Friday, June 28, 2013

June Gardens

Here we are almost at the end of June and I barely have any pictures of my gardens. So this morning I grabbed my camera and headed out into the heat and humidity.

Since the sun was so bright, it took a couple of pictures before I realized the camera was fogged up from the sudden temperature change I forced on it.

I waited for my lens to clear up and continued.

These flowers are off the back patio and on the bedroom side of the house.

Then, I headed to the four raised gardens. We added one for a small strawberry patch this year.

 Since we fill our gardens with compost, I had two volunteer tomato plants in the strawberry bed. I need to get them moved before they get too big.

On the strawberry bed trellis I planted cucumbers. The kids asked for more of the Dragon's Egg variety because I let them pick and eat those any time they wish. They have almost no flesh and are mostly seed. It gives the kids good hydration and fiber without depriving me of my good cukes.

On the other trellis, I have sugar snap peas. They are really tall this year.

My "Super Sweet 100" cherry tomatoes are getting big and are covered with little green globes.

Extra plant in a pot of tomatoes that I bought. I can now see it is a cabbage. I've never grown cabage before so we'll see what happens.

And my tomato bed. It also had a volunteer of some sort. I'm thinking pumpkin or acorn squash. I need to pull it out since it is literally taking over the entire bed and reaching far out into the yard on all sides of the bed.

And finally, a few shots of my flower gardens and around the yard.

My Russian Sage threw some new seedlings(?) into the yard. I need to dig them and transplant them to another area.

This concludes my garden tour for the day. I'll try to get out to the other two gardens and give updates on those later in the week.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

A Campout

Last weekend we went to a local campground. It was not a great weather weekend, though. We got there on Thursday night and set up camp. Mr Farmer went to work on Friday and the kids and I stayed at the campground.

 It rained. It poured. So we stayed inside and watched Little House episodes. There were a couple of other kids at the campground that my kids made quick friends with. Those kids came in our little camper, too, and watched tv. They stayed for lunch. I was glad to give them something to do since they were camping in a tent.

After lunch we took out the bingo game. We played for mini donuts. This occupied several hours. The kids headed out to play in the rain since it had let up some.

Saturday we went to an auction. It rained and stormed all night, keeping Mr Farmer awake and worried.

Sunday we spent fishing. It finally quit raining. We caught a bunch of little fish, but took them to the camp site anyway to have for lunch.

 Mr Farmer and the girls cleaned them while I got potato pockets ready for the fire.

 Potato pockets are easy and delicious. They are just sliced potatoes, onions, ham, and butter. Add a little salt and pepper, fold up in tin foil, and pop them on the hot coals for 30-45 minutes. They were the best thing we ate the entire trip!

The fish were mostly too small to filet, so we just picked the meat from the bones. We threw the smallest of what we caught back in the lake. We got enough meat from what we cooked to satisfy everyone.

My favorite part of camping is the campfire. I love the smell. The sound. Staring into the flames and letting my mind wander. The kids liked playing in the fire. Yes, I'm a horrible parent. I sat and watched my kids catch a small stick on fire and then blow it out so they could send smoke signals. I let my kids play in the fire and I liked it!

Monday Mr Farmer went back to work while we packed up camp. Then we headed home when he got off work. This trip showed us we can survive a campout even if it storms and we have extra kids in a small camper.

Monday, June 24, 2013

Two Works Of Art

Baby was playing with some clothespins the other day. Then she asked me to get the camera to take a picture of her "work of art".

Quickly realizing she needed to share her love equally with her daddy, she came up with this.

She could never live with herself if she left out her daddy!

Monday, June 10, 2013

A Look At Some Hooters

Ok, how many of you worried about what you'd see when you got here? And yet you were so intrigued, you continued on. Thank you.

The other night, Mr Farmer and I were sitting in our easy chairs. It was dusk. I looked out the front window and saw some fluffy bird silhouettes in the trees. I knew they were not our usual birds. Mr Farmer had been hearing a strange sound all evening.

I got out the binoculars. The tree is fairly close to the house, but any light left outside was behind the trees, making it hard to see the birds. One bird flew to the ground right in front of me. Sure enough, it wasn't one of our usual birds. It was an owl.

Now, I had to figure out what kind it was. Immediately I thought barn owl. I've never seen any owl in the wild, so it was just a guess. I looked online for different owls. Based on what little I saw, I concluded it might be a northern Saw-whet owl. It seemed the closest to what I remembered seeing.

Night two comes along. Dusk settles in and they are back. Those fluffy little hooters. This time I decide to sneak out and try to get a picture of them. I know their hearing is amazing so I didn't really hold out much hope of getting anything.

I turned on the camera in the house so I wouldn't have that noise. Then, as stealthily as possible for an old woman in flip flops, I snuck slowly around to the front of the house.

They were still sitting there. I could see four of them. Since owls are solitary creatures, I figured they must be babies, fresh from the nest. I snapped a few pictures with my zoom. As I was looking, I noticed there were at least five of them, not four


Then, Buddy decided the owls were a huge danger to my safety and ran at the tree, barking like he would tear them to shreds if they didn't leave immediately. Great!

But, I noticed one of them flew to the bigger tree and didn't scare off. Buddy didn't notice him. I walked over, expecting he would fly away at any second. He didn't.

He just sat there and let me snap his picture, over and over again. How cool!

With my new pictures, I headed inside to research what kind they were. I noticed ear tufts. There are only two kinds of owls with ear tufts in our area. And the most common was the Great Horned Owl. That is what we had, five baby Great Horned Owls!

Here is a stock photo of an adult. So pretty!

What's the coolest bird you've seen in the wild?