This morning’s finds

There always seems to be something new to find when I do my rounds!

Some are good, some are not so good, and some are… kind of in between. 😀

Finding holes in the ground from skunks digging for grubs is not unusual. This morning, however, it was VERY unusual! I found probably a hundred off them over by the sweet corn and sunflower blocks! They were in the open areas around them, but also right in among them.

The skunks (I’m assuming there was more than one) seem to have worked their way through two corn blocks and about one and a half sunflower blocks. Only the corn block furthest north was completely untouched. Judging from how many holes there were, I’m guessing it had something to do with very full little bellies!

Before we planted here, and were just mowing, I never saw divots. My guess is that the area was so dry and sun baked, there simply weren’t any grubs in the soil. Now that we’ve started to amend the soil and have been watering regularly, plus all the rain we’ve recently had, it’s now a skunk buffet!

I don’t mind the skunks digging up the grubs. They have no interest in the plants. The only problem was that some of their digging was close enough to our already struggling corn and sunflower plants, that roots were exposed. I worked my way through the rows, pushing the soil back into those holes, at least. The others, I left. There were just too many, and I don’t care if the weeds have their roots exposed!

It took a long time, but we now have our very first vine making its way across the top of the squash tunnel! This luffa had reached the top some time ago, but not gone over.

The winter squash still has a ways to go, but it’s working on it!

Had conditions been more ideal, this structure would at least have had the walls completely covered in vines by now, if not the “roof” as well. Given what a tough year for the garden it has been, I’m quite pleased with what we have!

The girls moved the canopy tent over the picnic table by the fire pit for me this morning, so I dragged a hose over to give the table a bit of a power wash. While there, I checked out the nearby currant bush.

We only rarely watered this bed by the fire pit at all this year, yet the currant actually has a few berries on it! After picking these, I checked on the two currant bushes near the main garden beds and found a few more. Those ones did get watered more often, but are located under trees. They get a lot less sunlight, and even with the rains we’ve been having, they would have gotten less. The one by the fire pit is on the south side of the maple grove and has no overhanging branches, so even with almost no watering, it has more berries. Even so, the berries are a lot smaller and less juicy than they should be. I’m surprised there are any at all, to be honest!

This morning, I fussed around with the potato grow bags. Some of them were falling over, so I secured them to the chain link fence, then straightened the bags out again; the tops of the bags are more to keep critters out than anything else.

In the process, I uncovered this little guy.

So incredibly adorable!!!

Finding one is exciting enough, but then I found this slightly bigger one!

This one wasn’t too impressed with my moving the bags around. 😀

These are probably my favourite type of frog. 😀 And we’ve seen so many of them, as well as the more common wood frogs, this year!

As we develop our permanent garden beds, providing shelter and moisture for frogs is on our list of things to include. 🙂

Today is supposed to be our last comfortable day before the heat comes back, and no rain is predicted for a few more days, so I will be heading out to apply cayenne pepper to some of our garden beds after this. Especially our purple beans. Checking the garden cam this morning, I caught a young buck in the garden, nibbling on something. The summer squash was blocking the view, but there is only one thing where that buck was standing; our purple beans. I didn’t even notice the damage, this morning! The purple beans are a lot bushier and leafy than the other types, but it likely explains why I’m not seeing as many beans on there. I think the deer are actually avoiding the leaves to eat the beans, instead, judging from what I do see, when I am looking closely to find beans to pick.

We keep our containers from things like sour cream, and had one with a transparent lid. I poked a whole bunch of little holes in the lid, then emptied the bulk packages of cayenne pepper into the 500ml container, to create a shaker. I’m hoping the holes aren’t too small. We shall see how it works!

The Re-Farmer

Ginger bug, skunk visits, and progress!

Ginger let me take his picture this morning! 🙂

Then he promptly tried to catch and eat my phone. 😀

I’m happy to say that, for a past couple of night, we have not been closing the other cats out, and have found Ginger curled up and snoozing with other cats. He’s always been more laid back about accepting other cats, and now it looks like the other cats have gotten used to their new family member. 🙂

Unfortunately, other critters are getting used to things.

When the girls went outside to drop the bags of litter into a bin we have for them, they found THREE skunks in the kibble house! If things were warm enough to have a hose out, we would spray them with water from a distance, but that is not yet an option. My daughter tried to shoo them away with a stick, but they just ignored her. They didn’t even threaten to spray. The little one even ignored her when she actually poked at him with the stick!

We’re going to have to leave less kibble out for the outside cats, since they’re not finishing it all during the day, and the skunks are starting to rely on it as a source of food.

Oh, my goodness!!! I just got interrupted while writing this, and I am so excited!!!

I called about the garden soil this morning. I was expecting a call back, to arrange for one of the guys to come by and figure out where to drop the soil off. Before then, I’d called to have our septic tank emptied, and the drive wanted to do that right away, while the ground it still hard, so I had gone ahead to open the gate for him. Instead of the septic guy, we had someone else come knocking on the door about the garden soil.

We walked around and I showed him the easy one, first; in the outer yard, near where we will be building the permanent raised beds in the future. For this year’s garden, however, I was right. They won’t be able to get their truck under the tree branches to where I had hoped the soil could go. I showed him an alternate area I was thinking of, and that one works out perfectly. There is a gate to the garden in the fence there, and they can use our secondary driveway to come right in to it.

Then he said they could deliver it today.

!!!

The ground is still frozen, which makes it better for the trucks.

When I mentioned I didn’t have cash on hand to pay for it, he brushed it off and told me I could swing by and pay for it later.

!!!

So we now have both gates open and waiting for very large trucks to come through! 🙂

I am just thrilled!

Okay, back to topic. Where was I?

Ah, the skunks. LOL

When I headed out to do my rounds this morning, I saw the skunks had been after more than kibble.

This is near the kibble house and cat shelter. I’m not sure what they were digging for, this early in the spring, but I guess they found something!

I’m a bit disheartened by how dry the soil is, though, even with most of yesterday’s snow melted away.

Heading into the outer yard, I was watching the large numbers of birds in the pile of branches when I noticed a patch of ground that looked different.

Here, at least, the ground is a bit moister. There used to be a large pile of snow, pushed up by a tractor when our driveway was kindly cleared for us. That snow finally melted away only recently.

Well, that area now has a pile of soil beside it! The first load was just delivered!

The next load should be here in about 20 minutes, so I’d better get my butt off the computer. 🙂

The Re-Farmer