March 27, 2013

Return of the Red-Wing Blackbird, Potatoes and Green

Walking the Rows, Again and Again...
March 13, 2013 marked the day the Red-Winged Blackbird returned to Corgyncombe! The joyous o-ka-lee, o-ka-lee could be heard in the old maple trees along Corgi Creek! On my old Derbyshire writing slope I have written out Ralph Waldo Emerson's quote:
"The blackbirds make the maples ring
With social cheer and jubilee;
The redwing flutes his o-ka-lee"
- Ralph Waldo Emerson

Return Here to Read the Corgyncombe Courant.

The old fashioned Rose Geranium, which is usually in a cool room upstairs, has been brought down to enjoy whilst taking tea. The Rose Geranium has a delightful fragrance!
In the book "A Basket of Herbs", illustrated by Tasha Tudor, it is mentioned that Rose Geranium leaves are used for potpourri, tussie mussies, teas, cakes, cookies, and jellies.

The old teapot is decorated with hand painted leaves that bear a resemblance to old fashioned Rose Geranium leaves.
An old collectible Red-Winged Blackbird card rests upon the slope.

In the goat pasture Red-Winged Blackbird nests are hidden amongst the green.

The journal on the writing slope is covered with a reproduction of old wallpaper.

The 2012 gardening season brought about a couple of months of drought. The potatoes were slow but still green.

One day whilst weeding in the garden I glanced at the potatoes and where they were fine the day before, now one row was almost devoid of green leaves, chewed down to the stems!

Immediately I commenced removing the culprit, the Colorado Potato Beetle larvae. In the photograph above, the larva can be seen munching away at a nice green leaf. Many times a day I spent walking the rows, looking for and removing the pests. My vigilance paid off as eventually there were fewer and fewer until they were no more and an abundant potato crop was harvested!

This makes one give thought to the Irish Potato Famine that started about 1845 and lasted several years. The famine was caused by potato blight that ruined their potato harvest that they depended on. My own great great grandmother Bridget emigrated from Ireland in the mid-1800s.

Some Corgyncombe potatoes in baskets.
The potato... most favored here at Corgyncombe!
copyright © 2013 Diane Shepard Johnson and Sarah E. Johnson