Morning chore: pile rocks at the corner of the chicken pen to keep the groundhog out. We’ve seen evidence of digging from the outside, but yesterday, the very large groundhog (we see fleetingly as it runs under the barn) found an opening through the barn’s stacked-stone foundation and was inside the pen yesterday when Gandy and I went over to shut up Ann’s cussed birds for the night. I have no doubt the whistlepig would eat any eggs he might find, so between the black snakes and the ground hogs, we have to buy puny white eggs at Slaughters and keep two old hens as her pets.
Gandy: she’s a keeper after all. And though this one will most likely be our last dog, I pass along the lesson to others. As readers know, there have been numerous occasions during this pup’s first six months when we thought we’d have to find another home for her. She was too unpredictable, too aggressive and too high energy for us. At 7 months, things took a turn. At 8 months this week, she is a different dog altogether, and a joy to be around (mostly.) So puppy owners, take note. Let them evolve past their obnoxious period. There may just be a great dog and companion on the other side.
Garden: While I dread the heat and humidity of the second half of June and especially July, for the garden’s sake, the warmer nights and hot days do wonders to make tomatoes fruit and beans to start climbing up the 8-foot fence and set flowers. So far, no potato bugs or bean beetles, cucumber beetles or flea beetles, and the weeds are mulched and under control. If the rains peter out, the creek for now is good for drawing water. We’ll see what the rest of the summer give us, and hope for beans and tomatoes for the canner.
Reptiles: The black snake with the egg-shaped mass that was hiding under the black plastic on the woodpile two months ago has taken up residence on the garden shed potting table for the past several days. The lump remains, even more abraded than it was when I first saw this very distinctive snake, but apparently, the mass is not fatal. It is not an egg. Seen: the corn snake–of the three this summer, the intermediate sized specimen, maybe 20 inches long, that I turned up while string trimming along the garden wall of railroad ties.
Tech tools: I’m considering the purchase of a “real” video camera. The iPhone is handy, but awkward and limited for videos. In addition to the camera (maybe this Sony DX260) I’d need video editing software–starting with iMovie but ultimately probably needing something more powerful. I’ve heard that Vimeo might be the way to go for display, and that would require a annual subscription. Can I justify this on the basis of ROI? Of course not. But in terms of telling the story: maybe. It would make me look for peoples-and-places cameos that I don’t “see” when using written narratives alone, or the still camera’s unblinking eye.