30 July 2006

Murfreesboro, TN(Zone 7a)

Good morning, everyone ~

Well, we ARE foolish humans, so we choose the hottest month of summer to transplant some shrubs. Needless to say, they are doing poorly in the 105 degree temps. It's one of those "what was I thinking!" moments!

Pretty much my life has been to water everything at least every day, and some things twice a day. The nights are cooling off again, into the low 70s, so at least there is a little bit of a break when everything might even be able to absorb some of that water. Everyone, people, dogs, plants, are pretty wilted looking around here. I think this is par for the course for summer in the desert. Only the fat lizards and the dragon flies look like they don't mind the noon day heat.

I have observed two rivaling families of birds at the bird feeder. There's family number one, with mom, pop and two fully grown babies, and a group of 6 (I don't know their relationships). Some days I think there is more posturing and squabbling than feeding going on. Interesting to note, though, they never fight about the water. Whomever drinks whenever, and sometimes birds from the rival groups drink together. I guess they are well fed enough to squabble over tasty sun flower seeds, but know better than to fight over the life and death issue of water in the desert.

Each of my 4 little fruit trees are hosts to one lovely garden spider. They are each getting fairly big. I like to think that they are sisters from the multitude of little tiny babies that I saw earlier in the year. I don't think they speak English, but I encourage them to eat all the little bug-a-boos that might want to snack on fruit trees each time I see them (which is every day recently, since we're at the height of irrigation weather right now).

Speaking of fruit trees, they are soon going to start looking rather strange as I have just purchased some clothes pins to start weighting down branches to increase the branch angles. I have written in my journal several times now, that I MUST not let the orchard grow bigger than these few trees and a hedge of raspberries or I will become enslaved to it... however, I am thinking that maybe ONE or TWO more trees next year won't add THAT much more work, right?! Maybe a few crab apples - hardy, pretty, and something I don't have to "harvest" per se, unless I feel like crab apple jelly? Help, help! I feel my self getting in wayyyy over my head :-)

I wrote to the potential political candidates here about NAIS asking their opinions. We are not a big Ag state (although lately we've been growing a huge crop of houses!), so I wasn't surprised that only one even bothered to write me back. He said that NV had a long history of independence and not necessarily buying into certain federal regulations by either declaring them unconstitutional (state-wise) and/or not "having the budget" to enforce them. I thought that was an interesting response. The more I learn about NV and how she works, the more interesting it gets...

My little pecans don't appear to have survived the dog days of summer. I'm continuing to water, but they have gone back to looking like dried up sticks. The dragon flies seem to like them as hang-outs, though, so I'm continuing to water them "just in case" - and figure worst case scenario, the become permanent dragon fly perches.

Well, time to go water before it gets too hot for anyone to absorb it. Enjoying life "down on the farm" (OK, down in the sand). Take care, everyone. Many blessings to you. Karla

Thumbnail by kmom246
Fayette, MO(Zone 6a)

It is hot and dry here as well. I would love to have a nice soaking rain. I have been watering everything here... And finally broke down and used some Sevin dust in the garden.. I really don't like to spray, but I didn't want to lose all my baby rhubarb that I had started from seed this Spring.

I haven't been doing so much farming lately. Just watching the livestock eat grass and try to stay cool.. Most grazing is done in the early mornings and late evenings.

The wild plum trees here are loaded. I picked a couple of gallons.. Ok.. well, I cheated a little .. I knocked my bucket on my tractor under the trees and shook them some , then picked the plums out of the bucket or off the ground.. I am hoping to let them ripen a bit more , then maybe harvest some elderberries and make elderberry-plum jelly. The wild plums here are pretty tart and need something like elderberry to cut the need for so much sugar.

Hughesville, MO(Zone 5a)

As soon as our elderberrys ripen the wild birds eat them. I don't think I'll get to harvest any at all this year from the looks of it. I could get mean and throw a net over them. Guess I should check with Kris and see if she wants any. I have enough for Kyle.

I'm going to look at at least 2 young female dogs today. They are in a shelter about 45 miles from here. One is a purebred ? Jack Russel Terrier has already been spayed and is about 18 months old. The other is a Chihauhua/Terrier mix who is about a year old and will need to be spayed. Both are good with other dogs, cats, and older children. No one really knows how they will be with a child as small as Skyler. Time will tell if I take either of them. Whether or not they really bark and are good watch dogs is the big question. The older on definately does I was told, but the people who are fostering the younger one say so few people come there that they don't really know. We'll see when I drive up in our van. There is also one in the Sedalia area I am waiting for contact with the owner of this morning to go see. She is a mixed breed and was rescued but now the lady says she isn't able to give her enough attention. Don't know if she has been spayed yet or not. So I'm excited about getting a good watch dog for us. Haven't had one for some time so it will be something we'll have to get use too.

It is already 91* outside. I've fed and watered all the birds and cats and dogs and done some quick watering. Need to do a lot more but need to find a way to get the hundreds of gallons out of the old cistern to conserve the well water. One man several miles from here has lost a good well this year. It just turned to mud. I don't know it's depth or anything else about it.

I'll water the grapes today with the soaker hose from the well. There won't be much of a crop if I don't. Even now the grapes aren't as nice as big and juicey as usual. There is so much evaporation thru the leaves that we have to supply them with lots of long deep watering every week or so. Same for the apple and pear trees.

GOD bless and keep each of you.

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