Tips For Keeping Rabbits Out Of Your Garden

They may be cute, but rabbits can quickly decimate a vegetable garden. Try our safe and low-cost ways to keep these critters out!

Sometimes it’s better to see a pest problem as the normal way nature enters and adapts to a particular niche in the environment created by things like availability of food, cover, and absence of predators. Animals don’t appear magically on the scene for no reason, they simply exploit available food resources and habitat. Once we understand this, we can learn about them and adapt ourselves to their habits. That way, we not only enjoy wildlife but can minimize its impact on our homes and gardens.

Protecting Plants

There is no better or more economical way to keep rabbits out of the garden than good chicken wire, or wire mesh perimeter fence, bottom bent outward and sunk to a depth of at least 6″ under the soil, and at a height of about 3 feet. You can also protect individual plants or rows with cages, or mesh. Physical barriers are the most effective solution to keeping cottontails from destroying your crops.

You can also remove brush piles and other escape cover, which rabbits find attractive. Anyone who has done spring yard cleaning often has stories of coming upon a nest of baby rabbits while moving brush.

One strategy which is highly effective is fake snakes placed in the garden. They work like a charm!

Another strategy is to create meals for rabbits which they will find irresistible, or at least more enticing than the plants in your garden. It takes nothing more than some disposable chopsticks, a few lengths of kitchen string, and green cabbage. Try this inexpensive trick: Tightly roll a tender inner leaf of green cabbage around a chopstick (or bamboo skewer), like a cigar, leaving about half of the stick exposed at the bottom. Secure the cabbage with a piece of kitchen string. Take a few of these and “plant” them in a grassy area away from your garden. They will concentrate on the easy meal, and hopefully leave your plantings alone because trying to defeat your fence would require too much effort.

By Edward Higgins for farmersalmanac©

Source: Tips For Keeping Rabbits Out Of Your Garden – Farmers’ Almanac (farmersalmanac.com)

Tired of Mowing? Consider a No Mow Lawn

If you’re fed up with pushing the mower around every weekend or just want to save water and maximize the ecological capacity of your lawn, a no-mow lawn is a great choice.

Fed with lawn fertilizer, sprayed with hundreds or thousands of gallons of water, and trimmed with lawnmowers that often release dangerous pollutants, most traditional lawns are not ecological. And to maintain what is effectively a large monoculture of one or two species of grass, which are often non-native, traditional lawns usually rely on fertilizers, pesticides, herbicides, and at the very least, frequent maintenance.

Photo by Daniel Watson on Unsplash

What is a No Mow Lawn?

Unlike the closely cropped lawns of suburban America, no mow lawns are slightly more unruly. Instead of the usual varieties of grass, no-mow lawns are grown with drought-tolerant perennial grasses, which are often mixed with bulbs and wildflowers to create a meadow-like appearance. This makes your no-mow lawn grow longer than the average neighborhood lawn (exactly how long depends on the species) but also requires minimal amounts of water, little if any fertilizer, and much less maintenance than the traditional lawn.

You can still carry out most of the usual activities you would on a lawn — picnicking, playing, and relaxing in the sun — but don’t expect to be able to host a croquet tournament or a putting championship! This functionality is swapped for low maintenance and enormous ecological benefit — for the insects, birds, mammals — and ultimately the planet.

Ecological Benefits of a No Mow Lawn

While traditional lawns are ecological deserts, no mow lawns can be ecological havens—providing a natural home for a wide variety of species of flora and fauna. The nectar and pollen provided by wildflowers and grasses, so often lost during the mowing process, is once again available to the bees and butterflies that have become so rare in many suburban areas.

The native grasses in a no-mow lawn also provide breeding locations for these insects and nesting materials for predators higher up the food chain. With insects to feed on and long grass for nesting, birds are likely to enjoy making a presence close by, along with potentially even small and large mammals (depending on your area).

Planting a No Mow Lawn

No-mow lawns are fairly easy to install, and over the long run, cost less than the traditional lawn. But, you will need to invest in grass seed which shouldn’t cost more than 7 dollars per pound and will need to be distributed in accordance with the instructions on the bag of seed.

Grass Species to Use in a No Mow Lawn

There is a wide range of potential grass species to choose from for your no-mow lawn. Depending on your preferences, you might select native meadow grasses for maximum ecological benefit or more ornamental grasses that are more visually appealing.

  • For smaller areas, like borders and the oddly shaped sections between pavers, Dwarf Mondo Grass is a popular choice and requires no mowing at all.
  • For larger lawn areas, Fescues are often used. And some no mow lawn mixes like this one rely on a range of different fescues to form a robust, disease-resistant, low-maintenance lawn.

If you are worried that the lawn will look too unruly, you can try creating a xeriscaping border around the lawn.

Maintenance for a No Mow Lawn

Though no-mow lawns are significantly less work, you will still have to do some maintenance. You’ll have to spend a little time controlling invading species, and it is a good idea to actually — despite the name — mow it occasionally (or burn depending on the species involved). Exactly how often you will need to mow depends on the species, but you may wish to maintain the grasses at a certain level to prevent them from going to seed. Despite this, no mow lawns do not require nearly as much mowing as a traditional lawn, and some species require little to no maintenance.

Depending on your local climate, no mow lawns may also have to be watered occasionally, but fertilizer is not generally required. If you want to learn more, I recommend picking up a copy of Beautiful No-Mow Yards: 50 Amazing Lawn Alternatives by Evelyn Hadden. The book is full of inspirational no-mow lawn designs, along with practical tips to help you get started on the path to no mowing.

By Guest Author Laurence Bennet for the big blog of gardening

Source: Tired of Mowing? Consider a No Mow Lawn (msn.com)

Microclovers making a comeback as lawns grow in biodiversity

Clovers are making a comeback in lawn seed mixes. Today many families want to attract more pollinators to their yards. They are searching for ecologically sound ways to grow grass, including adding white clover back to the turf seed mix. Clover adds diversity to lawns and provides food for bees.

If you are looking for an eco-sustainable alternative to lawns, try adding clover to your lawn. The short growing, self-fertilizing, low maintenance, long-living micro clover species will provide more a more biodiverse, durable grass lawn.

White clover, Trifolium repens, was common in lawns before the introduction of broadleaf weed herbicides in the 1950s. Although broadleaves weeds were typically the target of these chemicals, white clover was often damaged or killed.

All clovers are in the legume, or pea, family. Legumes are very useful plants for our environment because they pull nitrogen from the air and convert it into nitrogen in the soil that helps feed plants. Unlike any other plant, legumes create their own fertilizer. Because of these characteristics, there is interest in using microclover in lawns to enhance turfgrass growth and reduce nitrogen fertilizer applications which helps limit fertilizer runoff into waterways.

Unfortunately, white clover sometimes forms clumps and competes with desirable turfgrass, resulting in a non-uniform lawn appearance. Microclover (Trifolium repens var. ‘Pirouette’ and ‘Pipolina’) is a selection of white clover with smaller leaves and a slower, less aggressive growth habit.

Preliminary research finds that microclover mixes better with most turfgrass species than common white clover when seeded at appropriate rates. The microclover seed often comes coated with a Rhizobium bacterium – a natural organism that the plant needs to fix nitrogen, sometimes lacking in residential lawn soils.

There are many benefits to adding microclover to a lawn. It mixes well with turf grasses and provides a uniform appearance while its flowers are a food source for bees. Microclover is competitive with weeds, so less herbicide is necessary. And it helps prevent soil compaction which reduces nutrient runoff.

Lawn clippings that include microclover are a natural organic nitrogen source, which means you can reduce how many times you apply nitrogen.  

But microclover may not be suitable for every lawn. It does not tolerate high heat and drought and does not do well in shady conditions. Microclover may require reseeding for long-term growth in the lawn and its top growth dies back in the winter, which can leave bare spots and lead to erosion. Its seeds are expensive and not readily available in retail stores. Most broadleaf herbicides labeled for use in lawns will kill microclover

To establish micro-clover in a lawn, plan to plant between early spring to late summer. No tilling is required. Mow the grass low before seeding. Set the mower to the lowest setting to reduce competition with existing grass. Rake and core aerate the soil.

Sow microclover seed by hand or use a broadcast spreader for a more even distribution in larger areas. Water the area every day for the first seven to 10 days because the soil needs to stay moist until the microclover has sprouted. White clover typically blooms in mid-March and grows slower during the summer months.

By Horticulture Educator Nicole Flowers-Kimmerle

Source: Gardeners Corner Summer 2022: University of Illinois Extension

Coming to Freevee in July:

Here’s the July Lineup

joelbaily.feezor.net

July 1

  • Bones
  • The Librarians
  • A Good Day to Die Hard (2013)
  • A Simple Favor (2018)
  • Annie (2014)
  • Babe (1995)
  • Babe: Pig in the City (1998)
  • Beasts of the Southern Wild (2012)
  • Before Midnight (2013)
  • Bride Wars (2009)
  • Bridge of Spies (2015)
  • Clue (1985)
  • Compulsion (2016)
  • Crazy Heart (2009)
  • Dallas Buyers Club (2013)
  • Dark Waters (2019)
  • Diabolique (1996)
  • District 9 (2009)
  • Dude, Where’s My Car? (2000)
  • Ghost Rider (2007)
  • Good Morning, Vietnam (1987)
  • Goosebumps (2015)
  • Hotel Transylvania (2012)
  • How to Train Your Dragon (2010)
  • In Good Company (2004)
  • Linsanity (2013)
  • Madagascar (2005)
  • Mother’s Day (2016)
  • Paranoia (2013)
  • Pearl Harbor (2001)
  • Prometheus (2012)
  • Repo Men (2010)
  • S.W.A.T. (2003)
  • Taken 3 (2014)
  • Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby (2006)
  • Tarzan (2013)
  • The Angry Birds Movie (2016)
  • The Craft (1996)
  • The Diary of a Teenage Girl (2015)
  • The Dilemma (2011)
  • The Eagle (2011)
  • The Five-Year Engagement (2012)
  • The High Note (2020)
  • The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (2005)
  • The Hot Chick (2002)
  • The Karate Kid (2010)
  • The King of Staten Island (2020)
  • The Land Before Time II: The Great Valley Adventure (1994)
  • The Land Before Time XIV: Journey of the Brave (2016)
  • The Perfect Guy (2015)
  • The Spy Next Door (2010)
  • The Tale of Despereaux (2008)
  • The Theory of Everything (2014)
  • The Turning (2020)

July 3

  • The Commuter (2018)

July 7

  • Gretel & Hansel (2020)

July 8

  • Home Again (2017)

July 10

  • Cinderella Man (2005)

July 15

  • Love Accidentally (2022)

July 23

  • Irresistible (2020)

Freevee is a free video streaming service that includes on-demand access to hundreds of movies and TV shows. The service was previously known as IMDb TV.

Source: Fern Siegel for The Streamable©

New Movies and Shows Coming to Netflix in July

Here’s an official guide for what’s new on Netflix in July 2022

New on Netflix on July 1

Stranger Things 4: Volume 2

A Call to Spy

Big Daddy

Blue Jasmine

Boogie Nights

Catch Me if You Can

Deliverance

Falls Around Her

Final Score

GoodFellas

I Am Legend

Insidious

LOL

Mean Girls

Miss Congeniality 2: Armed and Fabulous

Natural Born Killers

Old School

Police Academy

Semi-Pro

Seven

Snatch

The Dark Knight Rises

The Dirty Dozen

The Pursuit of Happyness

The Talented Mr. Ripley

The Terminal

Vampires

Wyatt Earp

Zero Dark Thirty

New on Netflix on July 3

Blair Witch

New on Netflix on July 4

Leave No Trace

New on Netflix on July 6

Control Z: Season 3 

Girl in the Picture

Hello, Goodbye, and Everything in Between

King of Stonks 

Uncle From Another World 

New on Netflix on July 7

The Flash: Season 8

Karma’s World: Season 3 

VINLAND SAGA: Season 1

New on Netflix on July 8

Boo, Bitch

Capitani: Season 2

Dangerous Liaisons 

How to Build a Sex Room 

Incantation 

Jewel 

The Longest Night

Ranveer vs Wild With Bear Grylls

The Sea Beast 

New on Netflix on July 10

12 Strong

New on Netflix on July 11

For Jojo 

Valley of the Dead

New on Netflix on July 12

Bill Burr: Live at Red Rocks 

How to Change Your Mind 

My Daughter’s Killer

New on Netflix on July 13

Big Timber: Season 2

D.B. Cooper: Where Are You?! 

Hurts Like Hell 

Never Stop Dreaming: The Life and Legacy of Shimon Peres

Sintonia: Season 3

Under the Amalfi Sun

New on Netflix on July 14

Kung Fu Panda: The Dragon Knight

Resident Evil 

New on Netflix on July 15

Alba 

Country Queen

Farzar 

Love Goals (Jaadugar)

Mom, Don’t Do That!

Persuasion

Remarriage & Desires

Uncharted

New on Netflix on July 16

Umma

New on Netflix on July 18

Live Is Life 

My Little Pony: A New Generation: Sing-Along

StoryBots: Laugh, Learn, Sing: Collection 2: Learn to Read

Too Old for Fairy Tales

New on Netflix on July 19

David A. Arnold: It Ain’t for the Weak 

New on Netflix on July 20

Bad Exorcist: Seasons 1-2

Virgin River: Season 4 

New on Netflix on July 21

Jurassic World Camp Cretaceous: Season 5

New on Netflix on July 22

Blown Away: Season 3

The Gray Man 

ONE PIECE

New on Netflix on July 25

Gabby’s Dollhouse: Season 5

New on Netflix on July 26

August: Osage County

DI4RIES

Shania Twain: Not Just a Girl

Street Food: USA

New on Netflix on July 27

Car Masters: Rust to Riches: Season 4 

Dream Home Makeover: Season 3 

The Most Hated Man on the Internet 

Pipa 

Rebelde: Season 2 

New on Netflix on July 28

A Cut Above

Another Self 

Keep Breathing 

Oggy and the Cockroaches: Next Generation

New on Netflix on July 29

The Beauty Queen of Jerusalem: Season 2 

Case Closed: Zero’s Tea Time 

The Entitled

Fanático

Purple Hearts 

Rebel Cheer Squad: A Get Even Series 

Uncoupled

New on Netflix on July 31

The Wretched

Article by Kelsie Gibson for People©

Three easy ways to find hidden cameras in hotels and rental homes

Nearly 60% of Americans said they were worried about hidden cameras in Airbnb homes in 2019. And 11% of vacation home renters said they had discovered a hidden camera during a stay.

© Provided by CNBC

The number of hidden spy camera reports has proliferated because of the increasing accessibility and inexpensiveness of such cameras, combined with the public’s growing ability to detect them, said Kenneth Bombace, CEO of intelligence firm Global Threat Solutions.

Experts share simple methods to locate hidden spy cameras in hotel rooms and rental properties.

1. Conduct a physical search

When looking for hidden cameras, start with areas like bathrooms and bedrooms, Bombace said.

Airbnb hosts are allowed to have cameras in their houses, but they must inform guests and the cameras must not be placed in private spaces, he said.

Almost all covert cameras are concealed in household devices, such as lights, thermostats, and plugged clock radios, Bombace said.

“Look and see if anything looks like it’s out of the ordinary, and then inspect it closer,” he said.

Most spy cameras are connected to an electrical source or an electronic device, Bombace added.

He said the first thing he does in a bedroom is unplug the clock radios and put them in a drawer.

Michael O’Rourke, CEO of security consulting firm Advanced Operational Concepts, also said he does exactly that.

Even well-hidden cameras will have a small amount of reflective glass from the lens, Bombace said.

“If you use flashlights and shine them on something you think could possibly hide the camera, you will see a reflection in there, which is a pretty good way of detecting if there’s a camera,” he said.

But O’Rourke said care is needed to accurately locate hidden lenses.

“A lot of people will try to do amateur lens detection, which can work,” O’Rourke said. “However, if you don’t have a good search methodology — if you go too fast, if you’re impatient — you can miss quite a bit.”

2. Look at the Wi-Fi network

A hidden camera must be connected to a local Wi-Fi network in order to be viewed remotely, Bombace said.

Wi-Fi scanning apps like Fing can identify devices on the network that are cameras, he said.

Those who hide cameras might use a separate Wi-Fi network to stream live video footage, but Wi-Fi scanning apps can also detect how many networks are in a residence, Bombace said.

But Kody Kinzie, a security researcher at data security and analytics firm Varonis, warned that a network scanner may not catch everything.

“The next thing you can do is look for devices that are broadcasting their own network name,” he said.

He recommended using apps like WiGLE to find devices that are “broadcasting some sort of Bluetooth and Wi-Fi network name,” Kinzie added.

3. Buy a spy camera detector

If all else fails, spy camera detectors can scan for radio frequencies connected to hidden cameras. These can be easily bought online from websites like Amazon or AliExpress.

But O’Rourke noted this method works only if the hidden camera is transmitting data.

“So many of them now have SD cards that just store data to be retrieved after someone leaves,” O’Rourke said. “And so these are much more difficult to detect.”

What to do if you find a camera

After locating a camera, immediately disconnect it without damaging it because the camera’s firmware may contain identifying information, such as login credentials and the Wi-Fi network it was connected to, Kinzie said.

O’Rourke said hidden cameras found in hotel rooms should be reported to the front desk. He advised then moving to another hotel instead of requesting another room.

“Once you find a camera in a room, I wouldn’t trust any other room in that entire hotel,” he said.

Bombace also recommended reporting hidden cameras to the police, even if it is just for documentation purposes, in case litigation or criminal charges should follow.

“You could also provide [the report] to Airbnb so they can prevent this person from ever doing this again,” he said.

But ultimately, Bombace said, he would not avoid renting a home over fears of spy cameras.

“I would just take common sense steps to protect yourself. And realize you’re not in your own home,” he said.

Article by Chelsea Ong for CNBC©

Source: Three easy ways to find hidden cameras in hotels and rental homes (msn.com)

When to plant beets – for a healthy harvest through the year

Once you know when to plant beets you’ll be able to enjoy this delicious vegetable freshly grown throughout most of the year. 

© Provided by Homes & Gardens

Beets are a delicious root vegetable, which are dense with nutrients, including potassium, betaine, magnesium, folate, and Vitamin C, plus a good dose of nitrates.

There are so many ways the entire family can enjoy this tasty crop – it can even be used as a natural sweetener in a chocolate cake. With so many incredible recipes to choose from, once you know how to grow beets, they make a great addition to any home kitchen garden.

When to plant beets

The best time of year to plant beets very much depends on how you are starting them. You can either direct sow beets as part of your vegetable garden ideas or start them inside when you are planning a greenhouse and then transplant them out later on.

‘Beets are a fantastic early season crop when soils are just starting to warm up. Most varieties want to grow in cooler weather when the soil has thawed and frosts have stopped. For when to plant beets if direct seeding, you should wait until soil temps are around 44°F (7°C),’ advises Angelo Kelvakis, master horticulturist at Rise Gardens. 

However, you can also start seedlings indoors and transplant them out at a later date. This will give your beets a bit of an early start and could result in an earlier crop. Time the planting so you get successive crops of these and other veg by checking when to plant vegetables.

‘For transplanting – starting your seeds in a greenhouse, cold frame, or indoors – you can start them 5 weeks before the last frost and soil temps are still cold. Transplanting is a great way to ensure that your germination is successful,’ suggests Kelvakis.

What month do you plant beets?

The best month for when to plant beets can vary. Nick Welsh from Seed Craft advises to ‘succession sow from early spring to mid-summer,’ to ensure a long crop harvest. 

‘Beets are an amazing vegetable that are perfect for early and late season growing and can be stored after harvest for up to 6 months,’ adds Angelo Kelvakis. 

As beets only require a minimum of 44°F (7°C) soil temperature to germinate, they are quite hardy and therefore a brilliant crop to start early in the gardening year. 

‘Beetroot is among the easiest vegetables to grow, so you almost can’t go wrong as long as you have soil and water,’ reassures Nick.

How late can you start beets?

The latest time you can start beets will very much depend on your hardiness zone. 

As a general rule, Kelvakis suggests, ‘the last time of year for when to plant beets is when temperatures start getting hot. When the summer time hits, it’s time to take a beet break. Beets can handle soil temps up to 84°F (29°C). So be sure to monitor your soil temps with a soil thermometer in the summer time.’

An alternative is to plant beets in containers as part of your vegetable garden container ideas and then you can move the pots to cooler spots if the temperature rises.

If you’ve left it until late summer or fall to start planting your beets, ‘you can try using row covers – you can get them at most gardening stores and they can be placed over your crops to increase the air and soil temps. Row covers can get you another month or so of growing, depending on your setup and how cold it gets where you are growing,’ advises Kelvakis.

How long does it take to grow beets?

The length of time it takes for beets to grow and reach full maturity very much depends on the variety you are growing, as well as the specific soil conditions of your growing zone. 

Nick Welsh suggests you should ‘try to sow a different variety each time as this avoids a glut of just one type. There are so many great varieties out there to chose from,’ he says.

On average, beets take around 7-8 weeks from sowing to harvest.

Do beets like full sun?

Beets are a shade tolerant crop so are among the vegetables to grow in shade that will fare well in areas with less than 4 hours of sun a day. 

‘Don’t sow too many seeds as most beetroot are cluster seeds and each seed can produce up to 6 plants,’ Nick Welsh advises.

‘Do not thin out – just pull alternate roots allowing smaller ones to continue growing.’

Now that you know when to plant beets, you will be able to successfully grow them in your own kitchen garden and should be well on the way to harvesting an abundance of fresh produce.

Article by Emma Bailey for Homes and Gardens©

Source: When to plant beets – for a healthy harvest through the year (msn.com)

The Dos (and a Big Don’t) of Pruning Repeat-Blooming Hydrangeas

There is so much to love about hydrangeas. Showy blooms, cottage appeal, what’s not to love? But add in those brand-new varieties with blooms that keep on hitting all summer long, like the grand finale at a fireworks show, and you’ve got some happy gardeners. While their bloom cycle is certainly appealing, the fact that they make it a little easier on their caretakers by blooming on both new and old growth makes them no-brainers. That means you can be a little more prune-happy and things could still fare okay. 

© Provided by Southern Living LeliaSpb/Getty

That being said, knowledge and restraint will get you far with this Southern-favorite flower. Give your reblooming hydrangeas their best shot at the ultimate summer floral show by pruning with care—not to mention at the right time. There are limits, after all, to even the most forgiving of varieties. 

Do: Prune in the Late Winter and Shape at the End of Summer 

Reblooming hydrangea varieties like ‘Limelight,’ ‘Endless Summer,’ and ‘Twist-n-Shout’ don’t discriminate when it comes to where their blooms originate. Old wood, new wood, it’s all the same if you’ve got that reblooming magic. For that reason, they aren’t as finicky with their pruning as the popular ‘Nikko Blue’ and other once-a-season bloomers that can miss out on their highly anticipated floral show if you prune too late. Reblooming hydrangeas should be pruned at the tail-end of winter or early spring in order to encourage lots of new growth. 

It will be time to give your hydrangea a little more attention once the summer starts to wane. “At the end of the blooming season, be sure to remove dead buds and stems, as well as shape the entire hydrangea while pruning,” says Dan Stuppiello, division merchandise manager of Live Goods at The Home Depot. Your get-ahead plan will make all the difference when next summer rolls along.

Do: Prune Flowers at the Right Spot 

Take stock of your stems before you get out the shears. According to Stuppiello, old blooms that have faded should be cut back just above new buds, so that you don’t lose any future blooms in the process. You’ll be rewarded with healthier flowers that are ready for their own moment in the sun. In order to keep the blooms coming, Stuppiello also recommends fertilizing. “An all-purpose 10-10-10 fertilizer is good to use in the spring,” he says. And in response to the ever-popular color question, he shares: “Small amounts of sulfur will turn the bloom a deeper blue or pink color, however sulfur will not change the color of a true white hydrangea.”

Do: Cut Weak Stems

It’s not all about the blooms. Weak stems, dead branches, and browned-to-a-crisp leaves have all got to go as soon as they’re spotted. As for blooms that have their best days behind them, you should go ahead and take care of those too. “For these types of hydrangeas, it’s encouraged to prune almost immediately after their flowers have faded,” says Stuppiello. He recommends trimming just above the new buds to ensure you keep getting that season-long bloom time you’re after.

Don’t: Guess Which Variety You Have

Rule number one in caring for your hydrangeas: Know what you’re working with. “It’s important to cater to the needs of your hydrangeas and follow the plant tag instructions to ensure optimal growth for the following season,” says Stuppiello. You should be aware of what type and variety of hydrangea you have in order to best suit its needs—starting with where it’s planted. Know your zones, stay in your lane, and whatever you do, just make sure you’ve done your hydrangea homework.

Article by Patricia Shannon for Southern Living©

Source: The Dos (and a Big Don’t) of Pruning Repeat-Blooming Hydrangeas (msn.com)

Our Trip Thru the Rockies Pt. 3

We finish our trip with a 2-day visit to Salt Lake City before heading home to Chicago. SLC is a beautiful, clean city with an abundance of things to do, with one caveat. Seeing the sites on Sunday, as we did, might disappoint some of you. SLC, being a Mormon dominated city, is virtually closed at least in the downtown area. Even Macy’s was shuttered for the day. Finding an open restaurant, impossible.

Monday, however, the city comes to life with a 2 1/2-hour shuttle tour of the area in the offing. Photos are of the 2 days we enjoyed on our extended weekend trip in SLC.

One venue always open on Sunday is the Morman Tabernacle and its’ famous pipe organ.

It is open to the public on Sundays.

And this is the world-famous organ with a short recital (maybe tuning the pipes).

At 11:00, it’s time for mass down the street at the Cathedral of the Madeleine with its magnificent altar, stained glass windows and its own pipe organ.

We happened to attend a mass that featured a 20-voice choir accompanied by the organ.

This smaller organ rivaled the sound of the Mormon Tabernacle organ.

Awesome!

More sightseeing. We visit “The Place” or “This is the Place” Heritage Park. It is named in honor of Brigham Young’s famous statement in 1847 that the Latter-day Saint pioneers should settle in the Salt Lake Valley.

The monument that features Brigham Young and the pioneers who crossed the Rockies in a 4-month ordeal.

A typical wagon used by the pioneers on their journey.

Lastly, a tribute to the Pony Express riders (Sorry about the raindrops).

Thoroughly exhausted (who knew sitting for 4 days could be so tiring), we board our flight back to Chicago, just missing a violent thunderstorm that occurred just prior to arrival.

Not our plane!

It’s good to be home, but we are both ready for more adventures. Any suggestions?

Our Trip Thru the Rockies Pt. 2

Flying over the Rockies is an awesome, bumpy ride. My wife and I decided to take Amtrak thru the Rockies to get a close-up view of what we had been seeing from 30,000 feet. Here are some of the highlights.

Yes, our train: The California Zephyr rounding one of many bends.

And yes, that is snow on top of the Rocky Mountains in June.

The Zephyr stops to let passengers on/off and for a short stop for picture taking.

Rapids anyone? That’s a long way down!

These pictures don’t capture the majesty of the Rockies. Many, many times the train slows to a crawl because we are so close to the mountainside. There is a 3-wire barrier next to the track that protects the Zephyr from the mountain boulders that could come crashing down at any time because of the train’s movement.

Looks like fun. Maybe try that next time.

Leaving the spectacular Rockies behind, we ride into Utah and the Wasatch Mountain range as the sun sets.

We are scheduled for a 11:05 p.m. arrival time in Salt Lake City, however, freight still rules the rails, so we wait outside of SLC as the freight trains clear out. So, at 11:45, we detrain and head for our hotel, the itch having been scratched for now. I’m wondering how the Rockies would look under a pure white blanket of snow in winter.

Our adventure continues the next day, as we explore downtown Salt Lake City.