Tuesday, September 30, 2014

chicks in the garden

Can you see whose hiding beneath the beans?

Yep, it's Kat's little chicks!!  Normally I get pretty crazy when I find chickens in the garden.  But these little sweeties - well, I'm charmed. In another week or two they won't be able to squeeze through the gate's gap, and in the meantime they are too little to do much damage.  And of course, they're super duper cute!!

These lucky clucks get their photo taken instead of being chased around and around.

Monday, September 29, 2014

Biscuit - the addict

Biscuit spends a lot of time devoted to catnip.  A lot.

At our place, this plant has spread all over.  Which seems to please my kitty to no end.  When he follows me around through the day, he usually can find a nearby patch to hang out with.  And when I'm inside, he lounges on the kitchen step where he can easily reach a clump.

For some reason, he's been into licking it lately.  Usually he nibbles on it, but it's all about the surface taste right now.

And boy, is he happy!

Sunday, September 28, 2014

pumpkin time

We decided that it was time to harvest our pumpkins and the boys were eager to pitch in.

I don't think they were planning on having to brave the jungle, I mean the garden, to get to them. Here you can see bok choi, quinoa, green bell peppers, stevia, fennel, and way too many weeds, along with the intrepid explorers.

A. has been eyeballing this pumpkin all season.  At least once a week he asked me, "Mom!  Have you seen the big pumpkin?!".  Whether I said yes or no - didn't matter.  He was prepared to give a full report on the current state of the matter.  There was really no question on which pumpkin he was going to claim.

Little J. picked a no-surprise pumpkin.  The no-surprise was that the pumpkin plant decided to ignore the area I wanted it to grow, and sent a vine to plunder the neighboring colonies of radish, bok choi, bush beans, cabbage, and finally settle in the quinoa row.  I think we were all charmed by the pumpkin's audacity and with such a sassy attitude, how could Little J. resist.

Big J. sweetly did all the heavy lifting for us.

What's especially neat for me was that last fall I had a bunch of squash stored for us to eat through the winter.  I finally got to the last one - a pumpkin in March.  When I cut it open, I saw that seeds had begun sprouting inside the pumpkin!  I saved a bunch and planted them.  Only one made it - and all of these pumpkins came from that one sprouted seed.

Saturday, September 27, 2014

odd caterpillar, and annoying cat

This week I saw a pretty caterpillar that I couldn't recognize.  I grabbed my camera hoping to take some photos to help me learn what he is.

This first picture is nice, because it shows the smooth black bands that stretch and shrink when he moves.

I like this picture because how clear his spiky hair was.

Hoping to get a less fuzzy/better shot at the caterpillar's black bands, I continued laying on the grass with the camera pointed and ready, waiting patiently for him to move along.

Who should take full advantage of the situation but Biscuit.  He laid down smack in front of me - effectively blocking my view of the caterpillar.

By the time I got him to move along, the caterpillar had decided to move along, too.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

this morning's puttering

I decided to grab my camera and share with you some of my morning's highlights.

Kat and her babies
This is Kat, A.'s hen with three of her six chicks.  She hatched these guys a month ago, and is a very good mother.

chicks following their two moms, Kat left, Big Momma right

Of course, some of the other ladies really liked the chicks too, especially Big Momma.  Even though she didn't hatch her own, as soon as I let Kat and her babies out of the brooder, she immediately tried to take over.  And now, both Kat (reluctantly) and Big Momma (happily) are co-parenting.

After taking care of my ladies, I went to pick some Asian Pears.  One tree produced very few, but the other is completely loaded.

We've been picking grocery bags for weeks now, and still have probably 4 or 5 or ??? more baskets like this to still pick.

And here is the Liberty Apple tree - also abundant this year.  I just love these apples!

I think this might be my favorite type of apple

Want some?  Come on over!  There's plenty to share.

Monday, September 8, 2014

back to school

I can hardly believe that today is the first day of school already! Seems like we just got out for the summer.

Little J. is a sophomore this year.  He came home this afternoon pumped about all his classes and getting together with friends.  It was sure quiet around the house today without him!

A ham-bone, thru & thru

A. is in eighth grade this year.   We are homeschooling again, and I look forward to an exciting year of us learning together.

Every year I am equally amazed at how much we all learn, and at how much more we want to explore that we never get to. In any case, I love the freedom of interest based learning, and all the loopy paths it brings!