Showing posts from December, 2019

Chanticleer Flowering Pear Winter Marcescence - December 2019

Last week, I shared a couple of photos of our stand of Frans Fontaine Fastigiate Hornbeams and talked about how they were retaining their leaves to provide some Winter screening.  They're not the only trees in the yard that has foliar marcescence occurring.  Above you see one of our three Chanticleer Flowering Pear trees that has almost all of its leaves still on the branches.  This tree grew a ton this year - based on the tree inventory post - but I'm not sure if this foliar retention took place last year, but I do remember that one of our old flowering pear trees in Elmhurst held on to most of the leaves through Winter because I wrapped lights around it and had to contend with the leaves obscuring the lights shining through. 

I planted this tree early in our time here in Downers Grove, but, unfortunately, I don't have a post showing it going in the ground.  It has grown quite a bit and I placed it strategically based on a neighbor a few doors down having a light on thei…

Firewood Consumption Check - December 2019

This is the first firewood check since we had a couple of face cords delivered in early October this year.  As we've done in the past, the guys stacked our Birch and Cherry firewood in a couple of spots including these racks in our screened porch that you see above.  Let's start there:  on the smaller rack in the back, all of the wood on top has been used and a little more than half of the rack has been burned down.  The rack in front is still untouched.  There's that one errant log leaning up against the fireplace, right?  That's one of the pieces that I cut from the downed Oak tree limb earlier this Fall.  Once the rack clears out, I'll drop it on there to season for a year or so.  In the screened porch, there's one other stack that existed against the wall that has already been burned off, too. 

As for the other rack, it looks like it is more than halfway burned, too.    And all of the wood stacked in front of the rack has been consumed, too.  If you look c…

Broken Peloton Shoe Buckle And Finding A Replacement

One recent morning, I was getting my shoes on to try to sweat it out a little bit before work and as I tightened up my left shoe, I heard something snap and a little bit of plastic went flying.  I had snapped off the ratcheting buckle on my shoe.  In the photo at the top of this post, you'll see the now-naked Peloton shoe with the broken little ratchet piece.  
Below, you'll see the piece.  This is what came off of the shoe.  Turns out, it is all plastic.  

Below you'll see the piece in profile.  The circular part in the middle is what snapped off - the plastic part wraps around a metal cylinder.

The good news is that how they make these spin bike shoes these days, they're totally replaceable.  In that top photo, you'll notice a screw and if you loosen it up, the buckle just comes off.

So, off I went to figure out where I could get a replacement.  Peloton doesn't sell one.  I guess they want to sell more shoes?   But, u/Beemuzzler on the Peloton Subreddit post…

Growing A Norfolk Island Pine Tree For Christmas

Back on our Summer trip to San Diego, I came across a tree that had a specific look to it:  the Norfolk Island Pine.  There was one of these trees right across the street from our house - and it was that one that got me to research what the tree was called.  But, we also came across the '1st outdoor lighted Christmas Tree' that is up at the Hotel Del Coronado - and it turns out that *that* tree, is too, a Norfolk Island Pine tree

The reason that I bring this up is that when I was at Home Depot recently, I came across these tiny Norfolk Island Pines that are $6.99.  My hand is in that photo at the top for scale.   These young trees don't have the shape that I think about when I think Norfolk Pine.  Here's what I'm talking about.   Has those long, limited limbs with needles pointing upwards.   

They also have slightly larger ones for a few bucks more.  All of them come in these holiday-packaged pots with little ornaments as I think they're either intended as po…

Fall 2019 Three-Bin Composter Update

This photo is about a week old, but shows you (basically) the current state of our three-bin compost setup that I made in the easement behind our lot.  Using some fence panels and long stakes, I made three 36" by 36" square 'bins' that I've been using this Summer and now Fall. 

Here's the original post showing the three-bin composter being setup in May of this year

Also, one note (for the garden diary):  I've also filled the Compost Tumbler again this fall with a combination of greens and browns. 

The three bins all have distinct purposes and you can see that kind of taking shape here.

Bin one (on the left): making a layered batch. Nitrogen. Then Carbon. Then Nitrogen. Then Carbon. Layers. Earlier this year, I added a bunch of grass and most of our weeds to provide some nitrogen.  I just added a layer of browns to this bin to get that layering going. But, before I add more, I need to add some 'greens'. With Winter here, that means that t…