Sunday, September 21, 2008

Harvest Time

I love this time of year when we're packing away our garden produce like a couple of compulsive squirrels. The work seems never ending but the satisfaction grows daily as the freezer fills up, the jars of jam and pickles accumulate, and the spuds and carrots and cabbages are moved from garden to root cellar. The frost came earlier this year, Sept 18, and wiped out the cucumber and squash plants, but never mind, theres a wheelbarrow of winter squash on its way to storage under the benches of my studio, the onions and garlic are drying each day, spread out in the sun, and there will be plenty of tomatoes and peppers coming out of the greenhouse for a few weeks yet. What work could be more satisfying than this?

Sunday, September 14, 2008


This morning the horses were all gathered around one of the raccoon traps that surround the corn patch. Mercy! There was a skunk in there and thank heaven he hadnt sprayed. Maybe he thought they were trying to help somehow. I distracted the horses and VERY carefully covered the cage with the lawnmowwer cover while the skunk hopped about nervously, Time for a cup of tea and a think. Hmmm, transporting him to a new territory as we have done with 5 raccoons lately seemed too risky as the car would be a write off if he let fire. So I worked the trap door open, holding my breath and the little guy ambled out after a bit. Not the smartest decision it turned out, because after running about the yard getting his bearings he headed for the barn and disappeared under the sliding door ! Will he be there behind the next bale of hay we move?

Sunday, September 7, 2008

The Great Flood

Today hurricane Hanna dumped an enormous amount of rain on us, it cascaded down the wooded slope behind us and found its way thru dozens of cracks and crannies of our rubble stone cellar. By mid morning we had three sump pumps going and 10 inches of water over the floor. I looked down the steps half an hour later and the water was threatening the top part of the pumps where the electical parts are, and the bottom of the furnace was under. I put in a frantic call to Johnny Mo, our backhoe guy, this was way beyond managing with the pumps. No one was home so I watched the furnace motor drown as the water rose at an alarming speed. Nothing to be done there, I set about building dams to divert the torrent that was eroding a grand canyon down the driveway. Good ol John soon rumbled up with the backhoe and began digging up the very inadequate drain from the house. (carefully saving my hostas in the process) Some well meaning diy'er had used perforated pipe that had clogged over the years with tree roots seeking water.
Now we wait for things to dry up some, before the restoration project takes shape.