Water and Summer’s Dog Days

Today marked two hundred fifty gallons for the sheep, goat and alpaca. The temp reached 96 in the shade this afternoon. Even the cat just lay in the one spot with grass under the scrubby trees and didn’t move much. It was too much effort to chase anything. Shade uber alles.
Black walnut leaves are turning yellow. Corn has been stunted by the heat and lack of rain has forced many locally to start cutting haylage yesterday, quite early for this area. Feed supplies for this winter will be costly. Pasture is dormant and stick dry. Dust kicks up just from walking and your legs are dark with dirt from just doing a walk through the field to do chores.

Milking the doe got us a quart of white foamy delight. It will go into fudge later this week. It’s been too hot to get excited about milking her this summer. We let the kids take their fill and just separated the young bucks yesterday. Making cheese will be later this week too. Apples have started to fall so applesauce has priority.

 homestead apple harvest

FIrst apples of the season

If we get a repeat of last winter, it will take it’s toll on all of us. Right now though, cold weather would be welcome for a few days. The goats have started showing the undercoat of cashmere-also earlier than usual. Bucks are in rut. Their smell is “breath taking” in this heat, literally.

When the sun drops below the horizon, the temperature is bearable. Right after sunup is the best time to check stock, make a run through the garden to find tomatoes turning red and peaking though the green jungle of leaves. If the ground hog gets his fill on tender shoots elsewhere, he’ll let the larger ones alone. Two of the best Celebrity have been his choice this week. Well -he left half of each. Why can’t he finish the whole tomato? Another mystery…

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