August is Coming to an End

four ducklings

The four ducklings are growing fast. Ducklings often make a whistling sound. They’ll whistle when they are afraid or excited. They come whistling for breakfast.

garden snake
freshly baked bread
ripening apple
white plump
sweet annie

The sweet annie is up and getting ready to bloom. This plant has such a lovely scent, every part of it. It’s a sweet, soft mix of clove, cinnamon, nutmeg, and other spices. The leaves are delicate and dance in the slightest of breezes.

sweet annie
Artemisia annua phenolics

The chart above is from Artemisia annua Wikipedia entry. It lists the phenolics discovered in this fragrant herb. One of them, Rhamnetin, is an O-methylated flavonol that can be isolated from cloves. It’s like this one plant is a drug store all of its own.

It’s Easier with Another

blue august sky

Three days ago the sky was a cobalt blue with wispy clouds. Today’s sky is definitely fall like. Thick, grey clouds accompanied with gusty winds. Summer is coming to an end.

The two hens who decided to join forces and raise a brood together are fun to watch. Every hen raises her chicks slightly differently. But this is the first time I’ve had two hens pair up from the get go. When they were sitting on the clutch they were on top of each other.

Each day they go out together with their chicks, who happily float from one mother to the other. The two hens are never far apart. At night they squeeze into the same nest with all the little ones tucked underneath them.

They could be the start of a movement among hens. Why do it alone? It’s easier raising a brood with another.

Hottest Day of the Year

morning light in the cottonwoods

The forecast yesterday was for a hot day. 87ºF (30.6ºC). This morning the forecast changed to a high of 84ºF (28.9ºC). Our first day this summer above 80ºF. It felt warm from the first step this morning. The sun was already burning the top leaves of the cottonwoods. We topped out at 82ºF (27.8ºC). Tomorrow and beyond, we are back to cooler weather. A heat wave that lasts one day, that’s fine with me.

Blackberries ripening are a sure sign that it is August.

black berries
marjoram blossoms
daisies and marjoram

It’s a great day to relax and enjoy the colors of this time of year.

mint flowers
hollyhock blossoms
two mother hens

And what to make of these two? Here they are tonight, each coddling more than ten chicks underneath their feathers. They sat on the same clutch of eggs. Often on top of each other. I ordered baby chicks because they only had a few eggs and I needed to get more pullets. The baby chicks arrived Wednesday morning. I set them under both of them. I’m not sure how they determine which chick is going with which mother when they all wake up each morning, but they’ve got it figured out.

I’m afraid what the bill will be for all the therapists the chicks will require when they grow up. “I never could figure out who my mother was,” I can hear the chickens tell their therapist.

Morning Surprise

Kaku with ducklings

Will she or won’t she hatch those ducklings? That was what I was wondering about Kaku. She’d been sitting on a second clutch of eggs for a long time. This morning I had my answer. She was swimming in the tank with three ducklings. Only, these weren’t day old ducklings. They were at least a week old. She’d managed to keep the secret for some time. Later I saw there were four ducklings, one circling the tank below, looking for her.

potatoes from one plant

It’s always a joy digging up a potato plant. From one little 80 gram potato planted not that many months ago, 1.38 kilos of potatoes, 3 pounds of potatoes. That’s a 17 fold increase in just three months.

1381 grams of potatoes
cat mint flowers

Late summer and the cat mint is in full bloom. The mornings have been cool enough to have the heat on a bit to take the chill off. I’m never ready for fall this time of year. I want August to go on much longer. But seeing the fall colors always changes my mind.

cat mint flowers

After the Rains

Recent rains interrupted our August sun, but it is back. The chickens are happy. Very happy.

The end of June chicks are over a month old. They no longer panic when they can’t see their mother. They can take a nap in the sunshine when they tire. They love to huddle.

And they are forever curious. Watching them run around chasing bugs, darting this way, that way, it’s a great way to spend a lazy summer day.

I forgot to pick up the coffee beans I ordered yesterday. Maybe it was the unexpected rain. The hint of fall in the air. I remembered this morning while grinding coffee that I forgot to pick the beans up yesterday afternoon. This afternoon was a better day to bike along Friday Creek to get coffee beans from Gilda. Visiting her coffee hut to get freshly roasted beans is always a joy.

An August Morning

sprinkler on lawn

August morning, the season for sprinklers. The soft szz szz szz szz sound they make as the spin is soothing. It’s comforting working in the garden and listening to the sprinklers in the background.

spider web in lawn

Morning dew reveals the spider webs in the lawn. They appear as thick clouds, shrouding the lawn. I suppose morning time, when the webs are so visible, is not a productive time for the spiders. Any creature is sure to see their snare and stay clear. If I were a spider, I’d sleep in until the sun dried my web, and I felt a juicy bug wriggle my web.

spider web in lawn
spider web in lawn
ducks on morning pond
dead bee on daisy

The dead bee I found on the daisy is still lying in state. Nothing has disturbed it during the night. How many others passed during the night to mourn her passing? How long will she wait in state until a breeze takes her to her grave, or raindrops wash her body away? She may slip quietly onto the ground, covered by dust by summer’s end, each year a little more dust collecting on top of her, until millions of years pass, and one day a paleontologist uncovers her fossilized body. Maybe I should wrap her body in parchment, write a note for that paleontologist, letting them know she died on a daisy in August. That certainly would shock the paleontologist, to uncover a fossil with a note.

August Evening

The pond in August makes the perfect dining room. The conversation turns to what the ducks on the other side of the pond are doing. Needing to wear long sleeved shirts in August is a luxury. We’ve yet to reach 80º this summer on Bow Hill. There are no 80º days in the forecast so maybe this summer we won’t get that warm. Then again there is still all of August to go.

Things are always different when you look closely at them. From a distance, this cluster of daisies look serene.

Yet one of the daisies is the final resting place for this bee. It’s short life is over. When a worker bee dies far from the hive, is it even missed? I’m sure no search party is sent out to look for it. The buzz at the hive goes on.

Nearby, two other worker bees are working into the evening, gathering pollen and nectar to take bake to their hive. Maybe they’ll tell the others at the hive that worker 721893 won’t be coming home.

It’s bedtime for the chicks. They are big enough now that they don’t need the warmth of their mother. They couldn’t possibly fit underneath her anyway. Soon they’ll be roosting and on their own.