Our life living off the land in our log cabin, breathing fresh mountain air, and getting back to basics.

Monday, May 20, 2013

A Day of Weeding, Exciting News and a Surprise Hail Storm

I'll start with the exciting news...I've shared previously that we found a Ruffed Grouse nest in our woods behind the cabin, and placed our critter cam there to capture the nesting, hatching, feeding and fledgling phases.  We periodically go by the site to check the batteries in the camera, and today, this is what we found (after mama moved away, extremely cautiously)...
...so we quickly checked the batteries and left the area to keep our disruption of the nesting area to a minimum (giddy the whole way, this is really exciting to get to experience!).  This was mama as we approached, watching more guardedly than she had before, and it's no wonder...her chicks were hatching.
I can't wait to go get the USB card...we've already captured some awesome pictures since the first time we found the nest...and tomorrow we should be able to see the chicks foraging for their food (they do this withing 24 hours of hatching).  I can't wait to share it all with you!

No less important, but much less fun than today's discovery of new life, we spent this morning weeding the garden.  This is my least favorite part of gardening...all the bending, digging, hoeing, pulling, over and over and over....I'm so glad we got the deep rooted weeds removed today.  And since I don't want to have to repeat this level of weeding again, tomorrow we will be making mulch out of all the branches from the trees we felled some time back, laying a thick layer around the outside walking path in the garden as well as the walking rows in between the vegetables. This should help keep the weeds to a minimum, and for those that do pop through, we should be able to pull them out easily.
While weeding, I was happy to discover that the second set of squash seeds we planted,
along with the watermelon, are sprouting.  It truly is gratifying to watch those little sprouts pushing through the earth...I do enjoy this part of gardening!

I was going to close today with a Pipevine Swallowtail feeding on my newly bloomed rhododendron.  I love this rhododendron, it is an incredible fuchsia color!  BUT...

...we got hit with a major, sudden storm...thunder, lightening, and hail, lots and lots of dime size hail...this is the front yard (notice the car is missing, when we realized what was happening, Johny ran to the car to drive it up to our neighbors carport to keep it out of the hail...the neighbors aren't here right now)...
 ...and this is our deck.

My level of concern for mama Grouse increased dramatically, as for our garden.  I did move all our herbs from the deck and got pelted (by big hail that hurt) in the process, but was happy to have saved them.  When this thing blows over, we'll walk to the garden to check things out.  Not sure if we'll visit mama Grouse, we don't want her to leave her chicks now, even if only briefly, but I sure would like to know she (and they) is fine.

Thanks for reading my blog, you are the best f/f/r/s/f's, see you tomorrow,


Osage Bluff Quilter said...

What a hail storm!

Hope your tender plants survived!

Lise said...

Everything looks good so far, though some things did get a little battered. I really shouldn't complain much...hearing about people in Oklahoma just breaks my heart for them.

See you in a couple days!

Dad/Pepere said...

Let's hope that mama grouse handled the emergency OK. Hugs!

Lise said...

She did dad, she did. Nature is an amazing thing! I have an update in today's post:) Hugs back