Monday, July 21, 2008

Bounty Hunters

It's been a busy couple of weeks!

First, my tomatoes that I've been babying are now up to the gutters (!) on my house (they are draping over my 6-ft tall fence where they have overgrown the cages) and are covered in (still green) tomatoes, but I think I may see a faint blush of red on one of the first ones that formed. Soon! Last night's storm was enough to blow them all over, despite the supports, but they seem to be doing OK this morning...I propped them all back up, and time will tell. I have a Jet Star, an Early Girl, and a Big Boy by the house, and two more Big Boys growing out by the defunct deck. My peppers and celery are doing well, after recovering from the onslaught of the little red and black bugs this spring, so I'm looking forward to a nice harvest of those here in the next few weeks.

My black raspberries have finally played out ~ I gathered the last few on Saturday, and have been risking life and limb clearing out the old, fruited canes and leaving this year's new canes for next year's crop. There are a lot of older canes still in the mess that were never cleared out from previous years, so I'm dealing with lots of sharp, pokey brambles. It's an easy job to find them all, because the black raspberries don't send up suckers, the new canes just come up from the crown each year. But I've lost some blood, and have come eyeball to eyeball with more spiders than I care to.

I do have one actual blackberry patch at the other end of the yard, and they're just starting to color up now. They are under the black mulberry tree that overhangs our yard in the back, so it's an interesting effect seeing the dark purple fruits on the tree and on the bramble below it. I know I'm going to have to keep the blackberries in check, or they'll overtake everything ~ they're already sending suckers up into the grass where I mow. But the two ripe fruits I just pulled off were yummy, and the bramble is absolutely loaded, so I'm hoping to get enough to make some jam out of them, too. They are so much larger than my raspberries, so I don't think it will take nearly as many to get the requisite 5 cups.

And the grapes are all over the mess that has grown up, but I'm not sure how I'm going to get the ones that are about 12 feet off the ground. And of course, that's where most of the grapes are located....

Indoors, the children have discovered that when you play with bubbles indoors you can make the floor really slippery and then slide things across it (including yourself and mommy, who didn't expect a soapy floor). Other fun things to do are finger paint with melted ice cream on the wall, pour the water out of the bathtub, and practice pouring juice from one cup into another ~ on the living room carpet, of course. So we've done plenty of Bounty hunting indoors, too ~ of the paper towel variety.

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