Posted on August 28th, 2011 No comments
Yesterday I saved a duck. Yup, literally. How a wee duck got herself parked right beside the kitty house out back I don’t know, but when I looked out the patio door she was surrounded by 3 cats who weren’t quite sure what to make of it, but who were quickly getting it figured out that she was small enough for a cat to pounce on. The little duck was almost tame and although she waddled away from me at first, my clapping at the cats to get them away startled her and she squatted down so I was able to scoop her up. I headed for the back road with her where I was hoping there was still a bit of a pond left to put her into. She struggled a fair bit, but was happy to see the water from the spot in the ditch where I set her down. I didn’t see a momma duck anywhere, and this one was still too young to fly. Maybe it was a practice flight that ended in the back yard in the first place.
AND yesterday I also found a huge wasps nest, buzzing with wasps, attached to the side of the chicken shed. I was wondering why there has been so many wasps on the flowers lately. I wish they had picked a different spot because they just can’t stay there. Not that I will be the one to tell them… that will be Gene’s job.
Today, another adventure. Buffy the cat FINALLY had her kittens a few days ago. We found the spot she had them, but because she is so venomously protective and wild I couldn’t get near them to even see how many she had (but from the size of her before she gave birth she must have had at least 5 or 6). Anyways, she eventually moved the kittens to another spot in the horse barn because I had disturbed her, but I hadn’t gone looking again. Today, however when I went to gather the eggs from the chicken shed in the early evening I found Buffy in the lower chicken berth with her 1 (remaining) kitten. I don’t know if she was in there over night or if she got in there today when the chickens were out camping, since I often leave the courtyard doors open once I’ve loaded them, but the chickens had been back home again since late afternoon. Anyways, she couldn’t stay in there for lots of reasons – one being it’s totally closed up at night until about 10 am so she couldn’t get back out again for food and water, AND if she was stupid enough to startle the chickens they would likely lite into her and she’d have no where to go… not that she would leave with a kitten there… so there would be quite a commotion, and with injured chickens in the process. And chickens would eat a tiny newborn kitten. However, getting Buffy out of the chicken shed was a minor battle.. she just wouldn’t be forced out. I eventually rolled the kitten away from her with a stick and was able to ‘capture’ the reason she was so intent on staying. But even then she simply would not leave and by this time we are both mad…. me with my hoe trying to pull her out of the cubby hole, and her with claws and teeth fighting me off to the death. So.. I put the kitten in a box and just walked away and after about 20 minutes she came out. I kept showing her the kitten so she would follow me and eventually she did. Back to the horse barn we went where I put the kitten in the ‘Really’ nice little spot I had made them. I left her to inspect, but not before I put some food nearby for her as a peace offering.
As for gardening: It has continued to be hot and dry so I have to constantly be doing a watering rotation every 2 – 3 days to keep the plants from burning off. So far I still have lots of bloom, but lots of things are quickly going to seed. I collected seed from Thymophilia, Brachycomb, Tidy Tips and Sweet William today, and started dead heading the sea holly, and tansy before they seed out all over the place. I also clipped off the seed heads from the delphinium because they are getting to be quite prolific as well. Tomorrow I will collect seed from the Selene CatchFly, and dead head the lupines which are about to pop their spring-loaded seeds.
Ha, the adventures for the day aren’t over. As I’m typing this (at 10:30 pm) I’m hearing a thumping and rattling out on the veranda. Investigation finds me 5 racoons out front drinking from the cats bowl and trying to get at the pail of crab apple cores I left out there to take to the chickens. I ran to get my camera, but they left before I could get a shot. FIVE racoons – and I’ve never once seen a raccoon in this yard. Oh brother. So I went down to the chicken shed to close up their sliding back door to the courtyard (which is well fenced) just in case FIVE racoons figure out a way to get inside the courtyard (possibly from the top). These chickens have never been shut in – ever – so in the morning they aren’t going to like not being able to get out at day break. I will be checking the perimeter of the courtyard caging for any signs of tampering, including the roof.
Posted on August 22nd, 2011 No comments
+ 33 today with a hot wind that’s blowing lots of thistle seed from the crop fields into my garden …. hmmm. I feel sorry for the chickens in their feather jackets. It literally is hot in the shade.
This summer certainly has been a typical, dry Saskatchewan summer. The flowers are getting past their peak at an early date so there will be lots of season left for them to make seed to collect this year.
This morning we got up extra early to get some watering done in the orchard. The apples are small because of the dry summer, and with the heat forecast for today we needed to get at it and have it done before 8am. I picked another pail of beans, and then got most of the crab apples picked before they got soft in the heat. So far I’ve picked about 16 or more 5 liter pails and there is at least 5-6 more pails on the tree. I’ve used 10 liters for a double batch of apple butter and will use another 10-15 for canned pie filling. The rest we need to eat and give away.
Posted on August 15th, 2011 No comments
Yeah, a bit of rain came with a mild thunderstorm last evening. Maybe today I will get back to weeding now that the ground is softer for digging in. With the heat and ground so dry I’ve been doing very little of that.
The tomatoes are coming on nicely now so this week will probably see a batch of salsa happen. Nice to be able to use vine ripened tomatoes this year, since with the blight last year I had to pick them all in the green stage. Yesterday I picked a 20 liter pail of cucumbers, and the fillet beans in the garden have peaked. There are still raspberries but they are dropping fast now. I will miss walking by the patch and having a snack. The crab apples are ripening though, so I’ll be eating lots of those on my way by.
I deadheaded the sweet rocket yesterday since I don’t want it seeding out this year, as well as the rest of the artimesia. I did the angelica a while back so hoping it doesn’t pop up everywhere next year. The sea holly and tansy are still in bloom, but the maltese cross also will need to be dead headed today.
Found out that Josey did in fact have 2 kittens, not just one, which means she was in the process of moving them the day I found the one on the barrel. It’s impossible to get to them though as she has them in a spot where they can quickly run and hide so they will not be at all tameable. Buffy is ready to pop any day and she huge so will likely have a full litter.
Posted on August 12th, 2011 No comments
Kitties hanging out. Josey’s 2 kittens are now starting to play outside, but this is as close as I could get without having them run for cover.
Posted on August 10th, 2011 No comments
A few garden shots.
Posted on August 7th, 2011 No comments
I’m finally coming up for air so I posted the pictures below from July 26th to August 3rd.
With a catered brunch job, and a full week of guests behind me I can relax a bit. At least the mowing is done, and most of the gardens are weeded, but I need to get myself down to the greenhouse to do some work.
The gardens are very dry so tomorrow I have to spend half a day with a hose in my hands again…. unless we get some rain out of these clouds this evening. Not likely though. We’ve had a stretch of hot weather (27C to 30C) so the crops are turning fast and some canola fields with get swathed as early as this week.
Last night a storm dropped some pretty major hail in the area – thank goodness this didn’t happen to us.
We found out that Josey did actually have a kitten. It’s big now and we found it because it had jumped/fell down from its cramped box where Josey had it and landed on top of a big barrel. Both Josey and one of the male cats were investigating and trying to figure out how to get it back into its box. The poor thing is all by herself and likely suffering from sensory deprevation in that little dark box so I brought it over to the backyard where the cats eat and put it into their winter house thinking Josey might leave it there and it could get out on its own, see the world and some other cats. She moved it however, but not far so at least it can explore now.
The chickens have been day camping everyday and will now go into the camper in the morning without enticements. The finish laying their eggs around 9 am which is earlier than the others did, but only 11 are laying and one just started laying full time. Up to now there would be a wee egg or a jelly egg, but finally she is doing a regular job.
Posted on August 3rd, 2011 No comments
Last night’s double rainbow. The camera didn’t capture how clear the colors were. The 1st bow had another color spectrum repeating. They both stretched from horizon to horizon and it lasted for 20 to 30 minutes, perhaps more.
We didn’t get any rain of the system thoug and we could use some, but of course everyone around us got rain. Some amazing cloud formations came with it.
Posted on August 2nd, 2011 No comments
Posted on August 1st, 2011 No comments
The monster lilies – pictures taken August 27th – Aug 1st