Sunday, August 30, 2015

Fall Must be on Her Way When. . .

We first notice the signs of Fall as she begins sneaking in early in the mid-August mornings.  The sun has glided further to the north each day with its pinkish morning glow coming later each morning. The house is a bit cooler, even a bit chilly. A heavier dew dampens the lawn. I have been up since just after 5 AM; the east is just beginning to glow rosy pink. Fall silently slinks through the yard, testing to see if Mother Nature is ready for her. She doesn't stay long, but each day she lives a little sign that she has been here and will return.

A sure sign of Fall--the Head Gardener winds down his projects, loads up his camp trailer with hunting gear and enough food to feed a small army and leaves for his ancestral hunting grounds. Literally. A place where his great grandfather, grand father, and dad hunted deer and elk for I guess a century because great grandpa was in his 90s when he died in the late 1960s. He will be gone for a few days then he will come home to get Jacob and take him on his first hunting trip over Labor Day. It's what they do in the fall.


It was unusually quiet this morning when I awoke. It took me a moment to figure out why it was so quiet. No Chanticleer. He usually begins his early morning crowing around 4:30 AM. I get quite annoyed because he is so loud and he keeps it up all morning. This morning there was an erie quiet. Not even Cucu Maran was crowing. I imagined the worst. Carnage in the hen house. How upset the HG would be if he returned home to a mess? It would be my fault if the hen house were raided. I decided to put off checking the hens until full daylight.

Then. . . . The old boy must have slept in. Or waited for the morning's first glow. For there he is now, screaming his head off. Big sigh. Another sign of Fall.



So I am on chore duty. The most pleasant of tasks is feeding the horses. They always welcome me with soft voices begging for me to hurry up, for they are starving and their little tummies are grumbling, so they say.




From the Garden

Another indication that Fall is coming: This week we dug onions and potatoes. The onions probably could have been harvested a lot earlier, for some had soft spots. The HG decided that next year instead of buying the sets in bags, he would buy them in open stock so that we didn't end up with so many. I put them in flat box lids (and one pizza box) to dry out. This morning, then, I separated out the nice ones, rubbed the dirt off and some of the dried onion skin and put them in a pan to store in the pantry. I have been using them and let me just say that my sinuses are getting cleared out.



The potato harvest could have been better; we decided that they just did not get enough water on them this year. We watered with a sprinkler instead of ditching the rows, and it seemed to have  made a difference. Not to mention that the weeds got totally out of control this year. The potatoes are very good despite their size.



We pulled up four cabbages. They, too, are small; the broccoli looks wonderful, but will have worms. The cucumbers are small, and the tomatoes slow to ripen.



And what do we have here?
For some odd reason the HG purchased cauliflower sets along with too many cabbages. 



While this cauliflower head has some size to it, it is barely recognizable as a cauliflower. I don't think we will be eating it, but I am surprised that it formed a head. I haven't had cauliflower form a head. Progress, I guess.



Like this one. I think this one is supposed to be the purple variety. I buy the purple ones in the store; I like to eat it raw; cooked, it does not look very appealing.

So that is the saga of the cauliflower. One shaped nicely, but off-color--or is it supposed to be yellow? One sparse and purple. Lack of water, not doubt.


Random Garden Photos: I went out early Saturday morning, camera in hand and just had fun shooting photos.



Rusty ole butterfly sculpture on the blackberry trellis



Wild Sun Flowers 




I have not planted sunflowers for a couple of years now. The birds seem to do a fine job of that. I let them all grow where ever they pop up. It is always a surprise as to what will appear. Out by the garden this one is the standard roadside sunflower that has the height of the giant single headed flowers and the dark glow of the hybrid brown sunflowers that we love so much.


This lovely one is at the end of her cycle, her head heavy with seeds, droopping. She grew 8 feet or more out by the drive way next to the pine trees, welcoming me each time I drove in. Fall is on her way when the sunflowers droop their heavy heads.


Another variety planted herself out front. Don't you love to see the pattern in the center?


I had planned to cut this head off and put it near the living room window so that I could watch the birds take the seeds, but I was too late and didn't want to steel it from the birds that had already claimed it.


And this sunflower grew in the north flower bed at the back of the house. It was nearly 5 feet tall and smiled at me through the living room window. I watched this little bird every day come feast on the black seeds and then they were gone. I left the photo un-cropped because I like the cone flower just at the edge of the photo.

Oh, Lily


I planted four lily bulbs in the point of the center garden thinking that they would be a lovely compliment to the pink fountain grass and a nice contrast to the other grasses. I wanted some dramatic color. I also let the milk weed have its way, hoping that a monarch might find it, but it didn't, so I chopped the milk weed out, discovering that 2 of the four bulbs had grown after all. I had been sorely annoyed all summer because the lilies didn't sprout. Well, of course not, not when they had to compete with milk weed. Two lilies had sprouted and tried to grow. Now to my surprise as I walked about I discovered this lovely lady had bloomed. Once I cleared away the milk week, Lily received the sunshine that she so desperately needed. I hope she does better next year.



See, there it is Milk Weed recovering nicely from the chopping out. So much for just chopping. Oh by the way, once you let milk weed into your garden, it will be there forever and forever and forever.


She looks really pretty with the rose colored grass.


While short, she is so pretty I just had to take one more photo, and one more, and maybe another.

 

You know Fall is here when your favorite flowers begin to fade: I think I have shared photos of this lily, candy lily or black berry lily. The original has faded away, but this year she reseeded herself and the center point is full of candy lily. I bought another one a few weeks ago to plant in the back garden. While this is the end of the bloom, it is a very unique faded lily.

Little Bunny Foo Foo
Little Bunny Foo Foo hopping through the forest--pasture (click here for the song --I dare you) We have few little Foo Foos. My girls learned the song about the bunny hopping though the forest picking up mice, bopping them on the head. They are pretty used to us and unless Boone Doggle is on the run, they don't run from us; instead, they each have their own strategy for dealing with our presence:


#1 Bunny: hop slowly away.


#2 Bunny: Sit very, very still.


#3 Bunny: tuck in your ears to look invisible.


 Eggcellent


Sunday mornings I always cook a nice breakfast us. Even with the HG gone, I decided I'd cook breakfast instead of having my regular protein shake. With the hens producing more eggs--we are getting 5 or 6 eggs daily--I decided to break open the second largest egg. I am saving the big brown egg to open when the HG gets home. He thinks it will have 3 or 4 yokes. I say just two like the green egg. I always crack them into a little bowl to make sure that there aren't any surprises in the egg since they aren't candled. 
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And I had a most eggcellent breakfast.

Thank you for stopping bye. It is always nice to see you and to visit for a moment. I hope you have a really good week. Hugs.

PS Shameful commercial : Drop by Ann's Dollhouse Dreams to see the progress--only if you like.

And Linking up with Mosaic Monday at Lavender Cottage.





















16 comments:

  1. Fun doing chores with you! Loved seeing your garden and giggled when I read your comment about the onions and your sinuses...!!! Cute little bunny, beautiful lily and your eggs look delicious. I haven't had breakfast yet -- think I'll go break open an egg! Happy Monday!

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  2. It's hard to believe that harvest time is here already. Seems like we all just planted those things and were faithfully watering and weeding. Well, the weeding got away on me, here, too. Some years some things do well, other things don't. Like your cauliflower. The eggs look scrumptious. I have one for breakfast most mornings. But not as prettily coloured as yours! Have a great day.

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  3. Ann I adore seeing your garden and oh the animals especially bunny and oh those fresh eggs....I love seeing self seeded sunflowers in the garden too and watching them fade....your seasonal musings fit right into my Seasonal Celebrations meme if you want to link in this post.

    Great harvest. You remind me I have to dig the rest of the potatoes and harvest the rest of the onions...still getting other veggies and I just planted a fall garden...we shall see what grows.

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  4. I would love some of your fresh eggs...yummy! And the sunflowers are so pretty at the end of summer. Sweet bunny too! Enjoy your week! Sweet hugs, Diane

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  5. Enjoyed your pretty shots. The sunflowers are gorgeous and the fresh eggs are too! '-)

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  6. Lovely to have those fresh eggs for breakie...that sounds great.

    And, grinning here, nice to know that I am not the only gardener with holey cabbages...I guess I should pick mine soon...but it's still warm here. My bird planted sunflowers are blooming their silly heads off...the birds can't wait.

    Enjoy your quiet times.

    Jen

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  7. Lovely to have those fresh eggs for breakie...that sounds great.

    And, grinning here, nice to know that I am not the only gardener with holey cabbages...I guess I should pick mine soon...but it's still warm here. My bird planted sunflowers are blooming their silly heads off...the birds can't wait.

    Enjoy your quiet times.

    Jen

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  8. I sure do miss having fresh eggs to gather every day. Fall is definitely around the corner here, the leaves are starting to change and my flowers are really starting to dry up.

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  9. Hi Ann! Your breakfast looks great and so does your harvest! Wow! Great photos, too!

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  10. I suppose your freezer will be full of elk or deer for the winter, beats having to pay the prices at the market for meat. You had me worried about the rooster too but thank heavens they will sleep in on occasion and it would be pleasurable to feed the horses knowing how much they appreciate this job and the company.
    Fresh eggs are the best aren't they - when I buy mine at a nearby farm I know they were gathered that morning.
    Thanks for linking to Mosaic Monday Ann, here's to a wonderful September!

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  11. What a lovely post full of autumn - I always find it a sad time of year when everything in the garden is going over but look forward to the colours, bright mornings and the hedgerows full of bounty.

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  12. Farm fresh eggs, yum, and farm fresh, homegrown produce, yum, then add in horse and bunnies, oh my, you live a wonderful life, beautiful~

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  13. Your eggs are such pretty colors, I always enjoy seeing the different hues. How wonderful Mr heads off to his ancestoral hunting spot. Glad everything was ok with your animals. Fall was here last week but the heat has returned, I hate the heat. My neighbors Red Bud leaves have turned the first to do so, the leaves are coming of the black walnut and I know my hummingbirds will only be here a couple more weeks. I am usually read for fall but it seems as soon as it starts it becomes the run to the holidays. I just want life to slow down a little!

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  14. Your eggs are such pretty colors, I always enjoy seeing the different hues. How wonderful Mr heads off to his ancestoral hunting spot. Glad everything was ok with your animals. Fall was here last week but the heat has returned, I hate the heat. My neighbors Red Bud leaves have turned the first to do so, the leaves are coming of the black walnut and I know my hummingbirds will only be here a couple more weeks. I am usually read for fall but it seems as soon as it starts it becomes the run to the holidays. I just want life to slow down a little!

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  15. Love the eggs - and the sunflowers. I love to watch the birds pry the seeds out. Signs of fall are here in the Pacific Northwest too - rain has finally come - and we've had well over 4 inches in about 5 days - huge downpours - but we needed it after no measurable rain since May - so unusual. Your lilies are delightful!!!! Cute bunnies.

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  16. Fall is definitely arriving. In Northern Ireland we have had a change in weather from 1st Sept with quite a nip in the air. The sunflowers and need for comfort food coming into Autumn are wonderful feelings, which I do enjoy!! Your egg dish looks eggcellent.

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