Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Dwindling days of summer

I can't hardly believe how quickly this summer has flown by.  Really.  I say this every year, and really mean it, but this year?  Exponential.  Warp speed.  It was the end of June one moment and next thing you know, here it is nearing the end of August.  And, even if the end of August is the same temperature as mid July, it feels different.  Mornings feel a little crisper, the light has changed ever so subtly, it starts to get dark a bit earlier each night.

And yet, even though I feel I could use a few more months worth of July, I am happily preparing for Fall.  Apple harvesting is really on my mind this year.  We have a 120 year old orchard that still produces apples.  Not tasty or pretty apples, but apples nonetheless.  I have wanted to do something really useful with them in previous years, but usually lose steam sometime between picking them and pressing them for cider.  Now, don't get me wrong, cider is very useful.  However, I want something even more useful.  Something like Apple Cider Vinegar.  Raw Apple Cider Vinegar.  So, if any of you have any useful tips or information, please let me know.  I'll do my own research, and find recipes and stuff. But currently I'm just going on a dream and star.

We have one pear tree that has produced some decent pears in the past.  Andy made pear cider from them, and it really is a tasty drink.  He says the not-so-pleasant taste of the skin really shines through with this last batch, so to counter that he added some Angostura bitters and a sprig of fresh basil from our garden.  It turned out delish.

On a completely unrelated note, I think Agnes is back.  I was peacefully hanging up clothes outside by our big locust tree, filling up our short clothing line quickly, and needing more space to hang more clothes.  I decided to start hanging them on the branches of the locust tree.  Suddenly, a robin dive bombed toward my head chirp-yelling at me in a very familiar way.  She was puffed up and clearly giving me a warning to stay the f away.  It took me awhile to find it, but sure enough there is a nest in the middle of this tree with some little wee robins in it.  And, again, a pair of robins are guarding it with all their might.  And, I think that possibly, the female is Agnes.  Could it be?  I'll never really know, but she sure looks a lot like her.
For some reason I thought birds laid their eggs in the Spring, and were pretty much done with it by the end of summer.  I really do learn something new every day here at the Homestead.

Cheers to knowledge!  Happy late summer to you!

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