Oh sweet heaven, the humidity finally broke with the thunderstorms! We never turned on the AC, preferring to torture ourselves until this sweet moment of cool breezes through the window screens. I even stayed up late last night to make raspberry jam--when the kitchen was a mere 82 degrees instead of 84. And now I type without the gleam of sweat on my face.
It's wild outside. Since July 1st I have seen the following in my back yard: rabbits, bald eagles, robins, barn swallows, one hummingbird, yellow finches, sparrows, blackbirds, one woodchuck in a hurry, mice, a fawn frolicking in our back yard like some character out of a Disney movie and a raccoon. Mr. D reported seeing a coyote carcass on the other side of the creek.
The prairie is in bloom, Black Eyed Susans, Queen Anne's Lace, clover, purple coneflowers, asters, Blazing Stars, Butterfly Milkweed, Joe-Pye Weed, False Sunflowers and Ox Eye Sunflowers. Insects swoop and hum, the colors mix in the breeze, the sweet smells float in the air. Even my skin itches. A feast for all the senses!
The biggest surprise of all this summer (just when we thought we'd seen everything this property has to offer): Mr. D and Mr. T were driving along the road between our neighbor's cornfield and our woods and discovered wild blackberry bushes growing right along the treeline! You bet I'll be out there (after marinating in OFF!) with my gallon ice cream buckets. (We've filled so many gallon buckets with beans that I need to buy more ice cream...) Provided the creek recedes enough--after the torrential rain we've had, it's swollen nearly to the point of washing out the road. Perhaps if I don scuba gear I can swim to the blackberries. Or maybe I can lash together some fallen trees and build a raft, ala Huck Finn. Even if I can't reach them this year, I'm so excited! Wild blackberries! How divine!
Spill it, reader. What natural discoveries have you made in your back yard this summer?