A couple days break?

We had quite a lot of rain yesterday, with temperatures much cooler than forecast for the first day of summer. The cool was much appreciated! It was nice being able to open up more windows again.

The problem is how wet everything is. Even the new part basement now has water pooling in places. Unlike the old basement, we can’t sweep this into a drain or a sump pump cistern. All we can do is keep a fan on it, really.

We’re supposed to have a couple of days that are warmer and without rain. Hopefully, that will be enough to let the grass dry out enough that I can finish mowing the lawn tomorrow. No chance of being able to get it done today, even if I wasn’t going to be at my mother’s for her home care assessment appointment. After that, however, we’re looking at possible thunderstorms and more rain for several more days.

While doing my morning rounds, I saw a couple of the kittens under the cat’s house again. I’m glad to see them, after they got so frightened by the lawn mower. I caught a brief glimpse of the little calico’s face. Her one eye still seems gooby, but otherwise all right.

The garden plots seem to be holding out all right, though I noticed a lot of pole beans at the trellises seem to have lost their leaves. I can’t tell if it’s because they were eaten by something, or because they wilted and fell off from excess moisture. There are still lots of plants, though, so we should still be good.

I’m pretty sure one of the lilacs at the corner of the storage house has been totally drowned. The few leaves it managed to grow are gone. If it survives, I’ll be amazed. There are others that aren’t quite as bad, and I think they’ll make it.

The Kulli corn seems to finally be recovering from transplant shock, looking more green and actually growing. The bush beans growing with them are progressing nicely. The first planting of spinach and one type of lettuce are getting big enough we should be able to start harvesting leaves and thinning them out.

As much of a problem the excess rain is, after last year’s drought and having to water every day, twice a day, throughout the summer, I’m really happy with how things are growing right now.

Still, it’ll be nice to have a couple of days break from the rain!

The Re-Farmer

Sleepy bee is still there!

While doing my morning rounds, I decided to check the sunflowers and, sure enough, the bee I saw yesterday was still there!

I did confirm that it’s still alive; when I brushed a finger near it, a single, pollen covered back leg lifted up to warn me away!

It’s simply too cold and wet for the poor thing, it seems.

My daughter did some searching, and what I think we will do is cut off the sunflower head to bring it, and the bee, into the sun room to warm up. We’ll cover it with a large sieve we have, so it doesn’t fly off and get stuck in the sun room. If it does revive and warms up, we will release it back outside. Hopefully, it will then be able to get back to its hive before the chill gets to it again.

Here’s hoping it works!

The Re-Farmer

[Edit: I accidentally used a photo from yesterday, instead of the one I took this morning. After much fighting with our increasingly crappy internet, it has been fixed!]

Cute fuzzy things in the morning

I got to see all sorts of adorable things this morning. Starting with these guys!

They were very rambunctious this morning. 🙂

The girls have informed me that the calico that looks like Cabbages has been named Broccoli. The tabby twins have also been named, but I forget them right now.

The fourth kitten, sharing breakfast with her mother here, does not yet have a name.

I also saw an adorable, fuzzy little monster this morning, but I wasn’t able to get a photo. The woodchuck was by the old garden shed, then ducked under it as I came over.

I’m happy to say that adding two bigger rocks and a bunch of broken bricks seems to finally be enough to keep the woodchuck from digging its way back under the stairs. I think it still tried, though. A small, gap-filling piece of insulation had been braced between the brick wall and the big rock, before. Looks like it got pushed inwards.

One last adorable bit of fuzziness! This bee wasn’t even gathering nectar or anything. It was just sitting there, like it was taking a nap while it was still cool. 🙂

I got a few things worked out in the garden, before coming in from my morning rounds, but that will get its own post. 🙂

The Re-Farmer

Pretty blooms

We’ve got some lovely flowers blooming in one of my mother’s flower beds.

This flower bed has lilies, roses and a current bush my mother had planted. These flowers are mixed together with another type, and are the first to start blooming. When these are done, the others will start blooming. I don’t think either were deliberately planted. 🙂

The Re-Farmer

Sunflowers progress

The first seed head to blossom is already losing its little flowers!

I think I should be able to harvest it and set it to dry at this point; at least that’s what I’ve learned from my research. But would the seeds normally be this white?

I think I’ll leave it a bit longer. So far, no birds seem to be going for it.

Pollinators aren’t’ the only ones interested in the budding sunflowers.

The leaves make great shelter for resting dragonflies!

Those leaves have a lot of holes in them. I can’t see what’s causing them, though. They still seem to be doing all right, so I’m not concerned at this point.

The Re-Farmer

Photo of the Day: Bee-ootiful

The winds picked up well before the blizzard hit, and the pool noodle bumpers I’d made for the main gate were being blown away. On my way in and out, I grabbed them and quickly tossed them into the van.

As my daughters and I were heading out together, they noted the pieces in the van…

… and a passenger!

It was getting so chilly, the poor little bumble bee was slow and sluggish – but in the relative warmth of the van, she was starting to perk up!

My daughter released it near where the pieces were found. Bumble bees nest in the ground, so we are hoping it had a nest somewhere near there that it could tuck into for the winter!

Critter(s) of the Day: on the beach

Insects count as critters, right?

While walking the beach not long ago, there were a surprising number of lady beetles all over.

So many, in fact, in some places, it was impossible not to step on any.

I also saw a couple of these guys…

At first, I thought this one was dead. Especially when a wave reached its wings and it didn’t move. It wasn’t dead, though, and I was able to move it a short distance, where the waves could no longer reach it.

Bonus Critter: watch out!

My daughter removed this from the sun room.

This is a Bald Faced Hornet.

Which isn’t actually a hornet, but a type of Yellow Jacket Wasp.

Our Chinese Elm are just buzzing with these guys. Typically, they are high up and, if we leave them alone, they’ll leave us alone.

One got into the sun room and was busily giving itself a concussion on one of the windows when my daughter first saw it, as the girls were putting the kittens into the sun room for the night.

Unfortunately, the kittens immediately started going for it.

Since she didn’t want a stung kitten, she got it out using a glass and a piece of paper. After very carefully putting the glass on the step near one of the Chinese Elm and removing the paper, she figured it would leave.

Apparently, it was thoroughly stunned from bashing itself against the window for so long, and took its time exploring the inside and outside of the glass. Which allowed me to get this photo.

Thankfully, it soon disappeared.

They seem to be attracted only to the Chinese Elm, not the other types of elm that are around.

Another reason to eventually take those trees down. Along with everything else he has to deal with, my husband is allergic to stings.

The Re-Farmer