Tuesday, August 20, 2013


I was out of bed a few minutes after 6 this morning, having been quietly awake since 4:45. 
[Had I been less than quiet not only would I have disturbed J. the cats would have pounced, happily insistent that they were starving and needed immediate attention.]
The air was heavy with mist and the sound of a horse's hooves was loud as I stepped into the car port.
Several Amish men have been riding to work together all summer--not in a buggy but hunched on the seat of a buckboard--rain or shine.
Perhaps the wife didn't need the buggy today and the men drove to work in comfort, red LED lights flashing. 

The buddleia has put out a few fresh blooms.
The butterflies who hover on them have a tired shabby appearance.
They flit about and as I press the shutter I'm never sure what the image will capture.
This was a lucky shot!

A bee drowsing on a sunflower.

Tiny insects on a cosmos.
These have flourished in the cool damp weather.

Sunflowers are interesting at every stage of development.

The cabbages and broccoli set out yesterday have appreciated the heavy dew overnight.

Grapes!  Dear me, the grapes.
The former owner, Mr. Rogers planted grapes, two varieties.
We have snipped and pruned each year trying to tame the tangle of vines which had fallen off the arbor and clambered through the honeysuckle.
This is the year of reward--instead of heat and drought shriveled raisins we have grapes.
J. cut these last night.
I've spent most of the day leaning against the kitchen sink stemming grapes.
I have stewed up three kettles full.
I've pressed one batch through cheesecloth--a messy affair needing 4 hands--the others are cooling and awaiting the same treatment.
In theory the grape pulp is meant to drip slowly.
Fruit flies were already congregating in the kitchen and I didn't wish to encourage their reproductive tendencies with sticky kettles of juice sitting about.
When the two remaining kettles cool enough to handle, we'll strain the remainder. In the morning I'll give it a second straining to filter out some of the pulp
I suppose I'll be bottling juice.
J. made noises about grape jelly, but I reminded him that we have jelly and jam on the storage shelves that hasn't been consumed.
[You can tell I'm balking about jelly-making!]

There are still more grapes ripening in the shade of the arbor.
Oh, help!


  1. Hard work de-stalking all the grapes but worth it I'm sure.

  2. a lot of work but how lovely to have them. My small grape vine perished last winter.

    Leanne x

  3. I saw your comment on Tales of Simple Days and was intrigued by your blog's name. I presume it comes from Gerard Manley Hopkins - one of my most favourite poets. I enjoyed reading your post, and love the photo of the butterfly on the buddleia. Love your cats too - what a family! I shall return!

    I'm not sure how your blog will let me sign off!

  4. Oh, homemade grape juice sounds wonderful...but then so does grape jam! ;-)

  5. I'm allergic to grapes! Your house would not be for me. I love those butterflies - just perfect.

  6. Hi Em!

    I love the butterflies too, and as for the grapes, I think I would be rolling my eyes and thinking, oh no, not MORE grapes - pretty much in the same way I am reacting to my courgette glut . . .

  7. Gorgeous butterflies and other insects, sitting on you beautiful flowers. What a lot of work on those grapes ...hope it was worth it.xx