Friday, August 05, 2011

August Already

It's a busy month already.  On Sunday I took Lara to see the last Harry Potter movie.  It was a birthday present to her.  We had originally gone to the theater in Woodruff on the opening weekend, but lo and behold, the show was sold out and we had to go home.  It never crossed my mind that any theater up here in the Northwoods would be sold out.  Anyway, she didn't mind waiting a while and going to the theater in Phillips instead of back to Woodruff.  We had a nice time and she liked the movie. 

On Monday Tom helped me can three bushels of beets from his garden since we had torrential rains that day.  He really must have been bored.

Then on Tuesday I took Lara to get her hair cut by Lori Wagner over at Lori's Nook in Butternut and we enjoyed our quarterly gab fest.

On Wednesday we took everybody to the Loon Day craft show in Mercer.  I bought my yearly 5 lb. bottle of honey.  This year I chose Basswood honey.  It was a tough choice between the Basswood or getting Tupelo honey.  The Basswood has a slight lemony taste to it and the Tupelo tastes like melted butter.  Both are so good!  I bought Ed a weird blob-type of toy that he likes -- he's very tactile, and Lara got a cranberry scented room spray.  I found a new strainer for the mud room utility sink drain, and Tom bought some mesquite barbeque sauce.  Loon Day is a big festival that draws people from all over the country.  Some years are better than others, and this year was better than last year.  We stopped at a vendor and bought hot dogs and bratwurst to eat.  It was a fun day.

Back to work on Thursday found me chopping down weeds out in the field in the hops yard with my Austrian sickle.  I uncovered 6 hops plants and have 9 more to find.  The sun is SO hot that I just can't stay outside for very long before I start feeling sick.  That pisses me off, too because the heat never used to bother me.  Well, we all have to be very careful while out in this ungodly heat.  (I think if I lived in Texas I would go mad.  Those poor farmers!  It's the Great Depression all over again.) The grass that I'm cutting is about shoulder high, but the hops plants aren't hard to spot.  The bines (hops vines are called bines) climb the strong-stemmed grass and then run over the tops.  All I have to do it grab a bine and follow it down to the ground to find the clump.  After that it's just a matter of cutting the grass around the hop plant mound.  The work is tedious because I didn't take care of the section earlier, but I have no one to blame but myself.   With the grass cut I wonder where the deer will sleep.  There are deer beds all over the place.  Figures they would like sleeping next to the corn section!
Uncovering hops mounds

The quest for nine more hops mounds

Tom and I made a wonderful discovery.  We have bull frogs!  I was reaching for a clump of grass to cut when something jumped.  Of course, I jumped, too.  I figured with my luck that it was a snake, but a closer look made me smile.  A bull frog! I haven't seen a bull frog up here in 50 years.  Honestly.  Then, Tom came across one as he was mowing, so I guess since we have two of them, there's a good chance we have more.  Anyway, the froggie was hiding in the grass next to a hop mound so I covered him up with the bines and cut the grass around him without scaring him away.

Tom has been cutting the grass inside the field fence.  We found some catnip, winter savory, elcampane, tansy, and mullein growing where the high tunnel used to be that I will transplant into the forest garden.  I had buckets to put them in but didn't have a shovel in the truck, so that will be a task for another day.  I love tansy even though it is very aggressive.  I used to hang bunches of it in the rooms of our house when we lived in Illinois and we never had problems with wee flying beasties annoying us.

I took a stroll over to the field section where I planted the barley, pie pumpkins and beets.  I've never planted barley before so I'm not real sure what I'm looking at, but the spot where I planted it looks a darker green than the areas around it so I'll just give it a while.  I was happy to see a bunch of pumpkin vines starting to run, but there was nary a sign of any beet in the 500' that were planted.  Drat!

Well, that's about it for now.  Be safe!

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