Eating our own homegrown produce throughout the year is one of the benefits of having a large garden but in order to do so it must be preserved. As the tomatoes are ripening I am turning whatever we don’t eat fresh into juice. I will then cook it down into tomato sauce as needed. I did 10 quarts of juice this past week and will be doing more tomorrow.
I also discovered that we had way more cucumbers than we could eat before they went bad, so I decided to make a batch of bread and butter pickles. I haven’t made these in a few years so they will be a nice treat.
Those of you who were around last summer might remember that in July we had a duck who spend a few weeks visiting our pond.
Well it seems she enjoyed her visit so much that she decided to return this year (at least I am assuming it is the same duck). This year she decided to bring her family.
It was around the first of August that my husband came home from the farm and told me that there was a mother duck with four babies swimming in the pond. “No daddy,” he added.
For the past two plus weeks I have been trying with little success to get some good photos of them. Each time I approach the pond Momma directs her young to quickly swim away, so all of my pictures are taken from a great distance using the zoom feature of my camera. Their colors also blend in with the environment. It may be to their advantage in nature to be somewhat camouflaged, but it is not a recipe for clear photos.
It has been amusing watching the family.
Sometimes they will be calmly swimming along and suddenly one from the rear will zip past the others and take the lead. So cute! 🙂
Other times they will be feeding and all I can see is a mound, or several mounds, of tail feathers sticking up out of the water. Too Funny!
Last weekend they had disappeared. We thought that they had probably moved on. Then on Wednesday, while I was working in the prayer garden, I heard the unmistakable quacking of a duck followed by a splash. When I turned to look I saw the duck family had just entered the water and were being followed by Ranger. He apparently had come across them while sniffing around in the woods but they didn’t want to play. He followed them into the water and even though he is a very good swimmer he lost sight of them because he cannot turn his head to look around while he is swimming. Ranger enjoyed his swim across the pond then went on searching for other adventures, and the duck family spent the rest of the evening paddling around in the pond.
At the time of this posting it has been a few days since I have seen the Duck family. Perhaps they have now moved on for the season but I’m not yet ready to assume that is the case.
Thanks for visiting and until next time Be Well. 🙂
It’s been a busy week around here (with lovely summer weather I might add) and thus left little time for reading or writing. I did however manage to put together this fun little post from some pictures I had previously taken.
Before we get to the fun and games I will mention our two big accomplishments this week. The first was getting the other three hives of honey harvested. We were blessed with a wonderful harvest this year with the four hives yielding more than 40 quarts of beautiful, delicious honey.
The second was getting the garlic cleaned and sorted. You may remember that we had a small crop this year (somewhere around 400 bulbs) so cleaning and sorting went much quicker than in years past. I spent about 2 hours on each of two consecutive evenings clipping and cleaning. As I worked I sorted the larger bulbs that we will use for seed from the smaller ones. When all was done we ended up with about 160 seed bulbs that we will plant this fall. I expect they will yield between 1000 and 1200 plants. Perfect!
Let The Games Begin
While looking at some of the photos I have taken recently a couple of childhood games came to mind.
Hide and Seek
It seems we often find ourselves searching for fruits and vegetables amongst the foliage.
The grapes are only visible by pushing the leaves aside.
Likewise with pumpkins and squash
The other game we play a lot is peek-a-boo.
This sunflower was peeking at me between the corn stalks
And the Black-eyed Susan’s were peeking out from under the spruce tree.
Frogs love to play peek-a-boo!
and even the full moon this month was peeking out from behind the clouds.
Thanks for playing and have a great weekend!
Now tell me do you have a favorite childhood game?
From the garden we harvested green beans, tomatoes, beets and cucumbers.
From one hive we harvested 8 frames of honey and wax. Now the bees are cleaning up the frames.
From the coop we collected 11 eggs. Only 8 of them made it home though. It seems that Ranger learned a new trick. He figured out how to steal eggs out of the egg basket. They didn’t break until he stepped on them. I’m not sure why he decided to take them – either he thought he had found a new toy or he was telling us he wanted to eat. Crazy Dog! LOL!
Click here to learn more about my “55 Things” and here to view previous posts in this series.
We have cucumbers coming in fast and furious so it is the perfect time of year to enjoy a cucumber salad with very fresh ingredients.
To make my cucumber salad I simply peeled and sliced three cucumbers and dressed them with my Garlic Dill Dip (recipe below). For three cucumbers I cut the dip recipe down by half.
Garlic Dill Dip – 1 pint of sour cream (you can use low fat or whatever you prefer) add several cloves of fresh, minced garlic, 1 or 2 tbsp. of dill either fresh of dried, and about a tsp. of sea salt. Mix all ingredients well. It can be eaten immediately, but the flavor improves if it sits for at least 15 minutes before eating. (I love this for potato chips, Fritos, or as a veggie dip.)