Monday, August 25, 2014

Summer Post - and Status of the Hens

The garden looks pretty ratty on August 25 2014, here in North Texas, but I thought I would enter a garden journal post with the latest happenings.

The Jujube tree has plenty of fruit this season - at least it gives some color to the garden. 

The texture is similar to an apple.  I made a jujube pie last year using an apple pie recipe.  In my opinion, it wasn't as good as an apple pie, but if you want to use your fruit, it is good enough for eating purposes!

The pear tree is heavy with fruit this year, we have never made pear jam, but since we had such good luck making our peach preserves earlier this year, I think we may try making some pear butter.  I'll probably write a post on whether I was successful.

Amazingly enough, the recent cool fronts and rain here in North Texas spurred my tomato plants to start blooming and producing fruit again.  I have tons of Tommy toes for the fall!

The Persimmon tree is also heavy with fruit even though the tree itself doesn't look very healthy.  We may lose it after this season.

I have some awesome news.  Two weeks after the bobcat attack (where two of my chickens were killed during the night), the first white hen, Claire, (she went missing that day and we assumed the bobcat got her first), came back!  She must have flown over the fence and escaped!  My question - how in the world did she survive for two weeks without chicken feed and water?  Not only was the bobcat out there, but there are plenty of neighbor's dogs and coyotes that could have gotten her as well. 

Jonie is so happy to have her friend back.  They are inseparable.  Claire will put herself to bed each night in the chicken tractor, however, Joanie still refuses to go by herself!  She still sits in the back porch window ledge every evening and I have to carry her over to the chicken tractor.  She has not gotten over the bobcat going in their tractor during the night and killing two of her flock.  Needless to say, neither hen is laying now - the heat and the trauma have had their effect.

I cut my sunflower heads down - they are drying on the back porch.

The Turk's cap is blooming and attracting hummingbirds.

The Belinda's Dream rose is blooming now.  The blooms are not as large and pretty as they are in the springtime, but it is a flower nonetheless in the current heatwave - I'll take it.

The Trumpet Vine pods are pretty large.  After researching whether they are poisonous - I'm still not sure!  I found a post on the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center web site about it.  My final conclusion - do not eat, and do not give to animals to eat, just in case.  They are interesting to look at though!

It is Cicada season now - do you hear them at your house?  They are LOUD!  I wrote a post about their interesting lifecycle last year - check it out!

A Cow Killer in the garden - they feed on Cicada Killer wasps.

And finally, a Ladybug was visiting my garden this week too.

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