A Jumping Guinea Hen, A Visit to a Cave, and Lots of Insects

Greetings to you! I hope you’re staying cool in all of this heat – that is if, like us, your area of the world is currently sweltering! For once, it’s too hot even to go to the pond, so we’re all hunkered down inside, cuddling up to the fans and window A/C units.

The chickens are faring well, despite the weather. We put out electrolyte-enhanced water for them (“chicken gatorade”, CPT A calls it), and the yard provides plenty of shade. Occasionally, we give them watermelon.

The chickens love watermelon.

They also continue to adore meal worms. Here you see our normally skittish guinea hen performing tricks for the worms Ginger offers her.

We escaped the heat one day this past week by driving to New York state for a tour through¬†Howe Caverns.¬†Have you been there? We took the basic tour which drops you 156 feet below the earth’s surface and lasts 90 minutes.

There was even a boat ride!

The cave’s temperature is about 55 degrees, so it was a welcome break from the swelter.

CPT A says he would like to live in the caves. He says we could bring him sandwiches.

Back on the earth’s surface, I’ve been enjoying all of the recent visitors to my garden.

Silver-spotted Skipper

With so much in bloom, there’s a lot to see, and I can easily spend an hour wandering from plant to plant looking for insects.

I have a guide called Backyard Bugs that I used to identify what I see.

Another book that I’m really enjoying is this one:

CPT A’s aunt gave it to me. It’s a wonderful resource for gardeners interested in using native plants to sustain wildlife. I highly recommend it.

Something else I’m enjoying – taking photos with the little macro lens that fits onto my cell phone camera. The lens wasn’t very expensive, and I use it like I would a microscope. It allows me to see so much more detail than I would be able to observe with my eyes alone.

Here you see day lily stamens…

a nice, detailed shot of a bumble bee…

and the center of a black-eyed susan.

Wonderful textures, don’t you think?

I’m really learning a lot by using it.

And, here’s one last photo – a recent crochet project of Ginger’s…a mermaid cat!

If you’re interested, you can find the pattern HERE.

Meanwhile, I’m still working on a crocheted afghan, but the going has been very slow. An afghan probably isn’t the best sort of project to be working on in the summer heat. I’ll finish it, though…eventually.

From the dining room table, wondering if it’s cool enough yet to go sit out on the porch,

Mrs. Smythe