Wednesday, July 25, 2012


When J went out last month to clean out the weeds before planting his pumpkins, he was very happy to see this volunteer sunflower, with a three foot headstart.  (It's just to the right of center in this picture)
It grew and grew and he was even more happy to see an early flower appearing. Then, it opened up, and it is the smallest sunflower head on the tallest stalk we've had. Not exactly what he hoped for.
He's still thinking one of the others will be the huge blossom of his dreams.

Thursday, July 5, 2012


The almost full moon Sunday night. The sky was beautiful that night, except for one thing. No bats.

We have had bats living in our barn and shed since we moved here in 1987. I assume they were around before then too, but I can't swear to it.  One of my summer pleasures is was standing on our porch steps hearing the scrabble of tiny claws on our metal roof, and seeing the bats fly out of a tiny crack in the roof peak. They swooped out in ones and twos, some flying under the porch roof before they started eating their hundreds and thousands of mosquitoes.

An article in our paper about colonies of bats being wiped out by white nose syndrome reminded me that I hadn't done a batwatch yet this year. I went out a little too early the first time, so popped out every 15 minutes or so to watch the roofline, until it was fully dark. I checked again Monday night- nothing. I am so sad. I liked watching them fly overhead and I liked the bugs they ate. Bats just were part of our summer life and now they aren't, and there is nothing I can do to bring them back.

 I did send the bat-survey-people an email letting them know of the colony disappearance. Apparently it will take a long time for the bat population to rebound, if it can, since the females have just one pup each year. We'll have to wait and see.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Where the green grass grows

We've had some anxious moments this year, wondering if our hay would ever get cut, since our horse people no longer had access to the machinery used in the past.  They told us they were looking into possibilities....and the grass kept growing.
But Saturday, I was woken by the sound of a tractor chugging, and dogs barking at it. Our grass was cut and on the way to hay! After being tossed a few times to dry, it was raked into windrows, ready to be baled on Sunday. But the western sky was darkening and as I went out to take this picture, the rain started slowly even though there was blue sky over the far side of the road.
It didn't rain long, and the hay wasn't soaked, but it lay there as the farmer raced to get the bigger field down the road off the ground and into his barn. Ours was still waiting this morning.
But it's all gone and now the grass can start all over again. In the meantime it will be much easier to walk the dogs down to the ponds, since Boomer tended to get lost and circle around back home.
Those devil dogs did enjoy finding the shredded vole families in the cut grass, much to our dismay. After confiscating the first two, any others were quickly gulped down before we could get to them. Yuck.