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Diary of a Boy Gardener

We are in the Berkshires, the beautiful rolling hills of western Massachusetts where the season is short and the frosts sometimes win. Visit Sally and David's Gardens and see how two old farts spend their time helping what plants they can find their place in this world.

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Location: Hinsdale, Massachusetts, United States

Retired Service Engineer. Installed and repaired diagnostic x-ray equipment. Trained and supported others doing the same thing.

Saturday, May 01, 2010

Comforting Chatter

In the last day or two the swallows have once again returned to the woodshed. We all just love to listen to their chatter, especially the during morning when they get up and prepare to get into feeding and nest building/repair, and in the evening when they talk over the day's events. I have yet to count how many active nests we will end up with, but it will certainly be between 3 and 6.
I will attempt to record and then somehow post their chatter soon.

Friday, April 30, 2010

Time Flies

In a few months it will be three years since I posted here. Lots has happened since then and basically I started working for $$$ full time and so set aside these more trivial pursuits. However, be advised that work continues here in happy land and Sally and Eric and Jason are working their butts off to keep the gardens thriving. Now I hope to carve out a bit of time here and there to photograph and document their efforts. This is the guilt post to increase the odds that actually happens.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Exporting Chipmunks

OK, they have gone too far and must be banished. They seemed so cute when there was one here or there, but now they are everywhere. Worser, they have been eating things in the garden like strawberries. This is a sin against mankind.
So Sally agreed three days ago to allow David to use the catch and release traps to rid us of these cute little mammals.
David has just released the dozenth little chipper onto the nice rock wall about 2 miles up the dirt road into the woods of Peru. That's a lot of chipmunks, but probably close to the entire population.
Red squirrels best be on your best behavior or you will be next!!!!

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Garden Site Updated

For those of you paying attention, a new search feature has been implemented at sallyanddavids gardens. Currently it contains four drop down boxes, one each for family, genus, species and category. The drop down boxes contain all the possible choices currently in the database. David is currently busy trying to add more data to the many pictures with insufficient information.
Whether viewing images by the old standby year/month view or from the new search function, once you are looking at a given image you will find under it's description navigation buttons to move thru the entire list (previous or next) or to return to whence you came.
These changes should improve your viewing experience. In the future David will add more drop down boxes or perhaps a free form search. You just never know. Remember, the primary purpose here is not to share the garden pictures, but for David to keep his mind busy learning programming skills!!!

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Gone Searchin'

Since David is no longer working on The Address Book he has very little to keep his php skills polished so he decided to add a search function to the garden site. It is coming along quite well and should be ready for prime time in just a few days. The last segment of code will load an array of the search results so it can be passed to the code that displays individual images and add previous and next buttons.

Monday, April 23, 2007


I am being punished by the digital dogs. I have taken about 60 pix onto my Sony memory stick and since I promised some garden pictures here, they are almost all of spring growth here in happy land. So I took the stick out of the camera and stuck it into the reader. My Mac says "What is this thing". I reboot. Same failure to recognize. So I put it back in the camera and it starts singing to me and displays format error !!!!
Even my photo recovery software won't help since I can't get anything to mount the stick. So no crocus for you.
I might still catch the last of the helibores and the daffy's haven't bloomed yet.
Rats !!!!


Sunday, April 22, 2007

The Beast

For those of you not paying attention, we live in the country along a two lane road between Hinsdale and Peru. Last night I was awakened at midnight to go fetch my son. As I opened the car door I heard a very strange sound and looked up. Just 30 feet away, at the end of the driveway, next to the mailboxes, on the far side of aforementioned country road (tarmac) was a moose. It clip clopped up the road toward Peru. There is a street light right there which did a fine job of illuminating it looking back over it's left shoulder as s/he trotted away.
There are periodic reports of their being in this area, but I have never seen one before. Very big creature with broad shoulders. Quite the sight.

Swallows In Town

Due to the late warmup we had been slow to take the back (the northside panels) off of the woodshed this year. Coming home yesteday from errands we found several barn swallows circling the backyard hollering "Let us In!!!"
Before even changing to work clothes, David got out the power drill and started unscrewing the panels and removing same. They were in checking out their old nests after the first of 5 panels was off. They sure are eager to get at the business of moving in to their breeding ground for the summer. As always, we welcome their return. The poop piles on the floor are a small price to pay for such access to some wild things.


Friday, April 20, 2007

2007 Spring Greetings

Egads !!!
Blogger has moved over to the ever expanding Google empire, so it took awhile to change homes. For some reason Safari chokes on my gMail account, so I have to use Firefox which was in no way trained to remember my gardening side of life. But I think we got it going now.
This has been an unusually cold and wet April making up for the winter's warm start by putting all the cold at the other end. This means no crocus for Easter which was also quite early this year (early Easter, late warmth = boring lawn).
But on 19 April we finally were able to get out in the yard. The rains have subsided and the snow is mostly gone. Some pictures were taken and will processed soon. Here is where the yard work wins over blogging and picture processing. Old habits will need to be re-employed here to walk and chew gum at the same time.
Anyway, here we go !!!!

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Bird at my feet

Although this is a garden blog, it seems birds are the thing I come to write about most often. For the last several days a small grey brown with greenish tinge about the neck and head bird has been fluttering to my feet as I go about the gardens. It seems young and although it flutters in and seems not to be able to fly, it does fly as required. Once it flew right up to the top of a fifty foot evergreen. When I walk about it never lets me get more than 40 feet away before it flies to my feet again. I think it is a young cowbird that has bonded to me. It is obviously after the bugs I am stirring up and I have watched as it caught a grasshopper, tore of a leg and then ate it while standing on my foot!
I have to be very careful, as he is so close I fear on might step on him.

Monday, June 26, 2006

Modest Site Change

I have been making the admin section of the garden site easier for me so I have fewer barriers to posting and so I could dust off my php coding skills.
One result you will be able to see is that going forward the monthly thumbnails will have a date stamp extracted from the image so you will know when the picture was actually taken.
I am in process of adding more photo data which you will be able to view when you select and individual image. All this pulled from the exif data embedded in the image jpeg file.
Pretty neat stuff.