It is good to be home! By home I mean in the USA, because we were only in our home state for two days after our return from Barcelona when we hit the road for the last few weeks of bat season. This time of year is always a scramble to fit in the last bat jobs before the season ends, so we will be out of town and in the field seven days a week before we get to return home for real.
In the two days we had at home we crammed in as many chores, family visits, and quality pet time as we could, so it was a whirlwind. Our biggest chores were taming the jungle that was our yard and garden and digging our old farm house out of the weeds that had grown up around it. It was nice to get grimy with chopped chlorophyll after so many days in the paved and manicured city.
My garden was mostly overgrown with morning glories, but I managed to excavate giant summer squash, zucchini, beets, basil, and some of the first ripe tomatoes. Other than the tomatoes, I didn't get to eat these things before I left so I'm not sure why I was so excited to pick them. The lions share of the blackberries are feeding the birds, including Helen and Mrs. Hall, but I had time to pick almost a gallon for my freezer.
The hops have needed picking for weeks so I managed to pick about half of them - the half that didn't require that I go above the third rung of our rickety step ladder. I don't want to be remembered as dying for beer!
The trellis that we rigged is bending as the vines get heavier, so I was able to reach most of them. I can't claim that we planned it that way, since we didn't have a plan.
I think I was supposed to pick them before the cones turned brown on the edges, but after the yellow lupulin has formed. They had plenty of yellow stuff in them, and the smell was intense as I picked them, but most of the big ones were turning brown.
We had a mowing adventure out at the little farm in our brief home stint. We owned our newly purchased riding mower for about an hour when we managed to hit a stump buried in the tall weeds and destroy one of the blades and give it a flat tire. And, because all Brandon's efforts to revive a flat tire on the tractor were in vain, we needed the riding mower to pull the rough cut mower. We managed, after much sweat and finger smashing to get things pulled together and make some progress, but once again the vegetation is winning the battle for control of our property. I really need some hungry sheep.
Before heading out to catch some bats,while sitting in a strip mall Chinese take-out restaurant waiting for our food, Brandon and I were looking through the window at a store that was displaying a stack of bean bags. We were remembering the comfy bean bags at the contemporary art museum in Barcelona and wondering if we could get one. Brandon was messing with his phone and all of a sudden got an alarmed look on his face and said, "Rain, you aren't going to believe this!" He shows me his phone screen where he did an image search using something like "bean bags at the Barcelona art museum" and lo and behold he finds a picture of himself sitting on a bean bag! I think he was especially shocked because he didn't really remember that I took or posted the picture on the blog. We were cracking up! It's the first time either of us had accidentally found the blog with a search. I captured an image of the search page and the self referential-ness of posting it here is kind of bending my mind. It seems appropriate that he is on the same page as a strange chicken sculpture, someone dressed as a nun holding what appears to be an inflatable piano, and some people kissing on an organ bench. At least he is in good company!