But first, a little P.S. Those picturesque hay bales from last time?


But yes, summer is here. First job today was to clean house after the little family of sparrows who chose to build a nest and raise their children on the roll of screening tucked under the eaves of the north porch. We watched them fledge and learn to fly. We counted four in the nest, but six eventually flew away, and we felt quite proud of them. Except, um, the mess?

Second on the list was to cull the developing apples from the 5 trees in the orchard. This should give you the idea:

I think I’m showing you the honey crisps, but the wheelbarrow is holding the excess from 3 trees that we had energy to thin this morning. It feels completely wrong to be picking those beauties, but the trees are too young to support a huge crop. Plus, I mean, I’m going to have to peel, core, slice and freeze the ones we can’t eat out of hand. Unless you want to come and pick some for your family? Which, yes, do, come on down. We’ll let you know when they’re ripe.

Okay, big mistake. I should have started this post by telling you about our triumph, dept. of chickens. So you know about this one Speckled Sussex who had become a little escape artist.

We thought we had 3 options. Off with her head, but neither of us could be the hatchet man. Take her to the vet and risk mortification at the spectacle of two cute old people bringing in their pet chicken for a clip and trim. Or, 3, put an ad in the Neighborhood News for a peripatetic chicken who only occasionally lays an egg. If you’re wondering why we couldn’t just let her be out, it’s because she doesn’t seem to be able to get herself back in at night. That would be cruel.

So, boot up You Tube. You can learn anything there, including how to clip your chicken’s wings. Here’s how that worked. We got her into a corner by handing out dried worms. Larry picked her up and, following the guidelines, spread out her wing. I clipped the flight feathers with my sewing scissors (the only sharp-enough ones we could find), and after flapping about in Larry’s unexpecting arms, she set about her business of unearthing bugs, unaware, we assume, that she’s no longer free to wander. (Where was my phone when I needed the camera?) Btw, one need clip only one wing; chickens can’t fly lopsided.

So far, three days later, she’s still confined to quarters. Excellent!

But I was discussing today’s chores. We had enlisted Mitch to build us some planter boxes for the north porch. He did, but the painter, his brother-in-law, never showed up (this happens in the country some times), so Larry undertook to finish the job.

Now this evening, he’s been at work filling the boxes with wood chips to be a base for the geraniums and etc. which we’d purchased earlier.

And the almost finished product:

They need a few more chips to raise the flowers, but that’s tomorrow’s job. Pretty, huh? Thanks, Mitch! And Larry!! Next year, Larry suggests an herb garden as well as flowers. Darn fine idea. Right?

Finale: Larry is out mowing the orchard, while I write this blog. Guess I got the long end of that stick . . . wait. Which end is the good end? The long one, right? Anyway, while he’ll be exhausted and will shower and fall into bed by 8 o’clock, I’ll just be a little weary. That’s what I get, weary. Not exhausted. And tomorrow is Sunday. The day of rest.

Sleep tight!

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