Monday, August 27, 2018

Spider Morning

Our days are still hot, but the mornings are a little cooler.

This morning we had fog, so I roamed around the farm and took pictures that hint at the season change. Spider webs. Flourishing loofah blooms. Cedar galls. Green sweet gum balls.



The open grass was scattered with little spider web pockets.
I visited my old chickens.
 Punkin was camera-shy, so I waited until she turned around.

On their fence is a passion flower vine.
 My zinnias continue to cheer up the world! I've picked so many.

 I finally cut most of my large sunflower heads and put them on the front porch to dry, out of the beaks of greedy birds. I grew these to feed my own birds, who have names and give me eggs.
 Tall, bright sunflowers in full bloom are beautiful, but there's something lovely about this dried flower head too, with its curling petals.
 Virginia Creeper is ... well ... creeping, right across our front porch.

 I've found one, and only one, ripe, luscious fig this year :(

Today Adam declared that he would back the Jaguar out of the garage and begin the task of putting it all back together.
He drove it part-way to the farm three years ago, so it's not an issue of its not running, so much as putting all its little parts back in all their right places. The front dash is removed, and one front seat, and the wires are everywhere. When he lifted the hood to inspect the engine, he discovered that others had been there before him.
Mice. They pulled in everything they might possibly need for a massive nest in this dark, protected space. Twigs, paper, chicken food (sigh). Well, when that engine revs up, they'll be glad their babies aren't in there trying to sleep!

Last question, friends: We hope to paint the shutters on our house sometime (like ... in the next year, haha). Here's their color now, kind of a bleached-out pale blue/gray.
With the bright red roof, they look all wrong. Should we paint them:
1) black
2) green
3) red to match the roof

Please advise!!

Monday, August 13, 2018

Weary August Farm

This was a hard summer for gardening. Way too much rain (about 35" so far), too much heat in June, but 3 weeks of drought thrown in there too .... I must admit, it didn't help that I was emotionally unmotivated! But amid the knee-high weeds, a few things are still alive out there. Here's what I found this morning:
 Sunflowers! At last!

 The verdict is still out on the loofahs this year.

My gourd hill is doing well.
 I picked one and have at least eight more on the vines. I'll let them dry there.

 The only part of the garden that looks loved right now is the potato row. Adam planted the little potatoes from the first harvest back in, for a second harvest this fall ... we hope.


A handful of small carrots. A few last tomatoes.
 I threw some overripe cukes to the chickens. 
All in all, an exhausting summer and a less-than-encouraging garden yield. I didn't even can or freeze a single tomato; I still have some frozen from last year! But the farm is still a beautiful place to live, and if we can get our spirits up, and our "mojo" back, we may have a fall garden yet. Adam plans to clear out all the beds. (He is doing better in the motivation department than I am.) I would be happy to see a few fall/winter crops there and tend to them in the cool of the year.

Friday, August 3, 2018

Summer Ups and Downs

I'm happy to report that our new roof is functioning perfectly, and we've had the weather to test it! Since the first of June we've had at least 34" of rain here on our farm. We are quite soggy. Adam can hardly mow. The dogs' paws are soggy. The chickens' feet are soggy. The garden weeds are out of hand.

Needless to say, the rain (plus the 3 weeks of horrible heat with no rain) has been detrimental to gardening, and not much is coming from the veggie garden these days. But aren't we glad we got a new roof before this rainy summer?!

The hatching of new chicks has been up and down too. Here's chick #1, the prettiest baby chick I've ever seen:
 She's about 2.5 weeks old now. I'm fairly sure it's a pullet (i.e., female) by her wing feathering and wing length, and her fluffy tail feathers.
 Such pretty colors! And I love her Cleopatra eyes.
Three eggs in the clutch were not viable. The last one of these was broken open with a perfectly formed chick inside, dead :(  That's hard to see, after waiting all this time.

Then yesterday morning, this little one was born!
 I could tell from its shell color that it's from one of the silkie mamas, which is great. He/she will have some pretty coloring too.
One of my two silkie mamas was pecking at the baby pretty hard, so I removed her from the broody box and put up a barrier to keep her out. The silkie mama still sitting on a few eggs has been at it for a long time. I hope she's okay.

The only plants looking quite happy these days are my gourd plants and my loofah vines. No loofahs are dangling from them yet, but I do have some gourds coming along. Here's the one I picked this morning:
It was a volunteer, probably from some little decorative Thanksgiving gourd I dropped in the yard.

I'm skipping the farmer's market tomorrow because somebody's here for a fast, flying visit!
He's much loved by doggies. It will be nice to have a break tomorrow, stay home, and make pancakes like I used to on Saturdays.