Late August Days

August 27th, 2010

Where has the time gone this week!? Between back to school and priorities at home, I have not written a single word… I think it’s time to start a few of those “wordless” photograph days :)

It has been a beautiful, dry week with cooler temperatures. To provide a little emphasis to his “back to school” week, the boy was stung by a wasp last Monday. Yeeouch! It was a doozy… and after a couple of days of itchy red swelling, his foot is nearly back to normal but very bruised and purple-red looking. Wasp stings can be very unpleasant, moreso than a bee sting. When I am stung it’s usually just a little red and itchy and some swelling for a day or so.

But wasp stings last longer and seem to bruise more. I’m trying never to take the bees for granted either… I found myself running out in a t-shirt and shorts “just to check” on the hives a time or two this year.   Big mistake… although I was never stung severely, the bees let me know that a good veil, protective suit and a smoker can really help keep things under control.   Sometimes however, the bees go crazy for no apparent reason…  I’m glad Warren is okay, and hopefully I will never have that experience!

Speaking of going crazy, I let the chickens have the run of the garden this afternoon and they were simply nuts! They ran everywhere chomping veggies and weeds, chasing bugs and diggling little holes to wiggle into and squirm all around. I never knew chickens liked to lay on their backs! This one was too funny…  a red hybrid upside down next to a Barred Rock.

After a while she leaped up like she had forgotten herself and shook all her feathers.  We can’t complain about their oddities… they’re laying about 6 eggs per day now, either in or near the nest boxes.    

Of course the boy had to go around petting and picking them up.    He managed to pick up none other than Captain Jack all dressed in black.   Jack is five months old now.  Funny, the kiddo has that pirate wink thing going on because of the sunlight.

The good ‘ole Captain runs the show around here… even the New Hampshire Red rooster takes second fiddle to the Captain. I’ll have to get a good picture of him, but when he puffs out all his feathers he puts on quite a sight! He’s got quite the crowing call as well. He put up with the boy’s attentions and I fed him a little scratch while he held him. Jack ate the scratch grudgingly, pecking my hand with a little extra fervor.

Saw this critter cruising along the shoreline of the pond the other day.  I’ve only seen the non-poisonous variety of snakes around here, but it’s enough to give you pause if you were thinking about swimming!


I also took a day this week to drive down to Arkansas and attend a memorial for the father of a family friend.   His son is a good friend of my brother who is serving in Afghanistan right now, and the gentleman was a navy veteran.  So it was a privilege to put on the uniform and attend, and especially to meet his family and friends.   They hail from south of a  small town, back in the rugged Ozark mountains.  

It was a beautiful afternoon.    There was a small military contingent presenting a flag, and a bugle player.  Driving home late that night promoted much reflection, and as events of that nature tend to do, put many things in perspective.  This good man’s sons and grandsons helped to bury his remains, completing a circle that we often don’t consider until later in our own lives.   

I’ll write a bit more later…  summer is quickly winding down and the garden is a mess.  I should think about planting some peas or something, but my jar of garden motivation seems to be missing right now :)   I hope you have a great weekend.

8 Responses to “Late August Days”

  1. Amasing isn’t it that Navy could come so far from the coast. And granted you could find areas of the US further from the coast, the point still holds.
    On the Autumn, yours arrives, well it doesn’t really, it drops like a stone. For us we’ve had the Liquid Amber and the Amelanchier turn somewhat already. But the leaves will not drop fully ’til December.
    Ditto on the weekend.

  2. Ed

    I got lost for awhile on Warren’s blog. Ouch! I had forgotten all about the smells of a hive until that post and then it all came back to me. Funny how you can tell a hive’s disposition by the smell. I guess it is not to far out to believe a dog can smell fear.

    Chickens love to roll in dirt. Our chickens used to do that all the time. I’m not sure why either. I’ve always heard dogs rolled in stuff to hide their scent but I’m not sure their scent is on a chicken’s mind.

  3. Nice post–pictures and thoughts about life circling around. Summer is giving it’s last glimpse, I hope. After cool mornings with temps in the 40s, we’re back up to the 90s for the next couple of days…

  4. Jamie

    Great pics!! I am sorry to hear of your sons reaction to being stung. Have you tried applying meat tenderizer mixed with water to make a sort of paste? I hear if it is applied minutes after being stung it will help decrease the reaction.

  5. Nice photos. I trust all is well with your son in school so far. While he’s gone, you can enjoy the view, and maybe hike to the top of that hill in the last photo!


  6. Vincent- It is strange to meet folks nearly anywhere who have shared experiences. I look forward to the Autumn… and hope it lasts longer like yours!
    Ed- I have only sampled a few of the smells of the bees… and I hope I don’t ever learn about that huge defensive attack by bees :)
    Sage- Thanks; Oh, I love mornings in the 40’s… it grew warmer here too, but I think I’ll enjoy these last days of summer.
    Jamie- I forgot about the meat tenderizer, but I remember it now! My old-time remedy is to use an onion. Cut and pulp it up with lots of juice and keep over the sting site… it takes the swelling right down. Naturally, we didn’t have an onion in the house that day! Instead we used garlic and tobacco, and then got an onion later. The swelling remained for a day or two. Last time he was stung, the onion took it out within hours. Now I’ll make sure we have tenderizer on hand too… thanks!
    R.S.- Ah, would that I had time for that! It’s a little too far in the Ozarks, but one day perhaps :)

  7. You know, I was pretty much pain free by Tuesday but I gotta tell you, I feel super lucky. Like you, I *used* to look at the bees a lot in my shorts and t-shirt…no more.

    Still, I got a lot of honey this weekend when I finally got around to finishing the job…and it was worth it!

  8. I retired from the air force after 27 yrs active duty never being exposed to many funerals, at least not while i was in the air force. (While i was in the marines though, LOTS of death. It seems marines tend to be foolishly self destructive). I was 44 when I got out and came here. Suddenly it seemed like I was attending funerals every other week. Holy cow. Death dying & burials… So, i learned if you hang out with older guys (veterans) then thats what you get. Took some getting used to… Oh, and Dod MUST provide certain honors at a veteran’s funeral now:

    Military Funeral Honors have always been provided whenever possible. However, the law now mandates the rendering of Military Funeral Honors for an eligible veteran if requested by the family. As provided by law, an honor guard detail for the burial of an eligible veteran shall consist of not less than two members of the Armed Forces. One member of the detail shall be a representative of the parent Service of the deceased veteran. The honor detail will, at a minimum, perform a ceremony that includes the folding and presenting of the American flag to the next of kin and the playing of Taps. Taps will be played by a bugler, if available, or by electronic recording. Today, there are so few buglers available that the Military Services often cannot provide one.

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