Releasing our seven painted lady butterflies on Tuesday morning,
The ruby-throated hummingbird coming to the feeder off the deck, on a cloudy day, with Virginia creeper tendrils reaching out. I’ll have to spend more time this summer practicing taking better shots of the male and female.
Speaking of lousy photos, here’s one I took through the kitchen window in the rain of the male hummingbird sitting in the spruce tree where we think they have their teeny tiny nest,
In the pasture, several hundred feet from the house, a newborn whitetail fawn. We find one or two a year, and each time I still marvel at the instinct that keeps the baby motionless except to breathe. When the kids and I arrived home on Thursday evening close to nine, Tom beckoned to us to change our clothes, grab the camera, and follow him. He had come home for dinner, saw the doe, accompanied by two yearlings and four small legs, then watched as the first three took off. He followed and came upon the fawn in the grass,
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Today we’re recovering from yet another long busy week, culminating in yesterday’s very long all-day swim meet in the little city down the road. Well, I’m recovering, at home alone. Tom, who in all the craziness forgot to phone any of the museum volunteers to see who could be there this afternoon, decided to man the place himself with the kids. He’s president of the board, so it’s a good lesson in the buck stops here for them, and a good way for the four of them to celebrate Father’s Day back in time, while I am wash out swimsuits, tidy the house, and inspect the garden.
It’s been a soggy week, with rain on Monday and Tuesday, a very heavy shower on Friday with hail, a downpour all of yesterday (nearly an inch of rain in our gauge when we arrived home last night), and yet more at 4:30 am. Now, after lunch, the sky is showing a bit of blue and the sun is trying to come out.
A few weeks ago we had two of our steers butchered, one for ourselves and one for friends. On Monday, the butcher phoned to say that the meat was ready to be picked. Which meant (aside from rib eye steaks on the barbecue for Father’s Day dinner tonight) a quick trip to the outskirts of the big city on Tuesday to deliver two sides of beef to our friends. We had just enough time to dash into the city proper to an unusually nice Sears store, because the kids all needed new sandals, Laura needed a new swimsuit before the old one disintegrated, and we found ourselves in the midst of a big clearance sale (for Sears cardholders, an extra 25 percent off anything already on clearance, for Monday and Tuesday only). On Thursday after swim practice the kids’ were invited by one of the women’s groups in towns to entertain at their annual dinner, so my trio sang, danced, and recited poetry. On Friday Laura handed in one of her 4H binders, a great deal of effort (especially the feed records, an effective way to bring arithmetic to life and to convey the importance of numbers) between two covers. The other binder for the other club is due in early August. She and I also took a number of bags and boxes of outgrown clothing and books weeded from the shelves to the Goodwill shop. Yesterday, they swam. I can’t tell you the pride I feel when I watch all three do the butterfly and smooth flip turns, neither of which I’ve mastered, and when I watch my seven-and-a-half year-old swim a very elegant front crawl or my newly nine-year-old hold his own on the 11-12 year-old relay team. And Laura blazed through the pool with her backstroke.
A a bit of sad news this week, too. Tom came in early yesterday morning from looking after the animals, before we headed to the swim meet, with the news that two of three newborn kittens had been killed, including Davy’s kitten Cougar, pictured here last week. We don’t know whether by the fox that got the chicken, the skunk we’ve seen around, or by one of the male cats. But we did know we couldn’t tell the kids yesterday. I broke the news this morning, before they headed out to do chores. Oh the tears we’ve all shed. Fortunately, I had taken some pictures of the kittens last week, and I’ll have to get prints made for the kids.