Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Harvest, Mantis and Stone House

Yesterday I cleaned up the yard and garden a bit, between running errands. So I figured it was way past time to dig the potatoes.

Here are some of the last of the tomatoes, still pretty tasty. The green beans are our first Kentucky Wonders, tasty but nothing as good as a fresh yellow wax bean. The peppers are sweet peppers we grew from seed, likely more than a dozen ready to harvest in the garden right now.
Meg planted two kinds of potatoes, these were the strangest ones harvested, you will not find them in the store like this.
In all I think we grew 20 pounds of potatoes, you can see what I dug up yesterday, others have been dug before on a need to eat basis. The over size cukes were found in the potato patch from seeds that sprouted from last years crop. On the seat is also our largest potato. No not mini potatoes, just small ones.
The bee hive has been very busy with bees bringing in pollen like crazy. I found this Chinese Praying Mantis hoping to grab a meal. Once I put the camera close to her(it is a female) she was more interested in me, not the bees. I went out at dusk and she was still on the hive. See those razor sharp "teeth" on the middle of the femur on her fore legs these are called spiked forelegs raptorial legs. I found on once ripping apart a hummingbird with those raptorial legs.
Here is the Riggsbee Stone House Meg and I looked at on Saturday to possibly purchase. It was built in 1921 and is on The National Historic Registry. Rumor has it was a moon shiners house, the upstiars has hidden room for storing shine in. The price was a bit more than we could round up unless we sold our house first. The kitchen was in need of new cabinets. The first floor had a gravity toilet (cheap reproduction and claw-foot tub with an awful cheap fixture. The upstairs bathrooms were next to each other and on one end of the house the master bedroom was on the other end.
All this native quartz rock was everywhere on the 2 acres. A 16 inch perimeter rock wall needing minor repair, several walk under quartz arches (Karen!!), 2 defunct fountains and a defunct quartz rock pool. Mature trees like American Walnut, Maginolia Grandiflora, Pecan and Tulip Poplars. The gardens in the day must have been really something. 

The Night Blooming Cereus set a record the other night with 9 blooms I think you can see all of them in this photo.
My bees are non stop bringing in pollen! I looked in the top of the hive today and the new super is just full of bees drawing wax. Really looking forward to my next inspection next week. I have ordered a Small Hive Beetle Trap I talked to another beekeeper at the club dinner the other night and she has been using them with great results. Having a bit of shade around you hive makes beetles more of a problem. 

Oh and the garden. This morning I planted Rainbow Blend Carrots, Gourmet Lettuce Mix and Lacinato Kale in the cold frame. No it is not covered yet. Last night we visited the local nursery/farm at the bottom of the hill, I bought 4 different ferns and we were given a nice beauty berry bush.

21 comments:

Karen said...

Oh my, that house is so pretty. And to think there are quartz arches and fountains and pools. Be still my heart. Thanks for the pictures, Randy, more inspiration for our project here. Is there an arched gate out by the road too? I looked it up on Google and that's all I could see from the road.

The bees are certainly busy, and your vegetable garden produced a wonderful crop, too.

Randy Emmitt said...

Karen,

Here is the house listing it shows more photos of the house.
http://www.coldwellbanker.com/property?propertyId=205644673&mode=detail&brandType=CB

Kelly said...

....I've read about Chinese mantises nabbing and eating hummers, but I've never seen it in real life. Those little spikes and hooks are pretty amazing. (Yum on all the veggies...yum again!) Cool-looking house...lots of character!

greggo said...

Interesting post.

Lancashire rose said...

Wow! That is some crop. Would love to try potatoes-maybe next year. And that house looks as though it is ripe for a wonderfully creative landscape.

gardenwalkgardentalk.com said...

I thought watching a mantis eat a grasshopper was bad, but eating a hummer would give me nightmares.

Birds, Bees, Berries, and Blooms said...

Ok those praying mantis photos are incredible! I am in awe. I looked at them for about 10 minutes. Her beady little eyes are so intense. Wow! You should be proud of those shots. Always something exciting in your world.

Town Mouse said...

Wow, I was sure that first photo was one you'd submitted to the Gardening Gone Wild contest. But then the post was about something completely different.

Great photos, though, I like the mantis as well.

best
renate

Karen said...

Randy, thank you for the link. That is one beautiful home, must have been just recently remodeled because it looks completely different on the inside from what I pictured in my head. The stonework on those arches and walls is phenomenal. Can't wait to show Carl these pictures tomorrow. He's having problems with the construction end of our project, trying to figure out the best way to proceed while the wife spins her wheels and annoys him by asking silly questions like, 'Are you ready to mortar yet?'

Thanks, again, Randy, and that Mantis is scary and yet oddly intelligent-looking. Great photo!

Karen said...

Oh, and to think you could own a former moonshiner's house? I don't know what it is about stone houses, but we had one here in WI, too, that is/was said to be haunted with underground tunnels for hiding booze and gangstas and all other sorts of mischief. Maybe I don't want to build a Stone House.

Andrea said...

Randy, i am amazed at your harvest, maybe its more than enough for you and Meg. I smiled at the emphasis for Chinese praying mantis, is there not an American one?!! haha. But it looks really scary. I wonder what ours are called, they are much smaller than that. And that house is beautiful, even if its haunted. But if you will move there, what about the rain tote, the blue bottles and the many things you built in your area now? I hope you will not leave them.

Benjamin Vogt said...

Yeah, pretty house. Can you send some of your rain my way? And the mantis--man, we've had so many this year, and way fewer insects and grasshoppers. I didn't know they'd catch a hummingbird--I've seen them eating monarchs and other butterflies and that's bad enough.

Janet, The Queen of Seaford said...

Had no idea you were looking into moving. Too bad that house was so $$.
Love those photos of the mantis..they are so cool....in a predatory way.
Great harvests from your garden. I never grew potatoes, looks like you all had a great bunch of taters.
You asked about rainfall from Lee... 9/10 inch... a drop in the bucket.

michelle said...

Lots of interesting stuff in this post, but the mantis is tops in my opinion. I've never heard of a Chinese mantis and am guessing that we may not have them around here. Great photos of her. Pretty house, it sounds like a project waiting for the right person, perhaps you?

Curbstone Valley Farm said...

Yikes the thought of a mantid prying apart a hummingbird is rather ghoulish! I must admit though, the one on the hive does have a unique beauty about here.

I love the Riggsbee house. Despite its apparent cosmetic shortcomings inside. They just don't build that short of exterior charm and character anymore. I always dream of restoring an old house to its former charm. Although when they're registered I know that can sometimes add an extra layer of headache. Do you think you'll take the plunge?

Cameron said...

Your veggies are so photogenic! That's a serious mantis!

I looked at the house link. I've driven by that house so many times! Love stone houses. Hope it works out for you if you and Meg love it.

tina said...

I just found out I have a night blooming cereus (yesterday) and I've NEVER seen it bloom. 9 blooms is awesome! What's the trick to catch them?

tina said...

Thanks Randy!

NellJean said...

When next your night blooming cactus blooms, when the blossom is fully open -- close to midnight -- cut it off, put it in a plastic bag and blow up the bag. Put it in the refrigerator. Next morning you can show it around before it droops. Left in the fridge, it will last all day. My friend at church took two home in my cooler to entertain her sister who had a toenail removed that day. Nothing like something exotic to take your mind off your toe!

Carol said...

Wow, You saw a Mantis killing a hummer? How awful! I saw a video of one . . . one more reason I do not like hummingbird feeders. Love the bee video and your possible house but are we not too old for all that work! Wow again to your Cereus! What a happening!

Megan Payne said...

The house doesn’t show its age from the picture; it still looks new. Do you have other options aside from that house? Though it looks fine on its exterior, maybe you should consider the cost of repairs you need in choosing for the right house to buy.