Gardening (for the bees) in the Inter Mountain West


*Dry, alkaline soil, sometimes little topsoil (area around Glacier Park is more like the Pacific NW, with more acidic soil)


*Wide range of temperature shifts especially in Winter months


*Semi-arid (average moisture 12” per year but not even that much lately)


*Zones? The USDA Hardiness Zones are based on lowest Winter temperature. That is not the only factor that matters to the plants. As a general rule of thumb, I suggest selecting either native species or choosing plants rated to one zone more extreme.


May 18

The straw bale adventure began March 8 with repurposed cardboard on top of the area to be planted, then the bales positioned and watered in. The recommended program of applying high nitrogen fertilizer, watering in, alternating with days of only water continued for 2 weeks. By March 19 the bales were cooled to 50-55 degrees.

Here's a synopsis of the activity:

On March 22 -  Compost and soil were layered on top each bale and watered in. Four hills potatoes. a row of snap peas, a patch of onion sets were planted and watered in.

straw bales gardening


This will be the first year gardening at the Star House.

With Clear Skies

October 15, 2015

On Thursday, October 15, look for the three day old waxing crescent moon and Saturn together in the southwest in early evening. Saturn is the only planet still visible in the evening sky. We should be able to see Saturn continue to drop closer and closer to the Elkhorns in the early evening through the end of October. After that it will be too close to the sun to see until it reappears in the morning sky in December.


Perseids Meteor Shower

Aug 13, 2015 2:30am

Partial Solar Eclipse

October 23, 2014

I took this with my Sony RX-100 mounted afocally (attached to the eyepiece) of my Orion 8" Dobsonian reflector.

Mare Serenitatis

January 26, 2015

The first decent shot I took with my new to me Canon Rebel T1i.

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