Tuesday, August 9, 2016

She Takes Her Job Seriously

The daily "round-up" is one of Annie's favorite times.
The equines have been grazing in the early morning hours.

And although I told you that they were grazing all night long just a couple of weeks ago...
it seemed as though they were all beginning to put on a little more weight.
So, it's back to dieting...
which means less time on pasture.

When it's time for everyone to return to the dry lot
I yell, "Let's go!" and Annie goes running into the pasture.

Moonbeam and the ponies always come running by the time I yell "go".
The littles, however, need a little more prodding...

a job that Annie is only too happy to perform.
She races around Ollie and Red as fast as she can,

barking in their faces.

It's annoying enough that anyone would move just to get away!

The next command is "Leave it!" as soon as they are obviously headed into the dry lot.

If I didn't call her off, she'd bark and bark and bark.
I think with time she will understand the subtleties of the job,
but for now, at least, she gets the job done!

"All that fuss to come in...now where's the food??"
(And by the way, yes, Ollie does have teeth.)

A few more photos from yesterday:

We have tons of Ruby Throated Hummingbirds right now.
It's not unusual to see a dozen of them hovering and dive-bombing around our 3 feeders.

This is the time of year when they drink and drink...
storing energy for their arduous journey to the Caribbean.
By the end of August and adult males will leave,
followed a couple weeks later by the females and this year's young.

Also busy gathering nectar is the great imitator... the hummingbird moth.
At first glance as it hovers over a blossom with its wings beating faster than the eye can see,
its long proboscis sipping nectar,
you wonder if it's some sort of tiny hummingbird. 

There is also a preponderance of Eastern Black Swallowtail butterflies right now...
flitting from flower to flower,
and floating on the breeze.

Later in the evening, while watering the garden,
 we found a Eastern Swallowtail caterpillar on a carrot stalk.
(Notice the tiny insect between his 3rd and 4th hind leg.)

A second batch of barn swallows is soon ready to leave the nest.
It's amazing how birds can raise two separate families in one summer's time!

You may have figured out from recent garden photos that I love cement rabbits.
I could very easily end up one of those older women with way too many yard ornaments!

But seriously, who can resist those cute little bunny faces!

We are having a rather abundant heirloom tomato harvest this year.

Yesterday, I cooked all of these along with some garden herbs, onions, and peppers,
a hot pepper, and garlic to make a large pot of spaghetti sauce.

Dipping each tomato in boiling water, first, to make removing the skins easy...
then using an immersion blender to smooth out the sauce a bit.

Everything simmered for several hours...
reducing the volume and thickening the sauce.

I also added green and Kalamata olives resulting in 5 quarts of Puttanesca sauce (our favorite.)


  1. i think teddy needs a job. she spends way too much time sleeping! yum...puttanesca! i need to buy some tomatoes, i'm eating too many of mine.

  2. Nice that Annie has a job and does it well..Love the picture of Ollie complaining.
    I gave up on my hummers but I do see them in the garden..rarely see any real butterflies.lots of little ones..Your Spaghetti sauce looks yummy..Pretty spicy huh? Nice post

  3. Wonderful photos . I have only seen a few hummers here this year at my feeders . Great veggie haul you are getting oh that sauce looks YUMMY ! Thanks for sharing , Have a good day !

  4. An American in TokyoAugust 9, 2016 at 9:00 PM

    Yum! The tomatoes and sauce look so delicious!

    I have a random question, how do you keep squirrels and/or rats out of your veggies?

  5. What a wonderful treat for the eyes and the nose...even if we have to use our imaginations :) We didn't have hummers on the farm in Kansas but here in Arkansas we are enjoying a whole mess of them! We must have more than a dozen at the feeders and next year I'm going to buy more. The raccoons broke 2 of my large "hummer" feeders and also broke 2 seed feeders so we finally put out a live trap. We caught 8 in just over a week and relocated them "up creek" literally. Hubby had to drive for miles and then let them go in a dammed area of the creek. We bought a raccoon proof feeder and put it between 2 trees on a fine wire...so far so good. Enjoy your hummers before they head down to us on their trip south :)


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