Thursday, September 07, 2017


 White-lined Sphinx
(or hummingbird moth)


Red-tailed Bumblebee

The first few days of September have been cool, in the 70s during the daytime and as low as 38 degrees in the night.  We were waking up to a very chilly house because we like the windows open.  The last couple of days we've reached back up into the 80s but every night is very cool.  I'm noticing the trees starting to show little patches of yellow leaves here and there, almost like a man who is going gray at the temples.  That's what I always think of when I see the beginnings of leaves changing.

The sunflowers are thriving and so are the moss roses, zinnias, marigolds and petunias.  In the evenings or early mornings we see the sphinx moths flitting from flower to flower sucking nectar just like hummingbirds.  They looks so much like hummingbirds  that some have nicknamed them hummingbird moths.  Have you seen them?  The grandkids and I have been noticing an unusual amount of red-tailed bumblebees around.  They love my moss roses, but will hover over any flower that's still in bloom this late.  They've been good pollinators for me this year and constant companions in the gardens.

The fencing project has been going great!  The men have accomplished so much.  I have contributed a little bit.  I go out with my bucket of clips for the steel posts and clip down as many wires as I can.  There's lots of walking and squatting in this little job and my hands do feel the effects of twisting clips around posts.  I try not to overdo it.  I have that luxury, but the men don't.  They just keep on working when I'm ready to call it a day and go do something else.  I figure I'm helping them, even if it is just a little here and there.  The girls and I do bring out iced tea and snacks most afternoons and that's a fine contribution when you're hot and tired and need a break.

The daughters and I spent Tuesday working up the apples that we picked from my parents' apple tree.  I'm guessing we picked about 3 bushels or maybe a little more.  It took us all day washing, cutting, cooking, and milling the apples but many hands make light work!  By the end of the evening I finished off pressure canning the last of the jars of apple sauce and the final total was 28 quarts and 17 pints of apple sauce.  The apples were so sweet that I think we only used a total of 4 cups of sugar for all of it.  We probably could have gone without sugar, but adding that little bit sure did mellow the sauce out.  There is yet another tree almost ready for picking so we will have another applesauce making day very soon.  

The garden is still supplying us with fresh broccoli and green beans as well as carrots, potatoes, cucumbers and zucchini, but the lettuces are waning.  I have some new lettuce sprouting up so I have hopes for fall greens.  The tomatoes are still green, but there are many on the vine.  I suppose once they ripen, they will all go at once and we'll have to have a tomato canning bee!  Pumpkins and squash are setting nicely.  The grands will love the pumpkins for carving jack-o-lanterns.  I think I will carve their names on the green pumpkins and see how they turn out when they are ripened!  I'll plant garlic very soon for next year's crop.  

We've had a few days of smoke drifting down from Western Montana fires.  I can't imagine how awful it must be there in the midst of the fires when we have had days with thick smoke being hundreds of miles away.  There have been a few fires in our area too.  NumberOneSon and CarpenterSon have gone out on several fire calls.  Our volunteer department is small, but effective!

I hope your September is going well.  Are you enjoying the big moon?  I guess it was full on Wednesday.  It's sure big and red-orange in the sky when it is rising. Tonight I'm going to tip back in my lawn chair and look at the stars.  It's a beautiful summer night.  I'm still hanging on to summer!


  1. Happy September, Jody! Sounds like your garden and ranch are flourishing. I hope the fires stay far away from you and your home. We also have greens and beans coming along for fall, and I put some garlic in recently. I've given up on tomatoes for the year. They wore me out :) Enjoy your big sky and full moon!

  2. Sounds like September has had lots of good labor at your place already with lots accomplished. We had one night at our son's home when I could see the sky lit up with stars. So amazing for a city girl to see. Hope you have a good weekend and I'm praying that those Montana fires are under control soon.

  3. Beautiful September photos, Jody. I was thinking about you and looking at a map of the fires to see where they were in relation to you. So tragic! But glad you are safe and pray they are put out soon. Thinking of you down here in Texas.

  4. What a nice summer and what lovely thoughts and words. I love reading about what has been going on at your place. Those fires are so bad. I was wondering about you and if you and your family and hoping they were not close to you. We have had smoke from fires almost all of August and now September. Have a wonderful Sunday.

  5. I loved reading this, Jody! I don't know why, but I always love reading posts about seasons and transitions into new seasons. Sweet life you have! :) We've got smoke, too--it's been like fog. It's awful. Oregon is burning up. there is a 200,000 acre fire just south of us here on the coast. And fires in other places, too. Anyway, thanks for sharing your loveliness. It's sweet to read in the midst of all of the disasters in the world.

  6. I wondered how close you were to the fires. Hope they stay far away! Sounds like your garden has been very productive, as well as yourselves. :) Enjoy the beautiful fall!

  7. Aw, the sunflowers! So sunny and bright. The fires are horrible. Rain. Rain. Rain. I like the idea of you tipping back in your lawn chair and seeing God's handiwork. God be with you, good Jody.

  8. You are entering a blessed harvest season, for sure! Those "hummingbird moths" are amazing! My daughter posted videos of them visiting her zinnias, and I couldn't tear my eyes away.


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