Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Dang It's Hot!

I don't know what the weather is like where you live but here, it's hot. Not just any kind of hot but someone-turn-off-the-oven-and-quit-baking-me-alive hot. We had 2 gloriously cool mornings this past week and then hell took over our weather. We went to eat and to Home Depot last night. When we left there it was 8 pm and 106 degrees! What, pray tell, is the purpose for evening temps to be in the 100's???? I find no logical explanation. Yesterday was so hot that we had to put a hose in the chicken coop, set on mist, to keep my chickens from frying in the heat. I was sure I would look outside and see them spontaneously combust! I implemented an idea I got from one of my favorite blogs, Hickery Holler Farms. She takes used water bottles and fills them and freezes them. Then, in the morning she puts them in the animal pens to help cool them off. Throughout the day, she exchanges the melted ones for frozen ones. She has so many great ideas, please check her out! Anyway, I put some frozen bottles out there yesterday in the places they go to cool off.  Nobody died so I am counting that as a victory!
On the gardening front, I am swimming in tomatoes. I am NOT complaining, however! Most of them are my grape and cherry tomatoes so they get eaten pretty quickly. You know the deal, they are on the counter so every time I pass by, I eat a few. Could be worse. I could be grabbing m & m's instead of tomatoes. BUT I AM NOT!!! The m&m's are already gone :) I think I will be pulling up my yellow squash plants. They have been producing heavily for a couple of months and are looking a little ragged. Also, my green beans that were planted in full sun are about done. They look terrible and aren't producing much anymore. They ones planted in partial shade still look pretty good so I will still be getting some beans. I am getting a little okra but I am not impressed with the plants. Not much growth on them, shaded and full sun alike. I noticed that I have several watermelons growing away in the field and the pumpkins are just starting to get a bit of orange color on them. I planted sugar pumpkins because I want to can my own for pies. Which reminds me, I REALLY need to get some more jars. I have never canned this much before so I have run through my stash. Mother in law said Big Lots had a bunch of them on clearance so I will go check.
Most of my sunflowers have bloomed and dropped their petals. Can't wait to have fresh sunflower seeds. I need to find out how to go about drying them. I have no idea how long I need to leave them in the ground. They are looking a bit sad right now and they are all planted right in front of the front door so anyone who comes to the house has to pass the drooping flowers. That is okay because we don't get too many visitors out this far unless it is family (they know better than to comment on my droopy flowers) and the UPS guy. Lately, he has been coming at least 3-4 times a month. I am just glad he is not driving OVER my droopy flowers!
The blueberry bush is producing more than I thought it would. This will probably be the last year for these bushes. They are in an area that needs to be reworked and they may have to go. It's all good because, once we get started on the new house, I will need to replant everything anyway.  I am hoping that my muscadines make it. We have been under a severe drought. No rain in over 2 weeks (and none in the forecast) and temps in the 100's make it hard to keep everything watered. We do not have a sprinkler system so everything is done by hand. They are looking as droopy as my sunflowers. Today, I will be concentrating on getting them watered good. They like water but they don't like their "feet" to be wet. Something tells me that won't be a problem today.
One benefit of not having a sprinkler system and no rain is that my lawn doesn't need to be cut often. I tried mowing yesterday to knock down the hay that is sprouting up but everything is so dry and brittle that it was only shredding the yard. Oh darn, I can't mow so I guess I'll just stay inside all day. Thank you Lord for air conditioning!!! Stay cool out there!

Saturday, our temps we over 114 degrees. We built an extra shelter for our chickens as the only shade they had was under the coop and a small bush. We put a sprinkler in the pen to spray cold water all around and refilled all waterers with ice cold water. At 8 pm, we were still over 100 degrees. When the kids went out to shut the coop for the night, they found one of the hens dead. My sweet Matilda made it all the way up the ramp and then died in the doorway. Even after spending all day trying to keep them cool, we still lost one. Please keep a close eye on your animals! If you have a husband like mine who refuses to let you install a room air conditioner in the chicken coop (yes, I really suggested it) then you must be extra vigilant about keeping them comfortable...and alive!

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