The gangs all here

From left to right, Butters, Kirby and Malcolm, in a moment of harmony.

Last week, our cat Malcolm didn’t show up to come in for breakfast. He had been a bit whiny for the last few days. I couldn’t remember when I had last seen him the day before (the cats have a cat door so they can let themselves out – but not back in, after one too many live mice in the house incidents). I called for him and searched the yard, but almost immediately suspected he was gone. He’s spent most of his time in the past almost 7 years either eating, sleeping near me or sitting in my lap. He was always the first one to came in for breakfast, if he even went out at all.

Sure enough, we eventually found him, dead under a large daylily. Not a bad way to go, really. A beautiful summer day. A cool spot outside in the quiet. We buried him under the black walnut tree, where our two old dogs Loki and Freya are also buried.

We adopted Malcolm in 2010, while I was still living up in Spokane. We didn’t know how old he was, but the vet suspected he was an older cat, even then. He had a wonderful last 7 years, and we are so so grateful for the time we got to spend with him. It’s always hard to lose a pet, but its easier when you know they really never had a bad day while they were with you.

Meanwhile, I’m in the thick of farmers markets, and at this point, harvesting and freezing fruit for jam. Blueberries and cherries have been picked and processed (I pitted 30 lbs of cherries six at a time, while binge watching Star Trek – Enterprise, which somehow I had never seen). Next up is apricots, and after that peaches and nectarines.

Summer is in full swing, and its hard to remember to look up and enjoy the season. But I do my best, and here are some pictures from the last two months to prove it.

For those of you on instagram, I’m much more active on there of late, than on this blog (I sometimes spend more than an hour on one blog post – time I simply don’t have right now). With instagram I can take a quick picture of the farm, or a meal, with my phone and post it, well, instantly. Got to say,  I’m pretty enamored with it at this point, and post several times a week. You can follow the farm on instagram by clicking the camera icon above, on the left.

JuniperDunesSpring2017

Juniper Dunes, on our last weekend outing in late April, before markets started. On this hike, Bohdi managed to find a porcupine, and we thought we got all the quills out. But no, we just had one removed last week by the vet that we had missed.

DucksInABucket

We hatched out 12 duckings in the incubator this spring. All are still going strong. This picture was when we were transferring them out to the horse stall coop and out of the garage!

BrandiwineCrabBloom2017

The Brandywine Crab was SPECTACULAR this year.

LadybugMating

Sometimes, nature takes care of things. This maple was covered in aphids. You can see the sap from them on the leaves. And then there were literally hundreds of lady bugs, most of them mating. The tree looks great now!

chickenpileup

When there are enough nest boxes, but you all want the one in the middle.

Dogwood

Dogwoods. I just love them. It was too cold to grow them in Durango, so we’ve really enjoyed them here in Washington.

ButterKing

Butters, who always knows how to find the most comfy spot in the house.

chamomile

Chamomile harvest. I use it in one of my face soaps.

Poppy

Oriental poppies. Just stunning. Bees coming back to the hive after visiting will have black pollen on their legs.

DuckSitting

Two ducks were determined to nest. So we fenced off the spot in the coop for them so no new eggs would get added. It takes 28 days to incubate a duck egg. They only managed to hatch out 3, out of about 24 eggs. But both mama’s helped raise those three. Unfortunately, there is something (fox maybe) snagging poultry of late, and we’re down to one young one – who’s about half grown now. But it was worth a shot.

Strawberries

LOTS of strawberries this year. A friend is keeping bee hives here, which I’m sure helped.

Strawberryharvest2017

Many pounds in the freezer for strawberry-rhubarb jam.

GreensAtMarket

Best year I’ve had in years for greens and broccoli family veg. But soon, TOMATOES!

Miles Away Farm Blog © 2017, where there are never enough hours in the day this time of year, but we still remember to be grateful for the kitties in our lives.

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