Sunday, June 14, 2015

June 14, 2015

Finally am making a new post in under a month! 

We have been getting rain just about every other day the last couple of weeks.  Rain is better than drought, but sometimes too much rain can be problematic too.  This morning we got another deluge after several downpours yesterday so the garage and back yard are under water...again.  Great for the wet loving plants, but not so good for others.

This year I have tons of rabbit issues.  The rabbits are eating everything in my yard.  They have completely destroyed most of the new milkweeds and other native plants that I put in this year.  They also are eating the vegetable garden.  Things like beet tops and snow peas are getting badly eaten, the snow peas are actually not salvageable at all.  I have to start rabbit proofing some of the garden or I will have nothing.

Another Joliet Library Star Wars Day has passed.  I can't believe how this event has grown and changed.  Growth and change are not always for the better either.  The event is not fun for me anymore as it involves so much work. 

I spent months building that Hoth tatical vidscreen and where it came out nice, the display didn't really gel as a whole and I was disappointed by the total end result. 

Thankfully, the weather was nice.  Even though it was not really hot as it could have been, I still managed to be soaked with sweat the entire day. 

This year we had something like 130 costumed people and probably 11,000+ people were estimated in the crowd.  These figures are a far cry from what we started with - 12 costumed people and less than 100 people who came to see us.

The weather has been goofy this spring and I finally got out to butterfly monitor.  I went this past Tuesday by myself and Sally and I both went out yesterday.  Yesterday's route census went very well.  There were not huge numbers of butterflies, but we did get a nice variety of them.  It also was nice to see the Skippers back, they really have been absent the past two years.

It has been jam making time for sure!  I have gotten some great fruit over the past few weeks.  Apricots have been plentiful, gorgeous, and cheap.  I have made 3 different kinds of apricot preserves.  The Serviceberries are also ripe and I have made that jam as well.  Found out that you can cook and run the serviceberries through a food mill one day....get the pulp..refrigerate...and then actually cook the jam another day.  The texture is off and I had to really cook the pulp/puree down.  I am not sure it is going to set properly either.  Lesson learned.  The cherry tree has produced a fairly good crop this year and those are ripening fast as well.  I am picking daily and putting in the freezer and will make preserves when all of the cherries are done being picked.

I have spent most of my free time the last several weeks spraying invasive species at my restoration site and fighting weeds in my own yard.  It is a never ending battle.