We’d been out grocery shopping, and when we got home, I went out to the run to let the chickens out into their garden. They heard me coming, and Mrs. Dashwood stood in the coop door and started into the “I laid an egg!” song. I opened the run door and everyone ran out. Mrs. Dashwood continued her song while making a slow and stately descent of the ladder from the coop. Such a diva.
I walked around to the egg door, anticipating a warm, just laid egg. I opened the door to a big egg on the nest, reached in, and it was cold. It had been laid a long time ago and Mrs. Dashwood wasn’t even in the coop sitting on it. I took the egg from the nest and closed the door.
Mrs. Dashwood had finished her song and was milling about my feet with everyone else. I looked at her and I looked at the egg, not even certain it belonged to her, almost certain that it did not. Yet, she took credit for it.
I have since noticed that she often does this. When someone starts singing, Mrs. Dashwood will too, and she will keep going long after the one who laid the egg has stopped. I’m not sure if this is a The-One-Who-Sings-Longest-Wins contest, or, if Mrs. Dashwood’s taking up the song (often louder than the layer) gets the other to stop sooner so she can take credit. The only one she doesn’t really do this to is Elinor. I suppose when you are top chicken you get to claim the labor of others as your own.
We reached a record breaking 92F here on Tuesday. It was summer’s last hurrah, and good riddance. The sudden heat scorched the poor Kentucky wonder pole beans climbing up the deck who had been hanging on so valiantly through the summer heat and drought. I don’t expect any more fresh beans from them, but I hope the pods that are growing for seed make it.
The fortex pole beans did just fine and continue to go like gangbusters. I have decided I love the beautiful filet beans. They are quite tricksy though and know how to hide until they are much too large to pick. Lots of seed for next year!
I continue to cheer on the crookneck squashes. There are a whole bunch of them now. I go out everyday to water them, check their progress, and whisper, Go, squash, go! There is also now a tiny zucchini, about the size of a fat pencil. I sprinkle cheers and water on ki too.
And finally, the potatoes are beginning to die back. They are still not ready to dig, the greenery needs to have gone yellow, unless I want smaller potatoes. So we wait and anticipate.
The squirrels have gone into autumnal overdrive. They are stealing the few tomatoes that my plants actually produced, doing the hated thing they do—take a bite or two and then leave the rest. They have also discovered the ground cherry next to the tomatoes and are now getting all the pineapple-y goodness instead of me. I’m actually surprised it took them this long to discover it, since last year they ate most of them.
We finally finished picking all the apples off the tree yesterday. Well, all the apples we could reach. Even with our super-duper telescoping fruit picker, there are always some—usually the biggest and best—that we are unable to reach. The squirrels can’t get them either because they are on the ends of spindly branches. I don’t know what happens to them, I suppose they fall eventually, but I like to imagine them as a sacrifice to the apple goddess.
There actually is an apple goddess. Idun, if you are of Norse inclination, and Pomona if the Romans are your jam. Though their apple associations are completely different. Idun keeps the apples of immortality and Pomona is the keeper of orchards and fruit trees. Perhaps they both get some of my sacrificial apples. You know, “an apple a day keeps the doctor away” for youth from Idun, and flourishing trees from Pomona. Why play favorites?
Anyway, we have quarts and quarts of apple sauce, several pints of apple butter, and James will soon be making an apple pie. I love apple season! I am glad they are easy to preserve because the season flies by much too fast into winter squash season, which I also love. Pumpkin, most definitely, but butternut squash is also amazing. And delicata, and the ever so strange spaghetti squash. And all the other weirdly shaped and lumpy winter squashes. They look so delightfully odd. But I run ahead of myself since I am still cheering on my summer crooknecks.
Go, squash, go!
- Book: Stolen Focus by Johann Hari. A book about why we can’t focus anymore. Really fascinating. Also, it’s not your fault.
- Book: Belle Greene by Alexandre Lapierre. Belle Greene was the librarian of J.P. Morgan’s private library. She was also a black woman passing for white. Lapierre stresses that she stuck completely to the historical record and there is nothing in the book that didn’t happen. I’m only two chapters in and so far it is quite good.
- Podcast: Between the Covers: Elaine Castillo: How to Read Now. This was super interesting and I am looking forward to reading the book. My library doesn’t have it yet, and then when they do have it, there are a few people in the queue in front of me.
- Series: Lord of the Rings: Rings of Power. It took a couple of episodes to really get going, but I am rather enjoying it. I love that there are black elves, hobbits, dwarves, and even a black queen of Numinor whose father, the ailing king, is white. All the haters out there saying elves can’t be black can go suck it. Elves can be black and so can mermaids.