Coatsville Update

Forms are removed and all the structural elements are secure. I add a skim layer, which mostly works.
The steps have new noses and I ground things down a bit with a diamond wheel. Cement is 25$ per 50lb bag right now, so I stretched that with a few bags of concrete I had in storage. Safe for walking up and down, I’ll get to pretty someday…
Twelve years on and still holding hands. (“Dogs and cats living together: mass hysteria!” – Bill Murray, Ghostbusters)
We usually don’t go in for photo shoots to make ourselves feel “cute-coupley”, but after ongoing Coviding at home it just made sense as an anniversary present to ourselves.
Water Hyacinths have filled in the upper pond nicely, better than ever- I think it is because of water-blueing. This year I started using a water-bluing agent to cut sunlight penetration, and the water has stayed cooler and the fish are happier, and algae has cleared out.
In past years I have used a pricey UV light in the pond filtration unit, and this year (our hottest / driest year ever) has been fine without it.
The hyacinths are a living whole pond filter; I haven’t had to clear the pump or the filter in weeks!
A spot for morning coffee. From here we watched a male Broadtail hummingbird court a female; lots of ringing and diving as they both flew, then she settled into the big flowering Trumpet Vine and he began a series of side-to-side waggles / perch-breathers / waggles. She was impressed and they flew off together.
Sultry and hot, shaded in the ever-embiggening Purple Sage. She did some math in her head re: Delta transmission at R9, vs the original at R2 (R9-R2)/R2 x %100 = 350) The Delta variant is 350 times more transmissible than the original variant. (now a week later, updated to the same transmission rate as Chickenpox= R12. So 500% more transmissible than the original variant) It also has a replication factor of 1000 over the original, hitting full speed 3 days after infection while still fully asymptomatic (now, showing the same factor whether vaccinated or not). This is the kind of thing she ponders, because she’s aluminum and doesn’t have to worry.
A hummingbird favorite.
Drip irrigation keeps the landscape from powdering out.
The goldfish all rush to make the shot; Influencers, each and every one. Even Koi follow their feed.
WeeOne has left the Ms.Kims unmolested since the fixes, and it looks like they will survive.
I cut all the roses back before our last trip out to MT, and this one has come back nicely.
Out front this summer bloomer fills with bees every day. It dies back to the ground each winter, and this summer has seen its rowdiest growth and blooming. All the plants to the L of it were nuked last summer, even the ground cover reduced to powder this summer.
The little patch of front lawn is heat-stressed and yellowing out- it has been more than a month since it needed mowing and will likely stay dormant till late fall.

alotalotalot: aloft

A Lot, A Lot, A Lot, Aloft, / A Hex Storm of Piney firebrands, / Hiked over ridgelines branding into Quit Fur, / The river Bank, like a Queen In promotion, / A move from Pawn Jail to Nova, a trail of Dither-Goo transformed / to Boxing Day. / Sending the dry West Ute King into a Pouter, / his Twatty Lather the route to a Rebel Axis: burning.

The secret sitting space.
Garden path.
Panther in the Iris jungle.
3 dozen floating water hyacinths introduced to clean the water, among the yellow pond-iris.
Lucky’s stable is a Hummingbird haven with Coral Bells and a feeder under the eve at top R.
Same bunch-grass divots as in MT, same girl lounging between them.
So much more brushing in her future…lots of ranch burrs came out yesterday.
The yarding ladies like to check in with each other.
This rose spills over the fence from the front yard.
The view we give the neighbors. They do not return the favor.
The roses from the front yard.
Xeriscape mini-garden continues the front lawn footprint reduction.
The Queen of Hearts white roses.
The front bed of Ohio Black Iris, same variety as in the first few images, but backlit for nutzo-level irradiance.
Bubblicious Black Grape is their bubblegum flavor note; it permeates the front and back yard. Delicious.

Xander dreams of Goldfinches; none have visited the feeder since last fall.
The yellow Iris at the studio’s south facing wall have bloomed, the rest of the yard are budding in.
Sunrise on Iris.
Yellow on Yellow.
Out in the yard we have one bloom, and more on the way.
The tree is wrapped in heavy aluminum foil to foil WeeOne’s scratching-post behavior. So far it has worked for the Service Berry tree.
So what is going on here with the group of Miss Kim lilacs?
WeeOne just got p-od by the aluminum foil, and nearly girdled the tree just above the foil, the foil ended just below the foliage/braches, which is just where I can’t see without standing on my head, so I hadn’t noticed till the tree was nearly destroyed. The trunk was shredded down to the hardwood and on up to the branches, she put most of her fury to the front of the trunk. Hopefully the tree can survive with the little bit of connective tissue wrapping around the back side. I treated all the Miss Kim’s with our protective tree solution to keep bugs from infesting the wounds. With a “this is why we can’t have nice things” I went about finding a solution for the little Bitchington’s tree murdering. I rounded up all the bits of pvc pipe from other projects, cut them in half lengthwise, and made hard shields around the trees. This one also was given a wire mesh of protection for the branches.
I offered up this Bitchington Scratching Post as a compromise. I had just rewound all the scratching posts in the house the day before, as they were all torn to bits.
Miss Kim #2 is shielded, and wasn’t nearly as damaged as the first.
This Miss Kim has struggled to leaf out, and WeeOne hadn’t laid a claw on it. No fun in killing the weak.
We planted this tree in the fall of 2013- we had been looking for this variety all summer when a spindly little one appeared to E in a late season sale at Home Depot. We weren’t home to see it flower last spring, and it really put on a show for us this year.
The central branch is about the size of the entire tree when we brought it home back in the day.
The blooms don’t have a scent, but they still seem tasty.
Kitty station is a flower-power seat. Not one goldfinch at the feeder yet this season. They are usually around through the winter, but have been scarce since the starvation mass-die-off during their migration last summer.
The lilacs hit a growth spurt a few years back, and have kept coming back strong. The whole back yard is perfumed.
The crabapple tree is blooming as well.
Crabapple blooms. They don’t last long!
Nora takes the shady spot on the trail.
These were the last tulips up, emerging after nearly all the others were gone. A 91 degree May Day burned them off.
Nora and WeeOne are beasty-besties.
Our three Miss Kim lilac trees, planted last spring, now in full bloom. Our big lilac bushes in the back yard were fading out by the time we returned home from MT (two weeks ago).
They smell amaazing!
The most symmetrical of the three.
The blooms are tiny and delicate, with a wonderfully sweet lilac scent.
This Columbine hybrid didn’t bloom last year, as it was newly planted. Wow!
Our Japanese Kwanzan Flowering Cherry is past bloom, and had just created a carpet of dropped blooms on our arrival home.
It hasn’t rained in Utah yet this spring. The driest on record (137 years)- April is Utah’s rainiest month, we should have 2-3 inches and a few year’s back we even saw 5 inches in one April storm. This is out of an annual average of 12-14 inches, which means devastation as we head into the hottest year on record. We returned too late to save our three year old tree out front. It was doing so well, and I’d finally brought water to the parking strip because of it. The City has assessed it, and will remove it and then at some point, replace it. So now we are years behind for any shade out there…
The tree out front is an example of why I’ve slowly converted everything to Xeriscape.
Step carefully or you may get a bee up the pantleg.
The yellow Iris bloom before the other colors of Iris.
They are taking over, slowly outcompeting the colorful hybrid Iris.
One of many Columbine hybrids in full bloom.
Another Columbine hybrid variety.
Last year I put in these steps, and all the grasses and 3 Hugel planter areas.
More Iris!
The big veg Hugel planter, with lettuce and Chard self-starting from last year.
The Trumpet Vine pergola awaits this year’s explosion.
Upper pond, with last year’s grass splitting into 25 tufts softening the hill above.
The goldfish are all happy to have us home, and the Lilly pads are beginning to surface.
The sunroom has given up its plants to the deck for the summer.
Out front the Purple Ohio Iris are beginning to bloom. Note the uncut tuft of hedge at center?
That tuft of hedge holds multiple nests of Praying Mantis!
Velvety purple Iris smell a bit like grape Bubble-Yum.
Blooming ground-cover at the entry path.
Lillies of the Valley in the shade of the porch.
I was welding up a set of these metal planter boxes for a neighbor with a welding business, and headed over to his shop to help him lift a heavy steel project. I stepped out of his shop (a shipping container) and turned my ankle. It is likely a #2 sprain on a scale of 3. An eventual realization of torn ligaments, swelling, bloody bruises, following an initial shock with nausea and cold sweat and spinnies while laying on the grass spitting expletives, followed by the hopeful denial of trying to walk it off and realizing that it really was as bad as it seemed and retreating inside for ice-packs and elevation. This was more than a week ago. I am just now able to get around and do some light-duty gardening. I washed E’s Montana-Muddy car last night, but will have to wait on the Montana-Muddy truck- as I’m sore again today. Most of the mud is already gone, as the cars were jet-washed by intense rain and sleet over the mountain passes on the way home.
I sez to her, I sez, “What are yuh, 18 years old now? Time to get out from under my roof!”
I had some extra steel in the shop from building out the Rocket Mass Heater and decided to put it toward art’n. Yesterday I welded this cantilever base, bolted her back leg through the metal tube and welded a strap across the bronze between her feet to make sure she stayed put, then set her in the yard with a concrete footing.
She feels like she has always been here.
The aluminum figures around the ponds aren’t sure what to make of a bronze figure.