A busy autumn

Our first fruit trees are finally in the orchard, and it is fitting that they are Iowa (Bailey) peach seedlings from our neighbor Margaret, my Guru of All Things That Grow. She has been so generous with her advice and her plants and now with any luck, our grandchildren will some day enjoy the peach trees that traveled from her place at the end of the road to ours.

Here’ they are sitting in the best tree shelters we have to keep them 90 percent safe from mice, rabbits and deer while providing a mini-greenhouse to help them grow.That’s a prairie planting and the Cedar River behind them.

first peach trees 2014


And here they are going in,  using my glove to show the size. Note the earthworm! The terrace these are going into had grown to trees over the last 20 years and all that good stuff underground is coming through with insects and some excellent tilth in the soil.

first peach tree and worm


We’ve also prepared the row that heartnut trees from Red Fern Farm are going to share with honeyberry bushes we’re getting from Versaland and Honeyberry USA. (The yellow flags along the road are where they’re going, with a green flag every 40 feet for the heartnuts.) The honeyberries and yes, even some gooseberries (I’ve been persuaded there is a cultivar worth growing) are going in this week. Heartnuts are Japanese walnuts and quite beautiful.

flags on bottom berm







This is a great time of year for fog photos as well, and if you’re not driving in it like we were the other night, it can be quite beautiful. So here’s a recent morning at Draco Hill. This evening I watched a pheasant careen over that rust-colored Indiangrass and settled into the field.

morning fog