This nest must have been built by a very inexperienced mother bunny--maybe her first litter. She built it right next to the dog kennel, and barely scooped out a depression. I've surrounded it with bricks and put grass over the top to give them some shelter, and kept the dogs in the house, unless they're out with me, or leashed. At the rate they're growing, they'll be ready to leave the nest and start eating my garden in no time.
On the same day we discovered the bunnies, Zach discovered a pair of very young skunks--but still old enough to give him a squirt right in the face--probably their first encounter of the dog kind. They did themselves proud, and Zach was much less exuberant when he came home. Bill whipped up some hydrogen pyroxide, baking soda, and dish detergent and we gave him a good scrubbing. It eliminated most of the odor. I doubt if Zach will be quite so interested in baby skunks from here on out. Too bad the bunnies don't have a similar defense.
Summer garden report, such as it is (not much). The sweet potatoes (a few Puerto Rico bush purchased from a local nursery, the rest are slips from a sweet potato I got at the market) are looking good, the foliage anyway. The female squash blossoms haven't appeared yet--I have the feeling it's too hot. Three kinds this year: zucchini, acorn, spaghetti. I'm putting my raised beds back for fall; gave them up a couple of years ago, when I was touring in October. Then China's pub date was moved to April, so October is available for gardening again. And in the current circumstances (with oil hitting $140 a barrel this week, peak oil here or on the way, and climate change already upon us), it is definitely time to get back in practice again. Oh, and I'm making both compost and manure tea, with a little help from the ladies up the road (Texas and Blossom, our cows). You should see me with my shovel and buckets, out there picking up cow patties! And at least the heat is good for something: perfect climate for cooking compost! The center of the pile is up to 140 degrees.
While I'm on the subject of gardens, I ran across something (with help from a blog reader, Pam Price--thanks, Pam!) that I think is very, very important. Some people are urging a revival of the Victory Garden--like the gardens my mother and grandmother, skilled gardeners both, grew during WW2, and which I remember so clearly and with such affection. Check it out, think about it. Some of us are feeling that we can't do much to halt the direction we (this nation, the world) seem to be headed. This is what we can do, can teach, can encourage. You'll be hearing more from me about the subject.
Book report. The Tale of Applebeck Farm is emerging out of the labyrinth of multiple story lines. I'm at 59,000 words and moving pretty well. It's due at the end of August, but I'm hoping to be finished by the end of July, so I can get out to NM for August. I'm also keeping up with the journal book, my other big writing project for the year. And working with our Story Circle Book Review website. A reminder: we're always looking for reviewers, so if your reading interests coincide with ours, please join us.
A note to faithful blog readers: thanks for sticking with me through the busy times, and for your notes and comments. I learn something from each one of you, and you're all special to me.
Reading note. When we’re finished grazing in the garden, I want there to be some garden left. This is more than an aesthetic desire--though surely it is the beautiful complexity of nature that woos me. It is a moral desire. To use nature beyond its capacity to restore itself is to destroy the force and power that have given us our lives.--Alison Hawthorn Deming