Monday, August 30, 2010

We Even Had A Thunderstorm!

The temperatures dropped 40 degrees from one day to the next. We had been sweltering at 98 degrees and then we were freezing at 58. Fifty-eight for a high temperature on an August afternoon is just plain wrong, but we didn't mind in the least. For the two days of cool temps we worked on the fence, raked the yard, got a space ready for the two raised beds for winter, swept the long driveway (made a mental note: Get a snow blower before winter!). We worked and worked in a way that just can't be done in the stifling heat of summer. It felt great.

We noticed that the cooler temperatures and gray skies brought out a lot of hungry birds. The hummingbirds were really in fine form. We have seating for 14 at our feeders, but twice that number showed up. It was truly a mob scene. I had to shoot this little video of it.

The cooler temps got us out on the trails too. We got to see some new wildlife,
like this newt

and this American Rubyspot damselfly (not sure about the ID, bugguide is working on it).

And you know how we always love a very nice pile of fresh bear scat. This one was remarkable for its size. Sure wouldn't mind seeing (from a safe distance, of course) the bear that left this.

Life is happening fast and furious these days. We've got plans in the works to build the sauna before winter, and then some time later to build the chicken house. Our big chore though was to get the raised beds ready for our winter garden before Roger starts chemotherapy on September 7th. Much to do, but we always try to make time for a good walk and a post on the blog.

How are you guys?


  1. How neat. Love the pictures. I am trying to mentally prepare myself for it soon being autumn. We had the grandkids here for almost a week with one night all four (that was an experience since the youngest wasn't thrilled at being away from mommy-- to put it mildly). I feel like it was all important and good but I am so relieved to be back to somewhat normal.

  2. Wow. Hummingbirds are usually so territorial. They must be hungry and bulking up for autumn/winter and what ever it is they do that that time of year. Nice pictures. We've been having some heat too along with humidity. The humidity does me in totally. You sound very busy. Good luck with it all.

  3. busy, indeed! Good preparation for the coming season I'd say. Especially since you don't know how Roger will do with the chemo. Wow, you need a snow blower for winter? I didn't think of that, not being a snow country person.

    I'll certainly pitch in when I'm up -- I'm good for raking, sweeping, any ol' thing!

  4. very cool here so I have been out finishing chores that I started in cooler weather.
    love that newt, looks poisonous!

  5. Whoa, what the hell is that above me?

  6. zilla- that was a lunatic. So I deleted it. I've been commenting at a blog lately that attracts lunatics. I didn't think one would follow me home. Pathetic little creature.

  7. I thought you might have a new post up, but Blogger wouldn't open last night. The hummingbird video is amazing! "round these parts, they are very territorial. But maybe only during mating season? You are surely on a migration route to have so many in one place!

    I wish Roger strength and send lots and lots of love for his chemo. Being outside is surely helping him heal, and the gentler temps of autumn will hopefully make it easier for him to be outside a lot.

    (verification word is "colonspi")

  8. it apparently is a poisonous newt.

  9. Interesting newt! I'm lucky if I see t3wo hummingbirds at one time here.

  10. i know of a newt that's far more poisonous, but has two legs.

    i saw that comment too...the lunatic fringe is growing. i'm ready for the bunker! love you guys.

  11. 58 degrees is not "freezing," sorry.

  12. Poisonous newts? Does that mean you can't eat them? :-)
    Will the fence keep out rabbits?
    Anyway, it's lookin' good.
    I am enjoying the weather and finishing up small outside projects. (Really small outside projects. Not even projects--more like maintanence! But projects sounds so more productive!)
    Love the clip of the hummingbirds--more than I see in month!

  13. so busy! that's great. glad the temps dropped enough to make it possible.

  14. the fencing we used is called "deer and rabbit" fence. maybe "rabbit and deer" fence. the horizontal wires are an inch apart at the bottom. rabbits got thru the same sort of fence in our port townsend yard, but had no interest in our cultivated flowers or food crops.

  15. Good golly the hummingbirds!!!!
    That is just amazing.

  16. a video is the only way to capture the frantic hummer feeding.i have the same number of little cuties and could never get it via camera. they are just too quick. thanks.
    isn't it wonderful to finally be working on your own land?
    good luck roger when you start treatment. each one you take is one less you have to take.

  17. Great little video of the hummingbirds. They do look like they're hungry.
    About 10 years ago, I was with my friend on a road that runs along the Chetco River when we came upon quite a migration of red newts marching across the pavement. A few had been roadkilled already so we moved the others using cardboard to slide under them so that we wouldn't have to touch them with our hands.
    Glad the weather has cooled down a bit there. It was 90 here today and is supposed to stay like that for a couple of more days. I'm finding it hard to keep working on the house, especially as the humidity has been very high. We may get a piece of Hurricane Earl sometime this weekend.

  18. Sweet hummers! Swell fence!
    Cocnert band season has started, so I'm feverishly trying to get my fingers flying on the old clarinet...

  19. great to read this post and to see the hummer video. such fun to watch so many feeding. we only have a few.

    great that you have gotten the beds ready for planting. sending roger lots of good wishes that the chemo goes well tomorrow. think of you both so often.

  20. best pic of a newt I've ever seen! thanks for posting that lovely photo. i've loved those little guys since i read The Little Red Newt in 2nd grade...and that's a lot of years of love. where i live, i see plenty of olive-colored salamanders in the ponds, but rarely a red one out on the moss, shining as bright as a highway cone. Thanks!