Ah, the heat wave finally ended and we took the horses out for a romp. Of course, the dang deer flies were still vicious as ever, annoying the poor horses. I've come to the conclusion that none of the bug repellents are designed for deep woods use, just ring riding. So the next time someone recommends a product, my first question will be, "Where do you ride?" I'm looking for the equine equivalent of Deep Woods Off! And I don't think it exists.
Before we headed for the woods, John took Harley for a little spin behind the barn. I like his summer riding outfit: Chaco sandals, half chaps, and shorts! Of course, all that bare skin just leaves more lunch for the mosquitoes and deer flies. Chomp!
We did a short road ride before riding into the woods where the bugs began swarming the horses. I think I'll try spraying Harley's fly mask as well to see if that helps repel the buggers! Then we had some quick trots and canters up through the logged area behind our friends Hank and Lily's home. But before we reach their drive, we needed to pass a parked semi trailer in the woods that Hank has as a storage facility, and next to it is the lower torso and legs of a mannequin. I'd love to know the story behind that! Of course, it gave Harley a good start. And Rolex wouldn't even approach the trailer. Brave Harley led the way!
Back at the house, I finished mowing the lawn--my least favorite summer chore--then puttered around in the garden. I'm happy to see some produce ripening. After all the endless rain, I was afraid everything would rot.
Our blueberry bushes are producing some nice fruit, though not consistently. And the birds and Japanese beetles love 'em! So I've got them covered this year in hopes of deterring the pests.
Our broccoli has lovely leaves, but no florets yet. The onions are looking good, but you never know what you've got until you pull them up! Our carrots were a disaster--no germination--so I need to reseed them and get a winter crop (I hope). The last of the lettuce is being eaten and I need to start some more this week. A few rogue potatoes I missed digging last year have put out flowers. I'll be happy to have some nice little spuds. Dill and oregano are everywhere making the bees and butterflies happy. Both of them run rampant through the gardens. Last year I tried my hand at drying some and happily had a nice cache of my own home grown spices. The dill comes in handy for making dilly beans! And speaking of beans, that crop is just starting to flourish. This year I planted a purple bush bean variety just for fun. They have lovely violet flowers as well and colorful beans.
And of course, I have flowers as well. One of my favorites is the delicate Monkshood with its varying shades of purple, pale lavender, and white. I don't have enough to cut, and I'm not sure how well they do as a cut flower, so I just enjoy them in the garden.
More rain is heading our way Monday night and through the week. So tomorrow may be my last chance to ride again for a while. If it hasn't been raining, it's been steaming, swampy hot! I hope the summer weather improves for the month of August--but then we head into hurricane season! Oh bother...maybe I'll just cross my fingers for a pleasant October.