Before summer draws to a close, let me pop up a few shots, beginning where we left off, with the daffodil explosion of March, leading from there through an endless train of beauty as the march of flowers flowed into April, May and June. Here we are in August now with zinnias and sunflowers.

Our neighbor rolled down his truck window. We stood by his drive. He looked over the trees we’d inquired about. “I got no use for ‘dem apples.”  We’ve gone back every year for harvest. They might not look like much, but oh the taste!

We’ve had high losses and heart ache too, with too many members of the chicken and duck flocks decimated by predators, and the loss of Leg because I was so proud of her – and didn’t protect her.  My spouse took to sleeping in the garden with his gun to no avail.  He’s finally home again.   I let her out from her safe enclosure (against my husband’s wise counsel) and we lost all but one of her chicks, and Leg  herself.  She was “Leg” because she survived a vicious attack, and went on to hatch out six biddies.  That was a real loss for me.  I still feel awful about it.  We also lost Doc and another drake.  We did gain six ducklings from a successful hatch, and have a deer in the freezer.  The ducks are almost full size now and look like females.

In between working, and teaching kids to fish, I took my vacation and led summer camps.  They went well, and were full of making; butter, bread, jelly, blackberry syrup, lemon curd, soap, potholders, candles, stories and art.  We dunked for apples and collected eggs, weeded and told stories.  My kids attended games camps and filled their summer with Minecraft and play dates.  We fed the very thin horse next door for the days we were allowed, and are hoping she can come graze at our house.  It’s a process.  My girl found some raccoons over there!  We continue to feed the dog by hand through the day after the tragedy of the deer hide incident last year. he continues to throw up, although raw food seems to make a difference. On October 17, he turns three.

My boy turned 12 and we had an $80 dinner of free-range steak, shrimp and Whole Foods chipotle chocolate cake under the tent together for a very special night. then his friends came for a wonderful all-day nerf battle.  August poured in and the weekly trips to Hillsborough for veggies brought some order to my pell mell weeks.

in a few weeks, Ru and I head for the hills to hike.  Then, it’s three weeks on the river.

Oh, and my husband grew a huge beard and Mom came to visit!