I've been busy bidding summer farewell these past few weeks... cleaning up the garden (and weeding still!) where veggies are but a memory, and picking lots of peppers and tomatoes and a few beans and okra. But the leaves are really starting to turn now and it won't be long before all the plants in the garden are gone. This year I'm prepping the ground a lot for next spring and adding the chicken poop and shavings directly to the top. Come spring it'll be nicely decomposed and we'll dig it all in. It'll help keep the weeds down and the ground from crusting over in the meantime.
I've dehydrated trays and trays of hot peppers and tested some tomatoes yesterday. I think I'll dehydrate the rest of the tomatoes I get this season that I don't give to the chickens (they love 'em). They take up so little room once dry and I can use them when I make harrissa.
And my big lemon balm plant dehydrated down to a little jar-full once I crushed the leaves. I need to grow way more herbs next year! My brain is racing now that I have a dehydrator; it was really too humid to dry much here in the summer by just hanging them in the kitchen, so with my new toy the options are much greater.
I'm going to miss certain rituals I had going this summer with the chickens. Every other day I'd change out all their water containers and let the water run from the hose into their outside area. They loved walking through and pecking at it and it cooled them off. But now as the weather is turning cooler, I've stopped getting their area wet. I can tell they miss the fun of running water on their feets. Changing the water in the winter won't be nearly as much fun - and I think I'd better get some warm, waterproof gloves very soon.
I haven't mentioned it, but I lost six of my guineas. Awhile back, when it was time to let them out at long last, they wandered away and only three came back. I was heart-broken. But a neighbor thinks my missing ones have joined up with his. I hope so! The three I have - Larry, Moe and Curly - never leave now. They just hang with the chickens all the time. Well, they hang with Andy mainly, the brahma rooster. Where he goes, they go; it's so funny. They are like his shadow - and biggest fans - and he is so patient with them. They sleep with the chickens and I feel relieved that they are locked up at night with everyone else. Here is Andy with the silly guineas.
This is the perfect weather - no heat or air conditioning needed... just perfectly comfortable temperatures and humidity. But I have to move all my houseplants inside soon since cold is right around the corner - and that will be a challenge again. We did it last year, but some of the plants have gotten bigger. Where on earth are they going to go?
We've adopted a new kitty! It (we don't know the gender yet) is only four weeks old so we won't be picking him/her up until the end of this month. We just stumbled upon the kitten and fell in love. Someone put it and its sibling in a dumpster and a kind soul heard them crying and rescued them, taking them to the no kill Humane Society here. I'd like to put the person who put them in the dumpster into one where they couldn't get out. What is wrong with people?
It's a windy, cool, cloudy day... and seems as though winter is introducing itself, saying "How do you do?". The changing of the seasons... it really affects my activities and soon I'll be crocheting up a storm, making body butter and soap (I'm almost out of both) and toting wood once again into the cabin for day-long fires. I hope the chickens like winter; they're certainly dressed for it.