August 26, 2016
I'm sure getting a lot of use out of my shade tunnel. I've moved it around to all of my cole crop rows to give them each a few days of partial shade. They perk up shortly and then I move it on to another row. A few days of cloudy weather would suit them all fine but it doesn't look like the heat will subside soon..
The broccoli starts that get afternoon shade are out performing all the others. My boards are still shading my spinach and kale transplants, and on the two beet rows, so I've run out of boards. If climate change is going to continue to give us heat waves, I'll need to buy more lumber..
August 27, 2016
The view from one of the shade spots in my garden includes a huge dead cottonwood tree that different species of birds perch in according to the seasons. I've watched the crows pull the bark off the branches to build their nests and then watched them making the babies to fill it. Doves rest in it all summer making their " who-who who" calls that for years I though were the sounds of ow!s. The black birds use it to guard their nests in the blackberries below, swooping down on any intruder..
Swarms of tiny gray birds fly through one side of it but not out the other, all alighting on branches and making the tree look jagged. Once in awhile a hawk will land in it . I keep binoculars in the greenhouse and realized that my favorite tree of all time is a dead one..
August 28, 2016
I must have been in grade school when I first learned about photosynthesis and am enamored of the process still. The fact that the chloraphill in the leaves can use photons to split a water molecule, expel oxygen, and use the hydrogen in combination with carbon dioxide to produce sugar is amazing. Plants give us the air we breathe and the food we eat. They are working constantly to keep us alive..
Maybe that's why us gardeners have an affinity for floura. I can't even let the lawn wilt..
August 29, 2016
These hot summer days make us acutely aware of shade and shadows. The shade under our plants is more than just the lack of photons. It's a cooler and moister place because the leaves give off water through tiny pores on their underside to keep the leaves cool. Plants cool themselves like we do with sweat, but it's called transpiration..
I read that one of the reasons we became an apex predator was that our lack of fur let us out run hairier animals, because we can sweat to remain cooler. Can you imagine our ancestors having to out run their dinner? I'm surprised turtles weren't hunted to extinction..