Thursday, June 24, 2010


Coneflowers are everywhere these days. I should have done a Wordless Wednesday with them yesterday but I had to go to work early. These are down by the Inner Harbor. I used a photo from the same session to accompany my events article this week.

I’m so busy these days. We had a big family weekend and it is also so hot. I continue to be plagued by my sore arm so I only do the writing that I have to do.

The only reason that plant diseases are good is that they give me an easy, newsy article to write. Earlier this week I found out that downy mildew is attacking local basil crops. Mildew is also a problem in my garden as I have it on the impatiens on my porch. They are in a dark corner that doesn’t get much air circulation, though. My basil is doing great, though.

Friday, June 11, 2010

A New Camera

I impulsively bought a new camera on Wednesday. Well, I never do anything impulsively and as my father reminded me, I’ve been drooling over this camera for months. It is a Cannon Powershot SX120 with a 10x optical zoom. I wanted a point and shoot that was both easy to carry but with better features for nature photography. The most powerful zoom I had before this was 5x so I was due for an upgrade. The zoom is always my favorite camera toy.

My first real camera was a Cannon, given to me by my father on my birthday, perhaps when I was 19 or 20. It was a film camera that I still have. I originally wanted one when I moved to digital but they were too expensive and so I settled for Kodak instead. I’m fairly happy with Kodak—they make great walking around cameras, but I’m glad I finally got my Cannon.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

A Nice Set of Cabbages

Last week I went down to check on the City Hall garden. Someone emailed me about a harvest date, but I couldn’t make it on that day. But, I still wanted to write about the garden each month because my focus is Baltimore gardening and you can’t get closer to the topic than the City Hall garden. It looked a lot better this time around. The black mesh was gone and things were getting big.

Actually, there is an interesting variety of cabbages down there, plus lots of kale and mustard greens. (I apologize for the red signature on this photo. I couldn't get it readable any other way.) The beds nearest the War Memorial building were empty but the lettuce was once there and I’m sure that was what they harvested. Since I didn’t make the harvest day I instead wrote "What we can learn from the Baltimore City Hall garden" to promote the usefulness of it.

The photographs I take there look great but it amuses me to see Baltimore life in the garden. Here and there are beer cans and random items of clothing. Street people were washing up in the nearby fountain. I’ll be back down there in a couple of weeks to do another “progress” article, hopefully with a slide show.

Speaking of slide shows Examiner wants us to focus on National Rose Month this weekend. This means that everybody else will be writing about roses. Every time some kind of editorial focus comes up with a garden focus I am busy with other more newsy topics so I never really do it. Rather, I think I’ll plan a slide show or garden history article for the following week.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

City Chickens and Roosters

I’ve been so busy lately that I haven’t been keeping up with my blogging. I’ve had some new writing opportunities but I don’t want to overdo computer time as my injured arm still bothers me. I’ve been slacking off just a touch on my Examiner column, but I do try to keep it current. I didn’t get to city hall while they were harvesting recently but I do have new photos and am planning to write about them again soon.

I haven’t even done photos in a while because I don’t have what I need for my articles and have been using stock photos. I wrote about urban farming in Baltimore today and I have to admit, I enjoyed using a picture of a chicken for a change. (I get into a flower rut because they are easy to photograph.) Apparently you can keep chickens, bees, and potbellied pigs in the city if you follow certain regulations. But, since chickens must be kept 25 feet from buildings, that leaves out most rowhouse dwellers.

This whole urban farming thing reminded me of the Charles village rooster. He frequented the yard of an apartment building on Charles Street, across from Hopkins. He was notorious for waking people up with his crowing but no one seemed to know who he belonged to or why he was there. After awhile he disappeared, presumably to a more suitable environment or stew pot.

For your viewing pleasure I have included a stock photo by Philip MacKenzie. He has some nice chicken and rooster photos on stock.xchng