It’s been such a hot summer, not that I am complaining mind you because no one would listen, I’m just saying it a nice change to what we endured last summer. The garden is going well this year and producing quite a bit for its first year in this location. I’m pleased.
Another thing that pleases me is after 9 years, yes 9 years we now have 2 outside water faucets! I know, I know you ask yourself what is the hold up? Personally I didn’t know either, just one of those things on the to do list of building a new house that didn’t get done. All this time I have been carrying water bucket by bucket to the garden and flowers. Well not any more I feel so elite I have outside water and I’m going to let everyone know about it. I did the same thing when the ditch and lines were run to the barn and the frost pump was put in a few years back. Now THAT made me just as happy because I was lugging water several times a day way up there to water the animals. Even now I every so often will call my girlfriend whose husband helped us put it in and simply tell her I have water at the barn. She will laugh and say ” I know”…
Yesterday despite the high humidity and heat I started up the stove and pickled the cucumbers I showed you in Daisy’s wagon. 18 quarts and 14 pints of dills. I also put up 8 pints and 1 quart of dilled zucchini and summer squashed mixed. I did pints because I will be decorating these jars for part of my gift giving this holiday season. I’m working on special labels for them which I will share with you as soon as I get them done.
The next pickle session will be bread and butter. I expect the next round of cukes to be smaller so saved the bread & butter until then because we still have several jars from last year.
I also got a good chuckle from the chickens yesterday, no comedy show writer could ever come up something that good. I decided to add another large tub of water for them and it was sitting there all ready for them when I let them out for the morning. Our rooster took one look and fluffed himself up and decided to challenge that stranger tub of water. The girls saw this and took off running for the safety of their coop clucking for all they are worth. I couldn’t help but laugh at them. And the best I can tell they never did find out it was only water for them. Last night they were still taking a wide path around that intruder who wouldn’t leave their pen.
It’s important in this heat and humidity to give the animals more than enough fresh clean water the tricky part is getting them to drink it. You can lead a horse to water (or chicken) but you can’t make them drink. This morning they found the intruder still there and gave a small display of dislike but went about their business of eating fresh greens.
When it’s so hot like this I take and freeze 2 liter bottles of water and put several in the coop for them. Our solar fan is working well and they seemed happier when I put them away last night. I have an idea to put more frozen bottles stood up on end and placed 2 feet or so away from the outside of the coop wall. A wall of ice to cool the air between the ice and the coop. I hope they will discover it’s cooler between the bottles of ice and the coop wall. We shall see if they can figure it out or if they will fight them off all day like the bucket of water. I know it will be a short term cool down but I can change the bottles out a couple of times today, there are plenty in the large freezer.
I would like to mention that the bottles once melted I bring to the outside water and give them all a good scrub with soap and water before putting back in the freezer. I know it sounds a bit extreme or that some how this is pampering chickens, but these birds are panting even in the shade. Heat stroke is a real concern until the humidity and temps drop. A few weeks ago I lost 4 due to the heat.
Speaking of loosing birds, as I sat here looking out the window late yesterday afternoon I saw a huge bird sort of like a hawk swoop down toward the birds in their run. Lucky for them and me the bird netting was up. The bird bounced off the netting and took off. So that hawk or what ever it was I think is part to blame for the missing chickens a couple of weeks ago. Our neighbor up the road recently shot a red fox who was walking off with one of her guinea hens so that will help us too because I think the fox has been here as well and taken a few birds. Ah’ the joys of country life…
I’m off now to finish up the monthly newsletter I put together for the Lodge, get that printed, folded, addressed, stamped and mailed before going to work today. Next weekend is going to be a fun time, there is a Special Ladies’ Day Picnic being held up at the lake for us. “The guys are going to do all the cooking…Can you bring a couple small bowls of your potato salad?” “You know how well everyone likes it and looks forward to it for the monthly dinners…. oh’ enough for 50 people or so”… 🙂 It’s going to be a fine and fun day I am looking forward to it. I think I might pull the batch of Gardner’s soap off the drying rack and package it up with a special label to celebrate the day and share with the other ladies. I’m not giving out any hints but the Master has a special surprize for them I have been working on with him for a few weeks now. It’s going to be good.