Picking Morels, Hoping for Fruit Trees

170430_Violets

[ Covered all over with sweet violets ]

April 30 – This whole last week has been grey and damp, not particularly fit for outdoor activities. We had some thunder before we went to bed last night, and then as we lay in bed, the lightning put on its display. Sometimes one can actually see the lightning with the eyes closed, but last night that didn’t work for me. Will have to put out the rain gauge as it probably is not going to freeze anymore. At least we know the wildflowers like the rain.

A couple of days ago we planted our little Candy onion seedlings, and yesterday we planted a whole row of baby cabbage plants. The rain last night took care of their moisture needs. I’m waiting to put out our tomato seedlings until early next month, just in case. Will have to mix up a batch of fertilizer to pour on those pots.

Chris has been working on our yucca patch on the front bank, and the few remaining plants have all been cut off, but their large roots remain, too large to just dig out and I am not going to work on slopes with my balance problems. Our yucca patch used to be large and imposing but has died back and had few plants remaining. Chris blames voles for digging in and eating the tubers.

170430_ChrisYucca

[ Chris pulling out the yucca plants ]

I had a hard time facing the morning today. That bedside clock said it was 9:30 before I got up. So much to do, inside and outside, but my personal activator needed more rest. We have a push mower that will not start, so I shall have to take it over to our repairman and see what he can do. Our son-in-law Harvey stopped by the other day to see if he could influence the thing but it remained silent.

Everything is so green now, including the lawn that always seems determined to keep us behind in our mowing. The dandelion stems are standing tall all over the place, reminding me to get to work on that Stihl weed eater for which we bought an attachment last week. The original system has a rather complex method of installing the cutting twine, and I cannot grasp the details, so instead bought a device with lengths of the twine that one sticks in on both sides of the head and just uses them until they are too short and need to be replaced.

170430_MorelMushrooms

[ Fresh morels ]

I don’t remember if I mentioned in an earlier blog about finding a patch of large morel mushrooms in the back of our property. They were certainly attractive and eye-catching, and I collected a good number of them in a box. We very seldom find morels although they are common in areas not too far from here. These were all hollow, and I opened them all and washed them. One of the nicest ones had a whole colony of ants living in it, and I just consigned morel and ants to the trash can. Chris cooked them all (not the ants) and served them to me for supper, not taking any for herself. Must be that she is not a mushroom lover. These morels may have been a trifle over-aged, but the taste was ’fair to middlin’ and I consumed the lot. I’m hoping that the several I had left growing out there will produce spores for a good crop next spring.

We have a variety of fruit trees and flowering trees on our property, and one never knows what a particular tree will produce each year. Our two apricot trees will have no fruit at all, our two pear trees just a few, the two giant Asian pear trees will have just a few pears despite the heavy crop last year, and the three Nanking bush cherries have no crop this year. But our three sour cherry trees are just loaded with cherries. Am hoping the two chestnut trees will bear well, but they don’t even have any blooms on them yet.

170430_QualityHill

[ Quality Hill Playhouse program ]

Our son David took us to a musical program in Kansas City this past week. The MC and pianist was J. Kent Barnhart, a talented musician who kept a very straight face as he played and spoke and made various witticisms that kept the audience laughing. His father Don is a good friend of ours and lives just down the highway a couple of miles away, but we have never gotten acquainted with Kent. On the way home we stopped in to see Don and to introduce our son and to say how we had enjoyed Kent’s program.

Recently David arranged with his tax man to do our tax returns for 2016 too. In the past we have always had our taxes done by an AARP volunteer, but this year we were a bit too late in making our request and there were no more time slots available. Ah well, we did our part in improving the economy! – DALE

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