Saturday, June 24, 2017

Summer Shifts Into High Gear

The little hens seem happy enough in their room inside the barn. They'd like to go outdoors, but only because they don't realize the danger from foxes:

 The fantail pigeons are doing well but their room developed a mouse problem. I set bait trays underneath little baskets. The mice can get in, but the pigeons can't:

 The Bush Cherries are developing underneath the bird mesh. So far, it seems to be keeping the birds out:

 We had a beautiful, orange full moon but it was setting by the time I got my camera out. I took four photos in rapid succession and the rapidly setting moon was lower in each successive picture:

 Birds-Eye Speedwell is blooming all along the fence line in the south field:

 I had to drive the tractor along the fence line, searching for shorts in the electric fence. The big payoff was the stunning beauty in the far southern field, such as this tableau of Buttercups and Ragged Robin in bloom:

 And this miniature wildflower. It baffled me, but I finally decided that it was probably just a small version of Northern Bedstraw:

 And while I was in the far southern field, I stopped at the stone wall which separates the fields and looked back toward the house and barn:

 Closer to the barn, I found these Blue-Eyed Grass flowers. Most years they are quite common so I suspect I'll soon be seeing lots of them. This was the first wildflower my mother taught us to find in our childhood field guide and I still remember it well:

 The Rugosa Roses began blooming in June:

 Alas, a yearly chore is spraying weed killer along the fence lines to prevent the weeds and grasses from growing up and shorting out the fence. I have a 40 gallon sprayer, powered by the tractor, to perform this job. I also have to bush hog along the outside perimeter of the fence every year, but I haven't done that yet:

 One big problem is the proliferation of Thistle plants. They grow - well, like weeds - and are inedible and nightmarish to get rid of. A dose of weed killer, however, turned them into this within 24 hours:

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