Monday, July 4, 2011

Late June On The Farm

Ah the moving and repair business is ongoing, though lately it's been more about getting appliances in place so someone can actually live there. In the meantime, the late afternoons and evenings on the farm have been spent in the garden and outdoors. I have to admit, this is one of the better gardens I have planted in several years, though it has much less diversity than in the past. I miss my sunflowers and morning glories, though I think we will have some very late corn and I put some bush string beans in.

The diversity of wildlife on this place is amazing. I get far fewer pictures that what I see when I am there. You have to be quick and my hands are often occupied when something flies or scampers by. But here are a few good pics...

An overview of the garden in late June. Things are finally starting to grow now that we are getting some warm weather.

I'm very proud of those tomato plants. The flowers are popping on  them and they have great height for this time of year. It's very warm and sunny there.

Peppers are doing well too, though the first 6 got some kind of blight that made them start losing their lower leaves. The leaves are slowly growing back and the tops look OK.

The summer squash I planted as transplants are taking off, and the seeded ones all came up. The soil is tight and gritty so seeds have a tough time. I left thin mulch over the top which keeps the moisture in and helps keep the soil from compacting too much.

Looks like we have more rain coming in. It's been a wet June.

Can't get over the size of those tomato plants. These need tying up again! The potatoes in the background are starting to flower. I saw some potato beetle larvae in them, but the birds are doing a great job of picking them off. They like to sit on the tomato and cucumber trellis stakes before swooping down.

A little bit of summer lettuce planted between the potatoes and tomatoes.

In the foreground is the melon bed, and behind that is the winter squash and pumpkins. We're starting to see vining and blossoms on them all.

A kind of faded shot of my cucumber trellis where the vines are just starting to wander around. The little orangey-red flower at one end is a marigold plant and next to it is the grandson's nasturtium.

Eggplant and basil hanging out and doing very well!

A male red-winged blackbird foraging for insects in the field. Birds hunting out in the grass are a common sight. Even the swallows swoop low over it trying to catch something on the wing.

My little buddy, the chipping sparrow is back!

He seems to love the tops of those tomato stakes as a perch.

I can't resist sky shots on the days when the clouds are interesting.

Oh oh... here comes trouble! Can you see him (or her)?

Yeah, it's a woodchuck, alias 'walking mouth and stomach'. I knew one of these nemeses of gardens would show up sooner or later. Just eat the weeds please and leave my unfenced garden alone!

Another sky shot, as some wet clouds started to come in.

With the wind picking up, the birds were hustling for cover.

I finally managed to get a picture of barn swallows in flight. They don't stay still long!

This is a shot of the lower end of the pond. You can see how all the brush has grown in. We will be clearing some of it over time, but right now it is nesting season, and so we don't want to disturb anyone. Besides, we have enough to do as it is!

Looking back toward the garden at dusk one evening. That's not even all of it in this shot!

Another shot of the pond from the lower end, with a bit more depth. There is a whole world of creatures out there that depend on those wetlands for their home. I'm proud to host them.

The garden as shot from the edge of the pond to show you how far across the field I am.

That's the upper corner of the field from about halfway across.

Looking back toward the house from halfway across the field.

Walking back past the garden, I saw a winter squash blossom closing up for the day.

The Italian flat leaf parsley at the end of the summer squash bed seems happy. 

I'm happy too. This is such a peaceful place to spend the second half of my life in. So much to see and do, and yet plenty of serenity—even in spite of the almost constant highway noise. There are times when I can close my eyes and see this place as it first was, likely a Colonial area farm being cleared by the side of a rutted stagecoach road. Many of Connecticut's highways started out that way. No matter how many changes and updates this place has had, it has always been someone's home. I'm just the latest in a long line of occupants who all had something in common—we love working the land. 

And on this Independence Day here in the US, I'm reminded of the story I heard about the original builder of this house. It seems his work got interrupted when he had to go off and fight for the right of his fledgling country to be able to govern themselves. And when he came back after the war, he finished building the house I'm going to be living in. So I thank him, and all of those men and women who fight or have fought to keep and protect our freedoms, and celebrate their honor and sacrifice to the rest of us. 

Live in peace and honest pride,

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