In the heat of summer

OK, I’ve had several e-mails, a few phone calls and some in-person requests to update the blog. I am still alive — and thriving!

So is the garden. And so are the garden predators.

Summer FeastWe’ve been hauling in loads of luscious peppers, kale, potatoes, onions, garlic, turnips, apples, cabbage , tomatoes, zillions of seeds … and that’s not the half of it. We are all working from the time we leave chapel in the morning to the time we return at night to give thanks for the abundance that surrounds us.

Though we appreciate all our animal neighbors, and are willing to share some of the bounty with them, we had to set some ground rules for slugs, bugs, raccoons, deer and woodchucks. The fencing was stabilized and raised another four feet, an electrified wire or two enhanced “Sweet William’s Field” across the street, the slugs enter into Slug Glory on the fumes of skunked beer, and Simon has spent more than a few nights camped out with Sr. Lilli Ana on fence patrol.

On the other hand, we welcome many of the stinging creatures, who are fabulous bug control units. We treat them with respect, and mostly they leave us alone, too. Great relationship. The chipping sparrow family set up house in the asparagus ferns, so collecting tomatoes in the next row must be done quietly, as their baby is fledging.

Ducks at six weeksThe ducklettes are reaching full duck stature. Soon we will be able to tell the girls from the boys by size. Most of them look a lot like their papa: mixtures of blue-gray and white feathers, with dashes of black and brown thrown in here and there. Magdalene (who may well have to be renamed Magellan or Magnum) seems to remain solid dark brown with iridescent green tail and wing-tip feathers. Gloria’s yellow duckie fuzz has become barred black and white, making her easy to spot. Bob-o-link still has his dark head, back and tail with mostly white everywhere else. Everyone else looks a lot like … everyone else. They remain individually unnamed, generally referred to as “the rest”.

This is what they looked like last week. From the upper left corner: Magdalene/Magellan/Magnum, Bob-o-Link, the rest, the rest, the rest (with mouth open), Gloria (you can tell by the barred wing pattern) and the rest. I’ll try to get a picture of them today; what a difference a week makes. [By the way, check out the July 11th blog to see Bob-o-Link shortly post-hatch. That’s him in Sr. Emmanuel’s hand.]

OK, that’s the news from Bluestone Farm in late August. The next blog may be … oh, several weeks away. In the meantime, just imagine all the incredible smells wafting heavenward from our kitchen.

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2 thoughts on “In the heat of summer

  1. Can you tell which of the ducks it the one that survived being stepped on? Is it one of “the rest”? Hope it won’t be as long till you blog again. Glad to hear from you.

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