Monday, August 21, 2017

New moon

This must be the eclipse day. We won't see it here, except (as I understand it) right around sunset. And then it will not be anywhere near the total eclipse that many people in the US will be treated to. I'm sure we'll be seeing lots of television coverage of the event.

Raindrops clinging to grape vine tendrils.

I got to barbecue on Sunday for the first time in a while. The weather is shifting back into a summer-like pattern for the next week or so. We missed it so. The harvest continues in the vegetable garden. As much as I try to pick the zucchini before it gets too big, there is always one that manages to hide until it's the size of a baseball bat. Tuesday is bath day for Tasha, then she goes in to get spayed on Wednesday. And I need to cut the grass again.

Sunday, August 20, 2017


The firewood is stacked and ready for another season. It only took a couple of hours over two days. I still have to clean up all the mess that comes with the wood, like bark and smaller pieces of wood. Now that it's dried up after the rain, I can gather that stuff up and put it in the kindling pile.

The north side of the house is where the logs live, under the narrow section of the deck that wraps around from the front. That leaning concrete pole in the middle of the photo is one end of the clothesline. The leaning boards on the right side are Bert's ladder up to the deck.

Tasha is scheduled to be spayed on Wednesday. In preparation, we're planning to give her a bath on Tuesday. The weather is predicted to be hot, so she'll be able to dry outdoors. This will be her first-ever bath and we're not sure how she'll react. Should be interesting.

Saturday, August 19, 2017

It rained

Friday turned out to be a rainy day. We need the rain, so that's good. Half the firewood is stacked, so that's good, too. But the other half is out in the rain. Oh well. It won't matter much since, once we get it stacked, it will dry out before we need to use it. It's only superficially wet.

A poplar leaf, I think, with raindrops.

The rain barrels are filled and overflowing. If it's not hot and dry, we don't really need much water outdoors. The indoor plants need water, of course, so we have plenty. I went out and got a new axe on Friday. The axe I've been using since 2006 is past its prime. The cutting head is no longer attached to the handle and it slides down, making splitting logs a little difficult. So, a new axe for fall. An early Christmas present!

Friday, August 18, 2017

Thursday's harvest

Our tomatoes are starting to come in. Soon it will be time to make sauce for the freezer. And the lemon squash are going gangbusters. I'm not sure what we'll do with it all. And the zukes are still producing, of course.

All kinds of tomatoes, including romas, juliets, yellows, cœur de bœuf, and fireballs.

I have to pick some of the tomatoes before they're completely ripe. Sometimes they're sitting on the ground, and that's not good. Other times they're very heavy looking and need to come off the vine. And then there are the ones that come off by themselves. So I put them all out on the deck to ripen, and they do. It's always iffy, doing a vegetable garden. You never know how it's going to work out when you start. We've had our good years and some bad years, the bad being related to weather or blight, but overall it's been good. I'm starting to look forward to next year.

A surplus of lemon squash.

We had our annual "bat in the loft" on Wednesday night. It seems that once a year a bat flies into the loft through an open window. Then it spins around the room dodging the rafters while we run around with pillows trying to shoo it out. It only took a few minutes to get it to go out this time. During all the commotion, Tasha sat on the floor and yawned.

Thursday, August 17, 2017


I told you there would be more raindrops. These apples are not in our yard, but out behind a neighbor's house. The raindrops make them look appetizing. But they're not yet mature enough for picking.

This apple is very small. That might be a side effect of the freeze, but I'm not certain.

In our own yard, the apples are dropping from the trees as they do every year. I have to pick them up before cutting the grass. There don't seem to be as many as there could be, probably because of the April freeze. Maybe there will be enough to make a couple of pies later this fall.

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Waning summer

The signs are everywhere. Wildflowers are setting seed and fading away. Grapes are maturing on the vine. Certain poplars are going yellow and dropping their leaves. And the days are tangibly shorter.

Just one blossom remains on this wild chicory plant. Many others are totally bare already.

Schools start up again in about three weeks signaling the end of summer vacations for a lot of people. It won't be long before we start to hear the harvesters out in the vineyards.

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Tasha Tuesday

Tasha is doing well on her walks. The only thing I fear is cars and tractors. She wants to chase them and I need to train her not to. Callie was afraid of vehicles and sat down whenever one went by. But Tasha is her own dog and wants to chase everything that moves. Whenever a car goes by our road, Tasha runs out and tries to chase it. She's inside the yard, so she can't get hurt, but if she sees one while we're out, who knows what could happen.

No cars to worry about here. But just behind us is the road.

Luckily, so far, there haven't been many instances of cars while we walk. I just need to pay attention and keep her close when there's a possibility of a car going by. This fall the harvesters will be out in the vineyard. That will be a challenge.

Monday was a relatively hot day, and Monday night was particularly warm. Last week it was so chilly that the heat came on one morning. This morning the low is 22.5ºC (over 72ºF). It's so warm and dry that I went for our morning walk in shorts and a tee-shirt, something that happens only a few times a year.