Thursday, July 5, 2012

Hot summer days

As I have mentioned we have been struggling in northern Illinois with very little rain.  In June we had .01 inches of rain.  So far in July we have had no rain, but for the past few weeks we have had 90+ degree weather.  Our corn looks like a lily that has wilted at the end of the day.

Our farmhouse is over 100 years old, built way before A/C came around.  We keep the shades pulled during the day, fans help circulate the air and keep the house comfortable.  The dogs are sent to the basement to cool off on the concrete floor.    The walls are made of fieldstone and plaster, helping to draw in the cool temperatures from below ground.

The ducks love the sprinkler and often gather around it when we turn it on.  They spend their day in the shade, eating bugs, searching for seeds, especially the seeds that fall from the bird feeders.

Travis and Arliss have had a friend come and stay over, often camping out in the fields or by the pond. The other day the three boys went swimming in the pond after a hot walk to find raspberries and mulberries.

I had to laugh as Rufus joined them.  Our silly lab won't take a bath ever, but pond water?  He is in it faster than you can blink.  Rover stayed closer to home, not wanted to make the hot walk to the back of the farm for the pond.

As Rufus walked the pond's edge he scared the bullfrogs who were sunning themselves.  The bullfrogs hopped into the water to get away, which then became a game of chase.  How fast could the dog get the bullfrog before it got away?  Final score: bullfrogs 20 Rufus 0.

completely cleaned and ready for the oven
My husband and I have also begun to process the ducks.  We had 20 and are now down to 11.  Some have been eaten, some have been prepped and frozen for another day.  We'll keep the rest through the winter so we can have eggs and chicks come spring.

our new cherry tree
This past week my mother-in-law and I found a nursery with fruit trees.  We have been looking for a cherry tree to plant here at the farm.  My grandfather's favorite food was anything with cherries in it; cherry pie and Gram's cherry soup especially.

We planted the cherry tree which stands about 4 1/2 ft. to 5 ft. tall.  It will have sour cherries which are the best for growing here in our region.

the black lump is Rufus' head
I have heard from my dad that farmers in central and southern Illinois are having to call a loss on their crops this year.  Claims have been made for insurance policies to cover the loss, with some farmers cutting down and plowing under the crops that have failed with the hopes of planting a second crop for some kind of profit.

 I know that the forest fires out west have had a lot of the news lately, but come this fall when crops should be harvested, the food prices will go up due to the lack of crops.

 Pray for rain.  In the meantime, enjoy the pictures of the goings-on around here.
this storm only lasted for a short time.  

Sending love and prayers for rain from the farm.

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