Friday I saw a bloom that I had failed to identify last year. I had given Va my camera’s big memory card, so I had my little tiny one with me. The tiny one will hold a mere six photos at full-res, but I was out logging blooms, so I needed more than six photos. Therefore, I had the camera set to lo-res mode, and took a picture of this plant. When I got home, poured through my books, but I couldn’t find it. Then I scoured the Internet, and still no dice. Finally, I uploaded it and asked the people on WIkipedia’s Project Plants what it was. I had an answer in about an hour: Black Swallow-wort (Cynanchum louiseae). It’s not in any of my books (sometimes a plant is in there, but I fail to find it. Not this time).

The Wikimedia Commons only had two photos of this flower, so I decided that on Monday I would venture out with my tripod and camera and see if I could get a half-way decent one at full res. Here’s the result:

Black Swallow-wort (Cynanchum louiseae)

Black Swallow-wort (Cynanchum louiseae)

Of course, the version on this blog is not full res, because no matter how big the picture is, the biggest I can show it here is 510 pixels wide. If you are so inclined, the full-res version is here.

I have of late taken to setting the camera in manual mode. I’m still kinda learning what all this stuff means, but from what I can tell, the larger the f-number, the better the depth of field (which is how much you can focus the foreground and background at the same time – I guess). That tends to make the picture dimmer though, so to compensate, I have to increase the shutter time. Then if the camera moves, the picture is blurry. Thus the tripod. I also tend to set the camera to delay two seconds before taking the picture so that the tripod can settle down after I violently press the “take the picture” button. Well, not that violently, but any shaking at all tends to blur the photo.

I took a very nice photo of some Partridge Berry (Mitchella repens) yesterday doing this. That was a bit tricky because this stuff grows in the woods where it’s nice and shady. The exposure time was one second. No way I can hold a camera still for a full second, but with the tripod and two second delay, it came out pretty OK!

Partridge Berry (Mitchella repens)

Partridge Berry (Mitchella repens)

Friday I dug up several large rocks around the edge of the yard. I did this for two reasons: I want to build another raised bed for my garden using free, non-toxic material, and sometimes the mower blade hits these things. All I managed to do though was dig them out and make several piles. By then I was too wiped to carry them over to the garden. Also, I left my wheelbarrow over at the neighbors house.

Tonight I decided to fetch the barrow and move some rocks. So Beth and I mosied on over. We chatted for a while and checked out their garden (the one I helped put in). It seems to be doing better this week than last. There was really heavy rain that knocked down a lot of their transplants. They replanted a bunch of stuff, and I think it’s looking much better.

On the way back to the house, I noticed that they had a bit of sheep-laurel (Kalmia angustifolia) in bloom. I have some of this on my place too, and I have been waiting for it to bloom, but it has not yet. I’ve also been watching a patch at Sandogardy Pond, but I can’t check it as often. So I was delighted to see this stuff on their property. Didn’t have my camera though, so no photo. Maybe tomorrow.

I wheeled the barrow the rest of the way home and stopped at the first rock pile. I loaded them up and pushed them about 50 feet when I could hear the air racing out of the tire. I stopped. I had to. The tire was still hissing madly and going completely flat. So I carried the rocks the other 100 feet to the garden and heaved them onto the ground. Then I pumped up the tire, but it wouldn’t hold air. A quick examination revealed that the stem was completely shot. So Beth and I drove to Tilton and bought a new innertube. I also picked out a straight 10′ 2×4 for my ger project.

When we got home it was Beth’s bedtime, so I neither fixed the flat nor worked on the ger. Rather, I put her to bed. Then I placed my second order for Investiture supplies, and here I am, blogging about it.

I’ll write more about the ger as that progresses. So far, I’m $3.04 into it.