Summer Gardens

Sounds & Sights of Summer

Yesterday was the summer Solstice, and today is going to be a beautiful summer day. We have been hearing boats on the reservoir through the woods and the sounds of horns and church bells from the youth camp that borders the north side of our property. They host summer camp during the week and weddings on the weekends. I can’t wait for the weddings to start. The main camp is far enough away that we don’t hear much from them, but we can enjoy the bagpipes that usually accompany the weekend wedding ceremonies.

I am up very early today to write this post. I haven’t had time to stick to a strict blogging schedule now that the weather has been nice and I really wanted to make sure to get one done before the weekend!

The windows are open, my tea is steeping and the sun has not yet risen very high. Lupin has a bit before she will slink out of my husband’s spot in bed to come wiggling downstairs for her morning scratches. Lupin has made a habit of snuggling into the warm indent left behind by my husband when he gets up at 5am to take a shower. We tried to discourage it when she was a puppy, but it’s been years now and we’ve all just accepted that it is going to happen.

She Usually Stays There Until The Sun Is Too Bright To Tolerate. She’s Just Too Sweet To Move.

The owls were still calling at 4:30 this morning as the songbirds were just starting to clear their throats. I love waking up to the sound of the summer forrest as much as I love going to sleep to “night sound,” as my husband calls it. This sound consists of various species of tree frogs, crickets and other bugs, which come together in an unlikely unison of soothing song. Night sound is the best in the summertime, in our opinion at least.

Night sound has officially ended now that it is morning. The neighbor’s rooster is crowing and the horses are calling for some morning hay. The hummingbirds are buzzing around the gardens, frantically fighting their siblings and mates for their favorite spot at the feeder or flowers. Songbirds are in full force and, being a particularly warm and lovely morning, bumblebees were already at work when I was checking the pumpkins for squash bugs at 6:15.

Just look at this little cutie in the Evening Primrose…

We have not had any honeybees or many bumblebees visiting the gardens yet this year and we are afraid it is due to pesticide poisoning.

We are hoping that we will have just as many bumblebees in our yard as last year. Unfortunately, a few of our neighbors sprayed their yards (and the borders of our property) with pesticides to treat for mosquitos and ticks. I had a discussion with a few neighbors about this afterwords and requested they take into consideration the health of my family and our animals and at least refrain from spraying right on our boundary line. Lyme disease is rampant in our part of New England though, and many people feel that spraying pesticides is the best way to protect themselves.

We continue to strive for an organic and pesticide free home and property. We can’t control our neighbors, but we will keep talking to them and trying to share ideas. We have found that bringing flowers and veggies to our neighbors in exchange for their listening and being open-minded to ideas like alternatives to spraying pesticide is an easy way to get a conversation going. Even if it does not result in a major change (that’s a little unrealistic to expect), it’s good to at least understand where we are coming from and where they are coming from to try to eventually reach a middle ground.

Fingers Crossed for the Return of Our Buzzing Pollinators & Here is a Look at a Portion of the Gardens So Far this Summer…(I wish I had time to take more pictures for you!)

Happy Summer Everybody!

4 thoughts on “Sounds & Sights of Summer”

  1. I can’t imagine a garden without bees. Do you really not have any at all? That’s a catastrophe! Are there other ways to protect against Lyme disease other than spraying?

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    1. We had many, many bumblebees flying around the property early this spring. We have seen a few bumble bees and some smaller bees and flies since the spraying, but not much. The honeybees were likely from a farm nearby and just may not have made it through the winter. A few days after the neighbors sprayed, we were finding flies and bees on their backs twitching around our property. This might have been from something else, but a friend indicated to me that this was likely a result of the mosquito and tick spraying. I’m still looking into alternatives and what can be done. It’s a tough situation.

      We protect ourselves from ticks and Lyme by wearing long sleeve shirts and pants when we go into the wooded part of the property and we always check for them when we come inside. We keep our grasses cut short and the wild turkeys that come through the property seem to do a good deal of eating. We want to get laying hens soon and move them around the property and they should also be able to help keep the tick population down. I can see why people spray for the ticks. Lyme can be devastating. I know many people, including relatives who have or have had Lyme disease. Also, not everyone wants to use alternatives like keeping free range chickens or to deal with the hassle of checking and worrying (not to say they shouldn’t still be checking if they spray pesticides). Lyme is certainly scary, but so is such a drastic cut in our local bee population. I’m looking into other alternatives and talking to local farmers and gardeners. A lot of them have also sprayed though.

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  2. Is that an old picture of the dogwood flowers? Our (Cornus florida) finished months ago. We do not have native flowering dogwoods; only the redtwig dogwood.

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