web analytics

Screw politics

Violet laid her first egg! Afterwards, she was subdued and thoughtful for the rest of the day.

That means both new girls are in lay now. Plus Lucia.

Mapp, on the other hand, is not having a very good Summer. After going broody for months, she got over herself only to begin the moult. Lucia is so ticked off with her, she’s been pulling feathers out of Mapp’s collar one beakful at a time until the back of her neck is totally bald.

Hence, three nights running, Mapp has come to the back door at bedtime and resolutely refused to go into the henhouse. I’m letting her sleep in a cat carrier in the laundry room. There are Mappfeathers EVERYwhere.

Chicken drama.

Plus, Uncle B got up the onions and the taters for the year. The onions will last most of the Winter, the potatoes…well, I reckon there were at least thirty pounds there. Plus runner beans, French beans, cabbages, cukes and cauliflowers. The tomatoes haven’t done great this year, but we’ve got some.

You know, the rest of the country could pour gas over its head and light a match, and we’d get along fine out here.


Comment from Mono The Elderish
Time: August 10, 2011, 10:48 pm

Glad to here you guys are doing good! Sounds like you guys did really good in the garden this year too!

Comment from Nina from GCP
Time: August 10, 2011, 11:14 pm

There’s a lot to be said for ruralizing.

Comment from SCOTTtheBADGER
Time: August 10, 2011, 11:37 pm

VIOLET, VIOLET, She’s our Hen, if she can’t do it, someone else will have to.

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: August 10, 2011, 11:55 pm

And this is why we can’t leave the doors open.

Comment from Mark Matis
Time: August 11, 2011, 12:05 am

Oooooooooohhh!!! More chicklet videos!!!!!



Comment from Uncle Badger
Time: August 11, 2011, 12:21 am

Prease to excuse giant bajaboots in foreground! πŸ™‚

Comment from Mark Matis
Time: August 11, 2011, 12:31 am

Heh, UB – better watch out! Those may look like royal nesting boxes to some…

Comment from Can’t hark my cry
Time: August 11, 2011, 1:02 am

Not to be practical, or anything silly like that–but you could acquire a screen door; or a kiddie gate. . .I have a couple I’ll be getting rid of, now that I’m down to one cat. . .

Comment from Mark Matis
Time: August 11, 2011, 1:32 am

A screen door, Can’t hark my cry, in Jolly Old England? THAT is something that just isn’t done! Buggery? Sure! Welfare leeches? No problem! But one has to draw the line at screen doors…

Comment from Nina from GCP
Time: August 11, 2011, 2:46 am

Awwwww, they’re so cute!

Comment from Scubafreak
Time: August 11, 2011, 3:22 am

Oh Gawd….

Stoatie, Y’all ain’t NEVER gonna believe this….


Comment from Scubafreak
Time: August 11, 2011, 3:28 am

It gets worse….


Comment from Can’t hark my cry
Time: August 11, 2011, 4:06 am

Mark Matis:

“Trackway and Camp and City lost,
Salt Marsh where now is corn-
Old Wars, old Peace, old Arts that cease,
And so was England born.

She is not any common Earth,
Water or wood or air,
But Merlin’s Isle of Gramarye,
Where you and I will fare.”

OK, I see your point about screen doors. Um. Child gates? Wooden ones?

Comment from Sven in Colorado
Time: August 11, 2011, 4:11 am

Great hands! The strength and delicacy of a working person, an artisan and gardener, that is what I see.

I’m an artist….I notice things like that. OK…so I am strange. Still that is the first thing I noticed.

Screen doors and covered sleeping porches belong in the American heartland. There is a special sound associated with those wooden framed screen doors, being slammed open by young’uns full of Lone Ranger, Hoppalong Cassidy or Red Ryder fantasies and fueled by way too much sugar and caffeine.

Our tomatoes are just beginning to ripen. Peppers and squash and eggplant are heavy with blossom and fruit. I will plant a late crop of spinach, kale and radishes soon, just as Dove hunting season comes upon us….then the first nights sleeping under more than just a sheet and light cotton blanket. The mornings will waken us with a chill and the scent of impending Autumn, redolent scents of apple and pumpkin, sausage and beer fresh out of the keg.

Nothing like apple smoked dove breasts stuffed with mild green chile and wrapped in bacon, fresh applesauce, a good red ale and flatbread hot out of the oven.

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: August 11, 2011, 11:27 am

Ah, I love that poem, Can’t Hark. I love the whole book, but the introductory poem explicitly mentions the little settlement where we live. Well, obliquely, but it is really us.

Comment from Uncle Badger
Time: August 11, 2011, 12:15 pm

You make Autumn sound almost desirable, Sven.

Comment from some vegetable
Time: August 11, 2011, 12:53 pm

Uncle Badger – at first your comment about fall surprised me. To me, fall is the most beautiful season. In my hometown (not Dallas!) all the trees turn the most beautiful red and orange and yellow and we drive for hours through the mountains reveling in the colors, stopping only to buy apple cider and little cakes now and again.

So I was puzzled by your attitude until I remembered that you’re a gardener and that fall means your growing season will soon be over leaving you with a long winter ahead, with only your seed catalogs (and Lady Weasel and a few chickens) for company.

Don’t be sad about fall -It’s the time to relax a bit and look back at your triumphs, and the lessons you learned this summer. Next year’s garden is going to be the finest ever!

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: August 11, 2011, 1:14 pm

We’ve also not had much of a Summer this year, some veg. Plus, Uncle B’s birfday is in September, which makes him cross.

Comment from beasn
Time: August 11, 2011, 3:26 pm

Oh my, what lovely birds!

*channels Despicable Me*

“They’re so FLUFFY!”

Comment from Mark Matis
Time: August 11, 2011, 3:49 pm

Bet that some vegetable buys the fresh, unpasteurized apple cider, stuffs an airlock on it, and enjoys one of the FEW true benefits of “organic” life…


Comment from bad cat robot
Time: August 11, 2011, 3:52 pm

*channels DM Minion*

“EEEEeheheheheheeee!” (I adore that movie.)

Comment from Deborah
Time: August 11, 2011, 3:57 pm

No black-eyed peas? πŸ™‚

Husband and I have been house-shopping. High on the list is a property with enough room for raised-bed gardening, and/or a greenhouse, because Husband has a genetic need to grow things. The problem with the Texas hill country is that there’s only six inches of dirt and then it’s rock. I don’t know how the trees survive. (And I want a lemon tree. Surely I could grow a lemon tree in a greenhouse? Yes?)

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: August 11, 2011, 4:29 pm

Uncle B has a greenhouse AND raised beds. And he grew lemon trees in the greenhouse, but they dried out and died and he’s really sensitive about it, so don’t mention it to him, m’kay?

Comment from MikeW
Time: August 11, 2011, 5:19 pm

Deborah – Wouldn’t a lemon tree in a greenhouse require hand polination?

Scubafreak – Just in case you hadn’t seen it b4, here’s the great caption for a restroom hand dryer:

Of course, looking for the preceeding pic meant I had to find something else that I hadn’t seen b4. Gah!

Comment from Deborah
Time: August 11, 2011, 5:39 pm

Oh. Well. Lovely photo above. Violet’s first egg seems larger than Lucia’s first egg.

Comment from Sporadic Small Arms Fire
Time: August 11, 2011, 6:44 pm

These chooks remind me of our NASAs, North American Street Apes, they seem to have sagging trousers.

A prudent homeowner would wisely invest in domesticated weasel of some sort. The kitchen raids would quickly stop I’d wager.

Comment from Statler & Waldorf, LLP
Time: August 11, 2011, 7:11 pm

Dey be stylin fo sho!

Comment from Uncle Badger
Time: August 11, 2011, 7:57 pm

Deborah – Lemons grow well in pots. Well… here they do, but I haven’t a clue how they’d like Texas! Outdoors in the Summer would be my guess – much as we do here. You can get varieties that do better grown that way, from specialist nurseries.

Unfortunately, I was unable to get out to the greenhouse for a few days this Summer and mine just shrivelled. “Cross” doesn’t quite cover it πŸ™

Some Vegetable – thank you for the kind words. The time was when Autumn was by far my favourite season but a succession of horrible events acted (a la Skinner) to put me off.

Also, as Her Stoatliness says, we haven’t had a Summer this year – and last Winter stretched our like a wasteland.

If we get an Indian Summer and a proper Spring, it won’t be so bad.

Comment from Deborah
Time: August 11, 2011, 8:28 pm

Thank you Uncle Badger. And I am so sorry about your lemon trees. I guess they take a lot of water.

Comment from Mark Matis
Time: August 11, 2011, 8:52 pm

Hey, UB:
You ought to gets you a Ponderosa lemon to make up for it:
With one of them, you can have REAL fun with your neighbors and friends…

Comment from Sporadic Small Arms Fire
Time: August 11, 2011, 8:53 pm

Uncle Badger,

I would have not realized these were shoes! they look like a head of a small American alligator.

Now I won’t be able to cruise along the muddy banks of Savannah River without seeing hundreds of shoes.

Comment from Gromulin
Time: August 11, 2011, 9:12 pm

For all the talk of the armageddonish heat we’ve had in the states this year, it’s been the most mild, loverly summer in the Sacramento area that we’ve seen in years. Rained all the way up to July, and we’ve only had one or three days over 100. It still may end up paying hell in late-season wildfires from the tall undergrowth, but for now it’s been fantastic!

I had to laugh when I saw UB use the term Indian Summer – I thought that was a uniquely west-coast, U.S. expression. I’ve never heard anyone not from Northern CA use that expression. Kind of like “Earthquake Weather” (which you recognize instantly if you grew up here).

Comment from Mark Matis
Time: August 11, 2011, 10:34 pm

For Gromulin:
That term is also widely used in at least upstate Pennsylvania and upstate New York.

Comment from grasshopper
Time: August 12, 2011, 12:24 am

Indian Summer is also used widely in the Southern part of these United States. There is Blackberry Winter as well.

Comment from Sven in Colorado
Time: August 12, 2011, 12:36 am

Uncle B,

I’ve had those Autumns where I wonder *WTF!!!* is THIS all about?!?!? This Autumn, I will take my mum’s ashes up to mingle with my father’s in the sands of Cabin Creek.

Its not a guess for me. Its a “knowing” that when the Brook and Brown trout begin to spawn and the elk begin to bugle, their voices echoing down the canyons into hearts, if not ears, that is when I get the wanderlust. The the dove and duck and Sandhill crane begin their migrations.

Screw the rest of the year…..Yeah, I love my garden and my life and the gifts the Good Lord bestows.

….. Autumn….doesn’t matter the sickness or hurt or madness. To sit in the soft lingering heat of an aspen grove as bull elk bugle and fight for females. To stand in awe as literally hundreds of brilliant, red-orange flanked Brook Trout jostle and with pugnatious head butts, fight for breeding rights with the next female; or when the first dusky grouse moves down from the Spruce highlands into the foothills where the wild turkey roam….To shoot a turkey, and a brace of grouse is a trifecta few hunters ever accomplish.

I am still waiting for mine.

I guess, Uncle B, it has to do with hunting and harvesting; maybe the promise of all the year’s work behind ready to carry us through that brutal winter.

If I were to take it to Classical Myth, it reminds me of AEsop’s tale of the Ants and Grasshoppers. (And not the Disney abortion!)

Come to Colorado some September and I will be a guide. (Firearms are optional for guests….but not for the guide!)

Comment from Rich Rostrom
Time: August 12, 2011, 1:30 am

Gromulin: Indian Summer – I thought that was a uniquely west-coast, U.S. expression. I’ve never heard anyone not from Northern CA use that expression.

Huh?!? It’s in very common use around the Midwest, certainly.

Every year, come fall, the Chicago Tribune would reprint John McCutcheon’s 1908 cartoon “Injun Summer”. (Not any more, it’s way too politically incorrect, but they still sell it as a poster.) You can see it here.

Comment from Nina from GCP
Time: August 12, 2011, 1:50 am

I’m sure it’s a racist expression, however. πŸ™‚

Comment from Can’t hark my cry
Time: August 12, 2011, 3:06 am

The explanation offered for the origin of the term “Indian Summer” in one of my grade schools (either Phoenix, Arizona, or upstate New York, and possibly I heard it in both places) was that when autumn showed up the first year of the Plymouth colony and the colonists were unprepared and a bit panicked, the local Indians told them to wait, summer would return for a while. And it did. Dunno how much of that is out-and-out folklore, but for sure the term is widely used in New England and New York, and I suspect it does indeed go back to the early days of colonization.

Comment from Uncle Badger
Time: August 12, 2011, 11:10 am

It never occurred to me that using ‘Indian Summer’ would spark so many thoughts (not to mention Sven’s delightful eloquence)!

I grew up with it here in the UK, where it is also widely in use, and until relatively late in childhood always assumed ‘Indian’ referred to the sub-continent!

To be fair, we did have a lot more exposure to Indian Indians than the Amerind variety, so it was an easy mistake to make. We didn’t have too many visiting tribes of Sioux or Apaches coming to play Test cricket, after all πŸ˜‰

Comment from Mark Matis
Time: August 12, 2011, 12:08 pm

Hey, UB – You’ve probably had more than you suspect:

Comment from geo-ma-pa
Time: August 12, 2011, 12:16 pm

Stoaty, my compliments on the accompanying picture. Beautiful soft directional lighting that gives shape and detail to the subject, good composition, narrow depth of field with tack sharp focusing. You have an artist’s sensibility, which I guess you already knew. Just great.

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: August 12, 2011, 12:39 pm

Uncle B’s photo, my hands. He’s a much better photographer than I am πŸ™‚

Comment from Mark Matis
Time: August 12, 2011, 1:58 pm

And Violet at least participated, even if she WASN’T committed…

Comment from Uncle Badger
Time: August 12, 2011, 3:36 pm

Mark Matis – good grief!

Comment from Can’t hark my cry
Time: August 12, 2011, 5:19 pm

Uncle Badger: Well, that’s the story we were told. . .but then, we were in North America. I’ve never gone hunting for a definitive explanation. . .

Comment from Chris
Time: August 21, 2011, 1:46 am

MAPP and LUCIA!?!?!?!?! for chickens!!!!!???

I love you!

(Mapp was furious!)

Write a comment

(as if I cared)

(yeah. I'm going to write)

(oooo! you have a website?)

Beware: more than one link in a comment is apt to earn you a trip to the spam filter, where you will remain -- cold, frightened and alone -- until I remember to clean the trap. But, hey, without Akismet, we'd be up to our asses in...well, ass porn, mostly.

<< carry me back to ol' virginny