Sunday, September 18, 2011

Weekend of 9/17/11

Wow - I have been away from my house for 1 month and I think it was the longest time ever that I have been away. I had too many conflicts on my calendar to make it up there so I was wondering what I would find when I got there.
Of course, the giant zucchini made a comeback, about 4 of them 18 inches long and weighing about 3-5 lbs each. They got fed to the goats next door who go a little bonkers for them and anything else I feed them. But of course, since it is one of the rare shady and damp spots around the area, all the California tree frogs hang out there under the big leaves. And this guy I got a picture of was acting like he was guarding his zuke.
Don't let the small size fool you - they have huge voices!
Of course I have so many frogs that I wonder if I should call someone to study them.. I didn't have my camera with me when I saw one sitting on a pumpkin leaf that was a beautiful shade of chartreuse. Here is one that lives by the creek in the leaf litter.
He went and hid under the leaves.

In the garden, the pumpkin plant has grown and grown and finally put out a couple of pumpkins. I don't know if they will mature before the frost but I hope so. 100 feet of vines would be a sad thing to keep watering if nothing came of them!
This is about the size of a volleyball right now.
Also in the garden, the only fruit tree to do anything this year and survive was the fig tree. (The persimmons must have hit "ripe" while I was gone because the tree was stripped. And the granny smith little tree fell to the goats.) I am not a big fig fan.. oh that sounds funny.. big fig fan.. but I did try one and they are really sweet. My friend Anthony is going to get them since I have no idea what to do with them.. I guess I need to learn something...

Some of the figs on my little tree... it did good!
Quail covey comes by every day at 4pm to take a dirt bath in my veggie garden.
Casey and I took a walk down to the creek and the pasture area. My neighbors have a 2 cows and they were close to the fence. Casey is not a fan of other animals and would usually run up and bark at anything nearby. Even birds flying overhead are a threat but that is another story. I saw these guys there and thought, oh no, she is going to do something stupid and that cow is going to charge the fence and come right through.
Here is when she first saw them..
Casey staring at the cow who is laying down.. you can see a black and white head to Casey's left.
Casey did her crouching and stalking thing, and crept up to the fence, but then stood there for 30 seconds or so, sizing up the situation. The female is there in the front and the bull was laying down about 20 feet behind her.. so these are good size cows. Casey did a very smart thing.. she didn't say a thing, not a woof or a growl and then did this...
Casey walking away- Have a good day Madam Bovine!
Then she turned around and trotted back to where I was, relieved they were not a serious threat like a squirrel. Sometimes, she is the dumbest dog, like when she runs into the patio door or sneezes and hits her head on the ground, but sometimes, she shows some pretty deep thought.

Mushrooms
Just a confession here, I love mushrooms... I can't wait till it rains and I can invite that Sacramento mushroom club to the property to see what kinds I have. But I am also trying to grow my own... not sure how this will do but here goes! I got shitake mushroom "spawn" from a dealer on the internet. They are little woods dowels with the "spawn" on them with precise instructions on what to do. I drug Nick out of bed today and got him to cut me an oak branch that was the right size to start the process. Then you are to drill holes all over it and stick these things in there and cover them with cheese wax. Hmmm... and the instructions are really precise like drill a hole 1 1/4 inches deep and 2 inches away from each other in rows 6 inches apart. Then soak the log and keep it moist and shady for 6 months... umm ok. But my log wasn't cooperating and keep eating my drill bit and I even though I had a fully charged battery I only got through about 40 of the 100 plugs that I bought. What was I thinking?
About 1/2 drilling the holes and you can see one of my stuck drill bits. And yes they are too close together.

Finished and soaked log, no cheese wax so I used the sawdust to seal up the hole.
Finally, you all know about the many varieties of wildlife around the house... birds, deer, squirrels, frogs and lizards... etc. But we also a group of peacocks that roam around as well.. I have never had them on my property but I did notice something when I got out of the shower this morning. Thought it was the turkeys again but no, it was a small flock of 3 peahens and 1 peacock, eating through my front area.
Peeping Peacock?

3 Females and 1 Male and not the male was not in charge.

Taking off by walking down my driveway.. when that lead female said go, they all went.
Anyway, it was beautiful weather and I really needed the peace and serenity up there to take down my stress level a notch.

Next friday is the first day of fall, we will see how that goes and whether it is an early and wet winter again like last year. I hope so, even though it messed up all my stone fruit trees. Being able to hear water running in the creek from my deck through late May was really special...

julie