Summer before the Solstice

The weather is hot. And dry. We did benefit from some rain a few days ago that was spotty around the area, but did give us a little respite from the heat and the dryness.

Yesterday, I was sitting on the front porch with Randy. Randy was our postal carrier for most of the years since we built and moved here, but he retired a few years ago. He also runs cattle with two younger men, men about our sons’ ages. He had come over to let us know that they were going to mow our hay today so I wouldn’t let critters out that might be harmed by huge mowers and we were just sitting and visiting when he looked beyond me and asked if that was a snake on the porch rail. Sure enough, a black rat snake about 6- 6.5 feet long, just chillin’ on the rail behind me. Black rat snakes are our friends as long as they stay out of the house and out of the coop. He probably had been feasting on the chipmunks that have taken over since the dogs and barn cats have all passed away. The snake had been hanging out up near the barn, but had moseyed on down to the house. I went through the house, grabbed leather garden gloves, a 5 gallon bucket, and lid and came back out to relocate it. Randy looked at me like I was nuts and said, “Don’t ask me to help.” He did take the photo though.

This is the 5th one that we have relocated from the house or coop. The bucket was taken a couple miles away and the snake turned loose in the woods by a field.

Last night I did finish the June spinning challenge and finished plying the rainbow yarn.

It ended up 558 yards almost 4 ounces done totally on the spindles in the photo in 18 days. A project has already been begun.

The mowers did arrive this afternoon, two mowers and a tractor with a tedder to fluff up what was mowed. They will return Friday and bale it. I don’t think they are going to have a very good harvest as it didn’t get mowed in the fall and it didn’t get fertilized this spring. Randy said they are already about 60 bales short of what they usually get before reaching us, so he may not have much to sell this year, hopefully enough for their cattle.

The dry heat had caused the pea vines to yellow, so while they mowed, I harvested peas, the potatoes that were in one of the pea beds, a handful of Jalapenos, and a basket of plums. There are about that many more plums still ripening. They sure are good, not very large, but very sweet. And I also pulled the pea vines to be chopped up and put in the compost. My clippers are old and dull and wouldn’t do the job, so I may ask to borrow my daughter’s.

It took 3 hours to shell all of those peas, filling a bucket with empty pods, and yielding several quarts of peas. We enjoyed some for dinner and the rest frozen for meals when fresh veggies aren’t available except trucked across the country. In a couple of days, the tiny green beans will be large enough to start enjoying them and freezing more for later meals. The tomatoes have flowers, but no fruit yet and flowers on the cucumbers, but again, no fruit yet. One of the pea beds will be planted with more green beans, the other covered with old hay until cooler weather allows fall greens to be started.

We saw the doe with the singleton fawn, still a tiny one after the mowers left. Probably wondering where their tall grass covering had gone.

While I was talking to one of the younger mowers, we realized that a large branch in the top of one of my Asian pears is totally dead with pears on it, so recently dead. It doesn’t look like a lightening strike, but at some point it is going to have to be cut out. I don’t know what caused it. It is concerning as that is the tree that produces the most pears.

More heat and no rain for the next 10 days. At least the grass doesn’t grow fast when it is hot and dry.

Take care, stay cool, be safe.

One thought on “Summer before the Solstice”

  1. Black snakes are creatures and have an important job. I guess he enjoyed relaxing with you.

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