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Saturday, October 25, 2014

Skywatch Friday plus Fall Blooms and a Critter October 24, 2014

Cloud formations at close to sundown for Skywatch Friday, hosted by Yogi, Sylvia, and Sandy-


Today I am also linking with-

Saturday's Critters hosted by Eileen

Today's Flowers hosted by Denise

I Heart Macro hosted by Laura

Macro Monday 2 hosted by Gemma and Mystical Magical Teacher

Some plants are blooming again because the fall rains have started.  Pink Panda strawberries-

Monarda punctata bracts look like blooms-

Fall color is also progressing, grape vines-

Nandina at a local park-

And now for a critter, for years I was catching these gigantic slugs and releasing them in my woods because I assumed they were banana slugs because of their 4-5" / 10-12cm size, only to find recently by finally looking them up that they were really Leopard slugs, which originated in Europe, but I found that they are also beneficial in that they eat other slugs and their eggs, so can reduce their populations.


My fall project this year to lower maintenance in my yard has been to remove fences, T-posts, and trellises from a long narrow bed used mainly to grow pole beans.  Voles had become so bad over the years in this bed that they even nipped most of my pole bean vines after I had wrapped them in aluminum foil, a strategy that has been working for many years, prompting me to eliminate this bed and please my husband, who has been frustrated over not being able to mow well in the narrow paths on each side.  Here is after removing all the hardware,  some mint plants in the foreground-

Here is after several days of mattocking out all the weeds plus recovering quite a few nails I used to protect bean roots from voles- I had formerly removed nails but hadn't gone as deep so many were still there.  This is the entire width of the area and is now seeded with No Mow grass seed, which has not come up yet-

Here is an area I rescued last spring from 7-8' / 2-3m tall overgrown gooseberry bushes, who knew they would spread with suckers and become thorny monsters with low yields?  I also eliminated an equally thorny and overgrown row of ornamental quince.

With No Mow grass planted-

I have learned to  eliminate a lot of plant snarls and blackberry tangles on our 2 acres by turning them into grass which can be mowed, the no chemical, no hard work way to control rampant berry and blackberry vines in the Pacific Northwest (PNW), that is no hard work after all the removal of overgrown vegetation is accomplished.  What are your gardening challenges?   Hannah

or cameras are macro

©Weeding on the Wild Side, all rights reserved.   I like to visit your blog too and comment, but don't participate in google+ so can't comment if your comment section only accomodates that, so I will comment here or by email if a link is provided.

77 comments:

  1. pretty colors and blooms. rather good looking slug, too!

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    1. Thanks, Tex, they are impressive, but not fun to hold like your adorable toad.

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  2. The mint is a real challenge for us. It was in our flower beds when we bought the house, and we are constantly trying to pull up the offshoots to keep it under control. We've told our neighbors to stop by to get some any time!

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    1. I have lots of room for the mint, and I like to grow it for the honeybees, who love it, and for tea, but it is hard to get rid of.

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  3. Hi Hannah! This is a great post for skies, critters and flowers. Thank you for linking with Today's Flowers and I wish you a very happy weekend.

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  4. Thanks, Denise, we are getting rain now and the grass is planted so I don't have to work so hard. Thanks for hosting! Your flowers are colorful, especially the Duranta.

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  5. I love the strawberry flower. The slug is kind of pretty too. Enjoy your weekend!

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    1. Thanks, Gunilla, they are interesting slugs, I'm glad they are good for something.

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  6. WOW That slug looks like it could do some damage! Have a great weekend.

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    1. Thanks, Margaret, it certainly does, I was nervous when I found one up on my porch where I harden off my plants. Today is soccer games!

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  7. Number 1 & 2 are the finest photos, then there was the slugs, they are food for the Hedgehogs.

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    1. Wow, Bob, that really makes me want a hedgehog. From what I've read if you try to release them in the wild they just wander off. I could use a good slug predator, so I turn into one.

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    2. Get a Hedgehog, my garden has a family, and a slug predator, but, don't get rid of the slugs, or the Hedgehog won't be there.

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  8. The daily challenge, is, now which part will I start to weed? The raspberry canes that have run into the lawn? Plant the runner beans yet again after a rabbit ate the 10 inch tall ones, and left a bare 2 inch stem? Make sure frost cloth is up, after we had a late season frost? Enjoy the cherry blossoms, the bare ground for bulbs, the green grass, and so much more,...That slug, ugggh!!! And your new grassed area, lots of work there before we see the green, well done, Jean,.

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    1. Thanks, Jean, I have the same challenge. I was trying to eliminate all the blackberries first but realized it would get too cold for the grass seedlings soon. Now I have to get back to the blackberries when the rains let up. Enjoy your spring!

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    2. Oh, and sorry to hear about your rabbit damage, I had a lot of that with my bean seedlings this year, I finally saved them by putting chicken wire all the way around the beans, only around 50cm high, and that stopped them. Fortunately the rabbits tended to eat the leaves off but leave the buds.

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  9. I love the sky shots and your lovely flowers.. Neat looking slug, it is new to me..Great post! Thank you for linking up, have a happy weekend!

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    1. Thanks, Eileen, I don't usually see the sky coloring in the east. Thanks for hosting all the critters!

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  10. Beautiful sky...beautiful flowers and vines...and a neat slug which unfortunately isn't so beautiful when you consider the damage he may do to your garden!

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    1. Thanks, Marie, the clouds were so puffy. The slug being a carnivore makes him/her a helper, I haven't actually ever caught one eating a hole in a plant like the other 3 or so kinds of slug in my garden.

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  11. Those clouds do have a great orange tint to them. Glad you like my wordy post - feel free to tell your friends, relatives and passers by in the street about it!!!

    Cheers - Stewart M - Melbourne

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    1. Thanks, Stewart, I like your wildlife photos best, but it's interesting to see places where my ancestors might have lived.

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  12. A great jog you did there!
    You made me laugh about your hubby complaining to be unable to mow properly where you had planted stuff!
    Same in my garden, I have planted too many shrubs and it makes mowing very physical for poor hubby! LOL!!
    Voles are a pest, but my 2 malinois (Belgium shepherds) are taking good care of this problem!
    Enjoy your sunday!

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  13. Thanks, Noushka! Your dogs would probably do much better on the voles than my cat, she does get some and even eats them, takes her about 5 minutes, but doesn't dig for them. It's surely a lot of work to get rid of my planting mistakes.

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  14. Beautiful clouds! I enjoy seeing what goes on in your 2 acres. No mow grass is a great idea. The slug is very interesting looking hope he doesn't do too much damage. The color in the grape leaves is perfect...would love to save some and use them for decorations, just read about ironing them with wax paper to help them stay soft longer. Happy Autumn!

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    1. Thanks, Laurin, I should try pressing some of the red grape leaves. I enjoy seeing your landscaping ideas.

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  15. Replies
    1. Heh heh, Pat, but these slugs EAT the other slugs.

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  16. The cloud formation is a beauty. Also love the flowers, garden and animal shots.

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    1. Thanks, Carver, I don't usually notice the clouds.

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    1. Thanks, Birgitta, I love your macro insects.

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  18. These photos suggest that a lot of hard effort has gone into your garden. The first flower is a delightful colour and shape.

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    1. Thanks, Gemma, I do work a lot on my garden. I was surprised to see the Pink Pandas blooming in fall. I don't know if they will set fruit.

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  19. Great pictures and interesting Information about the slug, especially their names in the US.

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    1. Thanks, in addition to the Leopard slug, there are other slugs in my garden that came from other continents. Some of those I do see eating holes in leaves. I put down newspaper mulches to suppress weeds, and in spring I go around and lift them to look for slugs which I cut up with a knife. I get rid of a lot that way or by checking plants, especially bean seedlings.

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  20. That's a lot of garden work! You must have felt good after finishing all your tasks. Thank you for the information on the slug. That's very good to know. We need beneficial critters in our garden so we don't have to resort to chemicals. Have a good day, Hannah.

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    1. Thanks, Christa, I am glad to have finished most of it, there are some raspberries and mint plants I still need to move, then sow more grass there in the spring. But for now the little grass plants are coming up.

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  21. The apricot clouds are stunning - wonderful to see in reality I imagine! I'm interested to see this slug,as my on going challenge is to keep down the slug and snail numbers.Luckily we have a resident hedgehog which seems to be partial to snails.The pink strawberry flower is lovely.....

    Enjoy your week Hannah,
    Ruby

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    1. Thanks, Ruby, how exciting to have a hedgehog, I think that would be wonderful, is he friendly? Hugs, Hannah

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  22. Beneficial slugs! Good for you keeping an open mind!
    ~

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    1. They are very impressive slugs, and I don't see them on plants chewing holes....

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  23. Your flowers and leaves shots are wonderful and a great close up of the slug!

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  24. Thanks, Abrianna, my cell phone makes it easy to take photos at the moment I see something in the garden.

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  25. OMG, Hannah waht beutiful photos!
    So many and so nice!
    Thank for your comment!
    Habe a nice week!
    Hugs Rivien

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    1. Thanks, Rivien, I like your beautiful butterfly macro.

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  26. What a rich life you have...garden with WORK :) and so many objects to shoot - photos! :)

    my blog - > BLOGitse

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    1. Thanks, Blogitse, I do work a lot, and it's not hard to find things to photograph. Hugs!

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  27. Who knew grape vines could be so pretty. I love their color!

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    1. Yes, a nice deep red. I should go pick a few and press them. Hugs,

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  28. Replies
    1. Thanks, Villrose, it's getting very rainy here and soon colder, so I don't know what else the garden has for me. I just got 2 seed orders and will start a lot of seeds in November so I have a better chance of getting blooms next year.

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  29. Beautiful pictures. The clouds are stunning.

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    1. Thanks, Michelle, I liked them slowly turning golden.

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  30. The skies are gorgeous! I have just started on gardening from seeds, so I have a lot to look forward to on my learning curve!

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    1. Thanks, Betty, I liked the dark leaves against the clouds. I started seeds at the end of November last year under lights as an experiment, I did better getting plants and flowers from them than from the ones I started in spring, but I do have several plant shelves with fluorescent lights to grow them on. And it can be a problem if they get too tall for my shelves.

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  31. great cloud images, pretty flowers and a great macro of the snail.

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    1. Thanks, Felicia, this is my first year growing the Monarda punctata, so I'm pleased it did so well.

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  32. interesting flowers you have at the top. :)

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  33. Wonderful photos, with beautiful silhouette was smiling a beautiful sky! great!

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    1. Thanks, Leovi, I particularly liked the silhouettes of the tree leaves on the clouds.

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  34. I have never seen a Nandina bush that large! The cloud formations are so striking. Lovely work on your garden.

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    1. Thanks, Gail, I have one Nandina in an out-of-the-way place that grew taller than my head up into a tree. I finally saw suckers on it this year so I cut it off so they could take over. My little grass plants are finally coming up!

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  35. Wow, BEAUTIFUL cloud formations and BEAUTIFUL unknown (for me) flowers♡♡♡ Monarda punctata looks very unique, and checking the word 'bract' made me understood what you meant p:-) And what surprisingly big slug with kind of beautiful color.
    So sorry for my belated comment,Hanna♪ Wishing you are having a wonderful week.
    Sending Lots of Love and Hugs from Japan, xoxo Miyako*

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    1. Thanks for your sweet comments, dear Miyako! The Monarda punctata has such big bracts and I was surprised they didn't fade. I hope they make bigger clumps next year, that would be so neat. I'm happy to have my grass coming up and lots of rain, but it may get colder by the end of the week. Love and Hugs from the PNW!

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  36. Hi Hannah...I enjoyed reading about your gardening efforts...yes, I would think the grass would be a bit 'tamer' to tackle than all the bushes, etc. A lot easier keeping weeds at bay too.

    Clouds are beautiful.

    [as for your comment you left for me....yep, I agree too many NCIS...but I've never watched the NCIS LA...but once and didn't like the 'stars' so didn't bother with it.]

    Hope you're having a super week.

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    1. Thanks Anni, I'm happy with the areas where I planted grass last year, except that lots of weeds tried to come up too, and also the moles were attracted to the watering so started peppering them with mounds.;-( I had quite a fight on my hands. I hope that doesn't happen this fall too. As the other grass thickens it makes it harder for the weeds to invade. And once it is a mown area it really cuts down on the blackberries which the bane of our weeding existence.

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  37. Replies
    1. Thanks, Molly, I like the little trail of leaves against the sky.:-)

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  38. Your sky shots are gorgeous! You sure are doing a lot of work in your garden this fall and it looks like you're achieving your goal of simplifying these areas! Good for you! Where will you grow your pole beans next year?

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    1. Thanks, Peter, I have been making a larger garden in my front lawn which is pretty far away from the Red Cedar trees so has a longer period of full sun than anywhere else in the yard and is also across the lawn from the hose bib, so handy for watering. The front of the bed is in this post-
      http://weedingonthewildside.blogspot.com/2014/08/whats-blooming-now-plus-critter.html
      I grew my pole beans there and in an older bed. The older bed had rabbits eating the pole beans until I put chicken wire around them, but I had no problems from rabbits OR voles in my big front garden. Perhaps that is because I started using a lot of lava rock in the beds from the begining, so maybe voles never got a foothold. The new bed is a closer to square so less fencing is needed per square foot, not being long and narrow like most of the other beds. I use welded wire fencing but rabbits seem to be able to find openings sometimes. Running ~18" of chicken wire around the bottom of the fence seems to be able to keep the rabbits out a lot better. I'm going to have even more pole beans in my front bed next year.

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  39. Gorgeous photos! What a lot of work you've been doing lately. I think you've earned a good rest now :-) .

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    1. Thanks, Paula. I wish I had a manageable smaller garden like your lovely garden but the blackberry vines here are such atrocious weeds that I finally decided the only way they were going to be controllable is if I cut them all to the ground repeatedly like the control that moving gives, so I am still involved in that when the weather is nice, I had to stop to do the grass because it won't grow when the temperatures get too low.

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  40. ..a very nice photo series ...
    I particularly like the first two pictures...
    Best regards, Karin

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    1. Thanks, Karin, the clouds were so unusual.

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  41. And I specially like the contrast between the colored sky and the black branches!

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  42. Beautiful skies wunder which some much work was done...I still have my voles as a challenge.

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