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Memorial Day Weekend in Helen Keller’s Home Town

All American Tiger daylily 

I had a three day weekend Memorial Day and spent my time planting and mulching my tomatoes and cucumbers.   I planted an improved variety of Cherokee Purple, an heirloom tomato that is my favorite.  I planted them deep and used moisture crystals, normally used in hanging baskets and plant food.   I left a low space around each plant that will hold water. This method has worked well for me.  I rarely need to water my tomatoes. That Saturday was very calm, so I put a thick layer of newspapers down over the whole area and put a layer of composted sawdust over it.   After planting, I had to decide which hooligan cages protecting plants around the house I could turn into tomato cages.    While I planted the last of the plants Levi decided to harass Blackie and they had a merry chase around my newly planted garden.  After the chase, Levi rolled up in the low spot on top of one of my tomato plants.  

planting corn with help 

The Hooligans really had a busy weekend.  I was mowing grass and noticed Patches trying to climb up a mulberry tree.  When I pulled the tractor under the tree to pick some of the ripe mulberries, something shot down the tree, Levi grabbed it and started running for dear life with Blackie in hot pursuit.  She finally caught up with him and grabbed the other end of whatever he had and a serious tug of war started between the two.  Soon Patches was trying to grab the pullee in the middle.  Worried that she would get in a big fight with Blackie, I drove toward the house calling her and asking her if she wanted a biscuit.  I kept calling her and directly Blackie comes running up and she has the front half of a squirrel in her mouth.  I get a shove and tried to get it from her and she isn’t having anything of that.  I go to the house and get some dog biscuits and offered to swap the biscuits for the squirrel. She drops the squirrel to take the biscuit and I throw the others a little further from the squirrel and scoop it up the carry it off for disposal.   

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colbert county courthouse 

They spent several days close to the underground fence barking at something in the flower bed.  Mom and I both looked and didn’t see anything. Finally things got the best of Patches and she gets herself zapped, but she pulled a baby bunny out of the hidden nest.  I heard a squeak and noticed about the time she swallowed it and went after another one.  I yelled at her to leave them alone and watched her for a while. As soon as I turned my back and got busy, I heard another squeak.  The garden room is coming along nicely despite two episodes of destruction by Patches.  I keep telling myself humans did this to her when they chased her around and shot her.  Melatonin is not working on her.    

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Memorial Day I attended the American Legion Post #31 Memorial Day Program at Colbert County Courthouse in Tuscumbia.  The program means so much more now that I found out I had a great uncle killed in WWI.  

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After the service, I planted my corn for the third time.  I checked on this weekend and it finally looks like it may be coming up.  While planting, I set up my camera with a remote so I could show the see planting aid I use.  I had back surgery when I was 21 and had a knee replacement at 47.  I have a three quarter inch PCV pipe cut about chin high.  That gives it plenty of room for the seeds to fall into the trench and long enough for to hold it at a comfortable angle when dropping seeds in the top.  Let’s just say I had plenty of help while making the picture.  Blackie and Levi almost knocked me over after Levi jumped off of the John Deere and they had a tassel.   The remote is nice when taking bird pictures near nests.  I set it up near a bluebird box and a swallow nest in a purple martin gourd and sat nearby in the shade drinking my green tea and pushing the shoot button when the parents showed up.  I also sat it up by my bird feeder, but had trouble with the Hooligans prowling around and scaring the birds off.   

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Crop wise in the area, wheat is turning golden and the combines will be in the fields soon.  Farmers planted a lot of canola this year.  We haven’t seen much of that in our area.  Last year a few farmers planted it, but this year the area had a large amount of acreage in it.  It was so pretty while in bloom.  Right now soybeans and cotton are being planted.  Very little cotton is being planted.  Corn is knee high.   

canola field 

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I checked on the Bald eagles that I’ve been keeping up with and the two little ones have fledged. They were still hanging around the area they hatched though.  I noticed one flying around in the distance and as I walked toward the area, noticed the other one sitting on top of a high voltage tower.  Soon its sibling joined it on the tower and I was able to get several pictures of the two of them.  It was an awesome feeling seeing two new additions to our National bird population.  

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My next volunteer photography event is the Helen Keller Festival at the end of the month.  The local production of her story, the Miracle Worker runs the whole month behind her home site.   Walking tours of historical homes takes place down town.   

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My daylilies are starting to bloom and the Japanese iris are at their peak.  You can check out some of those on my gardening blog: http://rosedalegardens.wordpress.com/2013/06/09japanese-iris-2013/.   I’ll be posting some of my daylilies later in the week.