Tuesday, July 14, 2009

From ghoulies and ghosties and long-legged beasties, and things that go bump in the night...

The weather has been weird this summer. Two or three days of HOT and sunny weather, followed by COLD and cloudy. Saturday was 32C. Today 17C. Go figger. The Garden Boat looks really good, as do most of my other plants. Tomatoes are going crazy in the Tomato Tub. We had to raise the old bunk bed frame up by over 2 feet because the plants were so tall. Now I just have to figure out what I can use to cover them up. I had white plastic shower curtains from the Dollar store, and the tomatoes loved their cozy wee greenhouse. However, the plastic is not UV resistant, nor wind resistant either. Long story short, the plastic is now gone. Several of the plants have tomatoes growing, and Richard is counting down the days to his first tomato sandwich.

I planted 60 Gladiola bulbs in the Garden Boat. 30 are up so far, while I expect the other 30 to be up next week. How can I be sure? Easy, I told them to grow or get yanked and replaced. Works every time, grin. Why so many Glad bulbs? Sigh, a sale. I bought a bag of 25 pastel colored ones and a bag of 50 bright colored ones and they cost me $2.00 per bag. You know I can't resist a bargain.

We have had a lot of birds nesting on the farm this spring and summer. I have mentioned the Starlings before, and the Crows. This time we also have a Red Tailed Hawk, a Blue Heron, a large family of Cedar Waxwings, along with the usual Hummingbirds, Chickadees, Robins, Turkey Vultures and Bald Eagles, Pileated Woodpeckers, Ring Necked Pheasants, Blue Grouse, and many more too numerous to mention. Yesterday Richard was working in the Garden Yard when we heard a loud bird call. "Did you hear that?" I asked him. "Yeah, sounds like an Eagle to me," he replied. I looked up, way up, in the top of the Sitka Spruce tree on the South side of the drive. "Nope," I said, " it's TWO Bald Eagles." They sat, looking all around for quite a long time. Meanwhile, I am watching the dogs closely, making sure the Eagle pair don't decide the Bichons look like a nice light snack. The photo above was the best of the ones I could get with my camera, before they flew away.

Speaking of creatures, a couple of weeks ago, Richard was driving in the yard when he spotted the Cute Little Island Baby Mule Deer "hiding" in the grass off the side of the driveway. We got photo's of her while Mommy was in the Saskatoon bushes eating berries. The whole time we watched her, she never even blinked, so still was she. Richard also mentioned seeing a Cute Little Island Doe with twins on the other side of the farm, romping in the hay field before it was cut while Mommy grazed nearby.

I have written before about taking the dogs out into the Garden Yard before bed at about 11pm each night. Last night was no different. The "kids" look forward to it, barking and racing each other out to the far end of the yard by the boat, while we totter out behind. Mason did his usual: sit and stare down towards the shed across the driveway to the East. He always acts as though he can hear or see something down there, but I never hear anything, and can't see anything because there is no light there.

Last night was a different matter. After we had been out for a while there was suddenly a "clank, clunk, thud" sound from near the old truck camper. The hairs on the back of my neck literally stood straight up and I froze for a few seconds, trying to decide if I had really heard it. Of course, one look at Mason confirmed I had. "Did you hear THAT?" I asked Richard. "Something down by the shed. Something big enough to make a LOUD noise." He walked over to the fence and looked into the darkness. My feet meanwhile had minds all their own and were quickly moving towards the house, while my mouth was shooing dogs ahead of me. "I don't see anything." he said. "Well there is something there, and it could be a bear," I replied from the safety of the deck, one hand on the door handle.

Back inside, and after some careful, more rational thought, I came to the conclusion it couldn't have been a bear, because the "kids" didn't alert to it and believe me, they would have. So, hmmmmmmmm, what could it be. "Raccoons," Richard replied. "Of course that is what it was, a family of them, foraging in the Saskatoon Berry bushes." Thank God, I would be able to sleep after all. Miserable little bandits!

So today, before coming home from work, Richard purchased a "rechargeable Spot Light" to pack with us on our forays into the dark reaches of the Garden Yard at night. And yup, you guessed it, it paid for itself first time. Richard shone it down to where I heard the noise from last night, but no glowing eyes shone back at us. "Shine it all around the yard," I said from the safety of behind his back. He complied. "Nope, nothing". I walked back over to the garden boat. The he gave a loud whisper "Come quick and see this." He had the light pointed out into the field to the North of us. And there, lying in the field while their Mommy grazed, were the Cute Little Island Mule Deer Twin babies from this year. Eyes shining brightly in the spotlight, looking back at us as if to say "you can't possibly see us, we are hiding like our Mommy told us to do."

Shining the light beyond the deer, we see bright eye's peering back at us from a tall tree on the drainage ditch. Several pairs of eyes that moved up and down the tree and back and forth on the branches. Rocky and Rita Raccoon and all the bratty little raccoon's picking berries and cherries, the little bandits.
Time to troop back into the house. Molly stops at the corner of the house listening to Mole People gossiping under the deck, one of her favorite pastimes...when she isn't trying to dig them out. Bedtime.

Tomorrow is another day. Bente will be home from visiting her sister in Seattle. First warm, sunny day, we'll get an Iced Cappuccino from Tim Horton's and go to the Quay to drink it and gossip. Can't wait.