Friday, July 24, 2020

Sponge Sweezie Squishy Pants

And the sensor is in the shade.
It's official.  This is my least favorite summer in recent memory.  Too much heat.  Too little rain.  WAY too much humidity.  It takes all my energy to move from one sticky chair to another.  I finally threw in the soggy towel and ordered a portable air conditioner with sufficient BTUs to actually cool the living area.  I was lucky, as it was on sale and I got 18 months of zero financing.  Still, it was not on my budget list.  At least I feel I have my life back.

The "where is my blanket" look.

The garden is enjoying the weather - unfortunately, I only last about ten minutes in the 99% humidity before I cry "uncle"!  This has left the weeds, snails and slugs to run rampant.  It has also led to some amazing finds in the squash plants (baseball bat-sized zucchini, anyone?)  I think I have managed to access my photos, so hold onto your socks.
Savory Zucchini & Cheddar Scones
I have started to work through my zucchini recipes - I have amassed quite a few over the years.  So far, there have been Mediterranean Zoodles, zucchini pizza crust pizza, savory scones (my favorite, so far), lemon zucchini bread (GF), zucchini fritters and, next up to bat, savory zucchini and ricotta pie.  I am impatiently awaiting the ripening of my tomatoes so that I can try a creamy tomato bake, with hollowed out, ripe tomatoes stuffed with herbs, ricotta and parm, baked and then topped with a Mediterranean style dressing.  With even a reasonably successful garden, the possibilities are endless!

These photos were taken in the beginning of July, so multiply the green by 50.  I will get out and take pictures this weekend, if it's not too brutal.  There is so much to do outside, too.  It ain't fair, I tell ya!  I finally managed to find someone to rebuild my fence, but now am faced with material shortages and have posts being delivered, but no fencing panels - ETA unknown.

There has been an abundance of many things here - some good, some no so.  There is a bumper crop of crows, sparrows, hummers and chipmunks.  A huge grey owl has moved into the wooded area nearby.  Apparently, there's a bumper crop of red-tailed hawks and wild turkeys, too.  And, for the first time in years,we have raccoons.  Joy.  The chipmunk problem has seemed to have lessened - probably because of the hawk population.  The crows help protect the hens from the hawks, as they hate them and raise a holy ruckus when any are within range.  They are much more reliable than the rooster, who is as sharp as a marble.  I am still going through over a cup and a half of hummer nectar every day, although it seems to be slowing down slightly.  There are sparrows everywhere, much to Lovey's consternation and Slimmie's excitement.  I have heard the owl for the past month - checking its call against my bird app (I do love some aspects of technology).  If I had any doubts, they were dispelled when I trotted out to the sheep enclosure a few mornings ago to find a headless rabbit.  It was a large rabbit and, apparently, owls take the best bits (contained in the head) and leave the rest, when their prey is too big to carry.  If that doesn't put you off your breakfast, I don't know what would. 

A week ago, I had put an empty waterer on top of the chicken's feed dish to keep out the critters overnight.  When I came out the next morning, the waterer was six feet away.  Social distancing or raccoon? 
Notice the telltale sign in the
'bottom of the duck's pool
All doubt was gone when, a few days ago, I heard the duck alarm again, without crows, and went out to find a Corgi-sized raccoon climbing down the fence into the chicken yard.  It wasn't even dark!  I scared him off and then had a heck of a time getting the ducks and remaining chickens into the safety of the coop for the night.  Herding cats or pushing string, comes to mind.   Yesterday, again before dusk, the ducks set off the alarm again, and there he/she was on the roof of the coop, on its way down.  This time I went for the air rifle and managed to put a pellet in its butt.  I'm hoping it was enough of a dissuasion to have it look for another opportunity elsewhere.


Nancy In Boise said...

I'm not seeing a post here? No photos or anything?

Ed said...

I dislike the world when it gets that hot for this to happen.

Marcia LaRue said...

Wow! This is an exciting read ... sorry about your bunny! Yuck ... you're right about putting you off your feed to only find the body and no head! Sheesh!!
The zuke scones look yummy! My favorite recipe is a zucchini coconut bread ... haven't made it in years, but it was so nice and moist and delicious!
Enjoy your weekend the best way you can ... stay cool!! Wear your mask!!

jaz@octoberfarm said...

i figured that i've died and gone to hell and no one told me. what is this summer anyway? we have been 90+ for a month and the humidity is off the charts. UGH! my zucchini, as usual, is not setting.i don't know what i do wrong but i never get it to grow.

Susan said...

Sorry, Nancy. I think I hit publish before I was ready!

Ed, this summer sucks eggs. I had hoped that my buying an AC would immediately ease the heatwave - as it always happens. No luck.

Marcia, I would love that recipe! I always have a mask on or at hand - it's taken a while to get used to, but it's so important.

Joyce, I think of you and your poor Ws in this weather! As I said, once the tomatoes get ripe, I am over summer.

Goatldi said...

Nice photos impressive weather. Owls must eat. Can you send a link to your bird call app?

Glad you got an AC unit. Expensive to buy and run but enjoy. When I lived in Woodstock the winters called my name the summers said “Go west to home.” And I listened.

Good to be able to see your crew again. Hang tough only 60 days until Autumn. Then onto winter. Opps forgot that can be a touchy subject with you. XXXOOO

tpals said...

This is indeed a tough summer. I'm going to try to accomplish something this morning while the wind is blowing, although it's already hot.

Love the pictures. Your garden looks great.

You may have to kill the daytime coon to save your flocks. That's what my parents had to do.

Michelle said...

So good to see a post from you! I get slightly worried when my blogpals are too quiet. Our summer is vacillating between coolish and HOT; supposed to be 100 here on Sunday and Monday. But thankfully, we rarely get your humidity. Hope you can keep all of yours safe; you had no choice but to pepper that raccoon's behind!

Nancy In Boise said...

Your garden looks great! It's been hot here too but at least it's dried out mostly. We had a little rain last night and drop 30 degrees in 3 hours yay! Glad you were able to find yourself some air conditioning a cooler house is always a great place to come into when it's hot out. Hang out there and stay cool

Marcia LaRue said...

I will see if I can find that recipe or one similar. You might try doing a search online and get a reasonable copy.

Florida Farm Girl said...

So glad you figured out the photo issue. You MUST be cool in order to get any decent sleep. Your garden looks lovely.

Joanne Noragon said...

It's far too hot for summer, agreed. Hope the coon takes his little footprints elsewhere.

Marcia LaRue said...

Well, I looked to see if I still had that zucchini coconut bread recipe and I do not ... I searched the web and found this one ...

It sounds pretty good to me ... however, I never sprinkled coconut on top of my loaves of bread!

Debra She Who Seeks said...

Buried in zucchini! Every gardener can identify.

Mama Pea said...

Same here with our ungodly hot, HUMID summer. We had an especially bad night last night with the temp and humidity refusing to drop. Poor husband of mine simply cannot take the humidity anymore (I kid him he's experiencing a "change of life" phase . . . it does not go over well) and was a very unhappy, tired, frustrated guy this morning because of inability to sleep last night. Usually we have about three days of real summer, but this year it's like we're living in Mississippi.

I vote for your raccoon to go to that great raccoon heaven in the sky.

ellen abbott said...

your garden looks great and I do like baked tomatoes but never get fancy so I might try your version. no weeding will get done here til September. 30 or 40 minutes worth out there has me dripping sweat. we had a racoon try to get into our locking trash can one night. dragged it about 30' feet and then abandoned the effort. said...

Your garden looks like it's loving this summer! The stuffed squash looks yummy! Good for you for getting the air conditioner! this summer it seem everyone needs one. Horrible weather and it just keeps coming with maybe a day cooler day in between. I'm not a very happy camper with this weather! I bet the animals are really enjoying the air conditioner. Take care and stay safe!!

Rain said...

Hi Susan :))) Your dogs are's been really hot here too. Your scones look amazing! Oh gosh I hope that raccoon learned its lesson and your flock is okay. said...

Holy Cow, it's like you're living in the wild west with all the "varmits"! what you are experiencing with the heat is what we have down here all the time in the summer and early fall and I can't stand it! Give me cold and snow any day but not the heat and humidity! I've been told the older you get the more you can't handle extremes of heat or cold. I am living proof of that as I am officially old. I go out early and it is cooler but it might as well be raining there is so much moisture and the grass is wet and I get soaked. Then the sun comes out and dries things off but it is so hot you can barely breathe.
Your garden looks wonderful! I've tried several scone recipes and they always seem dry to me. Maybe I'm missing something. I hope it cools off for you soon! Stay safe!

Toni said...

Dang, I've missed your posts and you!

In a dilemma right now. Our heat is triple digits for past 6 weeks, cooling trend now so only 96. Humidity is about 12%! And we like surrounded by mountain ranges, so basically from June to September air quality sucks because of smoke from fires.

We're seriously considering relocating to east coast (New Hampshire or Vermont). At least we were until I read your post. High humidity in heat sucks! What to do, what to do!

Zucchini makes an awesome milk! Put through blender and freeze in 1 cup increments. Can use all winter for baking, pancakes, cookies, and making soups. Pretty yummy!