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Monday, June 30, 2008

First ripe tomato

First ripe tomato
Originally uploaded by dewelch
This is the first ripe tomato off of our 3 tomato plants. It is just a single grape tomato, but another cluster is quickly growing just above this one. I have left it to my tomato loving wife to be the taste-tester. I'll have her report soon.

Sunflower Explosion

Originally uploaded by mrmole
Wow! What a great pic. Wish I had sunflowers like this. I guess planting them would be a place to start. (SMILE)

Elsewhere Online: Gathering Bird Observations Throughout the Western Hemisphere from IT Conversations

This podcast interview from IT Conversations came up in my playlist today while I was driving to a client call and I found it very interesting. I think it is an example of how community driven programs can really help the exploration of science in the coming years.

Gathering Bird Observations Throughout the Western Hemisphere

Jon Udell's Interviews with Innovators

32 minutes, 14.9mb, recorded 2008-04-29

Topics: The Internet and the World Wide Web Social Networks and Networking

Janis Dickinson directs the citizen science program at Cornell's Laboratory of Ornithology. On this edition of Interviews with Innovators with Jon Udell she discusses the lab's various projects. One of them, eBird, is an online system that gathers bird observations from recreational and professional birdwatchers the world. Their efforts are helping scientists answer questions about the diversity and abundance of birds.

Listen to the show

Saturday, June 28, 2008

A few garden tasks

Trellis 2
Originally uploaded by dewelch
Back on March 30, I did a video on tearing down an existing trellis which was already falling down on its own (Tearing down the trellis. In the meantime, the vines have just been hanging on to the remaing upright posts from that trellis.

Finally, today, I took two older metal trellis and moved them into their new position. They really weren;t being used where they were, so this is a much better use for them.

There were originally 3 vines on this trellis, but I decided to remove one of them to make it easier to manage and also get them away from the side of the house. The clytostoma vines like to run and this will mean a little less pruning down the road.

Rosanne also started to remove a small pine tree last week, but we need borrow a bow saw to cut down the final trunk, This is another one of our "edits" to keep the garden from getting overgrown. It was poorly planted and finally got to a size where it was taking up too much space.

I noticed our first tomato was starting to show some color today. It is only one, grape tomato, but it is a good sign. The Legend tomoto is doing well, too, and seems to be visibly growing every day.

More chipping and shredding this week, I think. We have enough pruning and leaves to make a good amount of mulch.

Trellis 1 Removing a pine tree

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Elsewhere Online: Summer reading for gardeners from Digging

The high heat here in Los Angeles has been keeping me inside, just like Pam, the author of the "Digging" blog. I highly approve of her selections for garden reading and I find that I have already read many of them myself.

If the weather is keeping you out of the garden, engage in some virtual gardening via these books.

You can find some of my own recommendation for gardening books, in The WelchWrite Bookstore.

Summer reading for gardeners

With Austin on track for our hottest summer on record, I’ve sworn off any real gardening for the pleasures of garden book reading—inside, preferably under a ceiling fan with a cold Diet Dr. Pepper in my hand. Recent trips to Barnes & Noble and Half-Price Books have netted me about 10 lbs. of eye-candy-filled garden [...]

(Via Digging.)

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Saturday, June 21, 2008

Tomato Update - June 21, 2008

The tomatoes are growing and fruit is setting. Here are a couple of pictures with a tape measure for scale. The Sprite has set another cluster of fruit and the Legend looks like it has some pollinated flowers, too.

Are heat is making all the plants a bit droopy, but I am sure they will spring back with a long drink from the soaker hose after the sun goes down a bit.

Legend Tomato

Sprite Tomatoes

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Found on my daily walk today - Brugmansia and Passionflower

Found these two on my walk today as I hit a different set of streets.

On our walk...Passionflower

On our walk...Brugmansia

Link: Brugmansia at Wikipedia.org
Link: Passionflower at Wikipedia.org

Friday, June 13, 2008

California Wildfire Information 2008

It seems the wildfire season is starting early this year here in California, so I am posting (what seems to be) my yearly posting on California Wildfire Information available via the web. These services provide detailed information including fire perimeters, weather info and more. I will update this regularly as I locate new resources for the coming year.

Looking back, I see that I have re-posted this entry almost every year since 2003.

Geomac Wildland Fire Support Wildfire Viewer

California Wildfire Information - California Wildfire Alliance

Firescope Wildfire Information

FireDetect from NOAA Satellite and Information Service

CalFires.com - Fire Season 2008 Reports

Simi Valley Fire Timelapse Video 2005

Firestorm from powrslave on Vimeo.

Monday, June 09, 2008

First Tomatoes

First Tomatoes
Originally uploaded by dewelch
It looks as if the bees and/or moths did their job and pollinated my Sprite tomato plant. It was the first one to flower and now I see fruit beginning to form.

Wish me luck!