Wednesday, August 7, 2013

As Seasons Come and Go

The pattern of our days hasn't changed greatly since my last post.
It is too warm and humid [85 F] this week, and I wonder if the rather cool, wet July has let us in for unusual heat in August--as if the expected patterns of weather have been reversed.
The zinnia row is spotty this year--and I miss the solid bank of bright color which enlivened the gardens of the past three years. 
Lank grass has moved into the flower strips so laboriously weeded at the end of June--and the ground has often been too wet to work.
Disheartened with the garden upkeep I've turned to a marathon of quilt making.
I've pieced three in the past month, setting myself a challenge of working from my extensive 'stash' of fabric.
The three completed tops please me.
The 4th one, nearly done, is less color-coordinated as I found I didn't have enough of certain fabrics to create the color progression I tentatively planned. 
These are very simple quilts--slice and stitch the fabric--no marking or trimming and fussing to fit various components together.
I have been hauling out armloads of fabric, finding a few treasures that had gotten 'lost' in the tippling piles.
A good sorting is in order!

My boy cats are intrigued by butterflies and are too clever at leaping into the air and bringing down a fragile creature with a swipe of the paw.
Finding the butterflies, frayed of wings and near death on the doormat or front steps, I tell myself that perhaps it is only those that are exhausted and near death that are vulnerable to the cats.
The dooryard birds have finished raising their families, so we are no longer rushing to rescue fledglings and hauling the cats indoors to save the birds.

Our sweet corn has done well in spite of needing to be propped up twice after summer storms swept through and flattened it.
We spent a hot and sticky day last week freezing some of the harvest.

The large black and yellow spiders who make beautifully intricate webs are not in residence near the front steps this August.
They were partial to the huge over-grown clump of sedum which I removed from that area.
[It had flowers of a nasty bubble gum pink and sprawled very untidily.]
I spotted this egg sack just around the corner where the front porch roof meets the side of the house.

Daylilies have made a brave showing in spite of being battered with frequent rain.
Mine are only common [inexpensive] varieties, welcomed for their hardiness and color.

We've had another morning visit from the wild turkeys!
These were pecking about near my clothesline where the mowed area of the dooryard meets the rougher area of the back meadow.

Nellie and Bobby having a tussle on the lawn.
I snapped a succession of photos--all flailing, pouncing welters of tails and paws.

The hummingbirds are still with us.  I think  their nest is hidden in the branches of the maple beyond the carport. They whizz about when I sit with my coffee on the front porch, indulging in an interaction that doesn't look entirely amiable.
Both are on the right side of the feeder in this photo, blurs of movement.

Mornings have been damp and misty.
Cut grass clumps on my boots as I go about the morning routine of dealing with cat litter boxes or taking out coffee grounds and eggshells.
On several recent day
s we have found tins pulled from the trash bin in the garage and strewn in the driveway.
J. reports that some creature, a raccoon, perhaps, has flung the dishes belonging to the barn cats and knocked over the container of kibble kept on the shelf.
Possums have begun raiding the melon patch.
J. caught one--a youngster--in the Hav-a Hart trap on Sunday night, loaded it into the back of the truck next morning and carried it off to an area a goodly distance from houses and gardens.

Pebbles the Horse climbed over her pasture fence on Sunday night and again on Monday night.
When I got up on Tuesday morning she was strolling past the garden fence and out toward the old pear tree.
By the time J. dressed and put on his shoes, she had marched across the road.
She comes meekly enough to J.'s whistle and follows him back to her enclosure--where the electric fence has been amped up.
She is dreadfully greedy and obviously feels dumpish and unwell for at least 24 hours after each episode of gorging on green grass.
She is taking her detested 'pill' in an ear of corn, having resisted J.'s attempts to hide it in apples, carrots, grain or peanut butter--all things she has regarded as 'treats' in the past. 

The elderberry bushes have grown heavy-headed, leaning into each other to create an arch.
J. continues doggedly to mow the grass between rains.
Last year at this time we were dragging out hoses every night to water the gardens, in the midst of  a prolonged drought.
This summer we squelch about, clambering over cucumber and melon vines which have gone rampant.
Each year brings something different in the way of gardening challenges and successes--we work at the garden, try to make changes in what is planted and when--we can never second guess the variables of weather and seasons.
To quit gardening is unthinkable!

J. roared through one of the lower veg strips yesterday, scattering rinds of over-grown squash and cucumbers that had lurked in semi-rotten squalor beneath tangled vines. The mower bucked and stalled in places where the vegetation was heavy and wet.
If we are to have a 'fall garden' the strip needs to be tilled and prepared for replanting--very soon.
Showers overnight and in the early morning mean that the tractor and tiller would compact the soil.
The perennial strip in the foreground is ragged with spent flowers--only some of which I've cut back.
A few sunflowers survived the blow-down last month.
They are meant to be a dwarf variety, but the ones still upright tower over my head!
Beyond our boundary fence the neighbor 'bush-hogged' part of his pasture--the rest has gone wild with a vigorous stalk-y weed for which I have no name.


  1. Such a wonderful description of your life out there in Kentucky. I can almost smell the damp wet earth and shrubbery. Our weather has changed this year. Our hot humid weather which usually comes in August, hit quite a few weeks ago and now we are having beautiful sunny cooler days. The beach crowd would like it warmer, but it's just right for me. September will probably turn hot again.

    1. Chris; We are definitely living with the scent of too much rain. It has gone beyond 'refreshing' to sodden. I look forward to the cooler weather of September.

  2. Replies
    1. Briony; A bit of sameness to our days at present so I've not posted as often. I'm glad you enjoyed the update.

  3. "hauling out armloads of fabric"

    I was swooning in imagined delight :-D

    I enjoyed this bitza post, as always I like the bitza news from around your home. I like to see Pebbles, she looks very well.

    That day lily is stunning. I was struck by the thought that it would make a splendid quilt block (mental cogs turning..).

    1. Kath; I wish we lived close enough that I could invite you to pick through the fabric stash and take some home!
      Re lilies as quilt blocks: I have a pattern called Carolina Lily--its quite structured with 'Y' seams--one could create a pattern from that photo by using a template for the lily 'points'--I think I have a tool somewhere for that sort of cutting. I suspect I'm too lazy to make many quilt clocks in that fashion!

  4. Another wonderful post about life there on your farm.


    1. Lorraine; Living here in the country is good--so I try not to moan over much about the on-going rain!

  5. A nice summer morning post.

    1. Lillian; I'm not a bouncy 'morning person' but I do enjoy being up early to watch the day unfold.

  6. Sounds wonderful. I've given up on weeding the garden also. Everything is so abundant this year. We had the opposite weather of you; July was extremely hot and August is giving us a nice preview of Autumn. I can't believe how quickly you can make up a quilt!

    1. Jane; It frustrates me to see the gardens so weedy, but the weather has won out!
      Three of the four quilts I've finished are variations of the Log Cabin pattern--quick cutting and piecing, relatively speaking. The other uses 'Flying Geese' units and I had quite a few from a long-ago project.

  7. Thank you for your daily life post. I am imaging warm, humid days with bugs singing and bee's buzzing, just a home-y feeling. Oh, can't forget boy kitties running and getting into boy cat trouble as all cats do.
    Its been a little strange here weather wise. Its been somewhat cooler, very humid, and my tomatoes are still hard as rocks and very green. I should be in the middle of canning now. I am just getting some of my hot peppers, and these I am placing in a large half gallon jar with vinegar to sit and become hot pepper sauce in about six months or so.
    Can you post some of your quilts you have completed, pleeeeease!!!
    Have a wonderful coming weekend.

    1. Vicki; It surely is about as humid as it needs to get! Even when temps drop a bit the humidity has stayed very high.
      Photos of quilts in my next post.

  8. What a lovely description of your August. That Spider's web is rather scary but beautiful. Pebbles reminds me of Trigger with his escapology!