Monday, August 12, 2013

Monday August 12 - The First Harbingers of Autumn

Well the rain has been coming on again and off again so we have been given a break from watering on a daily basis. It's also brought an unusually large population of mosquitoes.

In terms of vegetables, we've had eggplant a couple of times and a lot of tomato dishes including our first Tomato Cheese Pie of the year (one to eat, one in the freezer) and my latest incarnation of Tomato Caprese Salad which can be made with either chopped big tomatoes or halved cherries. The eggplants have been "interesting," very flavorful but with an almost unchewable skin. Either I've picked them too late or there is something about the variety (white egg) that makes them that way. However, if I'm willing to take the time to peel them, they are quite wonderful.

The hummingbirds continue to drain feeders daily and spend their time fighting when not eating. The big news though is the return of the Lark Sparrows. They show up every year in these few weeks and hang around the horse pens picking through the dried manure for oats that made it through the Hay Burners intact. I always throw a bucket of sunflower seeds oats out back on the ground and they hang around partaking along with a few House Finches and the occasional ground squirrel. This year though - for who knows what reason - I am seeing them in the garden  and even in the barn. Very odd.

I'm always happy when they show up because they portend the end of summer and remind me that they will be among the most common birds on my Christmas Count in Mexico, come December. It will take them the next 3-4 months to get there while I wait here and then spend 2 days making the same journey.

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