Poppies in the Fields

My cauliflower is flowering,

I got my first beans,

and the row of potatoes is looking pretty good. 

I may try to plant a little corn if I can get some seed.  Some calves apparently pushed the gate open and got into the strawberry patch, and I had to replant the strawberries.  Although chopped off, it looks like all of the plants will survive.

A couple of rough days with bronchitis – although the wheezing stopped after 1 day, it was followed by a day of chest congestion that was so severe that just watering the plants, and taking the tire off of the bicycle completely wore me out.  The following day was much better.  I rested, and although I am still coughing a little today, I made 4 of the 5 miles walking in today to write/research a little at the library.  The cough doesn’t bother me too much – it really is only occasional.  My one mile assist came with a Spanish lesson:

Me: “¿Se va Usted a la final de la calle?

Sedrillo:  “Sí, salta en la parte trasera de la camioneta!”

Me: “Gracias.  Me llamo ….”

Sedrillo:  “My name is ….”

The rest of the walk came with a new harvest of roadside fruit.  The days without fruit and vegetables are over for the rest of the summer.  With the 2 days of rain, the mulberries were ripening on the trees, the black ones bursting with flavor.  I remembered my friend Myoko just in from Japan.  I was her first friend here, and I had showed her how to pluck and eat the mulberries.

The library has had tasty loquats for over a month now. 

Several new wildflowers had blossomed,

what seems to be a white version of the spiderwort

what seems to me to be a 9-petaled version of the texas star

and the honeysuckle was in bloom for the first time.

I noted the variation in the honeysuckle blossoms – both yellow and white on the same vine.  And a little later, a west indian lantana that had blossoms that were either all pink, or all yellow, or half-and-half

There must be 2 genes that control color and at the time of blossoming, either one or both can be activated on an individual blossom, although the flowers within the blossom can only have one color.  All pictures were off of the same plant.

The fields are speckled alternatively with the white prickly poppy

and yellow …. 

Many new big butterflies were out – both black and orange. 

They seem to especially like the yellow bitterweed? flowers.

The condition of the bike.

The bike rack came loose about 2 miles from where I stay as I pushed it back last time.  It was after dark, and I had the dogs with me.  The carrier had groceries in it.  My hands were full.  Someone thankfully came along, and I got a lift back with the bike for the last 2 miles.  It was a Godsend, since the rack was going into the spokes, and I did not have tools.  So, I took the carrier off – will need to replace screws to put it back on. 

Anyway, took advantage of everything being apart to take the back wheel off, and pull the tube out.  Using the tube pumped with air in a bowl of water trick

– revealed that the tire had over 25 punctures in it.  I started using electrical tape plus glue to patch everything up,

and got the tire to hold air for a while, but really 4 of the holes would not seal at higher pressure, and realistically, the bike tire has to hold the pressure of air, plus my weight, plus additional impact energy.  It didn’t look good.  Otherwise, I took the other self-sealing tube that had had a blow-out.  It had a 2 inch rip in the side

from the wire that had broken.  So, I spent a few desperate hours unsuccessfully trying to find my needle threader in my sewing kit, then trying to invent one by bending an insulin syringe – it was a little too short,

and then finally simply just threading the needle by eye after about an hour of effort.  I sewed it up, and then patched it with glue and tape.  I thought that maybe the self-sealing stuff would kick in, and it might seal. 

It didn’t hold air, even after 2 tries. 

So, all in all I guess I took the tube in and out of the tire about 12 times, and now I am waiting for someone to make the 12 mile trip into town to get a new innertube.

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