We have talked about the '3-legged' coyote that's been in our neighborhood all summer. Eventually almost everyone's seen it and often more than once. At first you'd feel sorry, then the longer you look you realize it's completely healthy and that fact even more amazing when you're realizing watching it move that the missing leg is a front leg, the very leg needed to "pounce' on the prey. AND as you will see, the leg seems so smoothly covered, it "appears" to be a genetic birth defect, not an injury........ Well, we finally have a neighbor story moved down to our block that's the best of the summer, I think, and the "guilty" shall rename nameless to avoid .... some perhaps wanting to dine on what "R" is placing on his compost heap. So. Yes, the coyote's been doing well. "R" greets morning one day last week.... and as he looks out his back window realizes there is a coyote lying on its back in the middle of some tall grass..... Then he realizes it IS the very 3-legged Coyote that's gotten all the attention. He grabs his camera....takes a couple pictures... "R" realizes the animal seems perfectly content laying there, rolling back and forth some, looking at the trees & sky.....even looked at "R" a few times. "R" gets out to his shop and works a bit...comes back in to see the coyote's still laying there. Concerned he wonders about calling for help.....rabies? ill? Sad, that the animal hasn't left. As he calls for help, "R" remembers the KEY element that may just explain it all! ***Yes, he's put out lots of food scraps out back, a perfect place to compost and yes, it might feed a lovely wild animal or two. BUT, a light dawns! "R" just remembered finding that 'stale' batch of marijuana brownies in his fridge yesterday. Guess where he tossed them last night? Yep. Right where Mr. Coyote seems to be unable to move. ..... It appears we "KNOW" who ate the entire batch....this poor 3-legged guy who needs to eat EVERYTHING he finds along the trails........... Oh, the mystery of those brownies! We've all experience it at least once! So. A VERY stoned coyote it seems that took most of the day to get itself together and wander off......about 5:30 that afternoon. We've laughed and laughed.......I can only WISH "R" would have called me to some see the scene......
There's little in the front middle 'cause seeds of lettuce, cilantro, green onion are gonna sprout this week there. THIS summer has had so many cool mornings and NO hot days, and maybe too much watering, the GREEN growth of this garden is phenomenal . . . . .things are just BARELY beginning to produce new blossoms.....hope summer's green warm holds out for us. A GREAT garden year so far:
A little hint or two brought about a serious look under the deck. Rotten deck floor. Oops. Replacement would be required. The planning of an 'at' home party put on the back burner while we 'figgered' to come up with oh, I don't know, probably what? $4 thousand replacement cost? Neighbor Aaron gets his buddy to put in a bid...just "a" guy...a "finish carpenter" who, in his spare time, would build the deck....wouldn't that save money? No expensive BIG company overhead to put up with? Two weeks later, Rick finally measures, makes notes. Leaves. Two weeks later I call....."we need to get this going....." . . .. .3 days later he calls with a bid. $9400. if ALL parts must be replaced. WHAT? So, of course, 3 MORE companies from "Angie's List" (tks, Baird) are recruited to place bids..... How is it all 4 bids were about the same staggering amount. This isn't a kitchen remodel. NO plumbing, NO electric, Re-use existing concrete base pieces. $9000-9500. SO. We ask HOW much would we save IF WE do the tear out? ALL that LABOR hours? Hrmph. $600. That was it. But it was $600. So that has been this week. And NO, we have not removed it all. Some has been moved and set on the ground to give a 1-3 yr little spot or two we can place a few things above the winter wet. We're meeting with the selected contractor at 1230 hours to decide the stain color (it's being "pre-stained", yeah!...and will soon find out HOW LONG until they will come to the installation. Here's how things look....the birds/squirrels/Mac are a bit mystified........ ....... ....... ........... .................. Yes, MAC has to "re-calculate" all of his moves/jumps from/to this new yard spot: .................. And here's the current place where one can rest and relax "on the deck"...........hah: .................. We were told.........ONE 'old' plant had to come out, and sad it is this Hydrangea is my favorite flowering bush in the entire yard: ............. And each time I'm out there now, walking near this pile....I AM reminded that at some point this rapidly passing summer I MUST move more of this INTO the covered woodshed before winter: ........ What is that old tale and which one are we? The grasshopper playing the fiddle or the ant gathering morsels all summer. I think there's been a bit of both at this house.
The season's sudden change almost overnight from cool and damp to steady 80+ days, 55+ nights has brought an explosion to our summer gardens, and production plans. THIS WEEK? The only grower in this area I know of that, for about 2-3 weeks, has: Cascade Delight Raspberries, ...... WEST UNION GARDENS ........called to say they're ready. Next morning, 2 flats were brought home to become jam within a few short hours of being picked: So. Preps are made. Lids gathered sorted and placed for sterlizing dip into the hot water as jars are filled: The jars we've saved or returned to us are always welcomed when the season starts....here they await loading into the sterilizing dish washer cycle: We then begin processing the berries, one batch at a time (about 7 jars yield for each batch): After the mixing, processing, this beautiful berry jam is placed into the jars, sealed, and await cooling: 4 hours later: 48 jars of Cascade Delight Raspberry Jam complete the Raspberry inventory for 2012. NEXT? West Union Gardens has called me this morning to advise the Boysenberry picking begins Saturday.......... Nice.
AH! As predicted, summer arrived exactly ON July 4th....which, for the last several years, has been the case here in the NW. With the yard / garden plants all huddling hoping for better the last 6 weeks, they at LEAST have ALL been putting down ROOTS, GOOD roots....and in just this past week, EVERYTHING out there is exploding with growth. Ex: The corn was 3" high two weeks ago ....now knee high. That also means we BEGIN using the garden for its intended purpose: EATING. We've now been enjoying salads ...a mix of lettuces, some basil, green onion, celery and flat leaf parsley, ALL out of the garden. YUM. The rhubarb has had -2- cuttings....the second one's in the freezer awaiting its curtain call. THIS weeks major harvest? OREGANO, FIRST cutting......this amazing perennial reminds me of the "hay" crops I knew as a kid....You'll get 2 a summer likely..... Yep, it destroys the beauty of that little 3' long section of the garden, but is ready for processing yesterday noon: I wheel it over to the garage, began gathering it up (like hay)....and bundling it.... In a while, this lovely herb that will be ready for throwing good size amounts into the Tomatillo Salsa recipe by mid-August now hangs in the garage....nice: The TOMATOES... I have used a different "organic" fertilizer for tomatoes...and am suspect....there are not as many blooms as should be and lots of branch growth...sturdy fat vines.....I suspect too much nitrogen. It'll be back to my standard fertilizer next year...... BUT......this may SIMPLY BE the weather and in one week, it may look like it IS going into bloom production..... we have a forecast of 80-85 for the next full week. Can't wait. MAC is already staring at the carrot baby plants....even though there's nothing under these branches yet, HE positively has marked that plant...he KNOWS they're grown for HIM......he LOVES carrots. Ah, SUMMER! It was a fabulous 4th.......party/fireworks with the Andersons and crew....best ever.....tonight....farewell gathering for Toni & John who are moving to Boston.......then a music rock party at Matt's house. Whew! I was up at 0630 to water the garden, we pick up 2 flats of Cascade Delight Raspberries at 11:00 that WILL become our 2012 Raspberry Jam early afternoon....then we'll party on! There's nothing like a Portland summer....when it hits......EVERYBODY's in a fabulous mood since they're finally out of the gray and wet.