Under Attack

All one has to do these days is walk into the dry lot,

and you'd swear you walked into a kamikaze attack.

From every direction, barn swallows swoop and dive...
coming within inches of your head.

Yesterday, there were six of them on the attack...
doing their best to move me along as I picked up manure 
in front of the barn.

We have four active barn swallow nests in the barn.

These eight parents and their babies
(potentially 2 broods of four to five babies per pair of parents).
could grow to as many as 48 swallows by the end of the summer...
unless the barn kitties have their way.

Typically, the cats are their targets as they nap in the barn driveway.
The barn kitties ignore the dive-bombing and go about their normal routine...

It's no wonder I keep finding bird poop on the top of my horses' backs.

The earth must have heard my plea on Monday,
because Monday night we had a shower followed by a cool, cloudy Tuesday.
It was heavenly... and timed perfectly, as I am a bit under the weather
with a brand new upper respiratory infection.

I spent the morning picking berries.
Cool weather and no bugs made the morning the perfect time for this
time-consuming task.
Happily, all of these are stowed in the freezer for later use.

You asked how big the Mexican sour gherkins are....

Very small!

It looks like we might get a good amount of grapes this year.

The strange thing is...
 we have a terrible Japanese beetle infestation
I put traps out and they are filling up quickly.
I am happy to report that the traps successfully pulled the beetles
off of the blueberry bushes for the most part.
The grapes are another story.
However it may play to our advantage.
Without the leave covering over the grapes, they should 
ripen nicely this year.
Fingers crossed.

It's always something, isn't it?


Marsha said…
Please get well soon, not good...
daisy g said…
Sorry you are not feeling well. Please take care.

Do you feed the beetles to your chickens? I've heard they consider them a real treat.

Ooooh, those blueberries look scrumptious!
The JR said…
I had wrens nest on our porch. They were on a stack of boxes with clothes that I was going to donate. Due to the virus, etc., I had not gotten them into Jackson to deliver them to "Dress for Success".

.........anyway, the wrens made a nest. When the babies got big enough to holler, our 2 yard cats tried to get them.

So, I picked the cats up and put them in prison so they could not get the nest or the babies when they fledged.

We have a 3-6 x 12 caged area's on one side of the building that use to be horse stalls. This is where our feral (now tame) cats were put after they were spayed and neutered.

Bob and Wave are now in prison. I'm tired of them killing everything in the yard. They have huge fans on them and I know where they are all the time now.

farm buddy said…
Hope you feel better soon.
My chickens LOVE Japanese beetles! Your chickens will thank you if you dump your traps in an area where they have access! My chickens will not touch potato bugs and many others, but they love, love Japanese beetles!!! Glad you had some rain too!
Marcia LaRue said…
An upper respiratory infection does not sound good, Bev ... especially since you had the kids with you over the weekend! Let's hope that is all it is and not the dreaded virus!
That pan full of blueberries ... OMG
littlemancat said…
Take care,Bev. We'll all be thinking about you,sending good wishes!
Your blueberries look delicious, and love the little pickles! Look just like mini watermelons.
Lots of Japanese beetles around here too - ugh!
This N That said…
Barn swallows used to dive bomb me when I was mowing but they were going after the bugs I kicked up with the mower..Hope your URI is just that and not something else..feel better..Where did you find cool weather?? It was 82 at nine o'clock this AM..Oh yes, You were up much earlier than that..Cute sour gherkins..I hope your Japanese beetle traps are down by the pond or along the road..They come from miles and "seed" your ground for next years bunch..We always told people to put them in their neighbors yards when we sold them..Glad you had some rain..The umbrella is back up over Mech. Feel better soon..
Judy said…
Beautiful farm! Beautiful blog!
Our garden is under attack from the relenting sun here in the desert and from the mice that are eating everyone of my tomatoes before they have a chance to ripen. Very frustrating. I think our cats prefer larger prey.
I hope you get well quickly and this isn't anything serious.
Dear Bev,
I am so sorry you are not well. You take care, and rest.
Oh those blasted beetles! I have been having trouble with cut bees on my roses.
Be well, my friend