We’ve had some days recently that have been so hot, they’ve felt like summer. There are irises blooming near the chicken coop. They’re so pretty. We have so many of the yellow irises taking up such a large area and Jeff wants to dig them up in the fall, keep some for ourselves and sell or trade (interested?) the rest. Then we can plant more vegetables there and put the yellow irises in another area. We adore flowers, but like to have them interspersed throughout the garden because growing food is very important to us too.
There are poppy flowers coming up everywhere. Jeff doesn’t want to pull any up because they are so beautiful when they bloom, but we must or else we would have no room to grown anything else in the garden. We have entire garden beds thick with them, which won’t do. They’re going to have to share the space.
We discovered tons of these little caterpillars in the mint bed this week. Jeff said that they would eat up everything in our garden so we’ve been feeding them to the chickens every time we find them.
The little apple trees that we planted and the cherry tree are covered in leaves now. It looks funny to see these small looking sticks, that were barren so recently when we planted them, all covered in green now.
Bracken has a new nickname. Bracken Appleseed. For awhile now he has been taking apple cores, apple seeds, orange seeds, plum pits (and whatever else we’ve been eating) and planting them in the garden. Jeff and I both looked at each other, surprised when he first did it. He had planted his own beans and other things in the garden after seeing us do it, but we hadn’t planted any of those fruit bits he started putting in the ground. He had the idea on his own. (In the pictures he is holding sunflower seeds that he asked us for.) On one day Bracken, of his own accord, planted some apple seeds in the garden, Jeff jokingly called him Bracken Appleseed and it stuck. Then Jeff told Bracken a story about Johnny Appleseed and now Bracken has been begging us (and grandma on the phone) to tell him more Johnny Appleseed stories. He has another “character” that he’s crazy about now, other than Winnie-the-Pooh. I’m planning to pick up some books about Johnny Appleseed at the library, to read to Bracken. Bracken watches Jeff and I write grocery lists up on the refrigerator all the time and then put them by the front door, to bring with us to town. Yesterday Bracken went to the fridge, drew on a piece of paper with a pen, and then placed it by the front door. He told me that it was his list and that it said for us to get Johnny Appleseed books from the library. Now we’ll be sure to remember.
The other day I took this picture of the mason bee tubes. There was clay visible in 6 of the tubes. That means the mason bees have laid eggs in those tubes. Today we counted clay in 8 tubes! We get so excited when we see them in more. Some of you have commented about mason bees and I want to share a favorite resource for information about them: Crown Bees. They are a treasure trove of good information. Also, you can sign up for BeeMail (in the upper left corner of their website) and they’ll send info straight to your inbox.
And finally, we’ve been experiencing the most magical thing right outside our doorstep. I know I’ve mentioned here before that a mama robin made a next by our front door. I’ve never experienced the whole process this closely before and it’s been amazing. When the baby robins were first born, they weren’t the cutest things in the world, truth be told. I almost said “they’re so cute” and then I stopped myself because that wasn’t really the correct way to describe them. Now, though, they are absolutely adorable. We don’t get that close to the nest, but whenever we step out our door we’ve been seeing the sweetest little robin eyes looking at us, poking their heads up out of the nest. Today mama robin and father robin were away searching for worms so I got closer than I’ve ever been before and snapped a picture. Then I quickly gave them their space again. It looks like there are three robins in the nest. And I’m so glad I got this picture because I don’t think it will be long before they will be flying away and leaving the nest. One thing that has been really baffling my mind is that the birds can weave such intricate nests with their beaks. Isn’t that amazing?