September usually gives me visions of sweaters and apples,
kitchen windowsills lined with the end of the summer's tomato harvest,
cool evenings and even cooler mornings,
the lifting of summer's humidity and oh, so much more.
It's the beginning of one of my favorite seasons.
(I have four favorites, you know, but some are more than others!)
This year I am renaming the month Swamptember....
as it seems to be none of the above things.
The only thing that assures me that August is behind us is the 7:15 AM
passage of the school bus.
I am praying that Swamptember does not leave us with Hot-tober!
It's felt like the hottest week of the entire summer, I swear.
The heat index hangs around 100 in the afternoon...
and falls to somewhere in the 80's at night.
After all the rainy weeks that July and August brought us, it seems the garden is
enjoying this new heatwave.
The above sunflower, stands over 10 feet tall, thanks to abundant rainfall.
What was once drowned and bedraggled has been given new life.
The zinnias, though soon coming to the end of their season, are still lovely.
The dahlias have only now begun to blossom.
And this arch placed next to the barn over the new walkway that we made,
is finally, after 4 months, covered in morning glories and moonflower vines.
(FYI... cattle panels from Tractor Supply make great arches.)
For some reason, though, only one lone moonflower has shown its face.
And even this one seems a bit shy.
At the end of last summer...
after finding that we had monarch caterpillars and chrysalis(s) on the
milkweed that came up wild in our front yard...
I joined a monarch conservation group and had our farm listed as a weigh station.
I made plans to turn the perennial garden next to the indoor arena
into a butterfly garden.
I planted and planted... added a butterfly house and a water source...
and scattered some milkweed seeds.
I noticed, yesterday that milkweed plants have emerged in this part of the garden,
and are covered with yellow monarch eggs.
This garden now attracts a large number of all types of butterflies,
and I couldn't be happier!
Over in the vegetable garden, I notice that although the rains killed my original
tomato plants, there are a number of Roma type tomato plants
emerging from seed... volunteers.
By the time we return from Africa, I should have enough to harvest,
roast, and freeze for use during the winter.
I've been keeping an eye on our lime bean box all summer and there has been no activity.
All of a sudden, with the heat, it has begun to flower...
so I think we may have a late harvest after all.
Also, there has been a lot of guinea activity in the garden again...
And there in the midst of the lima beans I found this...
These guineas are prolific layers.
If only I could find where they lay each day so that we could harvest these delicious eggs...
but that would mean I would be enjoying a farm-wide egg hunt on a daily basis.
I think I'll pass.
Today is hay day.
We are filling our barn for the winter.
Thankfully, with the addition of grazing muzzles, we have not had to use much hay this summer.
The horses have been able to spend many hours in the pasture...
and that makes them and me much happier!