I managed to watch most of the nine night-blooming cacti buds open in our jungle room. Here are the last four of them open at once, with a close-up of two of those.
Last weekend was the first cider party of the year, which Ian spent with us while his parents were at the Regional Dressage Championship horse show at Devonwood. Amazing eleven-year-old Ian made chili and corn bread for the potluck and helped with every phase of the cider making. He's in the red shirt with friends Hailey and Dylan. Also helping were Hailey and Dylan's mom Sarah, her partner Jessie, his dad Dave and wife Linda, her brother Randy, plus our good friend and neighbor Irv. All helped at some of our cider pressings last year, too.
Dave helped Dylan get started squeezing the apple pulp.
Sometimes the press squeezed back. Johnny got a face full several times.
Ian also helped picked blackberries... We have many this year...
And took home some pumpkins, another bountiful crop.
Of course, zucchini is still producing bountifully, too. This is what happens when you don't pick it for a week. Good thing our goats love zucchini, no matter how big.
The biggest news around here is the gradual transition to the new goat barn, which goat guardian dog McCoy is not taking well. In fact, he's determined that his goats will not go over there. He believes they belong in the old barn and gets quite ferocious about it. So McCoy is now separated from the goats. Hopefully, after the transition is complete (I'm not milking in the new milk room yet as the milk stand has not yet been moved) and after the old barn is torn down, McCoy will accept the new quarters. Meanwhile, life is a bit stressful for all concerned.
Sometimes it helps to slow down and smell the flowers. Or at least admire the butterflies enjoying the flowers. Many of these beauties have been visiting the Autumn Joy Sedum that line the path from house to shop. I'm told by an expert on bugguide.net that they are Mylitta Crescents. Whatever, they sure are pretty.
And, of course, watching birds is a great relaxer. Johnny and I took a side trip yesterday after picking up goat feed in Dallas to hike in to Morgan Lake at Baskett Slough Wildlife Refuge. A flock of white pelicans brightened our day.
And, at home, a Downy Woodpecker visited the mullein stalks in the rose bed, as one does every year, harvesting seeds (or possibly insects) while adding a touch of color.
What a beautiful, bountiful world we live in. ...And I'm done canning pears!