Thursday, June 21, 2012

A Hot Start to Summer

It is a hot, windless start to summer. By 9:00 am yesterday I was beginning to wilt while finishing the yard chores: finally planting the pole beans, watering some just-planted annuals and a few nasturtium seedlings. I am feeling good about the drip irrigation. This morning at 5:00 am I walked around to the back of the house and turned on the outdoor faucet, then listened to the drip, drip, drip as the main garden slowly absorbed the moisture. Today, when the temperature is predicted to reach 100 F, the irrigation system will earn some of its cost.

Here's how the garden looks on the first full day of summer, just as the morning sun is peaking over the house.
The heat-loving okra and peppers should show a burst of growth the next few days, while the cool-loving peas might sag. Speaking of veggies. We made a delicious dish last night with fresh bok choi (from Stout Oak Farm), freshly picked sugar snap peas, tofu, and a bunch of other things served with buckwheat noodles. This recipe was adapted from Kate Donald at Stout Oak Farm. Sometime in the near future I hope to add some recipes as a side bar. I'll include this one.

A robin pair re-used the successful phoebe nest under the deck. Robins are more restless than phoebes; the mother robin clucked every time we walked onto the deck or nearby the nest. Yet, she was successful in carrying the brood through to hatching. The nest has three robin nestlings and both parents are busy bringing insects to the young. Here are the three hungry (and hot) baby robins as they wait for more food; one flopped its head down when it realized that my arrival was not its mother bringing food.
Meanwhile, just a few feet away the phoebe had re-nested. This time on the seat of our canoe that is hanging upside down under the deck. You can tell that we don't canoe much! The phoebes just hatched. Here is a somewhat fuzzy picture of the mossy nest and the five young.
The two families--the robins and the phoebes--seem perfectly at ease near each other. These under-deck nest sites also seem quite safe from predators. I think the chipmunks, which are major predators on bird eggs and young, are too busy eating all of our small peaches in the front yard to notice these hard to reach bird nests.

Speaking of the chipmunks. I live-trapped one this morning, after I watched it skipping away from the old peach tree with a walnut-sized peach in its mouth. That was just one of many peaches they've run off with. Chipmunks are so easy to trap. Against my better professional judgement I drove the trap-happy chipmunk down the road and released it in a nice woodsy area with a stone wall. I hate to kill the cute little rodents.

Such are the goings on in our yard this hot summer day.

No comments:

Post a Comment