Friday, July 10, 2009

Summer Day at Dog Days...

While Oscar was hard at work painting, putting up a new gate and keeping up with the Dog Days Place chores, Claris & I vanished into the wilds to enjoy the wildlife and flowers around us... and as usual, he was a good sport about it.

We did some bird watching, and I tried to snap a few photos of the Scarlet Tanagers and the Indigo Buntings, but their small size and amazing speed made them very hard targets.

The Snapping Turtle who lives under the bridge in the bottom was a much easier target (dirtier, less bright and pretty, but slower and thus much easier to catch on camera). We named him lurch, and while he is a bit grumpy and reclusive, he can be very entertaining.

He shares the water with a very skittish bullfrog, and a smaller and smaller number of minnows (they are apparently tasty to all sorts of critters). Dog Days water is clear, clean, cool and filled with life, both in and all around it.

We wandered through the pasture, which was completely filled with Daisies. Claris had trouble seeing over the tall grass, so frequently hopped up and down looking for the deer to play with. Sadly, they were not in the pasture, so she made do with chasing butterflies and sniffing out the smaller creatures that inhabit the fields.

We checked out the grape vines, and I can already taste the jelly coming in September

I think this year will be a bumper crop of wild food. The berries are also looking very plentiful and the little apples are making the trees bend with their weight. I wonder if I should knock some little green apples off to make more room on the branches so that the ones left are better, but I will leave that to mother nature and let her decide what is best. I am ready for apple butter this year, and will hopefully get a good video of it for the new website I am working on, Hopefully it will be up soon, and I will be posting videos in a few weeks!

We finished playing down the mountain, and made our way back up to the cooler altitude, and back into the shade of the trees. The ferns are looking very healthy, and Claris loves investigating what might be hiding in the fronds. We have had a large contingent of bunnies this year, and they make fun chase targets (don't worry, she is far too slow to actually get close to them much less cause them any harm).

We made it back to the house, and had a snack before we relaxed on the screen porch. We have a family of Chipmunks living underneath the tent-deck behind the house, and they are far better watching than any TV show. We love squeezing onto the little wicker love seat and spending time taking in their high-speed fun and games. They are still very skittish (even though I have taken to leaving them unsalted peanuts and pecan bits to lure them out) and are very hard to take good pictures of (these are through the screens, so please forgive the fuzziness).

I have not given them names, as I cannot tell the adults apart, and the little ones have just started making their appearance outside of the protection of the deck.

Our day was full of fun, and ended the usual way these summer days do...

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