poked a few holes in the sides for drainage. The soil stays nice and soggy without being a giant mud wallow.

File Jul 26, 11 44 05 AM

It’s hard to slog in the bog when temps hit the 90’s, and the rest of Seven Trees Farm needs extra watering and weeding. Adding a small canopy definitely helps keep the jobsite cooler. The trough pond has a sun bonnet made from bamboo poles and shade cloth. Too much sun can cause algae blooms, and the water plants can’t keep up filtering the fish waste. We plan to rebuild the bonnet with timber-sized bamboo and switch to green shade cloth eventually.File Jul 26, 11 47 02 AM

The random assortment of bog plants we’ve accumulated this season are waaaay overdue to get their roots in the dirt, so in they go, and we’ll finish up the hardscaping shortly.File Jul 26, 11 48 34 AM

So far we have cardinal flowers, crocosima, green goddess calla lily, a button fern, creeping Jenny, yellow eyed grass, dwarf cattails, and some Irish moss and native sedges that we found in the yard. The little tub in the middle will be mostly filled in with dirt and pea gravel and holds more water than the rest, for plants and critters that like their toes wet. File Jul 26, 11 49 25 AMAn old pump spigot for the outflow and a small dripper over a birdbath set in the water keep things circulating. The fish love playing in the bubbles and birds & bees come and go all day, drinking and bathing. Still plenty of room for more plants in the trough 🙂

File Jul 26, 11 49 43 AMFile Jul 26, 11 50 17 AM Luckily we had a stash of mossy old concrete chunks to add some elevation to the low end of the bog. Hopefully the spaces between them will provide habitat for toads and frogs. The narrow space between bog and trough will have a little pea gravel path that is sloped to allow overflow from the pond to drain into the bog. Once the rainy season returns, that is.
It’s amazingly refreshing to sip a cold bevvie while watching fish & wildlife, listening to the bubbles & splashing. The sound of the neighbor’s mower isn’t quite drowned out, but with so much nature going on, who cares…


From peeps to pups

Spring in our part of the PNW comes in fits and starts. Intervals of cold, soaking rain and invigorating sun. And the sunny weather rarely happens on a weekend or day off. So we’re only now getting ramped up for our main planting. We took a risk and moved most of the raspberries to an expanded area in the garden. They were about ready to flower, so the rain was really helpful in keeping them alive. I think we’ll get a good crop again this year, but we’ve also expanded our blueberry and strawberry plantings this spring too, just in case.

The first batch of peepers is a couple weeks old now and doing great. We’ll be doing four hatches total this year, and selling some hens and pullets in the fall. The experiment continues…

We also got a few extras from the feed store, including this mystery breed peeper.ChicksThe wild critters are getting into the season too. Pacific tree frogs, in a range of colors from brilliant mossy green to deep chocolate, turn up in unexpected places. This one was on the garage wall.GarageFrogAnd we have a steady stream of hummingbirds, at all three feeders, from pre-dawn to blue-dark. RufousSunsetHildegard is a year old now. She has grown up to be a very sweet, wiggly, protective gal, and still has a bit of growing to do. BabyHildeShe was 80lbs. at her last vet visit, but still takes care to compensate for Fergus’ short legs and old age. He absolutely loves playing tug with her, and the exercise is good for both of them.