Friday, June 29, 2012
End of June: Pushing Up Daisies
Where does one begin to recap 20 days of June?
So many things have happened since my last post.
I was successful picking, washing, prepping strawberries for jam. On my sideboard, lined up like soldiers, a variety of glass jam jars-- all glowing shades of ruby. The jam is absolutely yum.
This weekend I plan on picking cherries and blueberries. The season has just started for blueberries, but because of unusual Spring weather, the cherries may be scarce. I hope I haven't missed the boat on cherries. Last year I missed the strawberries. Our gardens are in the best conditions, even with Bundini on the loose.Thus far, we have picked fresh lettuce, zucchini, yellow squash. Our kale and Swiss chard plants are ready for plucking. It was quite warm yesterday and today promises to be hotter. I need to do some weeding in the South garden this morning before the sun kicks up the heat. The South garden has always been hard to manage, but this year our weed patrol has worked out well. I guess we have a routine. Even though the gardens are flourishing, they seem different without those pesky weeds.
Next week, the baby chicks and turkeys will arrive. We're getting ready for them. Our veteran chickens and ducks have been having a wonderful time eating all the ripe mulberries. We have three trees on our farm. We planted them, so the birds wouldn't pick at the young fruit on our fruit trees. It's quite remarkable watching the many birds (orioles, robins, bluebirds, finches and so on) shake down the fruit. Our mulberry trees are so lovely. Their branches sweep and swirl like ball gowns. So the birds' constant trimming-- the scissor-cut flight in and out of the trees is something to behold. And the chickens stand below, ready to gobble up the spoils.
Have seen at least 3 just-hours-old fawns in the past week. No bigger than 2 feet tall and steady on their legs. What I didn't know, but was schooled by my friend Deb,who is growing a garden on our land because the deer are so rampant in her area and eat everything to the nub, is the hours after a fawn is born, the mother leaves her baby in a hidden space and goes out to feed for quite a few hours. I guess the feeding gives her a chance to store food and energy and gets her milk supply ready to flow. Then, she comes back and takes care of her baby. Several weeks ago, we had one of these newborns on our front lawn near our Blue Spruce. We were concerned about the fawn, because we thought that the mother had been hit. The
woods across from our farm is the site of the CCC and POW camp. There has been work going on by a zealous volunteer group to clear the area with the ambition of restoring the site to its original condition.
They were very excited about their discovery of the camp's latrine. Consequently in all of this clear-cutting of trees and brush, the wildlife has been seriously disturbed. The red tail hawks which have nested in this woods for years haven't been present in two years. The wild turkeys have moved elsewhere. The deer haven't been around in numbers in two years. . . It goes on and on and we are not keeping silent about this disruption. So now you have the side story as to why this mother deer was probably frightened by the volunteers and left her baby out in the open. We call DEC to alert them about the fawn. It's possible someone stopped and picked the fawn up, or the mother came back. But now I know about this feeding ritual and will wait . . .