It's July the 5th and it feels like summer and I love it. As I've said before, you will not hear me complain about the heat. I have very distinct memories of sub zero wind whipping snow into my face and the cost of heating this old house during those long winter months.
They are definitely hazy days of summer, with the humidity and some lingering smoke now and again from the fires (many caused by arsonist humans by the way). However, they are not lazy. Husband has a list as long as his arm and every day he is doing something by way of fixing, building, improving, investigating... Currently, he is trying to figure out where the last little leak is happening in the pool situation. He's already done a bunch of work on the skimmer. Ahhh, pools. They are fun, and the "fun never ends", there's always something that needs doing.
Our resident pool boy, Murphy, thinks that the pool area is his own personal oasis. He has been supervising all the work that husband has done.
As well, he continues to insist upon his almost daily floatie ride. Yes, he's the one who wants it. He will come to the edge of the pool and meow, or if the floatie is on the deck, he stands on it and meows. He is an anomaly of a cat.
On the other hand (paw), this is about as close to water as Scooter is going to get. He rarely comes onto the pool deck, and if he does, he hurries briskly to disappear through the fence.
My new hens are keeping me busy. They are very, very slowly figuring out the place. Night time is a process where almost all of them go into the coop by 9:00 p.m., but there is still one silly girl who sits just at the bottom of the ramp to go into their little chicken door and I literally have to pick her up and stick her inside.
Here is some of the flock. The very dark hens are laying, although still sometimes on the floor of the coop instead of in a nesting box and one almost always lays a brittle shelled egg ON THE RAMP inside the coop, where by it rolls down the ramp and breaks. (Yes, they have oyster shell for added calcium). One of the grey with darker head hens is also laying, but I don't know which one.
It is somewhat hard to tell, but the lighter egg is much smaller than the others. New layers often start out laying smaller eggs, or sometimes double yolked eggs, which we've already experienced.
My vegetable garden is growing well, with rutabagas being a real winner.
They were an experiment this year, so who knew! I have a resident rabbit (or rabbits, because quite frankly they all look the same, so I might be seeing a different one every time) who is being a bit of a pest and the garden covers that husband made for me years ago have come in handy to cover young plants. In fact, I could use a lot more.
The cover in the above picture is over top of beets. I have other beets that weren't covered and when I chased Peter Rabbit out of the garden, he honestly had a beet leaf still in his mouth!
The monstrosity covered up in the same picture by row covering is a couple of zucchini plants. I have been so disappointed in the past few years with zucchini, cucumbers and pumpkins being decimated by squash beetles (little yellow striped demons) that I swore I was never going to plant them again. Then I purchased some row covering from Amazon and bought some zucchini plants. I've kept them covered, watering as needed, and even pulling back the cover to perform pollination (getting quite good at it and have a few close to harvest size). I now realize I should have cut a larger size of row covering and may bring out the large piece I have left over and switch it up.
I know that I have the dastardly beetles because in my "compost garden" (where plants just grow from things that have been thrown into the compost and I let them thrive there), they are attacking the cucumbers that are crawling their way around the compost bin. I shall let that happen as a diversion in the hopes that they never discover a sneaky way to get under the cover on the zucchinis.
So far, I have harvested different kinds of lettuce, arugula, and spinach for salads. With this heat (currently 28 degrees, feels like 33) and the sprinkler put on late in the day, the garden should continue to explode over the next few days!
We've also had some fun, with the kids at the pool and camp fires in the evening. This picture only captures three of us.
It's hard to get good camp fire pictures. If there was "scratch and sniff" with blog photos, this picture would smell like wood smoke and bug spray!
To finish, here is a close up of some spiderwort and spirea Antony Waterer which are both blooming right now. The bees are loving it.