Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Plants And Animals

It's been a wet summer, difficult for many people but good for growing my perennials. Notice Fergus watching me from his fenced yard:

 A normal dawn sky in the northeast, something I see nearly every morning:

 The fantail pigeons are earning their keep just by being pretty and fun to watch:

 Just about the time the Rugosa Roses slowed their blooming, the wildflowers growing at their base began flowering. These are called Bouncing Bet, and they bloom here every year:

 It's been so wet that mushrooms sprang up on the lawn:

 The bantam hens stayed indoors, clucking and eating and laying eggs:

 They seem contented with their lives, though I know they'd rather go outside:

 The apple trees all got sick from something and dropped all their fruit, though I found one tree with a few apples on it. The pear tree, after a questionable spring, surprised me by producing nicely. These baby pears are growing rapidly:

 I thought I'd moved all the old Asiatic Lilies to the new garden, but one plant is rooted below the shed over the generator. It sent out a flower stalk and is blooming happily. I hope to find its root in the autumn and transplant it:

 And in smaller, less conspicuous flowers, there is Wood-Sorrel blooming everywhere:

 I heard peeping one day in the pigeon room and looked for a baby. There was one, about a week old, on the floor and doing quite well. How I never noticed it before is a mystery to me - or perhaps a testament to my lack of attention:

 I wish I'd taken a photo of this spot before I cleared it, but at least I got a picture of the results. It was covered with brush and filled with large rocks. I removed all the brush and most of the rocks, then filled it back in with compost. I have ordered a Wisteria vine, a variety good to -40 F and reported to bloom repeatedly in the summer, to be planted this autumn. I will encourage it to grow up this power pole:

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Around The Farm In July

My little garden continues to fill in, and I hope that all the crowding will keep down the weeds. I have seen evidence of some animal sitting on them during the night, but at least whatever it is hasn't been digging in there or eating the leaves. The yellow Asiatic Lilies are left over from the woman who lived in this farm house before me, though I've moved them several times. Moving them seems to cause them to grow stronger and to multiply:

I have several Chipmunks living around the house and barn:

Since it's summer, I go out extra early to do the morning chores. I turn on the lights inside the barn while I'm in there and sometimes, if it's going to be cloudy and rainy, I'll leave on the lights for the pigeons and hens:

And many times I enjoy the spectacular morning skies. On this day, the colors were muted but still beautiful. This was due north:

And looking southwest:

 Northeast:

But one day I was feeling down and discouraged as I mowed the lawn. Then I noticed that I was being watched by a vulture on a fence post. I thought that perfectly summed up my mood:

The bird let me snap a couple of photos before it flew away, apparently deciding that eating my carcass would raise its cholesterol too much. That bit of humor and the beauty of the wild bird helped lift my mood:


And the town put down fresh gravel on the road. Thankfully, they graded it and carefully pulled the stones off of my lawn - unlike what they did last time:

What is this, you may wonder - Sadly, it's a cornfield after several months of excess rain. Not all fields are this stunted and wet, but some are. The farmers who don't have enough money to install drainage systems are more influenced by the wet weather:

The old fashioned rose I saved has continued to bloom, though its June extravaganza is now past:

And wildflowers spring up everywhere. Here by a post, where the mower couldn't reach, Black-Eyed Susans and Oxeye Daisies sprang up to brighten the yard:

Monday, July 24, 2017

Contented Pets At Home

Ah, the pampered life. Daphne, Clover and Fergus rested in the always popular kitchen corner:

And while the dogs rested, four of the five cats (Georgette does not consider herself one of them) loitered around the water bowls. These four are Bugsy, Rocky, Daisy and Bramble:

Jack gave me his biggest smile for this photo:

But Seamus was just resting in the fresh air, with the yellow Asiatic Lilies in the background:

And there's Georgette, keeping all the other cats off the kitchen table:

In the back yard: Fergus, Daphne, Clover and Jack:

And back in the kitchen corner: Jack, Fergus, Daphne and Clover:

It's been an unusually cool summer so far, meaning that Daphne and Fergus can relax and enjoy the sun:

Seamus, with his dense black coat, still prefers the shade. That's where he was heading when I snapped this photo:

Always a new arrangement of pets in the kitchen corner. This collection of three dogs and two cats is Daphne, Clover, Bramble, Fergus and Rocky:

Daisy was thrilled with a new, battery operated toy I got at Walmart. The clear plastic ball spins wildly, with flashing lights and a cloth/feather tail - and then suddenly begins spinning in the other direction. If they stop batting it, it will cease until they activate it again. The yellow ball behind her contains a furry mouse which squeaks when they roll it:

Ruby the guinea pig, at home in her cage. Her friend, Meghan, was just sticking her nose out: