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(click on the pics for much bigger, better views.)I did chronicle with photos most of my spring garden planting and that on going  growing season of 2015 before we lost the camera. Odd, someone actually came into our house while we weren’t looking and all they wanted was that stupid camera! Or, we misplaced the thing-hard to figure.( for folks who want to know how I plant my garden, the entire process is in this link: https://franque23.wordpress.com/2015/02/23/garden-shoveling-a-pictorial-anthology/ )

Anyway…what a year 2015 was-and to be clear, I do know today is February 8th, 2016. Thing is, living in Florida and growing food means I experience two different years: a calendar year along with everyone else, and a growing, living year. February is when the growing year really starts to turn over in Florida. This is the time the garden earth is turned and the soil is prepared for a new spring garden. I usually have my seeds planted no later than March 1st, and remain ready at all times to cover the new growth with mulch if it gets way cold in March as sometimes is the case. Why plant by March first? This gets most of my spring crops in by mid May, early June, just ahead of the major bug push in Florida.

Seems i hit the full moon just right and the seeds sprouted fast

Seems we hit the full moon just right and the seeds sprouted fast early March, 2015.

I’d collected bags of leaves from the roadsides as people left them out for the trash man to pick up.

This, picking up the neighbor's throw out leaves, is a good ,quick way to have mulch on hand--a bit of lime will help off-set the acidity of the oak leaves

This, picking up the neighbor’s thrown out leaves is a good, quick way to have mulch on hand–a bit of lime will help off-set the acidity of the oak leaves

The Old Man's Beard tree in our front lawn said spring had sprung.

The Old Man’s Beard tree in our front lawn said spring had sprung.

The pineapples had made it through the winter and gave us a number of nice sized fruits…

There is nothing like a fresh, actually ripened pineapple

There is nothing like a fresh, actually ripened pineapple(they take two years to fruit.)

The pineapples tasted so good I decided to make a pineapple garden in the back by our pool…I dug for two days

theses weeds are actually a type of radish.

Theses weeds are actually a type of radish. (May)

I already have about 12 pineapple growing in all stages around the yard. I simply cut the tops off and plant them every time I buy one. But I wanted more….

I went to a local  food store- Wards- and caught them on a day they were coring pineapple for sale in the back of the building. They gave me a box of thirty pineapple tops to plant for free! Sweet!!! (Anyone can do this.)

planted and ready to grow....for here on out, but for weeding, it just takes a spritz of water now and then to help them along.

Planted and ready to grow….from here on out, but for weeding, it just takes a spritz of water now and then to help the plants along.( a one year old plant is seen on the far left)

Meanwhile, the garden kept growing….

Sure fresh food is the point, but the flowering process for garden plants is a beautiful thing to watch.

Sure fresh food is the point, but the flowering process for garden plants is a beautiful thing to watch.(Squash flower-spring)

The crops came in around May 15th, ahead of the bugs and it was time to pick.

I found my local crop workers( Grand kids) and got them working....

I found my local crop workers( Grand kids) and got them working….

Dang we picked piles-

Dang, we picked piles-Shadow, -our dog- supervised the work.(He loves to eat green beans off the plants so I often ‘garnish’ his wagging.)

Food—-without any sprays-I hand kill bugs-…I use one 10-10-10 pound bag per year, spread out evenly over a 30 X 40 foot garden…the rest is mulch break down and  compost from our daily living.  After ten years of gardening in this same spot, I have one zillion worms in the soil.

the yeild for the spring garden was 22 pounds of green beans

The yield for the spring garden was 22 pounds of green beans; 15 pounds of peppers; three months worth of asparagus green beans; 21  pounds of tomatoes; a trifle of sweet corn; some squash, lots of egg-plant, cucumbers and radishes, too. The fall garden pitched in tons of  collard greens; lettuce-three varieties, more green beans, spices, and, for the first time,,,carrots…..

but we also grew these asparagus, or yard long bean in place of poles this year and I'm quite pleased with teh amount of food they gave and the taste(plus, the climb, so you don't have to bend to harvest.)

We grew these asparagus, or yard long beans, in place of poles this year and I’m quite pleased with the amount of food they gave and the taste(plus, they climb, so you don’t have to bend to harvest as you do bush beans.)

 picking the asparagus green bean--I highly recommend these

Picking the asparagus green bean–I highly recommend these(pickin’ all spring, into summer and Fall)

The crops kept coming as the lemon trees ripened.

The crops kept coming as the lemon trees  and basil ripened.

the peppers, and tomatoes were great--tomatoes , to me, are the biggest reward for gardening, and the toughest to get a harvest form--cherries are much easier than big boys, etc...but we got those ,too.

The peppers, and tomatoes were great–tomatoes , to me, are the biggest reward for gardening, and the toughest to get a harvest from–cherries are much easier than big boys, etc…but we got those ,too.(June)

sage is a wonderful plant to see

Sage is a wonderful plant to see-(Fall)

When the Chinese Honey’s(citrus) start to come in Nov. 1st–it’s all hands and mouths on deck!

my crew is ready

My crew is ready

378 (2)

The Chinese Honey trees are very cold hardy and can tolerate 18 degrees for up to ten hours with no problem once well established…The fruit is seeded, but the sweetest Mandarin type you can find.

Chinese honeys--it's important to note, the picker will reach up and pull the fruit, but also tear off the very top of the fruit,leaving you few days to eat that,,,so somehow hand picking when possilb eis best.

Chinese Honey–it’s important to note, the picker will reach up and pull the fruit, but also tear off the very top of the fruit, leaving you only a few days to eat that fruit,,,so somehow hand picking using a clipper when possible is best.(Nov. 15th)

Because I got lucky, the citrus trees I planted happen to ripen from Nov 1st thru the end of March….,nice, huh? I inherited the Chinese Honey, early ripening, planted the seedless navels-blood oranges- they ripen Dec-Jan,,, and then planted my dad’s favorite Valencia-ripens Jan thru March. In the middle of it, I planted a Mineola Tangelo since I went to Mineola high school-that ripens Nov-Dec. In the end,,,we are lucky this year to have a huge crop, though much different from last years 1500 orange yield. This year, maybe 1000, and the red navels are for the most part not good—I suspect we had a too hot of a Nov.and Dec for them.

A Hard freeze warning found me out til 12:30 Pm picking 450 oranges just in case they wouldn't make it thru the cold.

A Hard freeze warning found me out til 12:30 PM picking 450 oranges just in case they wouldn’t make it thru the cold.(Dec. 2015)

hundreds picked, hundreds still hanging on the trees.

I picked hundreds with many  hundreds more still hanging on the trees.

I brought one hundred int ot work and gave several hundred to my grand kids--they are, after all, the reason for it all

I brought one hundred into work and gave several hundred to my grand kids–they are, after all, the reason for it all-(Nice crop of grapefruit this year, too.)

All the while, the peppers kept peppering.

Yes...you get the idea,,,,

Yes…you get the idea,,,,(Summer-fall)

Anyway,,,you can reach me thru this glob,-blog-, for advice, encouragement, or to call me names…cheers… grow Gainesville. That should be the name of this town…

Peace, and it’s just about time to plant, again. We’ll be enjoying citrus until late March. Yum.

Franque23

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Baked Alaska has nothing on melting Florida this summer.

Welcome to the dog days of summer.....

Welcome to the dog days of summer…..

Ha! This state has put Hell out of business. Now, if a person lives a routinely horrid life, the Devil merely sends them to Florida to spend out their time as a sand flea.

It’s so hot in Florida even the bugs have slowed to a crawl…

Floridians go to indoor sauna’s to cool off.

Ya don't wanna get stuck in traffic.....

Ya don’t wanna get stuck in traffic…..

I’ll never think of a good lookin’ gal as being  hot any more…Ha! Not!! Anyway, the outside temps here in the land of the palms have given the word hot a scorching new threshold, a plethora of sizzling platitudes: way hot; fried and fired up; burned out; back draft day; blistering baby; no touch day and hell’s breath day to name a few.

Wanna lose weight? Blitzkrieg your way to Florida from up north. Stand outside a few hours then go back home. You’ll be amazed by what a difference few bazillion degrees can make. Then again, there’s an upside to the heat. Think of the money to be saved by cooking on the sidewalk, though who’ll be left alive to eat the food? As I get it, maybe only sharks.*

 more good news--Floridan roads haven't melted like they have in India-not yet.

more good news–Floridian roads haven’t melted like they have in India-not yet.

Nudist throw in the towel and run for cover.

Be sure to turn that door knob with your gloved hand and bring a diver’s oxygen tank into your car when driving.

Florida should change its name to IV central. The ants have burrowed to China; the roaches have flown to the Himalaya’s. KKK members have quit burning torches and decided to throw ice parties instead.  The last remaining umbrella in Florida was sold one hour and ten minutes ago. Sad.

So yeah, hitting forty below up at Lake Bonaparte, New York, during the winter is not perfect, but jumping over forty degrees above Hell heat in Florida during the summer is centrally unnerving as well. Freeze or fry, that’s the question McDonald employees ask as they hand out driving directions to the north into the hands of liquified tourist who dribble up alongside their window.

Idea man strikes again!

Idea man strikes again!

Come to think of it, the Floridian afternoon showers are such a blessing when they do come that they create the perfect time for state-wide wet tee shirts contests! Where or where is our state leadership in this one? At least the students at U of F have an idea.**

student skip the wet tee shirt idea and run for a fountain....

students skip the wet tee-shirt idea and run for a fountain in their undies….

Singing in the Rain should be Florida’s state song.

Check out a beach scene in Florida before AC hit the fan----thankfully, our society came to its senses for a bit before we went nuts-again.

Check out a beach scene in Florida before AC hit the fan—-thankfully, our society came to its senses for a bit before we went nuts-again.

Times have changed….

But I still miss the hats!

But I still miss the hats!

So yeah….Floirda cooks in the summer.-

Franque23

*http://www.businessinsider.com/sharks-found-swimming-near-active-underwater-volcano-2015-7

**http://www.alligator.org/news/campus/image_581191b4-0e9f-5442-b1e7-449c37c7044d.html

here are links for both of my books in the Avatar Magic Series:
Book one, Avatar Magic and book two, The Code of Avatar Magic are on kindle now.

1)I love the smell of the tomato plants as I tie them to the fence to help them grow tall. Fresh citrus has a strong smell. I picked several Valencia today and left them by the front door as I worked in the garden picking lettuce, green beans and herbs and peppers. I’d forgotten about them when I went to go inside. The smell was like a fragrant flower-my nose reminded me of their presence.  Cutting fresh oranges fills the room with the scent of orange.

2)The most important idea I can share with anyone, especially with those under forty, or not, is this: If you are thirty-threeish to 36(or younger) and you put $300.00 into a mutual fund per month FOR ONLY SEVEN  YEARS AND THEN STOPPED ENTIRELY, BUT NEVER TOUCHED THE MONEY,  you will have one million dollars in that fund when you turn 65. Just seven years of pain, or a second job. This assumes an 8% gain over the course of 35 years(stocks forever average). This is not based on an outlandish assumption rate-trust me. Sure, things could happen. The US may fall into the ocean, or the world may blow up. But if not, then the world and America will grow, so will the world economy, and even considering an inflation rate, you’d be set for life and maybe your children’s lives will be set as well. It comes down to making a pretend car payment for just seven years while you are still somewhat young. Start later on in life, say in your forties or older, then the effect is not as dramatic, but it still works to a degree.

If you only can put in 150.00 per month, do it. At sixty-five you will be so happy.

3)People are beginning, or continuing, to post stupid political stuff about Hillary. Screw the facts-the blasting goes on regardless. But what I learned(read) this week was about Katherine Harris…she absolutely forged the election return numbers in 2004, and no one to this day has called her out on that crime. (?) And there is this link for those who enjoy reading history about US elections that is laden with facts and truth.*

4)For the first time in nearly two years upon examination my eye occlusion has held its shape. Of course, I’ve developed a side effect from the treatment but, still, I may be coming out of the woods on this.

5)I loved watching the film, I Am, and realize that I’m the type of person who never stops loving someone-the years don’t matter; lack of contact, unseen ever again, beyond distance, my heart never does let go. It’s interesting that in the Japanese culture it is believed that people come and go throughout your life as they should, and there is no need to hang on to memories and wish life were different. I agree with that intellectually, but, emotionally I never let go. It’s a new week, with more to learn.

Franque23

*https://prospect.org/article/ghosts-ballots-past

here are links for both of my books in the Avatar Magic Series:
Book one, Avatar Magic and book two, The Code of Avatar Magic are on kindle now.

Bobcats catch sharks off the coast of Florida.

This makes perfect sense, but I'd never imagined it happening.

This makes perfect sense, but I’d never imagined it happening.

Deer occasionally eat rabbits and birds…delanoes03-06-07-S1541 http://io9.com/field-cameras-catch-deer-eating-birds-wait-why-do-deer-1689440870 The next time you see a really big deer-run away…..Have to laugh about Monty Python’s attacking rabbit…

Broccoli seeds grow in pods….and the bunch in my garden will/do have one bazillion seeds on it—

I let my broccoli go to flower,,,then came the pods.

I let my broccoli go to flower,,,then came the pods.

The seeds are small.

The seeds are small.

I will never tire of swimming in Alexander Springs.

I wa slucky to have been in the park when it first opened-often only 6 to 7 people came there on any given day. We often saw gators like this one swimming below us as we snorkeled above.

I was lucky to have been in the park when it first opened(1970ish)-only 6 to 7 people came there on any given day. We often saw gators like this one swimming below us as we snorkeled above.

Okay, it was more than a week ago when I mentioned to a son-in-law that I thought it was a bit odd that-generally speaking-most designer’s of women’s  apparel were, well, seemingly gay men.* I mean, they like men, right!?!?  He turned to me and answered, “If heterosexual men were the designers, all women would be naked.”

Duh! That answer sorta rang the bell of truth.

Duh! That answer sorta rang the bell of truth.

Clothing’s appeal is completely situational-a product of the mind…**(this link to a neat blog on the history of sex and fashion.) A black bikini composed of a thong bottom and single strap wide top is acceptable at the beach, water play ground, rivers, lakes or springs, but outlandish on a sidewalk.

case in point.

case in point. A 1970’s shot.

Ho-hum, another day at the beach.....

Ho-hum, another day at the beach…..2015.

Learning can be fun! Franque23 *http://www.nytimes.com/2005/12/08/fashion/thursdaystyles/08FASHION.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0 **https://franque23.wordpress.com/2013/11/17/a-determined-lot-of-sex/

here are links for both of my books in the Avatar Magic Series:
Book one, Avatar Magic and book two, The Code of Avatar Magic are on kindle now.

Dear God, be thy man or woman-I’m so over that-please hear my cry over the broccoli picking-it’s gotten completely out of hand, or in my hand depending upon how you look at it.

I need help---

I need help—

I need your help to keep me from picking, picking, picking last years crop of Broccoli so that they may flower, and be done with completely. And thank you for the African coffee, too.

this is the start of the problem

this is the start of the problem

But the Broccoli plants look so healthy, it’s hard to allow them to pass. But this is not to say I’d like our neighbors to pick this crop-those people you could shoot before they shoot themselves IF that is what’s to happen, or IF they intend on picking my last broccoli-that’s your call.

I don't want to keep picking

I don’t want to keep picking

Surely, you know these plants need to flower as this is within the design of the earthly paradise. Thing is, now hear me out, please, I’m not complaining, but merely stating that I’ve a buddy who loves broccoli, who watches me closely so that he knows when I approach the broccoli, and he wants me to pick it…and allow him to eat all that I pick.

but someone keeps leaning on me

but someone keeps leaning on me-and he has big teeth!

Or , sitting on me…….

There's so much to be thankful for....

There’s so much to be thankful for….

Of course, I’m thankful for,well. everything, even the neighbors (on a good day.)

The front yard looks ready for spring

The front yard looks ready for spring

The birds, trees, bushes, flowers, everything is so wonderful-even those broccoli flowers.

(Random post…..)

Daley

Daley, my wife, flowering back in 1982

A few Chinese Honey's still hang from far above

A few Chinese Honey’s still hang from far above.

Some blessing get away, especially these Chinese honeys that basically are ridiculously high in the air–What? Am I supposed to be a Giraffe? Just asking…..

The Valencia still has fifty or more getting sweeter by the day

The Valencia still has fifty or more getting sweeter by the day

Thank you for the Valencia’s that are not ten thousand feet above ground.

And, for the back yard pool area where there’s always time for us to rest…..and take in the wonder of it all.

Out red Camellia still blooms

Our red Camellia still blooms

I’ve decided to sit in this chair until the broccoli blooms-thank you for that wisdom. Over and out-Amen.

Franque23, may let the broccoli flower.b

And oh, PS….I know I should know what these are since I planted them only a week ago…but my mind does get weary, and if you ask me, they look a bit like Broccoli, though why then would I have planted them in such a clump? Please let someone, like from the Gainesville growing group, tell me what they are…..

I forget?

I forget?

and one last thingy- Thank you for the first bush bean sprout….

peek-a-boo!

peek-a-boo!

here are links for both of my books in the Avatar Magic Series:
Book one, Avatar Magic and book two, The Code of Avatar Magic are on kindle now.

I raked off the winter cover-not too many weeds to pull-at first....Shadow knows a job is at hand.

I raked off the winter cover-not too many weeds to pull-at first….Shadow knows a job is at hand.

I’ll use the wood stalks seen here above Shadow as climbers for pole beans and tomatoes–they’re from our indigenous jasmine that grows 14 feet high a year during summer, and then dies off in the winter.

These are the only two tools I'll use to plant this garden-my dad's 65 plus year old , American made rake and shovel.

These are the only two tools I’ll use to plant this garden-my dad’s 65 plus year old , American made rake and shovel.(Broccoli in background is from fall planting, and still yielding.

Being thirty-five is sooo different from being 65. I was always in such a hurry back then-“No time to play kids, I’ve got to garden!” Now, Shadow makes a game out of shoveling, raking and, yes, it screws me up, but this is so joyful!

He's gonna get that rake if it's the last thing.....

He’s gonna get that rake if it’s the last thing…..

Whew! First time through the garden--all the top weeds have been pulled

Whew! First time through the garden–all the top weeds have been pulled

I timed the process-It has taken about 1 and 1/2 hours to get to this point…..

The soil's been turned once by shovel, and now the bags of top soil /composed are laid out

The soil’s been turned once by shovel, and now the bags of top soil /compost are laid out

Turning the garden over shovel-by-shovel is laborious… It took about two more hours to get this part done. (3 1/2 hours total to this point)There’s a rhythm to that task though, and it gives me time to think about the beauty of our world as I go. Red Tailed Hawks circle above; Sand Hill cranes fly by: I listen to their calls and the soft sound of my shovel turning the earth over.

You might wonder-why not a tiller? It would do the trick, but also it would be loud, and heavy-not me at all, and I think I’d lose my spiritual connection to the earth that the old-timey method of hand shoveling brings to mind.

AND-there’s this. A tiller would chop up the weeds I’ve missed during the first weeding-those underneath the ground as well.This first shoveling helps me unearth the problematic roots (Florida Betony)….How many roots?  Here’s the collection and their weight after this first shoveling.

25.6 pounds of Florida Betony root pulled i none shoveling---they'd be about 3 times that much if allowed  to grow through spring.

25.6 pounds of Florida Betony root pulled in one shoveling—they’d be about 3 times that much if allowed to grow through spring.

Next, I shovel the rows, quickly flipping earth into raised lines—this took another 30 minutes.(4 hours total now)

The rows are ready

The rows are ready- I once asked my squash and zucchini seeds and they said they like rows as well as they like mounds.

I hitch my shovel under my arm and pretend I'm a plow horse as I drag it over the rows to flatten their tops.

I hitch my shovel under my arm and pretend I’m a plow horse as I drag it over the rows to flatten their tops. I sometimes neigh, if I know the neighbors aren’t listening-that could be bad.

It took ten minutes to flatten the tops of all the rows

It took ten minutes to flatten the tops of all the rows-Whoa boy!

All my victory garden needs now is seed holes, seeds, sun and water….

I use the top of my shovel to make the seed holes.

I use the top of my shovel to make the seed holes.

The holes take about ten minutes to make--but dropping seeds in takes another 30 minutes, at least.

The holes take about ten minutes to make–but dropping seeds in takes another 30 minutes, at least.

There’s more to do,( It’s taken about 5 hours so far) but for now I’ll wait for the plants to sprout, and then use mulch neighbors from all around have conveniently raked and bagged and put along the roadside for my taking!(actually for the garbage pick-up.) The mulch will go between the rows, and I’ll use about 30 bags I manage to find curbside over the next two months.-Stop, load those bags into my car whenever I see them, and drive away….

Thank You for raking....

Thank You for raking….

There’s more garden fun coming—-stay tuned and enjoy your time outside, growing food.

In all, by the time I first got the tools out, did the deed, and then cleaned up and showered off, it was about 7 hours later when I sat down and smiled….

Franque23

here are links for both of my books in the Avatar Magic Series:
Book one, Avatar Magic and book two, The Code of Avatar Magic are on kindle now.

Yesterday was a bizarre day weather wise here in Florida–It felt like 80 with a strong wind and clouds all day…Dale thought a hurricane might be developing off our coast and it did seem possible…this past week’s high 90 degree days that felt like it was above 100 degrees gave way to a constant breeze and cool temps…

It was, as it turned out, the perfect day to turn the entire garden over and plant. My dad taught me how to plant a garden when I was very young. At the time, I hated the learning. Now, I spend days with my dad,( born 1911- died,2001) hearing his voice in my head as I turn over and plant my gardens each year. And, it’s no less a miracle that I still use his shovels, rake and hoe. These tools are more than 65 years old, and the steel is labeled , number 2 forged steel, made in USA. I should remark, the smooth wood handles are all original, too.  What a product! What a country of producers America was back then.

The fall garden here in North Florida is not like the spring one…NO one knows if it will freeze in early Oct, killing the mess, or not! It might not freeze until late Jan… so most often I use whatever seeds I have left from spring planting, whatever I find lying around, and toss them in. This year I’ve spent 48 dollars on the fall garden only…most of that  for one 40 pound bag of 10-10-10 with trace elements,,,an add I only use about every two or three years. I hated to do it, but the fall season can be short, and I hope to push the plant growth to beat the possible cold weather.
 
 
Thing is, I  have enough worms in my garden this fall  to sell, retire now and be okay. So using any fertilizer but black cow is not perfect, and this add will cut back on that population some. Worms are a gardeners best friends, but what’s up with the new beetle bug that’s eating the hell out of my Egg Plant, Mulberry tree and a few other assorted plant types in my yard. At first, I figured squashing them between my two hands with a slap would do the deed, but no, these beetles are hard-shelled, and it takes one-on-one squashing finger force to end their time here on the planet. I’ve a number of these beetles for sale, too.
 
 
Every year has its own personality bug and plant wise. Seeing these changes as they come is part of the fun of staying in touch with the flowers, fruit trees and gardens year in and year out.
 
 
I planted, bush beans, pole beans, and sugar snaps; yellow squash and zucchini; dill and basil; red leaf lettuce, broad leaf lettuce, curly red leaf and one heading lettuce; 12 tomatoes (starters)and 6 cherry tomatoes, plus a packet of cherry vine climbers(never heard or had them before)….broccoli and mustard greens, banana peppers, mixed colored banana type peppers,,,and still growing from spring are 5 eggplants, and six green peppers, some of them are almost 5 feet tall now…. Some seeds were old, and we’ll see what comes up and how the weather holds….
By six, I’d finished the job and hit the pool…the wind actually felt cold when I got out! Crazy, great day–eagles, hawks over head, Shadow, our 10 month old Catahoula Leopard puppy, at my feet(always)….It was a day to remember. And this year’s fall garden is in. Come what may, I’m thankful for yesterday’s cool breeze, soft air and overhead clouds.
 
Of course, it was great to think of my dad, and to hear his voice again.
 
Here’s to you having wonderful days, surprising days, ones that seem to sneak up on you and whisper, “Ain’t it great!?!?!”
 
And oh, if you can, plant what you can where ever you can; join in on the good eating and fun of it all!
 
franque23
 

*I’ve two books out on Kindle. Please spread the word and share the links!

links for both books in the Avatar Magic Series:
Book one, Avatar Magic and book two, The Code of Avatar Magic are both on kindle now.
 

First off, if you’ve got a minute, view this.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W3YQODRoIpo

Now you understand my puppy a bit better.

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Thing is, Shadow, our eight month old puppy, is a Catahoula Leopard through and through. He’s got the webbed feet, (part duck) and loves nothing better than to fight the hose water or dunk his head into a pail of water. You can’t see it, but his whiskers are more like a seal’s whiskers, curled into soft round spindles(he’s part Seal)….much like this seal’s whiskers, less the snotty nose.

Shadow's whiskers are shaped like this, but much shorter.

Shadow’s whiskers are shaped like this, but much shorter. BTW-can we protect these guys, too?

Shadow camps in the kitchen if  any one’s there. (Part chow hound) And as ferocious his appetite, he eats any treat he’s given with the uttermost politeness, softly, slowly accepting the food with his teeth.

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( If you click on this picture it opens up and you can see his special whiskers.)At eight months, Shadow will sit across the room like this waiting for the golden moment of leftovers. And, he has quite a varied diet(part vulture, wolf, rabbit, bird and even some dog). It’s no secret he loves green beans, but for me this was a bit different from any other dog I’d owned before.* When broccoli florets became his favorite, a mouth-watering treat, I feared his ears might grow equal in length  to the ears on the floppy eared rabbit we once enjoyed as a family member.

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The tomatoes above are the only thing  from this one day’s pick  that Shadow wouldn’t at least try to eat.

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You know, another thing I love about gardening  is seeing all the varied colors of vegetables. We need a blue fruit, or veggie to toss in this mix….and I should have included the red leaf lettuce we had in the frig for this shot…duh and dang it all!

If Shadow hadn’t been eating green beans nearly as fast as I could pick them, this table would look a lot different. But he’d helped plant them, so I couldn’t leave him out of the eating.

There’s nothing like listening to our grand kids and puppy munching on green beans as they’re picked…crunch, crunch, crunch.

A past year in our garden with Grands....

A past year in our garden with Grands….

Back to the shot:

Every morning we wake up to this face, but usually he's got a sock in his mouth.

Every morning we wake up to this face, but usually he’s got a sock in his mouth.

The reason for the sock in his mouth is simple…early on,  Shadow, my wife and I decided it was better for him to be chewing on one of his chew toys, actually anything almost, instead of us. He learned right off “get a toy” meant it was time for him to race to his toy box and shove one of them into his mouth. Then, he comes back and wiggles around us, everyone safe from his teeth. In a way, his name is, Get-a-Toy. Of course, he loves the pull on the toy tug-of-war game, too. This type of activity, as my wife pointed out,  helps develop the dog’s strong teeth and jaw, a survival necessity for dogs.  Somehow, dogs, puppies, know this from the get go. “No stick left  unchewed” is any puppies  motto. But in the morning,  it often is less convenient to find a toy than the sock I left on the floor last night, and the morning greeting is such a desperate matter, so any sock, any color will do.

Let the safe wiggles begin!!!

 I was suffering from a bad case of puppy love in the beginning: it's only gotten worse.

I was suffering from a bad case of puppy love in the beginning: it’s only gotten worse.

 

Franque23, from Puppyville..

I’ve two books out on Kindle. Please spread the word and share the links!

links for both books in the Avatar Magic Series:
Book one, Avatar Magic and book two, The Code of Avatar Magic are both on kindle now.

*Garden shadow.

Shadow eating green beans.

Shadow eating green beans.

 

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