Bring on the flies!

GrendlI’m the type of person who really, really has to be in the mood to enjoy shopping. Grocery shopping is a chore, and I prefer to buy my signature Swamp People t-shirts online rather than go to a store and admit to a salesperson that I’d rather wear a shirt graced with a huge green snapping alligator on it than retain the $20 in my pocket. And the only way you can get me into WalMart is to drag me kicking and screaming. Or as Gene would tell you, whining and complaining. But at least he made our latest WalMart trip totally worth it – he got me a Venus flytrap plant! And even more romantic than that, he killed and fed Grendel her first fly when we got home!

Now that Jasmine has some competition in the carnivoration department (I just made upJasmine 2 crop a word!), I’ve been seeing her a lot more. She tends to hang out directly above Grendel, hanging from the sunlamp hidden amongst the Stevia blossoms. I have yet to see her actually catch and devour an insect, but she must be pretty fearsome since she’s the only mantis left. I hope she didn’t eat Willard and Bromier, because I haven’t seen them in a month or so. I’m guessing that it got too hot in there even for tree frogs; they’ll probably be back for the winter months.

HawthorneI think Hawthorne got jealous over all the time I’ve been spending in the greenhouse, because he decided to disappear for about two hours today. Needless to say, I was frantic because there aren’t that many places a 40-pound turkey can hide, or waddle to. The fact that there aren’t too many predators that can carry off a feathered heifer like that didn’t stop me from panicking and tromping around the woods for an hour. Since Gene was at work, I called Abigail, who came down to help me look for him. It only took one of her bellows for him to come ambling out of the blackberry brambles; I think he thought it was funny to hide from mama, but realized he was in trouble when I called in the big guns. On the plus side, I found all sorts of interesting things during my S&R mission in the woods – two hidey holes, one containing Harvey, the other Cinnabun, and a huge nest of turkey eggs. At least when Prudence decides to go broody, I’ll know where to look.

Hey, what’s that over there?

bw dragonflyEven though August just began, I already feel like I’m transitioning into Fall. Ground cherries, tomatillos, tomatoes, cucumbers, and all the greens have found their way into my harvest basket, and the winter squashes should be ready any day now. My chores list is a mile long, including watering, weeding, and general garden upkeep. I end up spending hours outside – not because I’m that busy, but because everything around me is so gorgeous it needs to be photographed. Yesterday I was wandering in the garden, and I saw a huge black and white dragonfly land on one of the dowels I used to prop up the peppers. 167 pictures later, an hour had passed! Thank god for digital, Gene would be broke if I had to pay for film.

I’m particularly drawn to photographing the guineas, because no matter what they’re luciadoing, they look vexed. Lucia could be eating a chocolate cupcake and she’d still glare at you like you rained on her parade. She seems to be fitting in with the other chickens nicely, although I haven’t seen her hanging out with the other guineas yet. I think she still thinks she’s a chicken. I’m going to let Graciella, the newest guinea chick, and her chicken mama out of the brooding box next week, both because I think she’d be happier outside and because I’m getting another shipment of chicks in from the hatchery. They ran a free shipping promo, and who am I to turn down free shipping?

pepperPerhaps more exciting than new chicks, however, is the fact I now have at least four real, actual, Trinidad Scorpion peppers growing on my plant!!!! They already look wizened and evil, and Gene said I should already be in the habit of only handling them with gloves on. How cool is it that no matter where on the planet you go, you can’t find a pepper hotter than what’s in my garden? At least the peppers don’t move into interesting new angles, so I only took 10 pictures of them.

In my defense, though, I feel like I have to practice for the online photography class I chunksigned up for in anticipation of the long rainy days of fall. The class has a section on everything from nature (I’m assuming chickens count as nature), to pets. I’ve been practicing on the poor kitties, always trying to capture them from a new perspective. Chunk is used to me going paparazzi all over his naptime, but Thing 2 swipes at the camera. Apparently he doesn’t like having the lens hover an inch from his face, just waiting to document the next cute thing he does. He’s going to have to get used to it, because the class runs for six weeks and I’m not putting the camera down any time soon.