Sweet Summer Time

I can’t believe July is nearly over. I certainly have been enjoying the summer weather we have had this past week, but I fear that summer will to be gone before I know it. I am trying to make a conscious effort to take at least a little time each day just appreciating what the season has to offer. Sometimes that involves taking a dip in the pond or kicking off my shoes and going barefoot in the lush green grass. Other times it involves observing nature in all of it’s glory. Last week it also involved a homemade blueberry pie. ☺

Below are some of my observations from the past week.

 That’s Just Ducky!

One day last week, when I was working in the prayer garden, I noticed we had a visitor in the pond.

In the past when we have had ducks visit they have not stayed long. This one doesn’t want to leave.

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I can’t say that I blame her as it is a very lovely environment. I am not sure what kind of duck she is so if you know please leave me a comment at the end of this post.

We don’t want ducks or other water foul living in our pond so we have made many attempts at letting her know she needs to leave.IMG_5415

At first I thought it would be as easy as letting Trooper chase her off, but as he entered the pond she swam quickly to the other end of the pond. Trooper lost sight of her and interest. As I walked around the outside of the pond to the area where she was swimming she again just swam to a different spot. My husband attempts at throwing small stones in the water near her didn’t seem to deter her either. She certainly is persistent!

Finally on Friday when I had family over for a picnic lunch I told my niece, as she and my cousin set out in the paddle boat, that their job was to chase the duck away. A while later my niece announced that the duck had flow away. Good Job Ashley and Abbey! It was maybe a couple of hours later, after we had finished our pond activities, that we saw her land in the pond again. Good Grief!!!

I do think that she has since gotten the message that we don’t want her there because now when she sees my husband or I approaching the pond she flies away – only to return when we are not around. Perhaps she figures “what we don’t know won’t hurt us – or her”.

Unapproved Housing!

So far this year I have written about robins building a nest in a flat of pansies and the sparrow who was raising her young in the middle of our strawberry patch but this is the oddest nest yet.

This past winter my husband noticed that what we assume was a confused woodpecker had made a hole in our U.S. Coast Guard approved floatation devise that our township requires be kept near the pond. It is not made out of wood!

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Last week he told me that he looked in that hole and saw what he thought was a sparrow inside.

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I decided to try to get a photo. As I approached a small bird flew out. It was similar in size and color to a sparrow but I noticed that it had a long pointy beak. After doing a little research I have decided it is probably a house wren. While it seems to have found a cozy home I am not sure that the U.S. Coast Guard would approve.

Birdseye View

Hawks soaring high above our farm is not an unusual sight; it’s just one that I have difficulty photographing. It does get concerning when their search area comes close the area where our chickens are foraging as we have had several chickens fall prey to hawks in the past. Such is the nature of allowing chickens to free range.

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As I watch the hawk gracefully circling I envy its view from above.

A Berry Good Year

While our garlic crop was disappointing this year, all of our berries performed beyond our expectations. As I have mentioned in previous posts it has been a wonderful year for strawberries, currants, cherries, and blueberries. Grapes seem to be following suit.

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One day last week I noticed that the grape vines were sagging. Upon further inspection we discovered that the top wire that supports the grape vines had broken.

 

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The vines are so heavy laden with fruit that the wire could not support their weight. My husband was able to place a couple of wooden stakes under the vines to keep them off the ground, but repairing the wire will have to wait until after the harvest.

If A Tree Falls and Nobody Is Around To Hear It Does It Really Make A Sound?

As of this writing that question will go unanswered.

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My husband was standing in the garden, perhaps 100 feet from this tree last Sunday when the storm came through. He estimated the wind gust at about sixty miles per hour. As he felt the gust, he heard a loud crack and watched the tree fall.

The dead ash tree has been standing dead in the wood line for several years and we have been waiting for the right winds to come along and bring it down. We can now cut it up to use for firewood this winter.

The Garden Was Busy This Morning

Perhaps I should say buzzy. The squash and pumpkins are blossoming heavily right now,

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and bees and other pollinators love squash blossoms.

 

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It is not unusual to see two or more pollinators in the same flower.

 

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The bees were also foraging in the buckwheat.  They moved quickly from flower to flower and I was not able to capture a photo of one.

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We don’t harvest buckwheat but it does serve a dual purpose. It acts as a cover crop, enriching the soil in areas where we are not growing food. It also helps feed the bees.

Thanks for spending a little time with me. What are you doing to make the most of summer?

 

32 thoughts on “Sweet Summer Time

  1. Summer is fading fast Ruth – the last week was a good chance to soak up some sun and be outside with perfect temps – next week part of the week will be coolish but sunny. I hate to think of the long road ahead. Well, you’ll now be blessed with more ducks than you wanted and try to say no to ducklings. PS – you also had the baby bunnies.

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      1. Hi Ruth – no, I was wondering myself … I was at Heritage Park and all the mallards (the only type they have there) are in “eclipse phase” which is when they moult and get new feathers. The males and females are the same drab colors during eclipse phase, so I am wondering if your duck is in moulting phase and so has lost its regular plumage until it grows back in? We were not expected to have rain today – all the weather folks said “just the northern and western suburbs” and we had rumbling for about an hour, then a heavy downpour and more rumbling. A lot of raining for two solid hours, but it took three hours for the system to pass. I did not get on my computer as I don’t like to use it in a storm … it kind of messed up my evening plans to catch up on Reader. Hope you got some of that torrential rain too Ruth.

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      2. This duck does not appear to be moulting now because it can fly and doesn’t look all raggedy like our chickens do when they moult. It was because of it’s lack of bright colors that I assumed it was female but it could be a male in the eclipse phase. I don’t think it is a mallard though because it seems smaller than other mallards I have seen. I think our best practice will be to just spend a lot of time in and around the pond in hopes the he or she will be uncomfortable and not return in the spring to raise young.
        I did see some storms on radar yesterday but none of them came our way. There is rain in the forecast for tomorrow so we are hoping to get some. Everything could use a good drink. Even the lawns are turning brown. I hope you have a great day Linda!

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      3. Well hopefully your ducky friend will take a hint Ruth. A few months ago I heard about an unusual duck in Southfield – it was not from around here – not in North or South America, and bird experts said it must have been migrating and gotten lost. All the local professional photographers were seeking it out for pics. Stay cool as we steam toward end of Summer (on the calendar anyway)!

        I think that everyone is going to get some rain tomorrow – several times as a matter of fact. I am glad I finished my big project today and just have a few things for tomorrow, but no urgent matters in case I shut down due to the bad weather. It’s supposed to be very cool by the end of the week – that’s fine by me. I got a bad sunburn yesterday and have not done that in years. Too much walking in the sun.

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      4. I didn’t see the duck yesterday or today but that doesn’t mean it wasn’t there. Hopefully we will get more of that rain and you will get less. ☺ Ouch! Break out some calamine lotion for that sunburn.

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      5. I’ll keep my fingers crossed for you Ruth – I felt a little dumb that this happened. I usually walk earlier in the day, but two places I drove to were not accessible for walking and the sun was getting high in the sky – I thought the trees would shade me, but admittedly I was in full sun in many places. Ouch!

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      6. I know – I feel dumb that happened, as it is dangerous. I am fair and have always burned easily. I am never out in the middle of the day – usually just in the mornings unless it can’t be helped.

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  2. Yesterday when I passed by our door wall a beautiful hawk took flight from our back yard very close to the house. His wingspan was at least three feet across. He was absolutely magnificent. I watched him soar overhead in all his beauty then messaged my neighbor to keep an eye on her little dog. I kept a close watch on Daisy whenever she was outside the rest of the night.
    All of the pics are awesome but I was disappointed that you didn’t take one of the blueberry pie. I bet it was incredible with the homegrown berries.Did it get eaten up before you snapped a pic ?

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    1. Daisy is smaller than our chickens. You definitely need to keep an eye on her.
      Sorry about not taking a pie picture. It was delicious and is gone now. I’m going to pick more blueberries this morning.

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  3. Your description of taking a dip in the pond and going barefoot in the grass sounds like its out of a storybook. So peaceful & lovely. It reminds me of my childhood in Ohio ❤

    It’s crazy how nature can find just about anywhere to create a home, huh?

    Thanks for the update around the property. Have a great rest of the week, Ruth!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Mackenzie. I truly believe that a dip in the pond or wading in a creek or going barefoot ( the things that seem to come naturally to us as children)are good for both our physical and mental heath. These are things we shouldn’t outgrow.
      I hope you have a great week too. ♥

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  4. As for your duck (yes, I am afraid you have a long time visitor), the only reason I have found for a bird to be so determined to stay is that there is a nest nearby with eggs. Daddy may be sitting on it. Good luck, and post pictures should little ones appear.
    I personally have had baby swallows, robins, and purple martins on my porches this year and although they try to throw each other out, they seem firmly stuck. The only upside is that the Mourning Doves, who have been very loud the last few years, don’t like them so they have gone elsewhere. The music this year’s birds make is much nicer.

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    1. It seems late in the year for them to be nesting so I will be surprised if we see babies. If we do I will post pics.
      Sounds like your porches are a battle ground. I suppose it’s not bad as long as they just try to throw each other out and leave you alone.

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  5. I’m berry happy for you and your fruit crops.
    Whenever it is not raining, and I am at home, I go out to enjoy the summer. Time flies and before I know it, it will get cooler, so I’m making the most of NOW.

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