MonsoonEven though summer doesn’t begin until June 21st, we are heatin’ up all the same. Monday we had our first peek at monsoonal type moisture; accompanied by a rather destructive micro burst in Bisbee. Today we have rather high clouds and are a bit muggy; hopefully this is a good portend for our monsoonal season. This is a photo from the National Park Service… but it is a good example of what we will be seeing in just a matter of weeks.

IMG_4516As the weather heats up, the chickens get a bit stressed. We make sure that they have plenty of water available – always, but especially for the extra hot days. Sometimes we’ll add large ice cubes to their water in the morning to make sure it is cool through the hot day. We’ve been spraying down the ground for the meat birds so that they can stay cool in the shade. As the temperatures rise, we also provide worm-sicles. Veggie-sicles? Ice pops with extras included? Whatever you want to call them, the chickens love them. Since it was 102° on Sunday when I IMG_4518went to do the chores, I dug out some leftover ices from the deep freezer and took them out to the RCW. They remembered what they were right away. We usually take two out there so there is enough to go around. Maeve is always the one who jumps right on in to peck those worms out. Then the others catch on and it becomes a free for all. It’s a good way to cool down.  This photo, with Imen, gives you a better idea of what we freeze in the water. You can see a large layer of different types of greens and then the worms on top. It’s something to keep them occupied and helps them to beat the heat.

IMG_4523Since the weather has been warming up, our fruit has been showing signs of setting and/or ripening. That is always fun to watch. We’ve been fighting the birds for the few apricots that actually set on the old trees over by the dinky house. I haven’t tried any, but Sue’s actually rescued a couple and says that they are amazingly good. Really need to cut them back next fall and see if we can get a better set next year.  The apple tree also had several fruits stay on through the winds… they are looking really quite nice. The same goes for the old pomegranate img_4522.jpegtree. I just really love that luscious read color of the flowers that transforms into a dark, almost russet in the fruit. Regular watering as really helped to bring these old trees back from the almost dead.  The one tree that I was hoping to see more from this year, was the Walnut tree. It had so many catkins this spring, but has now barely leafed out.  It really needs some chainsaw pruning done to it and even more watering. We’ll just keep working at it, like all things.

Upcoming events: Wednesday may see the arrival of the next set of meat birds. I need to finish the order form and get that out to our regulars. Thursday we may be moving the RCW if the winds don’t pick up. Although, if we based that on what’s happening now – it’s not gonna happen. Sue’s been mowing the pastures whenever she can. Every once in a while we get something planted… I’m hoping this week I can get the drip line laid out for the wind break and we get some of those trees in to take advantage of the rains. We have this wonderful grape plant that is doing well in its pot, but I want to see if we can train it along the gabion walls; if it does ok, I’d like to put one on each of the walls with the herb gardens on them. Those gardens need to be cleaned out and replanted. Many of the things I’ve planted have either just gone to see or have over grown their boxes – I need to just revamp the plants and add some more soil and nutrients. The little birds are having fun harvesting the seeds though. That’s neat to watch. And the bees are loving the chamomile flowers – as well as the dusty miller; there’s not a lot of other stuff out there for them to harvest right now. Soon.

Well, if any of that happens in the next few days, we’ll let you know about it! Until then, as always~
Thanks for reading!

Today’s Weather: I’ve talked about this a bit already, but let me give you some stats. High today was 97°. Since the clouds have come over, it’s cooled down a bit. Currently, at 6:09 p.m., it is 90°, partly cloudy skies, 14% humidity with winds NNW at 12 mph. Sunrise was at 5:14 and sunset will be at 7:24. Overnight low around 61°. Tomorrow looks to be a bit warmer  with more clouds.

Egg Report: Sunday – 34 chicken, 2 duck.  Monday – 37 chicken, 3 duck.  Tuesday –  32 chicken, 1 duck.