Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Mid-Summer In The North Country

Even for this northern location, it's been a cool summer. It's also been a wet summer, with rain almost every day. Many corn fields are stunted. Most hay fields are growing wildly, but the farmers are having trouble finding two sunny days in a row when they can cut and bale the hay. It's been a wonderful summer for beautiful sunrise skies, though maybe that's largely because of when I go out to do the morning chores. Whatever the reason, I revel in the glorious dawn scenery:

 I've had a great deal of trouble identifying the swallows I've had this year. I know at least some of them are Cliff Swallows, and it's possible they all are. They began congregating in mid-July, perhaps preparing to migrate. I've already noticed flocks of Redwing Blackbirds and the disappearance of Grackles, Meadowlarks and other species. When the swallows collect into my yard, it's quite a spectacle. They sit on the wire for awhile, then begin feeding with dives, circles and swoops:

 I thought I had finally captured a photo of my baby Cliff Swallows, but when I saw this one fly away, thought maybe it was mother swallow, starting a new nest. They seem to feed the babies from outside the nest, clinging to the doorway, so it would be unusual for her to enter unless she had eggs or newly hatched chicks inside. But I haven't seen her in the nest since that day:

 The Rugosa Roses slowed their blooming, but the wild Bouncing Bet which grew beneath them took over, producing pinkish/white clusters of flowers:

 You can see why Bouncing Bet is sometimes called Wild Phlox:

 I decided that I would not cut the wild Catnip this year until it had flowered and seeded, allowing it to multiply. I haven't yet pulled out the Wild Cucumber vine growing there, but I should do that also to encourage the catnip. Besides making my cats happy, I years ago used to feed Catnip to my hens. The eggs they then laid were best I ever tasted:

 The old fashioned rose I rescued is still blooming (and so its baby, begun from a cutting). You can see that there's still clusters of buds to produce even more flowers:

 The baby Fantail Pigeon was bullied and pecked by the big birds, and I never saw its parents feeding or protecting it. Nonetheless, it had to have been fed because it kept growing. The black spot on its head is from being pecked, and so is the lack of feathers on its back. It was in a new place every time I entered the room, so I eventually built a little nest for it.

 One of the parents finally fed it while I was there, a blessed relief for me because I want the little bird to live. As of this writing, it is still living, growing and developing more feathers:

 I also prepared more nests which are up on shelves, as the birds nesting on the floor seems to be the basis of their problems. So far, however, they refuse to use them:

 Just as the yellow Asiatic Lilies began to fade, the orange ones began to bloom:

 We've had so much rain that mushrooms popped up in my lawn. This photo also demonstrates that much of my lawn is not grass. I'm happy to have a green lawn, whatever species it is composed of:

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