Archive for April 2012

Strange Beginning to 2012

April 6th, 2012 — 8:59am
Tornado Trying to Form

Tornado Trying to Form

With the Mayan calendar predicting the end of the world as we know it later this year, I have been keeping my eye on any strange occurrences, perhaps pointing to the final outcome. We had an unusually warm and surprisingly wet (no snow) winter this year. With all the predictions of a continued drought we are now well ahead of our rainfall for the year with some of the reservoirs releasing water to control flooding. What a difference a few months of rain can make. While we had a pretty nasty outbreak of stormy weather this week, including 10 tornadoes within 10 miles of here, our weather has been relatively quiet, albeit a bit cloudy. You can see a tornado trying to form in the picture above (hard to see but if you look at the gap in the trees you can see the clouds lowering).

bulb fennel

Finocchio Gigante di Napoli

We have had a few garden miracles this year. For the first time we were able to grow fennel in its bulb form, or more technically finocchio gigante di Napoli. Fresh out of the garden it has an incredibly mild taste. I used it to create a new rice salad recipe (sorry forgot to take a picture) and of course one of my favorites a salad of oranges and fennel.

perennial strawberry

The Miracle Perennial Strawberry Plant

Other garden miracles include a strawberry that acted more like a perennial than a fruiting annual. Kept in a pot it was planted last spring, made it through the heat of last summer, the mildness of the winter, and recently began blooming and creating strawberries all over again. Unfortunately the squirrels really like strawberries. They do not bother with the fruit ripening. So while it is nice to know we have created a perennial variety of strawberry I do not recall ever eating any of the fruit.

Another garden miracle is the blooming of the garden sage. I know that most sages will bloom but I have never seen the garden variety bloom, at least in Texas. It was moved to a new location to prevent overwatering which may be the reason for the blooms. It is just one more happy addition to the garden.

garden sage blooming

Blooming Garden Sage

With the increase in rain and the mild winter I went ahead and planted tomatoes and peppers about one month early this year. The result is that we have tomatoes getting ready to ripen and some spicy banana peppers almost ready to be harvested. Perhaps the signs for 2012 are unusual but certainly not so ominous.

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