Busy, mostly away, socially distanced day

When my hearing aid began to bother me last week, I did all the at home troubleshooting that I could. I called the hearing clinic on Thursday as that was a day that the audiologist was in that office before COVID. The assistant suggesting that I bring it in to have it checked out on Monday, the next time the audiologist was in that office. My audiologist is furloughed and the owner/chief audiologist is rotating in the offices. I took it in Monday morning and didn’t hear anything back only to learn that the hours there are short on Monday. Yesterday I got a call back that the Doctor couldn’t “hear” anything wrong with it and I should come in to see if it was wax in my ears, so an appointment was made for today at a different location (actually closer to home). We went in to town earlier than the 2:30 appointment, did drive through lunch and took a 2.3 mile very brisk walk on the old rail grade trail. A few times, we had to mask due to the volume of people in the area, but it was a good walk. Masked and over to the audiologist’s office, my ears are fine, my hearing aid needs a new amplifier and they didn’t have one in stock. I have it back until the part comes in and they will get it repaired.

The last week or so, I have been knitting the last of the yarn spun from fiber from the estate of a friend. The yarn was all spun on spindles.

The pattern is Close to You, and is now blocked and drying.

The morning started with a tiny bird flying into the garage and right into the lift door window. Poor little thing knocked itself silly, but I set it in a planter and it flew away later.

Still no corn, tomorrow is day 7 and hopefully, I will see it emerge soon.

The one that didn’t get away

Last year about this time, grandson 1 came to spend part of the summer with us. He enjoys doing so because he gets to use the riding mower and drive the tractor, but he also has to help me with farm chores. He helped move some fencing, work in the garden, and just about anything I ask him to do. He cooks some as well and gets lessons and new recipes to add to his book of Grandmom’s Spells and Magic that he got for Christmas a couple of years ago, a loose leafed recipe book with cards that can be filled out and filed, all in my handwriting that my kids and he call a font that should be on the computer. He and I were about to start work on some project last summer when I looked in the egg door of the coop and a 6 foot long Black Rat Snake that I had seen outside of the coop about a week earlier was in one of the nesting boxes. It had gotten eggs the first time and had come back for more. I wasn’t going to have that happen, so without telling him why, I sent him to our tool area to get my leather garden gloves and an empty 5 gallon bucket with lid. When he returned with them, I had him open the egg door from the other end from the snake while I reached in and grabbed it behind it’s head and snatched it from the coop. His eyes got huge and his response was, “Grandmom, what kind of magic was that.” We put the snake in the bucket, put the lid on and he held it from falling over while I drove a bit more than a half a mile away to the woods and turned it loose.

Well, because of COVID, he can’t visit this summer and I miss his help. This afternoon, I got the part of dinner that was going in the oven prepared and put in the oven and grabbed a basket to go gather peas and whatever eggs were under Miss Broody and when I opened the egg door, I spotted movement in an empty nesting box. I hurried back over to the house, grabbed the same gloves, a 5 gallon bucket with lid, and called up to hubby to grab his keys and his phone. He questioned why and I gave him a quick explanation as I dashed back to the coop, opened and hooked the egg door up and snatched this one out of the coop just as he arrived to snap a couple of pictures.

Not as long as last year’s, this one was only about 5 feet and where the one last year was lethargic, this one was a writhing mess, trying to wrap around my arm. Once calmed down and picture taken, it was plopped in the bucket, lidded and back to the same spot the last one was taken. Last year, I had to dump the snake out of the bucket and it didn’t even move away very fast. As soon as I got the lid off today, it went over the rim and off into the woods. While there, I spotted these cool black mushrooms.

I love mushrooms, but I would never gather them for food. Back home, the peas were picked and shelled in time to plunge them into boiling water for 3 minutes to enjoy with our dinner. The plants aren’t blooming anymore, but there are still many peas to pick, enjoy, and freeze.

I would never kill a snake that wasn’t directly threatening me, the dogs, or a family member, but they don’t get to be in my coop and eat the eggs.

Be safe. I wear a mask for your safely, please wear one for mine.

Today’s Walk

After early heavy rain this morning, the day turned beautiful. It is muggy because of all the rain, but blue sky, so after making a homemade pizza, I took a walk. Without raincoat and boots. My usual route is a fair amount of elevation change, up our long driveway, down our gravel road, over our creek, then uphill to the top of the hill for which our road is named. From there, I leave the road for a farm road through the woods. Until the grass gets about knee deep, I cross the neighbor’s field to a lower farm road and then back to the gravel road and home. The field has gotten too tall and with the tick load this year, I have quit doing that part and when I get to the end of the woods road, I turn around and retrace my steps.

I love the lightplay on the hill as I walk the woods road.

My favorite part of the walk.

The rain didn’t knock down all of the Rhododendron blooms.

Lots of fungi from the rain, this one was pretty.

If you have ever seen the movie “Dirty Dancing,” the lodge where it was filmed is just over the crest of that mountain, about 4 miles and 2000 feet higher beyond us.

It was nice to get out in the air, in the woods, and get some exercise.

My nine hens aren’t producing eggs in the quantity that they did last year. One has been broody for at least 6 weeks. Usually after the 22 days needed to hatch eggs, they give up, but not this one. I have isolated her away from the nesting boxes, dipped her repeatedly in cool water, and nothing will break her. I guess this fall it will be time to start with new flock. I think I will go back to the big bodied, gentle Buff Orpingtons. Last night when I went out to gather the eggs and lock them up for the night, I found an apparent misfire.

When I cracked it this morning, it was just white, no yolk.

Yesterday I wound off the yarn I had plied from the Peacock colored gradient braid. The greens were an additional 212+ yards for a total of 506+ yards of light fingering weight yarn to become the yoke of a new sweater for me.

The next week will be more like a typical summer with hotter temperatures, more humidity and some thunderstorms.

Stay safe. Wear your mask for my safety, I wear mine for yours.