Archives for category: water

But then cliches are cliches because they touch on certain truths. The truth of this photograph being that it’s almost impossible to take a close up with the iPad’s miserably inadequate lens because iPad’s fovea is not the center of the screen but the top left, or bottom left, or top right, or bottom right, depending on which way you’re holding it.

Just as I took this photo the sun came out, so in a half-an-hour the line of droplets along the vein of the leaf will have been gone.

The rain:

Another super video, except for the “thumb partly over the lens” part!

Here’s hoping strong wind from is a sign this nasty cold front that’s been hanging around for what seems like forever is going to get blown away.

The bright side is that the plants have been loving what’s slow drip torture for us or at least me; everything is green, green, green! So we can expect an explosion of growth when the sun comes out, starting (we hope) tomorrow.

Which is when I’m going to get all my sheet mulch down, trapping all that good moisture in my soil!

One of those early spring days where it’s cooler inside than out, so the windows are steamy on the outside., in its usual hysterical fashion, had predicted driving rain, but what we got was steady light rain with a lovely mist. I figured this was perfect weather to seed some new white clover around the borders of the garden, so I weeded out the dandelions and a little quackgrass, and did that. (See here for the stacking functions of clover.) The earth was cold on the fingers, but there were lots of worms. (I took pictures, which I’d share if I could find the right USB cable to get them out of the camera.) After I scattered the seed, I mixed up the earth a little with a rake, so that the rain didn’t just carry the seeds away.

And now three days of warmth. More tiny shoots are appearing in the hitherto dormant milk jugs, giving me hope that I’ll still get a decent yield.

Well, not a mountain, exactly. A brick. This brick is a casualty of water seeping in through a crack, then breaking the brick apart from the inside by swelling to ice and shrinking back to water in the freeze/thaw cycle.

This brick shows why you want thermal mass around your house — push the freeze/thaw cycle away from your foundation, out into the earth; it’s a good use of heat, not a bad waste.

* * *

The photo also shows how the borders work (sooner than I imagine now, I’ll be planting marigold beside the brick). Thinking about what a path is, I’m wondering if a path is a limit case of a bed. Is everything that grows in a garden in a bed or a path?

Here’s my rock garden — at least, my flower beds surrounded by rocks — after a very light shower: There are circular marks where single droplets struck the stone!

The soil of the bed was mulched, it’s dark with carbon, and soaking up moisture; the soil of the “lawn,” which I really want to abolish, wasn’t, isn’t, and isn’t. Mulch really does help soil become more and more like itself, doesn’t it? Whereas a “lawn” is as empty and flat as a mirror.

And it really is raining, which means that the Fire Weather Advisory in Hancock County can be lifted. (No snow pack; spring tinder.) That’s a good thing.

This image doesn’t show the rain, although as I framed the shot I could see the bud on the screen tremble as rain drops struck it — something I would never have noticed with my eyes alone.

My real purpose was to understand the limits of the iPad 2’s comera better, since I expect to be shooting close-ups of vegetation in the coming months. This shot is about the best I can do. I used Camera Boost for a software zoom, and Photo Toaster to sharpen the image. I don’t know if you’d call the image of the bud sharp, although the peeling paint I need to work on seems sharp enough (unless that sharpness comes from the gaff of a guilty conscience).

I guess I’d really be able to tell the iPad’s camera where to focus by tapping on the screen.

And now it’s sunny!

UPDATE Now cloudy.

UPDATE Now sunny.

Here’s a path between beds collecting rain water in the February thaw (40° F today; time for March to shut this down!) And here’s a video:


Versailles Gardens in WinterI’m of two minds about paths. Stone dust paths are great in June and July; I love the warm feel on the soles of my bare feet. But by August, the squash and the tomatoes will have overgrown everything, including the paths and each other. And stone dust paths are stone, so they don’t rot and contribute organic matter to the soil. Also, they’re work because seeds catch in the stone dust and sprout, and then the path either needs to be weeded, or left to become over-grown. (This year, I’m going to try to do what I promised myself to do last year; kill weeds in the stone dust paths with boiling water.) Bark mulch paths, like this one, do rot. And they do collect water and cycle it into the soil, as the photo and the video show. But I think they’re ugly and I don’t like to walk on them. So, for next year, the Versailles look is the look for me: Stone dust paths everywhere!

The very second and very first videos from my iPad.

The second video in time comes first in this space from a transparent attempt to boost hits into double digits; it’s a much better video. You can actually see and hear the drips! #2:


Excerpt #2 is from the house next door. From the property, here’s the foundation of the barn in back of the garden. #1:


Drips, too, but not so loud (and weeds acting like tiny windsocks). And a soak, not a tiny pool.

Why the differences? The drips in #2 come off a flat roof, where there’s a lot of snow pack, and so a lot of melt. The drips in #1 come from a pitched roof facing the sun, so there’s not so much snow to begin with, and most of it’s already gone.

What’s frustrating is all that water not feeding plants; pure waste, since I don’t garden down back by the barn; the light’s too bad.

PRODUCTION NOTE Sometimes the iPad is almost too minimalist. I could easily get photos out of the iPad to this blog because Skitch has a very visible toolbar with a button to email the image that’s open. But not videos. The Photo app, which catalogs videos as well as photos, doesn’t have a visible toolbar, so I went round and round in the dreaded Apple ID verification loop, trying to put the videos up into the cloud so I could get them out of the cloud down the WordPress edit box … Until I accidentally tapped near the top of an image, whereupon a toolbar appeared. With a button that lets me send a video to YouTube, whence it can be scaled and embedded here. Now to find an app that annotates like YouTube, but from the iPad.

Also, the Griffin Survivor armor case is awesome. I put the iPad right under the the drips, and the case protected it fine. I don’t think I’d want to dunk it, though…