I found the first ripe raspberry last night! Mmmm, was it good! 🙂 Gave baby his first taste ever! He thought it quite sour…oh, the puckered lips!…but he asked for more. 😉

I didn’t venture too far into the patch as two rather large webs caught my eye… I’m arachniphobic. Seriously dislike spiders. With our recent warm summers (anyone catch the PBS show on the warming trend in AK?) and looong daylight hours, we are starting to grow mongo bugs around here. (You should have seen the catapillar dd2 came home with the other day! It was at least 3 inches long and as big around as my middle finger! It escaped before we could take it’s pic or I’d show you. 😉 ) Last year, I found a *huge* spider in the patch and that’s part of the reason I didn’t pick as much (along with it being terribly over grown and not producing well, etc). Well, I’ve let it get over grown again but this time I had done some heavy pruning in the Spring so from where I was standing it looks like the patch has done well this year despite the jungle it became. I caught sight of the spider that made them…it’s big too and the same kind that freaked me out a few days ago above our deck.

I went out late one evening to put the chickies in their carrier for the night and happened to catch a glimpse of a blob above my head off to the right. I had been knocking down webs every morning attached to the railing or the clothesline but hadn’t seen the culprit yet. Ugh!!! Was it gross! I changed my mind about the chickens and came in exclaiming to the family and everyone had to rush and see except dh…he :rolleye: his eyes (figuratively)…until the children told him how big it was. Then, after he saw it it was deemed worthy enough to have it’s pic taken! LOL

Anyway, that was the first. A couple days later, the same kind and almost as big was found in one of the playhouses. Oldest dd tried knocking it down to step on it but lost it in the grass. Last night, a third was found above the front porch and then I found a fourth in the patch. This morning I found a fifth in the other playhouse. I think they are surrounding us for an attack!!! (Actually, dh teased me that the one above the deck was trying to catch me since I inevidibly caught part of the web in my hair every morning… :-P)

So this morning, I put the chickies in the playhouse the children refused to play in as I wanted to move the other to a new place. Discovered both spiders and decided to give the chickies a snack. (evil grin) So, I took the hose and knocked down the spider in the empty playhouse and then grabbed the largest pullet and set her in there close to it…she spied it and gobbled it lickety split.

Chickens 1 Spiders 0

Yay!

Took her back to the other playhouse, knocked that spider down with the rake but that one laid still and didn’t catch the attention of the chickies. So, I pushed back the grass and wiggled the stick I was using a tad and the chickies came to investigate. The Silver Laced caught it but was slow to gobble so the pullet I used previously snatched it out of her mouth and dropped it in the feed dish to be sure it was ediable and then yum-yum! (another evil grin) So, the score should now be:

Miriam (name of that chickie ;-)) 2 Spiders 0

We are now devising ways to catch the other spiders and get them into the feed dish. >:-) So far there are no volunteers to do the actual deed but there sure is a lot of nominating going on! 😉

Back to actual gardening news…

I picked the first two zucs yesterday. Yum-Yum! Sauted one with some of the fresh bushbeans and some garlic cloves in butter with a dash of salt and pepper. The children were standing around begging for some out of the pan like it was candy! 🙂

Gardening will be wrapping up here soon. The weather has been rainy and the temps have turned cooler. We’ve been seeing yellow leaves drop occasionally and there is a tree out back of our property that has several now. I think they mostly started turning because of the heat and lack of rain we were having…but now… The Fireweed is just about done blooming and the grasses have their seed heads.

Blueberries should be ready soon considering the above…

Happy Gardening…and Harvesting…until next time!

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