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Archive for August 5th, 2009

Hi there.   I’m in the throes of preparing for a “Girl’s Float Trip” with my friends Jeri and Mabel.   I also still have three massages to do, and then I’m supposed to take off immediately after the work day is over so we can camp out down at the Spring River in AR and get an “early” (for us) start on the river tomorrow.

So this is going to be a quick post.  Smokey is still hanging in there although he is getting slower and slower.  He walked all the way out to the pond in the dew this morning, had a nap there and proceeded under his own power back to the house.   Maybe he’s figured out how to live on air and water, I don’t know.

The vineyard is busy busy busy, ripening grapes.   Here’s a picture I took this morning of the Marechal Foch grapes.   Don’t they look beautiful?  Look what a great crop we are getting!

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The new bird net we invested in seems to be working pretty well, although we are going to have to be more careful about providing support to keep it from being in too close contact with the grapes.  The birds want them really bad, and the heavier varieties (like the robins, cardinals, brown thrashers) have figured out they can land on the net and then reach through to pick grapes when the net sags down next to a bunch.   Finks.  We have arches on that row to keep the birds away.

Out in the vegetable garden I caught a pollinator working the bean plants.   We have been picking and eating the beans for a week now, and already have three quarters of a gallon in the freezer.   In the next few weeks that tally will increase.

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In the tomato patch, I have a “pet” torch tithonia (also called Mexican Sunflower by some folks).  I usually get some volunteers of this out in the veggie garden, and I always save one or two because the Monarch butterflies like to have them available during their migration.  They are very pretty too.

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You may notice the electric fence around the tomato bed.  That is designed to keep the squirrels out, and since we have installed it there have been no more tooth marks on our tomatoes.   If only the same could be said about the corn!  They have turned their attentions to it and I suspect I may not have any to harvest at all.   I didn’t plant that much, and the tree rats have discovered it does not have an electric fence guarding it.   Yet.

We try to remember to turn the fence charger off if we are out working in the garden, because we didn’t want to cause Ruby fear and pain.   Unfortunately, she sneaked in a few afternoons ago and met the electric fence.   Now she is sure there is a monster in the vegetable garden, and it bites, and she doesn’t care to go in there any more, thank you very much.    We are encouraging her to get over her trauma, but dogs don’t forget electric fences very well.   My mother had a spaniel that met the pig fence once and forever after he went way around to avoid that part of the field, even after the pigs and the fence had been gone for several years.

I have a volunteer zinnia by the “To Be Ground” pile in the compost area.

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There is also a volunteer sweet potato on the other side, in addition to the Thai purple basil, chicory, parsley, arugula, catnip and other stuff that survives being weed-eaten and mowed.   I don’t save all volunteers, but this one charms me and so it stays.

Well, I’ve got to go.   Don’t worry, even though I’m going to be on the river tomorrow, I did some pre-posts to keep you (and NaBloPoMo) company while I’m gone.  Catch you later.

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