Thank you for all of your ideas, suggestions, and personal stories regarding our discussion of flies in yesterday's post. A really great point was brought out that I had not considered. With cicadas being more than plentiful this year, the birds and reptiles that normally eat flies are satiated with larger meals (cicadas) and most likely are not eating the amount of flies that they normally would. I think it is highly likely that this is the principal reason for the hoards of flies that are so abundant around our farm this year.
It's been an amazing berry year so far. I have been picking black raspberries almost daily and have frozen at least a dozen quarts of them. What yummy jam (and maybe a pie) these will make this winter!
I enjoyed a few magical moments yesterday afternoon as I walked along the wood's edge between rain storms. The air was much cooler than it had been in days and my long sleeves and long pants were comfortable. In the orchard, behind me, I heard the rat-a-tat-tat of a pileated woodpecker. Gone was the overpowering din of cicada song, replaced by occasional waves of their scritchity song.
I reflected back on my week. On Tuesday I went to town to attend a memorial service for the mother of one of my long-time friends. As we sang the old hymn, It Is Well With My Soul - that starts out, "When peace like a river attendeth my way..." I was reminded of life on the farm. This quiet life, walking hand in hand with nature most definitely is peace like a river. In this little patch of green, filled with such abundance, it is most definitely well with my soul!
As I filled my bowl with fruit, I heard the soft chatter of the runner ducks. It's unusual to see them this close to the house in their daily wanderings. There they were, bill to ground, gobbling up whatever it was they were searching for.
They were wary of my presence and eventually sought cover in the woods. I kept picking, however, and they eventually emerged once again. Interestingly, our eleven ducks split into two groups each day... one group of eight, and another of three.
They can usually be found at opposite ends of the farm... meeting in the middle at their yard for occasional drinks and swims in their pools. I still have not figured out what drives this "clique" behavior. It's curious, for sure.
I also stopped to check in on Pop(py) and Posie.
"Pop" is growing more handsome by the day with his fluffy cheek muffs. Every morning, he crows his welcome to the farm. If only he were a she.....
There is hardly a day that goes by without seeing our lovely doe. She has gotten so used to our presence that she is never in a hurry to escape our gaze... often stopping at the edge of the woods to look back at us.
As I traveled from one part of the farm to another in search of juicy berries, I snapped a few photos along the way. I stopped by the pond to check on the pond ducks, of which there are only two (the 50 mallards that stay here in the winter must have summer homes elsewhere.) Stella and Beau were busily grooming themselves...
not bothered by my presence. They went right on getting all of their feathers in order.
As I headed back towards the old log cabin, I caught sight of our feral kitty. He/she had been elusive the past couple of weeks. Fearing that he/she might be hungry, I went to the barn and got a can of cat food for her, which I opened and placed outside the old log cabin. I am hoping by winter this kitty will feel comfortable enough to call the barn "home."
At the barn, my roses are blooming in red, pink...
and this new rose, just planted this year...
In the garden, the larkspur that I started in the greenhouse is now blooming amongst the zinnias. I am hoping that this re-seeds itself and spreads out a bit next summer.
Yesterday's rain was wonderful. As I ran a few errands, I was caught in quite torrential storms, however, we only received a quarter inch here on the farm. I am hoping that today brings more precipitation. It's quite dry for this early in the summer.
I will be spending the rest of today in the kitchen, finishing up preparation for Saturday's picnic. I'll be sure to take some photos of the festivities and share them with you on Monday. Have a lovely Fourth of July weekend and stay safe!!
PS: Happy Birthday today to our Easton (4) and also to Dr. Becky!!