Saturday, May 25, 2013

Llama on the Loose!

I was heading out to the grocery store/post office this morning when movement at the edge of our property caught my eye.  Glancing up, I spied a ..... llama.

This might not normally be of any interest, except that I don't have a llama.  Nor does any of the neighbors.  So of course I got out of my car to get a closer look.

Next to our house is some undeveloped, most wooded land.  We'd heard that a llama had been spotted in there, and John had actually seen it in this same area a couple of days ago.  It doesn't run away, but hasn't let anyone get too too close.
The neighbor across the street from us had left out some water for the animal, and I saw the llama poking at the now-empty bucket.  So I ran to re-fill it.

Here llama llama!

She sure knew what a bucket was, and came for a closer look.

Hmmm, whatcha got there?

Okay, I'll come closer.

Water's great, but I was expecting a little treat, maybe?
Yeah fine, enough of you.

She had a sip of water and then trotted back off off into the woods, so I went on to do my errands.  Later I did a quick internet search and learned that llamas eat mostly grass hay, so she should be fine where she is for a bit.  Looks like we'll need to contact Animal Control to see if anyone has reported a lost llama. 

Thursday, May 2, 2013

A Few of My Favorite Things: Garden

The weather is turning nice finally -- at least around these parts.  No snow in the forecast, hallelujah.  I've got thoughts of sunshine and tomatoes and flowers and cranberry gin dancing through my head and have been trying to get outdoors and in the garden as much as possible.  With that in mind, I thought I'd list a few of my favorite things for the garden.

Plant Protectors.  I call these gizmo's water walls.  They are made of heavy semi-opaque plastic and formed so that there are "cells" that can be filled with water.  The water absorbs heat from the sun during the day, protecting young plants overnight from the cold, and the plastic provides wind protection as well.  I tried these for the first time this year and was amazed at how well they worked.  My tiny tomato plants were flowering and almost bursting out the top by the time I removed the forms.  They can be reused repeatedly, another bonus.  I bought a package of 3 for about $14 at my local plant nursery. 
Tomato Cages.  Speaking of tomatoes, these brightly colored tomato cages are a whole lot more fun than the standard galvanized ones. 
Snips.  These little cutters made by Fiskars are perfect for snipping herbs or deadheading small plants.
Garden Attire.  A wide-brimmed hat is a necessity when working outdoors.  This one from Angela's Garden is made of cotton and can be thrown in the wash.  The matching garden apron has pockets in the front for holding all manner of things, including little snips.  The benefit of having a convenient place to stash your tools as you mosey around the garden is that you don't forget where you left them, and you don't stick them in your back jeans pocket.  And then try to sit down.  I got my set from, and there lots of styles and prints available.
Shoes.  Garden attire extends to your feet, and how can you resist fun rubber shoes?  These are by Sloggers, are inexpensive and surprisingly comfortable.  Besides protecting your feet from garden detritus, they are waterproof, so you don't have to worry about getting your socks wet when you play with use the hose. 
Gloves.  Hand protection is another garden necessity.  I have several types I use, from plain cotton to heavy leather, depending on the task.  But I really like these brightly colored nitrile-coated gloves.  They're great for digging in the dirt, and the waterproof palms keep your fingers from getting all yucky and pruney when you play with use the hose.  I found a package of 6 for about $8 at Costco.
Red Wheelbarrow.  Enough said.
Garden Art.  I love quirky little garden pieces, and the work by Dan Shattuck is among my favorite.  He puts together recycled kitchen utensils in the most creative ways.  This dragonfly is made with knives, fork heads, and the handle of a spoon.  It's utterly charming.  Unfortunately Dan doesn't seem to have a website, but he does art-in-the-park type shows throughout California's Central Coast. 
What are your favorite garden things?