The Wild Ones
Prickly Pear cactus blooms and Yarrow
The Domestic Ones
Non-stop Begonia, Geranium, Wave Petunias
Summer is in full-tilt now and we are feeling the hot summer days. I'm tending to my flowers and veggie gardens, doing lots of gardenhose watering. We've had a couple half inch showers in all of June so I can't say we haven't had any rain, but just a few miles to our south, east and north, folks have been showered with loads of rain -- inches and inches -- that they'd like it to stop. Some have had tornadoes, tennis ball sized hail, and flooding. I really don't want any of that.
With these sunny, warm days, we are in the hay fields working, and we've also been doing a lot of barn work. We are breeding cows artificially and so that requires quite a bit of barn work and moving cows from pasture to pasture. After the 6th of July, we will be done with all of the AI-ing and can turn the cows and calves and bulls out for the summer and finish up the haying.
Despite the dry spring we had, the hay looks very good. It's the snow that made it. Anywhere that the snow laid in deep, the grass and alfalfa is excellent. We are making hay in draws and in ditches and feed grounds where we've not hayed in years. That little shot of rain we got in June stimulated more growth, and it feels like it's going to be a decent Hay Year after all. You must know that we live in arid country where our average rainfall is just 11-15" a year, and that is counting snowfall. So the beauty of living here is that a little rain does us a lot of good!
My garden is doing just OK. The fenced in garden is being overtaken with tree roots which makes it hard for growing anything with a deep root system. It is also fairly shaded due to the same trees. The garden on the bank beside it is doing terrific. It has no tree roots and it has full sunshine. The potatoes are there and so are the squash and pumpkins along with a couple of tomato and pepper plants. That is where I plan to do ALL the veggie gardening next year, or I may prepare a little spot below the bank.
So far I have picked lettuces, radishes, and zucchini. My Kohlrabi are close to picking and the broccoli is forming heads right now. The tomatoes look terrible -- at least the ones in the fenced garden. Their leaves are curling. I think it could be the tree roots or shade or the cool spring and then sudden heat or all of the above. I'm hoping that the few tomatoes I planted on the bank will at least give me some tomatoes for eating fresh. I'm sure my daughters will have good tomato crops so I won't worry if I have a tomato crop failure this year. The girls are good about sharing.
Well, it's time for me to head back out to help bring cows home. Today we have another afternoon of barn work with the cows and then back to the hay field. Summer is good. It always feels so short to me, so I'm enjoying every little bit of it. The sunflowers are blooming at the side of the gravel road and my dear Hubby cut a handful for me this morning. I have to say, I do think sunflowers are my favorite. They say "Summer" to me. I hope you're summer is going well. To my fellow Americans, I wish you a Happy Independence Day!