Elinor

Elinor

It has been an uneventful week here at the So Many Books Homestead. Calm weeks are good now and then especially when so many of them have been busy since, well, since March when the snow melted. There was one eventful moment that involved Mrs. Dashwood.

Last week on Monday, the Independence Day holiday, Bookman and I were both home and we had let the chickens out of the run to roam their garden area. It was later in the day and as I walked by the sliding glass door into the garden I saw something moving around at the back near the stinging nettle (yes I am purposely growing stinging nettle in my garden). I stopped and looked closer. Something was scratching around in the nettles which was just crazy. At first I thought it was a cat and then, not a cat but Mrs Dashwood! In the main garden!

Marianne

Marianne

I told Bookman and we put on our gardening shoes and ventured out to round up the roaming chicken. So intent and happy was she, Mrs. Dashwood completely ignored us. Before we rounded her up we located the other three. They were all still in their garden, not in the main garden with Mrs. Dashwood. We have no idea how Mrs. Dashwood got into the main garden, she either managed to squeeze through the gate or she hopped up over the retaining wall from the chicken garden.

Bookman decided he was going to catch Mrs. Dashwood but as soon as he approached she went running. Bookman chased Mrs. Dashwood around the garden in what could have been turned into a comical Looney Tunes chase between Elmer Fudd and Bugs Bunny. Bookman wasn’t finding it very funny though.

I finally convinced him to stop chasing her and got her attention with some dandelion greens. Mrs. Dashwood came right over and the two of us slowly made our way over to the garden gate that I then opened and encouragingly shoved her through before giving her the rest of the dandelion leaves. The adventure has not been repeated but then the chickens haven’t gotten to be out in their garden since then either.

Marianne, Margaret and Mrs. Dashwood

Marianne, Margaret and Mrs. Dashwood

Tuesday morning, not having left for work yet, Bookman heard some weird cock-a-doodle-do screeching coming from the alley. He looked out the window to see the garbage collector crowing at the Dashwoods as he emptied our bin into his truck. Bookman said the rooster imitation was so terrible it made him laugh. I was already at work so I unfortunately missed it.

The black raspberries are almost done and now the red raspberries are getting ripe. We are going to see if we can make a small batch of raspberry jam from the the red ones.

The currants are just beginning to get ripe and the gooseberries are nearly there. The bush cherries remain stubbornly green.

All the peas are picked and I got more than I thought I would but not as much as I wanted. I left several pods out on a few of the hardier plants to save for seed next year. It was so hard to leave them and not pick them!

The garlic has been growing well all summer and the leaves are just beginning to yellow. In a week or two I might be able to start harvesting. I can hardly wait!

Saturday was a gorgeous day for a bike ride. I spent a couple hours on Friday making a map for my Garmin for a new route that went on the loop of the Mississippi River Trail. The MRT is a bike trail that begins at the headwaters and runs all the way down to the Gulf of Mexico. Some of it is off-street other parts are on marked bike lanes along the side of the road. I have never specifically ridden on this trail before and as I was looking for someplace new to explore I discovered I could ride a nice loop from near my house down to Point Douglas, the confluence of the Mississippi and St. Croix Rivers. It’s about a 96 mile/154 km loop. I was quite excited about it.

Blooming sumac looks tropical

Blooming sumac looks tropical

Unfortunately, after over two hours making the map and uploading it to my Garmin my excitement about the route was exhausted. Come Saturday morning I could not muster up the needed enthusiasm for the new adventure so I resorted to a familiar trail and a 65 mile/105 km ride instead. It wasn’t long before I was sorry for my decision. The day was so fine everyone else decided to be out on the trail too. It wasn’t bad at first but the later it got the more crowded the trail became and I had some near misses when people who aren’t usually out on the trails and don’t bike much almost collided with me due to their inattention or a sudden panic when I came up behind and yelled “on your left!” to let them know I was passing.

Next weekend I will be heading out and away from the usual trails which I hope also means I will avoid the crowds. Point Douglas here I come!

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