So far my efforts to rid the barnyard of pokeweed are successful. Not that the pokeweed isn’t trying. I do feel bad pulling up the survivor plants that push up around the edges of the old stone foundation and the black plastic tarp I put down to keep them from growing.
But I really don’t want them spreading anymore. If I can keep them from flowering this summer I think I will have gotten ahead of them.
Now I see those soft oblong leaves poking up all over the farm. I find them alongside the mullen, thistle and stinging nettles. They hide within the broad leaves of the volunteer hybrid squash that is growing in the barnyard.
I pluck the ones I see before they can get too big. I try to pull up the long tubular roots, but some put up so much resistance the stem breaks before I can get it all.
I’m going to leave the black plastic down over the winter and into next spring just to be sure they don’t come back.
The volunteer squash, a hybrid of some kind has spread in the past few weeks. The sheep and donkeys ate one of the squash but they don’t seem interested in them anymore. Maybe because there are so many apples which I imagine taste better. Or maybe they’re not worth trying to get through the sticky leaves.
We’ll see what happens when the vine dies back and the unusual squash is revealed.
I’m gathering the macintosh apples that fall to the ground for apple sauce. I can see some red ones high up on the top of the tree, way too high for me to reach. And many of them get eaten before I get to them.
It’s not just the donkeys and sheep who eat them.
The chickens peck away at them which then invites the bees in. Then there are the chipmunks who live in the stone walls. That’s who I think was munching on the apple above. The chickens aren’t as messy when they eat the apples.
Though the Macintosh is plentiful, crab apple tree that hangs over the shade garden doesn’t have any apples this year. Maybe it’s making up for last year when there were so many apples I scooped them up with a shovel and stored them in bushels in the barn for the animals.
I’m not finding as many insects in the animal’s water bucket as I did last year. This surprises me because it seems like there are lots more bugs this summer. I did pull out this small insect that looked like some kind of grass hopping bug. But it was already dead.
So I took some close-up pictures of it, to get to know it a little better in this one way at least.
I’ll end with this beautiful little moth that was resting on the wall of the farmhouse. Even though it was no more than a quarter inch long, I knew if I could get a close up of its wings they’d have an intricate pattern. But I wasn’t prepared for the beautiful colors.