Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Some very New England weather

Since Thursday the weather has been strange and all over the place in a very New England fashion, and promises to continue doing so in the near future with near freezing temperatures night before last and tomorrow promising to be a near 100 degree day. At least we're not seeing a 65 degree difference in a single day again.

I figure given how concerned we were about saving our tomatoes in particular from the frost, I'm going to start with that. The . . . thing you see Left is our blanket and other fabric tent thing we covered the tomatoes with, thanks again to Michelle Chandler for the loan of many sheets to help with this. We are happy with it because while it wasn't a hard frost the plants we did cover looked better after the very cold night than the ones we didn't. I was amused because one of my co workers on seeing this photo said "Miyazaki called, he wants his monster back." For all that it worked, and the Lady of the House and I will be on the look out for sheets as we do her favorite activity, yard saleing.

We are definitely coming to the end of the year as far as plants outside producing. The squash plants themselves are starting to lose their leaves, but we do have a decent number of squash that are growing happily away. Right is one of the better looking ones with a young leopard frog next to it. I was somewhat surprised that he was willing to let me get this photo because of how nervous he was initially with me around. I am happy that we at least have some squash that have survived. We didn't bag the blossoms this year so we probably won't be saving seeds, and instead will be trading for seeds at the seed swap when it comes up this November. Next year I want to do more squash, and I think I'm not going to be bothering with the trellises next year. We will also be doing things to prevent the cucumber and squash beetles from nearly wiping our crop out again. There are a lot of things that are going very well, and the ones that are most impressive to me just didn't come out in the photos I took this morning, probably because of the gray rainy lighting. The peppers in particular have impressed me with just how explosively they have been growing even in our climate. The cayenne pepper plants are still blooming and setting more and more and more peppers, which makes me happy. The Limon pepper plants are chock full of ripe and ripening peppers which I'm just letting sit on the plant right now since that's sure to keep them fresh for the most part. Soon we will cut them off and dry whole batches of peppers for use over the winter. Our peppers were planted far enough apart that they shouldn't have cross pollinated most likely. The plant Right is slowly ripening the large semi sweet peppers that we actually haven't had any of yet. I'm looking forward to having them since they are a whole new kind of pepper for me. The varieties of new things we have been eating has been a really exciting thing for me as a food nut.

On to the rabbits for the moment. The current batch of kits are doing very well, and Sunshine has even healed up well enough that we have bred her and will see how her feet do with that. We only bred her once as we did with everyone else just in case her feet become a problem again to keep the weight off. The mothers are starting to show already, and I will need to be removing their kits from them soon enough, which means I will have to clear the teenagers out so the growing out hutch is available. Very much not something I'm looking forward to as usual. We are going to be at least temporarily keeping a the blue sisters to see if the grow out well and could be our Halley and Comet style sister breeding pair for next year. I say tentatively because if Twilight produces better with her next litter they don't get to stay alive. We're only keeping the best conformed and tempered kits if we can help it, and we aren't desperate right now for breeders. So the two of them are going to be moved to the currently empty painted 4x3 hutch. I've tried evicting the wasps that took residence in there, and it was only partially successful. I will need to do some more removal of wasps tonight when I get home from work late. If I have to I will use wasp spray, but I'd really rather avoid using pesticides if I can. Especially in such a wet time as this.

Unfortunately life has been a bit busier than it should have been lately so I haven't gotten a new hutch built. I really should put the giants of Twilight's litter in a different hutch from the rest of their contemporaries. They are significantly bigger which will lead to some food problems most likely. If I can scrape some time together this Saturday I'll try to bang out a new hutch quickly so I don't have to mix them in with substantially smaller kits from the other litters.

The last thing for today is that we had a bit of a scare, not entirely done with it either. The Lady of the House on one of her property walks noticed these small holes in one of our ash trees by the sawdust that has come out of the holes. We were very concerned that it was the Emerald Ash Borer beetle, especially given that it has been located as close as two towns over from us. Given the shape of the holes I don't believe that it is the major problem pest, but that doesn't mean that borer beetles aren't a problem, and it doesn't mean I have judged perfectly. We will have to bring a guide out with us and double check, and then see if we can figure out what we do have boring into one of our nicer trees on the property.

Speaking of wood, bucking and splitting will be happening soon. Some things can't be put off because you're too busy to think. Heating wood is one of them. Signing off for now, have a great week!

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