Hard to believe it’s August already! The summer seems to fly by more quickly every year!
I never got a garden growing this year, even though it was plowed and ready. So now, I am thinking of what can be planted for fall crops. Rockingham County appears to be Plant Hardiness Zones 6a and 6B. I need to get busy and put in some carrots, beans, beets, and lots of leafy veggies. Maybe. We are having a groundhog problem. My dog is the mighty hunter, but I fear there are way too many clever whistle pigs for him to catch!
My front rock garden has a few returning succulents, some beautiful limelight hydrangeas, and two miniature lilacs. My mix of returning echinacea, and other perennials, had their heads lopped off by rabbits and the groundhog who makes its home under my front porch. My oregano and Russian sage remain safe from hungry critters. The trap needs to be set up, to try to catch the elusive groundhog.
Due to crazy weather and unexpected frosts, none of my fruit trees are bearing any fruit. I found one tiny Seckle pear, and that was it. The grapes are growing well. All the flowers I bought with the dream of planting them in the front garden, are blooming profusely on my back deck. I refuse to donate them all to a groundhog/rabbit banquet!
I am happy our property is a haven for all wildlife, but I wish they would leave all my plants alone!
Wildlife abounds here. The pond is full of fish and turtles, and feeds the Belted Kingfishers, Green and Great Blue Heron families who frequent here. The Redwing Blackbirds, and Kingfishers sit atop the wires around the pond. I love to hear the Kingfisher’s familiar rattling call.
The Great Blue Herons are pretty wary, and their loud squawk matches their pterodactyl appearance as they soar away.
In the trees behind my little chicken “nursery” coop, some kind of bird was hanging out. I couldn’t see a nest, but there were bird dropping everywhere there. The other day, I discovered it was the green herons. I found one of the juveniles dead on the ground behind the coop. My 3 pullets were lined up in their pen staring down at him. It was sad, but I was glad that I was able to see one up close. A very pretty bird. The circle of life continued, when it was apparently carted off by some nighttime visitor for their meal.
The deer cross back and forth every morning and evening. This year, a set of twin fawns and 2 other babies have joined the herd.
Skunks live here somewhere. I see 2 of them almost every evening, ambling across the field or down my driveway. One mostly black, and one fluffy mostly white. A neighbor has seen the white with babies, fortunately not close to my house! In the evenings, when I go out to close up the barn and coops, if I smell a skunk, the dog does NOT accompany me! The scent carries, but since I don’t know how close they are, I am not taking any chances with the dog! Walking down my driveway one evening, I almost crossed paths with the white one! Even though their eyesight is not the best, she knew I was there, and stared in my direction, tail raised. I walked very quickly in the opposite direction, and she continued on her path! Whew!
Not too long ago, I lost some silkie hens to an intruder, who somehow got under the wire run. Very sad- my favorite little hens!
Every evening since then, all the chickens are securely locked into the inner pen. One early morning, I saw the intruder scurry off – it was a mink! It hasn’t been back, that I know of, since his attempts at getting at the chickens has been thwarted.
Along with a variety of wild birds, non-venomous snakes, field mice, rats(!), possum, raccoons, and fox, life in the country is always entertaining. Not always great for gardening attempts, but entertaining!
Enjoy the rest of your summer – the last fairs of the season are a fun way to end it. The Rockingham Fair and the Bergton Fair are always a good time. And, then school starts way too soon, for teachers and students alike, I bet!
See you in September – all is well here at Mountain Meadows