Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Seeking Out a Photo Fix

Somedays I go out specifically in hopes I will find something worth photographing, especially when I go downtown. I carry my camera in my pocket just in case something amazing and unexpected happens. It never does, though. So I walk down alleys (in the daytime, of course) looking for graffiti or anything else new and interesting.

Well, nothing notable happened today on my way to the library, but I took a few shots anyways. I took this shot of the Englert Theater because they are advertising the Vagina Monologues, which includes the Alley Cat Cabaret this year. You must read their description of the event. Sounds like a good time. //

I am going to try to rope a female friend to go with me....I don't think Doug will
have much interest, though he should! Dawn, do I hear you joining in??? This
would be a blast.

I also caught a few "new" bits of graffiti and have posted them for your
viewing pleasure. Overall, I was disappointed with the lack of new vandalism
downtown. For those of you who don't know, Iowa City has some very artful graffiti,
lots of stencils or art with political/social commentary. The random gangsta tags are
predictable, illegible and unattractive. Get these gangstas into art class or something.

Holloween? Am I missing something?

The 40 oz. artist is apparently a prophet as well as a vandal.

catch you all later.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Trellis Building Day

Today I designated as Trellis Building Day since my snap pea sprouts are gaining about two inches a day! The tallest ones measured just over 10" this morning. The container gardening book that Dawn gave me was and continues to be a wealth of information, and my idea came from within its pages. The book is McGee & Stuckey's The Bountiful Container. I am using it more as a reference book than as a cover-to-cover read, though I have skimmed a great deal of it. My sugar snap pea's  trellis is designed after the tee pee structure shown on page 40 of that lovely little book.

Today my Mom and I went to Ace Hardware with the mission of gathering materials for  constructing the trellis. I grabbed 5 36" wooden dowel rods. Turns out that was all I needed since I already have stashes of  hemp and yarn for binding.  I stuck the dowel rods into the soil along the perimeter of the pot, trying to be careful not to tear any roots on the way down. I gathered the top ends of the rods and wrapped them tightly together with red yarn. (I tried hemp first, but it seemed to slide too much against the smooth wood. The yarn seemed to catch better and stay put.)  After connecting them at the top, I reinforced them with a little more potting soil around the buried ends and packed them in tight.

About 10" above the soil, I wrapped another bit of red yarn from dowel to dowel, partially as a height marker and also as the first thing the plants can grab onto on the way up.  I did the same thing about 5" further up.  I am surprised at how sturdy it is and I have high hopes for this little edifice of mine. 

By the time I was done creating and photographing the trellis, I was ready to move on to the other seeds that I picked up at Ace. While I don't want to go hog wild and have pots of dirt everywhere, I am well on my way. I planted some Tokyo White Onions (which are basically skinny green onions) in a ceramic pot and dill seeds went into a plastic "terra cotta" pot.  That means, including the 3 house plants I already had, I now have 6 pots that need sunlight.  Time to slow down for a bit and focus on what I've started.  I really hope the dill explodes into a massive handful of the stuff. On my agenda: Persian dill rice with pistachios. Mmmmm........

Sunday, February 22, 2009

The Peas March On.....

Well, the little sprouts are quickly becoming plants. Time to begin shopping for a bigger pot. Today the tallest is reading at about 7 inches and has 3 little bunches of leaves. Last night, the max was 5. If these suckers are going to grow 2 inches a day, they are surely going to being to crowd each other out and fight for nutrients. I want all these to survive so it's almost time to spread 'em out. This brings up a bunch of new questions, of course. Do I just need a bigger pot, or should I divide these 13 plants into multiple containers? How big do(es) the pot(s) need to be?

 This also gives me reason to start thinking of what I will construct my trellises from....likely dowl rods that I can bind together with hemp.....hemp, to me, is like duct tape is to other people; it can fix almost anything. So the trellises may or may not function, depending on how sturdy I can make them. I'll be sure to post any wonky, comical construction attempts for your amusement.